Raven is everpresent for me! She flew into my world today to remind me that I am not done yet and that more is possible!
Communicate Your Truth
The Peregrine Falcon has flown into my world today to remind me of the importance of communicating our own truth.
These days I mentor very small writing groups. However, whether I have two or twenty-two people participating, those engaging invariably draw odious comparisons and think that their work is not as good as the work being presented by others.
When this happens I remind people that:
♣ a voice trained to live in a dark cave has a strong inner critic to keep it there. You learned to judge yourself relentlessly and to be cautious, and now your inner critic cautions you at every turn. It questions your natural inclinations, your spontaneity; and it ensures that you don’t stand out, and judges you when you do.
♣ When the inner critic dominates, self-worth is swept away.
♣ You are actually speaking the words of someone else
♣ It is natural to de-value your ideas and opinions if they are not heard and valued when you are young. You learned to question their worth, and now in adulthood, you continue to question them and struggle to share them with others.
Perhaps you can add some advice about how to be compassionate to the voice that wants to speak its truth!
Playfulness Wins the Day
Cockatoo’s Wisdom Includes:
* Understands the power of the sunrise
* Ability to survive harsh conditions
* Communication skills
The cockatoo is a member of the parrot family. Its most noticeable feature is its magnificent crest, which crowns the top of its head. This crest is used to send signals to other birds in the flock. More than a colourful ornament it represents communication. When raised and used with other parts of the body it can indicate several things from defending its territory or its flock, calling for its mate, showing fear or indicating that something is bothering it. True communication is a complex art. The cockatoo knows of this complexity and teaches us how to understand and correctly interpret messages that come our way.
Beautiful in colour and appearance the cockatoo holds the teachings of self-esteem and confidence. The rose and grey coloured galah teach us spontaneity and fearlessness.
These birds are intelligent, affectionate and acrobatic. Adults take care of one another and mate for life. Cockatoos are social birds and enjoy companionship with others of their flock. When danger appears they will either fly off or become very still hoping to remain unnoticed. They are always conscious of their surroundings and are masters in the art of survival. As pets, they are inquisitive and affectionate as well as unpredictable. Known as great escape artists they will use their powerful beaks to open locks on cages.
Coming into contact with one of these birds in the wild or as a pet can be an unforgettable experience. They are extremely ingenious. Watching them perform is like watching a magician pull things out of a hat, you never know what the cockatoo will do next or what hidden skill it will use to complete its task. The cockatoo is a great teacher. It is reminding us to play.
Yesterday I acquired some wonderful books by Marion Deuchers that promote art play. Back in the day, I encouraged students to create figures on their handprints and then use these to create stories. Needless to say, Duechers work with handprints really captured my imagination.
I plan to use these at a primary school where I will be doing my placement and with a small writing group that I am running at home.
How will you play today?
Raven seems more than a litle alarmed, but Donkey knows that to embrace death is to embrace life!
Donkey and Raven are engaging in some voice dialogue with the shadow to establish this aspects narrative.
Today the butterfly is reminding me not to rush the process of transformation. I am writing my final essay and I am preparing for a 500-hour placement beginning in June. Butterfly reminds me to spend some time in the cocoon of my home nurturing my creativity and getting in touch with my feelings. Within the cocoon, I can embrace the rapture of transformation and rebirth; trust that a force greater than me has a guiding hand in what I will do when I finally complete this degree in September.
Take the time, within the safety of a special cocoon-like space to read more about butterfly symbolism.
- Wrap yourself tightly in a blanket for a few minutes and then slowly unwrap it and emerge. Does this seem like a metaphor for anything in your life right now?
You may not spend a week gorging yourself but just unike the very hungry caterpillar, you can undergo a complete metamorphosis and reinvent yourself repeatedly.
Transformation * Change * Celebrating Life’s Miracles * Magick of the Vortex * Lightness of Being * Joy * Understanding * Reincarnation * Seeing Time as an Illusion * Communication with the Spirit World
It’s hard to imagine any creature being so loved by so many civilizations and across so many traditions than the Butterfly. They have captured our fancy since time immemorial. As children, we found our imagination carried away on their painted wings, to the fantastical realms of fairies and elves. And as adults, we are beckoned back to the memories of those magical days, whenever we see these beautiful insects flutter dreamily past.
One has only to think about the miraculous life cycle of these amazing creatures to witness true magick. They begin as larvae in its most basic and vulnerable state, the fuzzy, wriggly form of the caterpillar. Then they enter their self-made cocoon, a time capsule that holds them in what seems like a suspended embrace, but in reality is more akin to a portal of metamorphosis. Finally, the chrysalis breaks, and an entirely new emerging, this one with wings of such ethereal beauty that our minds can scarcely grasp how such a previously odd and rather uninteresting creature, could transform into such a resplendent wonder.
If this stunning insect has chosen to journey with you as a Spirit Guide, count yourself fortunate, for theirs is the Magick of the Fairy realm, the miracle of transformation, and the teachings of one who passionately embraces change. They are a Spirit Animal that guides through the imagination, and imbues their human counterpart with a sense of joy and the ability to celebrate the special miracles we all encounter as we walk through this life.
Butterfly is beside you to teach you that you should always strive to keep your sense of wonder, to find the miracles in the tiniest of places, and to always look for ways in which you can create more beauty in your life, in the lives of others, and in the world at large. She teaches you that time is but an illusion in the greater reality of our immortal souls, whilst simultaneously reminding you that each moment is precious and filled with limitless possibilities.
Capacity to Transform
As an amphibian, frog experiences a major shift in reality as he transforms from a pollywog to an adult hopper. In this way, frog gets to live two distinct lives in one lifetime. Humans also have this ability to transform, but we can do so multiple times in one lifetime if we allow emotional processes to run their full course in us. We are not the same person we were at the age of ten or twenty and as our world gets bigger we are constantly finding ourselves, returned to a state of limited resources.
The pollywog has no other resource save his excitement for life. He swims and propels through the stuff of life with a pure and ambitious energy and slowly starts to develop arms and legs and other tools to play with his pond more completely. There is a frustration in our limitations, but if we allow those frustrations to crush our spirit we leave the very effort that will see us through to greater freedom.
Frog says keep loving, keep hoping, keep swimming with all the energy you have and one day that effort will propel you forward in a great leap upon new shores.
Life is Adventuring
My old school song began with the lines “Life is Adventuring, beyond the far horizon”. I honestly cannot remember the rest of the song but I do know that life is an adventure when you have lots of coloured pencils, and are able to travel through a portal into another universe, prance along with pipers and meet big friendly giants.
Time to Cleanse and Renew
When frog hops into your life the creative spirit is reminding you of the importance of cleansing and renewing. Allow yourself the time to do this. You may need to look at your life in an honest way and ask yourself if you are heading in the right direction. Are there changes that you can make to the path you have followed? You will feel refreshed and will feel new growth when you permit yourself to do this.
One way to cleanse and renew is to spend time creating an ideal scene for yourself. Think of a goal that is important to you. It can be a long-term or short-term one. Write the goal as clearly as possible in one sentence. Underneath write the words Ideal Scene. Proceed to describe the situation as accurately as you would like it to be when the goal is achieved. Make sure to describe it in the present tense, as if it already exists.
Nothing Ventured! Nothing Gained!
What’s Over There?
Distracted, donkey leaves it in Raven’s hands to find out more about the distant castle! The bird does seem to have the knack of finding out what they need to know.
The Art of Adaption
Like many animals, bats have learned to adapt to a wide variety of environments and habitats. The only terrain they don’t inhabit is the Arctic. There are 39 species of bats in North America, all of which are nocturnal. Some bats are insectivores, others eat things like fruit and pollen. Bats are associated with many different cultures and mean different things to different people.
The Mayans had a bat god called Camazote, who was said to have tested human souls with a large sword. This is slightly negative since the bat is associated with violence. In Biblical tradition, bats were believed to be messengers of Satan. The Puritans believed that if a bat flew close to someone, somebody was trying to bewitch them. The Chinese, however, view the bat as a symbol of happiness.
They are amazing creatures. Bats can fly in huge hoards while never hitting each other because of echo-location. This ability is linked with the gift of clairaudience, which awakens the ability to hear spirits in some beliefs. Because of their echo-location and manoeuvring in the dark, bats represent the perception of things that others cannot see.
To the Indian tribes of the northwestern United States, bats are symbols of diligence; while in the Great Plains, they imparted wisdom to their people. In the southwest and Mexico, they are representative of death and rebirth, because they go underground in the early morning, and then appear again each night in a noisy hoard. So they are reborn every night, flooding out from their caves.
Bats often represent death in the sense of letting go of the old and bringing in the new. They are symbols of transition, of initiation, and the start of a new beginning.
Information from Ted Andrews’s Animal-Speak, Jessica Dawn Palmer’s Animal Wisdom, and Steven D. Farmer’s Power Animals.
Ghost Bat Heralds Rebirth and Renewal
When Ghost Bat wings her way into your life she is urging you to let go of the past and allow yourself to be reborn. You will go through many periods of renewal in life as new cycles are already waiting for you. Don’t be afraid to allow the changes to come into your life, and be willing to let go of what you no longer need, as this is Spirit’s way of telling you there is something greater awaiting your rebirth. Now is the time to take the next step to a new you.
This may feel frightening but remember that the Australian bush needs a bushfire to allow new growth to come forth. Recently I torched my maidenhair fern. The rapid new growth is a delight. Fan a personal fire and encourage the flames to speed a renewal. Remember that meditation is a great way to get in touch with your inner guides.
One of the joys of having no advanced booking is that you can linger longer and enjoy living like a local with new friends.
Seeking a Night’s Shelter
When you have not booked ahead you cannot get lost! On the other hand, when you have not booked you have to hope that someone will provide some shelter for the night.
Becoming Your Shiny Self
Bowerbird is the common name for any of several species of birds of the Ptilonorhynchidae family of Australia and New Guinea, the males of which build beautiful and elaborate nests of sticks or grasses called bowers which is the central feature of their mating ritual. In 1872, naturalist Odoardo Beccari was the first to record observations of a bowerbird’s bower. He thought it was made by a person because he considered it too artistic and elaborate to be the work of an animal.
Naturalist David Attenborough describes these bachelor pads as “a giant bower woven around a single sapling, carpeted with moss… the ultimate seduction parlour.” The bower is actually a tunnelling structure that creates an illusion of uniformity. These make the males appear much larger than they actually are. Research by Evolutionary Biologist John Endler’s research has shown that the one who creates the best illusions gets the most dates. Are females attracted to magicians? Or does size really matter? Until we can communicate with the feathered females, we can only guess. But one thing is for sure: beauty matters. The Navajo have a concept, “hozho naasha”, which translates as “Walking in Beauty”. They believe that beauty exists within us and around us as the light reflects through a rainbow. They honour the four directions with different colours and objects, just as the Bowerbird lines his home with colour and light; the objects could number in the thousands! The rainbow symbolizes communication between creator and perfection. Bowerbirds are avid collectors of colourful treasures; some species favour objects coloured red and orange while others, exclusively blue.
Bowerbirds live up to thirty years and can spend half a decade building the bower. This models for us the patience, dedication, focus and fortitude of true artistry. Their home decor includes flowers, fungus, deer dung, charcoal, grey stones, bones, feathers, fruit, shells and human materials like plastic, marbles, glass, metals. They are aware, opportunistic and imaginative in their choice of objects: all qualities humans would benefit storing in the bowers of their own consciousness. The birds lay these on top of mossy floors. The bower provides comfort, shelter and safety, along with a place to rendezvous with their lovers. It reminds even the most flighty and spiritual artists among us that we have bodies that need attention and care.
During Spring time escapades, if a female is interested, she will fly from bower to bower, inspecting them from both outside and inside of the avenue. While the female is inside, the male will stand in the court just outside her view and display his prized, brightly coloured objects. He will dance a unique and bizarre dance, another display of his artistry and creativity. If she is impressed with him, she will allow him to approach and dance with her.
Bowerbirds teach us that effort, resilience and innovation is necessary for bringing the beautiful within us out for all the world to see. The Bowerbird shows us how to become a shiny being ourselves, in the safety of a nest we have built with our own two talons.
A Central Victorian Bowerbird
Reverence is everything. I feel humbled by the objects I find… or is it that they find me?
Situated at the Loddon River Ford at Newstead, Antares Iron Art Garden is an established art and sculpture garden created by Roger McKindley.
Found objects are sited creatively in the space where he lives and works, to form unique and entrancing patterns and images. The whole space is a kind of installation, where visitors are free to roam and explore – finding themselves by turns entertained, beguiled, uplifted and moved.
Roger’s work invites his visitors to engage their sense of play and imagination. He says, “My art can be interpreted and re-interpreted from every angle and in different environments… different seasons. In the changing light, in shadow and full moon or in rain, however you approach the art I make, you will see it change over and over.”
This is a garden in constant flux, as objects are arranged and re-arranged to suit its creator. Nothing is extraneous. Roger finds beauty in all the objects he finds and the things that others discard – he brings these objects together into an enlivened and creative whole.
A qualified landscape gardener of many years’ experience, a stone worker and self-taught artist and sculptor, Roger has over the past 20 years, created Art Gardens wherever he has lived and has participated in numerous community and art events.
I love visiting Antares! A visit here is a joy to all the senses!
In the Flow
The whale is known to have a substance in the retinas of her eyes called biomagnetite, which causes sensitivity to the electromagnetic field of the Earth. She reads the electromagnetic field like a map and this helps her migrate across oceans. Whale symbolism speaks of the ability to find your way through the abyss using the pull of your soul’s compass. Others may think that somehow you magically “see” the way, but you know the map is coming through a different channel. You may not know how to explain this pull, but it is there.
True practitioners of the law of attraction don’t have to think of where to go, they are mysteriously drawn. Whale spirit animal brings a time of being “in the flow” with the law of attraction. She is where she needs to be when she needs to be there.
Generally, the electromagnetic fields follow coastlines, but in some locations, these fields turn directly into the coastline. A significant amount of whale beachings occur in these locations. If you feel like you’ve followed your guidance onto the beach and now you’re stuck, wait. Either the high tide will come to haul you back in or you will experience a time of letting go. You are now at the mercy of fate. Before the rebirth must first come a death. Dive into the mouth of the whale to move through this process.
Spend some time dreaming and ‘seeing’ the way! Allow yourself to be drawn along by the creative spirit!
Listening to Your Inner Voice
The whale spirit animal is the earth’s record keeper for all time. As a totem, the whale teaches you about listening to your inner voice, understanding the impact your emotions have on your everyday life and following your own truth. When the whale enters your life, it may be time to closely examine where you are, the actions and emotions that have brought you to this point, and what you can do to alleviate existing drama and unrest and find peace. Those who have the whale as their animal totem is in touch with true reality. They are nurturers and go-getters who understand there is more to this life than meets the eye.
How to create an atmosphere of safety and trust in your inner world and in your inner voice! This chapter from the power of focusing covers:
Let it be as it is
Being in a relationship with your feelings
Being a good listener to yourself
Being a friend to your felt sense
Hearing all the voices
The wisdom of not knowing
Following the felt sense
Bay Whaling Ancestry
Bay whaling was a rough game, one of the hardest and most dangerous in the world. It thrived in Hobart Town for half a century.
Bay whaling was very popular with the native youth many of whom looked forward every year to the excitement, perils and profits. Exports of whale oil and bone from Hobart Town showed a big increase in the period between 1827 -31.
Bay whaling entailed as many risks as deep sea whaling and there are records of many deaths. The bay whalers lived hard and worked hard. They risked life and limb every time they set out after a whale. Though the black whale was not as dangerous as the sperm whale of the middle grounds, boats were sometimes smashed and the men drowned.
By 1847 bay whaling had been discontinued. The last whale to be taken in the Derwent River was at eight o’clock in the morning of June 23, 1856. When the whale spouted in the river off Hobart Town a crew of whalers from a ship in the port set off after it.
The harpooner, a legendary Whaling Man was Captain George Watson, my great-great, maternal grandfather. The Flying Childers was built for him at Battery Point by his brother John.
This week the humpback has swum into my world to remind me that things are always as they should be at any given moment. I am appalled by the whole notion of my ancestor using a harpoon and I do not support the continuance of whaling in any form. However, he was working at another time, in a world completely different to mine. I unashamedly pay tribute to my great-grandfather’s bravery and I honour him; honour my families place in Australian maritime history.
The whale is the keeper of records from time immemorial. Whale remembers the past so that he can learn from old lessons, but do not need to dwell on past hurts. While it is good to acknowledge the past Whale is reminding me not to get caught up in memories but to release emotional attachments and be my unique self.
A Dreaming Space
The appearance of Lizard is a reminder to create a space for dreaming. In her book, “Visioning Ten Steps to Designing the Life of your Dreams”, Lucia Capacchione talks about setting up a creativity gym, a place to exercise your imagination and vision. Dedicating a specific area can pose problems but as Capacchione points out, if you have a free table anywhere in the house, you have the makings of a portable studio.
Over the summer, while my son was here, we had a clearance in the ‘shed’ that was storing things that needed to be sorted and cleared. He did a great job and I now have a big table set up where I can spread out and be as messy as I like and vision what the transformations I have in mind for this space will actually look like. I want to take time to romance the creative spirit and to test run and see how much I use this space before upgrading in any way!
Tomorrow I am having wire mesh placed strategically so that the shed begins to disappear under a swathe of green!
Create your dreaming space today and share any images of what you have created!
Bask In The Sun Daydreaming
The frilled neck lizard is a creature that spends its days basking in the sun, daydreaming its future into reality. Lizard’s wisdom is that of the dreamer; the daydreamer!
In a culture obsessed with efficiency, mind-wandering is often derided as useless—the kind of thinking we rely on when we don’t really want to think. Freud, for instance, described daydreams as “infantile” and a means of escaping from the necessary chores of the world into fantasies of “wish-fulfilment.”
In recent years, however, psychologists and neuroscientists have redeemed this mental state, revealing the ways in which mind-wandering is an essential cognitive tool. It turns out that whenever we are slightly bored—when the reality isn’t quite enough for us—we begin exploring our own associations, contemplating counterfactuals and fictive scenarios that only exist within the head.
Today Lizard is calling upon us to take serious note of our daydreams and visioning! It encourages us to keep a journal and spend time creating ideal scenes, roadmaps of possibilities.
Try creating some ideal scenes in your journal – writing or drawing. Address areas such as
- daily routines
- creative expression
- leisure and travel
- money to support the lifestyle you want