Music: Messages From Spirit

Stick with me, there’s a point to all of this.

I wake up, not with the memory of a dream, but with a song, The Drugs Don’t Work, by The Verve, rolling out in complete recall: The lyrics, the melody, the complete orchestration…something like this acoustic recording, only more-so,

Spirit is giving me a message!    I do not do drugs, so, superficially, I can say this isn’t a message for me. But the odd thing about hearing this song this morning was, in spite of its melancholy tone, it didn’t make me sad; because of the ending, it actually makes me feel, and I mean, feel,  hopeful and connected to Spirit.

I’ve only recently heard this song when I reinstalled my entire CD collection onto my phone in April.  I have 2,095 tracks on my phone.  My cd player is set to play tracks, not albums, and it goes alphabetically from ”   “, (   ), 01, 02, and then A through Z.  I play these songs, end over end on all my various road trips across Florida.

You might think I’d get tired of hearing these songs in alphabetical order, but several factors are at play which  make every road trip a wonderful conversation with Spirit. Frequently, the system will jump from the T’s back to the S’s as if it is important for me to hear one particular song — like Scarborough Fair by Glen Campbell, followed by … Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkle.  I’m obviously meant to get that message… whatever it is. Deciphering these messages is a work in progress.

Due to the way a lot of CDs are produced, copied, shared and uploaded, I have a lot of songs called, Track 01, Track 02, Track 03 … so, there is a point in time where I get this strange rotation of songs by Albannach, and, Mbrascatu.  This is a strange pairing.  Albannach is tribal, Celtic, mostly pulsating drums and bag pips and some vocalizations.

Mbrascatu’s songs are sung in Italian, and accompanied by violins and other instruments.  I heard this band play live in Seattle in February 2016.  They are great fun to watch, they have great stage presence.  You know I danced.  I loved their music, but I do not speak Italian.  I don’t know what they are singing about.  It could be about their family, their lover, a lost love, their land, their wine or pasta.  I haven’t a clue. But the songs make me feel happy.    Here they are playing  “Cittu Za Vecchia” which they say means ‘shut up grand mother,’ but I think they were joking —

Here is what I’m really writing about today, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans.  Because of my Whale Energy (The Whales are some of my Spirit Helper Animals,) I pick up music and songs easily:  I’m tuned in to the way songs sounds.  I know romance languages and can make out syllables, I can sing La-La, La-La. La. La La La, la la la,  along with Mbrascatu.  I can learn the songs without knowing the words.

Recently, I was honored to attend a Sweat Lodge Ceremony where all the sacred songs were sung in Lakota.  Now, I do not speak Lakota, but when the people began singing, my Whales do their thing, and I respond in sound bytes and syllables, and gradually pick up the songs as time goes on, through repetition.  The first time I attended this Ceremony, back in late December, even though I didn’t know the words, the songs touched my Heart; it didn’t matter what the words were.  In one of the Ceremonies this past weekend, someone taking their first Sweat asked if the songs were available translated into English.  They wanted to know what the songs meant.  It is always a challenge to translate songs from one language to another because of grammar and sentence structure.  Lakota doesn’t translate to English very well at all because Lakota will have one word for a beautiful concept that must be described in a complete sentence.

This weekend, as I attended this wonderful and beautiful Ceremony, I learned more of the songs, and more and more of the words are seeping in, touching my Heart.  One day I will wake up singing those songs.

Footnote:  Maybe now, this part of my post “Journey of the Heart: The Shamanic Path Within” on May 10th, will make more sense:

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.

… the Song [the Messages from Spirit] is in my head and ears, rolling around in a great widening spiral to my heart… 

[On your Sacred Path,] 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.

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 music videos.)




Black Stars and Wands Up

Our lives are so intertwined with our arts, and we live in a culturally rich time.   Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, the veil has opened and people who have meant a lot to us, culturally, and spiritually, have slipped through, but they did not go unnoticed.

On Monday of this week, we learned that David Bowie passed away at the age of 69. He had just released a new album, Black Star, Friday, and many of the songs on it, seemed to suggest that he knew his time was coming.  Today, we learned that Alan Rickman has passed away, also at the age of 69.  (Since we tend to see celebrity deaths in groups of three, today several people pointed back to Natalie Cole who passed away on December 31, in order to complete this trifecta.)

Monday morning,  when we found out about David Bowie, a young friend of mine posted on Facebook, “I thought he was immortal,”  and I knew exactly what they meant:  David Bowie’s music has permeated my life from 1972 on-wards, directly at first through his own music, and then indirectly, as his artistic genius began to be woven into the creative lives of countless other artists over the past several decades.  I thought it would always be this way, all my life.

Part of my Shamanic practice — a large part of it — involves music and singing and dancing.  I am immersed in music on a daily basis.  Certainly this involves drumming to achieve altered states, and singing songs to the Great Spirit and Mother Earth and Father Sky and to the Waters all around me.  But it also involves listening to music while I am out driving around.  And it used to involve listening to music while sitting around with my friends.  We’d put the record on the phonograph, or the tape in the tape player, and rock out.  All of these are altered states.  They are Shamanic experiences.  And Bowie’s music, and the music he inspired, is in there.

(If I could, I’d post just the refrain from Bowie’s song,  Moonage Daydream here, the instrumental part…it is similar to, but not the same as, my Spirit’s Song.  The one that comes to me when I feel joyful.  The one I sing to myself when I want to feel joyful.)

And then there’s Alan Rickman and his awesome VOICE. …  One of the books that had a tremendous impact on me and my Shamanic Path, was Dune by Frank Herbert, which I read between 1975-77.  I was particularly impressed by the women in the  Bene Gesserit, who knew of personal power, for example, the ability to move just one toe.  And, how they directed reality with the power of their Voice.  This is the power of story-telling.  Speakers do this, parents do this, teachers do this.  And in my world, one of the greatest Voices of our time, is that of Alan Rickman.    (I love this clip from from the movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where Severus Snape strides into the classroom and directs the students to  “Turn to page three-hundred-ninety-four”.)

Incidentally, Alan Rickman’s last project, is the voice of the Blue Caterpillar in the upcoming movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass.  Now there’s another Shamanic Story for you!

Sometimes, you won’t know what has influenced your life, or your spiritual path, until the influence is gone.  None of us are immortal, but their influences will live on.   I am thankful to live in a time with readily accessible recordings of these great artists, at my fingertips.

Meanwhile, Wands Up, “Let’s Dance!” and Share Peace with Our Earth.

~Whale Maiden~

~~~ ♡ ~~~

Although the Earthways Shamanic Path is based in Florida, it can be celebrated anywhere. You just need to explore the magic of your land.  What is it saying to you? What are the seasons, where you live? What do they mean to you? How are they celebrated?

Join Whale Maiden in the discussion at the Earthways Shamanic Path – Facebook Group

(c) 2002 to present, Whale Maiden. All Rights Reserved.

Books on Shaminism -Cosmic Serpent and Fishers of Men

(January 9, 2012)

I'm reading two books about shaminism at the same time and weaving the themes together like the strands of DNA one of the books is about.  They are about the use of ayahuasca -- a hallucinogenic plant.  The Cosmic Serpent explains that the plants taught the people how to use them.  The Fishers of Men is about a man's spiritual quest using ayahuasca.

I want to achieve altered states, but I don’t want to trek to Peru and find a guide…and eat hallucinogenics and go through all that.  I believe it is possible to achieve altered states without ingesting hallucinogenics.

I can do it here.  With music.  And dance.


What do I think? The way I see the world

What do I think? The way I SEE the World.

Previously posted on January 31, 2010 by Whale Maiden

I was listening to the radio on Thursday morning, and there was a report about the Toyota Recall and they were interviewing mechanics who are involved with fixing the foot pedals.  They were saying all you have to do is crawl down there with a flashlight and look at your pedal and you’ll know whether you have the faulty one or not, the name of the manufacturer is on there.  And they said the two names of the products, the good one, and the faulty one.  It was really early when they were saying this, and I was getting the products mixed up in my head. 

Later, I told this story to a group of people I was having lunch with.  They wanted to know the two names, and I said I didn’t “remember the names so much as the way they sounded:  One had more consonants, and the other had more vowels.”  I laughed at that and noted that I would probably check my pedal and then write down the word on the pedal and come inside and ‘google’ it.  Everybody thought that was a good plan.  (Turns out  my car doesn’t  have a CTS pedal.  That is the one with all the consonants.)

My point here is that I tend to think about the world and the big issues, in terms of colors, images, and sounds.

Happy Beltaine

It is Beltaine!

Time to enjoy the springtime flowers and youthful exuberence, where ever you are. 

Find a maypole and a bunch of ribbons and dance, dance, dance. 

Fall down in a heap with all your dancing partners and laugh and giggle and

get up and dance again.

(For my Pagan friends)

The sounds of Rainy Season — Frogs

The second sound of Rainy Season in Southwest Florida, is a result of the rain, and it is the peeping trill of thousands of frogs.  Once the rain comes (and the temperature warms up) the frogs start to sing.   Not every area sounds the same.  I am sure that different areas have different types of frogs which causes a variation in the sounds of the chorus.  And, maybe things like the  size of the body of water, and the time of day,  are factors in the different sounds.

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