The American Bison Still Need Protecting!

100_0203 100_0290 100_0291 100_0292I had the opportunity to do some bookstore browsing today and came home with Sun Bear and Waburn’s  The Medicine Wheel: Earth Astrology. As I’m leafing through the book I find reference to Waboose, Spirit Keeper of the North which is a white buffalo.

Later I’m opening my mail and find an appeal to sign a petition to stop senseless bison killings in Montana. What?!? I find myself catapulted from a place of sacred musings to present day angst and anger. Bison restoration is threatened in Montana! You’ll find the petition on behalf of the bison here and I urge you to support this effort.*

I went to my photo library and found photos I took on my 2005 trip to Yellowstone National Park . Being able to see bison up close was a highlight of the trip even if it did slow everyone down whenever the bison started meandering along the roads through the park. There was a feeling of oneness among all of us in the queue of cars as we were given the opportunity to sit and contemplate the magnificence of these gentle giants. (I know they have a fierce side which is why everyone stayed in their cars.)

There is also a sense of terrible loss as well when one remembers that it was not cattle but huge thundering herds of millions of buffalo that roamed the prairies of our American forefathers until their senseless slaughter from 1865 – 1883. You’ll find more about this terrible tragedy here. Sadly the motivations to accomplish this disaster were profit and the genocide of the Native Americans who depended on the buffalo.

In The Medicine Wheel it states that the white buffalo brought renewal of both body and spirit. It is interesting that in the past few years there have been several white buffalo calves born, beating the odds of one in 10 million. Here is an excellent recent article on the promise of the white buffalo that seems to be occurring.

Ted Andrews in Animal Speak  and Dr. Stephen Farmer  in The Pocket Guide to Spirit Animals  both say that the American buffalo or bison is a symbol of abundance and manifestation.

Jamie Sams and David Carson in Medicine Cards say that because of the buffalo’s desire to give the gifts that its body provided, and because of its willingness to be used on Earth for the highest good before entering the hunting grounds of Spirit, Buffalo did not readily stampede and run from hunters. They say that buffalo signs may indicate a time of reconnection to the meaning of life and the value of peace.

Such a powerful, positive gift and message. I feel we are entering such a time!

* Good news! I just read that Montana’s Governor vetoed the last of the 2013 anti-bison legislation on May 9th. Read it here!

Go here for more information on the American Bison.

Go here for the American Bison Society.

And for those who can stomach it, go here for photos of the near annihilation of the American Bison. It is heart breaking.

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Prickly Pear Cactus Flowers and Bumblebees

DSC02528 DSC02529 DSC02530 DSC02531 DSC02532The prickly pear cacti in my yard are flowering. I placed water near the blooms to capture their essence and managed to capture a bumblebee in the water as well. Starting over, I noticed some more cactus blooms that were a brilliant yellow. I went to take pictures of them and found bumblebees in almost all of the blooms.

Later I was reading the June/July 2013 issue of National Wildlife and found A Bumblebee’s Brute Force: A photographer captures a pollinator’s powerful wings mid-flight . These experiences have inspired to seek the healing messages and gifts Prickly Pear Cactus flower and Bumblebee have to share.

Ronni Ann Hall, my flower essence teacher first introduced me to Prickly Pear Cactus flower essence. Here’s what her online flower essence catalog has to say about it: “Prickly Pear Cactus: “remove the blocks” Prickly Pear is a real powerhouse for removing any kind of block that is in the way, whether emotional or physical. It also removes by awareness what is not authentically you.” I tried it out and found it to be helpful just as described.

Here’s what some other flower essence people have to say about Prickly Pear Cactus flower essence:

Desert Alchemy:

  • accessing the great strength that comes from surrendering to the flow of life and life’s events;
  • adaptability;
  • inner calm through surrender to what IS;
  • remaining committed to what you know is right;

Dancing Dolphin Essences : Thrive Prickly Pear Flower Essence: Assists with physical, mental and emotional challenges.

To summarize, Prickly Pear Cactus has powerful qualities for clearing emotions that are blocking us and empowering us to be who we are in the face of adversity.

Turning now to the Bumblebee, the “Brute Force” photo and text referenced earlier talks about how the bumblebee lifts its big body into the air with wings that are comparatively small for its body size. It’s adopted a brute-force approach, flapping its left and right wings independently 130 times or more per second and using large flight muscles that take up most of its midsection. It relies on the regular doses of energy-rich nectar it acquires while pollinating plants.

Ted Andrews in Animal Speak  says that bees are long-time symbols for accomplishing the impossible. As pollinators and makers of honey, bees remind us that no matter how great the dream, there is the honey sweet promise of fulfillment if we pursue it.

This all syncs nicely with Prickly Pear Cactus flower essence: it speaks to thriving when the odds seem impossible and achieving our dreams when we embrace our uniqueness and let go of all that is holding us back. It’s time to take flight!

Go here to read about Pollinator Week, June 17 – 23, 2013.

Go here to learn of the “Bee Smart Pollinator Gardener App” for planting a garden that butterflies, hummingbirds and bees will love as much as you.

Go here if you want info on FES 100 Flower Essences Healing online class starting May 24, 2013.

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You Are the Sky

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“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
Pema Chödrön

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Iris Parade

DSC02383DSC02382DSC02389DSC02390DSC02408DSC02425DSC02440DSC02446DSC02458DSC02457DSC02459DSC02487DSC02489DSC02439DSC02422 The iris parade in my garden started at the end of March with the wild purple irises and ended today with the creamy white yellow-accented irises. For over a month I’ve been enjoying exquisite blooms in a graceful waltz displaying their frills and colors. There’s a sense of loss now that the last iris has expired. However, the iris plant continues to display its green blades for the rest of the season. In a summer Arizona garden, that green is much appreciated! Despite their delicate orchid-like appearance, irises are tough enough to do well in a hot dry climate with some watering. (They will survive without watering, but may not flower.)

Patricia Kaminski wrote in “Using Flower essences, healing oils and affirmations to illumine the soulscape of your sleep” (a booklet enclosed in Flower Essence Services product Dream Deep Ensemble) that iris is one of the most foundational flower essences, having “soul-making qualities”. Iris owes its name to Iris the Greek Goddess of the Rainbow who served as a messenger from the heavens. In Celtic mythology, Iris found her way back from earth to heaven on a “rainbow” of colored essences arising from flowers.

Iris flower essence encourages creativity and expression. Flower essences are my hobby and I enjoy making them, trying them out, and sharing them with my friends. I shared my iris essence last year with an artist friend, Shari Silvey who was experiencing artist’s block. She tried it out and suddenly she was painting again! She was so thrilled by the break through that she drove over to my house from Sedona to show me the painting that flowed from her brush. It was based on a wilderness hike she had taken and there were wild purple irises all along the meandering stream which flowed through the center of the painting. I am not making this up! I shared my iris flower essence with another artist friend of mine, Pamela J. Smith who also gave me positive feedback on it’s healing qualities.

If you would like to purchase commercially prepared Iris flower essence, here are some options:

Or if you have access to irises, why not make your own? There are many different approaches to this which you can research. Here’s one that is close to my process. I differ in that I use a small glass bowl that contains about 1 1/3 cups of reverse osmosis water. I also use an indirect method most of the time since it is difficult for me to cut flowers and have them die in the process of making the essence. I place the bowl of water near the flower so that it picks up on the flower aura. I also do not do the optional step 14 described.

I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with iris!

Here’s a fun, easy, online class on flower essences starting May 24, 2013. I took it and loved it!

For some gorgeous iris photos see these!

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Celestial Sky

I’ve been busy with my garden trying to get things in shape before the hot weather sets in. I’ve been taking pictures of flowers and making flower essences too. I haven’t had time to post anything. Instead I’m sharing this wonderful earth message from another blog, leaf and twig. Enjoy!

leaf and twig

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I bathe my soul
in the beauty of the sky.

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Two White Wolves: Sharing Great Truths

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This picture is from The White Wolf Sanctuary and Educational Facility

I read a post from Stone Stories  this morning and was inspired by the imagery of two white wolves that she saw on her early morning travels across the Canadian prairie. I could see them in my imagination, off in the distance standing still or they could have been running. It inspired me to look for a picture of two white wolves and to blog about them as animal totems.

First, it is interesting that there were two of them, probably mates. whats-your-sign.com has a page on the spiritual meaning of numbers which you can find by following the link. For the number two she says: “The symbolic meaning of number Two is kindness, balance, tact, equalization, and duality. The number Two reflects a quiet power of judgment, and the need for planning. Two beckons us to choose. The spiritual meaning of number Two also deals with exchanges made with others, partnerships (both in harmony and rivalry), and communication. Two urges us out of our indecision, calls us to unite with like-minds, and like-ideals. Two asks us to exert our natural flow of judgment to do what is best for our souls.” There are lots of possibilities to apply to the number two. When reading nature’s messages one needs to pick the one that resonates the most with oneself. It will be different for each person.

Second there is the color white. White contains all colors and it is called the pure White Light of Spirit. This color can symbolize spiritual advancement and openness to the realm of the divine.

Most important of course is what the wolves represent. Carly Van Heerden in her e-book Animal Totems & Spirit Animals says this: The wolf represents loyalty in a balance with independence. The wolf is strong in perseverance and spirit which can lead to success and freedom. They are also pathfinders, being wise teachers of new ideas. They can represent camaraderie and are noted for being highly decisive.

Jamie Sams in her Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals says that Wolf medicine empowers the teacher within us all to come forth and aid the children of Earth in understanding the Great Mystery and life. “It is in the sharing of great truths that the consciousness of humanity will attain new heights.” Sometimes one needs to withdraw and be alone in a power place, in nature, to connect with one’s true self. Be aware of the teachings coming in every day life. Wolf represents the tribe’s greatest teacher so wolf’s appearance signals a time of learning. We are all learners and teachers.

Here’s another blogger’s post you might enjoy entitled The Howl of a Wolf is Sacred

And here’s a beautiful watercolor of a white wolf called geronimo.

See Gretchen Del Rio’s beautiful wolves watercolors here.

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White-Crowned Sparrows Visit Bird Bath

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I was delighted by the sight of several white-crowned sparrows taking a bath in my bird bath this morning. I love the striking white stripes on their heads. They remind me a little of chickadees although they are a larger bird. I find watching them bathe intriguing. They seem to enjoy it so much. It brings back memories from my childhood when our parakeet entertained us with her joyful baths.

I thought I would see what Ted Andrews, in this book Animal-Speak: The Spiritual and Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small has to say about sparrows. Andrews gives the sparrow the keynote of “awakening and triumph of common nobility.” This is due to its ability to hold its own against many of its predators. In the Middle Ages it was a symbol for the peasants and lower classes throughout Europe. The peasants were often helpless under the power of overlords and therefore loved to hear tales of how the simple sparrow triumphed over powerful enemies such as wolves, bears, and eagles, traditional symbols of nobility.

The sparrow’s ability to multiply and prosper despite its many predators is symbolic of the strength and nobility of the common person. I feel we are seeing a rise of the common person around the planet joining in a wave of change. We are more powerful than we can imagine and individually and collectively, we can make a difference.

The fact that I saw the birds bathing carries symbolic significance as well. In The Secret Language of Signs author Denise Linn says that bathing can be a symbol of purification and cleansing. It can mean it is time to wash ones hands of a situation or old habits and attitudes. It can also signify baptism or rebirth.

All of these are consistent with the theme of rebirth and change I’ve been seeing over and over again this spring. We common people, individually and collectively, are powerful. We can heal ourselves and in so doing, heal the planet.

Finally, I’m struck by the white crown of this sparrow. The crown chakra is our connection to divinity, to universal life force energy. White light , has holistic healing and protective qualities that can be called upon to free one from negative energies and advance one’s healing and spiritual growth.

The white-crowned sparrows visiting my bird bath gave me a lift this morning and now I can see why.

Pictures of Sparrows: This is a nice website that can help you with identifying the sparrows who come to visit you. I’d love to hear about them!

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Butterfly: Rebirth and Transformation

yellow-monarch

For the last week or so I’ve had a yellow swallowtail butterfly, sometimes two butterflies, come to visit my backyard. She does a fly by usually traveling from the south and fluttering about the yard for awhile before flying back out again. Sometimes she flies right towards me as if to say hello. When there are two butterflies they engage in a whirling dance around each other.

Butterflies, especially the yellow swallowtail, instantly lift my spirits and bring joy to my soul. They signal rebirth, transformation and joy. They announce winter’s end and the beginning of spring and summer. Spiritually, they are a sign of new beginnings on a higher plane.

At my parents’ assisted living they had a butterfly day when all the women wore butterfly printed or embellished clothing and butterflies were placed on the walls. It was a joyful way to celebrate the end of life as we know it and the transition to a new beginning on the other side. My Mother made her transition in 2007. Now whenever I see a butterfly I feel her spiritual presence near me, sending me love.

No wonder beautiful butterflies are quintessential symbols of hope and renewal. They are everywhere on artwork, jewelry, cards, posters and other products designed to inspire and uplift. Thank you butterfly for visiting with your messages of beauty, joy, hope and renewal!

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The Ultimate Network

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Lava and Lightning–Power, Release, and Rebirth

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This amazing image showed up in my newsfeed today, posted by Milky Way Scientists . If you follow the link you can read the full story. The eruption of Sakurajima occurred in Japan on February 24, 2013. What is so striking (no pun intended) is the lightning which seems to come from the eruption itself. As they explain in the posting, it is a little understood phenomenon.

I have always been fascinated by these two powers of nature, volcanoes and lightning. To see them both exploding together evokes awe. What is the metaphor or higher meaning one can read in such an occurrence?

I’m a learner of signs so I seek guidance from sources, often Denise Linn’s The Secret Language of Signs . However, I will tap into my own intuition first to see what these signs evoke in me.

The volcano erupting reminds me of my fascination with volcanoes and their awesome powers of destruction. I have been fortunate to see Mount Saint Helens many years after its eruption where life is very slowly coming back. The huge forests were knocked down like toothpicks and the lake simply disappeared. A before and after picture shows a devastation almost beyond comprehension.

Mount_St_Helens_before_and_after

I was also able to see lava flowing from Kilauea into the ocean in Hawaii. I had to look through binoculars to see the lava emerging from a lava tube into the ocean. Even from the distance which we were kept at, you could feel the heat. I’d have to say those two experiences near volcanoes have been peak experiences in my life.

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As I’m writing this, I remembered that I often see in my dreams the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, AZ, not far from me, having a volcanic eruption. In my dreams I feel the same thrill, the raw expression of apocalyptic power. I feel this is a sign of awesome power, destruction of the old to make way for the new. New lands are created by the molten rocks and minerals deposited in eruptions and lava flows as you can see in this photo of the Bonito Lava Flow (1180AD) at Sunset Crater near Flagstaff, AZ, (one of my favorite spots.)

sunset crater

Lightning is another fascination of mine. My mind goes to the amazing light shows we often get here in Arizona during the monsoon season.

monsoons

Again, there is the essence of tremendous power that suddenly erupts with incredible brightness to be followed by thunder. It’s a power that can start devastating forest fires. Yet it may have been the instrument that stimulated the start of organic compounds and life on earth.

Power, destruction, rebirth. Is that not what we are witnessing at this time on planet earth, in our own lives?

Denise Linn sees the volcano as symbolizing a primal force of nature from within the depths of Mother Earth which is often a symbol of the subconscious. All that has been suppressed is released explosively so that healing may occur. She sees lightning as a very potent symbol connoting great power and a break-through ahead. In native tradition, lightning was the Sky Father impregnating Earth Mother. It can be a very powerful sign of speed, strength, and the awakening of your inner life force.

This certainly resonates with me. How does it feel to you?

For an amazing story of rebirth after death by lightning strike, I highly recommend Dannion Brinkley’s  Saved by the Light .

I also recommend The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson for  releasing trapped emotions.

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