Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Raven Steals the Sun

Once, the world was covered in darkness. Raven quickly tired of stumbling around, unable to learn or get into anything in the heavy shadows. He found where the light of the universe was being jealously hoarded, cleverly stole the sun and set it into the sky so all could see, much like Prometheus. Raven was burned black by the heat of the sun, but he carries the many colors of the rainbow hidden within the shine of his feathers too.
This story has always ignited my imagination. It reminds me always of the interconnectedness of all life, especially when I am feeling particularly displeased with my own species. Raven reminds me that we are all family, even if I don’t like, understand or agree with another. Certainly not the only lesson I have learned from this audacious Teacher, but perhaps the most important.

Songs Heard Within My Shadow

Celestial Fire adds a hissing cymbal fill in the distance.
Steam rises with a hot suggestion of sound.
Upwards it rises now…
Beyond wind or noise…
Beyond Skywoman and Her Children…
Beyond Dreams…
We spin into the Void.
The Sun calls forth a rainbow
‘gainst an ebon shadow
as the Sun is set
…like a burning bit of amber
into an azure coronet.
“Stormbringer, Bonepicker, Trickster some call me.”
A laugh both harsh and rhythmic
Childlike, they fill my shadow with their fears.
“This way, Child!
Here is the path you left behind!
Mind your ways!
Don’t just speak the truth, Fool!
Live it!”
I chuckle,
“Leave denial in the dust…
Leave pain…
Leave past…
Leave rage…
Leave lust.
Empty as the waiting vessel be!
Fill your life with Light and
Deep within your essence see
all that Creator would ask of thee.”
I sing in Dreams.
I sing of Prophecies…
of paths lost and found…
Sacred trails begun in the heart
but by Wisdom and Choice unbound.
Change and Magic…
…Shadow and Light…
Secrets and Soulful trial.
These fuel my flight!
“You are not alone in the long run.” I mutter
“Your heart knows we are already One!”
As you Dance your earthly fill,
I Soar…
and to the Winds I recklessly shrill,
Time, all unheeding flow…
Forever before and
Forever behind.
Eternally awaiting Your perception…”
for I am Warden at this Door,
and many other thresholds,
between Truth and Deception.
“I hear and remember your unspoken Vow.”
Who sings now?

The painting is acrylics on 8.5 by 11 canvas. Prints and other products with this image are available at  Redbubble

A closer look at Raven/Crow as a Nature Teacher can be found here... 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Serenade of a Woodland Prince

A whistle-like voice does ascend
yipping at twilight or
while the very dawn approaches
Pausing to attend…

“Protect the Child
Both within and without
I will teach you
how best to hide
if you have any doubts

I run, four legs flying
Between the rim
of this World and the Others
Perhaps this is why I am so hunted
or perhaps…
I am simply
a bit more Fae 
than my Brothers

The Fair Folk and I
have often traded favors
the Shifting of shape
Oft-times I am little more
than a clever silent Shadow
stealing across your Dreamscape

Take a seat upon my tail
We will run
Over stock, over stone
I will teach you how
Fortune and Opportunity
are most cleverly claimed
with Honesty
Charming confidence
Harvesting Tao

Herald of Inari
Blessed Brighid
Here to remind you
Life is hard
Play harder
Laugh more
Love more
Live now

I teach the
Magic, Laws, and Mysteries
of Nature
Being sure of foot
is as important as being fleet
Get creative
Sly boots leave no tracks
My thimblerigging
Trickster ways
are naturally successful 
like a stellar parallax.”

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

“Charming people live up to the very edge of their charm, and behave as outrageously as the world lets them. Logan Pearsall Smith

“Let good thoughts be your sword and shield.” ~ Unknown

"But he was thankful to the fox, and did not attempt his life as his brothers had done; so the fox said, 'Sit upon my tail, and you will travel faster.' So he sat down, and the fox began to run, and away they went over stock and stone so quick that their hair whistled in the wind." The Golden Bird, the Brothers Grimm

Foxes have been labeled as cunning, magical, charismatic, masters of manners, stealth, communication, and camouflage probably for as long as Man has known any of the 21 species of Fox around the world. Fox’s ability to hide in plain sight is as legendary as His ability to elude adversaries. Their keen senses make them very sensitive to their surroundings, and uniquely adaptable to their environments. However, these same keen sense can get them into trouble as well! Too curious, perhaps when they shouldn’t be, or too led by their senses instead of their sensibility.

Consider too, it is not uncommon for Fox people to feel overwhelmed by the stresses of their environment and almost disappear in the crowd as an involuntary defense! “Too much noise” or “too many people” are common complaints. You don’t see foxes hanging out in crowds, either two-footed or four! Being “hidden in plain sight” can be a useful skill, or quite a problem for Fox people. In fact, people who have consistent problems with others not “seeing” them are most likely having problems with Fox energy. Are people walking into you? Forgetting you? Mistaking you for others? Not hearing you when you speak? You might be out of balance with Fox.

As with many other Creature Teachers, the color of the Fox you are drawn to can give you additional clues to how you link with Fox energy. Color associations vary from culture to culture, of course. Red can be linked with creative energy, kundalini energy, passion, and fire, for example. Silver is associated with astral work, the moon, and angels. Blue is also linked with matters of the Spirit, intuition, serenity, wisdom. As is Black which can also represent the universal or cosmic link between all beings. Draw them, find pictures of them, read about their habits and homes, visit a preserve, enjoy stories or films about foxes. These are common ways that one can attune to any Creature Teacher.

The wise Fox is the one who uses their considerable talents for maneuvering below the mark of notice to observe everything around them and act accordingly. Sometimes “adaptable” boils down to simply the harmonious use of awareness and action to bring success into your life. Some might even call it luck. A master of camouflage and masks, Fox can help us achieve the perceptive awareness and alert clarity necessary to achieve seemingly impossible goals, or spiritual evolution. Dusk and dawn are Fox times, and edges between woodland and fields are wonderful places to meditate on this Teacher's Wisdom. Fox's association with such liminal zones also strengthens their link with Faerie energy/Wisdom. Bespelled royalty, or simply the crafty woodland beast who aids the Fair Folk, guides mortals through magical challenges, or delivers Faerie messages, the Fox is a Natural Magician.

It requires a great deal of optimism and positive thinking to overcome the many obstacles that Fox faces in Life….it isn’t all luck! Pursued by Man and Dog, many times in direct competition with bigger Wolves and Coyotes, none the less Fox has proved his many skills by not only surviving but living a full life with a big lolling canine grin firmly in place. Perhaps the biggest challenge a Fox can truly face is not becoming enamored of themselves! Foxes are charming, but the dangerous thing about Charm is that it can lull us too, give a false sense of success, promote hubris.

"I was raised to be charming, not sincere." Cinderella's Prince from Into the Woods

Everyone knows, even if it is deeply buried, that their worst enemy is always themselves. The interplay between charmer and charmed can be heady. Who doesn’t like to have a good time? More often than not though, it is best to simply keep quiet and absorb what you are observing, really think before you open your mouth and leap. Foxes can blend with a wide variety of people and find diversity to be very refreshing. 

People are often drawn to the charismatic Fox and will want their attention even if unconsciously. Developing a habit of silence or keeping ones own council is usually a wiser choice in most social situations than striving to be the life of the party! If we want to live up to the best of Fox's lessons, Sincerity in action and Honesty in our perceptions of self and others is imperative. Better to be clever charming royalty disguised as a chicken thief, than to actually be a vain and selfish bandit, however clever or charming.

Gentle, lucky, skillful, Fox is always willing to put his loving self forward, volunteer for the scouting mission, to use relentless cheerfulness, charm and bravery as both her weapons and her protection in a hostile world. Persistent without aggression, Fox asks you to be silent, be aware, observe, to mind your thoughts and actions as you move through life, to always do ones best in the moment to leave the world a better place. Life is meant to be lived, love is meant to brim ones heart, and a keen mind coupled with keen senses makes every moment a unique ambrosia…so drink up! How does Fox appear in your life?

“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins them.” Francis Bacon

Keywords: Magic, Invisibility, Camouflage, Secrets, Protection, Cunning, Shapeshifting, Masks, Truth/Sincerity, Messages, Guidance, Adaptability, Observation, Intuition, Swift thought/action, Grounding in Nature, Faerie Wisdom/Energy, Tricks/Illusion/Deception, Strategy, Adaptability, Pathfinding/Guidance, Sensuality/Sexuality, Luck, Skill (especially developing multiple skills), Protection of Children and Family

Associated with: Magic, Faeries, Foxwives, Spirit or Faerie messages, theft, liminal zones, gates between worlds, the Northern Lights, witches. Taliesin, Merlin, Robin Hood, Queen Madb. Kitsune, Oinari, Inari Okami, Uka no Mitama, Dionysus, Pan, Brighid, Lugh Lamfada, Bel, Cerunnos, Artio, Caillech Bheur, Henwen, Cerridwen, Tuan MacCarell, Loki, Freya, Frigga, Freyr, Weyland, Hulda, Nanna,

Potential Balancing Energies: Birds like Raven, Chicken, Duck, Hawk, Eagle, Robin, Owl, Crows, Jays, or Sparrows. Insects like Fly, Tick, Earthworm, Beetle/Grub, Bee, Lepidoptera, Spiders, Fireflies or Ants. Plants like grasses, grapes, blackberry, pennyroyal, foxglove, or daisies. Trees like Rowan, Pine or Oak. Animals like Frog/Toad, Fish, Snake, Squirrels, Mouse and other Rodents, Rabbit, Canines like Coyote or Dog, Felines, Bears, or Badgers. Water, Earth, Northern Lights, the constellation Vulpecula, Sun, Moon, Winds. Stone people like Moss Agate, Adventurine, or Carnelian.