A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘Mother Earth’

Renewal ~

inipi002Each year, as the calendar moves gently but inexorably toward the spring, we begin to think of renewal, of the rebirth of the plants that blanket our lawns and gardens, of the rebirth of life on all levels, including our own.  I remember being taught that Christianity taught rebirth of the soul through Jesus Christ, and that no other faith taught any sort of rebirth. I still wonder if that pastor knew what he said was a lie, or if it was just ignorance.

The Native American means of renewal or rebirth is the sweat lodge, or inipi, in the Lakota language of the Souix.  During that ceremony one enters the womb of the mother (Earth) and via the ceremony and ones sincere prayers experiences a literal rebirth upon exit from the lodge. I have been through this ceremony more than once, and that is not an exaggeration. There are purification ceremonies among the Buddhists, and among nearly every group that aims toward better or higher living among it’s adherents. Through these ceremonies, one “washes away” the past and is born anew, to deal with life from a new chartres2perspective. It is very effective, and, at least among the Natives of North America, one can repeat the process later, when it is necessary.

Even in Christianity one can access a renewal when it is needed. This is via the labyrinth, whether you use the Chartre path or another, the prayerful, meditational walk through the steps of a labyrinth can give one new insight into one’s life. Even in the lives of those who do not follow particular ceremonies, but who experience a quintessential spirituality just in the living from one day to another, there is a sense of renewal that automatically comes with the spring.

It is in the release from the snow, which often keeps us indoors unless we are a winter sports person, from the new warmth in the air, from the new flowers that blossom all over the place, everything simply feels new. This sense of renewal can give us new purpose, or revive the purpose we knew before, it doesn’t matter, it’s so refreshing and so wonderful. No faith has a stranglehold on this feeling, or it’s purpose, Mother Nature is the authoress, even for those who do not believe there is such a thing as the Holy Spirit. Amazing! Absolutely amazing!

spring-flowers-1

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Shiny rocks ~

petrified-woodI have always adored shiny rocks. I collected them as a child. I remember my mother asking me one time what were all those boxes under my bed, and she made me pull them out so she could see them. I had a lovely collection of river stones and arrowheads and Indian beads. I thought they were fun to collect, and besides, if I had my floor all covered with stones right up to the springs, no monsters could stay there and scare me at night. Well, think about the logic, it worked, didn’t it? I didn’t see one monster while I had those rocks under my bed! She made me take them back outdoors. Pssst, I kept a few, and would trade them with my other stone rainbow_4opfriends back and forth. OK, so I was a little off-center, what else is new? Now, with all the New Age shops and all, I get to collect pretty rocks, and only look silly to the folks who label the NewAgers as kooks.

When I moved to Texas I only kept some of my stone friends. Most went back to the Mother Earth. I have a friend who paints river rocks, she does a nice job, and they look collectible when she gets them done. The Native Americans value the stone people as friends, and I think that is perhaps what drew me to the culture as much as my father’s ancestry.

I found a white holey stone once, and my teacher told me to keep that, because it meant that the river spirits liked me and would protect me. I still have that friend. I wear a jade pi now, a circle that represents heaven and earth.

“Jade held a special place in Chinese religion; a place accorded no other substance. It was the link between earth and Heaven, 2282the bridge from life to immortality. It was a conduit, a conductor, the embodiment of man’s highest thought, just touching upon the divine. In religious ceremonies the Emperor often used jade as we might a telephone, except that when he held up the jade Pi form and spoke through it he spoke to Heaven. And through jade, Heaven was said to send its blessings in return.”

Jade: Stone of Heaven, Richard Gump, 1962

Jade, then is a prayer stone, and I treasure it thusly. In fact, that has long been my connection with stones. I think of them as solid prayers. When I give a stone to someone as a gift, I will meditate on what to give and then find the stone that best suits their need in color and shape. Color being the key to the sense of prayer with each. I have no diamonds, as much because even an uncut one the size I would want is exorbitantly priced. I love the way a properly cut diamond shines the rainbow when the sun shines through it. My mother’s used to catch the sun and splay little bits of rainbow scattered all over the walls and furniture.

helioI didn’t feel quite so whacked when I found out as a teenager reading the Bible, that the breastplate of the high priest was a cage that bore twelve stones to signify the 12 tribes. I guess Hashem likes stones, too. Are they “spiritual?” I don’t know, but they work for me much the same as prayer beads work for others. I sometimes use the mantra, “Aum mani padme hum.” when I am meditating with my stone friends and thinking of the prayer needs of others. The “a” in aum stands for the manifest world, the “u” for the transitional world within ourselves where things are coming into being through our thoughts, and the “m” stands for the unmanifest world, so essentially the aum stands for the “All that Is”, the rest of the phrase is loosely translated as a request for enlightenment toward compassion for all living beings, and therefore very much a request for healing for those on my prayer list.

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