Thursday, April 30, 2015

Creating Sacred Space

A Woman's Medicine arises 
from the West arm of the Wheel
A ceremonial incense
Fragrantly purifying
helping us to cleanse, calm and heal...

"We curl our scented arms 
in a welcoming embrace
Conferring strength
imparting Wisdom
evoking Clarity
Reconnecting you with Grace
Stripping away 
accumulated negativity
Cleansing psychic litter 
from your space
We announce 
clearing the air
without leaving a trace

Savory as desert sunshine
our Wisdom steams
from the Lodge's blessed stones
opening pores from soul to skin
singing health and youthfulness
into your bones

Humble panacea 
You might find me
on any given day
darkening Elders' roots
sharing a steaming cup of tea,
preserving meats or stuffing birds.
Perhaps tending the ill with infamous 
Four Thieves oil, or
strengthening soup.
I am always 
preparing the People
ready to celebrate their Way

Carrying intentions on the Winds
from your Heart
to Creator
to the Ancestors
to All Our Relations
and back again 
carrying Creator's love 
home to your heart.

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?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mineral Rites

or Jade; 
Bones of Earth 
for which we trade. 


These are their purpose 
upon the Wheel. 
Silent, timeless, wise 
Awaiting only open eyes. 

What makes you believe 
you have earned the right 
to drain my blood, 
sell my bones, 
and poison 
my battered remains? 

A brief taste of wealth and power? 

Greedy fools, 
Respect your tools! 

Black tears 
Spreading like cancer, 

Poison in my blood, 
Destroying the possibility 
of Life and Healing 
before it's even begun. 

Nowhere to run 
from ungrateful 
careless children... 
Save me from 

As within, 
so without... 
Dance gently, 
along a good red road 
Sing of Love, 
and Power, 
that Harmony may come 
at last 
to Grandmother's bower.

A Message from Gaea for Earth Day

Swallowing the Moon

“Knee deep…
in the mud I squat.
Singing Wisdom
Croaking my predictions,
peering around
the Future's blind spot.

Leap and glide!
Faith and Wisdom will abide.

Gaze into my watery mirror
I will teach you how to sort 
Illusion from Truth
Scrying through
Psyche and
both given and sought.
Listen to our songs,
and we will help ensure
Dreams and Visions 
are properly caught.

We sing 
of the purifying First Medicine
Transitions and Transformations
Renewal and Fertility
Creating Fortunate opportunities
by which you may prosper
We all begin helpless and small.
Soon enough we grow, adapt, transform
to handle Life’s call…

Awareness is the tail that
grounds and guides,
Until all four legs
Keep you steady.
Lift you over.
Help you take it all 
in leaps and bounds.

Feeding on each airy thought
as about your head they fly…
Snap them up!
Roll them along your tongue,
savoring possibilities. 
Leap and Glide!
Faith and Wisdom will abide.

I am no pebble-skinned traveler,
dispensing my Dreams,
and Fortunes
by the roadside.

I leave that for my cousins
Squatting on their salientian thrones
Singing of the Luck that finds you
the Fortitude that comes 
from following  the
Moon’s bright code

Purify your environment
Breathe in Life 
through your very skin!
Dance in the rain
Remember all your kith and kin.

Leap and Glide,
I’ll show you how."

Who Sings Now?

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 Sharonlee, BeadaBeada, Jaguarwombyn, Jan Neavill Hersh, and Chris Brockman for naming this Teacher!

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” Anais Nin

“It’s not easy being green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over ‘cause you’re
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky…” Kermit T. Frog

“I spend a few minutes in meditation and prayer each morning. I find that this really helps me to start the day with a good frame of reference. As part of my prayers, I thank whoever is helping me – I’m sure that somebody or something is – I express gratitude for all my blessings and try to forgive the people that I’m feeling negative toward. I try hard not to judge anyone, and I try to bless everyone who is part of my life, particularly anyone with whom I am having any problems.” Jim Henson

Frogs and Toads are cold-blooded vertebrate amphibians, Amphibia Salientia (“to jump”) or Amphibia Anura (“tail-less”). Frogs have smooth clammy or slimy skin, bulging eyes, strong webbed-hind feet that are adapted for swimming and leaping, and they lay their eggs in a cluster. Toads have legs better adapted to walking than hopping, dry warty skin, slightly different chest cartilage, poison glands behind the eyes, and they lay their eggs in a long chain, except for genera Nectophrynoides toads who bear live young! Frogs can be found everywhere except Antarctica, and prefer a moister environment. Toads do not inhabit either polar region, Madagascar, Polynesia, or most of Australasia, and tend to travel farther from their water sources than Frogs.

There are over 5,000 species of Ampibian Anura, making them one of the most diverse vertebrates. There are two other types of Amphibians, Caudates which consist of salamanders and newts, and Caecilians which are worm-like amphibians. Amphibians fall under the larger term of Herps along with Reptiles, and the study of them would make one a Herpetologist. The word Herps comes from the Greek term herpeton which translates roughly as “creepy crawly things that move around on their belly”. Fossil records show that frogs have been around, relatively unchanged, for about 190 Million years!

Grandmother Frog’s first lesson to us is revealed in the cycle of her own life. Change is the only constant and our ability to adapt, to transform ourselves to suit our situation or needs, is what ultimately determines our success. People seem determined to set one state of being as their goal and when they achieve it, they want to stay in that state. Everyone wants to be happy, for instance, but if that was all we experienced, there would be a vast range of experiences we’d be giving up. 

How would one develop spiritually if we could never experiences the full array of emotions available in life, and the many thoughts and lessons that are spun from those experiences? How would we even know what “happy” was if we had nothing to compare it against? Frog often appears to let us know that a cycle of growth is beginning or ending, or that we are being called upon to examine our lives for how best to transform to meet the challenges and changes approaching us.

Change is perhaps the single most frightening concept in life to most people, which is why it is represented by Death in the Tarot deck. Grandmother Frog reminds us that there is nothing to fear from Change, that it is, in fact, a natural part of life. Tadpoles don’t resist their growth into frog-dom, trying vainly to suck their new legs back into their bodies. They don’t panic, try to escape or deny the natural flow of Change in their lives either. Change is often awkward and leaves us feeling off-balance. Change can even be a painful process, but fearing it is as pointless as fearing our next breath and resisting the changes in our own lives just makes the process more difficult and unpleasant

Most frogs have tongues that are long and sticky that roll out and pull in their prey. Some frogs and most toads have shorter tongues and stalk their prey before pouncing, much like a cat. Once caught, a frog’s bulgy eyes close and actually push down into its head to create the force needed to swallow their food. This is reminder that often times the only way to deal with what needs to be is to just shut your eyes and swallow! So, the next time Frog appears to warn you of impending change, just take a deep breath, relax, and let it happen.

Frogs don’t actually drink water. They absorb moisture, and even breathe, through their skin! Many frogs secrete a slimy mucus that helps them retain the moisture they need to survive. The toad’s tougher skin does not dry out as easily which is why they can travel farther from water. Frogs can be killed by dropping them into a container filled with caffeinated soda pop or alcohol. Frog people are equally sensitive to their surroundings, and should be very careful about the people they allow into their lives.

These Teachers’ connections with Water do not end with their life cycle. Both have been considered to be closely associated with the weather in general, and their songs were once believed to call forth rain. In fact, in India it was once believed that Frog personified thunder and the Sanskrit word for Frog also means “cloud”. Perhaps because certain species lie dormant and only appear during an area’s rainy season, Frogs and Toads have carried the association with rain and weather from the days of Ancient Egypt, and many cultures around the world have also recognized this connection.

Their close association with cleansing, life-giving rain is a powerful sign of the healing and cleansing power of tears in our own lives. Balanced Frog people have an innate understanding of how to not only keep themselves emotionally cleansed, but also the importance of and how to go about clearing negativity out of their environment. If you are having difficulty with such issues in your own space, Grandmother Frog and those she has tapped will certainly be able to help you. In fact, Frog people are typically nurturing environmentally concerned individuals, and thrive on opportunities to “clean up” both physically, spiritually, or metaphysically. They know in their hearts, even if they can’t explain it, that since we are all connected, helping others and the World we live in is also helping themselves.

Typically, male frogs sing by squeezing their lungs with their mouths and nostrils shut, which causes air to flow over their vocal chords and into their vocal sacs. This is what causes that bubble-gum bubble blowing champion look as they croak. In some species, only males sing and in others both sexes join the choir. Large frogs sing at low frequencies and small frogs sing at high ones. They might sing for a variety of reasons besides mating such as; proclaiming territory, fear, injury or weather change. Song is a powerful tool to Grandmother Toad. She reminds us that song can preserve traditions and histories, teach young and old, heal body, mind and soul, or bring dreams and visions.

When I first began writing these poems, it was a Squirrel singing in a tree who sounded, at first, like a hawk that first inspired me. After writing that first poem, I wondered what to title it and Grandmother Toad leaped first to my mind. “Everything carries Wisdom, child.” I could hear her creaking, “and everything sings with the joy of that privilege.” I knew as soon as I had begun writing that this single poem was going to become a series in which All My Relations who have so patiently and kindly inspired me and taught me over the years would take a turn sharing their Wisdom through my simple words. It was this Teacher though who inspired the question that became the working title for these pieces… “Who sings to you now?” She asked, and I’ve been writing about Who Sings Now ever since!

There are countless tales that emphasize this Singer’s connection to ancient wisdom, magic and fortune. The Man in the Moon has also been known in China as the Frog or Toad in the Moon. These Teachers are heralds of Nokomis, Grandmother Moon, and have been associated with the Moon and the wisdom of the feminine Elder. In Ancient Rome, the frog was believed to bring good luck to the home and in Ireland it was considered to be a close relative of the Leprechauns, thus capable of playing fairy tricks upon the unsuspecting. A 3-legged toad was the companion of Liu Hai, the God of Wealth and Luck. This toad symbolizes the riches of the Earth and is often depicted with a gold coin in its mouth.

Heket (or Heqet), was the Ancient Egyptian Moon goddess of fertility and childbirth who assisted Isis in performing the ritual that resurrected Osiris. Heket is depicted with a frog’s head, and her priestesses were trained as midwives. They wore amulets, jewelery and other ornaments that bore Heket’s image, and they placed frog shaped knives on the bellies of pregnant women and newborn babies as a powerful protection. Frogs in general were so important to the early Egyptians they were often embalmed after death, especially as an insurance of a healthy rebirth for someone who died diseased. The tadpole was their symbol for the number 100,000, and it was a potent symbol of fertility and fortune.

Heket, who breathes the spark of life into everything living, is the goddess which eventually evolved into Hekate or Trivia, goddess of triple crossroads, childbirth, magic, the night, the underworld, and keeper of the gates between life and death. She can be seen as Sheila na Gig in Ireland, the second Sephirah on the Qabalistic tree of life -Chokmah who became Hagia (holy) Sophia to the Gnostics, which became the Holy Spirit of Christianity. Wise Grandmother Toad continues to transform herself bringing power, learning, good fortune, and the joy of humble servitude to Creator to those who follow her example. For all her endless changes, Hekate remains as a much beloved deity to the Neo-Pagans of today. Witches have been linked with toads and frogs for centuries, and for many generations these amazing creatures were just as shunned and reviled as the witches who were believed to be servants of evil.

""Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper, young prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry and set up housekeeping in your castle with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children, and forever feel grateful and happy doing so."

That night, as the princess dined sumptuously on lightly sauteed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled and thought to herself… “I don’t freakin think so!” ~ Unknown

“Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” E.B. White

The number 3 and multiples of 3 are important to this Singer and those called by her. Three stages of life, three graces, three fates, three wishes, and three magical tasks to be completed by those breaking a curse can be seen in more tales than I could possibly list here. “The Frog Prince” is perhaps the most well known. A golden ball, like the moon, in-debts the Princess to him and is the first step towards transforming himself back into the human Prince who will bring so much joy to her life and lands. Frogs are potent protection symbols for children, heralds of joy and humor, bringers of good fortune and pleasant dreams. As always, the kind, color and habits of the particular Frog or Toad you are drawn to should be carefully examined to bring you greater understanding, along with balancing energies like Fly, Snake, or Raccoon.

Frogs and toads since ancient times have been highly regarded for possessing magical and medicinal properties of all sorts, and have been used as aphrodisiacs and to boost fertility. Frog’s liver and the mythical “toad stone” were believed to be sure antidotes to all poisons. Hunting darts have been tipped with poison extracted from frogs and toads. Hallucinogenic compounds derived from toads have been used in religious rituals for communication with the Spirit world and to transcend self. In the Middle Ages, this jeweled stone when placed in a ring or a necklace, was said heat up or change color in the presence of poison. Most likely, these stones were actually Amber.

The Romans believed that if the figure of a frog were carved on an aquamarine, it served to reconcile enemies and make them friends.The Greeks and the Romans also knew the aquamarine as the sailor’s gem, ensuring the safe and prosperous passage across stormy seas. Humorous, lethal, powerful, humble, ancient and forever in the process of rebirthing herself, the Frog teaches us many things not the least of which is to look always beyond the surface of things to find Truth. 

It wasn’t until about the Middle Ages that frogs began to accrue this negative reputation that transformed it from being a symbol of fertility and creation, to a manifestation of pure evil. Some European myths say that it is bad luck to kill a frog as they house the souls of dead children. In the ancient Zorastrian religion, the frog was associated with Ahriman, the most evil of all beings. So, while Frogs symbolize the magic of Creation and fertility, they also symbolize death and rebirth. Of course, the wise know that you cannot be reborn if you do not die first, nor can you fully manifest new power and knowledge without first shedding your old skin.

In Native American tradition, this is the Teacher who nourishes the dreams of the mind so that they may bear fruit in a mind/body/spirit harmony. She encourages merging with Great Spirit and developing our intuition. Frog sits in the Northeast on the Medicine Wheel and is represented by the 6th stone. A group of frogs is an army and a group of toads is called a knot. Humorous, lethal, powerful, humble, ancient and forever in the process of rebirthing herself, the Frog teaches us many things not the least of which is to look always beyond the surface of things to find Truth. How does this Singer appear in your life?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

“Be proud of your flippers
and the flies that you catch
and the logs that you leap
and the eggs that you hatch.
We’re under the stars
and we’re smaller than men,
but I’m proud to be
one of the frogs of the glen.” Kermit

Monday, April 20, 2015

Raising the Standard

Master of Elements, Immortal Enchanter;
I emerge from my shell and unfurl across the skies.
With bladed grin and delicate claws,
parting the fabric to pass between worlds and realities.

Pearl of Wisdom hidden at my brow,
my glittering armor shields me 
from the arrows and sharp edges of Life's atrocities.

Storm-bringer, Primordial Guardian;
Uncoiling from my eternal lair
beneath the intertwined roots of the World Tree,
breathing wrathful devastation in cyclic rivalry.
My mighty coils squeeze tremors from the Earth,
or thrash tidal waves across the restless Seas.

Behold my power running rampant 
over the battlefields of history!
Armies birthed from the seeds of my teeth,
a testament to my ferocity!

Herald of Fortune, Celestial Guide;
I can show you the way.
Conquer the beast within
by looking with brave and honorable eyes.
Questing for and slaying each debilitating flaw, 
is how you sinuously transform and ascend
to lie resplendent upon the hoard of the wise. 
Learn my songs, and you will soar
through even the darkest skies.

For those new to the game, each singing poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature. Can you guess who is singing here? Congrats to Robin Smith, Angie Davies, Jan Neavill Hersh, BeadaBeada and Donovan for naming this Teacher

“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup.” Unknown dragon lawn ornament

“You helped yourself. In doing so, you helped me, and now it’s time to be truly brave.” Puff the Magic Dragon

“I stopped when I smelled the magic. It was strong magic. Old magic. And it carried a faint scent of the sea.” Dragon of the Lost Sea, Laurence Yep

Dragons have fired the imaginations of humanity for centuries. Most cultures, from Mayan to Indo-European, to Welsh to Chinese, have some concept of these magical, mystical elemental Masters. Tales of their draconian forms and abilities can vary widely beyond the basics of sharp claws, bladed grins, and scales that turn away swords and arrows. 

Some fly, with or without wings. Some swim, some live deep underground having slept so long that mountains have grown over them, or high in the clouds nesting on floating islands they keep hidden. Some dragons are greedy, violent, self-centered creatures that act on bestial instinct. Others are thoughtful, peaceful rational beings more concerned with the world at large than themselves. Some hoard jewels and gold, while others hoard only knowledge or even bestow wishes. In all tales Dragons are the Masters of the Elements. 

Dragons in general symbolize strength, power, courage, protection, luck, magic, nature/elements, knowledge, wisdom, longevity, leadership/guidance/guardianship, primordial instinct, diversity, imagination, yinyang, magic,  dreams, visions, questing, manifestation and transformation. They create storms and thunder with their wings, breathe fire, lightning, or even acid. Dragons are Keepers of natural magic, ancient wisdom, and guardians of places of power. 

Dragons are also linked to Snakes, so these elemental creatures carry all the lessons of snake plus their own potent individual lessons. These powerful creatures have inspired people for centuries. There are countless stories woven around them, and the study of them is an ever unfolding journey. Long before recorded history, early Europeans believed that a Dragon lived at the base of the World Tree. This dragon would arouse according to its schedule, and only a god could battle it successfully! Ancient Greeks told tales of burying dragon teeth to birth armies. Christian St. George rode out in armor to battle his dragon. 

"This of course is the way to talk to dragons, if you don't want to reveal your proper name (which is wise), and don't want to infuriate them by a flat refusal (which is also very wise). No dragon can resist the fascination of riddling talk and of wasting time trying to understand it." ~ Tolkien, The Hobbit

Elementally, Water Dragons bring hidden desires and memories to the surface. They bring us the courage and compassion to move through emotional transformation, or to help others through such a painful experience. They have the impassioned yet fluid strength of water, which yields to everything yet can wear through stone. Earth Dragons bring messages of abundance and prosperity, lessons on how to remain grounded and centered, and the slow but steady growth into our own power, our individual beauty brought forth through self-nurturing.

The Stone People (everything from Feldspar to Sapphire) are the record keepers of the Earth, and Earth Dragons have access to the same ageless wisdom, the same slow but certain progress echoed by the Earth’s transformative ability, evident always in the dance of seasons. Whether called by this Dragon or Snake, the study of the Stone People is sure to be of great benefit to those called by such earthy Teachers.

Air Dragons bring clarity, vitality, and inspiration to any situation. The flash of their scales is the bright light of the “ah-a!” moment of inspiration, and they love to help us develop the confidence to listen to our inner voice. Master communicators, they encourage us to speak only after we have thought through the situation. Study (especially of ancient wisdoms), contemplation, and meditation are fine tools for Air Dragons.

Fire Dragons bring the fiercest, most enthusiastic energy to your situation, but also the most easily mishandled. Rapid changes and great strength can be brought about by this Teacher, but it will also test your ability to act with moderation, with the full power of your potential realized but used only to the exact limit needed. With proper respect and self-discipline, this sort of Dragon will stoke your inner fires, teach you to both accept and project a steady protective aura brimming with the air of leadership, courage and mastery of self. Potent and wise allies, these elemental creatures can teach us all there is to understand about their given element. Familiarizing yourself with the different aspects of Dragon in the Chinese calendar may be particularly helpful to those drawn by these Teachers.

My son was born in the year of the Earth Dragon, and examining this aspect of him really helped me to understand his equally delightful and exasperating outrageous-ness. Dragon people in general tend to be charismatic, unpredictable, talented, unfettered, extroverted, impulsive, innovative, and insightful personalities. The Earth element of my son’s birth year helped to steady his outrageous impulses more than I realized, but I have often noticed that for all the impulsiveness natural to him, he is not given to fiery verbal or emotional responses. 

Earth Dragons are the least likely to assert their devastating breath without serious provocation, but when they do it can be like being hit with a stream of molten lava! All Dragons have more than a touch of the mystical or magical about them, and they are often seen as heralds of good fortune, powerful transformation and protection.

“Sleeping on a dragon's hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart, he had become a dragon himself.” 
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader"

In the Chinese Zodiac those born in the years 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989 and 2001 were all born under the sign of the Snake. In that culture, Snake people are believed to be soft-spoken, graceful, deep thinkers, shrewd, mystical, wise, ambitious, cautious, purposeful and creative. They can also be loners, bad communicators, possessive, distrustful, deceitful and hedonistic. This matches fairly well with the general opinion of Snake people in other cultures too. The lines between Snakes, Lizards, Toads, and Dragons have often been blurred throughout history, and those interested in one of these totems would be wise to examine them all.

In Laurence Yep’s Dragon of the Lost Sea we learn of the most prized of dragon possessions, the fabled Dragon Pearl… much like the stone of wisdom once believed to be contained within the head of every toad. If you have never examined the many depictions of Ouroboros and you may be surprised at how often this mystical symbol of eternity and balance is shown as a dragon swallowing its tail. 

In Tolkien's The Hobbit, we meet Smaug who is by his passions. He is a prime example of the clever hoarder dragons who care only about serving themselves in all that they do. This sort doesn't just hoard, they dominate their territory, they rule with a bladed glove. In Diane Duane's So, You Want to be a Wizard?, we meet The Eldest, a dragon of sorts. The Eldest is so ancient that he cannot remember the precise contents of his hoard, and is thus always worried that someone has stolen something from him without his notice. 

In Jane Yolen's Pit Dragon Trilogy we meet Heart's Blood and her brood of telepathic children who open up a unique world of dragons. Anne MacCaffery, E.E. Knight, Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weiss, Christopher Paolini, Joel Rosenberg, Byron Preiss, Michael Reaves, Peter Dickenson, Robert Asprin, Michael Ende, Terry Brooks, Alan Dean Foster, Melanie Rawn, Patricia Wrede, Robin Hobb, Ursula K. LeGuin ... Hundreds of worlds, entire galaxies perhaps, have sprung up around Dragons! Creation, destruction, chaos, harmony... the few things Dragons don't do are mediocre and boring! 

Dragons teach us that diversity is strength. Knowledge and Wisdom together make a solid foundations for us to build fantastical castles. Dragons most often illustrate for us the pinnacles and depths to which we humans can run. The choice of direction is always up to us. Which is more potent to you, greed or generosity? Do you feel powerless or consumed by the need to have power over others? What do you consider treasure and what do you hoard? What rules you? How does this magical Teacher sing in your life? 

“You can't map a sense of humor. Anyway, what is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons? On the Discworld we know that There Be Dragons Everywhere. They might not all have scales and forked tongues, but they Be Here all right, grinning and jostling and trying to sell you souvenirs. ” 
― Terry Pratchett, The Color of Magic

“Knowledge is a funny thing, Auron. The more of it that's in your head, the more your head can hold. It breeds on its own. You never know what the next bit of reading is going to do, what it's going to meet up with in your head and mate.” 
― E.E. Knight, Dragon Champion

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” Eckhart Tolle

Sunday, April 19, 2015

An Bradán Feasa

We come
Slicing joyously through 
each battling wave
Flashing and Bright 
scaly knaves
like Knights of Olde 
Braving hungry teeth and 
wicked claws. 
Press on! 
Be Bold! 
We are so many stories 
waiting to be told

When we’ve returned at last 
to our humble homes 
Quests fulfilled 
Treasures buried along the Shore 
bright promises for tomorrow
Toasty at the hearthside, 
We are content 
to feed the new generations 
with epic tales. 
No more to roam 
the wandering waters and 
restless Seas of Life! 

Some have waited a lifetime 
beside their fires 
for a single taste 
of the Wisdom I bring. 

Who has heard me sing?”

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 Desert Dreamer, Jan Neavill Hersh and Jaguarwombyn for naming this Teacher! 

“We learn a lot of lessons from watching animals. The salmon are one of our best teachers. We learn from them that we have to do certain things by the seasons. We watch the salmon as smolts going to the ocean and observe them returning home. We see them fulfill the circle of life, just as we must do. If the salmon aren’t here, the circle becomes broken and we all suffer. ” Leroy Seth of the Nez Perce

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” Proust

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

There are two groups of Salmon, Atlantic and Pacific, and eight species of Pacific salmon alone: chinook, coho, chum, sockeye, pink, steelhead trout, masu and amago salmon (two Asian species).Salmon typically have a high mortality rate due to predation, and changes in habitat due to the human influence; such as pollution, siltation, high water temperatures, low oxygen conditions, loss of stream cover and reductions in river flow. 

Those called by this Teacher will progress through stages, and will need to examine these different predators at various points in their life as potential balancing energies. They are a key species in the food chain, and their rapidly disintegrating numbers really should be cause for more concern from society than is currently apparent to me.

Fish swim through the water, feed countless creatures, and live in harmony with their environment as an example to us. We too should move fluidly with the many changes of Life, live in harmony, and be willing to sacrifice something of our selves for the benefit of others. Salmon teaches us that everything has a proper season. All stages of life are sacred and must support each other; youth must respect elder just as surely as the elder must pass their wisdom to the next generation.

Prayer and spirituality are vital in a balanced life, but action is equally necessary. To truly become the caretakers of our world we must understand, balance and utilize both Spirituality and Action. Prayer alone, however powerful, will not right the imbalance we have created, and all the spiritual beliefs in the world will not save a single drowning child if action is not also taken. Passionate and creative Salmon encourages us to be bold and take action.

The most commonly quoted estimate says that there are 20,000 different species of fish in the waters of the world. Each carries their own messages and associations. Those called by a Fish Totem will need to look at which specific fish is calling, their nearest relations, and the balancing energies of prey and predator. Salmon is often the patron of healers and Salmon people can be far more resilient and hardy than they appear. 

This Teacher encourages us to be sensitive to others, to trust our instincts, to stop fighting the currents of our life when we have not developed ourselves enough for the spiritual/life challenges ahead of us, to remember that everything has a proper time and season, to respect the cycle of Life, honor our heritage, to decide wisely, to leap over obstacles and see them as opportunities for growth, act with determination, to trust in self and Creator, and live passionately. How does Salmon appear in your life?

Key concepts: Wisdom, instinct, fertility, persistence/determination, trust, faith, spirituality, thought, creativity/creation, cycle of birth/death/rebirth, courage, loyalty, pride, passion, heritage/ancestors, overcoming obstacles, returning home, ancient lore

Possible balancing energies for Salmon: eagle/hawk, bear, otter, fisher, fly, dolphin, the sea/water, whales, sharks, plankton, worm, other fish, wolf/coyote, hazelnut tree, borage, lepidolite, raspberry, carnelian, raccoons, cats, snakes, forgs, kingfishers, herons, osprey, dolphins, seals and other pinnipeds, the Moon,

Associated with: Fionn Macumhail, Lugus/Lugh Lamfada/Lleu Llaw Gyffes, Cerridwen, Gwion, Brighid, Boann/Sionna, Orcia, Nodens, Loki, Nechtain, Daghda, Taranis, Aurora Borealis, sacred wells and the watery entrances to the Underworld, Latis, Cernnunnos, Taranis, Oghma, the Milky WayIshtar, Isis, Aphrodite, Freya, Venus, Poseidon, Dagon, Kwan Yin, Hermes, Vishnu, Jesus, Ku-ula, Merlin/Merddyn