Article of the month.....
This will be changed on the 1st of every month.
These are some of the articles I wrote over many years, which featured in the regular 'South West Connections' magazines. They are sadly no longer in production, but were a great help in getting me started with writing on a variety of spiritual subjects.
Here's the one for August......
A crow! Well, he was a bird! I am deeply ashamed to say I tried many times to dismiss him, he kept coming back, his caw became louder, more insistent and by the time he was sitting on the seat beside me, I quietly had to accept that for whatever reason he is me and I am him. I have since learnt not to question what we are given by Spirit, when it is not what we expect there is always a reason for it. I thanked him, eventually, for being with me and asked to know the reason for his presence. ‘The Laws of Spirit’ was what came clear to my mind and at that point he flew off. I retraced my journey back up to the middle world and back to this reality.
Journeys with my Power Animals
Photo from spirit animal.info
Image from Sunshine Spirit.co
Apart from freedom of spirit, he represents power through knowledge, which to me is of great importance. I learn, soaking up information and every experience my guides take me to, remembering many in sharp detail, and I know this is with the help of my horse. My old school teachers would despair! I can almost hear them saying:
‘Why couldn’t you learn and remember your school lessons this well?’
Image from Love Meditating
A thread of sound, looking like a wrinkled piece of pink embroidery silk, emerged from the whale and rose slowly to the ice above at the same time descending to the depths below. Within that thread was all the information of this planet, its history, its hopes, its civilisations and its future. I couldn’t access the details but seeing it put everything in my life back into perspective.
This beautiful Humpback Whale was painted by Patrick Gamble.
Suddenly the whale stopped and turned upright as if standing on his tail. There was no movement in the water around us as we ‘stood’ in absolute silence. I knew this was the magnetic pole.
I always wondered what my Power Animals would be. An eagle or a wolf perhaps? The two most commonly thought of as power animals. The eagle represents Great Spirit, all-seeing, all knowing, the wolf is the teacher, with great wisdom. How incredible it would be, I thought, to have these strengths and attributes to help me through life. I grew up with knowledge of our spirit guides and a strong family link to the Native American Indian nations, through a trance medium and family guide from the Algonquin tribe called White Feather who watched over us all.
I guessed I may have a bird of some sort as I frequently dreamed of flying and was fascinated by kestrels hovering over fields and hedgerows watching for the slightest movement. So my journey to the underworld to find my power animals was already set with expectations and preconceived ideas. Oh how naïve and foolish! How many times have I been told to beware of my expectations, they are what hold us back from seeing and accepting the truth. But my intent was true. I asked to connect to the animals who would walk beside me on my path through life, sharing their spirit with me. I knew that I would see several come and go throughout my journey, but those I saw three times and would stay, would be my own power animals.
Oh….. Not quite what I had in mind…. I turned to some books to find the symbolism of the crow - if he was my main power animal, I had better find out how we work together. I didn’t understand what had been meant by the ‘Laws of Spirit’ but I soon found out. Apparently the sacred tribal laws and spiritual laws were kept in the lodge of the eldest woman of the tribe, and they were watched over by the beady eyes of a crow. So the Spirit Laws keeper was referred to as the Crow Woman. She would be consulted if the Laws came into question. Now I look back, I realise I have always been the oldest in my groups of friends and whenever I am asked for advice it is now my crow who often contributes to the answer.
I am as often aware of the presence of crows in my physical life, as I am in my meditations. It is not just on shamanic journeys that my crow accompanies me. They were calling to me very loudly this morning whilst I was prevaricating about starting this article, and now one sits in my garden watching me through the window with first one eye, then the other, the sun is shining on his blue/green back and I am reminded of a wonderful story of the crow. I have a very good friend, Willow, who is committed to her shamanic path, also with a crow guide, who runs workshops called The Crow’s Journey. She told us that the crow was once a beautiful bird with colourful feathers and a remarkable singing voice. (Incidentally, crow is a songbird-look it up!) He was asked by Great Spirit to fly up through the black clouds that had blocked out the sun for a long time, to light a twig from the sun and bring it back so that fire could be lit, giving light and heat back to the world. On the way back down the lit twig burned all his feathers black and destroyed his vocal chords, ruining his voice, but the world was saved. It is now only in the sunlight that we can see some of the previous colours of his feathers.
I had been flying again. I was the crow. I landed uneasily on the hard bare ground, my right foot damaged and painful. I folded my wings back over my body and stretched my neck forward to balance my weight, shaking myself out of this difficult body, I stood up to my full height as a human being as a shiver went down my spine and I shrugged my shoulders settling back into my physical shape.
I was an old woman now and these journeys were becoming more tiring, especially since my foot was so badly injured, why did that have to transfer to whichever animal I joined?
“Grandmother, help me.”
I heard the familiar voice of young brave of our tribe; I knew of his dilemma, but I was in no mood to respond now.
“Please tell me what I should do, what will be right?”
I turned my back on him, my foot throbbed and this was not my favourite young man.
“You know well enough what to do.”
I threw the words over my shoulder as I hobbled away, thinking he would get the message, but he followed me, still asking. I felt the sigh rise from deep within me and my shoulders dropped as I released it.
“Grandmother you can commune with all the creatures, become them and see things others of us cannot, please give me your guidance.”
I sat heavily, and he helped my leg into a more comfortable position. ‘Well, at least he is always polite’, I thought, and as I looked into his eyes I knew his concern to do right was genuine.
“You must call on mouse to show you the path of each choice, to be discerning, to analyse what you see. She is clever and quick, she will guide you well to your answer. Remember it is not just about you. Every footstep you take on the Earth has an effect on the earth around, those effects ripple out into the Universe and echo back to you. It is the spiral dance of the grouse; does it spiral outward or inward? I see you have the jaguar already with you. You will not lose your dignity over this matter, hold your truth and honesty, and jaguar will hold your integrity intact. Call mountain lion to help you take control to put it all into action.”
“Thank you Grandmother.”
Was that a previous lifetime? Was I that grumpy old shape-shifter? Or was it just a lesson for me? I don’t know. I do know I have a weak right ankle.
I know I also have a dark chocolate brown horse as a totem animal, for my sense of freedom to roam other realms is frequently shared with my horse.
I can feel him sometimes breathing so close to me with impatience to get going on some new journey, and it is so easy to close my eyes, jump smoothly on to his bare back and we are off! Occasionally we have no purpose in mind and simply run or fly, free of the constraints of the physical life; those times are so energising but we also travel through the Universe sometimes with an object in mind. He takes me to places where I can stretch my understanding, learning as much from the journey itself as from the destination.
At a time when I was incredibly busy running a shop, healing and teaching centre, with little time for myself, I was joined in a meditation by a humpback whale who took me swimming through the vast oceans. I remember being so far from land in distance and depth that nothing else seemed to be part of this underwater world, the sounds were so different; it seemed as if I could understand all the other inhabitants here and felt a huge co-operation and unity. We were swimming north, something I just knew although the water got no colder, until I became aware of the ice sheets way above us. The sounds of other sea creatures changed in quality, echoes were felt rather than heard, it was a strange yet beautiful sensation.
At various times in our life many animals join us to lend their spirits, their attributes and we can feel them around us not just in the spiritual sense but in reality too. Whatever power animal you have with you, will be seen and recognised by others of its kind in the physical world. So if you find that cats or dogs, birds or bugs are particularly drawn to you, even if you may not be very fond of them, it is likely that one of their species is close to you in the spiritual realms. When I say I have a crow with me, I really mean I have the consciousness of all crows with me, and when they come into my garden we acknowledge one another, I thank them for their presence in my life. Having recently just finished writing a short story which featured a crow, I drove to my healing/treatment rooms, that I had in Wimborne, and a crow was sitting in my parking space. He didn’t move as I drove in, until I had thanked him for his presence in my story. He dipped his head before flying off, just as if he nodded! Look for signs from the animals that are around you, search for your own power animals, they can be the most rewarding partnerships.
Go with the love and good guidance of your Power Animals,