A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for February, 2009

Hummingbirds ~

bryans2I adore these little guys. They are so tiny, and you must watch your feeders closely or you will miss their presence altogether. They are swift, silent, bright little dots lightening up the day of anyone who gets the pleasure of seeing one. In fact, that is their medicine, they are “Bringers of Joy”.

There is much more to hummingbird medicine than just their joyous energy, the Native peoples see the hummer as a symbol, often of one who gets quickly to the heart of a matter because of that wonderful beak. There are only a few of the bird family that can hover in flight, and the hummer is one of those who can. Sunhummingbird4 Bear, my favorite resource for animal totems, gives the medicine of “clarity” to the hummingbird folks. What wonderful medicine, for it is only as we see clearly that we can progress as individuals, or as a people. They don’t just hover, they can fly backward, forward, and sideways as well. No wonder they are thought to bring clarity, they look at things from all sides!

The Hummer has been thought for many generations to bring love into one’s life. This medicine was considered so strong that there were those who would dry and grind the heart of the hummingbird and use it to create love potions. I am glad that most, today, would much rather simply watch these little acrobats.

Their feathers are irridescent, making them catchers of the light to bring it into the lives or those they touch, and are  most often shades of green or teal, very much attuned to the heart chakra, and the healing of it.  If you suffer depression, these are wonderful birds to watch or meditate on, for even thinking of them, once you have watched them at any length will bring a smile to your eyes.

The Medicine of the Song Bird ~

c_o_pThe message the Songbirds bring us is an affirmation of life, and the fact that, against pretty impressive odds, it’s worth making a try at doing one’s very best to “make it work” as an individual. Now, this will mean different things for different people. For some this affirmation will be about life itself, and finding meaning in the fact that we exist at all. This is part of the message of the Cardinal.robin

For others this will be about healing from early childhood traumas, so there may be more than one bird as a totem that will work with that person, depending on their age when the trauma occurred. For instance, if the trauma was the abuse of a parent who could not handle the stresses of child-rearing, The birds may range from red through to green, goldfinchinvolving  all of the early years of development from self, through community through how we relate to others, and whether we can even learn to love.  So that, perhaps a robin, with that beautiful orange breast heralding the spring, or a Goldfinch, the little yellow canary of the midwest, as well as the Cardinal may be part of the early healing that must take place. It is about at the age of four when the heart chakra develops, reference Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, and the bird of choice to use would be the hummingbird, whose medicine is love and hummingbird_3joy. The bluebird would do well for healing of the throat chakra, and look, we have another bird with an orange breast which would help with the healing of the self image. This is all about healing, and ibluebirdt is your choice as to whether you are easier meditating on butterflies or birds, or any other creature whose appearance and ways could lift your spirits and help you with the bumps and bruises of life.

There are so many ways to meditate and contemplate the songbirds, you can become a backyard birder, feeding them, providing safe housing for them, and learning the ways simply by observation. Along with this, borrow some bird identification books from the local library, or get an inexpensive one soindigo-bunting you can keep it by the appropriate window. The Peterson feild Guide is inexpensive at Amazon.com And a couple of the pictures here are linked to Whatbird.com, that is a marvelous online source for identifying birds until you can afford your own.

If you are not afraid to pick up a pencil and draw, even looking at a photo to draw the bird, as drawing itself is not unlike meditation, there comes a point prettymartinwhen one is, as in the vernacular, “in the zone”. If you are not an artist, then trace the bird, even artists use this method to get specifics right, and color it using a set of color pencils. If you excell at imaginary friends, talk to the bird in your imaginary “garden”, see if it answers you, though if it tells you negative things, run, don’t walk to the gate that leads out of that garden. Find an aviary near you and just go observe the birds, listen to them. Connect with them. You will find that if you adopt this as a hobby it will be healing even when you are not aiming toward healing, but just learning about the birds.

Su

The Barbarians ~

fur-coat-full-length-2a-009-w298What is a barbarian? What constitutes being civilized? When has the line been crossed so that all will see an act as barbaric? There really are no answers to those questions, because it is all  in the point of raccoon5view of the culture from which we come. The beautiful fur coat that you see here to the left, it’s raccoon fur. They are awfully cute little guys, and if you have ever watched them, they seem pretty self aware. They use tools, and can be considered pests just because of that. So, because they are inconveniently aware of their surroundings we kill them for their fur? Hm, the same argument could be used for killing humans. We must seem like pestilence to most of the animal kingdom.

I like leather. Most of the leather I use comes from bovine sources. So it is for most of America. We are red meat eaters. (I’m not much anymore,  not because I do not like the taste of it, but because I am a heart patient, and can only have red meat once a week, so stick with chicken and fish for most of my protein.) But, what of killing the cow that provided the leather and the meat? Did it “deserve” death? Was it killed in a compassionate manner? (that seems a strange question, but look at the kosher laws of the Ivrit, and you will see what I mean, and that can seem to be enlightened self interest, for if an animal is not afraid when it dies, the hormones of that response are not in the meat that will  be consumed by the humans killing it.)

storyteller-holymanThe Native American perspective has been one that seems rather civilized,( for being heathens). Yeah, remember that one of the Popes declared Native Americans to be soulless, therefore killable. GADS, what a horrible error in judgment. Lord, what fools we mortals be! Back to civilization: The Lakota Souix, from whom I learned a great deal about Native American perspectives, and remember that is just one tribe, not the entire back of Grandmother Turtle, taught me to thank Creator for any sacrifice made by any thing that had life before I use it. Now, that isn’t just animals, that’s plants as well, and rocks, which carry a slower more ponderous energy, but definitely carry energy of their own. And the question returns, just who is the barbarian, here?

Tricksters ~

corvid_frIs the “Devil” a real “person” or just a concept? Big question, many answers. I have some opinions, no answers, but will lovingly share my opinions with any who will listen. The raven, my birth totem, is one of the well known tricksters in Native American cosmology. There are others, better known, i.e. the spider, and Old Man coyote. Depending on your feelings regarding these creatures, you may consider their ways enlightening, entertaining, funny, or nastily devilish. My own Dad was a rather well known trickster among his friends, and when I first read the medicine of the coyote, recognized him immediately; Prankster, contrary teacher, sarcastic wit, devilishly playful.

That is, in fact one of the very definitions of trickster medicine to a NA holy person. This is the one who comes along and teaches you the lessons you need to learn the hard way, if you refuse to learn them by a neater, easier and cleaner road. I find the whole concept of the trickster teacher so much easier to accept than the silliness of the Devil that comes out of a people that teach that the “devil” is responsible for everything you don’t happen to find palatable.

Do I believe there is a form of absolute evil? Well, actually, I believe there is. I just do not flaminbelieve that the “Devil” made you or me do everything that we were not supposed to do. I am more responsible for my decisions than that. Even the very bad ones, and I have made more than my share of those. Actually, to me, pure evil is what is responsible for the awful accidents and horrible things that happen to good people anywhere in the world. It is mindless and without direction, striking where it will and randomly dealing with all and sundry, for good or ill.

The trickster is more personal, that is something that comes along to teach you, and seems quite evil to begin with, but brings some very good things with it when we learn from it. I also believe Creator is quite capable of bringing very good things out of instances that had no intent other than pure evil. We silly humans, who think that if we study something long enough can read the tea leaves and tell which or what just by the studying of it, generally cannot tell until one has allowed time to tell us by the fruit growing out of a situation whether it was a trickster or a devil that precipitated the incident.

coyotemoonSo, no, I don’t believe the devil made you do anything. If I understand the New Testament, the devil goes around toothless, and has no ability to bite you, only whisper in your ear. You can say no to the evil thing suggested if you will seek the help that is usually there, if you will look for it. So, unless illness has compromised your mind, there is the capacity to say no.

I know this is an unpopular notion, but, if you are old enough to know better, say, perhaps over 10 or 11, don’t blame your Mama, or your Papa, at least not to me. You are already old enough to know that what you are feeling or thinking isn’t how things ought to be, and therefore old enough to ask for help with those feelings. Yes, I think our parents do influence us for good or ill, and no, I don’t think we begin to really grow beyond their influence until we begin to lead a self examined life. Some don’t even begin that process until the age of 40 or so. But there is much that has been written to guide those who would seek such guidance, some of it quite simplistic enough to be read by a teenager that chooses to be obtuse or simply obstinate.

I do, therefore realize that, though one can know the difference between right and wrong at as early an age as 10, and therefore not do things one shouldn’t do. I suspect that one will not truly know how to reverse the early training until one is much older. The pity of that is that we have usually had our children and made our share of mistakes with them before we can even begin to realize what makes us tick, so we don’t pass along bad habits.

We should have been made in such a way that we didn’t start having babies until we were qq1sgmessydesk1thirty-ish, a sensible age all around, and we are therefore in our 40’s when they need the advice we might be mature enough to give. Oh well, it wasn’t until a few decades ago that one could expect to live long enough to see such maturity, so nature had to get us into the game before we were even remotely emotionally ready.

So, here we are, all muddled up, and without the ability to begin to straighten out the muddle until we figure out how to make it so that humans only procreate when they are ready mentally, not physically, we are probably a ways from that, thank Creator, for we have too many who would use that tool to propagate their own form of wickedness. So, as I said, lots of opinions, no answers.

The Vision Quest ~

bluelotusmandalaThis eight point symbol, or star, is used by the Lakota to signify the Morning Star, the Spirit from which each Lakota asks guidance for their life path. That is the purpose of a ceremony called the “Vision Quest”. Though it sounds a bit romantic, I would caution you that it is several days of fasting and praying on a hill, away from others, in rain or shine. The attitude of the Holy men of the tribe is that it is serious business, not a game. Yet, here is one of the reasons I have so much respect for my brothers and sisters that live this walk.

This is a query set before Spirit regarding each individual and the life that one person should lead in order to honor who they are as a child of the Universe. The query is not about what my neighbor should do, or my Pastor, wren_carolinabut about me, and what I should do. And it is not about conforming with the “crowd”. It is about learning to handle the person you are in a manner that honors Creator. If you are a person who carries, say, wren medicine, you are not expected to conduct your life in the same manner as one who carries badgerbadger medicine. Each of us, indeed carries more than one “medicine”, and some may carry both wren and badger. It is, in fact, the medicine combinations you carry, and how you choose to honor them that makes you into the unique individual before the tribe. A lot of folks raised in the European fashion, as in “Take what you can get and run!” (We are called the “fat-grabbers”, or Wasichu, when we behave in this way,) want to claim the big medicines, such as eagle and bear, and buffalo, rather than important but “quiet” medicines, such as wren or mouse. It truly is not about the “size” of the medicine you carry, it is about the way you carry your medicine.

One other thing, while we are discussing this particular concept, did you note the business hopemandalaabout the Morning Star, when I opened this post? There is a Christian hymn that speaks of Yeshua as being the bright and Morning Star. I believe that, and he most certainly is that to me. Not God incarnate, but the Morning Star, set in the sky to guide me, and all who will follow his teachings. You may call the Native American heathen, if you are that foolish, though I suspect you had best be careful, for it is the sin against the Holy Spirit that is the one that cannot be forgiven, and I think calling Native Americans anything but “brother” or “sister” in the faith, would make for just that kind of sin.

Trees ~

celtictreeol_greenI love the Tree of life, it is the symbol I choose most often to wear when attending a spiritual function. The reason for this is the existence of it’s presence in one permutation or another all over the world, so that, whether I am among Christians, Native Americans, Buddhists or Hindus, the TOL is an appropriate symbol. I have been guilty of wondering if the One more closely resembles a tree than anything else. I know, one is not supposed to put any form above any other, therefore worshiping it.

We humans are, unfortunately, guilty of worshiping the form we live in more profoundly than any other form, including money, with perpetual youth peddling as the form of worship we choose. But, if we look strictly at science, there is a profound and logical reason to elevate the tree as “The Form” to be worshiped. It is the tree that enables larger life forms, and those with larger brains, all of whom need a steady supply of oxygen, to  exist. Without the tree, or some other large form of O2 exchanger, we humans and all the large animals, like cows, would perish. It is because Spirit has no “form” on this plane and can adapt to the form it is indwelling that one is not to place any arbitrary form above all others.

I wonder, though, when the first “shaman” became aware of the fact that trees were life shaman-3givers. That when asking the “Universe” what gave us life, was told the “tree”, hence the vision of the Tree of Life. It makes you wish, doesn’t it, that we had developed Democracy many millenia ago? Yeah, I know that’s got to be a what? But, think about this, it is only in the light of democracy, in the peaceful transfer of power from one ruler to the next, and by the will of the people so governed, that there has even come about the possibility of objective facts, and that growth hasn’t been easy.

WE are 200 years into this experiment, and just now getting to the idea that G-d may be real enough to be recognized by great thinkers such as Albert Einstein, or Stephen Hawking, yet that same G-d probably isn’t inclined to want us to be so hung up on the “rules” of how to fill a glass of milk such that if some poor soul spills the milk they die. This does not mean that G-d wants us to be casual about spilling each other’s blood, quite to the contrary, it would seem that everywhere the intuitives have picked up on the Tree as a giver of Life, there has been a growing awareness that compassion toward each other, and indeed the other forms of life, is also called for.

news-graphics-2007-_441537aIt would have been so much easier for our great thinkers to have gathered about them all the bits and pieces of information they needed if we had not been so ruled by competitives, whether they be monarchs or invaders, that often as part of the new “regime” there was an erasing of any historic records saved by the ones before. In fact, the historians of the previous administrations were usually permanently removed, often from life, let alone power. Hence, I celebrate the Spirit of Democracy, and all forms of governing the “rest of us” that allows for an attempt at least, to find some sort of objective facts in the midst of all that happens, and I celebrate the Tree, from when the Oxygen we breath flows freely to let us enjoy even the concept of the vote.

Ladders ~

171712911_c4eec580a3The concept of the ladder of deeds by which one climbs to heaven is interesting to say the least. It never seems to occur to those who feel that one must climb this ladder that it is not a matter of how much you do, but how you do it that matters to the One.

I rejected the “Grace only” doctrine of the Church not because I do not see it’s merit, but because I do not believe that the doctrinal stance actually explains the concept clearly enough for adaptation into one’s practice as a believer.  However, to claim that a “deeds only” doctrine could get you home would be just as false. I personally believe that the door to heaven is through the Heart of the believer, and can only be opened from inside, i.e. attitudinally, not physically.

Yes, most certainly the deeds one does, even amounting to a smile when it is difficult to do heartwdoorso, are reflective of the heart that is right before G-d, deeds are still only a reflection. The reason for my attitude regarding the Grace stance of the church is that it most often leaves open this attitude that one can lead as selfish a life as one desires, and pray for forgiveness in the end and be allowed into the Gates no questions asked. Remember, it was Y’shua himself that said one must obey the commands for the Spirit of G-d to dwell with us and within us. But, then, I believe in reincarnation, and suspect that such a soul could be sincere, and will be sent back to test that sincerity the kindergarten_team_picnext time around, try two or three lifetimes doing that, and you get sent back to kindergarten.

One of my difficulties with the idea that it takes knowing Y’shua as the person Jesus of the Christian interpretation is that this perception takes on an “It’s not what you know or practice, it’s who ya know.” (attitude),  sorry, that’s an earthly and unpleasant concept at best. Not my cuppa tea, and if that’s what the One wants, I think I’d rather be in Hell for eternity, for Heaven is not heavenly if it has adopted that particularly earthy pattern of thought.

Meekness ~

1raspberryThis is another one of those fruits that Paul listed that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention. To my notion, first of all, this is not necessarily the willingness to stand still and be whipped, though that has been known to happen, it is by no means all that this concept entails. When I look at those who insist that they know G-d better than their brother, I look for a couple of things.

One of them is that a person filled with the love of the Holy Spirit will seldom insist they know G-d better than you, for there are only a few souls privy to the workings of your inner being, and they seldom have that kind of pride. The next thing I look at is whether they show the marks of having learned from the Holy Spirit. This will include Compassion, of course, but it will also include a sense of Joy, a strong peacefulness, and a willingness to learn from all other humans, and from all of their environs.

That doesn’t mean that I expect to see the kind of compassion shown by one as developed as HH Tenzin Gyatso, but it does mean I expect to see the buds of each of these holy fruits the_dalai_lamalargebeginning to appear, or that this person is in that stage of winnowing when Spirit first gets hold of us and starts clearing out the gunk we have a tendency to accrue in our lives. All of these things are included in the concept of teachability.

This is not something that is forced upon us from the outside of our souls, this is a working of Spirit deep within us that is, for lack of a better way to express it, a softening of our hearts. As we grow in the Spirit of Holy Love, we find we develop better ears, eyes, touch and taste, yes I know, you are going, WHAT?

But, most of the time, the Holy Spirit does not teach even those of us who do hear voices through that one capacity.  Much of the time, we are taught by hearing what others have to say; by the leaf that scuds across the road in front of us; and by the sharpening of our senses so that we begin to undedoveyrstand that though life doesn’t always make sense from our lowly point of view, life is always communicating with us if we are willing to take the time to pay attention. This talent for learning is something that seems to come with the touch of the Holy One.

This is why there are those who follow a path of discipline, such as one finds in Buddhism, which brings about this teachability, and there are those on other paths toward the Light that find that the teacher within is bringing about the lessons, sometimes all at once, and sometimes gently, one at a time. Each of us learning at the pace our own Spirit chooses from within, aka the touch of Spirit.

Following the light that you now have. ~

genielamp4Several years ago, in my youth, as it were, I read one of Taylor Caldwell’s books about Merlin, king Arthur’s mentor. He is depicted as having become a Christian, converting from Druidism, asked about this, he said that one must follow the greatest light that one posesses in one’s life, and that the Carpenter’s light was the greatest he had experienced.

That stuck with me and is still something I hold dear. I now know that there were several contrivances that surrounded the bringing of that light to those of us who came after, and I wish that those at Istanbul had not thought so much of themselves that they destroyed all the missals that did not agree with their theology. That quote seemed to me to be the most peaceful transition from that which is earliest to that which follows. I wish we humans were peaceful enough to make such transitions without bloodshed.

We are supposed to be intelligent, key word, “supposed”, but why do we need to be so violent when change is in the offing? Why, in fact, does any one faith require that it supercede another? Is there a point at which we can grow into maturity enough to realize that each of the major faiths, and several of the minors have their points of truth? I just a big-blue-marble-transparentfew days ago looked at Sikhism. I would have presumed that, since it is a warrior society there was no confluence between it and the peace loving faiths, yet I would have been totally wrong. Christianity calls on no one to be a warrior, at least not in Y’shua’s teachings, yet, it has for many years taken exactly that attitude toward life, and indeed, toward the winning of land and territory, (expecting the souls, when they are recognized as souls, to follow along in the credo), to even ponder that makes this soul shudder.

There is no human with the right to decide what other human carries a soul! There is no human or station among humans that has the right to choose which races will be recognized as human. All humans have the right to live free of bondage, pursuing each their own vision of happiness so long as the rights of others are not removed in that pursuit. All humans have the responsibility to live in a manner such that all other humans are given equal oppotunity for freedom and the pursuit of  happiness. That is simply being a good citizen.

But what about religion, or even the choice to believe or not believe with or without religious fervor? There are many who believe in God that do not profess one religion or sect above others. There are many who believe God exists, yet do not necessarily believe one way or the other about those who have been called the special sons of God. And, yes, though in Christianity we call that honor for Y’shua only there are others who have been called that all over the world.  Ganesha and ganesha_symbolism_1Osiris to name just two. Their followers believe just as whole-heartedly in their sonship as do Y’shua’s. Do such followers have the right to take the lives of those who do not follow the same path? I do not think so.

Look at the symbolism of the Ganesha for those who follow that path, this is a way of following the light. Sikhism is a path toward the light. Following the teachings of Y’shua is a path toward the light. Following the teachings of the Buddha is a path toward the light. If each and every human practiced one of these paths, or the many others that are presently available on this planet that I have never even discussed, I mean truly followed those teachings, and so lived in peace with all others, there would be no such thing as war, and no need to wish anything but good on our fellow travelers.

Gentleness ~

1145704domestic-cat-silver-tortoiseshell-kitten-with-silver-dwarf-lop-eared-rabbit-2Kittens and bunnies evoke sensations of cuddliness and gentleness for all who see them, now, if they are feral, that won’t be the case, but if they have been handled gently from birth, they will snuggle with whatever human holds them, generally. Paul, the “Apostle” counts gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit, and I would agree with him on the list, though I see that list as incomplete.

Gentleness, however, is seldom, if ever discussed because, for many, that sort of gentleness goes hand in hand with fear. {Mess with that kitten too much and find another little lesson in the weapons G-d gives the gentle.} Yet, most of the time, when I think of the gentleness of Spirit, I think of the Gentle Giant, the Bear, because gentleness is so much a part of her rearing of her cubs, but don’t mess with her, or the claws will tear you to ribbons.

So, having discussed momentarily that gentleness is not necessarily weakness, let’s look at what gentleness is. It isn’t always cuddly, but it is always respectful of space and of need. When you see true gentleness you see that the intent is not to overwhelm, but to allow a creature, whethergb_photogallery1_05 human or other, to feel safe, perhaps even taken care of in an unlimiting fashion. Security, then, is part of gentleness.

when you think of rabbits, you think of gentleness of spirit, in that it is difficult to even perceive of a rabbit being aggressive. Even when a gentle person needs to address something with you they will probably sit down in your presence and await your attention, perhaps “ahemming” in order to draw you toward them, but they are often discreet, no matter the instance. Hence the term Gentleman or Gentlewoman. So discretion is a part of gentleness. In fact, a person you think of as a gentle person is one you usually cannot envision being aggressive in any form.

vfp101_quiet_watersQuietness is also a part of gentleness. One seldom associates gentleness with a rock ‘n’  roll musician for just that reason. This does no mean that such a person may not be gentle off stage, but such would come as a surprise to even an observant person. In fact, because of the imagery of the 23rd Psalm, we think of quiet or still water in association with the Holy One. The vision many of past generations have had of Y’shua has been of a quiet, gentle holy man, softly speaking his truths to those who were willing to listen in little hillside groups, though you have to ask how the 10,000 he fed could have heard him if he was that softly spoken no matter what.

There is yet another thing quite easily associated with gentleness. That would be “rest”, as in the restful slumber of one who is healing from illness or wounds. One thinks of nurses in this role, as it is their job to carry out the healing physicians orders and keep the patient quiet and rested so body and mind can heal.

So gentleness then includes discretion,

security,

quietness,

safety,

respect,

mindfulness,

rest,

healing,

yes, one can say with little reservation that gentleness of spirit is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

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