never eat soggy waffles… Get Orientated

NEVER EAT SOGGY WAFFLES… North, East, South, West.  Hello Honorable Shamans.  Here is the Earthways Shamanic Path Stepping Stone #3, “Get Orientated.”  

In this Stepping Stone, we will explore the act of getting orientated, of knowing where you are on the Earth.  To begin this Stepping Stone exercise, you may want to review this information before you go outside, to the spot you found in Stepping Stone activity #1, “Stand Your Ground.”  Once you are there, take a moment to ground yourself as described in Stepping Stone exercise #2.

What you’re going to do now, is get orientated.  This means, you are going to figure out where you are.  There are at least two reasons why this information is important to us.    First, we acknowledge these Four Directions in  ceremony and rituals.  Second, when you go out in Nature, you need to know where you are and where you are going, in order to return home safely.

I know a lot of folks who have a hard time telling their left from their right.  And, I know a couple of people who just can’t tell where they are, for one reason or another.  If you are one of these people, please don’t go into the woods or wilds alone.    Please take someone with you who can help you to get home.

The Four Directions are “North, South, East and West.”  But that’s not how they are situated, when we are looking for them, are they?   The Boy Scouts say, “Never Eat Soggy Waffles,”  as a way to remember the order of the four directions, which are also known as compass points.  And that’s helpful.

Let’s start with the East, because that’s where the Sun rises.   But wait, let’s start with a circle.  We talk about the “four directions,” but what we are really doing is dividing the circle of the sky, into portions.  When you are on the Earth, you are always at the center of this circle.  When you move around or turn, you are changing directions.  Your sense of direction is always an interaction between where you are standing, and the path the Sun makes across the circle in the sky.

Perhaps you know that the Sun rises in the East and it sets in the West.  So, you can find East in the morning, by noticing where the sun rises.

When you are facing the Sun, you are facing East.   While standing, if you turn your body to the right,  you should then be facing South.  (That’s 1/4 around a circle.  That’s also 90 degrees.)  If you turn your body to the right, again, you should be facing West.  That is the direction the Sun should set, later this same day.  And, if you turn your body to the right, one more time, you should be facing North.   Stop for a moment and check to see if you are with me:  With your nose to the North, your right shoulder should be pointing to the East, where the sun rises, and your left shoulder should be pointing to the West.

Carry a compass and a map when you go out into Nature.  Learn to use both. But first, you need to know more about  finding the directions without a compass

Once you have identified the four directions in your spot, then you can greet them.  We’ll cover that, next time.

Brooksville Florida, heading...? February

I have theories on why some people get lost in some places, but not in others.  I’ll expound on those later.

And Let’s Share Our Peace with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Big Walters all around Our Earth.

(c) 2018 to present, Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path.  All rights reserved.

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The Short Interlude: the space between time

We are in that short interlude that happens this time of year, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans.  In my country, in Suburbia, it is the week between Christmas and New Years,  the time betwixt and between 2017 and 2018.  You may choose to look back, or you may choose to look forward.  I encourage you to look within.

Where are you, in your Spiritual Path?

What are your Spiritual Gifts?

Are you sharing them,  are you reaching people with your gifts?

Are you reaching everybody who needs you?

I’ve been meditating on this for a few weeks, with a sense of restlessness.  Something-isn’t-quite-right-for-me.  I realized today, I miss blogging about Shamanism. The simple solution is to blog.   And I am blogging.   There, I fixed that.

But more critically, I miss teaching about Shamanism, Creativity, and the Earthways Shamanic Path.  It took me a while to realize I was feeling out of sorts, because I wasn’t teaching. In the meanwhile,  I meditated.  I wrote in my journal, then I asked some friends a few questions, and their responses reminded me, I love to teach.

Teaching keeps me accountable to my practice and path. Teaching, keeps me disciplined.  Teaching, keeps me learning.  All that, gives me things to write about.  I temporarily discontinued teaching my classes this past April, when I made a pile of major changes all at once, in my life.

Teaching is easy, once you have the space, the schedule, the lesson plan, the students all lined up.  Getting all THAT pulled together, can be like launching a rocket to the moon.

My spiritual gifts reach the most people, when I write and when I teach, so, that’s what I must do.

How about you?

Share your peace with Mother Earth and Father Sky and the Big Waters all around us.

(c) 2017 to present by Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path.15144941111181550168045.jpg

 

The last days of Hurricane Season

In the last days of Hurricane Season in Florida, we begin to relax a bit. A few weeks after the Equinox, the days began to get cooler by one or two degrees.  In Southwest Florida, there is an appreciable difference between 89 and 84 degrees.  89 is oppressive.  At 84, we feel we can cope. At 84, I can get out of my car and walk into a building at mid-day, and not be drenched with sweat.

In Hurricane Season, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, we are reminded of many spiritual lessons:

1.  In my case, my relationship with the Divine is real and sustaining.  This Season more than the other times of year, tests my faith, again and again.  And the Divine guide and protect me, and comfort me.  Listening to the Divine, is a daily practice.

2.  Striking the balance between planning and going with the flow, is an on-going lesson.

3.  Spiritual people are people.  This year, at least two of my spiritual mentors, people I admire, trust, and learn from, experienced the humbling reality of fear, and anxiety during Hurricane Irma.  So did I.  The best I can do, is learn from this.  What triggers fear?  Too much unknown.  What can I do about that?  Learn more and listen more.

4.  Hurricane Season teaches me,  again and again, how to ask for and receive help, and how to provide help to other people.

5.  The end of Hurricane Season is marked by the arrival of tourists.  Some of them will stay for a weekend, others will stay for the next 6 months.  As our population swells, our food banks need our support.

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You may want to consider celebrating the end of Hurricane Season, by sharing some of your hurricane provisions with a local food pantry.

Share your peace with Mother Earth and Father Sky, and the Big Waters all around us.

(c) 2017 to present, Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path.  All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Hurricane season is coming*… time to check your plans

HURRICANE SEASON IS COMING* , and it is time to check your plans.

(*) The Atlantic Hurricane Season, according to NOAA, runs from June 1 to November 30.  In the Earthways Shamanic Path, we observe Hurricane Season which  starts around August 15 and runs to October 15.  It’s a micro-season.

Each day in July, the Gulf of Mexico water temperature increases, the average daily temperature increases, and the whole Southwest Florida region ripens for a Hurricane.

It is us well past time, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, for you to make your plans so that you can keep you and your family (however you define that word,) safe.

Quickly:

1. Learn every thing you can about how hurricanes (“tropical disturbsnces”) form, and how they move around.  You must know the difference between a parallel storm, an exiting storm, and, an onshore storm.   (On shore storms are also “entering” storms, they make landfall. )  The way these storms interact on the Southwest coast, are different from the Southeast coast.  You should know why.

2.  You should know what the Saffer-Simpson Scale is.  Google-thusly.

3. Elevation determines evacuation times.  You should know how many feet you live above sea level.  The smaller the number, the more likely you will be asked to evacuate your home during a big storm.  

4.  You need to decide, depending on where you live,  and for each type of storm (parallel, exiting, onshore), what you and your family plan to do, for the different strengths of storms. 

5.  Every family is different, and family needs sometimes change.  Perhaps your family now includes a woman who is now 8 1/2 months pregnant.  Or, perhaps you now have a new born.  Or maybe you are now caring for a frail eldey person.  Or puppies.  This is the time to find shelters which can accommodate your needs.

 6.  Every family’s resources are different, and changable.  For example, if you normally have  a reliable car, what would you do if you needed to evacuate from an onshore storm, but your only car is in the shop, and you have been commuting by bicycle. 

      A typical stormy afternoon in Florida.

7.  Plan, don’t panic.  There is a lot to consider, but if you think about it now, today, and by that I mean over the weekend, you should be able to have an idea, before the middle of August.  Make a gaming session out of it.  (If this, tgen that…)  Then, you can relax and go about your regular day-to-day adventures.

8.  The Spiritual aspect of Hurricane Season is this:  how do you balance the need to plan, the tendency to panic, and the goal of relaxing into your life on a day-to-day basis.  You just do it.

Honor the Seasons where you live.  Delve deeper and Share your Peace with Mother Earth and Father Sky and the Big Waters all around us.

(c) 2017 to present, Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path.  All rights reserved.

The Work of a Shaman, so much more than Healing

Shamans do many things.  A lot of it is “healing work” but that can manifest in many forms:

  1. Writer — The most obvious thing I do as a Shaman, is write these blog posts about Shamanism and about the Earthways Shamanic Path.  I start with the kernel of an idea, set it down and it unfolds.  I have to step aside when the words flow, or else the message gets mixed up.  I write in an Altered State.
  2. Founder–The second thing I do as a Shaman, is nurture the Earthways Shamanic Path.  I arrange for ceremonies and classes.  I get the rooms or spaces and post the announcements.  I write the class materials and the ceremonies.  I haul the ceremonial or instructional material to/from the location.  I set up the Altar or training space, establish sacred space, conduct the class or ritual, thank and release the energies, close it all out and pack it all up.
  3. Diplomat — I assist other people when they are conducting training or ceremonies.  Sometimes I function as a diplomat between groups and help carry the message from one group to another.
  4. Coach — I’m here to Listen to people.  People seek me out, send me messages, talk to me, ask me questions.  I respond with information, insights, “thoughts and prayers,” and referrals.  This is what I call, Shamanic Coaching.  I don’t know everything, but I know many people, all with their own areas of expertise.  I check in with them on a regular basis and learn more.
  5. Facilitator — I arrange sometimes directly, and sometimes indirectly, for you to meet people or receive information or make connections or to have experiences.
  6. Prayer-er — I say “Prayers Going Up,” and send prayers to people because I BELIEVE it helps.  I visualize my prayers going up from a sacred fire or a candle or even a crystal, and I see it going UP and reaching the person in need.  It is Energy/Love and not directed to a specific outcome.
  7. Healer — when people need healing, I serve as a conduit of energy.
  8. Singer/Teacher —  I am connected to music, through the Whales.  I sing songs, and each people to sing these songs.  This is a healing aspect.
  9. Explorer/Journeyer/Connector — I go out in Nature and renew my connection to everything that is there.  I meet and greet the helpers in the  Plants, Trees, Birds, Insects, animals, the water, the wind — what ever is there.  I gather plant materials to learn what can be used for smudging.  I am a Water Warrior.
  10. Researcher/Journeyer  — I research techniques to achieve Altered States of Reality.  “Oh, the places I have been.” I teach what I have learned.  I attend classes, ceremonies and events.  I read.
  11. I’m a Change Agent.  I help people make changes that they want to make.  Sometimes, I’m a catalyst:  I don’t change much, when I provide you with a book to read, or a phone number to call for information on a subject you are interested in, but it might be something that helps you make a big change.  But if I conduct a class or a ceremony, or attend an event with you, I am learning and growing, along with you.
  12. Medicine Carrier — be it songs, or jars of smudging materials, or a book, or a feather, I bring with me, elements of ceremony and ritual which are essential to complete the healing that is to take place.

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[Digression:  if the word ‘Shaman’ doesn’t seem to fit for a person who does all of this, what would you call them?]

Share your talents and skills and passion (“Your Peace”) with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Big Waters all around us.

Learn more about the Earthways Shamanic Path by visiting, Earthways Shamanic Path

(c) 2017 to present, Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path.  All rights reserved.

Journey of the Heart: The Symbols Within

This post substantially edits the May 10th post,    “Journey of the Heart:  The Shamanic Path Within.”

In this Blog, I am describing a Journey which I am on, to find my Spiritual Path.  I am on what is called the Earthways Shamanic Path.  That much is known and clear.  But since it is a path of my own invention, and I am blazing a trail, I have to feel my way, with each step.  Recently — at a New Moon meditation ceremony, two months ago, I came out of the ceremony with the vision of a great green spiral.  It looked something like this:

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A green spiral. (Photo credit unknown)

Green is the color of the Heart Chakra.  I am on a journey of the heart, but I knew the message wasn’t about romance.  Instead, this is about finding my soul’s connection to the great green spiral that pulses at my core, (at my Soul’s Heart,) and about my on-going dedication to honor my Path, “the Path with the most heart,” which was the most important lesson I got from the Carlos Castenada books.

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Photo Credit, unknown

[I thought the Spiral referred to the Sea…]

Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, you must find YOUR Path.  The one that will best nurture you and challenge you to grow and flourish.  This is the Path with the most Heart,.  Sometimes, following this path may require that you take focused steps winding along mountain sides.  Other times, you will discover the path completely drops off a cliff and you must ‘high back’ and leap across the chasm.  Trusting you will drop into the Sea, the deep waters all around us, and discover you are body surfing, jumping waves and the curl of the waves drops you off in a forest glen, densely green and lush and so soft and you enter it and the big green hum of cicadas sings to you, calls to your heart, their rising and falling crescendos a giant spiral yet again. Find your song, follow your path.

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Cicada by Whale Maiden 11/2015

Here’s the Important update, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans:  a few days after I posted   “Journey of the Heart:  The Shamanic Path Within”  I had a conversation with a helpful reader, who helped me understand that I had written TWO posts in one blog post.  (One was all about Music and Messages From Spirit. and I have pulled that one together, elsewhere.)  I realized the point of this Blog, was the symbol, the Green Spiral.  So, I searched the internet for images of green spirals, and that is when I found this:

As you can see in the accompanying text, the Koru spiral refers to “going back to the beginning, in order to nurture new phases in life”  And, what this means to me is, at that New Moon Ceremony, two months ago I was being encouraged to go back to my Path’s roots, and feel my way forward, to make sure I would make good choices in the subsequent time.

My experiences on my path began in Nature at the Jersey Shore (the wave as spiral) and included lots of time in the Pennsylvania woods, surrounded by cicada, who’s noises are an all enveloping spiral,   so, it is important to return to Nature to “Find the Path with the Most Heart.”

I’ve been through a lot of changes since that New Moon Ceremony, two months ago:  I’ve left a ten-year relationship.  I moved away from the house where I have lived for 15 years, the County for over 30.  I got a new job.  I’ve reconnected with my inner spirit, I am happy.  I’ve had some wonderful adventures out in Nature.  Has my Path sustained me during all this?  Yes, it has.  Am I connected to Spirit?  Yes, I am.

So I say to you, We are all Connected.  Share your Peace with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and with the Big Waters all around you.

(c) 2017 to present, Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path, all rights reserved (Except for the spiral photos.)

Journey of the Heart: The Shamanic Path Within

I sing a lot.  Sometimes I sing out loud, and teach songs in sacred space.  Other times, I sing along to my cd player in my car as I am driving around Florida, on my circuit of road trips.  Other times, the Song is in my head and ears rolling around in a great widening spiral to my heart.

I am on a journey of the heart, but this isn’t about romance.  This is about finding my soul’s connection to the great green spiral that pulses at the Heart chakra, and about my on-going dedication to honor my Path, “the Path with the most heart,” which was the most important lesson I got from the Carlos Castenada books.

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Photo Credit, unknown

Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, you must find YOUR Path.  The one that will best nurture you and challenge you to grow and flourish.  This is the Path with the most Heart,.  Sometimes, following this path may require that you take focused steps winding along mountain sides.  Other times, you will discover the path completely drops off a cliff and you must ‘high back’ and leap across the chasm.  Trusting you will drop into the Sea, the deep waters all around us, and discover you are body surfing, jumping waves and the curl of the waves drops you off in a forest glen, densely green and lush and so soft and you enter and the big green hum of cicadas sings to you, calls to your heart, their rising and falling crescendos a giant spiral yet again.

20151114_123457
Cicada by Whale Maiden 11/2015

Find your song, follow your path.

And share your Peace with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and with the Big Waters all around you.

(c) 2017 to present, Whale Maiden for the Earthways Shamanic Path, all rights reserved (Except for the Wave photo.)