As difficult as the news is every day, as much as the media has a need to keep us informed of dark, depressing matters, there is equal goodness all around us. (I know that a good deal of us have suffered losses that can only be measured in tears, and that the pain can linger. When enough time has passed, we take little steps back into life, working up the courage to take a swing at living again. I guess that’s the point–that we all know what loss is and yet, most of us get through it and carry on anyway. Really, what are our alternatives?)
Here my amazing online friends share here their tender stories of connection, compassion and love, for wherever there is union and healing, there is Love. We must all remember our own stories of care and goodness, both given and received, and we must share them, for they are needed now. We must share our stories until they become a Love-tsunami more powerful than any of the physical kind. The miracle of being alive now is the miracle of healing. We are all called to share great Love and oneness with each other and All That Is. We are called!
Here is a correspondence between Mike Hopkins, Michael Brine and Maggie. Continue reading
I’ve written about love and compassion here quite a bit, so it’s to be expected that I would have to face my own fears and shadow self, and see my own doubts and then, to be honest with myself and you, share them along the way. Though my childhood in this life would not be called easy, I sense that I brought some darkness with me, a darkness that has shown itself as nagging doubts about my self-worth, my spiritual commitment and whether or not I am truly loved by God. In the past, the feeling has come as an overwhelming wave of self-hate. I’m writing about this because this blog is a part of my journey.
Years ago I made a necklace that came into being looking like a simple Native Indian work. It prompted me to pull a box off my bookshelf book called Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, which includes a wisdom-book and a smaller box of Medicine Cards, painted by Angela Werneke, of a variety of animals. Drawing the cards from the deck with a spiritual purpose, I am tapping into Native Indian philosophy and wisdom.
The authors of Medicine Cards explain,
“Our intention, as shamans and healers, is to begin a process for many people who have never understood their connection to Mother Earth and her creatures … [and] of what it means to walk in balance on the Earth Mother. Our dream animals have asked for our assistance in spreading the understanding that all life is sacred.
When calling on the power of an animal, you are asking to be drawn into complete harmony with the strength of that creature’s essence. Gaining understanding from these brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom is a healing process and must be approached with humility and intuitiveness.”
I had used this book before and looked through a bunch of files and I found my notes, dated April 24, 2001. That day, I found my nine Totem Animals (guides that remain the same for a lifetime); used the Pathway Spread to learn about life-lessons patterns; and the Moon Lodge Spread, to learn the state of my personal unconscious, to uncover the lies and self-deceptions I had been using to thwart my spiritual growth. I guess that explains why I didn’t pick up the book again until ten years later. Chicken wasn’t one of the totem animals, but, cluck-cluck, it applies here.
I looked inside the book and found another spread called the Medicine Wheel. ‘Medicine’ in the Native Indian way is defined in the book as:
“Anything that improves one’s connection to the Great Mystery and to all of life…Medicine is also anything that brings personal power, strength, and understanding. It is the constant living of life in a way that brings healing to the Earth Mother and all associates, family, friends, and fellow creatures…it is an all-encompassing ‘way of life,’ for it involves walking on the Earth Mother in perfect harmony with the Universe.”
Wow–walking on the Earth Mother in perfect harmony with the universe. How many of us walk in this manner, giving thanks to the Great Spirit for everything in our lives and to the animals and plants who give their lives to become our food? It is a worthwhile goal, one I hope is not impossible.
The Medicine Wheel spread is used to reflect on the personality and to see how we learn from ourselves, other people and animals. Sounded good to me. After shuffling, I drew five cards and placed them on a table in the four directions, East, South, West and North and one in the center, which is the Sacred Mountain Card. Each direction has its own meaning.
There are two messages for each card, one if the card is right-side up when you pull it out and one if the card is upside-down, which the authors refer to as ‘Contrary.’ My shadow-self doesn’t want to share the cards I drew, but my Higher Self does:
**The first card, East, represents where our spiritual strengths lie and the challenges to seeing clearly in the present situation.
EAST: Moose. Is about not needing approval, and experiencing the joy of a job well done, about the joy in giving encouragement but also in warning. Moose is about a new sense of self and accomplishment. Contrary Message: Ego can ruin a sense of accomplishment. It is about tooting my own horn and failing to be interested in others. It is a need to recognize that everyone is a teacher for everyone else, and there is a need to grow quiet for a while to let wisdom enter my heart.
**Second is South, with the animal guide helping our inner children learn what we need to nurture and to trust ourselves.
SOUTH: Blue Heron. Blue Heron indicates an unawareness of who I am and where I belong. Follow intuition and begin the journey of self-realization. Low self-worth and self-pity means I will never truly understand my true potential. A lack of courage in facing the critical enemy within. See my motives, actions, feelings, dreams, goals, strengths and weakness. Contrary Message: Too much self-reflection can lead to self-obsession. If criticizing self, watch out! It is imprudent to drown the sense of joy that accompanies the journey of self-discovery. Perfection leaves no room for being human. Our most valuable lessons are learned from our mistakes. Balance the desire to change with gentle discernment. Dive deep into feelings and emerge renewed, not judgmental, rigid, and flat, which breaks the spirit. Do not expect to find the many layers of truth and wholeness in one dive. Don’t hold my breath for enlightenment or let the collective feelings of humanity drown me.
**Third is West, showing the internal solution to present life challenges and what we need to reach our goals.
WEST: Dog. Serving others or humanity in some way. The guardian embodies the loving gentleness of the best friend with the protective energy regarding territory. Delve deeply into my sense of service to others. Have I forgotten that I owe allegiance to my personal truth? Have the opinions of others jaded my loyalty to a friend? Have I ignored someone who is trying to be my friend? Have I been loyal and true to my goals?
**Fourth is North, which integrates the other cards and is the key to walking in wisdom by connecting to our highest purpose and intentions.
NORTH: Antelope. Knowledgeable action. Symbolizes the antenna of the hair, which attaches us to the Great Mystery. Action is the key and the essence of living. Antelope medicine gives strength of mind and heart. Call on antelope when balled up. Antelope sends ingenious solutions. Antelope indicates a higher purpose and forces action for self, family, clan, nation and Mother Earth. It is time—do it now.
**Fifth is the card in the center of the spread; it shows how to see the present as a crossroads of spiritual and physical realities and how they have melded, to show whether or not we are in balance and what to do about it.
CENTER: Deer. Deer is the gentle spirit, filled with love and compassion for all. With love, deer moves the bullies away from the door to the Great Spirit. Creates safety. Contrary Message: Means I’m courting my fears by fighting the internal demons of negative ideas. Need to love myself enough to deeply feel my fears and let them go. The balance to power is the love and compassion of Deer, who teaches unconditional love, accessed from the heart space of the Great Spirit who loves us all.
I really love these cards. With them, for whatever the reasons, I can count on honest guidance from the Divine, even if it’s hard to face. This is a priceless gift and I give my gratitude to Jamie Sams and David Carson, their mentors and all of dear Mother Nature’s Creature-Teachers. Thank you, Friends.
Medicine Cards is a book of sincere and profound wisdom, for all who want to see the truth of our personalities and our spiritual natures; and to make more meaningful relationships with nature.
Note: Beautiful, Mike! I make the pledge. How about you, dear reader?
Note: This is a book review of Thomas O. Mills’ book, STONEHENGE, IF THIS WAS EAST, from the Chairman of the Manataka American Indian Council, who, after reading the book, was inspired with a new idea to correct the melting of our polar ice caps. It is, indeed, a very interesting letter to other members of the Manataka Council Fire and I share it here with you, hoping to generate more interest in Tom’s thoughtful book and Chairman Michael Burton’s fascinating idea.
By Michael “Eye of Eagle Feather” Burton
Manataka Council Fire
Dear Beloved sisters and brothers,
Thank You to those who are contributing their monetary and volunteer support for the sacred site…the outpouring of contributions has enabled us to clean and prepare the site and prepare a new garden. Our initial plan is to plant heirloom species of corn, squash and beans. We are about to get a permit for water lines, though we have not planted due to the rains…maybe this weekend!!!
Today, I write about a book Lee Standing Bear gave to me, written by Thomas O. Mills entitled “Stonehenge ~ If this was East.” In this publication, Tom Mills explains the Stonehenge site and many ancient mystery sites around the globe, using the Hopi creation history passed to us through thousands of years of oral tradition. It simply shows, when these sites were created ‘East’ was radically different, and they were perfect astronomical computers during their time. Current knowledge grossly underestimates their age and can’t figure out why they aren’t precisely aligned with the heavens today.
The axis we turn on would have to shift significantly for these things to line up. It makes sense and when taken as a whole, with all sites considered and realigned with the ancient axis points, they are a testament to a message from the past, built in such a way that NO ONE COULD ALTER THEM THROUGH TIME. It was that important! Continue reading
From the mouths of babes:
Please click on the link below to be reminded of what love is.
I may be the last person who wanted to locate biodegradable kitchen trash bags to find them, but I did and they’re only about ten cents a bag more than the ones I bought at grocery stores. My daughter and I live on a small budget, but we talked about it and decided this is something we can and should make a priority. Some grocery stores offer garbage bags made from recycled products, but I hadn’t found any that are also biodegradable. Have you noticed that most grocery stores have a bin inside the entrance where you can drop off plastic bags for recycling? What a big step this is!
It is sad that much of the trash we Americans make sits, if not forever, for a very long time inside plastic garbage bags in landfills. Mother Nature tries to make soil from our garbage, but she can’t break down some of the plastics. I found the plastic, biodegradable bags at Reuseit.com, whose offices are located in Chicago—American made! The bags degrade because they’re made with an ingredient that starts the process.
Before my renewed awareness of recycling, I wanted strong garbage bags and there are tons of them, but I want to do better now. I want strong enough and biodegradable. (I did consider trash-can-sized paper bags, which are certainly the best option, but they were all too expensive for us.) I will see if the compostable plastic bags are strong enough, and will report my experiences here
UPDATE ON USING THE REUSIT.COM BAGS: https://notesalongthepath.com/2010/11/08/the-update-on-biodegradable-13-gallon-kitchen-trash-bags/
By Madison Woods
First of all I want to thank Pam for inviting me to post this on her blog. My name is Madison Woods, and as a naturalist and person with a strong connection to nature in general, I’m keenly interested in the plight of one of our native plants, American ginseng.
Sustainable American Ginseng
With the release of a television series called “Appalachian Outlaws,” there’s been a huge flux of interest in ginseng and I’ve been getting a lot of visits to my website because of it. The plant is already endangered and poaching has always been a prime threat. Because of this television program, I worry that people will only see the plant as potential cash and not realize that indiscriminate digging of it hurts the odds of its survival. My hope is that with the information I’m providing, many of these same people will become interested in becoming good stewards.
My passion for many years has been Ozark medicinal plants and ginseng is one of my favorites. I’ve been collecting information and photos and recently wrote a small book called SUSTAINABLE GINSENG. I want to encourage people to grow and harvest it in a way that enables and encourages the plant’s survival, and to discourage people from seeing it as merely a means to a profit.
The book is only 56 pages long. It needs reviews to gain more exposure. If you are interested in how ginseng can be stewarded by landowners who have the proper habitat, or if you’re just interested in ginseng in general, please consider buying a copy from Amazon (it comes in paperback and Kindle) and leaving a review.
If funds are an issue, I’ll be happy to email you a PDF copy. You won’t be able to leave a review at Amazon (I don’t think), but if you like the book you could talk about it or mention it on your blog. And if you don’t like it, then please send me your feedback in an email so I can improve it for the next edition.
American ginseng is one of my favorite medicinal plants and I know on our own land, it’ll survive. I’d really like to encourage and teach others how to help it survive on their own properties too, and I need help to get the word out.
Madison Woods is one-half of the creative team at Wild Ozark™, LLC. We offer a variety of ways to help people reconnect to the land and Nature. We do this through stories, information, and sharing our lives in the wild Ozarks of northwest Arkansas. As time allows we’ll also begin offering handcrafted items made in the Ozarks. Find out more by visiting our website: www.WildOzark.com
SUSTAINABLE GINSENG can be purchased through Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HW50LQ4 or at our website: http://shop.wildozark.com/?product=sustainable-ginseng-paperback
Articles and books about ginseng are available at our online store: http://shop.wildozark.com
Says Mike: I have first hand experience with using Basil Oil to repel wasps who had been looking to make a home on our balcony. I sprinkled a few drops in the area where they were landing and they took off in flight. They came back a few days later and I refreshed the drops and after that they decided our balcony wasn’t a good place for them to build their nest that summer.
Courtesy of: Stranger in a Strange Land
By Tom Mills
Scientists are using the shifting of Earth’s poles to measure climate change
The breaking news in my mind should be, “CLIMATE CHANGE HAS CAUSED THE EARTH’S POLES TO SHIFT.”
A NewScientist article from Dec. 13, 2013, notes that in one year Greenland has lost 250 gigatonnes of ice, mountain glaciers have lost 194 gigatonnes of ice, and Antarctica has lost 180 gigatonnes of ice.
A gigatonne equals 1,000,000,000 tons.
We can debate what causes global warming and climate change, whoʼs at fault, how many jobs will be lost, how much money it will take to ﬁx the problem, and point ﬁngers at each other all day long.
The truth is, our small planet has lost at least 624 gigatonnes of ice in the last year. The loss of this weight has caused the location of Earth’s poles to move. Not the magnetic poles — but the actual location of the poles. If we lose another 624 gigatonnes of ice this year, how far will the poles move? How many gigatonnes of ice are there? How many more gigatonnes can we afford to lose before the earth’s rotation and delicate balance is in real trouble?
The movement of the poles has changed the ﬂow of the jet stream. The change in the jet stream has caused rain, snow, wind and storm patterns to change. This change causes ﬂoods in some areas and droughts in others, temperature swings, seasons to change. All of these changes affect our food supply, plant cycles, our drinking water, our civilization. All this ice turning into water causes sea levels to rise, islands to sink, cloud and rain patterns to change.
With warmer ocean temperatures we can expect stronger hurricanes, tsunamis, higher tides, and ﬁsh populations dying or moving to cooler water located at the poles. These changes will effect millions of people now, and many more in the future, worldwide.
The only debate we should be having at this time is: Where and how soon will the meeting between the most powerful and creative minds from all countries, all people, all around the planet, come together to ﬁnd a solution and correct the problem? I would like to bring a few of my Hopi friends. Wars, power, money–none of this might matter in the end.
Thomas O. Mills, Author
The Book of Truth A New Perspective on the Hopi Creation Story
and Stonehenge, If This Was East
From Huntington News Post: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/86718
By Michael Brine
We live in very demanding and certainly changing times. In my life’s journey – now 78 – I have had the good fortune to travel and live in other countries and cultures outside of Western domination. I have also been especially interested and aware of the indigenous cultures across our world, in particular the Mayan People and the Hopi. They, as with the Australian Aborigines, have indeed pinpointed our time period as one of major change. In our Western, Caucasian, ‘all-knowing’ arrogance, we dismiss the insights of indigenous peoples, who have ancient, yet similar, observations relating to this time period.
How can we ignore them?
I think we can agree that cycles are a fact and are observable in many areas of our lives. Seasons come and go – the moon – the tides of the oceans – women’s menstrual cycles – our own life cycle of 90-years plus/minus – the movement of the stars – Ice Ages – we live within cycles great and small. Is it not possible that our indigenous peoples might have known or know something that we disregard?
Let us look at other factors we are ignoring that indicate major changes could be on the horizon. At the turn of the last century there were around 1.5 billion people on the planet. In just 114 years we have reached eight billion! This exponential increase is now at a crisis level and we are running out of space. Food prices rise as it becomes increasingly difficult to produce enough to feed the world’s growing population – ie: Thailand, a major rice exporter has now stopped exporting rice, I believe because it is concerned about having enough rice to feed its own people.
This may just be the start of a growing protectionist attitude emerging within different countries to protect their own as the situation becomes increasingly critical. In this respect we in Canada are particularly vulnerable as we only produce about twenty percent of our food needs and import eighty percent. The reverse is true in Russia – a geographical area not dissimilar to our own – in which they produce eighty percent of their needs and import twenty percent! Seeing these figures should serve as a wake-up call to Canadians – yes?
Weather anomalies across the globe are another element adding to this growing crisis and that includes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that are becoming more frequent. Here in Canada we have been, to a large extent, saved from much of this, but that is changing. Nor are lines on a map going to protect any of us from weather catastrophes.
On top of all this, we continue to face a global financial crisis as the existing system outgrows itself and dishonesty great and small is exposed. Indeed, this system has exposed our vulnerabilities as nations threatened with collapse, and as individuals who struggle with temptations which acted upon seriously harm others. Politicians are at a loss as to how to resolve these crises and have engineered ‘solutions’ that are only compounding the fragility of it all. We are now at a tipping point in this bankers’ illusory world. People are aware of the behaviour of the Banking Industry, et al, if only subconsciously, increasing fear with respect to financial survival almost everywhere.
One final observation: Since the time of the ancient pharaohs of Egypt, we have lived in a Patriarchal Age in which women have been largely “dumbed” down and we have been ruled by little boys who behave like bullies in the school yard. We have clear examples of this in today’s world in Iran and North Korea, as well as the sad Afghanistan situation, and of course, Syria, to name a few more obvious instances. This attitude prevails across the world in most countries, albeit more subtly.
However, as we move from the Patriarchal Age to the Aquarian Age we will see the Divine Feminine emerging to take its true place in these coming times, with women recognized as equals, in societies that focus on moving towards a world of Community in which we all work together – men and women – within our personal arenas, be they small or large, and not competing against each other as we do now in societies built around finances. I also feel that those ‘lines on a map’ that separate us will all disappear. Indeed we ARE all one humanity and we need to recognise this as we move forward into the coming age.
Perhaps what our Indigenous peoples, through their Shamans, have known is that with the ending of this 26,000 year cycle we will observe a cleansing of the garbage we have accumulated throughout this passing age. You cannot build a new building on a rotten foundation. I have observed more and more ‘ordinary’ people are waking up to this accumulated ‘garbage’ factor – largely thanks to the internet – that has controlled humanity through this last age, and people are saying, “Enough is Enough!”
I write this not to create fear. I am providing information, at least as I see it. What you do with that information is up to you. I suggest we hang onto our hats and go for the ride!
“Beyond right and wrong there is a field. I will meet you there.” ~Rumi