Thursday, October 29, 2015

Threads of Fate

Warp or weft
Winds of Fate blow
at their own discretion
as Grandmother 
begins her
magical work

Dew hangs 
from leaf and bough.
A small voice 
raised in thoughtful expression
Who sings now?

“Strands of Time,
True Dreams,
The network of Life
thrums like a harp
beneath my nimble movements
shuttles flying
Can you hear 
my chiming dance?

my feasting board
my loom
Strung with Doorways like pearls
Shining like the Dawn of Creation
across the velvety Void…

Dreamweaver, Storyspinner
Patron of writers, artists, weavers
I can reveal Truth or
tangle you in lies and confusion.

I sing 
of spinning Worlds,
the Sacred Spiral of Life
Woven lives and loose ends 
trimmed in timely fashion.

Life is an art
We may each 
become Master crafters.
Each emotion, word and deed
 a color in our palette.
Behold your handiwork and
paint your canvas with passion!”

For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. Can you guess who is singing today? Congrats to Mary Trout, Jan Neavill Hersch and Marianne West for naming this Teacher!

"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties." Erich Fromm

"The world is but a canvas to the imagination."  Henry David Thoreau

"Scared? Oh, don't worry about Terry; he wouldn't hurt a fly. Well, actually, he would hurt a fly, bein' a Mexican red-kneed tarantula - Brachypelma smithii - and therefore particularly partial to flies. The point is that Terry has a bite relatively harmless to human beings, and you reacted as though he were fierce - which he isn't." Adrian "Bugsy" Malone played by Michael Palin in Fierce Creatures

Grandmother Spider is not always a welcome visitor. She is often greeted with fear, loathing, panic, and suspicion, which is actually quite extraordinary considering her small and delicate frame. In fact, most spider bites cannot hurt us in any significant way. I've been bitten on more than one occasion by a brown recluse for example, considered a very poisonous spider. What did I experience? Hot swelling in a large area around the bite, extreme itchiness, and shedding skin during the healing process. Brown recluse venom actually attacks the capillaries, causing them to collapse, so an extreme reaction to such a bite or multiple bites could cause severe damage or death. While it certainly wasn't an experience I would like to repeat, it was at most an uncomfortable couple of days with no lasting effects. Although, I was much the wiser for the experience. I now know how to avoid being bitten again and understand the brown recluse much better than I had before.

For all the fear that spiders engender in us, they are actually quite delicate creatures. If one were to drop a pet tarantula, for example, it would likely die from the impact. In my opinion, one of Spider's most important lessons is to always balance strength with gentleness. It is vital that we, humanity, learn that true strength is not force, violence, or better weapons... it is the courage and confidence to treat everyone and everything we encounter with gentleness. Yet, people the world over will react in a dramatically negative manner to the presence of even a tiny spider. Grandmother Spider certainly knows how to capture our attention and demand our respect, even when we don't understand her! What are we so afraid of?

Class Arachnida & Order Araneae, spiders are defined as predatory invertebrates. They have two body segments, eight legs, mandibles, spinnerets, and most species are capable of injecting some variety of venom into their prey. Scientists have described 37,000 different species worldwide. I will mention a few specific species, but most of our discussion will be about spiders in general. A solid study of the specific Teacher and it's general family, as well as balancing energies is always a wise choice. 

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly,

"'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show you when you are there." Mary Howit

"Whatever befalls the Earth, befalls the son of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."

"The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of the pond, the smell of the wind itself cleansed by a midday rain, or scented with pinion pine. The air is precious to the red man, for all things are the same breath - the animals, the trees, the man."  Chief Seattle

Considered a Trickster by most cultures, nevertheless, Spider has many fine qualities and is most often connected to creativity in all forms; creation, unity, interconnectedness, balance and agility. In some cultures Spider is the Keeper of All Tales, the spinner of creation, the patron of artists and writers, the keeper of ancient languages and the secrets of communicating through writing, a master Storyteller, and the mother of lies and illusions. 

Being so intimately connected to all of Creation, it is no wonder that Spider knows the difference between Truth and Illusion without a single doubt! It is no surprise then that She can spin the most believable of lies even more easily than her silken threads, and perhaps this explains a large part of why She is greeted regularly with such negative and emotional reactions!

Spider can teach us how to navigate our sticky webs freely, but more often than not we get caught up in our own illusions, the comforting lies that we tell ourselves to rationalize the bad choices we make. Sometimes, Spider needs to trick us and lie to us to teach us Truth, and because of her nature, these can be truly profound whoppers that alter our lives in extraordinary ways. Usually, the Truth that Spider is trying so diligently to reveal to us is that the only real lies are those we have been telling ourselves.
Many Native American tribes tell stories about how 

Grandmother Spider spun the web of the physical world, bringing our world and our many people into creation. She knows that while we are each (two-leggeds, four-footeds, winged, scaled, and creepy-crawly peoples, stones and trees) unique beings, we are nevertheless United within Creation; interconnected whether we believe this or not. We are separate strands but we are not alone, together we make the web of life. 

For whatever reason, most of humanity has yet to accept this simple truth, and struggles to this very day against accepting our fellow men as equals or even our very selves as worthy! We are beginning to feel the repercussions of our insistence on standing apart, living as if superior to all the World around us, and we will not profit by these blind and arrogant attitudes. So, I have to ask you...who is deceiving whom?
The spiral within Spider's web is a reminder that all life is connected, all life is a wheel constantly turning and evolving. Grandmother Spider sits in the center of her web to remind us that all things begin with us and radiate outward. We create the world around us through our thoughts, words, and deeds, and to change anything for the better we must truly be the center of that world, stop wandering in illusions, and begin spinning our dreams into realities.

"Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony."  Thomas Merton

"A balanced and skillful approach to life, taking care to avoid extremes, becomes a very important factor in conducting one's everyday existence. It is important in all aspects of life." HH the Dalai Lama

"Even nectar is poison if taken to excess." Hindu proverb

The original tightrope artist, Spider can teach us how to balance all things while moving across the web of creation. This mistress of threads knows better than anyone that a truly fine line exists between most concepts. She will help us not only to see and understand those many fine threads, but to navigate between all things with supreme balance if we only put aside our fear and allow her to teach us... genius and insanity, bravery and foolishness, masculine and feminine (not all things are opposites), supporting and enabling, pride and hubris, humility and low self-esteem, strength and violence.

Reality and illusion are her specialty. To take control of our lives in a good way, we must first truly see who we are and the world we have built around us. All things must be allowed only within their proper place and measure. Are we giving too much to others and not enough to our selves? Are we thinking too much of our selves and not enough of others? Extremes should always be avoided, as even a good thing becomes bad when in excess. Love is grand but denying who we are, constantly "sacrificing" for others, or allowing ourselves to be used and abused in the name of Love is not only misguided, it is dangerous! Once we have achieved a sense of Balance, we can limber up and begin to move with the grace and agility of Grandmother Spider.

"What kind of an acrobat do you think I am? It would take me all night to write a word like that into my web." Charlotte the spider

"Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."  E.B. White

"Consider the past and you shall know the future." Chinese Proverb

Just as all things in Life are connected, so too does Infinity stretch in all directions. Spider's eight legs and her body's resemblance to the symbol for infinity is a subtle reminder. The past irrevocably influences the present, which will determine our choices, and thus our future. Who said that those who do not learn from history's mistakes are doomed to repeat them? They were right! Whether speaking individually or collectively, our past is never truly left behind. It will only be a positive influence in our current and future lives if we pay attention and learn from our mistakes. Perhaps this is why the humble Spider has been a symbol of Fate practically since the beginning of history! The three Fates or Norns spin, weave and cut the lifelines of each individual upon the earth, and Spider is their mascot and messenger. We would be wise to heed her!

There are many tales of Anansi the trickster spider, one of which tells how he became the Keeper of All Stories. The Seneca also believe that Spider created and taught us the concept of an alphabet so that we might communicate better and keep a written record of our histories and lessons. Even E.B. White's infamous Charlotte is famous not so much for her gentle and generous self, but for all that she communicated to us by writing within her web. In fact, spiders have been connected to lost languages, symbolism, secret alphabets and codes, dreams, and the written word in general over and over again around the globe.

Spider people, like Spider herself, can be rather shy, or perhaps a better description would be more solitary than social, and quiet individuals... but they carry a wealth of expression within their souls that must find release through creativity. Artists, crafters, musicians, teachers, and especially wordsmiths are watched over by this Teacher. It is often beneficial for such people to study languages, numerology or other forms of communication, and the number eight is significant to such people.

Circulation is often an important issue to Spider people, most especially those called by a spider whose venom affects circulation. Blueberries, raspberries, black berries, linseed, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds, red clover, broccoli, plums, currants, foods rich in vitamins A, C and E, Garlic, Ginger, Cayenne, fennel, beetroot and watercress are all good for stimulating or cleansing our circulation. As is regular exercise.

Spider blood differs from human blood in some interesting ways. Firstly, because it has a copper center to the atoms of it's blood rather than iron, a spider's blood oxidizes blue, or blue/green, rather than red. Blue is the color of the Spirit Road. It is also the color associated with spirituality in general, hope, honor (true blue), loyalty

A fossilized spider found in amber is the first fossil found to contain blood from that long ago era. ( With the technology available now, one can't help wondering what yet to be discovered truths will be revealed to us through this Teacher. Whether or not you consider yourself a Spider person, everyone can benefit by becoming friendly with Grandmother Spider and there are many ways you can connect to her. Read about the hundreds of fascinating spiders in the world and their many unique habits.

Contemplate the artistic beauty found within a spider web. Did you know that there are different types of web designs and that not all spiders spin webs? Keep a journal, especially for your dreams. Explore the written word, the worlds it can create and how it can form a bridge from one being to the next. Express yourself, be creative, and most importantly be aware that you hang in the center of your own life's web! Without the creative aspect in our lives, we begin to feel drained and lifeless, and will soon be dangerously off balance. And without Balance, we cannot walk the web with ease, remember? Balance, communication (especially written, creativity, illusion, divine inspiration, mystery, wisdom and magic are all key concepts for this amazing Teacher. How does Spider appear in your life?

"Do you realize that if I didn't eat them, bugs would get so numerous, they'd destroy the Earth? Spiders are really VERY useful creatures."  Charlotte the spider

"Spider Woman used the clay of the earth, red, yellow,
white, and black, to create people. To each she attached
a thread of her web which came from the doorway at
the top of her head. This thread was the gift of
creative wisdom."  Navajo creation story

Wilbur: "Are you writers?"
Charlotte's daughters: "No, but we will be when we grow up."
Wilbur: "Then write this in your webs, when you learn: This hallowed doorway was once the home of Charlotte. She was brilliant, beautiful, and loyal to the end. Her memory will be treasured forever."
Charlotte's daughters: "Ooh, that would take us a lifetime."
Wilbur: "A lifetime. That's what we have."

Keywords: Deception, Illusion, Creation, Life/Death/Rebirth cycle, Fate, Cunning, Protection, Dreams/Nightmares, Web of Life, the Void, Transmuting Poison or Fear, Feminine Energy, Shadow Work/Energy, Balance, Communication, Storytelling, Mystery/Secrets, Magic, Creativity, Crafting, Luck, Astral Projection 

Associated with: Dreamcatchers and the Medicine Wheel. Weaving and other craftings (especially with thread), basketry, writing. Anansi, Teotihuacan, Arachne, Araidne, Athena, the Fates, the Norns, Maya, Neith, Atargatis, Biliku, Holda/Hulda, Inktomi, Kokyangwuti, Spider Woman, Coatlique, Ishtar, Grandmother Spider, Arianrhod. (Contemporary fictional figures) Charlotte, St Felix, Shelob, Lolth, Aragog, Spiderman, Spiderwoman, Venom, Scarlet Spider, 

Potential Balancing Energies: Insects like Flies, Gnats, Bees, Wasps, Beetles, Ants, Dragonflies, Preying Mantis and Assasin Bugs. Lepidoptera. Earthworms. Other spiders. Birds like Crow, Hummingbirds, Bahama Mockingbirds, Smith's Longspur, Redwinged Blackbirds, White Breasted Nuthatch, and Curve Billed Thrashers. Lizards, reptiles, and amphibians like Frog and Toad. Plants like Spider plants, Pine, Lemon, Osage, Willow, Banana, Horse Chesnut, Garlic, Goldenrod, Grevillea, and Fungi. Animals like Cats, Dogs, Shrews, Monkeys, Deer, Bandicoots, and Bats. Fish. Stones, gems and minerals like Spider Jasper, Amber, Spider-web Obsidian, and Alexandrite. Red Spider Nebula in the Sagitarius constellation.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Feeling Large in a Land of Giants

I couldn’t have been two years old yet because Mom and Dad were still together, but I was definitely of a firm toddling age when these memories were made. I remember the small apartment somewhere in the wide Los Angeles area. It had shelves set into the walls that seemed to stretch up for miles that my parents had filled with books of all colors, but mostly I remember this apartment because I was fascinated by the Murphy bed in the wall. I had never seen such a captivating apparatus before and I took every opportunity to investigate.

I was just being shooed away from it properly so that the bed might be made up and folded into its niche without fear of including me (almost got me yesterday!), when there was a knock at the door. Now I knew it couldn’t be Mom because she had only just left to go to the store and even though the store was right around the corner it was much too soon. I stuck close to Dad’s knee as he went to open the door, so I could get a good look at whoever might be knocking.

It was a lady. She looked a little familiar to me. I think I had seen her in the hallways when we were coming home sometimes. I looked from her face to Dad’s as they talked, listening intently because it wasn’t always easy to understand everything grown-ups said. Sometimes they talked too fast or used words that I didn’t know. She was talking pretty fast and her hands kept fluttering up and down like the birds in the park. Gee, she seemed upset but I didn’t really understand why. I tilted my head and my forehead had that little bump between the eyebrows it got whenever I was trying hard to understand something. She told Dad that there was a little white mouse in her apartment and it must be someone’s pet.

Why would that upset her? He sounded like a nice little mouse and I wondered if he was very soft. I would love to see it because I had never seen a real mouse before, only pictures in books. Hmm, well it seemed she was upset because she couldn’t catch it and she told us that she was afraid of mice. This surprised me. I couldn’t even imagine why she would be afraid. Mice are supposed to be tiny, even smaller than ME and everyone I knew was a giant next to me. Oh! How exciting! She wanted Daddy to help her catch it. That meant I would get to go too, and see it… and maybe even touch it if they let me!

We went upstairs to her apartment and we all looked around. There he was! So small and very white, his eyes looked very black and shiny. He looked as soft as the dandy lions when they turn white and I thought it very funny how his tiny nose and whiskers twitched all the time as he watched us. Daddy saw him too and moved to scoop him up, but the lady saw him too and she screamed! Oh, she frightened him and now he’s run away and hidden under the stand with a TV on it. I sighed and looked at Dad. He seemed to understand and agree with what I was thinking. Wasn’t this lady silly to scream at a tiny little mouse and frighten him off when what she really wanted to do was catch him? Daddy started talking to the lady again to make her forget about the mouse and give the poor little thing a chance to get over his scare.

I held very still, stayed quiet and watched the place where he had hidden. It wasn’t long before he tiptoed out and sat at the edge of the doorway into her kitchen. “Shh, little mouse.” I thought at him. I moved slowly towards him but he scampered right away into the kitchen. I kept moving slowly because it was easier to be quiet when you moved slowly. He must be very scared to be so lost with all these huge strangers stomping around.

I was sure that I could catch the mouse because he didn’t seem really scared of me, just nervous. I followed him into the kitchen where he was waiting right in the middle of the floor for me. I just smiled and came close to him slowly so he wouldn’t be scared." Hello. It’s ok no one wants to hurt you, poor little thing," I was thinking.

Gosh, I had never been this close to anything alive so much smaller than me! His eyes looked like two drops of the ink Pop-o (my grandfather) used when he drew pictures for me at his special table, and Mouse’s wiggly nose was such a pretty pink, like his itty-bitty toes and funny tail. We stared at each other for a little while, just getting to know each other. Even though he was so very small, I had seen how fast he was, so I thought the best way to catch him would be to get very close and then grab him. So I did. He almost got away but I had him by his pink tail. His wee little feet ran on the air like the cartoon mouse who ran from the cat but this mouse was caught and wasn’t going anywhere!

I was so proud of myself! I had caught the mouse for Daddy and wouldn’t he be happy when I showed him what I had done all by myself! He would call me his Clever Girl and pat my back in that way that told me he was proud of me. I hurried into the living room with a big smile, “Daddy! Here, Daddy!” I got one quick look at their faces. Daddy seemed surprised and then he started to smile and laugh but the lady’s face lost some of its color. Her scream was so loud it echoed off the walls of the small apartment and scared me! I dropped the mouse and he was so scared he ran away again!

I wanted to too and my heart was pounding! Had I done something wrong by catching the mouse? Surely not, Daddy had smiled and he didn’t smile if I did something wrong! I got very angry at the large silly lady for screaming like that and ruining everything. Now we would have to catch the poor little guy all over again and how would we ever do that if she kept screaming all the time?! I never even got to really feel him and see if he was as soft as he had looked. I wanted to cry.

Dad scooped me up and gave me a hug telling me it was ok. They just hadn’t thought I would be so clever to catch the mouse so soon and it surprised them. He took me down stairs to see if Mommy was home yet and she was, so Daddy said I had to stay home so he could catch the mouse for the silly lady.

“Is mouses soft, Daddy?” I asked.

“Are Mice soft, honey, One mouse or two mice. Yes, they can be. How about when I catch him I bring him down so you can pet him before we find his real home?” Daddy said.

I smiled again and that made Daddy smile too. Then he smiled at Mommy and told her he couldn’t wait to tell her what had happened. I toddled off to find something interesting to do while I waited for Daddy and the mouse. sigh Mommy had already folded up the bed, so I had missed another chance to see how something so big could be made small. Oh well, catching the mouse had been exciting and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that!

If only she hadn’t screamed. I sat in my chair and took one of my best books with the wonderful pictures of the real lives of rabbits off of my shelf to look at while I waited. I was very proud and grateful that I had such clever parents who knew the proper way to act around little girls and small animals. Still, I guess even if you are big, you can make mistakes. Maybe being big on the outside doesn’t mean that you always feel big on the inside either?

I pondered the meaning of size while I waited, occasionally looking over at the magical wall that held our bed. I couldn’t help feeling that if I could only figure out how something so big could fit into something so small, perhaps the giants around me would make more sense.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dreamwalkers: Chapter One Part Three ~ The Dreamers

A paunchy balding man tosses restlessly in his hotel room. A rumpled suit is scattered across the floor. An open briefcase haphazardly stuffed with papers rests upon a chair and a nearly empty bottle of scotch stands with a shot glass on its side nestled at the bottle’s base upon a dresser. 

“Sssenator! Senator Aaaddamms!”, a mocking whisper slides into his already agitated slumber. He is slick with sweat, and pale in the light of a bedside lamp. He moans in fear, while within his dreams he begins to run. Laughter rings out of the swirling darkness around him and he finds himself running through a series of sceneries that change rapidly and without warning. First along a narrow alleyway crowded with ripe garbage which squeezes down into a tight space between decrepit buildings. He thrusts himself desperately through the too-small space only to find himself stranded upon a rubble strewn muddy path. The faint course unravels before him over a seemingly limitless vista of smoking ravaged hills and an unnaturally vivid sky of seething violet and remorseless black. No where to hide, he runs faster. 

A scornful laugh rings out across the hills, “Where do you think you are going, little man?” 

“I won’t!” He shouts in desperate defiance as he stumbles to a halt, gasping for air. The dark mists that swirl about him thicken for a moment and the voice seems to come from all directions. ” I told HIM… I won’t! I’m done I tell you, no more!” 

“Won’t what, hmmm?” The dangerously velvet voice continues when the senator makes no answer, “Oh do tell! It might make this all a bit more interesting…..No? Well then let me guess…You didn’t seem worried about the faulty sprinkler systems your cousin installed, or the money you refused to spend on local shelters and daycare after your cutbacks forced so many out of their jobs, nor did you deem it worth your while to push for those health care reforms you had promised. 

So those can’t be what you refer to…Hmmm, much better for your image to name that building after the local hero, or be seen at the opening of the new stadium, yes? Far more enjoyable not to dwell on such distressingly mundane trivia when you have parties to attend and money lining your pockets, isn’t it?” 

The frantic senator is stumbling through the rubble now, and all but flinging himself down the hills to escape the relentless words that nip constantly at his heels and conscience. 

“You won’t clean up the waste from those factories you approved two years ago, that’s certain. A pity that so many fell ill from that too, don’t you think?” Shapes begin to take form as the mist thins, “I believe they want to talk to you about that, Senator. Of course, they may have to stand in line…there seem to be quite a few people who want some answers from you!" 

A pale hollow-eyed child covered with sores steps suddenly from the mist, mute with agony and accusation clear within her steady gaze. Addams turns slowly upon the low hilltop, his heartbeat beginning to slam as he realizes that countless other shapes await him in the roiling vapors. 

The voices of these tormented souls start as murmured condemnations but rise quickly to an angry tide. With a shudder the senator turns, racing down the hill only to find himself running into the heart of a swamp. The howling of his macabre pursuers gains as his progress slows and the ruthless laughter of his invisible tormentor rings loudest in his ears when he finds he cannot free himself from the thickening grip of the sludge rising around his legs. 

“Looks to me like you won’t be telling my employer “No” again either, in fact… I can assure you on that point!” 

Terror shines from his eyes as he struggles to face them and the heavy pounding of his heart seems to stretch his very skin. Ragged, breathless, overwhelmed his pleas turn into a gibbering wail as they slowly drag him under the black surface. 

“No… You won’t be making that mistake again!” Immaculate, Jerrin stands chuckling grimly upon the deserted road and clears the mists away with a careless gesture. Always best to be sure the job was done before moving off on the usual rounds, he thinks. 

A strange vortex remains where the man’s worst fears and actions had inevitably dragged him down. There, Jerrin can clearly see the empty body of the senator in his distant hotel room. His face, an alarming shade of plum, is twisted with unspeakable torment; bloody nail imprints trickle their last protest from now slack hands onto the sheets torn by his useless struggles, and the scattered broken contents of the nightstand glimmer innocently against the dark carpeting. The only sound left is Jerrin’s involuntary sigh as he replaces his shades and twirls with an uncanny surreal grace off into the ever-changing stream poured forth from countless sleeping souls. 

Somewhere, a wordless scream of terror rips a young boy away from his dreams. Disoriented, heart racing he struggles to untangle himself from his twisted, and now wet, blankets. Lights flicker to life in the house, as his frantic motions knock a small violin its nightly resting-place beside his bed. 

“Mommy!”, the walls ring with the urgency of his need for comfort. “Mommymommymommy!” 

“Sssh! Sssh! Sssh! I’m here, my Sweetheart!” A woman rushes into the dim room; tired creases of concern line her face as she tries to gather her son into her arms. 

“He’s dead! They’re all dead! Why is he laughing, Mommy, oh why?!” 

At first the poor child flails against her efforts, then with a gasp he comes fully awake and collapses with exhausted relief into her comforting arms, sobbing as the night once more moves quietly on without him.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mystery from Sri Lanka

Sweet wood, Evergreen Singer
Phoenix’s nest from the family of Laurels
Hidden in a canyon of snakes
Your origins shrouded in mystery, yet
your voice has been heard around the World.

“I sing of Awakening, Rebirth, 
Health, Prosperity, Joy
and taking the time 
to attend to your Spirit.

I will stir your blood 
protecting your heart
warming you with gratitude
and love for All Your Relations
Sharpening your mind’s eye
attention, vitality, memory.

I helped the Egyptians
lay their Ancestors to rest
My incense was the funeral pyre
for Nero’s poor wife. 
Solomon sang my name
My curling quills have
stopped the growth of virus, fungi and bacteria.
I have anointed masses with sacred oil through the ages

We have probably met 
over coffee some morning
Your Grandma surely 
baked me in her cookies
You may not know my face,
but my taste is familiar!"

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?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dreamwalkers: Chapter One Part Two

As the last gleam of a setting sun flashes across the sky, a handsome man of indeterminate age enters a building of cold steel and dark glass. His silvery blonde hair curls attractively upon his shoulders, framing the planes of his face with an uncalculated appeal to every eye that chances across him. His tailored clothes only accentuate the casual and fluid grace with which he seems to dance across the marble floor. 

An ordinary uniformed individual comes out from behind the counter, nervously greeting him as he moves without hesitation to the bank of elevators. 

“Good Evening, Sir! I hope you enjoyed your vacation?” The guard fumbles with his ring of keys, still attempting to draw some positive reaction from his superior, as he finds the proper key and opens the doors of a smaller elevator set off from the others. 

“You look rested. ” Jerrin’s eyes, and whatever expression they might convey, are hidden behind mirrored lenses as he turns a distant, unnerving look upon the simple drone. “Yes…ah, Just a moment, while I…here it is…let you through. You’re to go right up, Sir.” 

With a sardonic grin, his low voice merely murmurs, “Of course”, as he leisurely takes his place in the elevator. Minutes later, he strides with a nod past the typically harried young man in the austere, yet to Jerrin, familiar waiting room. The aide wordlessly buzzes him through the heavy metal door placed behind his desk. 

A white, starkly lit, windowless corridor leads him to an ornately carved wooden door inlaid with gleaming metal. The door behind him shuts decisively and a cool puff of sterile air caresses his cheek as hidden machines stir quietly to attention. He slows and flashes an unruffled grin up at the hidden camera, removing his sunglasses as he enters. 

The spacious room is lit only by the glow of monitors along one wall and the spectacular view sprawled beyond the windows. As usual, there is a chill in the conditioned air and the door closes with a solid thump and click behind him. A figure moves in the darkness behind a large mahogany desk. 

“Good evening, Jerrin. Your return is as timely as ever.” This voice is quiet, assured, and even colder than the air that moves around its sound. "I have an account for you to close tonight.” The rakish gleam of Jerrin’s smile lights up his dark violet eyes. ” Yes, it seems that Addams no longer wishes to do as he is bid… and I, as you know, have no need for those that outlive their usefulness.” 

“Consider it done.” Jerrin gives an impish bow to his superior. “I’ll attend to this little matter before the usual Collection then.” He casually straightens his jacket and runs a hand through his silver locks. 

Later, beneath the eternally shifting darkness of night, many slumber undisturbed. Some merely murmur and move restlessly as their dreams grip them for a short span before melting away, forgotten before they have even opened their eyes to the new day. Others will not be so lucky.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Unbridled Joy

Thunder rolls across the hills 
Denim whip-cracks split the skies 
Feel the rumble of their coming, 
Carrying visions for our eyes…

“Wind given form,
roving bands and leaders
racing down history
Children of Epona
Beloved of Poseidon
Blessed Hayagriva

We come!  
Swift, Vital, and Free!

    We keep the beat 
as we run
Our trumpeting voices 
call to thee!

No spurs necessary
to goad us into motion
Shake off those blinders!
Burst your tethers!
Stretch against the horizon 
Trust yourself 
Lose the maps

the fences you have 
built around you 
in the beauty 
of motion 
Run Free!

Harness your efforts
pulling steadily towards your goals
New directions will open before you
Open roads
sky-domed plains
golden deserts
wave combed shores

You hold the reins of your Life
Power and Intuition
arise when we are grounded
feet moving like music
across the earth
Intuiting the Divine

Wisdom comes 
to the judicious 
Fortune opens 
to the Wise
Stamina however develops
by overcoming challenges 
For no one 
lives without strife.

Trust the sensitivity 
of your own skin
Yet brush off each biting fly
Know your paces
Move in Partnership
not aggressively
nor skittishly shy
Bolting from every truth 
that makes you feel 
ill at ease 
Keep open
a weather eye

Live well
Live simply
Humbly serving
with unbridled joy
So when it’s your turn 
You can ride off 
into the sunset 
with pride!”

“To these animals, the ability to intuit fear in a distant herd member and act on this feeling without hesitation is a lifesaving skill. Their innate aptitude for resonating with another being’s trust, joy, or confidence is a life enhancing skill.” Linda Kohanov

“And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse…. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse. " Bedouin Legend 

“Wherever man has left his footprint in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization we will find the hoofprint of the horse beside it. " John Moore 

Horses, like Dogs, have a long history with Humanity. Not so very long ago, we depended upon our horses to get us from point A to point B, to till our fields, and carry our goods. Without our partnership with this marvelous creature, I doubt we would have gotten around the world as quickly as we did! 

Nowadays, only those with the means and desire to care for a horse, or the ability to work with them, are graced with their company on a regular basis. This is a great tragedy! Once though, the Horse meant more to man than our cars of today. Their strength and beauty drew us in, but their companionship has captured our hearts forever. We have revered them in literature, film, music, poetry, and art probably since the first person drew a Horse upon the cave wall. 

Horses in their natural state form bands comprised of young, mares, immature stallions and one dominant stallion who rules his harem. Males reaching maturity either wander off on their own or are driven off by the herd stallion. Bachelors will form loose bands together until they can either best an established stallion and claim his harem, or steal his own mares away as opportunity presents itself thus forming his own herd which he will then defend most aggressively. 

Within the family herd, there is always one mare, referred to as a lead mare, who is favored by the stallion and establishes her dominant rank within the herd in a variety of ways. The lead mare is usually the one who leads the herd in their wanderings as the herd stallion usually brings up the rear of the herd where he can keep an eye on his harem and young, urge stragglers back into place and hold off predators long enough for the herd to get ahead. 

The lead mare also establishes pecking order whenever a new mare is added to the herd, is adept at finding water or food sources, and wily in sensing and evading danger. She might establish her dominance with a few well placed nips and kicks, or simple demand that an errant mare remain in place while the lead mare grooms her. Gestation is between 335-340 days, colts (male offspring) are generally carried 2-7 days longer than fillies (females), and both are considered to be fully grown at four years although their skeletons do not finish developing until six years. Horses are one of the domesticated animals that will wean their young when they sense the time is right, with or without the help of the humans in their lives. Through their habits, Horses suggest that part of being a good parent is knowing when to refuse your child their desires, that typically male children need a little more nuturing than female children, and that balancing the needs of the young with our own well being is essential.

Horses are prey animals, and as such have well-developed flight or fight responses. Their first instinct will be to run from danger and their agile speed has saved them countless times over the generations. Their sense of smell is greater than ours and their hearing is excellent, although they rely mainly upon their vision. Studies have shown that horses are not typically colorblind. They have excellent day and night vision though they have difficulty distinguishing between grays, browns, and greens. The side positioning of the eyes gives the horse a wide field of vision of about 350°, which is certainly an aide in spotting predators!

Grains and grasses make up their typical diet and these ungulates can sort through even the smallest grains with their prehensile lips. Their skin is more sensitive than people generally realize, and they can feel the instant even a small insect lands on them long before it has a chance to bite. Horses also have an extremely well developed sense of balance, they are very aware of changes in terrain, and will be quite cautious in how and where they place their feet. Their heightened sense make them excellent predictors of weather change or even natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes.

Many cultures have revered the horse, perhaps most notably the Arabs, Romany, Travellers, Scythians and other nomadic peoples in history. Yet, even the sturdy English once had a proverb, “Show me your horse and I will tell you what you are.” Once, you could tell a great deal about a person just by looking at his horse. Horses have been used as currency, a sign of wealth and quality for centuries. Many people throughout history have been judged not only by their ability to breed or select fine horses, but also by their ability to forge a relationship with and care for their horse. Horse can be found in Greek/Roman mythology, Celtic legend, Native oral traditions, and many other cultures. Horse can be found in the Chinese calendar too and shares much of the same qualities, from an astrological point of view, as the Horse of Native American cultures. Well balanced Horse people tend to be confident, independent, inquisitive, sensitive, adventurous, strong leaders and eager travelers who are respected for their “horse sense”, gentle hearts and ability to listen to others.

Social creatures of great diversity, they also have much to teach us. Horse’s first lessons to us are Freedom and Movement. If any other totem speaks more of co-operation than Wolf, it would be Horse. Horse depends upon his fellows just as completely, but he also understands the need for the same dependence upon and harmony within ones self. Watch the Horse in motion and you will see a being moving in utter grace, and confidence along the Earth’s skin. There is a subtle give and take between Earth and Horse, much like that between wind and wave…natural, fierce, gentle, and free, with no need for dominance or room for greed. The Horse drums a life beat upon our Earth, reminding us with his actions how best to move through life, and She in turn gives the horse food, shelter, comfort, unconditional love, and free rein to be their divinely intuitive selves.

True freedom is understanding that not only do you make the decisions that get you through life and these choices will effect others and the world around us, but that sometimes freedom means choosing to put yourself into a harness, tie yourself down with responsibilities and do the job that needs doing. Freedom is also the freedom to make mistakes, to choose wrongly and learn from those mistakes. Sometimes, it is not how we ride through life, it is how we meet with the many falls we will take during our ride. It isn’t always easy to greet obstacles or bone-breaking mishaps with a cheerful heart, grace and determination.

Horse carries powerful medicine, prophetic dreams and divine visions from Creator to us, the dreamers. Linked with the wind, the ocean, the moon, the sky and even the breath of the Creator, Horse teaches us that with partnership, grace, stamina, and sensitivity we too can move through life with joyful freedom. Black Beauty was one of my favorite tales as a young girl. While he went through many trials and carried heavy burdens throughout his life, he lived his life well with dignity, love and strength. I heard so many times as a girl that “all girls love horses” and “you’ll grow out of it eventually” that I actually believed it for many years. Thankfully, I never have grown out of my love for these magnificent creatures and some of my best memories are standing in sunshine with the smell of the stables around me, the sound of the brush, the soothing rhythm of my brushstrokes and the contented grunts from horsey friends.

Horse can teach you how to find your own inner rhythm and how to dance through life’s many challenges, leap over obstacles, and how to live freely. There are many ways one might connect with Horse. Watching films like Hildalgo or a documentary on horses, perusing the various myths and legends from around the world, or books that center on a horse like: King of the Wind, The Valley of Horses, Epona the Horse Goddess, or the fabulous Tao of Equus.

Tao of Equus is a truly riveting read and I cannot recommend it highly enough to those called by this Creature Teacher. The author, Linda Kohanov, began the Epona project which utilizes these sensitive creatures as therapists, and her many experiences along the road that led her to where she is now in life are wonderfully revealing. Just watching the beauty of dressage with it’s joyful and skilled partnerships between horse and man is very inspirational. Not everyone can own and care for a horse, but we can certainly spend time in their company! Which is, perhaps, the best recommendation I can make. Possible balancing energies: wolf, dog (dog and horse people either get along famously or drive each other nuts in my experience!), mountain lion/lion, grasses and grains, apple, carrot, the winds, snake, and fly. How does the inspiring Horse appear in your life?

“Freedom means choosing your burden.” Hephzibah Menuhin

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, “Maxims: Liberty and Equality,” 1905

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. " Franklin D. Roosevelt

Keywords: Freedom, Partnership/Service, Travel/Astral Travel, Power/Strength, Stamina/Endurance, Loyalty, Passion/Spirit, Fertility, Pride/Nobility, Intuition/Sensitivity, Vision Quest, Grace

Associated with: Epona, Manannon MacLir, Rhiannon, Eos (and Hippoi Anthanatoi), Apollo, Athena, Hayagriva, Poseidon, Demeter, Anemoi, Odin, Loki, Resheph, Dagr, Nott, Brunhilde, Johano-ai, Svantovit, Silenus, Selene, Surya, Saint James

Potential Balancing Energies: Plants like grasses, grains, clover, daisies, gumweed, carrots, and trees like Cottonwood, Apple, or Willow. Animals like dog, wolf, coyote, rabbit, prairie dog, cattle, sheep, cat, or deer. Birds like meadow lark, hawk, crow, egrets or storks. Insects like flies, gnats, mosquitoes, bees or wasps. Elements like Wind, rain, lightning, thunder, wildfire or water.