Week 31 of Enchantment connects us to Native American Medicine through animal spirits. They include the four leggeds, the winged ones and the creepy crawlers. For years I have walked the Native American Medicine Wheel and have participated in rituals. Daily I draw an animal spirit card for direction. On February 5, 2005, I humbly received the honor of being gifted with tobacco from Vision Bear, a Native American Medicine Man. In a moving ceremony that I shared with my friend and colleague, Dr. Susan Russell, in the presence of many of our friends, we were smudged and Vision Bear chanted over us and blessed our work in the world. He honored us by naming us Medicine Women. My tobacco is kept in a purple suede and beaded pouch, where it hangs in my office. I needed its healing power for myself this week.
As you know, this first half of the year has presented me with huge challenges in the form of a health crisis and then the death of my mother. Thanks to my community, I was held in a circle of love.
This past week, however, I completely lost my center. Like a too-full sponge that overflows from one additional drop of water, I became overwhelmed when the hard drive on my computer crashed. Can you relate?
My friend and Web Wizard, Steve Johnson, reassured me that in no time, most things would be restored as they had been and that the new way of viewing things would be even better. The Dragons said otherwise as they multiplied before me. My friend, Monika, pointed out the symbolism of my “loss of connection.” I was in full battle, Enchantress vs. Dragons.
I stopped and looked to the animal spirits. I stretched out on our upper deck, face toward the sky. I saw 6 hawks circling. Hawks are the winged ones who are messengers. “What is the message?” I asked aloud. The word “connection” echoed in my mind. Hawks often circle over something that has died so I moved my arms and legs in an exaggerated way.
“Has something died?” Yes. The old way of doing things is no more. The constant and the familiar connections have changed. I considered what other animal spirits had spoken to me that I hadn’t heard. The week before, we had a reappearance of not one, but two snakes. I thought someone had coiled a huge hose on our flagstone patio in the garden. I walked, barefoot, onto the soft grass, on my way to move it. I was only two feet from it when it began to move, uncoiling all six feet of itself and slithering into the ivy bed. I shrieked the profound words, “Are you kidding me?” My husband and son came out to investigate. They called out when they spotted it emerging from the gardenia bush. However, it was not the same one! It was slightly smaller and had different markings.
Snakes represent transmutation. I’ve needed to shed my skin and alter the life-death-rebirth cycle. I had been ingesting and spewing poison over the hassle of the computer crash and the ways in which it pushed everything else in my life into an unsorted mountain of chores. Very UNEnchantress-like I might add.
I smiled at recalling the symbol of medicine and healing itself:two snakes, intertwined around a sword. I am in awe of the alchemy of perceived experience that can occur when there is integration of masculine and feminine energies and balance restored with conscious awareness of changes to be made.
Neither life nor connection needs to be fully repaired in order to have that sense of peace. Again there is triumph over Dragons and a great use of Enchanted Key #2, Altered Perceptions. Thank you to the animal spirits for reconnecting me to myself. There is gratitude also for the awareness that once again, together, we’ve transmuted life’s lemons.