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

 

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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

-_-_-

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

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.

Foggy Interlude

A few weeks ago, I awoke to a foggy morning and I savored the interlude.  The peace of it.  The way it moves in and blankets the earth:  the land, the trees, the water, too.  In Florida, the Earthways Shamanic Path celebrates four seasons, Rainy, Hurricane, Dry and Fire.  In between some of the Seasons, there is a Foggy Interlude.

The foggy interlude isn’t a pause.  Time doesn’t stand still in a fog.  It just slows way, way down.  Or rather, because fog is so thick, we must slow down to travel, so this is a time of mindfulness.  Simultaneously, because fog envelopes us, it is possible to clear one’s mind and allow the fog to enter us, for a time.

Fog is magical.  Shapes change in the fog, distances morph, sound travels like poetry.  We can rest between what was, and what is yet to be in the fog,

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Traveling in a Foggy Interlude

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

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

Trusting Your Gut as a Shamanic Practice

You may wonder how trusting you gut is a shamanic practice. Let me tell you a story.

About nine weeks ago, I started a new diet, a new way of eating. Instead of eating mostly carbohydrates, some proteins, and some fats — and that’s about all there is to eat, people

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Whale learns to cook broccoli and peppers and garlic and capers

— I changed my percentages so I am now eating more fat than protein, and very few carbs. This plus lots of exercise, works surprisingly well to take off the weight and tone up.

When I embarked on this new way of eating I decided to go strict with it, so, I got a kitchen scale, and used a calorie counting app, mostly to keep track of my “macros,” which is a fancy way of saying how many grams of protein, fats, and carbs I was consuming at each meal, each day, each week. That activity created a certain mindfulness which made up for eating no chocolate candy or pasta. I also weigh myself twice a day, and record my progress in a note book. All of this is to acheive a certain state, a zone, and to stay in that state, once you get there.

All good until the end of week 6, when I embarked on what became a 2,000 mile, 12- day road trip through most of Florida, in my efforts to celebrate the Labor Day weekend with friends, then evacuate family members and button up two dwelling units, and then to evacuate in advance of Hurricane Irma.

I didn’t pack my various weights and measures at the start of my trip, but I did pack a cooler bag. And every so often in my travels, I bought food, cooked it, and repacked my cooler bag, wherever I could. I vowed to stay on this diet for the duration, because I had worked so hard up until this point.

I arrived at a Red Cross Hurricane Shelter in Marianna, Florida on Sunday night, just a few hours before Irma began making land fall on the Florida Keys. I was a very weary traveler, and was grateful to find shelter. Dinner was being served as I arrived: non-beef hot dogs (eg, corn-and-sugar-based) in buns, pretzels, and brownies. I also saw a bowl of chopped up fruit. None of this was on my diet, so I ate hard boiled eggs and cheese from my cooler. Not every meal was like this, but most were. By the second day, my Very Dear Man and I were making jokes about it.  (I want to be sure to emphasize that the rest of the accommodations at this shelter, were comfortable and gracious, as in a-state-of-grace, we were well cared for by the volunteers from the entire town, and we have no complaints about this experience.)

Let’s return to where the shamanic practice kicks in: I had to figure out how much to eat to stay in my zone, and how long I could eat my food in the cooler, before the contents became too warm to eat safely. This happened intuitively. My intuition kicked in, because I had no choice, but also, I trusted myself, and allowed it to kick in. Some of it was due to an imperative I had pushed myself into. I chose to stay on my diet, and I couldn’t eat spoiled food. I needed to get enough calories, and stick to the ratios of proteins, fats, carbs. And it happened.

I’ve also been learning to cook since I started this diet, but that’s a story for another post!

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

[Timeline was correct when post was drafted 9/20/2017]

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

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.

 

 

 

Earthways Shamanic Path meets AutumnMeet 2017

20171014_125939.jpgI have returned from a short trip to AutumnMeet, which is a pagan festival put on by the great folks with Phoenix Festivals, Inc.

I presented a workshop on the Earthways Shamanic Path.  In this workshop, we learned about the Earthwats Path, and about Core Shsmamism, and ushered  out Hurricane Season, and welcomed in Dry Season.  I had a small but very attentive audience.

Then, Dayan Martinez and I co-led the workshop called, “Encountering the Native Goddess.”  Dayan is a generous co-facilatator, and it is always fun to see Dayan in person.

This was a nice family-oriented festival, at a lovely camp ground North of Lakeland, Fl.

I hope we get invited back next year!