It feels as though I have been away from WP for a long time – Hello again, it is nice to be back here! The truth is, I have wanted to write for a long time – I have had thoughts buzzing around my head, but the idea of sitting and writing them into a cohesive piece seemed like too much effort. Winter took a real toll on me, with low energy and mood, and I quite literally ‘withdrew back down to my roots’. Then, with the turning of the year into 2014, FLIP! – It was like a switch being flicked in my head.. suddenly, for no apparent reason, I found more energy, I felt inspired, plans formulating in my mind, my heart opened…. all through no conscious effort, no decision, no doing on my part. It was like a natural biological happening. I am happy and thankful this, and it is odd, as we are still in Winter… and yet psychologically it feels like Spring to me. Perhaps it is the idea of a whole New Year ahead of me, fresh, new beginnings to play with and time enough to make them happen… perhaps it is the time passed since the Soltice, the drawing away of the dark nights and the Sun is calling, “I am coming! I am on my way!” As a Pagan & one sensitively attuned to the rhythm and beat of each season, and one who did indeed celebrate and honour the Solstice, I can well believe this could, indeed, be the case.
2014…. ah, I welcome you! So far every day – every day – has been calm, easy-going, free of stress, and, wonder of wonders, plenty of time. Having ‘enough time’ has been something I have struggled with. I have felt I am always rushing, always struggling to stay on top of things, always worrying about time, time, time… and suddenly, here I am, with apparently more than enough to get things done. Relaxed – that is the word for 2014! I am, mentally, spiritually, physically relaxed. Where has this extra time come from? Nothing has changed in my life since the end of 2013! I do not know, but I am very, very thankful. I feel like I am in a warm slip-stream, flowing with effortless ease.
To emphasise the fact that 2014 is a good year, I have had some physical manifestations of goodness: a friend of mine whom I have given Reiki to, and who was having a very tough time indeed, told me that shortly after the Reiki session that her whole situation turned around and her life transformed. I was so happy for her, and happy that I was a part of that process. This was a good sign of things to come!
Also, I finally finally found it – My Silver Star bracelet, as ‘given’ to me in a vision by Araianrhod. It is not exactly as I saw in my vision, but close enough – plus I found it on a street stall in my own city, rather than online or in a chain store, which feels much more meaningful. That I have found this bracelet means a great deal to me, it feels like the completion of an important task, and a step forward… to what next, I do not yet know, but I am ready and willing to see!
Another special item that I have acquired is this beautiful piece, which was a christmas present from Neometheus. It is flexible material and can be worn on the wrist or the upper arm. The Serpent, gold and green, has several connections and meanings for me, and I would love to be wearing this all the time, though alas it is not practical. The gold-and-green colouring is physically akin to my own Snake animal Totem. The piece reminds me and feels like a connection with my Celtic (Spiritual) ancestors, a people I have long regarded with awe and inspiration. So to gain two pieces of meaningful jewellry at the start of the year is a special and significant thing for me.
I have plans that I want to initate for my Reiki business, I want to further develop my Spiritual/Shamanic progress and knowledge, other projects to begin… ah, so many wonderful things to do and plan and learn and become! Yes, I think, I hope, I believe that 2014 is going to be a very good year!
I have another blog article lined up, thanks to a question from a fellow blogger and dear friend, Linda at Litebeing Chronicles, regarding the essence and fundamental meaning of Guardian/Spirit/Totem animal guides. I have always simply taken for granted their Being-ness and help, but I have never sat down and thought about the logisitics and reasons for their presence. Linda has raised an excellent question, that I am currently in the process of thinking carefully about, to put into a cohesive and understandable explanation. Hopefully I will be able to publish this soon.
I hope your 2014 has started well, your comments and queries are always & as ever, welcome. And, in the meantime, just in case it may be of interest to you, I shall leave you with this….
What a week or two this has been! Intense emotions and thoughts, reconnecting the past with the present, and bringing new things into my life too!
A short while ago, I began to feel really irritable, for no apparent reason. It wasn’t a moment of irritation – this was a full-blown continuing-for-days irritation, and it was aimed at everything. Myself, the family, the inane conversations of passing strangers, manners – or lack-of – of strangers, t.v. Adverts, inane t.v. Programmes… everything. Where did it come from? Why did it suddenly appear? I thought I’d solved this problem when I quit my job and started my Reiki practice!
I came up with several possibilities for this sudden irritation:
The meds are still having an effect on my system, despite having taken myself off them 6/8 weeks ago – I just stopped taking them because, quite frankly, I didn’t want them anymore – but I didn’t realise that you are not supposed to ‘just come off’ them, you are supposed to gradually increase the dose. This sort of action is typical me, really – all or nothing, stubbornness in doing what I want because I think it’s the best way!
Given my forays further into the Spiritual world, it could be a ‘test’ from that world. I won’t say ‘attack’ – not this time – because it didn’t feel like that. But it could have been a test – how do I cope with my own feelings, emotons? Am I balanced enough to do this work? Can I bring myself back into balance?
Two people very dear to me suggested it could be the negative energies from all the healings I have been doing. Now, Reiki has an in-built fail-safe system that rebuffs any negative energy back to the universe – however it isn’t just Reiki that I have been doing, so this is also a possibility.
The Shamanic world is showing me that I have an issue with internal anger that I need to look at closely. I’m not an angry person, do not mistake me – but that, in its way, is the problem: I have never learnt how to effectively express my anger: I tend to hide it away, keep it bottled inside, until -pop! Just like the fizzy drink bottle analogy. This possibility is one I intend to delve into and discover whether, indeed, I have an issue that I need to explore about myself.
The problem with treading a solitary path is balancing everyday normal reality with the spiritual. There could be an everyday reason for my irritability, and I should not – no-one should ever – ignore this in favour of some more ethereal and esoteric reason for goings-on. But just as important is that I should and need to take into account that it COULD well be a Shamanic/Spiritual experience trying to tell me something. Both are equally important and deserve due attention, because I live and walk in both worlds and attract energies from both worlds. But, I have to work out which world these signs, these energies, these dis-eases come from. How can I move forward and develop if I don’t have an answer? If I just shrug it off as ‘something that happened’, then it could happen again, because I haven’t taken steps to resolve the source of the issue.
In the midst of all this I accepted Litebeing Chronicles ‘retrograde Challenge‘. To reconnect with something old that used to be loved, that you no longer use/read/listen to/wear etc. My post about this will be on November 10th, so
stay tuned. Now THIS had an interesting impact on my state. I took a whole day, which I had to myself, to totally indulge in ME. And I indulged my Girlie side, which is something I have not done for a very long time. In fact, I insist on telling myself I don’t ‘have’ a Girlie side, because that connotation does not fit with my image of myself. But I am lying! I do have a Girlie side, and boy did it love finally being allowed out! I listened to music of my teenage years (loud!) I painted my nails (rarely seen!), I put on make up for no reason but that I could, I sorted out all my make up stuff (lots got thrown as it was so old, the rest neatened up), and then – I went shopping. Clothes shopping. For fun. Yes, me. Normally I dislike clothes shopping. I am not a natural shopper: I have a low tolerance threshold! But I found I actually enjoyed the process. I put no pressure on myself – financially, or ‘I’ve got to find this or that’, I just went looking, tried on a few things, ambled around… and you know what? I actually caught myself in a kin-like meditative state! Taking pressure off, just wandering around looking… my Mind had stopped thinking, it was concentrating on looking at clothes and – no thoughts. Not ‘no thoughts’ in a vacant negative way, but in a very good not thinking about rubbish way! And it WAS just like a meditation. Well who would’ve thought? Certainly not me! I actually came back with stuff I liked AND having not gone crazy and just bought stuff for the sake of it, I was actually very restrained.
This day of pure self-indulgence did me the world of good. It completely knocked my irritability off, out, and into space. I think the retrograde challenge had a lot to do this (thank you Linda! 🙂 ) And I promise I will expand on this on Nov 10th.
But also – taking yourself out of your normal zone – doing something different, no matter how small, can make a real change in you – shifting your emotions because you are not acting in pattern, and thus, your Mind and emotions cannot react in a learnt responsive way. Being self-indulgent every so often is not selfish: It’s healthy and it is NEEDED – by YOU, and by your nearest & dearest – after all, if you are not at your best, then you cannot help them the best way you potentially could, can you?!
So, the lesson learnt: Every day normal activities can have a Spiritual meaning and effect. Hmm, interesting, and noted!
- Reiki: The Quick Fix Challenge (natky927.wordpress.com)
- Healing Circle 10/23/13 (ancientwisdomforamodernworld.wordpress.com)
- Love Your Irritations (dishanrajapaksha.wordpress.com)
- A Personal Healing Programme (completehealthcircle.com)
Totems. Animal Guides. Spirit guides. There are many names for Spiritual guardians that come to us from the Otherworld, to help us, teach us and protect us. Some of you may have come across them, some may not. Some of you may even have connected to your Animal Guardian already. If you have, you know what a wonderful, rich relationship it is, to know that there is something ‘other’ always there with you, on call when you need or want them, and the teachings that they give to us.
Some of you may not be familiar with this concept, or have only come across it in passing, in some vague terms. I hope, in this post, to give further insight and information on the role and connection with those special beings, our Animal Guardians.
So what are these Totem guides? Where do they come from? Is probably a good place to start. The Spirit realm – or Other realm, or Otherworld, is a universal place that overlaps the physical world. We cannot see it physically, but we can connect to it, when we ‘let go’ of the material world and travel inwards, in deep meditation – or journeying, as it is otherwise known. Shamans have been doing this for centuries, and the Western world is now beginning to catch up to the fact that there is something ‘other’ than the seen world.
It is this Other Realm that Animal Totem Guides come from. Each of us has our own personal Animal Guardian – or Guardians. Some stay with us our whole lives, our own personal companion for life, and others may come and go, to teach us something that we need at a particular time. They come to us when we ask, when we wish to connect, to guide us on our correct inner path, to help us in times of need, to show us new things – in essence, to help us in any way they can. This relationship is a two way street though. Your Guides need to be treated with honour, respect, and dignity. If you do not maintain a relationship with them, or treat them disrespectfully, they will simply ‘fade away’: they will not come when you call them.
Often, your animal Guide bears some reflection on yourself: characteristics or traits are shared, or something you are wrestling with – a problem or weakness – will be their strength. After finding your own animal Guardian, you should look up the meaning of their symbolism, traits and characteristics. You will be amazed at how much they are similar to you. Certain aspects will strike you, you will find something you need, or recognise. In short, they come to you for a reason, and this resemblance or need is a connection between you and your animal guide.
So who can be an animal guide/Guardian/Totem? Any creature. Yes, I do mean any: any real-world creature, including insects. You may dream of a powerful animal like a panther, say, but every creature has something special to share and to teach us. I once ‘saw’ a butterfly for a friend of mine, when we were 16. As a young male, you can imagine he was not best pleased! Yet the Butterfly is about change; about impermanence, and freedom.
But Animal Guides can also be mythological – Dragon is particularly spiritual and powerful – and very wise, I may add. The very first Guardians I had, at 15 or 16, were two Pegasus. I discovered, through a lot of research, and my own intuition, that Pegasus represent the ‘gates’ to the Spiritual Realm… I believe they were there to help me begin and continue correctly on my new-found Spiritual exploration. As I had two, one hovering over each shoulder, as I ‘imagined’ them, they also represented a balancing of energies.
And that brings me on to another point – your own intuition, your own thinking and interpretation on what you ‘see’ when you journey and ‘hear’ when you speak to your guides, is just as important as anything else you read. YOU are the final expert – outward information can give you knowledge and advice, but this is YOUR experience. So if something you read doesn’t seem to fit, then trust and go with your instinct.
My Animal Guardians have helped me to find peace in myself when my life has been stressed: they have shown me how to approach particular problems. They have helped me know my ‘path’, they have given me strength when I felt weak, and they Journey with me when I go to the Otherworld. All of them were with me when I did a Soul-retrieval journey, and I was very, very glad of their company! They help us with every-day mundane situations, as well as our Spiritual paths. You can ask them for anything at all. You may not get the answer you want, but you will always get what you need – as long as you are open minded and open-hearted with them, and have no expectation – merely open yourself up to the experience to come.
If you talk to other people about animal Guardians, you may well be met with derision or dismissal – our culture has a habit of sneering and disbelieving anything that cannot be quantified scientifically. Yet the whole Native American tradition is founded on animal medicine, as they call it, and ‘Totems’. It is also an intrinsic part of a Shaman’s practice. If people have not experienced it themselves, they find it hard to understand something like this can be ‘real’. Yet I would argue having these guides and following an inner path is just as real, if not more so, than following the trail of money and status symbols – which can change and crash down around us in but a moment. Happiness and contentment lie within more than without. Yet it does seem to me that belief and understanding of Inner Guides – and there are more Guides than just animal Guardians – is becoming more prevalent in our society. More people are discovering this inner world, and this is a very good thing!
I discovered my first Guardians at 15/16. I worked for a long time with them, following an Inner Spiritual Path, and eventually met my Snake Guardian at the age of 21. She came to me like a bolt out of the blue – I was actually in the company of friends, socialising at home, when, literally, BANG! Something happened ‘inside’ my head. I was rooted to the spot, a shiver went through inside of me, and I saw her, standing upright, above my head, looking out at the Void. It was an unexpected, amazing experience. My friend asked me if I was all right, because my “eyes have gone very big, you look you’re somewhere else!” And of course I was, entranced with having, for no apparent reason, acquired a new Power animal (another term for animal Guardian).
Snake Spirit is linked with Qutzelcoatl (the Feathered serpent of the Maya), and Lilith, which amazed me, as these were tow figures I had been studying, and loved enormously. Snake is also linked with other Divine figures, but it was these in particular that struck me.
“Snake is an interpreter of Dreams… Snake was chaos, she was void…”
In early times, the Snake was revered, but with the mythology of the bible and the snake tempting Eve, it became reviled. There are many myths and stories relating to the Snake.
Snake also represents the cycle of birth, death and renewal – this is the same as my zodiac sign, Scorpio.
“Serpent… was guardian of the night gates of the underworld…
[Snake is] the cycle itself: change and transformation”
Due to my growing Spiritual path, these words really struck me, resonating with me. And the book (source at the end of this post) goes on to say,
“…protector of the ancient mystery schools, guarding access to knowledge and wisdom..
Snake implies the workings of divine energy through one’s life, an introduction to sacred knowledge.”
It seemed to me that I had arrived at a place where my Spiritual learning was going to go up a level. Snake is also the Kundalini energy, and healing. Though it is a double edged sword; the good can turn to venom, the support of one with snake as a power animal can turn instead to suffocation, if one is not careful, at all times aware.
Snake is very much with me today, and we have had some amazing Journeys together. I also have Wolf as a guardian, who came to me several years ago – in a similar manner to Snake, except this time I was lying in bed about to fall asleep. I had a sudden urge to reiki heal over my eyes – and I saw Changing Woman, a Navajo Goddess, whom I knew little about, and Wolf. They came to me together, and Wolf is still with me. Whereas Snake occupies the Void and Spiritual matters, Wolf is of the Earth/mundane world, and is a teacher – or teaches you to teach others; a protector, and has strong family ties and loyalty. They also love to play – Wolf has taught me to ‘just have fun – run for the joy of running!’ The book I have actually starts by saying:
“ Many correlations can be made between the medicine of the wolf and that attributed to snake and spider.” !!! I thought. Resurrection and rebirth, the totality of life, is part of Wolf’s symbolism. Wolf brings courage, strength and wisdom. It is grounding energy. It is taking the right action, and knowing yourself, and carrying on without fear – the way of the warrior.
I appreciate this is a long post, and I thank you for taking the time to read it. I hope it has given you some insight into the world and meaning of Animal Guardians.
I will write another post soon about how you can connect with your own animal Guardian. In the meantime, please feel free to ask any questions about this post, or share your thoughts or, indeed, your own experiences, I will be happy to receive them all, and answer what I can!
SOURCE on Snake and Wolf Animal Guardians, and quotations:
‘Animal Wisdom, the definitive guide’. Jessica Dawn Palmer, 2001.
Welcome to ‘The Eagle and The Serpent’!
For the first post on this blog I wanted to write a brief introduction to the paths I choose to follow and the reasons I am writing about it.
What does it mean to be a pagan? For me it is primarily about feeling a deep reverence and awe of nature and all it encompasses. It is about expressing that reverence in a way that is meaningful, fulfilling and personal. It is about connecting to the inner and outer divinity that we all share and celebrating that bond. Spirituality to me is the very act of connecting to that which is greater than oneself. The strengths of paganism lay in its vivid and profound manner of making that spiritual connection live everyday.
Where paganism brings spirituality to everyday life, shamanism provides the tools to delve directly into the spiritual realms themselves. The depth of experience that shamanism can provide is extraordinary and humbling allowing the practitioner to come face-to-face with their Gods within their own realm, to meet their ancient ancestors and converse with celestial beings.
Reiki is usually described as a energy based healing technique and although this is correct it falls far short of accounting the effect Reiki has had on my life. Whilst Reiki does heal it also spiritually elevates. Perhaps most importantly for me it proved beyond my capacity for doubt the reality of phenomena that could not conceivably be explained by materialist science. It opened the floodgate for the exploration of paganism, shamanism and many other things that I would have previously dismissed out of hand. Much like the internet I don’t know how I ever lived without it.
Curiously, I came to Buddhism through the study of physics. Science has always held a fascination for me, but it was not until I came to learn of the nature of quantum reality and its parallels with the Buddhist and Hindu concept of Maya (that our perception of the world is illusory) that I became entranced with Buddhism. Buddhism profoundly changed my priorities and opened my eyes to the vacuity of the materialist ideals that our culture so forcefully promotes.
Each of these paths represent a journey rather than a destinations, each augments the others. These are the journeys Serpent and I are inclined to share in our future posts.
Blessing be )0(