Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Shrouded in Smoke

I was heat
I was molten
Purified liquid
bursting under pressure
I thrust myself
Quenching in cool waters
so quickly
that I may be 
struck and worked
to a clean molecular edge
fine enough 
to part atom from atom painlessly
performing surgery
but leaving fewer scars

Cutting through lies and fears
resentments and anger
I excise buried issues
before they erupt
Sand, fire and oxygen
in perfect harmony
Gaia brown
Green as the eyes 
of Persephone
Rainbowed or 
tricked out with snowflakes;
Cool and glassy
in your hand

Stone of Truth
I will remorselessly skin
you down to your true self
Separate you cleanly 
from your delusions
I have guided
swords, spears & arrows 
through the maze of history
I have been many masks
graced my share of artful spaces
succumbing to the skills 
of jewelers and sculptors 
my shadowy self 
feasting upon the negativity
infecting your air
before keeping the rest at bay

Sacred to Itzpapalotl
Madame Pele
and Jana,
Goddess of Mysteries,
Secret and Hidden things.
I protect you
Easing burdens
like depression
bad memories
or doubts 
Sheltering your tender spirit
whilst you transform
in my mirrored surface
of brutal Truth

Helping you ground 
and conquer lessons 
of humble integrity
We will speak of lives past
and the patterns of Karma 
Shed not one tear more, my friend!
I will shed them for you
I am another you
Life learning itself
through forms and generations.
Athame of manifestation,
I make way for change.

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

If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve. ~Anthony Robbins

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity.” 

― John F. Kennedy

“You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.” 

― Terence McKenna

Obsidian occurs when molten rock cools so rapidly, crystals have no time to form. Thus, Obsidian will only be found where there is, or once was, an active volcano. Nature's glass, seventy percent of Obsidian is silica, and the rest depends on the specific chemical makeup of the molten rock after it cools. Magnetite produces black or dark green obsidian, and the more highly oxidized hematite produces brown and reddish varieties. It can often appear banded, swirled or streaked from layers cooling on top of each other over time. The rarer colors like blue, orange or yellow are thought to be caused by trace minerals or inclusions. The best Obsidian forms underground near a vent in the volcano as it has fewer impurities. 

Obsidian is probably best known as one of the earliest known base materials to produce sharp and useful instruments, like knives, scrapers, axes, arrowheads and spear points. Similar to Flint, hard brittle Obsidian is extremely sharp when broken. It produces a characteristic conchoidal fracture, and can be skillfully worked by a process called pressure flaking to create an edge so sharp it is literally a molecule thick, capable of cutting between cells rather than tearing through them. This is about 500 times sharper than the sharpest steel blade! While the Obsidian scalpels used by a small number of surgeons today are entirely different from those used in primitive surgeries in the Neolithic period, it is their ability to cut so cleanly that allows for greater success rates and minimal scarring for delicate procedures like heart or eye surgery. 

Don Crabtree is directly responsible for the return of Obsidian to operating procedures. In the 30's Don Crabtree was drawn to study paleontology and geology in college, but he grew impatient with scholarly pursuits, dropping out with only one term left. He continued to study pursuits like paleontology and flint knapping, which eventually lead to him creating the tools used for his own heart surgery in 1978! For his outstanding contributions to the field of experimental archaeology, the "Dean of American Flint-knapping" was awarded an honorary doctorate degree. 

In historic contrast, Obsidian was also a key component in the brutal signature weapons of the ancient Aztecs, a macuahuit; This was basically a wooden sword like frame with razor sharp pieces of Obsidian set in to make cutting edges. Because of its dark reflective surface, Obsidian was also one of the first mirrors! Its usefulness and delicate beauty made it highly prized as a trade good. 

It is practically unheard of to find Obsidian older than about 20 million years, very young compared to other rocks forming Earth's skin. With the passage of time and exposure, Obsidian gradually changes from glass to rock via a process called devitrification which causes this Teacher to lose its conchoidal fracture ability and glassy texture. Silica molecules within the Obsidian slowly rearrange into organized crystal patterns, as in Snowflake Obsidian. Those "snowflakes" are actually quartz crystals formed through devitrification! 

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." ~Carl Jung

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
Carl Jung

If only it were all so simple? If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? -- Alexander Solshenitsyn

Obsidian is an excellent Teacher to turn to when we are having trouble moving forward, need to excise bad habits, memories, This Teacher encourages us to make time for things like silence, meditation, Shadow aspects, or negativity from our lives. This Teacher is protective and helps us to balance and center our bodies, minds and spirits despite the distractions of external chaos. Obsidian can help us to draw in our auras more tightly around our bodies protecting us from drains and attacks, as well as regrouping scattered energy. 

Obsidian teaches us to look inward for flaws, imbalances and blockages that are keeping us from evolving. It grounds our spiritual energy here in the physical plane allowing us to better understand, communicate and work with the Earth. Obsidian draws all things hidden in our Shadows to the surface where we can recognize them, acknowledge them, examine them and then excise them leaving a healthier self behind to heal and grow. It absorbs and reflects negative energies from a space, aura or person. Green Obsidian in particular shifts the focus of those draining energy from you and redirects them back to their own issues. 

This Teacher's greatest lessons revolve around Truth, Clarity and Purification. Obsidian can penetrate quite deeply into our issues, which can be brutally painful at times. The most unpleasant truths about our selves are the ones we avoid most strenuously. Looked at another way, the easiest lies to believe are usually the ones we tell ourselves. Obsidian can be a brutal in its delivery of necessary Truth. Obsidian is the Soulmirror which reflects back to us those areas that most need our attention. Obsidian can deal with current issues, or resolve past life karma or traumas. Pairing a softer healer from the Stone Nation, like Rose Quartz or Aventurine, can soften Obsidian's phenomenally sharp edges. 

Snowflake Obsidian tends to have a lighter touch, radiating more calm patience.  Apache Tears are another type of Obsidian created when hot lava is forced directly into the air and quickly solidifies before hitting the ground. These black rounded nodules appear opaque at first, but are translucent when held up to the light. Legend says that when a tribe of Apaches was brutally attacked by an overwhelming force, the men fought until they were arrow-less and trapped between the enemy and a cliff. 

They jumped to their deaths rather than be captured. Their distraught women cried black tears over them that became Apache Tears as they dropped. It is said that anyone carrying an Apache Tear will never cry again as these women have already shed enough tears for us all. This kind Obsidian Teacher is especially good for healing Grief, Sorrow and imbalances caused by injustice. They focus first on our emotional body where regular Obsidian typically concentrates on our clarifying our minds first, which can be quite jolting.

Obsidian is the Soulmirror that shows us both the inner self we hide from, as well as our interconnectedness with all things through the Divine. It helps us see ourselves in others and vice versa. Obsidian is an excellent Teacher to turn to when we feel overwhelmed by negative emotions, are healing from trauma, in need of additional clarity/strength/grounding/shielding, desire a better understanding of self and others, or need a metaphorical watch dog to give us a nudge when something is draining our energy without triggering our notice. Obsidian will steady us while we do the necessary work on ourselves in order to grow beyond the stage we are currently in, and can help us look Inward at Self or Outward at others. 

This Teacher encourages us to create daily moments of stillness, silence and solitude, bringing understanding and clarity during meditation. The concept of the Wounded Healer is a good one to examine when working with Obsidian as it embodies the healthy compassionate two way understanding mirrored by Obsidian's Wisdom. This Stone is perhaps too forceful for those currently embedded in emotional trauma and denial, those closer to thoughts of suicide rather than healing from their trauma. It is, however, perfect for those with their eye on moving beyond their personal wars and conflicts. 

In my experience, confidence is This sharp Teacher cuts to the heart of matters, opening festering wounds to release the toxins poisoning us, helping us to recognize the unhealthy bits of Self we need to excise, and giving us the necessary support and protection while we put in the work required. Obsidian helps us develop the confidence necessary to overcome trauma of any sort, and protects those with a heart that trusts too readily. Their songs encourage us to remove the veil of illusion from our eyes, to face all Truths - pleasant or uncomfortable, to stop fearing our potential and live our Truth. How does this potent Teacher appear in your life?  

I never dreamed of being Shakespeare or Goethe, and I never expected to hold the great mirror of truth up before the world; I dreamed only of being a little pocket mirror, the sort that a woman can carry in her purse; one that reflects small blemishes, and some great beauties, when held close enough to the heart. ~Peter Altenberg

Truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas. ~Shoseki

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold. ~Leo Tolstoy

Keywords: Truth, Transformation, Clarity, Balance, Purification, Protection, Self-Growth, working with Shadow Self, Healing, Self-Control, Visionquest, Self-Discipline, Manifestation, Ancestors and Divination

Associated with: the direction West, the Season of Winter, Death metaphorical and literal, rapid Spiritual Healing and Evolution, Pluto, Jupiter, Root and Heart Chakra. Itzpapalotl, Itztlacoliuhqui-Ixquimilli, Nanauatzin, Madame Pele, Vulcan, Ereshkigal, Jana, Sekhmet, Hekate, Coatlique, Tezcatlipoca, Itztli,  Night, Moon and Stars, 

Potential Balancing Energies: Other Stone People like Rose Quartz, Aventurine, or Blue Lace Agate. Animals like Elk, Jaguar, Mountain Lion, Giraffe, Bear, Beaver, Otter, Whale, Dolphin, Frog, Snake, Wolf, Bats or Deer. Insects like Butterfly, Spider or Preying Mantis. Plants like Cacao, Rose, Lotus, Plantain, Asclepias, Spruce, Pine, Hawthorn, Aloe, Borage, Salvias, Bleeding Heart, Cedar, Angelica or Sage.  Birds like Owl, Nightingale, Sparrow, Heron, Starling, Hawk, Crow or Raven. Elements like Water, Fire and Wind

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