Monday, March 16, 2015

Banishing Fear with Resounding Courage

“Flying blind,
shaping the world with our song,
We can change your perspective
when everything seems to have gone wrong.

New life only comes after death.
Fear holds no power after it has been faced.
Little details will show you the big picture, so
Listen closely or these subtle signs will go to waste!

The hidden chambers of Mother Earth
serve as our shelter and womb,
yet you fear our transforming bite
as we flutter round your tomb.

Wrapped within our leathery embrace,
you may be reborn with us
as we greet the setting of the sun.
No need to wander lonely and lost!
We will guide you through every change
for we know…
we are already one.”

For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. Can you guess who is singing today? Congrats to Poppy (O.R.M.E.), Jaguarwombyn and Jan Neavill Hersh for naming this Teacher!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?

You are a child of God, small games do not work in this world. For those around us to feel peace, it is not example to make ourselves small. We were born to express the glory of god that lives in us. It is not in some of us, it is in all of us. While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others." Marianne Williamson

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, Frank Herbert Dune

“People living deeply have no fear of death.” Anais Nin

Bat fossils date back to about 50 million years, and these fascinating flying mammals have changed very little over time. At one time, their numbers were such that they filled the night skies much as the passenger pigeons did across the eastern U.S. during the day prior to the 19th century. There are still over 1000 different types of bat in the world today. Unique as the only true flying mammals, bats have been placed in their own group, Chiroptera, which means “hand-wing”. 

All living bat species fit into one of two major groups, the Microchiroptera or the Megachiroptera. Megachiroptera are commonly referred to as flying foxes, and are found only in the Old World tropics. Microchiroptera vary widely in appearance and can be found almost anywhere in the world except the extremes of polar or desert regions. Some forty-seven species live in the United States and Canada alone. The majority inhabit tropical forests where, in total number of species, they sometimes outnumber all other mammals combined!

Active bats eat half of their body weight per night and lactating females eat more than their body weight each night! Imagine how many more insects there would be if Creature Teachers like the Bat did not consume them in such quantity! According to Fenton and Barclay’s Mammalian Species(1980), rabies transmission from bats to humans is extremely low and only a very small percentage are infected with the disease, although this is a common fear amongst humans. Potentially harmful parasites like fleas, mites, tapeworms and bed bugs are a far more realistic concern if you find bats roosting in your home. Of the many species of bats, only three are considered vampiric: the common vampire bat, the hairy-legged vampire bat, and the white-winged vampire bat. 

Yet, many people today still believe that bats are highly motivated to bite them! Encouraging the Little Brown Bat to roost elsewhere in your community would also be a wise choice, as they eat great quantities of the pests that do transmit a wide variety of diseases (like flies and mosquitoes) or eat away at our agricultural efforts. How to build an appropriate bat roost and attract these tiny Teachers is easily found on the Internet.

Echolocation is the ability to use high-frequency sounds to see and accurately navigate even in utter darkness. Most Bats, like dolphins, can use this ability to detect obstacles as fine as human hair! The sophistication of their unique echolocation systems surpasses current scientific understanding and on a watt-by-watt, ounce-per-ounce basis has been estimated to be literally billions of times more efficient than any similar system developed by humans! It is a common misconception that all bats are blind and they all use echolocation. 

Not True! Most bats have a low-light vision far superior to that of humans and many bats, like the Rodriguez Flying Fox, do not use echolocation at all! Microbats who use echolocation emphasize the importance of both silence and sound in our transition. Megabats emphasize the sense of smell as an important memory trigger and environmental element, and ask us to enjoy the sweet bounty of life without taking more than we need. Vampire bats speak of a complex exchange of energies, either harmful or beneficial. All Bats ask us to be Aware, both of our surroundings and how we interact with All Our Relations.

A common Shadow Teacher, Bats speak most loudly about the nature of our personal fears, how they rule us, how we face them, those called by this Teacher and will be required to dedicate some time to intense personal examination and study. The Bat has inspired fear in a great many people. Yet the good that they do is so often dismissed or completely overlooked! The 20 million free-tailed bats from Bracken Cave in Central Texas, eat more than 200 tons of insects in a single mid-summer night. Throughout the tropics the seed dispersal and pollination activities of fruit- and nectar-eating bats are vital to the survival of rain forests. 

Bats frequently act as “keystone” species in the lives of plants crucial to entire ecosystems. In fact, we already know that more than 300 plant species in the Old World tropics alone rely on the pollinating and seed dispersal services of bats, and additional bat-plant relationships are constantly being discovered. A favorite symbol of the Goth sub-culture, Bats are beginning to beat the bad rap they’ve carried for years.

Bat Totem often appears to alert us to a necessary “death” in our life, signaling a time of transition, change and transformation. The old and familiar will no longer work for us and we are being challenged to shed the old to discover new methods. Bat focuses on the metaphorical deaths in our selves or situations that are needed for these life-altering and powerful transformations. Life is filled with many moments of death and rebirth. Bat successfully navigates these powerful changes on a regular basis and can help us to follow his excellent example. 

Bat is an especially helpful Teacher who thrives on helping us to accurately locate, identify, and then move through the fears in our lives that are keeping us from our necessary spiritual evolution. Until we face the darkness within that so frightens us, we cannot move through it and beyond to the enlightenment that awaits. Fear left unexamined and unchecked, like Rabies, will poison our lives, cause us to run mad, and ultimately self-destruct. Bat also asks us to pay particular attention to our environment, what we allow into our lives on a regular basis. If, for example, we have an over-abundance of destructive and negative people in our lives, we must examine why we are choosing to allow them access to us.

D.C. Comics’ Batman is a wonderful example of Bat medicine. Batman moved through many painful transitions and fears over the years, beginning with the death of his parents. Isolation was always a big problem for this pop culture hero, but he was also well noted for being highly adaptable, motivated towards spiritual growth and dedicated to the greater good of society. Batman spent much of his life in training and deliberately used fear as a weapon against his enemies. All very fine examples of Bat behavior! 

Batman’s struggle not to let darkness consume him, his constant transformations from Bruce Wayne to Batman, from dispenser of Justice to the creator of criminals, from hero to wanted man, beautifully illustrate both the triumphs and the pitfalls of the Bat Totem. Excellent communicators, they Teach us the wisdom of looking within and facing our worst fears. 

Bat shows us how to live in harmony with All Our Relations, how to utilize the Earth's powerfully nurturing protection and emerge reborn from the journey of Shadow Work. This gentle and effective Teacher encourages us to remember that the only person we truly need to be better than is who we were yesterday, and that all humans are spiritual beings at various stages of evolution moving through the physical journey of Life.

Keywords: Awareness, Conquering Fears, Inner Demons, Grief, Illusions and Delusions, Shadow Work, Courage, Communication, Journeying, Rebirth, Transition, Dreams, Intuition, Guidance, Observation, Death and New Beginnings

Associated with: Vampires, Night, Moon, Stars, Underworld, Air, Earth, Darkness, Yin, Persephone, Hades, Prosperina, Pluto, Erebus, Nyx, Lamiae, Camazotz, Fu Hsing, Miclantecutli, Quetzalcoatl, Xochiquetzal, Minyades, Dionysus, Arawn, Arianrhod, Cerunnunos, Cerridwen, Osiris, Veles

Potential Balancing energies: Numerous insects, trees and plants. Animals like cats, martens, fishers, snakes, raccoons, weasels, horses, opossums. Birds like gulls, rooks, crows, the bat falcon, the bat hawk, owls and other raptors.

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