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.

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Fog is a Moon

This past lunar month, the mornings have been foggy.  The fog burns off at about 10AM and I am thinking that maybe this is an annual cycle.  In which case, perhaps it is the name of the January Full Moon, here in modern-day Southwest Florida.

The Farmers Almanac lists these full moon names, based upon various Native American teachings:

Full Moon Names And Their Meanings

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year.


Here is a listing of the full Moon names:

Full Wolf Moon Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.

Full Snow Moon Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February¹s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.

Full Worm Moon As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.

Full Pink Moon This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month¹s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

Full Flower Moon In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.

Full Strawberry Moon This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon.

The Full Buck Moon July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month¹s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

Full Sturgeon Moon The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

Full Fruit or Barley Moon The names Fruit and Barley were reserved only for those years when the Harvest Moon is very late in September,

Full Harvest Moon This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.

Full Hunter’s Moon With the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt. Since the fields have been reaped, hunters can easily see fox and the animals which have come out to glean.

Full Beaver Moon This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

In which my friend meets a Florida Panther

One evening earlier this week, my friend Brizos was driving home from work.  He wrote to me,

“As I drove home from Marco Island, Florida on the causeway (951/Collier Blvd) that connects Marco Island to Naples, I had to stop in the middle of the road for a perfectly healthy, very large Florida Panther.  There weren’t many cars on the road but this guy just STOPPED… in the middle of the road. Of course being the brave and mighty Brizos, I actually was considering getting out of the truck and going up to check on him… [my friend thought better of that idea] … Anyway, this guy (yes he was definitely a boy) just stood in the middle of the road – and stared at me for a moment or two before deciding to jaunt around and head back into the wood.”

So, Brizos asked me to address the Florida Panther, and how it fits in with the Florida Earthways Path.

I directed him to the Cougar/Mountain Lion/Puma page on the wonderful website, http://www.animalspirits.com/index1.html .  It has an awesome photo of a Cougar, and a story about the Cougar from the Zunis.  According to the website, the

Cougar/Mountain Lion/Puma’s Wisdom Includes:

  • Using leadership power wisely and without ego
  • Balancing power, intention, strength
  • Gaining self-confidence
  • Freedom from guilt
  • Cunning

  In the Florida Earthways Path, the Florida Panther represents the North, the Earth. My Friend was driving NORTH on 951, through-and-into this Panther’s Territory* and he sees this Cat, (a large wild animal yet a little smaller than my friend,) the Cat’s standing there, with the attitude like he is singing “I Won’t Back Down” by  Tom Petty and  Jeff Lynne. 

  So here are some additional questions: 

    1.    Which way did Panther go, when he went off into the woods?  East or West?  That will provide us with more information.

     2.    What were you thinking about, just before you saw him? We must practice Mindfulness at all times, which isn’t easy…

 * The Florida Panther Habitat intersects with the Florida Everglades. 

What a blessing this is to you, my friend!

Watch out for this Cat and his family as you travel through this vast wet land.

 A-Ho!  (It is so!)

WhaleMaiden.

——————-

11/14/2010:  I have edited this post. ~WM~

Approaching Dry Season

We are approaching Dry Season here in Southwest Florida.  This started about September 23rd, which is a little early.  Normally this comes on about mid-October.  This has been an unusual year to use to identify the change of the seasons in the Florida Earthways Path.  Gradually the daily afternoon thundershowers have subsided and the humidity is down.  We’ve been fortunate that no major hurricanes have hit Southwest Florida.  (I’ve a friend who says that is because there are so many Light Workers here, we all keep redirecting the Hurricane Energy out to sea.)

As we prepare to leave Hurricane Season, let us pause and consider what we accomplished.  Let’s continue to reflect on the symbolism where each season represents an aspect of goal setting and progress towards the implementation of a goal.

Remember that symbolically, Dry Season represents the East, Fire Season represents the South, Rainy Season represents the West, Hurricane Season represents the North.  The Center is Spirit.   Fire Season follows Dry Season.  In Dry Season, (Air=Intellect) it is time for new ideas to spring forth as more and more of what was grounded, previously, now symbolically dries up into the Air.  So, the Idea is developed in the Dry Season. 

In the Rainy Season, the Idea which was formed in the Dry Season, (from the Intellect) and which is developed in the Fire Season (due to Passion and Courage), begins to take hold because we invest our Emotions in the Idea.  When you are setting about to make meaningful change in your life, if you do not care about the thing you are changing, you won’t take action. 

Water is symbolic of our emotions.  What do you care about?  What replenishes you?  What nourishes you?  When you think about your idea, how does it make you feel?    That is the work of Rainy Season.

In this methodology Hurricane Season = North, which is the point of ACTION.  What did you set out to achieve this year?  Have you taken any action on the goals you thought about earlier this year?  Before the year ends, is there anything specific you could do to achieve the goals you set for yourself earlier this year?

In my opinion, the point of following a Path is to bring about positive, meaningful change in your life.  This is similar to goal setting, creative visualization, and manifesting desired changes.  Keeping in mind that the Seasons follow one after the other, then work we do now, was developed in a previous season.  And, whatever we do “now,” lays the groundwork for something we will do “later.” 

Heading Into Hurricane Season

Since we are up to about the 5th named storm of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, I guess it is about time to acknowledge that we may finally be heading into Hurricane Season in the Florida Earthways Path.   The New Moon was August 9th.  {I have been monitoring the coincidence of lunar phases with the changes of the Seasons in the Florida Earthways Path for a few years.  That’s a topic for another post…}

I believe that the storms and hurricanes that occur in the earlier part of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, (June-July) are realitively small compared to the ones that develop later in the year.  So, that is why I divide the Atlantic Hurricane Season into “Rainy Season,” and “Hurricane Season”  in the Florida Earthways Path.

(edited for clarity, 8-14-2010)