Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sailing to Middlenatch Island in Desolation Sound; finding shamanic lessons from wildflowers

Springtime in Desolation Sound seems to require a day sail to Middlenatch Island, especially in these last days of April with the wildflowers are at the height of their beauty.  Because I consider myself a student of nature, I also look for lessons about shamanic knowing in the way plants grow, and where.

Consider these two Camas plants.  The Death Camas and the Blue Camas.  The Death Camas is like being able to call the wind and lightening, dramatic but dangerous without the deep, often traditional education that knows how to receive them.  The Blue Camas is more modest yet nourishing, like the teaching from rain and cloud.

Some shamanic teachers require us to struggle with hard lessons that are wrapped with thorns of criticism and kept within a harsh and unfriendly manner.  But just as the wild strawberry sends up its flowers from runners that grow over rock. the fruit of this teaching is like a nugget of intense wisdom, bursting into our awareness if we are patient and wait long enough for the sun,

Some shamanic knowing seems lush with ceremony, and we are drawn to be part of its drama.  Yet if this knowing has been removed from its ritual context, we find a wall denying access behind its surface invitation.  We are unable to apply its meaning to a useful purpose in our daily life.

I understand that the most powerful lessons of shamanic knowing are small and easily overlooked, requiring contemplation and quiet, not excess and arrogance.  These few-flowered Shooting Stars are a wonderful symbol of that rare moment when we focus our attention differently, quiet our inner dialog, and let the other-than-human-world show us its face.