Month: May 2017
New Wave of a Birthday
It is one thing to celebrate one’s birthday with parties, balloons, presents, and gifts presented by loved ones.
But what about the loved ones with no voice?
The Earth doesn’t have a voice that we can hear with our physical senses. To me, it’s something that I feel, and I usually feel this union in my heart. Whenever I look up at the sky when it’s thunder storming, whenever I look at the ocean, or when I’m in the woods listening to the wildlife around me… I don’t necessarily hear a voice, but I feel a deep thrum in the pit of my belly. Sometimes I hear an invisible song that brings me deep joy and peace. From this deep gratitude that I feel, I wish to give back on the anniversary of my birth.
I have been named strange more times than I can count in the 3 decades I’ve been alive. And this is something that I am completely okay with. I actively choose not to participate in the gift giving habit this year, and I am hoping that those who know me well enough to want to gift me a present will do the same. As many know, I care deeply about the Earth, and the astonishing atrocities that are being committed now are things that would leave me in tears for hours if I slowed down enough to process all of it. Instead, I do what I can, pick up trash when on hikes, have vowed to take shorter showers, and have helped with recycling programs/dig through trash both at home and at work to help clean/support Mother Earth. This year, I don’t want my birthday to be just about me – I want it to be a celebration of life in general. Honoring the Earth and being in gratitude for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat are simple pleasures many take for granted.
The Standing Rock movement was something that helped enlighten a lot of people to the dependency that we have on oil, and we have marinated again and again in spiritual awakenings. More people are becoming aware that the way we are living now is not sustainable. For example, the Dakota Access Pipeline that was promised not to leak began leaking even before it was complete, and now has leaked twice after being officially “open”. I, of course, encourage you to do your own research and fact check. There are plenty of articles available on this subject matter.
But this brings out the point that we can’t focus all of our energy into what is not working. We can, however, focus on things that are working. There is an epidemic of trash for many reasons such as human nature (read laziness), privileged people and the overflowing landfills all across the world. Humans are constantly consuming and creating more refuse that is affecting our wildlife. One of the biggest results is the accumulation of “Garbage Patches”, where there is a concentration of trash due to debris falling off ships, or careless tourists that end up forgetting their trash on the beach and it washes away. Plastics comprise about 80-90% of this. There’s an interesting thing about some plastics – that they never really “degrade”. They actually just break down into smaller and smaller pieces, hence causing mass deaths. Thankfully, a lot of awareness has been brought up in this regard, and there are many efforts to try and clean our oceans of plastics, as well as to help create happier environments for our marine life.
This year for my birthday, I want to be able to support causes that I know where the money won’t go into corporate hands and actually make a difference in this world. This bracelet really spoke to me, because this bracelet is made from 100% recycled material. The beads are recycled from glass bottles, and the thread is recycled from plastic bottles/bags. This company named 4Ocean is putting out there that for every purchase of a bracelet, one (1) lb. of trash is cleaned from the ocean. You can watch this video for a brief introduction to it.
This really spoke to me and my heart, because I’ve been a big fan of the ocean for a long time. Whenever I hike, I make sure to bring a garbage bag with me so I can pick up the litter. I also find that somehow getting a memento from others picking up the trash and being able to do something with it, is like a reflection and friendly reminder of the times I’ve already done it. And it gives me hope when I see my son doing the same, and helping me pick up the trash on his own, instead of me having to ask. I hope that this trend of good stewardship for the planet keeps picking up, and I wish to invest my energy into something that means a lot to me. And if you were thinking of giving me a present, please consider donating to this instead, and sending me a nice message saying that you got a bracelet and helped pick up one (1) lb. of trash from the ocean. And even if you weren’t and happened to stumble across this post – then please, to help fulfill my birthday wish, consider donating money to this wonderful cause.
As an added bonus, if you do happen to get a bracelet and send me an email, I’ll be more than happy to send you a blessing over the phone to activate your recycled bracelet. It will be a short diagnostic journey and then a personalized blessing. If you are not familiar with Shamanic Journeying, here is your chance to test out the results of it! If anything, you get a bracelet which helped clean up a pound of trash from the ocean. I would love more stuff like this to be a thing of inspiration, so many people can see what harm is being done to the world around us. And may this short little blessing be enough to help reverse what harm has been done, in what little way it can.
Every effort of the heart matters. When something moves you in the heart, please do something great or small that is a reflection of how you are moved in this world. And performing a blessing into that bracelet for you is the least I can do.
My birthday is coming up on June 8th 🙂 Please send me some emails! The blessing promotion will continue for the whole month of June.
Month of May 2017
Wow, April blew by fast. So fast that I posted this schedule late! I had a wonderful Beltane with many lovely people in the community, and I’m blessed and so grateful for this Summer to begin! As with many Summers, it will be a time of full outward expression – so it’s helpful that the journey topic for this month is Fire.
For the past couple of months, we have been working with elements in the journey group outline. Now we continue that journey with fire! The rest will be as follows on this big medicine wheel we will be taking a dive into 😉
- Main Post: Purity and the Elements – Exploring the four element system, what it means, and the inter-connectedness/inter-related aspects of it all
- February and March: Earth – getting the grounding, boundaries, and centering under wraps. This is a crucial part to understanding the element of earth
- April: Element of Air – Exploring the mental wisdom body and how to bring about the clarity of the mind
- May: Element of Fire – Exploring the spiritual wisdom body and how we can use passion to fuel our drive in the world
- June: Element of Water (post coming soon) – Exploring the emotional wisdom body and how we can use our emotions as a useful processing tool instead of drowning or being numbed by them.
Along with the basic journey group meetups, there is also a Shamanic Journeying Basics class on May 13th, as well as an Animal Medicine class on May 16th. Hooray for fun events this month!
Eagle Therapies Events Calendar:
May 9th – Heart Centered Sound Circle. Has been moved to a Tuesday due to Mothers day being on the following Sunday and I was away at a Festival the first weekend in May (which threw me off schedule in getting things posted on time).
May 11th – Shamanic Journey Group: Topic of Fire – What is fire and how does it relate to us? What does interconnection and our spiritual health have to do with our overall holistic wellness? Explore these questions and more at this weeks Journey Group.
May 12th – Drum Circle in Fairfax – For those that want a more “laid back” and just “old fashioned” drum circle, come try out the Fairfax Drum circle! Typically done on the first Friday of every month, but moved to the Second Friday due to scheduling conflicts.
May 13th – Monthly Shamanic Journeying Basics: The Bare Bones – Beginners introduction to Shamanic Journeying, or a refresher course for someone that is experienced with journeying but wants a different perspective. For more advanced journeyers, feel free to show up around 6:00pm for an hour long “Shamanic Journeying” expanded version (since we squeeze the journeying itself into a 30 minute time window).
May 16th – Animal Medicine – For those interested in finding out what their Power Animal is, or for those interested in having a straight forward guide. Already have a guide? Sometimes we just need to look at nature and listen to the messages we receive in order to begin to understand what they mean. Find out what your strongest connection to nature is in this workshop.
May 25th – Shamanic Journey Group: Topic of Fire – What happens when we have false passions that drive us to the brink of madness? Sometimes people can have addictions that fuel them to do things they would rather not do – but they end up doing them anyway without really realizing the harm or the damage they cause. Today we will cover the topic of a “Wildfire” and how this chaos can either be extremely beneficial and clearing, or how it can “burn bridges” before we are really ready to take that next leap.
Thanks everyone! For a copy of this months newsletter, please click this link so you can find out what else is going on in the area. If you guys have any questions or concerns, please feel free to text/call 571.306.3197, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire and Passion
If you have found this page, there is no coincidence that you are on a path of self discovery. Even if that wasn’t your intention, you somehow still wound up finding this page. This post directly deals with the Fire as an element, and how we can journey to find out the depth of our relationship with this element. It can be a direct reflection upon us and how we function in this world. We will be going through these journeying topics at the Shamanic Journey Group of Fairfax, however this can also be a “follow along at home” directional for those that wish to take this slowly and in a step-by-step process.
I shall update the table of contents as the blog posts get written.
Table of contents:
Purity and the Elements – Main post, Introduction to four element system and why
Earth – Representation of our Physical Body
Air – Representation of our Mental Body
Fire (this post)
Water (coming soon)
Fire is one of those elements that requires the right balance in order to burn in a way that is healthy. Previously in other blog posts, we have discussed that Earth represents our physical body, Air represents our mental body, water represents our emotional body, and fire is the pivot point of all of these elements – representing our spiritual body. Our Western Contemporary culture doesn’t value (or in the past has not valued) our spiritual body. We do things that go against our integrity all the time: not fully being “present” and in the moment, falling back on what we said we were going to do, not being realistic about our expectations and overestimating the energy that we have left before we commit to a task, etc. In order for our metaphorical fire to burn well, the other three elements have to be in balance.
Let’s start at the base. Imagine your place of power, or the place you have visited with your guides before. Go back to that same place to see you relationship with these elements and be open to the images that pop up. If our metaphorical “ground” is too shaky, porous, or wet, and it not well formulated – is that a good place to build a fire? Is it wise to build a fire on top of a whole bunch of dry grass? Here is where I introduce the concept of judgement, because I know this has come up in previous journeys. When viewing our metaphors, we must not ask is “Is this wrong or right?” because that puts us in a mind frame of judgement. If we label something as “Good” or “Bad”, then we will automatically categorize things into polar opposites for us. Maybe having something a particular way can be beneficial, but we can’t see the value of it until we appreciate it later. Sometimes the biggest miracle is God’s unanswered prayers. Perhaps someone does need to build a fire on top of dry grass, because that dry grass represents a lot of the “burnt out” challenges they have had in their life and they need to clear it all out. Yes, it turns into a fire storm, and that can be chaotic for a time – but perhaps that drained state once the fire burns out is exactly what they need to be receptive for the next lesson. Sometimes we need to be under pressure before we can grow. For example, conifers are a type of tree where fire is vital in their life cycle. The seeds cannot germinate unless they have been cracked open by fire. Everything has its learning opportunity, and learning to ask the right questions of Spirit is key to understanding ourselves and how we operate.
Now to deepen this metaphor. If we go back to our earth element in the form of wood instead of just the ground, we can equate the wood to our materials for consumption. Do we have too much wood? Do we not have enough wood? The wood can represent what we use to feed/nourish ourselves. If we don’t feed or nourish ourselves properly, then how can we have enough physical stamina to burn the wood? If we happen to sleep really well, eat right, and then wake up with a full stack of logs to burn, do we have a tendency to set everything on fire at once? Usually what that looks like in physical reality is the person getting really super excited about an idea, then they proceed to go forward with many different tasks, throwing all of their logs on their fire and expending all of their energy at once. Before they know it, after they get through half their day, their energy is depleted and they are dragging by the end of the day. The question is not “Is this method wrong or right” but “Does this method serve me?” or “Is this a healthy way for me to expend my energy”.
If our mental state is out of balance, perhaps we might have too much wind to add to our metaphor. If there is too much air (too many thoughts circulating), then sometimes our fire can burn out of control and we can run out of fuel (wood) faster then what we normally would. Because of this excitement of ideas, we can burn through our resources so quickly that we still become drained. Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum, if we don’t have enough wind, our metaphorical status could be “stagnant” and it could be hard for us to burn anything at all, because there is a lack of air. This lack of air could be a feeling of hopelessness, dread, or depression that we can’t seem to kick ourselves out of. If we happen to fall into this category, then some questions we could ask ourselves are: “What is my right relationship with my mental wisdom body, and how does it affect my element of fire?”; “Show me how quickly I burn through my resources when I become too over excited about my ideas”; “What is right relationship with my mental wisdom body, and how can I stimulate/calm it down?”
If our emotional wisdom body is out of balance, then our metaphorical scene could either be too wet, or not damp enough. If the air is thick and humid, then it could definitely be hard to start a fire because of how wet/saturated the wood is. If there is little to no emotion at all, then it could be too dry – and again, our resources get burned quicker then what we can throw on our fire. Most people in our society have a hard time with our emotional wisdom body, because we either suppress our emotions (because boys aren’t supposed to cry, or crying is seen as a weakness) or we over indulge in emotions (those prone to gossip or drama and feed off of it). It’s hard to find balance within ourselves, but again, we see how this very vital wisdom body can influence our element of fire. If we consider ourselves to be “sensitive” and feel more than some other people, then sometimes some protection against another person emotions could be the key. Perhaps someone is “raining on your parade”, and you find yourself drained and can’t build your fire after interacting with a certain type of person. What that can look like, is someone with a lot of ambition, but then after talking with someone, can become really disheartened because that person does not believe in them or their dreams. Sometimes filtering out these people that weigh you down is the type of protection you need to help protect your fire. Great questions sometimes come from this, “What is the right environment for my fire to thrive?”; “Show me how my emotional wisdom body affects my spiritual wisdom body”; “Show me the type of protection I might need to protect my fire, and how my fire gets influenced by others”
All of these things factor into our relationship with Spirit. If we are imbalanced in any of those three areas, it could be hard to keep our energy going. Fire typically represents our passion, our influence, and what drives us in life. If we feel like we have no passion, if we lack creativity, or we stop short – then what are you doing to feed your fire properly? This is a direct reflection to ones spirituality. Our sense of purpose and what drives us is directly enhanced by our relationship with our spirituality. If taken into context, we begin to see that many people can be out of balance with their spirituality, because all of these things are connected and inter-related. The point is not to have a fire that burns too terribly brightly, or out of balance with all the other elements, because too much “fire” can lead to arrogance, aggression, and ambition. How many times have you been bull dozed by someone with a fierce determination without a lack of care for who stands in their way? There is a such thing as too much fire. If we have too little fire, do we feel stuck, depleted, or feel like we are lacking a sense of purpose?
Fire is perfect for those who feel like they have too much on their plate. One of the best things about the element of fire, is that is serves the purpose of purifying, as well as bringing the gift of instant transformation. It is a universal law that energy cannot be either destroyed nor created. So what happens if you’ve got a lot of baggage? If you learn to utilize and work with these elements properly, we can begin to reflect on some of the things we’ve got going on in our life, and bring it to the fire so we can transform our thoughts/perspective, and then “let go” of anything else that doesn’t fit.
I will bring up a few patterns I see most common these days, that are standing in ones way to accessing their full potential of their spiritual wisdom body. One is that people are using life as an excuse not to get spiritual. Many people say, “Oh, I don’t have time to meditate” or “Yeah, I’m a really stressed out person, and I know I should do something for stress relief” and don’t take into account their spiritual health as well as their mental, emotional, and physical health. On the opposite end, I have seen many people take on meditations of “letting it go” and clearing the stress of the moment, but don’t into account why those stresses pop up in the first place or why it triggers them into an emotional/reactive state. If a person is constantly “letting go” and not diving down to why something is making them upset, it is termed a “spiritual bypass” so then they don’t really get down to the core of what makes them upset. Both can be an abuse of our spiritual wisdom body, and can lead to a superficial relationship with our own spirituality.
Many people can be in many different aspects of these relationships, the main point to draw out of this blog post, is what state are YOU in? This is not a linear path where you can “follow these steps and get this result”, but this is part of a guideline that is more holistic in application, and how you can pick up the pieces to strengthen the weak aspects.
Some questions we can ask our guides in regards to our relationship with fire are:
- What things am I refusing to acknowledge at this point?
- What are the challenges blocking me from accessing the full potential of my spirituality?
- What things can I transform within myself to establish a deeper relationship with my spiritual wisdom body?
- What things are standing in my way between me and living my life’s purpose?
As with any archetype, the shadow of fire is the wildfire (if you are confused at what the shadow is and what it represents, scroll down to the bottom of the earth post). The wildfire comes when we become too arrogant, sit on top of our high horse, and put all of our eggs in one basket. A more common expression of the wildfire is when our emotional wisdom body runs out of control, and the archetype of the “Wounded Child” drives the bus. Some people may or may not be familiar about it, but I tend to have a pretty unpopular view of the “Wounded Child”. What this usually looks like is someone who is fired by jealousy or their repressed emotions, and does something out of spite. They become “alive” and “on fire” because they feel like they need to get back at a person, or a group. Another thing is that we could have false passions that can drive us. Sometimes our addictions can fuel our motivations in the world, and we can become feverish to fulfill these desires we have. The wildfire is an example of chaos that can be used to drive us either into a state of madness where we destructively burn things without meaning to, or we can use it constructively in a way where we set forth fire in a way that allows for clear, concise break down so we can emerge as seedlings of a conifer that has been through the flame. The earth is generally extremely fertile after a fire, depending on what was burned. Could this be a new beginning for you that you can be proud of? Or is the wildfire a result of your repressed/unresolved issues that you continue to project on your surrounding situation? All of these are good questions to ask.
If you are an auditory person and would like an alternative way to listen to some of these ideas, feel free to listen to this podcast by Christina Pratt and Why Shamanism Now.
Other valuable links:
Journey Track Outline – Lost and need a refresher? Go back to the basics before moving forward
Purity and the Elements – Need a reminder on the element system and how these all play together?
Earth – Representation of our Physical Body
Air – Representation of our Mental Body