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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Time to be sure about what normal is

IT IS TIME TO BE SURE WHAT NORMAL IS, as far as daily rain storm patterns.  And, seems to me, we have about 10 days left this year, for you to actively study this.  We are in Rainy Season right now in Southwest Florida, and very soon, we will find ourselves in the throes of Hurricane Season.  (The esteemed scientists at NOAA indicate the Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 1.  But for the purposes of the spiritual work we do in the Earthways Shamanic Path, we identify the start of Rainy Season as  June 15th, and the Hurricane Season as August 15th.  These are all just dates in calendars, since to be clear, Hurricanes can pop up in the Atlantic, all year.)

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At any rate, you need to be paying attention to the timing of the daily thunderstorms, and paying attention to their scale.  Each area of Florida has a daily pattern of rain storms.  Some areas have morning thunderstorms.  Some areas have afternoon thunderstorms.  If you’ve lived in Florida for awhile, you may have a sense of the rhythm of the storms.

This is important because, when a Hurricane is approaching, and I mean, when it is up to about 10 days away, it starts pulling weather patterns.  The clouds 5 days ahead of a Hurricane, look like they’ve had the life sucked out of them.  As an example.

So, learn what normal is, so you can detect shifts which will foretell Hurricanes.

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

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

 

Wandering Quickly Through Rainy Season

WE ARE WANDERING QUICKLY THROUGH RAINY SEASON,  on our way to Hurricane Season.

Rainy Season is an introspective time, a time of respite from the build up of dust from Dry Season, and a relief from the annual increase in population of people to Southwest Florida during Fire Season.  It is a time when the animals are migrating, mating, nesting.  And we rest:  We rest in the shade of lush leaves and fronds which have leapt out in this growing time.  It is hot, and it is growing more humid each day and this makes humans feel tired.  (Make sure you drink enough water, this helps you deal with humidity.)

Spirituality, this is a time for making connections, and learning from those events, and for personal renewal.

We celebrate family milestones of graduations, marriages, new jobs, and moves across town or aross country, at this time of year.   These events present considerable opportunities for personal reflection; be sure to give your self time for that inner work.

Consider what personal goals you have for yourself, and the progress you are making in those goals.  Make notes on steps you need to take, to adjust your course.

It’s also a good time to clean your Altar, tidy it up, and check in with your Higher Power and your Guides.  It’s always a good idea to check in with Them while things are going well to say thank you for your blessings and bounty.  Get grounded through these communications and establish small rituals with them –simple ways to connect with them.  Do those little rituals, daily, make them a part of your life.  As Rainy Season winds down, it is important to get grooved in to this self care habit, over the next 2 to 3 weeks…

… as the heat and humidity of Rainy Season build up daily, and soon, the Hurricanes will come….

You will be glad you have tended to these self care tasks, and built up your reserves, once Rainy Season rolls into Hurricane Season.

*** We will be having the Hurricane Season ceremony and ritual, on Sunday, August 5th (2018) a little after noon, at the screened porch of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers.

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**** In the Earthways Shamanic Path, we celebrate the Seasons as they unfold in our front yards, so to speak.  The area of the world where we make our homes.  Our town.  In Southwest Florida, we observe the following Seasons:  Rainy Season (from June 15th to August 15th), Hurricane Season (from August 15th to October 15th), Dry Season (October 15th to February 15th), and, Fire Season (February 15th to June 15th).

 

Magic all around us

THERE’S MAGIC ALL AROUD US…Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, this time of year, I focus on pursuing my passions.  I love to attend Festivals and Fairs.  This time of year there are hundreds of such opportunities all over Florida, every weekend.  The task at hand, is to decide where to go, which event to attend.   I am blessed to be able to travel.  Some of these events create distinct moments where magic happens.  Others present opportunities to achieve altered states.  And all of them provide me with so much happiness and freedom.

And, when I’m not at a Festival or Fair, I return yet again, to the Wild.  I look, and look, and look and then See.

And in between all of that, I rest.

Magic is everywhere.20180114_141557

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

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

 

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!

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.