A Shamanic Journey on the Solstice. Joining with White Spirit Buffalo towards Finding Inner Calm and Trust.
Written December 21, 2015, on the Solstice, at the High Beaver Pond:
Today, amidst the many feelings of chaos, fear, and anxiety about things in my life, I have come to the Beaver Pond and journeyed. I traveled down into my seven-trunk tree, into the trunk, the roots, and then down the white stone steps, through the old wooden door, and out to the desert altar place beyond.
I have circled around the small oval pool of water in the center of the altar place and stood before the birch bark mirror. Looking into it, I saw reflected in my face all that I felt.
As usual, I asked who would lead me today, and immediately White Spirit Buffalo nodded to me, so I went to him.
He bid me climb onto his back, and I lay down lengthwise along his wide, strong expanse. He began to walk, and as he did, I simply looked up at the sky and enjoyed the rolling movement, his solid warmth, and the feeling of just letting go.
Soon, though, I wanted to see where we were going. I sat up and joined with Buffalo so that we became one. We walked along the western edge of the desert plain to where the woods began. Entering, we descended a small hill and came upon a pool of mud. We walked out to the center of this shallow pool until the mud reached halfway up our body.
Standing there a while, I came to understand that this mud was a symbol for the mud the lotus grows in — the mud I have grown in — in order to become the being that I now am. I let myself feel this mud, its denseness, its warmth, like amniotic fluid and like being immersed in Earth. It is the place I have spent so much of my life, the place that created me. For the mud is not only the darkness I came from. It is also all that I moved through and what nurtured me, too, as I grew to the woman that I am. Standing in it now, I came to recognize how far I have come out of the darkness.
A great calm came over me, and I realized I must return to this mud pool of the lotus. I must come here over and over again to regain my calm, to feel this place that birthed me, to stand still and know all of who I have been. I must recognize that everything has sprung from this pool, from this place of transformation, enlightenment, and calm, which has become none other than the center of my own being. It reminds me that I am the beautiful flower who has bloomed out of the darkness, with Spirit guiding me. And Spirit will continue to guide me.
After a time of standing in the mud, slowly White Spirit Buffalo and I walked as one out of the mud towards the other side of the pool. As we walked — all in slow motion — I again became a woman, and the mud turned to the clearest water. As I moved out of the water, I watched and felt as it sluiced down my body, cleansing me, clearing me, and I stood on the bank, naked, shining in a miraculous light.
I asked, then, about trust, something I had asked about upon entering my journey. I heard the words: “Let go. Hand it over to us, and just do what you do. Clear the chaos from your physical life. Enjoy this time, these holidays, with those around you. All will be well. You will find your way. All will be perfect as it is meant to be.”
I had my answer.
I thanked them and returned to the altar place, flying on White Eagle’s back. I looked into the birch bark mirror once more and saw myself at peace.
On my way back home through the woods, I met a new grandmother tree, Hawk Woman Tree. Her only branches were two great arms that reached up to the sky like giant wings. Between these, as if a neck or a head, was the face of a hawk.
I felt this tree given to me as a gift to tell me of the magic to be found in seeking the other side, that we must always be alert to messages from Spirit.
I also passed the tree I found last week whose name today I heard as Strong Woman Tree. I felt I was being told of my own strength.
I continued towards home and, as I walked, received three separate and clear next steps for my life. I paused on the hillside across from the Great-grandfather Ledge. Stopping to listen and drink in his awesome power, I heard him say: “You have been given the grounding and reassurance that you sought, as well as the gifts of your next steps. Go home now and fly with these, Robin bird!”
Thank you, White Spirit Buffalo, White Eagle, Hawk Woman Tree, Strong Woman Tree, and all of you. Thank you for these Solstice messages that speak to me about release of what I cannot control and new energy and ideas of what I can do with the approach of this New Year. I have been blessed again.
I am the one standing at the edge of the forest, caught doe-like with my toes licked by the rounded jag of water from the endless pond. Beavers came over years and years to gnaw at trees and fell them and eat their parts to make this their home.
I am the one who stands here now, who was bereft, and yet feeling the curling outwards from the vapors of remaining sadness out onto the surface of this slick liquid home.
In infinitesimal movements by body stirs towards the pond, almost floating but in slow motion so my feet are immersed and I can feel the silver essence smooth into and up the veins and flesh and being of my body. Its liquid magic enters like an ink blot spreading over absorbent paper, changing its color and what it is made of. I myself am changed.
The water spreads through my body to the tips of my fingers and my heart and brow and crown until I am made of it, made of this water, its pure holiness of creation.
I was bereft. I WAS bereft. But on the long walk here, little by little, much of this drizzled out of me. And, as I stand here, the shaman liquid filling me, and, as I am now filled, I let go of the remainder of the loneliness and ache, letting them be transmuted by the silvery elixir.
I feel a tremor of wonder, like the transportation of winged creatures, and I know this tremor is because I recognize the dance and beauty of who I have become.
How can I feel sadness when I recognize that, even if it has spoken through all my early years and bled through into now, how can I not realize these things happened to only my body and the soul of this life? How can I not reach for the lyrical reality of a spirit that, coming straight from Source, teaches me and informs me of the beautiful creature I have always been?
Grief can be a fleeting thing. I do not mean come and gone in a moment, but certainly with years and years of healing, may I not let myself see how, in the course of my soul’s life, these years have been BUT a moment?
Can I not simply allow this overall, superseding of transcendent light and magnificence that is and always has been my own spirit’s gift? Can I not allow THIS to flood through me, washing away what only humans have done to me this lifetime?
When I begin to soar out of myself, I come into contact with so much fluidity of awareness, joyous intimacy, expansive and earth-quickening conception — so much of this passed on to me by those I am now attracting. Can I not see and hear and resonate and let myself evolve with all of this?
I stand here, rooted to this spot, sunk a bit lower over this time of rumination, into the mud at the edge of this pond. As my body stands, all that is under my skin and of my skin is not stagnant but is glowing and shifting and flowing as iridescent waves within me and yet in every moment interchanging with the still, wild water which IS the sacred feminine.
I shapeshift as I stand, my being moving down through the soles of my feet into the beavers’ domain, and — eyes wide open in spirit — I smooth my naked flesh through this murky underworld of water. I feel the essence of my hair as algae and my fingers as the water plants that trail behind me. I am made of water, and I disappear into it. As I sink into its depths, as my own depths become lost in water, I realize THIS is who I am. THIS is what I was made for.
For the magic. For the wild. For connection with the animals and green things. For the workings of my spirit and expression of my soul — unfettered, unchained — just let go!
I dwell in this release, all of me that has been so tied up, resting and healing in this freedom. I learn, yet again, why I live where I live so I may clave out into the wilderness — the “wilder-ness” — any time I like. And why winter is so hard for me, as some of this freedom is lost and I feel my wings clipped.
This is a craving for wildness born of imprisonment so many years as a child. To not be held vise-like nor confined by the ropes of submission and violation that I myself continued as I chose relationship after relationship that only mimicked those I was raised by.
I cannot any more live behind bars. I have to have the freedom of this release.
Here, underwater, made of water, I no longer feel my nerve endings shrill with electrocution. I feel them calm, the water in my spirit and blood soothing them, quenching their panicked fires.
I stay and stay and stay in the pond, suspended deep down without body or breath. I let myself join with the decaying plants at the bottom, the mud born of millennia of layers of decomposed leaves and plant life. I revel in the stillness, the dullness, the lack of excitement.
Dust to dust. Human from “humus.” I am earth. I am mud. I am nothing, nothing.
Here I will stay, hour after hour, having died but not dead. Lost but knowing where I am. In this place of rest and being gone and deep, deep mudness.
But, knowing me, I know that soon I will awaken, and sure enough, I feel the light touch of a tiny pond creature tickle flesh that is not there, and I am nudged to waking, invited to float up slowly, as I draw one breath into my spirit lungs and then another. As I rise to the surface, I see the green light beckoning, and, breaking above water, the sun shines on me fully. My insubstantial self skims along the surface towards my flesh body, and I stream back into myself.
Feeling rested, feeling I have left behind the weight that I came here with, I sit on a rock and pull on my socks and my hiking boots. I take one last look at the pond — my savior of today — acknowledging all it has given me. Then, I turn back towards home, retracing my steps through the earth’s folds to my own open land again.
I live the next days in temperate harmony until it comes the time I need, again, to seek my wild.
As I write, I discover more and more who I am, and, as I do so, I share with you, in case anything I write may resonate with, help, or guide you.