I have recently returned from a vacation in Western Canada. While there we visited a town in in BC called Nelson.I loved Nelson. We were not there too long, but long enough to feel the place. There was a sense of wholesomeness in the air. Right away we happened upon two large natural food grocery stores, a vegan restaurant and a bakery with all kinds of special treats that would please even the most particular tastes buds. (gluten free, wheat free, organic everything etc..., and don't even think about buying bottled water) Yup, Seemed like a free thinking, anything goes, I don't wear deodorant or shave anything that grows naturally, "of course we have patchouli oil and black star diopside", kind of place. I would say "hippy" but I am not sure this is a word we use anymore.
Black Star Diopside. Beautiful. This is a stone I had never seen before that I was strongly drawn to while in one of Nelson's many unique shops and galleries. I learn now that this stone is related to the birthstone for March and this is a month that happens to have significant life changing meaning for me. I never really thought much about stones and the energy they carry until I participated in a Shamanic workshop and did a paired journey. (Not to get too side tracked, but in this instance you journey for someone else and they journey for you). The person I was paired with gave me a piece of crystal to hold during the process and while I saw no harm in holding onto it, I, having had no expectations, could not deny the power of the energy that ran through my hand and up my arm on the side where I held her crystal. Ever since that experience I have decided why not...why couldn't stones hold energy...of course they do. Hmm..too late, got side tracked didn't I?...Oh well... More about stones as I learn...
While I was standing near the amazing assortment of stones I spotted something I've wanted for a while. Power Animal Oracle Cards. I abandoned the stones (leaving them to a customer who said she felt moved to bless them as she was a stone practitioner) to explore the spiritual cards section. I could have stayed in this store for hours. I may have.
Yes, I liked very much being in a town where I overheard things like "I'm going to bless these stones".
Took me a moment to choose a pack (yes, I even had choices) but I settled on one and a few other things before leaving. For a while I left them untouched, just placed them near (but not on yet) my altar (yes I have an altar) but I finally took them out and gave them the attention they deserved. It is a Shamanic belief that Animal Spirits can help guide us, the cards are just a tool to get in tune with your intuition. Either way, I was delighted to find them.
So...after we got back I consecrated my cards taking a few deep breaths, Said a prayer to the Great Spirit and then breathed the prayer into my fanned out cards, which I held close to my heart. Then I thought of a question Which I said out loud.
Now I know this all sounds a little witchy right? You know, to talk to the "Great Spirit" and all, but before you judge...think about commonly accepted Christian beliefs about that other great spirit and really its not much different. Some flip through the bible to find a scripture that inspires or helps them, and that is also a beautiful thing. Think about silent prayers you may have said yourself.
I pulled three cards. SNAKE, RAVEN, And SALMON. I lay them out as per the instructions I read earlier focusing on my intention and my question.
RAVEN and SALMON cards were upside down. I remembered that upside down cards mean you are blocked in that area and that if you pull the RAVEN card that the meaning or significance of the card next to it is magnified.
Snake is for healing and represents the past (immediate or distant) ...got that one down pat...but RAVEN (who represents magic or power) was blocked and SALMON (who represents determination...knowing what you have to do...having what you need to accomplish it) was also blocked. Had a brief moment of panic thinking...gawd...My power is BLOCKED. Took a breath, thought about it and realized a blocked card is no reason to panic...just an indication of what to work on...and i do know what I need to do...and I do have what I need to do it. Just need to channel my power. Ask RAVEN for help...turn her right side up damn it!
It was all new to me, but it did lead to some level clarity and for me, that's what counts.
Before I put my cards away I considered taking a pic of my card spread for my blog, but decided that didn't feel so right. Instead the next day I took a pic of the box they came in.
Now the cards rest on my altar.
I am glad we went to Nelson. The drive was majestic and what a place to discover a stone I love and to obtain my cards. A place with water and mountains and fresh air, good food and nice people.
Dreams are strange. I've had some doozies in my day. This morning I abruptly awoke from a dream in which my friend's little girl was falling from a forth floor balcony onto the pavement. When I got to her she was sitting on a cement block laughing and playing with a tiny bird.
In my frantic state I approached her. She was laughing and teasing me showing me the bird, her new friend. There was an understanding, you know how dreams are, that the bird helped softened her fall, helped her fly. Then the bird flew away after looking right at me. The little girl assured me it was time for the bird to fly away. I'm sure this dream has meaning. In real life this little girl is quite a free spirit, full of silliness and sweetness. I love her. This is a dream that will be with me for a while.
Once I took a Dreams as Muse for writing workshop with Beth Janzen. It was helpful in possibly pinpointing personal meaning and then using it to write. I should go back and use some of the tools I learned figure out possible meaning.
I've had a few dreams that have stayed with me. One in particular from about twenty years ago. Still vivid, still makes no sense. I've never been able to figure it out even though with some contemplation I usually can make my dreams make sense if necessary. The dream I'm talking about here involved my mother flying (wingless...hmmm maybe she was floating) down the street naked. That's not the weird part. She was giving birth to little hippos, kind of fun little characters, but they were made from blueberries. I just observed from my childhood bedroom window.
Yeah so in that dream I suppose I could imagine that the blueberries represented a favorite childhood dish that my mother made, (blueberry duff) but the hippo thing, well, a mystery still.
In the workshop that I referred, you were asked to come with a couple of dreams written down, and then you broke them down, eventually picking aspects thatstick out in your mind. By the end of several different forms of break down and re framing of things you have a poem, or a story, or even an entire fairy tale as was the case by the end of Beth’s workshop. It was an amazing workshop really. Helped me figure out the reason my seemingly insignificant elementary school teacher keeps popping up in my writing and in dreams.
Sometimes I wonder if dreams are some kind of special power we have within ourselves, to figure things out. I have considered also the possibility that dreams are experiences from past lives. Nah…well, maybe. I don’t rule anything out. Perhaps dreams are just unfinished thoughts from our day, but then why do they have to take on such strange forms? People appear as other people, yet you know for example that your sister in your dream was actually your brother.
The same day I had a dream about my friend’s daughter They happened to visit me that night and as the little girl ran and played I had a familiar feeling from my dream as she climbed up onto the back of the couch asking her mother to catch her ask she jumped off, I standing on the opposite side in case she fell. Then, my friend who I had told about my vivid dream asked me if I had heard the report on CBC radio about the 3 year old who fell off a balcony. She tells me it was on the previous afternoon. I had not heard it…or did I ? I remembered I had the radio on in the background as I prepared dinner and cleaned. Not such a weird dream after all I guess...but it does not explain giving birth to hippos made from blueberries.
Well, Last week I decided it was time, that it had to happen. There was definitely a sense of urgency as I lugged the trimmer and the 6 foot ladder out of the shed. It had been raining so much and I was planning on going on a trip, so I had to take full advantage of this rare dry, and warm evening. Yes,I finally trimmed the yews. Quite a satisfying job really. Although this is only my second time having done it, I feel it went very well. I trimmed a lot, filled the entire compost bin. They were getting so big and had countless branches of various shapes and sizes erratically growing from all angles. Once I got over the part where I imagined it must feel somewhat like this (albeit slightly more psycho) to kill a newborn. That is to say once I got past the cutting off of the fresh newly formed bright green branches, I was fine. I was not quite Edward Scissor hands mind you, but I must say I did do a pretty good job on giving them some shape, and as I living thing I feel they looked as if a burden had been lifted from them, like they could breathe better. Not so tangled up, not so much responsibility. They thanked me. I thanked them.