Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Everything is Sacred

Well everyone, I know I’m way behind on updating the blog, but life is such a whirlwind right now that it’s hard to keep upright.
We are busy preparing for our big move to Oregon the end of next month, so we are working diligently preparing our house to be rented, including the final piece of remodeling and lots of small repairs that we seem to not notice except when the rental agent is pointing them out.

I will be leaving my part-time job the end of this month and have started training my replacement. Can you imagine trying to pass along 4 ½ years of job experience in two weeks?? I see many margarita nights coming….

And we haven’t even started thinking about packing yet….

So, I hope we have your sympathy and that you’ll bear with us until we are settled and can start writing on a regular routine.

So, on to our story….

Sometimes we tend to get caught up in the trappings of the world and forget that everything is sacred, especially when it comes to spiritual endeavors including ceremony. We have to have the right stone or candle or incense or the ceremony won’t be right. Or we have to craft an item to perfection. “The right tool for the right job.”

I touched on this quite a few blogs back with the Popcorn and M&M ceremony, that even the most mundane item can hold a spiritual purpose. We often employ the “Sacred Bic” that Gary carries in his pocket and the “sacred hair dryer” for tightening up a drum head when the weather is too damp. Like a dear friend use to tell us, “If the Indians would have had a Bic or a glue gun, they’d have used them.” Indigenous people are VERY practical!

This leads to the shiny silver emergency blanket that I have draped over my altar as an altar cloth. Yup, the $2.37 Wal-Mart special that you carry in your trunk for emergencies.

You see, we travel with many Spirit Guides and one of mine happens to be a raven. Well, ravens are known for loving shiny things ... like silver emergency blankets.

For quite some time I have been seeing my dear friend and shamanic practitioner who is also a Chinese Medicine person and acupuncturist. When you are on the table looking like a pin cushion, you can’t very well cover up with a blanket if you’re cold, so she uses these emergency blankets to cover her patients. The first time she covered me, Raven appeared and sat at the top of the table fawning over the blanket. Of course my friend is aware of his presence and we both had a good laugh.

My next treatment brought the same, strange behavior. Again, good for a giggle. Well, Raven began “staying after” to coo at the blanket. Then Raven started showing up to the treatment room before I arrived, sitting outside the cabinet admiring the blanket and telling my friend how pretty it was. She would remind him I wasn’t coming for several hours and he insisted he’d wait, reciting the mantra of “Oh how pretty"  and "Ooh, shiny.”

This went on for months. He was absolutely shameless when it came to that blanket! Finally he and I agreed that maybe an aluminum foil ball would work to keep his attention at home. So off I went to the back closet where I kept the camping gear to find the aluminum foil (I don’t use it to cook at home). I sat and made a nice big foil ball and placed it prominently on my altar.

Shortly thereafter I had another acupuncture appointment and guess who preceded my arrival? Yup, there he was, big as day in front of the cabinet in the treatment room!

Okay, so the foil ball didn’t hold his attention. A few days later I pulled into Wal-Mart’s parking lot and there sat Raven with several other smaller black birds in the parking lot! I spoke and when I got out he began singing to me and held his song for quite some time. It wasn’t the usual crow like caw, it was a song. When we were done with our conversation, I followed his marching orders, straight to the sporting goods department and paid my $2.37 to get the shiny silver emergency blanket which is now draped over my altar under my regular altar cloth.

And, every time I have to explain the “unusual altar cloth” to clients, we all get a good laugh and a reminder that even shiny silver emergency blankets are sacred. Remember, it’s all about the “intent”.

So, I’m signing off until sometime in May when we will be home again in Oregon among the trees and mountains and rivers. And I can get my hands and feet in the dirt once again to see my plants (and myself) bloom.

Until then –

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),