A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘wisdom’

Approval or Not ~

tuptdownWhen is it right action to approve or disapprove of an action or word? That is a pretty heavy question, and I am not sure I am going to be able to enlighten others as sometimes I, too, get confused on this one. Y’shua told us not to judge. He was adamant about it. So it is something we need to be aware of on a daily, minute by minute basis. Yet, every decision we make is a judgment of one kind or another, so what is it all about?

Personally, I feel that it has very much to do with the entanglement in others lives spoken of in the last post. When we mind the business of our neighbor so closely we know how many trips he made to the store yesterday, we are crossing his boundaries, a place we should not be. And the comment, “I don’t know why Harry or Sally have to go to the store so often, you’d think they’d make a list and get it all at once.”, Is just the kind of judgment Y’shua was talking about. The only time it’s our business when our neighbor is going or coming is if that very action is messing with our boundaries, i.e., they are making loud noises at 2 am and we are trying to sleep, or they are stomping around and slamming doors so the cake we are baking flops. In other words, if their actions are causing some part of our world to disintegrate is the only time what our neighbor does is any of our business.

This is a tough one, I know, as there are many messages out in the wide world that encourage us to snoop on our neighbors. True, I do not want drug parties in my neighborhood, and would want that sort of thing stopped. But, there again, that’s because something of that sort causes  my neighborhood to disintegrate, so it is my business. But, that’s justransparent-canoe-kayakt it, isn’t it? How far do you go in finding out if something is going on that will affect you, do you wait until it does? That may be too late.

For me, the answer has been to live so transparently there is no cause for others to spy on me. What they see is all there is, becuase I truly don’t try to hide things. I know that is not an answer for everyone, but that, too, is probably the result of people minding business not theirs. It does seem a shame that we cannot seem to mind our own boundaries and leave others in peace. It would be quite a different world if we could.

How totems work, at least for me ~

It seems best to start with Wagle Shun, my south totem teacher. I have felt her presence since I was a small child and will admit that it is her wisdom that has kept me from crashing on the rocks during the early part of my journey. Since she is the totem of the mystic, there is every reason to suspect that this is why I followed that path. Whenever I see one of those wonderful little figurines of her in a home I visit, I start asking the questions that will tell me if the person that collects them is one of her students. I start with her because her gentle guidance is available to everyone if she is who I believe her to be.

Proverbs is full of mention of her, most especially the eighth chapter. It is also full of mention of her opposite number, Folly, whose animal I am unsure of. I believe Wagle Shun is my teacher’s totem, and is most certainly the way she communicates with me. It is she who first taught me not to envy others the things that are theirs by birth, which, once I knew my birth totem was a good chuckle, since that is the raven, and a reminder of Aesop’s fables. Who knows, maybe I am folly and am finally allowing Wisdom to teach me. That would certainly be the way my life has gone, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it were at least an allegorical truth.

These two totems, along with the Snowy Owl and the butterfly have drawn me from early youth. I have had some strong lessons to learn from them. Note the amount of airy totems, which is where my head usually is and then it will be no surprise to you that I had to learn from another totem, one that had drawn me but I had not explored the lessons, the otter, how to stay grounded, balanced and playful. If you understand that the animals as the Native American sees them, are teachers, not G-ds, they can teach you also.

You can start out by looking at the animals that drew your attention in childhood, what were they trying to teach you? Even domestic animals have lessons to teach so do not discredit their influence in your life lessons. If you cannot remember being drawn to any wild ones, there is another, rather slightly off-beat way to learn about totems that have to do with you personally. Everyone is familiar with astrology, some believe in it, some don’t. That’s fine, I will not try to persuade you one way or the other, but it is a tool, should you choose to use it, that can lead you to the knowledge of at least four of the animals that will have been a fairly strong influence in your life.

First go to Alabe.com, look down the page to where you can pull a free birth chart. Enter your data there, save the chart on your computer, it will be a gif image, and save the write-up in a Word document, or other word processing software. (Open Office is free on the web and does all that Microsoft’s does without spending an arm and a leg.) When you have them on your own computer where you can study them, pick out the “houses” that are your birth sign (your character), your moon sign (your inner self), your rising sign (your outward projection for others to see) and the North Node, which will tell you where you are headed in your learning patterns.

After you have found the astrological “houses” involved for your birth, look at Sun Bear’s Dancing with the Wheel. It can be found at most Public Libraries if you cannot afford it, but is a wonderful book to have if you are interested in Native American cosmology at all, so I wouldn’t hesitate to spend the money if you have it. You will find the totems for those four “houses” in that workbook, and full explanations of the lessons those four animals have to teach you. It is not quite the same as having a “Medicine” teacher find your totems for you, but is a good way to start with learning about totems.

The 8th ~

8 ) The Song is always evolving. The only constant in the Universe is change.

Change is a dirty word to many people. This has always been so, even to the point that 13, the number for “cosmic” change, remains a signal of bad luck from a time when superstition ruled our daily existence. The only symbol for change that is not disliked at a subliminal level is the butterfly, which always signals beneficial and gentle change.

We humans are not likely to seek change, ever, and more likely to grab onto anything we can to bring even an illusion of stability, whether it be religion or money or another person. That becomes complicated by the fact that the human body is always changing from infancy to elder. We have an entire group of industries in cosmetics and plastic surgery to keep that nasty creature, change, from knocking at our door. We are to a point where our society decries wisdom, eschewing it’s benefits for the gloss of skin that will not tell that we are older.

Do we really think we can fool that fellow with the sythe? Apparently there are many willing to bet in that direction. I am not, I am betting that the old one with the sythe will catch me when it is time for me to cross over, and I will not run. I treasure the teachings of the old wise ones, from Lao Tse, to Einstein. We must be willing to grasp the changes and make them work for us if we wish to evolve into a people of maturity and wisdom. These are far more important, or should be, than the surgeries and cosmetics that fool each other if not the Reaper.

There are many forms of wisdom, all of them important, and saddest of all, perhaps, is that the great Lady Wisdom has promised to bless all who seek her. (see Proverbs). It is Divine Wisdom that is the object of search for mysticism, the path I follow. I believe it is she, Lady Wisdom, who has kept me on a good path and out of serious trouble for most of my life. This is not because of some great private gift that is mine alone, she promises to give to all who seek her, that is the truly wonderfly part about serving her, she is not an exclusivist in any way, if you want wisdom, it is yours, you need only seek it.

Our Universe is in a constant state of change, the only way to deal with that with grace is to gain the help of the Lady, and hold on, because you are in for the ride of your life.

Anger, there is help . . .

Dealing with my own anger issues has been one of the toughest problems, but one of the most important to accomplish. When I am incredibly angry, the “low” voices are at their strongest, and I can hear them most clearly. Their presence is uncomfortable in and of itself, and reason enough to find ways to deal with this very normal emotion.

For me, and apparently for all humans, intense anger blocks the flow of love. Now, that’s only logical, but, when you think about, and indeed consciously contemplate it, that would explain quite clearly why some one like me is particularly bothered by the angry blockage of that flow.

At the risk of sounding terribly esoteric, I will try to explain this as I understand it. Apparently, there is some sort of tear or opening in the “fabric” that protects the human entity from hearing the sounds, and seeing the events, that happen on subtler, less visible or audible layers of the universe. I wish I could put this in more scientific terms, but I am under the understanding that it has something to do with the bands of light and sound that are normally perceptible to the human eye and ear.

Now, I am not insisting that what I hear is the result of some sane and sober process, because it often feels just the opposite, and I am quick to discourage those who would willingly subject themselves to any “New Age” process that might open one to this sort of thing. Don’t do it, it’s not fun. Learning to live with it has been a harrowing process and I have made many, some disastrous, mistakes in the learning process!

Now, put that insight into practice in that this “window” or tear leaves me open to hearing “low” angry, nasty destructive voices. When I open myself, however, to love and release my own anger, the flow of the loving energy “blocks”, if you will, the sound of the “low” voices. This was one of the most important steps in my development, and happened under the minstering of “Charismatics”, which is why I will not label that way of life as evil. They did me much good. It is simply that, like all human perspectives, they are not perfect. Oooops, neither am I.

The next step in my learning, however, came from a Buddhist teacher who showed me the benefits of “letting go”, completely, of all attachment to outcomes. I will not say that I have been a resounding success at this, but most of the time I am able, sometimes with much prayer and meditation, to let go of my “right” to expect the results I want from what I do, or even from what others do. It is extremely helpful in that I get angry less often when I succeed at this, and am able to relax and let the flow of love keep the disturbing voices at bay.

It is here that the mantra, “Grant me the serenity, courage and wisdom . . .” has been of great service in my life. I am most grateful to AA for making their teachings public, and most grateful to Dr. Neibuhr for development of that prayer.

EDIT ~

12.3.2008, looking back to see what I had said, I find that I did not give the name of the Buddhist teacher whose worked helped me so much. Since his teaching is quite available to the public, that is unfair. Thich Nhat Hanh is his name, the book is Anger, Wisdom for Cooling the Flames. Excellent learning resource, and comes in CD as well.

Sacred Circles ~

I am fascinated by all sacred circles, not least because my query to a Lutheran minister teaching us Catechism got me ousted from the classes altogether. He was teaching that with God the time line has no beginning and no end. I asked if that, (a line with no beginning and no end,) wasn’t a circle? He was certain I was a witch (I was 12 at the time) and no longer wanted me around the others learning the ways of the church. It’s been a long trail from there to here. An artist friend of mine commented when I related that story to her that that was simply the artist’s perspective coming through.

But, he pretty well guaranteed that all symbolic circles would draw my attention for the rest of my life. Had he known I already heard voices at that time, I am certain he would have insisted on an exorcism right then and there (and Lutherans are not known for that sort of thing.) I didn’t have to deal with that for many years. To the left is a set of chakra wheels, showing sacred sounds that go with each chakra, as well as that chakra’s color when the person is in good balance. The circle on the right is a simple color wheel, used by artists when aligning colors for a project. So, yes, I work with circles all the time.

The circle has an ancient history and of course originates from the circles in nature, which are seldom perfect, but rather near circles. But, to ancient peoples began to symbolize the path one traveled while on the earth. Interesting that the indigenous people, in referencing so much of their lives with the path of the sun, had no difficulty imagining the earth as also round. Sort of makes you wonder at what point learning takes the place of logic, doesn’t it? And should it? We do seem to want to educate ourselves into uselessness, don’t we?

As I said, I am fascinated with the Sacred Circles, Stonehenge, and all other Sacred Hoops found all over the world. They are all wonderful signs of a world that observed the roundness of the sun and emulated it. I have in fact, wondered if the reason the Native Americans did not use wheels was that they felt them too sacred to use them as burden bearers? They were not slow to adapt to the use of horses, and when they were exposed to horses, they were exposed to the wheel. There are many things to learn from these sacred circles, and from the perspective of the indigenous peoples that designed them.

Caution! I am not a Native American teacher, I am a mixed blood who has had the extreme honor of learning at the feet of some wonderful teachers of their path. What I show and explain here is very much my own personal medicine wheel as I understand it, it is not to be taken as something you use as a measuring stick of someone else’s medicine wheel being right or wrong. That is the beauty of this path. I can be right, and they can be right, for it is a matter of personal truth. These pieces of personal truth then weave into the larger truth that is the people, but if one is listening to the song of Creator correctly, it will weave into a beautiful pattern. That is part of why I love this path so, and also part of why I want my readers to understand that this is my wheel, as I walk it, in order to learn your own wheel, I would send you to a Native Teacher to learn your path. 

The way of the Native American Medicine Wheel is not so much that of a religion as a way of life. It is a perspective of how life works, and is therefore compatible with any belief system that serves good and compassionate purpose.

As we walk the medicine wheel of our own lives, we find that there are seven sacred directions to be traveled.

East ◊As we are born into this journey, our first direction is the East. This is the place of new beginnings, it is “where” we receive instruction by learning to hear and see what Spirit is saying to us. Most with Eurobred religious backgrounds are sure, when they begin to hear Spirit for the first time that these are messages for the people. This is seldom the case. On this path, Spirit is generally working with individuals for their own well being. It is best to presume from the outset that this is how it is with you.

“There is but One Original Source, learn to heed the messages Spirit is bringing you. The messengers of Spirit are here to help you complete your walk.”

South ◊ This is the sacred direction of growth. It is here we grow in stature as well as understanding.

“Grow as the Willow that bends and moves in the wind but seldom breaks. Grow in Spirit, grow in Truth, grow in Love.”

West ◊ The West is the Sacred Direction in which we take on the mantle of responsibility for ourselves and for the tribe. It is when we have reached this point of growth in our sacred walk that messages from Spirit may have meaning for others as well as ourselves. It is the “place” where we learn what is right to do for ourselves and how not to embroil others in our own dysfunctions.

“Walk with a light step, walk with grace, walk with love.”

North ◊ The North is the place of the Wisdom of the Elders. This is where we learn to honor the wisdom of those who have walked the wheel of life before us. “Here” is where we learn to apply that wisdom, both for ourselves, and for others. This is the point where it is appropriate for us to begin to pass on the wisdom that we have learned as we have walked the wheel.

“Be ever mindful that what we do affects Mother Earth and all her children for seven generations hence.”

Above ◊ This is where we learn to honor Creator in everything we do and say. It is from this perspective that we learn that all of life is actually a prayer. Nothing we do or are is ever hidden, all will be revealed in the end, so the best thing we can do is live our lives by the light we now have, and hope for the best possible results.

“From the stars we came, to the stars we shall return.”

Below ◊ This is the “Place” in our lives where we learn how to maintain our grounding in this plane of reality. Those who are truly aware have a tendency, unless they put forth a great deal of effort, to “wander off” into mental or astral realms, and forget that part of our mission is to learn to be “here, now”. In learning to be present in the here & now, we will learn to cope with what we have been given.

“Walk in balance, remembering always that we are astral beings living in bodies made of clay.”

Within ◊ This is our sacred space. This is the place within us that we are to hold separate, where no one else is welcome except by invitation. It is here we learn to honor our own boundaries and those of others. It is here we learn to appreciate who we are and what we have been given. It is here we learn not to desire to be someone else, it is here we learn that all “things” are held in stewardship, nothing is ever truly “owned”, so, even the act of stealing without intent to repay is a defilement of our own sacred space.

“Honor your own truth and walk your path accordingly.”

Each of us has animal totems that go into those slots where I have shown stars, earth and a labyrinth. Those are your teachers, not someone else’s, and their identity should not be lightly shared. You will also have individual teachers to help you connect with the cardinal teachers, according to the teachings, if you really are interested, find a Native teacher to show you how to work with them, it is a fun and productive study, and you will know much more about yourself if you do this.

I hope I have been clear enough that you can see that this is a dynamic path, with learning and discovery as a part of it from beginning to end, not only acquiring more and more bits of information along the way, but then having the wisdom to use them properly as you acquire them. No, I will not pretend, any more than my teachers did, that there were not mistakes made among the Original People, but then, had those mistakes not happened, we’d have had to grow up in Europe or whereever our other ancestors were from. Nor will I pretend that those whom I have had the honor to learn from were not the same sort of flawed people the rest of us are. I wish it were not so, but, we humans tend to be quite capable of living for self as well as living for the good of all, it just happens.

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