Today was, at its best, challenging. Well, let me just be bluntly honest….I was in the pissiest mood I have been in for a long while. I was over answering phone calls with bitchy folks on the other end, tired of answering questions that had basic common sense answers, tired of dealing with inadequate co-workers.
I set up my mini altar on my desk early on today. I had some tealights and crystals within reach, but it didn’t seem to be helping my mood. I needed to vent and I needed to vent badly. I vented to some friends on Facebook….in private. I also vented at my roommate when I went home for lunch. I went back…..I was seething. Not over anything in particular, but over everything at the same time. I huddled in the corner ignoring everyone around me….then at 3pm I heard a noise outside my window. I looked up….I recognized that sound. A familiar caw greeted me as I watched a crow on the grass just outside my window. I felt a peace pour over me. I picked up my quartz stone and held it tight. I kept myself in my corner until time to go home at 4pm.
When I got home, I decided that a trip to the woods was in order. I needed the solitude. I needed to be away from people. I needed time to regroup. I heard Mama Crow calling to me in the distance. I harnessed up the little blue chihuahua and we walked slowly toward the woods. I found my way to a familiar tree. I felt rather primal…..all the emotions from the day welling up inside me. I decided I needed to call on wolf energy. I had one of the amulets I have been making in my pocket. I pulled it out and started some breathing exercises. Steadily and rhythmically my breath came. I pushed myself into a trance-like state.
I called to the ancient spirits around me. I could feel animal energy moving around. I could feel the energy of my ancestors…..I cried out loud for the energy of the people….I needed to feel the breath of the Cherokee move around me. I felt the need to dance in the circle of trees. I have found that when my heart feels like it is in that dark place, dance motivates my spirit. As I think about it, it felt as though my heart had gone into hibernation…..almost burying itself….waiting for the light to show itself. Today, I had to go seek out that light.
Exhausted from the dance, I rested against the tree. My mind went back to the summer I spent on the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. It was a feeling I will never forget. My grandma and our tribe were mountain folk, woodland people. This environment was foreign to me, but familiar at the same time. One afternoon we climbed buttes to pass the time. As I huffed and puffed up that rocky terrain, I cussed as I would stick my hand against something thorny. I longed for the familiarity of grassy wooded areas and trees. One of the men that was with me told me that we all have the same blood running through our veins..just different tribes. He told me that the same grandmothers and grandfathers that watch over him were walking with me that day. He reminded me that we were all a part of Wakan Tanka or The Great Mystery. He picked a handful of wild sage and explained to me the sacredness and the power that the sage held. We sat on the top of that butte for an hour talking about the power and sacredness that was within all things. He started to chant…it was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. I knew his song was Lakota.
I closed my eyes and basked in the ethereal around me. The atmosphere was smokey, and for a moment my breath caught in my chest. After that tiny silver burn eased, I could breathe fully, deeply….taking in the spirit of my surroundings…truly being “inspired.” My companion took out his lighter and I watched as the leaves of the sage burned and smoldered. The smell still permeates my nostrils as I sit in silence. He moved the sage around me in a clockwise motion…still breathing out his sweet song. It was like nothing I had ever experienced.
Later in the evening, my friend gave me a small hand drum. I loved the history and the stories he gave me as he presented me with this gift that carried deep traditions and spirit. It was during the time I spent on the reservation that I grew to appreciate the spirit in all things. I felt that special bond with the animal spirits. My friend told me that it was no surprise to him that I felt that closeness. My penchant for “crow medicine” was something he told me to never take lightly. Because the crow is the voice of the spirit world…he told me that I must always be diligent to walk in truth. Truth was never really an issue…it was the tempering that comes with wisdom. One must learn how to help someone to swallow a medicine that is not necessarily pleasant tasting. Shoving the spoon down their throat forcefully only chokes the individual……I am still learning.
He also taught me how to call on wolf. Always approach respectfully…in a non-threatening way. Always remember that wolf is a teacher and is willing to show you something new about yourself and your surroundings. Wolf energy helps you to focus on relationships and will help you seek out hidden places. I call on wolf a lot. He helps me to find my way when I feel most lost.
As I pulled myself away from the memories of South Dakota, I felt Friz stir in my lap. He always looks at me as if I have been on a long journey and he is so happy I have returned. I have always been able to see the piercing glint of wolf in his eyes. I have tossed my shoes to the side while I was in my dream-like state. As I stretch I push into the dirt with my toes…it feels natural and fulfilling. I feel flushed as I rise up off of the carpet of leaves and pine needles…much like I felt on top of the butte that afternoon so long ago. I thank the spirits and the elements as I ready myself to go home. Sometimes the best medicine is the medicine of old friends and those who guide us.
I walk hand in hand with the spirit of the Ancients. They comfort me and guide me. They call me by name. They know me better than my closest friend. They shield me and nourish me. They are all around me.