This is the first in a tri-weekly series on the power animals, totems, plant and elemental signals that show up each day as helpers in this middle world existence. A friend to the work suggested these could be of benefit to you, gentle reader, and I'm happy to write them. They happen every day, all around us.
Clouds: and I have to stop.
They are saying what's not found in books.
Those two lines, from a poem I wrote some years back, allude to my full-time job as a cloud augurer. I've been reading clouds forever it seems, and was delighted to discover it was a traditional thing for Celtic seers. The clouds capture my attention easily, put me in an altered state that Carlos Casteneda's Don Juan terms 'heightened awareness'. They really are saying what's not found in books.
For example, just now, sitting on the front porch with the morning coffee, sun streaming over my body, I had 'conversations' with several totems. First, a hummingbird flew right up to me, before either of us were aware. Oh! we both said. Good morning! That told me that there was harmony happening, and nature was opening to me in invitation if I opened to nature. Then, there were bees in front of me, and the clouds went all majestic. So I went into their state and attuned. They spoke of change, and the harmony of change. They spoke of the natural shifting of forms, and how they themselves, stupendous in form as they were at that moment, would soon transform into something completely different.
Then, a hawk cried out and flew in front of the beautiful, tall cloud directly in front of me. Hawks are messengers. The question to ask when one is called to by a hawk is, 'What is the message?" The hawk said, get ready! And flew into the blue.
I went inside to get the iPhone for a snap of the clouds, and the thistle said, 'don't forget me too!' This blessed thistle had insisted it be allowed to live when it sprouted outrageously right by the front steps some months back. Heard that, and so it was. What I didn't know was that its medicine, in flower essence form, is about giving and receiving. Bingo! A core subject I am working with during this same period. Roger that.
Think about it: it's an interesting way of showing giving and receiving, a thistle, right? It is an ancient, revered but also eradicated plant, with definite Scottish affiliation, that serves as medicine and food, with thorns that make it more than prickly to get near. Yet, when the bees and other insects are finished receiving pollen from its bright purple tufts, they dry and simply open from the crown. Then, the softest, lightest, most benign seeds simply float up out of the plant, giving themselves freely and abundantly wherever the slightest breeze takes them. Hmmm. Plenty to meditate on there. And I have been.
So, in the short time it's taken me to write this post, the weather has completely shifted and it is pouring with rain. It began instantaneously, before I'd even noticed that the distinctive cumulus clouds had given way to a solid gray cloudbank. The sun is gone, the temperature has dropped, the downspouts are rainsticks. I'm still tapping away on the porch, smelling the beautiful fragrance of rainfall. Don't know where the hummingbird, hawk, and bees are; perched somewhere out of the downpour I imagine. The thistle is enjoying a drink.
What totems are showing up in your world today? They are saying what's not found in books. Listen. And give back with your acknowledgments, your love and thanks. They are such a part of this beautiful world.
Cloud watching is almost a full-time job for me, and yesterday did not disappoint. Her Majesty, Mt. Hood, was working her magic with changing conditions from the east, and by late afternoon had created thunder, lightning, rain, and a vibrant rainbow, plus the wonderful changes in the fragrance of the air, the negative ions and ozone, all of which produced a shift in my inner state of mind. Posts from entranced friends in Oregon and Washington attested to the magical power of a summer storm on our psyches and spirits.
Living near Her Majesty for three years, I've felt her power and how she exerts it to change conditions around her. Sometimes she whips up electricity, sometimes sends alpine winds down her sides, cloaks herself in dramatic clouds, froths the river in green glacial melt on a hot day... she has a stunning repertoire. And then, I remember that when she was an active volcano, she helped create the epic Columbia Gorge over millions of years. The forests, waterfalls and sylvan glades we enjoy on weekend hikes were created through fiery explosions and lava flows which wiped out everything in their paths, over and over again, for millennia.
Major life force energies like volcanoes and floods, beautiful phenomena like snowflakes and rainbows, and every day weather like this morning's quiet cloud cover, result from conditions. Create the conditions for rain, and rain falls. You may have seen reports about Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde, who creates clouds inside galleries as an art installation. Viewers gasp in wonder when the cloud appears, and it is quite magical. But, like creating an oil painting by applying oil paint onto a canvas with a brush until an image is completed, the artist creates the artistic expression of a cloud in a room by creating the conditions that makes clouds form, having to do with proportions of humidity and temperature. You can watch YouTubes of the artist creating a cloud in a room.
Changing conditions in the mind also changes conditions in the physical plane. Body symptoms and conditions, living environment, relationships, abundance and manifestation capabilities, happiness and inner peace are some of the areas that change when the conditions we hold in our minds as true are allowed to shift. What seems impossible, like producing a cloud in a room, or healing a longstanding condition, will continue to appear impossible if conditions do not change, because the conditions for the transformation are not in existence at that time. Wishing or worrying are not effective in creating change in conditions, although they do play a part in attracting or repelling the conditions that create change.
Maybe I love watching clouds so much because I can view nature's transformative powers and their results in real time as an ongoing master class in the ultimate mystery school. The mountain, too, seems to say, are you watching? Are you listening? I'll show you again. We too have the power to change our lives, our bodies, and our world, the whether, if you like, around our personal sphere of influence. Group mind changes conditions in society and can effect global shifts in consciousness. Working with ourself is the starting place for changing conditions: looking at our thoughts, our fears, our held emotions – what we believe to be true, or possible. And who has the power to affect conditions.
Like the mountain, we do not hold all the conditional cards: there are other elemental forces that interact to create conditions at any moment. Rather than a skirmish, it can be a dance, a graceful intermingling of energies, realizing all is an expression of the one. Working – or playing – with the interweaving of forces, in alignment with a necessary degree of internal power conditions, including knowing, intention, fearlessness, trust, detachment, nonresistance, and love, is the work of transformation. Clearing negativity, removing obstacles, repatterning thoughts, letting go of old hurts and resentments, releasing fear changes static conditions so that transformation can occur.
Sometimes it is helpful to ask for information, energetic transmission, clarity, guidance, support and practices to assist in changing mind and heart conditions so that the 'weather' within and without us can change. Each of us can cultivate our inner connect, our stillness, our intent, to transform conditions in our lives. And then, the sweet showering from the sky begins.