Returning to Goal

I’m returning to my goals, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans.  After Halloween/Samhain 2015(*), I went on several excursions and adventures which took me away from my meditative state.  I finally returned home November 30, 2015, and then was sick, so a box of tissues commanded my attention.  And then there was a slight distraction for two weeks with my facebook identity.

I get interrupted a lot by forces out of my control.  People make demands upon my time, and things happen.  So it is important to know how to get back on track.

First, it helps to have some kind of long-range goal.  For example, the long range goal of the Earthways Shamanic Path, is to provide information and guidance to assist people in identifying the Seasons and Celebrations that are unique to their local climate and customs.  And, to help people learn to access their Shamanic talents.

And how do I achieve that long range goal?  Through small steps, and with a game plan.  For the  Earthways Shamanic Path, the game plan starts witha list of topics I want to cover.  That list is in my head, but I can write it down, so I will see it and stick to it.  The idea is to write blog posts, and accompany those with photographs.  Sonetines, getting the photo I want, slows me down.   I’m going to relax about this, this year.  The idea is to write every day, but I’ve discovered that isn’t always feasible for me.  It may be better for me  if I aim for every-other day.

…. no matter what I do, I know I will get something done, if I just go ahead and start.  So the Journey continues!

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.  All rights reserved.15144893375931970206363.jpg

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(*) I began this blog post December 17, 2015.  I’m delughted to see it is still apt, two years later!

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Nothing is constant but change, Darling

NOTHING IS CONSTANT BUT CHANGE, DARLING…My Mother used to tell me that.

[This is the edited edition]

Kit Tan the Cat and I are sitting on the Back Porch, noticing things that have changed since we were last here together.  It is Thanksguving morning, and I am back to my house for a few dats visiting Kit Tan and the Kid*.

It’s been 7 months– almost 8 –since Kit Tan and I last enjoyed the healing ritual of fresh air, nature, and solitude together in the morning.

In December 2016, I set out on an Adventure.  This was launched after the untimely death of my sister.  I realized then,  Life is short no matter how long we live, and I knew it was up to me to pursue my own happiness.

I didn’t know it at the time, but choices I made starting in December and continuing into early April,  launched a time of major changes and transitions in my life.  And, I know there are still many more transitions ahead of me, in this present batch of changes.

That’s probably the most important thing to know or understand about CHANGE, is that things come in batches.  Because everything is connected and intertwined.

I had been job hunting, but I ramped it up in December, and applied for jobs in Tallahassee (300 miles from Cape Coral), Orlando (140), a small town near Tampa (100), and Fort Myers (10-20, depending in which bridge one crosses).   I got invited to interviews everywhere but Orlando.  I traveled a lot for those interviews, and even went to Upstate New York in the middle of a blizzard for a potential job.  That one didn’t pan out.

In January, I told my husband of  10 years  that when I got one of these jobs, we would become Separated.  I’d been unhappy for over 8 years. I had repeatedly tried, but had not succeded, to make this marriage a life-affirming space,  and with no improvement I was  growing increasingly unhappy and despondent.

During this time, I met or got to know better, many members of my Spirit Family in Fort Myers.  These are people you know who are not your blood or family relatives, but who are Kin, nevertheless:  Spirit Sisters, Spirit Brothers, Extra Sons/Daughters/Kids*.

I went on some extensive Shamanic Journies in this time, and came back with the message, “We Are Soverign, Yet Connected.”  I understand this message and it’s implications for me, and am blessed by the opportunity to grow by it.

I purged.  I purged by packing, throwing stuff out — I had to confront thirty years accumulation of journal entries, novel notes, poems scribbled on paper napkins, correspondence.  I gave stuff away.  I held every object and verified how much joy I felt.

I got a job, and I moved.  In April, I left the house I lived in, but which was no longer my home, and moved to Central Florida.  I got an apartment on the second floor of a nice complex.  (I’m still a Suburban Shaman.)  My apartment windows face a forested area full of squirrels, and I traded my back yard porch, for a balcony in the treetops.

I moved my important objects and papers to my new apartment.  The husband, the Kid*, and Kit Tan the Cat, all stayed behind.  About a week later, I told my husband that I was feeling better, feeling  much happier, and wanted a divorce.

At this point, something had to give and I postponed my Earthways Shamanic Path Gathering 2017, and temporarily stopped conducting my various classes in Earthways Shamanism.  I continued posting to my blog, but was somewhat oblique about all the changes I was going through.

In April, I gave up eating  alcohol, cola, hot chocolate, banana nut bread, prepackaged foods (like fish sticks), processed lunch meats, and watching hours and hours of TV.

Over the past several months, I’ve lost at least 25 pounds, because the apartment is on the 2nd floor, and because of the changes I made in April, and because I went on the low-carb diet, at the end if July.  At that time,  I gave up sugar, grains, beans/legumes, pasta, milk,  fried foods, most fruits, and starchy vegetables. (**)

With the patient encouragement of a Very Dear Friend, I re-learned to cook, and began to exercise on a more regular schedule.  I now have the energy to go on five-hour hikes in the Wilderness.

I worked.  I had to get used to working 8 to 5 in an office setting, again.  To bringing in a lunch each day, wearing office clothes, and getting my work done.  This was hard for me, because I  hadn’t done it in 4 years.

I am happy with all the changes I made, and the resulting freedom, yet, I miss my Kid, and Kit Tan, my friends and the lands of Southwest Florida.  I miss my life that I  gave up, when I leaped to my squirrel nest.

So, I started job hunting, again!  And I got interviews…

At the end of August a big storm came through Southwest Florida and broke my beautiful Orchid Tree in half.  It had to be cut down.  I was heart-broken.

My divorce went through, just before Hurricane Irma came through.  I buttoned up three dwellings,  circumnavigated around Florida for 10 days and eventually evacuated to Marianna, Florida.  Eventually, I returned to my nest among the tree tops and discovered it had weathered the storm.  When I went to check on my house further south, I discovered the house was 100% fine!  But my neighbor’s massive tree had fallen down, and had to be cut up and hauled away in pieces.  I have lived next to that 60 foot tall tree for 15 years and never figured out what it was.***  Now it was gone and the neighboring wildlife has to re-roost. Plus, the shade and privacy this tree provided, is gone.  All my neighbors can see each other now.  (Oh, the joys of suburbia.)

<Photos of big tree refuse to post here.>

~~~~~~~~~

The changes I went through this year,  were all good changes, but it hasn’t been easy!  There were times when I had to shift my game plan and then shift it again, and keep going.

I started writing this post a month ago, while sitting on my beloved back porch.  Much has changed since then, but that’s a topic for another post or two.   This post has gotten sprawly, and I may have lost the thread of what I was trying to say.  When I was a kid, my family experienced a life-changing big change.  It was a positive event, yet, it was a shock to my young mind.  At that time, my Mother told me, “Nothing is constant but change.”  Over the years, I’ve learned that changes happen all around us.  Big changes, little changes.  The trees that fell, did so because they lost their flexibility, if they ever had it.  They were not able to adapt and adjust.  It is easier to embrace changes if you choose the changes.

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

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


* “Kids” in my usage, are adults.

** The diet I went on is called Ketosis-Paleo.  It is working for me, but is not suitable for everyone.  Please discuss it with your health care professionals.

***We call these trees, “Florida Trees,” and it covers a wide range of species.

Drafting a blog, 7 pages and I’m not even started 

I’m sitting in a waiting room with time on my hands so I’m drafting my next blog post by hand.  On paper.  Long hand.  I’ve written six pages so far, I’m  starting on page 7, and in some ways, I’m not even STARTED. 

 It’s a sprawling theme, something I have been chewing on actively, for three weeks, but which I now realize I’ve been thinking about my whole life:  home.

What is home, how do you define home, what makes a home, home?  Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, your sense of home defines you, and has a lot to do with how you see yourself in your Spiritual life.

Shamanic Driving 

Shamanic Driving is when you drive your car somewhere, and reach an altered state in the process.  I’m not advocating this as a technique, but I’m going to describe it in this post.  Shamanic Driving is different from Sonic Driving, which is when you go into an altered state through the use of a rapid, monotonous sound or vibration.

Here’s home Shamanic Driving works: 

Get in your car.

Put on music 

Head out on a highway, for a 100 mile journey through beautiful, but somewhat monotonous scenery.

Add a rain storm, and then windshield wipers.  

Note the drone of other cars and trucks on the highway all around your car, to the East of you, to the South of you, to the West of you, to the North of you, above you the sky or rain, below you, the hiss of tires running through the rain on the  pavement…

By this time, you have “Siri,” ocassionally telling you, “you are on the fastest route and the way ahead is clear.”

I feel focused yet relaxed.  

My phone rings.  My friend is reminding me how to get to her house.  We’re chatting.  A motorcyclist has just whipped around me, going way too fast in the rain.  I change lanes to avoid him, and end up in the fast lane, and suddenly,  I’m passing a truck.  I’m in the truck’s blind spot, pulling up, now along side the back third of the truck.  

Suddenly, “because everything happens suddenly, or not at all,” the truck signals, and starts moving into the fast lane, where I am.   I begin narrating this, calmly, to my friend,”why’s this truck coming over here?” I’m breaking, defensively, I’m honking the horn, I’m moving to my left, not wanting to leave the pavement, still honking.  My friend on the phone is telling me to focus, and we all are.  And the truck backs off, yet we keep going, and ahead to the right, I see the police car lights blinking blue in the rain, and I realize, the truck was just trying to obey the Move Over law.

I pass him, and wipe my brow, my way of signaling to him, “that was close but we pulled through” because I drive With Spirit, tuned in, where ever I go.

And I am blessed.

Where ever you go, take Spirit wih you, and 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.  All rights reserved.

Habit forming

Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time inside a building with security door latches.  Some are accessed through a badge which we wear.  These are credit card sized devices, anchored to a clip with a retractable cord.  That  sounds like zip-zip-zip when used, and provides hours of entertainment.

Other doors are accessed via a four digit code on a key pad.  I’ve successfully memorized the code (a life skill).  That’s a good thing, because I don’t want to get stuck outside in the hallway.

The keys on the key pad beep when pressed: tap-tap-tap-tap! And then, there’s a pause and a ‘click,’ and the door can be opened.

Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, in just three weeks, I have developed a strange little habit.   After I depress the 4 buttons, I tilt my head to the left, just slightly while waiting for the ‘click.’  I don’t know why I started doing that.  I don’t know why I only tilt to the left.  I just know, I do it every time now.  

That’s how easily habits develop.  As habits go, this one is totally benign.  It doesn’t hurt me, or anyone else.  And once I noticed it, I set about stopping that habit.  It’s a choice.

Every day, the little choices we make, sometimes without even noticing, add up, like drops of water wearing away a mountain, drop by drop.

Make good choices, and share your peace with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Big Waters all around us.

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

When you THINK you have a choice…

Sometimes, you have a choice, and sometimes you just THINK you have a choice.

Recently, I wrote about driving straight across South Florida, where you will have to cross Lake Okeechobee, and described several actual choices to do so.

What happens when you THINK you have a choice, but you really don’t?

Let’s say you are house hunting.  You may wander around, looking at houses.

You go far away and tour one, and you like it and you make an offer, but you aren’t really sure if your offer went in.  Perhaps Mercury was retrograde then.

You come closer, and tour another house.  It is grander than the first, and there’s competition, and the sellers tell you they will consider your offer…so you are waiting to hear…

And then, you drive around and you see it: your dream house, just where you’ve always wanted to live.  It’s perfect.  You’ll take it.  Except, they haven’t offered it to you yet.  But, they have invited you to come talk to them, in a few days…

So, you go home and start packing.  You know you’re going somewhere.  Soon.  You just don’t know where or when.  You think, “oh, the first one, that would be a perfect house to live in, and a lovely town, and the rooms are so spacious and they’ll be just great.  I’ll put my green desk there….”  But then you think the second house is nicer.  You picture where you will hang your modern art collection.  But then you think about the third house, and even though you haven’t yet seen it on the inside, and have no idea whether it has any closet space at all, you love it on the outside, and it just has to be the perfect house, and they will love your offer…

And you run these three houses through your mind, repeatedly, and tell all your friends over and over because you can’t decide which one you like better, and it will come down to which one of sellers likes your offer the best. That combination of what you will pay, and your ability to get a mortgage, and even your willingness to close by a certain date.  The choice of where you might ultimately live, it isn’t quite up to you.

Notice clearly, you actually do not yet have 3 choices.  You just think you do.  

Honorable Shamans, all your contingency planning in the world, is just a series of scenarios.  When you are in the middle of this kind of lesson, the sooner you quit running scenarios of what might happen, the sooner you can confront things you actually need to be doing at the time.

Share your peace with Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Big Waters, for we are all related.

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

 

 

Under the Lake

“Oh, great, you’re coming East to visit us?”

“Yes, this weekend.”

“Cool, are you going Under the Lake?”

We have a quaint way of talking about traveling in South Florida, because we have this massive lake in the middle of the State.  It is called, Lake Okeechobee, and that word means, big waters.  The lake is so big across, you can’t see to the other side of it.

According to Wikipedia,  “Lake Okeechobee (US /kiˈbi/),[1] locally referred to as “The Lake”, “Florida’s Inland Sea”,[2] or “The Big O”, is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Florida.[3] It is the seventh largest freshwater lake in the United States[4] and the second largest freshwater lake (the largest being Lake Michigan) contained entirely within the contiguous 48 states.[5] However, it is the largest freshwater lake completely within a single one of the lower 48 states. Okeechobee covers 730 square miles (1,900 km2), approximately half the size of the state of Rhode Island, and is exceptionally shallow for a lake of its size, with an average depth of only 9 feet (2.7 metres).

When driving from Fort Myers straight across to places on the East Coast, you will hit the Lake, so you have to make a choice:  you can go, “over the Lake,” or you can go, “under the Lake,”  to get there.  Honorable Shamans, what Journeys does this bring to mind?  Is it possible to use the Lake itself as a journeying portal?

20160519_135259
Looking Southeast across Lake Okeechobee at Lakeport, May 2015

If you go to the North, you go through the towns of  La Belle, Moore Haven, Buckhead Ridge, Okeechobee, Indiantown, and reach Jupiter.  Takes  2 hours, 57 minutes, and is 146 miles.  Or, you can go South through La Belle, Clewiston, South Bay, Belle Glade, Wellington, and then up to Jupiter.  This trip takes 2 hours, 43 minutes, and is 141 miles.

You could also circumnavigate the Lake, going around from Moore Haven, Clewiston, South Bay, Belle Glade, Pahokee, Okeechobee, Buckhead Ridge and back to Moore Haven.  This loop will take 2 hours, 26 minutes and is 116 miles.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little Journey with me.  Share your Peace with Mother Earth and Father Sky and all the Big Waters around us.

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