Springtime…is a state of mind

Spring is an undeniable astronomical event.  But where we live guides our perception of it!

When I was growing up in the North East, My Mother used to sing, “When it’s Springtime in the Rockies, you’ll be coming home to me…”

And, she used to plant crocus and daffodil, and forsythia, in her garden.  As you probably know,  crocus and daffodil are bulbs and so we all had a great time each year, waiting for the flowers to sprout each Spring, bulb hunting.  (I think that’s the origins of the Easter Egg hunt, if you ask me.)

This was of course after we had spent a long cold winter, ice skating or playing in the snow, and feeding birds at our bird feeder, and collecting bird feathers.  We longed for Spring, for the flowers to come, and the soft rains and the mud.  I actually enjoyed mud for a day or two until it would freeze or dry (or both) and then it was very hard to walk over those gnarly frozen muddy tracks.

But Spring would come each year and we would enjoy the influx of the flowers and birds and flowering shrubs and budding trees.

Budding Trees, (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved
Budding Trees, (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

THIS is a totally different reality from the way we experience Spring in Southwest Florida.  We have flowering shrubs, already flowering:  This is Tri-colored Bougainvillea-(c) 2013-2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

(c) 2013-2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

and of course, we have the Gulf.  It is beautiful.  (A little chilly for me to go swimming in.)Gulf of Mexico at Dusk, March 2014.  (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved.

Gulf of Mexico at Dusk, March 2014. (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved.

This is why I encourage you to synchronize your pagan observances with where you live.

Happy Spring!

 

 

 

Messages from the Gods: Feathers

You are wandering around outside, thinking of something and you  look down and see a feather.  You’re about to pick it up. 

STOP! 

Before you lose your train of thought by touching the Feather, make a note of what you were thinking about.

Then note the direction the Feather is heading.  (You may want to orient yourself by putting your feet near the quill end of the Feather.)

The Direction the Feather is pointing to, signifies where additional thinking work is needed, on your part.  For example, if the feather is pointing to the East, this means you need to Think some more about the topic.  If it is pointing to the South, it means you need to consider your strengths and weaknesses.  If it points to the West, it means you need to consider your emotional response to the issue.  If it points North, it is time to put your thoughts into Action.  What resources will you need?

Oh, and if you come across a feather sticking straight up in the ground, or caught in some shrubbery, this means you need to center yourself.

Now pick up the Feather.

Because Birds fly close to the Heavens, Feathers represent messages from the Gods.  They clarify THOUGHTS.  (They clarify your thougts about your feelings, for example.)   Think about your issue again, and then let the Feather guide you. 

If you are facing North at your computer, here is an example of a feather pointing North West, (NW) which means you have some additional thinking to do about your emotions and your action plan:

 

And here is an example of a feather pointing South West (SW) which means you need to think about the strengths and weaknesses, and your emotions.:

 

The next layer of analysis has to do with where you found the feather, (city, woods, at waters edge) and how that relates to your situation, and, what kind of bird did the feather come from?

I’ll cover that in another post.

Vultures are Balance

My Dear Daughter Agatha (*) and her friend, Jacqueline went to a festival this weekend and when they returned, Jacqueline mentioned that she had seen three sets of Vultures.   I reached for one of my reference books on Animal Medicine to quote from, “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams and David Carson with illustrations by Angela Werneke, but it was silent about Vultures. I looked at another book, “Power Animal Meditations” by Nicki Scully (also illustrated by Angela Werneke), which has a meditation about Vultures (“Intuitive Wisdom,”) but none of us were ready to go there just yet.

The Girls wandered off like Girls do, to the next thing and the teaching moment passed.  I should really be able to tap into my own inner wisdom by now. 

So I was thinking about Vultures.  We have Turkey Vultures here in Southwest Florida.  Vultures ride the thermals, looking for bodies that are not moving.  “A thermal is an area   of rising air in the low heights of the Earth’s atmosphere. Thermals are created by uneven heating of the Earth’s surface from solar radiation, and an example of convection. The Sun warms the ground, which in turn warms the air directly above it.”  

Vultures see a potential prey and swoop down to investigate.  They are large birds, really much larger than you are prepared for them to be.  They are tall with about a 32″ wing span.  You don’t want to get too close to them while they are feeding.  They don’t have feathers on their faces, which helps them to keep their faces clean.  If Vultures didn’t do the work of picking up all the dead animals, there would be all kinds of critters in various stages of decay, all over the place.  (Pewie.)  Vultures help take care of the ecosystem.  They maintain the Balance.

When you see a Vulture, what are you doing, to maintain the Balance in your life?  Are you working too hard or not enough?  Are you in right relationships?  Are you eating right?  Are you getting enough exercise?  What changes do you need to make, to establish better balance in your life?

The other resource I use, the website “Shaminism Working with Animal Spirits” at http://www.animalspirits.com/index9.html, notes that Vultures represent, among other aspects, issues involving  death and rebirth.  In terms of Balance, what habit or behavior can you let go of, to achieve greater balance in your life?

(*) My Dear Daughter Agatha wants to point out that she adores Vultures.  And, she pointed out that what Vultures may mean to Jacqueline, might be different from what they mean to me.  That may be true in some cases.  The work I am doing here, is more archetypical rather than specific to any one person.  If you have a specific encounter with any specific animal, then you have to take that into consideration next time (and any time) you see that animal again.

Look Up! Look out! Get Balanced!

I haven’t been outside much lately.  I’ve been driving a lot again:  to Arcadia, to Clewiston, to Gainesville.  I’ve seen a lot of birds every where:  wading birds, birds on telephone wires, birds in flight, birds in trees.  But I haven’t taken the time to slow down long enough to reflect on what messages those birds have for me. 

Except…

Since Birds represent the Air (duh…) and Air represents Intellect, if the only wild life I am seeing these days are birds, one can say my life appeares to be a little bit out of balance right now.

I have to fix that.