September 01, 2017
Walking In Beauty
A million things call out to be done before the day ends, and then it all starts up again tomorrow. Your life has routine, a rhythm, and it sweeps you up and pushes you along. You have a roof over your head and food to eat, so on you persevere, feeding the beast, doing what it takes, but ultimately, it sucks a little bit of life from you each day.
Even when we do stop and take a breath we are most often thinking about what comes next, or how to improve on what we already have. We go to a yoga class to relax, and find ourselves needing to master that next yoga pose, or we sit down to meditate and wonder if we have reached the furthest dimension of the astral planes yet. We are doers living lives aimed at accomplishment, and we are striving for success. Until we stop and find the beauty in it, however, we will have very little peace.
Beauty is not just an aesthetic, but it is a vibration, the resonance inside of a moment. It is a sensation that stops us in our tracks with its radiance and transports us to another realm. It is inspiration, an experience of pure essence, a transient state of breathless perfection, that exists just outside of time. Integrating positivity with negativity, a wholeness of darkness and light, beauty is a transcendent dance with the senses.
April 01, 2016
The Modern Shaman
Some people believe calling yourself a shaman is akin to saying “I am God.” A Shaman, they say, is a trickster who takes many magical forms, transcending space and time. Only others, they say, may call you one!
If we look at the word “shaman,” we find it is simply the (Siberian) Tungus tribe’s word for “medicine person.” Every indigenous tribe, from the beginning of time, has had a person, or two, whose role it has been to connect with the Creative Force on behalf of the tribe, to ensure their survival. They were everyday people with emotions, egos and even relationship problems to work through, but they were sensitive to energy. Their sensitivities helped them to heal the sick and help track down animals for food. They could see the dead and they could hear the spirits of Nature. Their job was to be an intermediary between the seen and unseen. When their skill sets were first recognized as children, they were pulled aside and trained to be of service to the tribe. There have always been these people, every culture, ours included, has relied upon them.
June 01, 2015
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
One of the reasons there has been a resurgence of interest in the teachings of the indigenous is that our own “civilized” culture has become so out of balance. We have our noses stuck in our phones instead of meeting eye to eye. We take walks in Nature looking at our emails and social media networks instead of interacting with the plants and animals who live there. Unfortunately, the further we get from connecting in with the implicit spirituality in our environment, the easier it is to forget our actions have consequences and the more out of balance we become.
Indigenous people are profoundly connected to Nature. While our cultural psyches are more recently rooted in a dualism that singles Man out from Nature and gives him dominion over it the indigenous recognize that we are all part of the same web that flows through all of creation. At the very core of their practices is a deep respect for the powers in Nature. Animal allies, for example, are important vehicles for connecting in with the Web of Creation. Each animal has certain aspects or characteristics that give it particular powers or energy to draw from. Power Animals, Totem Animals and Animal Archetypes are all ways the indigenous engage with the natural world regularly.