Saturday, May 12, 2018

Rubus Fruticosus Rhumba

My blossoms summon bees
to do my bidding
My wine dark drupelet fruit
tempts every feathered messenger
Lures B'rer Rabbit,
Bear, Fox, Deer
from their sheltered nooks
Even you may find yourself
standing guilty before me
Fingers & mouth incriminated
by the stain of my ink
More than 2000 years
No stranger to Witches, Doctors, Cooks

Brigid's star, Bride's blessing
Sacred bramble
Beloved by expectant mothers
children, Fair Folk and
the poet smith Goddess
We encourage you to think
the hungry
Feed
the worn & frail
Comfort, Strengthen
the innocent
Protect
the sick
Heal
with bladed cane
and daggered bodice
Tis our duty to Provide
Our right to Defend
Our pleasure to Inspire
as we all ramble
round this Wheel

For those new to the game, each piece is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those that listen. Can you guess who is singing today?


Friday, May 11, 2018

Summer Wine & Wishes

Prides of cadmium yellows, salad greens
Roaring across sun streaked fields
Lion's Tooth, Urban Survivor
Then
just over a week or two
Redemption
Resurrection
Shaking bare our snowy manes
Transformation
Casting wishes, beginnings, seeds of Illumination
upon the Winds
eluding your destructive disdain

Irrepressible Taraxacum
Beltane's dancing floor
Bitter tonic, Apollo's clock
with healing water brewed
useful from petal tips to roots
toxins flushed
Oracles cast
and illnesses subdued


For those new to the game, each piece is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant, etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today? Congrats to Cathy, Layla and Alan for naming this Teacher!

“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” Joseph Addison

“No vision and you perish; No ideal, and you’re lost. Your heart must ever cherish some faith at any cost. Some hope, some dream to cling to, some rainbow in the sky. Some melody to sing to, some sevice that is high.” Harriet Du Autermont

“But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people’s idea, not Nature’s.” Anonymous



Persistant Dandelion has been known by many names over the years: blowball, cankerwort, lion’s tooth, fairy clock, wild endive, priest’s crown, piss-a-bed and Irish daisy to name a few. Unlike many other plants, considering Dandelion a weed is nothing new. However, this little Teacher has many lessons for us and many uses. There are about a 100 different species of Dandelion, and the name is a corruption of the French “dents de lion” or “teeth of the lion”, so called for its saw-toothed jaw-like leaves.

Dandelion has been used as a treatment for fevers, boils, eye problems, diarrhea, fluid retention, liver congestion and diseases, heartburn, as a laxitive and natural diuretic, breast cancer and inflammation, lack of milk in breastfeeding mothers, appendicitis, digestive ailments, and is one of the best detoxants available to us. Its roots enhance bile flow, which is what makes it useful in combatting liver congestion, bile duct inflammation, hepatitis, gallstones and jaundice. It causes the liver to increase bile production, betters the flow to the gallbladder, causes the gallbladder to contract and release stored bile. Its high choline content is what makes it effective against hepatitic tonic, and it cleans the blood of toxins most effectively.

“Many things love to come and live off your plants, including bacteria, bugs, birds, and bunnies. If you don’t control them, entire crops can be ruined. The result of your careful cultivation, in your garden and in your life, can be lost to predators in a short time. … Take a look at your life, what toxic relationships, substances and emotions are feeding on your energy and taking away from what you have to give to others. Eliminate them.” Vivian Elisabeth Glyck, 1997

Dandelion leaf is also a good natural source of potassium. The fact that it will replenish any potassium that may be lost due to the herb’s diuretc action on the kidneys makes it safe to use in cases of water retention due to heart problems, and is gentle enough for children or the elderly. Also useful in cases of anemia, it may lower elevated blood pressure. Dandelion also provides relief for rheumatism and arthritis. Doses of dandelion preparations taken over time, have helped reduce stiffness and increase mobility in situations of chronic DJD (degenerative joint disease).

A 1938 Italian study involved 12 patients with severe liver imbalances, and after receiving one 5ml injection of dandelion extract per day for 20 days, 11 of the 12 showed a considerable drop in blood cholesterol! In another study, dandelion was used successfully to treat hepatitis, swelling of the liver, jaundice and dyspepsia. Certain PMS symptoms are believed to be caused by decreased hepatic clearance of estrogen and other hormones. Since dandelion can deoxify these hormones, it would make an effective treatment in those cases.

“You fight dandelions all weekend, and late Monday afternoon there they are, pert as all get out, in full and gorgeous bloom, pretty as can be, thriving as only dandelions can in the face of adversity.” Hal Borland


Sturdy Dandelion has been beloved by children for generations. Every child I have ever known cannot resist tossing their wishes upon the winds by blowing Dandelion puffballs. Being a common meadow herb so closely associated with youth and wish fufillment gives Dandelion a link to the Faerie realm and its inhabitants. Dandelion wine, once popular across Europe, was regarded as a magical drink that the Fae lent a hand in making! Families would get together to collect all the best Dandelions during late spring or early summer. The wine would be aged til around the end of autumn or beginning of winter, and the goal was to make enough to see everyone through until next Spring. This sweet wine is still made today.

Dandelion roots, like chicory which is it’s close relative, make a decent coffee substitute, and young leaves are a wonderful addition to salads. It was believed to be good luck to carry a few dandelions in your wedding bouquet, as it would bring prosperity to the marriage, many children, and good health. They made necklaces of good fortune for young maids who chained them for themselves, but not if they were given to them by someone else. While it is alright to place Dandelions on someone’s grave, it is ill advised to pick them in any graveyard! In Ireland, Dandelions were used to treat faerie shot and heart ailments. Folk beliefs revolving around this tiny flower are nearly as plentiful as Dandelions themselves!

It’s yellow color links it to Solar energy and the Sun. People used to rub the flower’s yellow color onto their hands and then onto whatever part of the body was in need of aid. This link to the healing Sun and Dandelion’s amazing tenacity mark it as a vigorous Healer. Being a lover’s oracle, Dandelion is associated with Coquetry in the language of flowers, and can also represent Happiness or Faithfulness. There are Dandelion cook-offs, recipes, and even festivals!

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic, 1878

The fleshy roots should be gathered in the fall, washed, split and dried out of the sun before being stored in sealed jars. Dried, of course, is not as potent as fresh, but this handy Healer is good to have around the house. A simple infusion can be made by taking 2 ounces of fresh leaves (less if dried) and adding 2.5 cups of (non-chlorinated) boiling water in a glass container. Cover and steep for about 15-20 minutes, strain and drink hot or cold. Don’t exceed three cups in a day! This mixture will last about two days in the refridgerator.

Likewise, Dandelions should never be used by someone with blocked biliary ducts or other biliary ailments. Also, Dandelion stems contain a liquid latex substance that may be irritating to the skin of sensitive persons. Being one of the first flowers in Spring, Dandelion helps Bees and other nectar and pollen eaters to survive before everything else is available. Their transformative nature reminds us of the need to accept change in our own lives, and shows us how to transform ourselves or our lives with grace.

Dandelion asks us to be mindful of the seeds of thought we plant both within the fertile darkness of our minds, and in conversation with others.  If you are constantly spewing negativity, even "just" internally, your body and environment will react to that signal you are sending out. All things begin within and if you are filling up your inner spaces with negativity, this will reflect elsewhere in your life. This Teacher prefers Illuminating moments and conversations; bringing to light things hidden. Especially helpful when we find ourselves drained from too much time spent surrounded by concrete and steel, or simply feel overwhelmed by a situation, this humble plant is a clever tenacious survivor that will help you find a way around whatever is blocking you! Redemption and Resurrection are key words for those drawn to this Teacher.

Dandelion people tend to be cheerful, resilient, tenacious and youthful. Those with unbalanced Dandelion energy might be “mood-killers” turning bright situations bleak with their bitter attitudes. This Teacher challenges us to re-examine how we look at our lives. Perhaps those “weeds” in our lives were only our perception of them, and have been there all along to help us! Dandelion might be telling you to weed out the toxins in your life, or warning you that something you viewed as a weed would be better left alone! Recall the happiness of an innocent heart, and Dandelion will surely be there! With all that Dandelion gives to us, isn’t it amazing how many consider it only to be a bothersome weed?! How do Dandelions appear in your life?



“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them” A. A. Milne, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh

“If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.” Andrew V. Mason

Little Dandelion
Bright little Dandelion
Lights up the meads,
Swings on her slender foot,
Telleth her beads,
Lists to the robin’s note
Poured from above;
Wise little Dandelion
Asks not for love.

Cold lie the daisy banks
Clothed but in green,
Where, in the days agone,
Bright hues were seen.
Wild pinks are slumbering,
Violets delay;
True little Dandelion
Greeteth the May.

Brave little Dandelion!
Fast falls the snow,
Bending the daffodil’s
Haughty head low.
Under that fleecy tent,
Careless of cold,
Blithe little Dandelion
Counteth her gold.

Meek little Dandelion
Groweth more fair,
Till dies the amber dew
Out from her hair.
High rides the thirsty sun,
Fiercely and high;
Faint little Dandelion
Closeth her eye.

Pale little Dandelion,
In her white shroud,
Heareth the angel-breeze
Call from the cloud;
Tiny plumes fluttering
Make no delay;
Little winged Dandelion
Soareth away.

Helen Barron Bostwick

Potential Balancing Energies:
Rabbit, horse, cattle (cow, sheep, goat, etc), bison/buffalo, deer, birds like Redtail hawk, Eagle, Crow/Raven, sparrow, chickadee, robin, or canary, stones like opal, Lions, insects like lepidoptera, ants, bees, and grasshoppers/crickets, other plants like grasses, daisies, plantain, violets, or asclepias, the Sun

Associated with: Hecate, Belenus, Brigid, Dagda, Lugh Lamfada, Apollo, Hera, Taranis, Green Man/Woman, Cernunnos, Pan, Osiris, Ra, Jupiter, Zeus, Ceres/Demeter, Epona, Asclepius, Diancecht and other deities associated with the Sun, fields or healing.

Key Concepts: Solar energy, Cleansing/Purification, Healing/Health, Wishes, Beginnings, Redemption, Resurrection, Grounding, Dreams/Dreamtime/Vision, Faeries, Happiness, Childhood joy/memories, tenacity, regeneration/renewal/rebirth, Divinity, letting go in a healthy/timely way








Thursday, May 10, 2018

Bladed Charms

Sprung from Adonis' blood
Petaled perfection
Daggered defense
We have Aphrodite's sensibility
but Eros' sense
Heady with the scents of
Intrigue
Mystery
Victory
Passion
Love
Dancing in every glowing shade
We sing of graces
of blessings
of innocence
Though our bloom will wither
Truth
Beauty
the Soul
never fades

We will
Soothe a fevered mood
Treat you to some Vitamin C
Celebrate achieving your goals
Lift spirits
Open hearts
Keep your secrets
Crown your honor
Gentle as a summer's breeze
yet beware our thorny darts

Brave maidens
Honorable Veterans
of a passionate life well lived
Press us between your memories
from weddings to graves
Include us in your rituals, incense, perfume, remedies
nodding over our canes
hearts on our sleeves
blades at the ready
Standing brave


For those new to the game, each piece is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant, etc that holds lessons for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today? Congrats to Cathy, Jan and Alan for naming this Teacher.


“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Franklin P. Jones
“Everything is created from moment to moment, always new. Like fireworks, this universe is a celebration and you are the spectator contemplating the eternal Fourth of July of your absolute splendor.” Francis Lucille
“The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around…. Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing." Larry Dossey
“There is nothing boring about a classic.” Lewis Farrell, “Bed of Roses”
I believe it may very well be universal knowledge that sending or receiving red roses is a declaration of love. Roses have much more to say to us than just this single declaration, powerful as it is, and it is a shame that more people don’t make the effort to become fluent with the language of Roses. Within the Language of Flowers lies the Language of Roses, a dialect all their own, rife with meanings. What one conveys with this magical flower depends on the color, arrangement, number, or condition of the roses; sending a single bud, full bloom or dead rose changes the message significantly!
A bouquet of mixed roses, for example, would express to the receiver that “you mean everything to me”. Red roses represent love and passion; a bud for passions and love just beginning or a full bloom for the variety that is “Love above all. No… not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that… over-throws life! Unbiddable, ungovernable – like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture!” (Shakespeare in Love). Two roses entwined together represent an engagement or union.
White roses represent purity, blessings, divinity, loyalty or innocence. Mixed white and red represents unity. Yellow roses can represent jealousy, but more commonly represents joy and friendship. Yellow roses tipped with red can represent friendship blossoming into love. Red and Yellow roses mixed in a bouquet are an invitation to join the fun, or simply happiness. Orange or Coral roses represent desire and fascination. Light pink roses are to express sympathy or fondness, but dark pink roses are sent to express gratitude or appreciation.
“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” George Sand
“You know you are in love when you see the world in her eyes, and her eyes everywhere in the world.” David Levesque
“Love is a stranger in an open car, to tempt you in and drive you far away… Love, love, love is a dangerous drug…you have to receive it and you still can’t get enough of the stuff!” Annie Lennox
Lavender or Sterling roses, my particular favorites, come in their own varying shades of delicate color. Those that are more purple in hue would be used to express love at first sight, fairy magic, or being enchanted by whomever inspired you to send it, while those more blue in shade would express fantasy, the spirit world, or the unattainable. Silvery Sterling roses, silver being the traditional color of the soul or spiritual matters, would lend themselves well to expressions of soulful intent.
Continuing through the uses of color, rare chartreuse roses would celebrate coming into a fortune or healing. You could easily have roses dyed, but natural is usually best in my opinion. While there are no true black roses, they can be dyed, and you can even find places where you can send a bouquet of dead roses! Black is the traditional color of wisdom, but sending black or dead roses would typically represent death or ill intent. This device has been used in film to threaten someone, usually by a crazed stalker.
However, sending dead roses takes on its own meaning to those who consider themselves a part of the Goth subculture, and would certainly be viewed much more favorably! A dozen dead red roses sent in this expression might more truly mean “my love is eternal, my desire for your beauty will never fade”, a Romeo and Juliet bouquet if you will. To the knowledgeable, you might even send dead roses to help someone celebrate the death of a bad situation! Yes, Mixing of colors and kinds changes everything…
“Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.” Amy Bloom
“Spouse: someone who’ll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn’t have had if you’d stayed single.” Unknown
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Mignon McLaughlin
The Rose has been intimately connected with Love and matters of the heart for centuries. For this reason, it most often appears at weddings, engagements, bridal showers, valentine’s day and anniversaries. The 1996 film “Bed of Roses” wonderfully captures the overwhelming power of love that sparks instantly, its healing ways on body and soul, and the divine balm that Love and Roses bring when Love moves from the fantastical to the inner chambers of the soul. In this film, Alice is a very isolated woman; abandoned as a child by her own mother and then again when her adopted mother dies, unloved by the grief-stricken adoptive father, and near friendless as an adult, Alice structures her life to remain untouched by the thorns that Love so often bears.
Lewis has had an abundance of love in his life, but the loss of his childhood sweetheart and their baby early in their marriage has left him isolated in his own little world too. Until, one night he looks up and sees Alice in her window stricken by grief. Their story of overcoming the fear of Love to be healed by this powerful emotion and find contentment is not an easy one, which is perhaps why I adore it so. It perfectly captures the magic of “love at first sight” and the many wounds and sacrifices that come with a true marriage.
Love is a terrible vulnerability and no one can hurt you like those you love. It requires great trust, faith, confidence, and courage to truly love someone, whether that someone is yourself, your family, your friends, or simply the world in general. Alice is a woman so wounded that it is questionable whether she has these vital qualities needed to keep the love that found her.
True Love, however it may arrive in your life, is rare perhaps only because it requires such a perfection of honesty, generosity, integrity, peace, wisdom, and harmony to fully blossom. True Love is an ever-unfolding kaleidoscope between two people. It gives as much as it requires. Universal Love is perhaps the only thing more rare than the True Love found between two people simply because it transcends the relationship between two individuals and applies all the same qualities to every member of Humanity and the World that contains us.
There are many moments of selfless beauty and quiet enchantment perfectly expressed through the shifting colors of the magical Sterling Rose that were marvelously captured by the “Bed of Roses” film. Lewis sorting through every scintillating lavender rose in the city as he lovingly crafts endless bouquets of perfection for the new love that could resurrect him from the ashes of his own despair is an awe-inspiring sight. Alice’s stunned and fearful confusion as she sits in a room without space for one more bloom, while comical, is also a chilling thought when you realize that this would most likely be everyone first reaction to so much love being directed at us so earnestly.
Through the film, Alice learns that it is not Love she truly fears though… it is herself. Alice fears her ability to return love equally as much as she fears opening herself to the possible miracle and inevitable pain of love. She doubts her worthiness of such perfection as much as she doubts the perfection itself.
When speaking of sterling roses, a thorn-less rose, Alice says that she almost prefers the roses with thorns as they are too perfect to be real without them. A poetic reminder of this “forge-tested” woman’s familiarity with pain. Lewis and his roses open the door for the deep healing that the soul-wounded Alice needs, which gains her the wisdom of the Sterling Rose… Love without thorns is magical perfection. In the end, this gives her the courage to face her worst fears and embrace love honestly.
We all carry burdens. We all go through trials and varying degrees of pain. The thorn-less rose reminds us that when we are at the end of our rope, emotionally exhausted, and beyond all hope… love still embraces us in its gentle perfection, waiting to be remembered as one of the many natural and healing gifts of Life. All that you know could crumble around you, but if your heart still brims with love for Self and World you would never feel poor, isolated or bereft. Love is not something that begins or ends with any individual, it simply is, like any other element or energy in Life. When we open ourselves to this reality, the miraculous becomes an every day occurrence, and anything is possible.
“Every now and then everybody is entitled to too much perfection.” ~ Lewis Farrell, “Bed of Roses”
“I live on a little planet called reality, where things like that don’t happen.” Alice Walker, “Bed of Roses”
“Infatuation is when you think he’s as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Conners. Love is when you realize that he’s as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford – but you’ll take him anyway.” ~Judith Viorst, Redbook, 1975
“If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?” Unknown

Now, because it is so commonly paired with Love, the rose in her many splendors is also strongly associated with romance, sex and fertility. These were all once considered aspects of Love equally desirable in any marriage. The first appearance of rosewater was between 1582 and 1612 as the oil or "otto’ of roses in Persia used at wedding feasts for the Grand Moguls. It is said that at the wedding of a certain princess and an emperor, a canal was dug that encircled an entire garden.
This canal was then filled with water and fragrant rose petals for the bridal couple who discovered that the heat of the sun separated the rose’s essential oil onto the surface of the water. This oil was then skimmed off and prized ever after as a heavenly perfume which is used to this day for inspiring all that the Rose symbolizes… love, romance, fertility, desire, celebration, ceremony, etc etc.
A lover’s trail of petals from door to bed is another frequently employed symbol that re-enforces this flowers devotion to Aphrodite, Eros, Bacchus and similar sensual deities. Roses, like their cousin the Apple, are also associated with the goddesses Brighid and Freya. Singer Meatloaf once asked, “Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?” The parallel between this potentially consuming passion, and the symbols of both red roses and Wolf is perfectly apt, although another common Creature Teacher to see within the Rose is Deer Spirit. The Rose’s connection to Canine energy is perhaps more easily seen through the inadvertently named Dog or Dag rose, another favorite of mine.
“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
“Sex on television can’t hurt you… unless you fall off.” Unknown
“Remember, if you smoke after sex… you’re doing it too fast.” Woody Allen
“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” Voltaire
“A fever is an expression of inner rage.” Julia Roberts
It is believed that the Dog Rose came from a corruption of its original name, the Dag Rose. Dag is an archaic word for dagger, a reference to the roses many sharp thorns which were braved to gather either its beautiful flowers, or more importantly, it’s fruit. The Rose Hip, fruit of the rose, is useful for many things. Rosehips are tasty cooked into many dishes, and excellent in teas for their antioxidant qualities and concentration of vitamin c. Roses are closely related to the Apple and can be used anywhere you would use a tart fruit. The old “apple a day” maximum is equally true of rosehips, and typically the most productive roses for the best rosehips are of the bush variety like Dog rose, or rosa rugosa.
The roses used in medicine are typically any of the scented roses that bear a deep red or rose tint. After the second blooming in the fall, bulbs form on the stems of the rose just below where each flower bloomed. These swellings will round out and gradually turn an orangey-red, when they are considered ripe and can be harvested.
When you harvest rosehips, you cut off the tops and bottoms, slice in half, deseed, and then rinse the hips in preparation for storage. You can preserve hips in a variety of ways. One of the simplest is to store them in an airtight container in the freezer until needed, and I can tell you that if you have stored them properly they retain all their medicinal benefits as well as their sweet-tart taste. Ask me for my Earthy Goodness Casserole recipe sometime!
Over the years, roses and their fruit have been used to create syrup, perfume, oil, confectionary, cordial, conserve (jam/jelly), all sorts of cooked dishes, ungents/lotion, gargles, bandages, poultice, eyewash, candles, baths/potpurri, and liquers. These have been used medicinally for: fevers, jaundice, jointaches, headaches, fainting, dry skin, cuts and sores, weakness and trembling of the heart, weak stomach, to promote good digestion, to cool an over-heated liver, hot inflammations or swellings, sore throats, to cool tempers, qwell nervousness, restlessness, insomnia and all nervous complaints, as well as being a comfort and strength to the heart and spirit. Rosehips and even untreated rose petals make a deliscious and healthy treat that should be part of everyone’s diet!
“The best six doctors anywhere 
And no one can deny it 
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air 
Exercise and diet. 
These six will gladly you attend 
If only you are willing 
Your mind they’ll ease 
Your will they’ll mend 
And charge you not a shilling.” Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields
“A bowl of warmth, a soft face, a new day. Some get-well thoughts sent your way. Feel better soon!” Author Unknown
“I dream of the winter in my heart turning to spring 
While the ice gives way under my feet 
And so I drown with the sun
I’ve been burning in water and drowning in flame 
To prove you wrong and scare you away 
I admit my defeat and want back home 
In your heart under the rose…" 
HIM, “Under the Rose”
For all it’s healthful benefits and uplifting nature though, Roses are also closely associated with Death. Roses are a favored flower for gravesites and funerals. Perhaps this is an unconscious reminder to ourselves that we should not only enjoy Life, but remember too that Death is but a natural part of the living experience. It is this close association with both the Creative and the Destructive forces, the Rose’s ability to unflinchingly permeate both states with its powerful Love… that makes it such a favorite of Goths, in my opinion.
Like Lillies, Roses are beloved not for the mere frequency with which they appear at funerals and graveyards! This amazing flower is not just the herald of Love or Death, it can symbolize magic, divinity, perfection, healing, hope, secrets and a host of other things. Beloved of Isis and the Mother of Christ, this flower is rife with dichotomy: life and death, magic and practicality, spirituality and sexuality, gentleness and pain, airy and earthy by turns.
A rose was sometimes worn behind the ear by servants, tavern workers, or others in 16th century England to indicate that the wearer heard all and told nothing. In Germany, roses displayed at a table suggested that diners could speak freely without fear that their secrets would travel beyond the room. The expression sub rosa, “under the rose,” is believed to originate from the custom of carving a rose over the door of the confessional in Catholic churches. It remains a favorite symbol of all secret societies, although when the rose was first connected with secrecy remains a mystery.
It is easier for me to see immediate connections to the Canine Creature Teachers. Perhaps the first quality one associates with Dogs is loyalty, an important aspect to devotees of the Rose. Wolves too are noted for their passion, their overwhelmingly sensitive and sensual natures. Foxes are magic and mystery given four feet and fur, and wild dogs of all sorts are associated with death, communication, and transformation.
There is a certain amount of surrender and sacrifice, a familiarity with the gritty and painful side of living that comes with the Rose that is also familiar to those called by these Creature Teachers. Perhaps the name Dog Rose isn’t so inadvertent after all, although the many virtues of this classic flower appear to be largely well kept secrets. The balance between Canine and Deer Teachers should be examined by those called by the Rose.
“Beth could not reason upon or explain the faith that gave her courage and patience to give up life, and cheerfully wait for death. Like a confiding child, she asked no questions, but left everything to God and nature, Father and Mother of us all, feeling sure that they, and they only, could teach and strengthen heart and spirit for this life and the life to come.” ~ Louisa May Alcott, “Little Women”
“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run, the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.” Napoleon Bonaparte
Roses were favored decorations during the Roman eras. They were strewn across floors and tables, filled goblets, temples, tombs, and processions. Rose flavored wines have probably been enjoyed at ceremonies from Bacchanals to funerals for as long as people have had Rose wine! Roses have been carved into ships and cradles, and adorn many stray corners of our lives. A soothing bath, an inviting scent to a room, especially with chocolate! Explore the many myths, legends, songs and works of art that glorify this marvelous bloom. Celebrate some perfection in your life however you choose, but please consider confiding in the Rose during your celebrations. How does this Nature Teacher appear in your life?
“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” Thomas J. Peters
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey

It isn’t always easy to celebrate your life in the moment, or occasionally even to find a reason to celebrate… But, the beautiful face of the Rose in a handful of Wildflowers is my favorite bouquet any day! A fabulous reminder to both enjoy and learn from life. Being mindful of what you carry forward with you into each moment is half the battle. The Rose is Nature’s many splendor-ed reminder to do so always with Love and Blessings. What are you passionate about in Life? What does this emblem of Spirit mean to you? How do Roses appear in your life?
“One truth stands firm. All that happens in world history rests on something spiritual. If the spiritual is strong, it creates world history. If it is weak, it suffers world history.” ~Albert Schweitzer
“To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, you haven’t lived a life at all. Stay open. Lightning could strike.” Bill, “Meet Joe Black”
“Thank you for a day of too much perfection.” Lewis Farrell, “Bed of Roses”


Monday, April 30, 2018

Stalking Wisdom Around the Wheel

Glowing Moon,
White as Bone
Sails o’er Waters
O’er Hills,
o’er time-darkened Stone

Gnawing the Moon down
to a crescent rind
Eerie voices rise and whine
along Earth’s shadowed skin

Each voice is different
yet each voice is akin.
A chorus of Uilleann pipes,
oboe,
clarinet, and
short
sharp
penny whistle
runs along the spine
like an intuitive missile

One uilleann voice lifts above the chorus,
Complex, full-throated,
Wisdom winding toward us…

“I will Teach you to
Sift the Winds for secrets,
to Trust your senses,
to Go Within on stalker’s feet
Hunt down your worst enemy
within the darkness of your Soul!

Around Life's wheel
at every Corner I await you
Singing of Lessons unending
Courage
Re-birthing
Noble Death
Compassion
Protection
Balance between
Self and Duty
Listen!
Walk in Beauty!

Follow the trail
of the Relentless Hunter,
for no path may be hidden
from My hunger!
I might raise a son of man
as one of my own
I suckled the sons of Mars
founding Rome
I might also devour Odin
or your sweet Grandma
to gain the wisdom that they carry
before bringing it back
to enrich the pack at home

I am your courage
I am your fear
Light and Dark
we struggle metaphorically
within each of you
Who will you feed
with your thought word and deed
increasing with all you choose to do?
Sharp of eye
White of fang
I will huff
I will puff
and blow away the dust
cluttering your world view
Run and we will give chase
harry, hunt, pursue"


For those new to the game, each piece is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today?


“Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise, take all that is good as your own. With this as your base, open your won door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you. Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything-even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees-should be your teacher.” Morihei Ueshiba from The Art of Peace

“Throw me to the wolves, because there’s order in the pack.” Red Hot Chili Peppers, Easily

“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.” Proverb

Uilleann or bag pipes, have a distinctive sound ranging from high to low in pitch and this instrument is capable of evoking great emotion. This made it perfect to represent the uncanny and unforgettable sound of a wolf howling in the distance. Wolves are often viewed as more dangerous than the domesticated Dog. They have been both boldly painted, and greatly misunderstood by Mankind in general. Seen as driven purely by instinct, wolf is often viewed as the ruthless killer of the young, the old and the sick, a harrier of the herds and flocks that feed us, a deadly and cunning foe, and because of this view the Wolf was hunted almost to extinction.

However, many today feel that how we will choose to treat the wolf that we nearly hunted to extinction, and whether or not we continue to protect the species now that it is burgeoning once more, will determine just how much we have truly learned about both ourselves and wolf society over the years. I believe much of our negative view of this Teacher reflects the worst we fear or see within our selves.

Curiously, our literature, films and even music will also take the fearsome qualities of a wolf and depict them as irresistibly attractive, and successful creatures. For example, Werewolves are most often depicted as both charming, very skillful, and bloodthirsty. Lycanthropes are rarely seen in a positive light though, and this fusion between Wolf and Man is a poor reflection of what the experience could really be like. For a recent example, I have been particularly impressed with the character Wolf from the mini-series “The 10th Kingdom” as he captures the dichotomy of being a Wolf quite naturally.

The actor does a marvelous job conveying a canine mentality and mannerisms in a completely natural manner. I loved how he would subtly draw in the scent of the “creamy dreamy girl of his dreams” whenever she was close, his paw-scratching-ear “Wolf’s honor!” motion, and how he struggled with his mood swings during the full moon. Okay, he did almost get her Grandma into the oven, but that was before he got to our plucky heroine.

The writers provided the framework of Wolf and his dialogue in yet another world where Wolves are commonly seen as bad guys. Actually, one of the only films that I can think of that doesn’t have everyone out to kill the mythical Wolf is the 1994 film entitled simply “Wolf” starring Jack Nicholson, James Spader and Michelle Pfieffer. A stunning work, by the way, and it too is an excellent example of the joys and sorrows that create Wolf people.

Noble, sexy, romantically gifted, and charming wolves of all sorts have been illustrated in countless films and books. Think of Tex Avery’s howling wolves in zoot suits, the traditional Big Bad Wolf (especially sly and charming in the stage production, “Into the Woods”) or Walter Wolf from the Animaniacs. Rudyard Kipling’s Akela and The Pack have influenced countless generations of not only readers, but specifically Boy Scouts as they have been using excerpts from the Mowgli stories to teach young boys how to behave in packs for some time now. Actually, this too is an excellent example of Wolf behavior!

The “lone wolf” is also a common hero figure in many works of fiction, although wolves are most definitely social creatures. To me this is symbolic of one of Wolf’s central lessons. It is the Wolf’s duty to Self, Pack and Creator to venture out into the world to gather Knowledge, and then return home to share this wealth with the Pack.

“Throughout the centuries we have projected on to the wolf the qualities we most despise and fear in ourselves.” Barry Lopez

“We humans fear the beast within the wolf because we do not understand the beast within ourselves.” Gerald Hausman

“Even when walking in the company of two other men, I am bound to be able to learn from them. The good points of the one I copy; the bad points of the other I correct in myself.” Confucius

Universal Pictures’ 1995 canine hero, Balto, gives us a fine example of how ostracized Wolves typically feel about society in general… and how they still carry love for others within them despite the many affronts and attacks. Yet, curiously enough, the Balto immortalized in film was depicted as a wolf/husky hybrid, and the real Balto was just sled dog! Perhaps this is a cultural indication that our collective view of this majestic creature is changing?

The animated film “Hoodwinked” has a reporter named Wolf who is also mistaken for a bad guy, and “Princess Mononoke” all paint very different pictures that share several positive traits, but ultimately all are Wolves. “Will you offer your throat to Wolf with the red roses?” as Meatloaf suggests? Just why is it that we see Wolves as both dangerous and sexy? Perhaps it is their power to draw us that we find as dangerous as it is irresistible…

“We have doomed the Wolf not for what it is, but for what we have deliberately and mistakenly perceived it to be… the mythologized epitome of a savage, ruthless killer… which is, in reality, no more than a reflexed image of our self.” Farely Mowat

“Wolves are not our brothers; they are not our subordinates either. They are another nation, caught up just like us in the complex web of time and life. " ~ Henry Beston

“To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul. " Aldo Leopold

Not everyone misunderstands the Wolf obviously, but perhaps our modern world has pushed him to the back of our technology-driven, busy city minds. Surely, Humans have empathized with the Wolf for many generations to be both so drawn and so repelled by this Creature Teacher, and I often feel as if this mirrors our own image of ourselves. Native Americans have understood and respected this wise Teacher for countless generations. We certainly can share a lot of similarities. We’re both social creatures who have a strong interest in our families and home lives.

We’re both highly adaptive, capable of great affection and loyalty to our pack members, and will respond in similar manners to our Alpha personalities. We both take the training, care, and time to play with our young as a very serious and often joyful duty. Also, both humans and wolves tend to be highly responsive to non-verbal cues of posture, expression, and general body language.

Unlike humans though, wolves can often settle any potential disputes without resorting to a physical act. Wolves take great care of their pups, and work very hard to insure the success of the Pack’s future by giving all the best attention and education to their young. For Wolf people who have no mate or pups of their own, I would advise you to volunteer your time in a group or organization involving kids; become a Scout leader, coach a sport, join Big Brothers/Sisters or a similar organization and you might be surprised at how fulfilling you find it!

“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” Robert Maynard Hutchins

“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack” Rudyard Kipling

According to most Native Traditions, it is the nature of Wolf to travel out in each direction, learn the Wisdom held there, and then return to the Pack to share what has been learned for the benefit of all. The obvious directions, South, West, North and East, hold lessons on: self-reliance, developing and learning to trust ones own keen instincts, recognition and reverence of Creator and the divine spark of Spirit or Soul, learning from the mistakes of the past and carrying the best lessons (both our own and our ancestors) forward into the future, respecting our Elders, finding and maintaining a balance between our Physical and our Spiritual selves, and finally Sharing all that has been learned and experienced.

It is said that there is a Wolf who guards the door of each of the Four Winds, and each direction holds a different set of Lessons to be learned. I’ve written here about what I have heard of Wolf in regards to this story, but the best advice is Always to research, meditate and try to connect for yourself to the energy you are either seeking or feel drawn to…

Arctic Wolf would be of the North Wind, and He teaches us how to sift through our experiences for the Wisdom to treasure, as well as how to fashion that Wisdom into a useful course of action in life. It is important here to both be flexible in the face of Change and Adversity and to remain true to our values and higher purpose. That which doesn’t kill us does, indeed, make us stronger. Arctic Wolves survive amazingly harsh conditions by being adaptable, tenacious, resilient, creative and bold. While they can make it look easy, it is by no means an easy balancing act and running to any extreme can bring an abrupt and harsh end to everything!

Capable of incredible stamina against seemingly insurmountable odds, such people will pull themselves up by the bootstraps time after time…learning, adapting, and setting their sights on new horizons each time they pull through the last bout of Adversity. Perhaps the most valuable lessons the Arctic Wolf can teach though is the vital importance of caution and conservation. Knowing when to be bold and in what measure is even more important than the ability to be bold in the first place! This Wolf knows, better than most, that sometimes it is more important to conserve ones energy, to retreat and revitalize ones self while waiting for a better opportunity.

Gray Wolf stands at the door of the Western Wind. Gray is a color of neutrality; a conservative color, it is closely linked with sorrow, moodiness, temperance, uncertainty, and intelligence. Those that follow this path are personalities that see everything in life as a lesson and try always to improve themselves through the lessons they have learned. Change and opportunities to grow are always present in the lives of those who follow this Teacher. The trick is to recognize and then work with the natural cycles, like Seasons, in ones own life. Adapting to Change is vital to Gray Wolves.

Rather than worrying about the unknown variables of present or future though, it is best to simply accept that what will be will be. There will be Change, of that you can be certain just as you can be certain that we will all make mistakes or be blindsided from time to time. Better to focus on finding our best path to future events by making the best choices in the present that we are capable of making. After all “change comes from within” and ultimately it is our choices that will determine where we go in life. Set reasonable and clear goals for yourself.

Gray Wolf people recognize that all Life is sacred and work to protect Life in many ways. Some actively participate in, or support groups that protect and preserve the World around us. Some volunteer time at animal shelters, wildlife rescue organizations, forestry agencies, neighborhood clean-ups, community oriented drives and activities, or simply do their best to recycle and conserve in day to day life.

Wolf also teaches us that Loyalty is of great importance. Wolves are one of the few in the animal kingdom that mate for life and even the bond between pack mates is strong enough that one will lay down their life in defense of the others. So… Listen to your instincts, follow the rule of three (As in, three strikes and you’re out!) without exception, and do your level best not to blind yourself to the faults of others simply because you love them.

In the end, we save ourselves incredible soul and heartache by letting a disloyal person go, no matter who they are to us, rather than holding on to them out of our own fierce sense of loyalty. I spent a lot of years learning this, most painfully in the past three years, and hopefully I have well and truly learned my lesson this time. I still feel that I struggle against myself more than anything else in life.

Gray Wolf seeks constantly to balance Reason and Intuition. Indeed, such people are either drawn to others who seem to them to walk a firm balance between these two traits, or they are drawn to those who struggle with this balance. Uncertainty, moodiness, snappish or erratic behavior, sorrow/depression, self-indulgence (especially in a sensual way i.e. through food, uncontrolled emotions like rage or jealousy, sex, etc), and choosing to isolate one’s self as opposed to enjoying periods of solitude are all signs of unbalanced Wolf energy.

The red wolf is a survivor of the Ice age and (late) Pleistocene epoch. She stands at the door of the South Winds; home of the creative fires of life, passion, fertility, and courage. This magnificent Creature Teacher teeters now on the brink of extinction because of the predations of Mankind. This is a great sorrow to me as this is such a passionate and creative Teacher.

Red Wolf people would do well to follow their strongly developed Intuition without question. Once you start questioning yourself, it’s hard to stop! Red Wolf holds the Wisdom of the Compassionate and Innocent Heart. Red Wolf people tend to be very creative and artistic, and one can easily see the influence of their strong Intuition reflected there. They also tend to be very passionate individuals with a great willingness to shower others with compassion, to be trusting of new people. Such people should watch their impulsiveness and be careful of their tender hearts.

In general, Wolf people probably vary widely in their success at seeking to balance Reason and Intuition. Both are valuable, both should be nurtured, but neither one should take precedence in my opinion. Personally, I find that I struggle not to let Reason limit my Intuition. Like many, I am often my own worst enemy and second-guess myself far too often.

I do not know, according to these tales, which Wolf stands at the East door. My own intuition says that We are the Wolf that stands at the door to the East, for this is the place of beginnings. Here is where Wolf begins the journey of discovery by following the motion of the wheel South, West, North and then finally returning to the Pack and Family in the East as an illuminated Teacher to share all that has been learned and complete the sacred circle.

“A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not.” Author Unknown

“Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.” Author Unknown

“Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.” Bill Bradley

Knowledge begins with Awareness, and Peace begins with Balance. These are inextricably bound lessons essential to Wolf people. To all Wolves, it is the Pack that takes precedence over any other consideration. Two legged Wolves need to be aware, need to look within and around them with clear eyes to be good pack members.

“Know yourself”, both flaws and strengths, for if we are dishonest with ourselves, how can we clearly see anything else in life? Likewise, we need to really know those we consider “pack mates”. In a successful pack, everyone knows their place and can rely on the others to do their part. Being a team player, looking out for the welfare of your fellows, and feeling secure in their abilities, knowing how they will respond, brings contentment to Wolf far more than pushing for the Alpha position.

In any event, a true Alpha does not lead because he/she is stronger, fiercer, bigger or better at throwing their weight around. A true Alpha, Canid or human, leads by consensus of the pack because… in their eyes the Alpha exemplifies all that the pack strives for and has all the qualities needed to bring success to the pack. A leader is born, not made, and the best man for the job is usually the one who doesn’t want it! As Joel Rosenburg said, “Wanting to rule as opposed to being willing to govern is evidence of a diseased mind.”

Wolf understands this better than perhaps any other, and this is what makes aware and balanced Wolves such wonderful leaders and great Teachers. For every Wolf knows that someday, they may have to lead the pack and all that they strive for is to be worthy, whatever their position may be. I wonder how many “dog people” out there have found or expressed their connection to the Canid Teachers through their pets?

My favorite story about Wolf is often attributed as a Cherokee tale…

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside of me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then, eyes round, asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee replied, simply, “The one you feed the most.”

Wise words and very true! I love to share this cautionary tale with kids. There have been plenty of times in my own life where I’ve had to remind myself, “Don’t feed that one!” According to the Lakota the seven virtues everyone should strive for are: Generosity, Truth, Humility, Faith, Kindness, Hope and Joy. Wolf, as the Great Teacher, can help us find the path to each of these virtues.

Wolf people should beware gorging their appetites. Allowing anger, lust, gluttony or any similar emotion to rule you is always unwise but perhaps especially so to Wolf people as it can give one a false sense of power or contentment. Be especially careful who and what you invest your faith in.

Controlling one’s instinctual impulses, like our sex drive, is often an issue with Wolf people somewhere along their path. Loyalty is a theme that can be found running through all of the canine banners, and it is an important issue to all those who are drawn to any of the Canine Teachers. Wolf people often struggle to find a balance between their individuality and their genuine care of and concern for others.

It is very important for Wolf people in general to feel “needed” and to actively contribute to the Greater Good, but it is just as important that these social souls remember to take time for themselves, to contemplate in quiet solitude and reflect upon the needs and lessons of self, family, community and the World in which we all live. Personally, I know that if I don’t make sure to spend at least a little time purely by myself on a regular basis, I definitely begin to feel off-balance, depleted, and less capable in every aspect of my life. Many people in life actively fear solitude and even silence, which I had never really understood as quiet time alone is how I best replenish and revitalize myself.

My own recent and rather painful life lessons reminded me of another common problem that many Wolf people face. All Canines are rather sensitive souls. This means both sensitive to the world around us, which can be very beneficial, and sensitive to how we are treated by others, which is not so beneficial. The more we feel “driven into a corner”, the more likely we are to be overly defensive too. This is when most canines are at their most dangerous. Sometimes the harsh nature of Life’s Lessons can drive us into feeling like we would rather remain aloof from society, build up a protective wall between us and others.

For the first time in my life, I actually looked around me at my fellow humans and was shuddering in very real revulsion and fear. At that point, I would have seriously contemplated removing one of my limbs rather than come in any closer contact with people in general. This was just a reaction though to the pain that this last lesson caused me, and I chose not to harbor or nurture these emotions, so they eventually faded. Like the Wolf, Coyote, and Fox that have been pursued and hunted so vigorously, and like the Dog that has been beaten or abused until it’s great Spirit has been broken… I’ve been shy of people since and still struggle sometimes not to either retreat, burst out in emotions or become overly defensive. I still have to remind myself that any interaction between myself and others is not a trap from which I have to escape at all costs.

Healing takes time though and I’m trying to be patient with myself. I don’t want to feed that Wolf. I never have, and have worked my whole life to spread positive emotions and values with an optimistic attitude by living what I believe. Wolf, and all the Canine Cousins, have taught me a great deal, and I am grateful… even for the painful lessons. After all, they would have probably hurt a lot less if I hadn’t resisted them so! How does Wolf appear in your life?

“Wolf is the Grand Teacher. Wolf is the sage, who after many winters upon the sacred path and seeking the ways of wisdom, returns to share new knowledge with the tribe. Wolf is both the radical and the traditional in the same breath. When the Wolf walks by you – you will remember.” Robert Ghost Wolf

Friday, April 27, 2018

For Sentimental Reasons

Balanced and Bold
a new voice arises
Sensitive yet confident
full of surprises

“Hog-nosed, Spotted
Hooded or Striped
My Wisdom
is always ripe

Once you see me
there is no
middle ground
Though seldom aggressive
the memory of my wrath
is not easily drowned!

Black and white
Day and night,
Love and hate
It is all how
You choose
to relate
Tisn’t always a case
of Either/Or
Heed my cautionary stripe
At your own peril
do you choose
my warnings to ignore

Oh hush!
Silence is golden.
Why all the uproar?
Don't make such a stink
Those with true authority
feel no need
to sing their own praises
to dictate
or keep petty score

Trust yourself
Show no fear
Supplies are limited
Know thyself
Choose your moment wisely
Sacred self defense
not violence or aggression
reduce bullies to proverbial tears

Beginning with one’s self
Respect is both a give and take
Trust your own nose to scent
True friends from the fake

Follow me and all will see
just how desirable are we
No middle ground
Some will argue
Some agree
Others still will simply flee!

Potent, confident, diplomatic
curious and benign
We teach lessons
on how to attract or rebuff
by certain truthful sign.

We are maestros of Reputation
adorned with the musk of power
Become the masters
of sensual flirtation
find strength hidden
within every delicate flower

Respect must be
thy right I avow
Good judgement
thy sword and shield
Confidence thy plow."


For those new to the game, each piece is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today?



“Respect yourself and others will respect you.” Confucius

“I am ze locksmith of love, no?” Pepe Le Pew

“As welcome as a skunk at a lawn party.” proverb



Few animals command the instant respect that Skunk takes for granted. Only the foolish or ignorant will attack a Skunk, and Skunk’s supreme confidence shows in his attitude. Despite the power of their infamously smelly defense, Skunk’s are rather quiet gentle creatures much like Flower from the Disney film “Bambi”. I should note that this film falsely depicts skunks as winter hibernators though.

There are about 11 different types of skunk, and the most well-known is probably the Striped Skunk found over most of North America. Roughly the size of a house cat and instantly recognizable by it’s black body and double white stripes that run from head to tail, Skunk elicits an immediate response from those who encounter it. Anyone who has ever smelled Skunk from a distance could tell you why!

When a skunk feels threatened it will first growl and stamp it’s feet. Then it will aim it’s rear end with the sharpshooting scent glands at the source of the threat…if you have not headed these warnings and removed yourself by this point, a skunk will eye you up over it’s shoulder, take aim and shoot it’s offensive scent with amazing accuracy up to 10 feet! This horrendous smell is strong enough to ward off bears, and is difficult to remove.

Skunks usually don’t become truly aggressive unless they feel cornered (like the one that got caught in the outhouse at Girls Scout camp!) or are defending young. Skunks are reluctant to spray as they have around five good shots in them after which it will take up to ten days to replenish. The show “Mythbusters” found that a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and liquid soap was most effective in removing the skunk scent, although tomato juice is a common home remedy that is also effective. Skunk’s showy black and white coloring is usually all the warning needed by any creature that has experienced Skunk’s defense before! These glands can be removed, however, and domesticated skunks have been kept quite happily as pets.

Skunks are typically solitary except when breeding, which begins around February or March. They have a 63 day gestation which results in one to seven young, which are born blind and will stay with the mother til around June or July. Males have no part in raising young and will even kill them. Largely carnivorous but considered omnivores, Skunks eat frogs, salamanders, mice, insects, snakes, moles and the like, which makes them handy for keeping down rodent populations. They will eat fruits and seeds, and are notoriously troublesome scavengers of garbage.

The statistics for a skunk to be a rabies carrier are quite high, being second only to raccoons. Nocturnal, skunks are excellent diggers and can be difficult to remove once they have entrenched themselves. An individual skunk can claim a territory of about 30-40 acres. Skunks are a favorite food of Great Horned Owls, so Owls are one of the first balancing totems for Skunks that should be examined.

“They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.” Mahatma Gandhi

“If I despised myself, it would be no compensation if everyone saluted me, and if I respect myself, it does not trouble me if others hold me lightly.” Max Nordau

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." Maryanne Williamson

Skunks embody confidence and their biggest lessons revolve around Respect. Skunk shows us how best to develop, give and receive respect. He teaches us first and foremost to respect ourselves and our own abilities. Well balanced Skunk people often seem fearless but in reality they are simply well aware of their capabilities and this gives them a firm self-confidence from which anything is possible. This quality either draws or repels others, and Skunk people are typically either liked or disliked strongly within one’s first meeting. Unbalanced Skunk people can be arrogant, brash, or ill-mannered with little understanding of personal space.I particularly wanted to share the Williamson quote above as it so perfectly captures balanced Skunk energy. “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Skunk people attract others who either display or desire these confident qualities.

The wisdom of Owl makes an excellent balancing energy for the bold Skunk. It is important that Skunks understand how to develop a good reputation without being ruled by having a reputation. In other words, don’t become so enamored of yourself simply because others find you such good company. The simplest way to cultivate this is just by being true to one’s self, doing what you know is right in any given situation irregardless of what others think… in essence, living a good life. Most Skunks have to work at learning how to balance their attractive/repellent abilities.

Finding comfort in silence, accepting that there is a time to be social and a time to be alone is a big step for a Skunk. Others will notice Skunk people whether they are trying to be noticed or not, so it is best to remember not to boast or behave too outrageously as this will most likely put others off when you are trying your best to attract them.Balanced or not, Skunk people will not tolerate abuse of any sort and will take action if their warnings to desist do not meet with the desired results, often with a dramatic result. When a Skunk puts someone in their place, everyone remembers it! Powerful yet peaceful, Skunk is, nonetheless, not someone you want on your bad side.

“One can survive everything nowadays, except death, and live down anything, except a good reputation.” Oscar Wilde

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Benjamin Franklin

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln

One of my favorite cartoon characters ever has to be the breezy and romantic Pepe Le Pew. He never hurried, never doubted himself, was multi-talented, optimistic, and was even content with himself when he failed in his objective! It is their basic self-confidence that makes Skunk people so sexy to others, not necessarily their looks. Skunk people make enthusiastic, energetic and inventive lovers, having an innate understanding of all things “sexy”. All the better for Skunk people then if they can develop a solid and balanced relationship with someone who understands their need to be solitary on occasion, their independence and flamboyant nature; someone who truly revels in them simply being themselves, warts and all. If your going to leave bite marks on someone, it ought to be someone you love.


“Being a sex symbol has to do with an attitude, not looks. Most men think it’s looks, most women know otherwise.” Kathleen Turner

“You know, it is possible to be too attractive.” Pepe Le Pew

The white stripes of a skunk relate to kundalini energy, and those unfamiliar with this term should give some study to the matter. This is a highly creative, powerful yet subtle feminine force laying dormant within us that can purify one’s being, open and travel through all chakra points, inspire us and lead us to our higher selves. Yoga is an excellent activity for Skunk people. Because of their bond with scent, Skunks often have a highly developed sense of smell. Skunk people will find that they have strong responses to odors of all sorts and it is good to be mindful that smell is the strongest link to memory that we have.

Studying the language of flowers, and Aromatherapy will also greatly benefit Skunks. Through this, one could unlock lost memories of childhood or past lives, retain information longer and more vividly, heighten sexual responses (can’t you just hear that trademark Pepe growl? lol), and unobtrusively sway things towards your favor. For example, I have found that wearing a combination of eucalyptus and ylang ylang oils elicits an excellent response during job interviews of all sorts. This combination of “energetic” and “attractive” is a confident aroma that often leaves an interviewer favorably disposed towards you without being too intrusive. Skunk people will find that using scents will not only be pleasing to them personally, but will draw a powerful response from their associates. Again, finding a proper balance between “too much” and “not enough” of these sexy, scentimental qualities is part of the life challenge for Skunk people.

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth. Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.” Helen Keller

“Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.” Sherlock Holmes

Consider the phrase, “I smell a skunk” which is commonly used to mean “my intuition is telling me something is wrong with this person or situation.” Listen to these intuitions! Skunk people need to develop a trust in their instincts, as they will have a strong intuitive sense that will allow them to “smell” trouble. Skunk can help anyone learn to recognize, accept and properly react to warnings of all sorts. Like most of us, the challenge here is for Skunk people to learn to trust their instincts without their mind’s many logical arguments getting in the way. Skunk will often appear to deliver a warning, and one should proceed with caution whenever she appears.

Because of their powerful presence, Skunk people will often experience difficulty in achieving a workable balance between confidence and hubris. They make an impact and it is inevitable that others will notice a Skunk…how they notice us is up to us. The silent nature of Skunk is a subtle reminder to such people that they are best off being quiet in most situations, until they are sure just how to react. “Look before you leap, and think before you speak” is a pretty sensible outlook to have irregardless.

Black is the color of wisdom, the void, mystery, death, sorrow, extremes, everything and nothing in balance, power, strength, earth, sexuality, and is considered both grounding and calming in color therapy. White can also represent death, but it more commonly represents purity, innocence, femininity, peace, harmony, security, blessings, hope, virginity, and surrender. In color therapy, White is commonly used to provide energy, achieve balance, stimulate the production of serotonin, to cleanse, and refresh. Skunk’s black and white self is a visual reminder of both his strength and the need to find and maintain a balance in life.

Respect is a key issue for Skunk people; having a healthy balance between respect for self and respect for everything else in the Universe is the focus. Balance is an equally important topic for Skunk people. Skunk’s black and white self is a visual reminder of both his strength and the need to find and maintain a proper balance in life. If you need help in communicating, self-esteem, confidence, developing a good reputation, charisma, developing your sensuality or finding balance, Skunk is an excellent Teacher to ask for help. Indicative of Kundalini energy, sensitive, intuitive, attention attracting, and born with a keen instinct for non-aggressive self-preservation.“Look before you leap, and think before you speak” is a pretty sensible outlook.

Think of the typically black and white image of YinYang energy and imagine it swirling into Skunk’s vibrant form. If you need help in communicating, self-esteem, confidence, developing a good reputation, charisma, developing your sensuality or finding balance, Skunk is an excellent Teacher to ask for help. Just remember to approach him with respect and you should get along just fine. Powerful, protective, a living example of extremes in balance…How does Skunk appear in your life?

“It is better to rise from life as from a banquet – neither thirsty nor drunken.” Aristotle

“Enough is as good as a feast.” English Proverb

“Even nectar is poison if taken to excess.” Hindu Proverb

Key Concepts: Balance, Respect, Confidence/Self-esteem , Power, Leadership, Sensuality, Peace/Pacification, Natural Law/Magic, Warnings, Awareness/Sensitivity, Creativity, Prudence/Sound or Discerning judgement, Defense/Protection, Fertility, Fears and Shadow work

Associated with: Creative energy and Kundalini, bad odors, mistakes, peskiness … I know of no direct association between Skunks and any old deities, but being crepuscular creatures, Skunks would definitely be associated with Faerie energy and liminal zones

Potential Balancing Energies:
Owls , Hawks , Eagles , Vultures , Robins ,Blue Jays , Sparrows , Crows/Ravens , Quails, Swans , and other birds, Frogs/Toads and other Amphibians , lynx, bobcat, domestic Cats , Dogs , Wolf , Coyote , Fox , Trees like Apple , Oak , Willow , Pine , Cottonwood ,Bears , Crickets or Grasshoppers , Flies , Plants like Roses Plantain , Sunflowers , Corn, Ants , Earthworms, Bees , Beetles, Lepidoptera , Grubs and a wide variety of insects, Rabbits , Badgers, Raccoons, Opossums, Wolverines, Mice/Rats , Turtles , Deer , Moose , Bats, Snakes Spiders and other Shadow Teachers