Archive for the ‘The natural world’ Category
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The Winter Solstice – why it’s the true new year

Winter solsticeWinter Solstice is the day when light is reborn out of the darkness of winter. Our days start to become longer and lead us back to the beauty of spring and the warmth of summer, stretching towards their peak at the Summer Solstice.

Most ancient cultures celebrated this return of light and life with feasting, music, light and fire, and for many, it was the true beginning of the New Year.

It was so important to the pre-Celt ancients of Ireland that they spent over 30 years building a monument to the returning sun: Newgrange.

Older than Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza, it was designed so that on the Winter Solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage into the inner chamber and for 17 minutes illuminates the chamber floor and the symbols etched on the back wall.

What did the Ancients know that we don’t?

Save the wolves, save ourselves

White wolf at the nightListen to the howl of our spiritual brother, the wolf; for how it goes with him, so it goes for the natural world.” Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders

Your family plays, forms loving bonds and social hierarchies, raises children and works to sustain itself, just like every other family.

But on a regular basis, your family members are slaughtered, just for being alive in the world today.

I could be talking about any minority group, anywhere in the world. But today I’m talking about wolves.

Mysterious, mystical, misunderstood wolves.

A Native American Thanksgiving Prayer

GratitudeI have published this prayer for the past two years during Thanksgiving week. It is timeless and appropriate at any time of year, but particularly now.

Thanksgiving prayers are common to most religious groups. Native Americans had entire ceremonies just for the purpose of expressing thanks – sometimes the ceremonies lasted for days.

This Thanksgiving Prayer comes from the Seneca Nation and is at least 500 years old.

It is traditionally done around a fire, with spiritual food on the altar. I have adapted it to be used as a Thanksgiving Prayer on our national holiday:

Seneca Thanksgiving Prayer 

And now we are gathered together to remember the Great Mystery’s first instruction to us: to love one another always, we who move about on this earth.

And the Great Mystery said that when even just two people meet, they should first greet each other by saying: “Nyah Weh Skenno” which translates to “thank you for being” and then they may take up the matter with which they are concerned. 

[Nyah Weh Skenno more literally means: “thank you for being alive in the here and now and not adding to the confusion of the world.”]

The Great Mystery gave us our lives and requires in return only that we be grateful and love one another. The purpose of this prayer is to pass on those instructions and give us the opportunity to express our gratitude.

So the first thing we will do is give thanks for our lives.

Is the invisible world the real world? 

invisible worldHow many do you see when you look at this picture?

In most of my classes I hold up my hand and ask this question: “How many do you see?

I always get one of two answers: “five fingers” or “one hand.”

But a traditional Native American might say, “nine,” because they count the spaces in between.

To them, the invisible world is as real as the visible. And it’s the invisible world we want to connect with in order to maintain the magic in life.

What’s in the invisible world?

What we cannot see is usually depicted in Western society as the stuff of horror stories or science fiction, but that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with reality.

And, yes, the invisible world is real.

On snakes, transformation and “crushing it”

crushing itUpon finding a road-killed snake last week, “crushing it” took on a whole new meaning for me.

According to urbandictionary.com “crushing it” means: “Being in severe shape, looking good, being better than others, looking hot, feeling positive, having more than others, having relations with other attractive people.”

Or put another way, “doing it all…. well.”

But can we really “crush it” in everything we do?

Not according to television screenwriter/producer Shonda Rhimes in her June 2014 Dartmouth Commencement Speech. Ms. Rhimes is the creative force behind the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal and had this to say:

“As a very successful woman, a single mother of three, who constantly gets asked the question, ‘How do you do it all?’ For once I am going to answer that question with 100 percent honesty here for you now.

“Shonda, how do you do it all?

“The answer is this: I don’t.

“Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life…

“Anyone who tells you they are doing it all perfectly is a liar.”

I love her honest answer, and this is why I want to take a look at how we really “crush it.”

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