I'm not sure I just saw an albino dragonfly float directly past me, but I did. I just don't remember ever seeing one before, and I've seen many dragonflies of various colors, shapes, sizes, and wing patterns. Dragonflies are big with me. They've embossed letterhead and business cards for my practice. My house is full of them, in cloth, metal, china, stained glass, beadwork, you name it. People see I have dragonflies and give me more dragonflies.
Clients and friends call me up and say I visited them as a dragonfly, riding around crowded fairs on their baseball caps, or appearing in the desert where there aren't dragonflies because there's no water. As a shapeshifter, it's one of the things I guess I do.
So when dragonfly appears, such as on this beautiful fall afternoon after days of cold hard rain, I take it as a sign. When this white dragonfly appeared and disappeared just now... well, that's some big medicine. Dragonfly medicine. White Dragonfly Medicine. Whew. Let me explain.
Dragonflies are being studied scientifically because of their brains, their eyes, their wings, their having been on the earth for so long. They have powers that astound, and endurance that prevails. And yet they live most of their life under water, without wings, as larvae. Imagine being able to see all around you at the same time, and to instantaneously fly in any direction. They seem to dart in and out of visible reality because they don't have to travel in one direction or turn around. They don't think, 'Oh, wait, what was that over there? Am I going the wrong way?' They simply go, as their inner guidance system directs. I don't imagine they do much second guessing. I bet they don't keep mental lists of what they didn't do, where they didn't go, mistakes, and the like.
As a totem, they remind us that we create our own reality. Repeat after me, 'I create my own reality.' And we might as well get really good at it, and create lives that are fabulously us. This requires some alterations to the stuff that created our neural pathways and early adaptive strategies before we knew that much about what was going down. It's a people thing. Largely subconscious, pretty unavoidable, fairly resistant to change. But, with attention, intention, and practice, possible.
And boy howdy, that's exactly what I'm doing. And, if you're like me (and I know I am), sometimes during the process of creating a new chapter from scratch there are moments of such uncertainty it can seem impossible. And then dragonfly pops up, nonchalant, easygoing, just cruisin' on by, saying hey. You got this. I'm impossible, friend, but here I am.
Dragonfly has been a special power animal teacher since an orange and blue one came up to me by a wild river and gave me one of my early songs, when I was seventeen. But I've never seen an all white one until just now. In this present moment, I am doing some personal work akin to surgery, removing old blocks, burdens, and bindings that are acting like sea anchors. It's time to rise out of the water, grow wings and fly in any direction, and act natural. Okay! Let's do this.
Are you in transformation mode? Are you re-inventing yourself, changing old mental patterns, releasing entanglements, searching for what's next, your purpose, your lost energy, your creative zazzle? In journeys we fly through time and space without the encumbrance of time or space, effortlessly shifting direction with the energy. Sometimes this happens in dreams. And sometimes, with dragonfly's help, in ordinary reality.
The Pacific Northwest has been drenched for several days, during which time I had to drive hundreds of miles through the downpour. I returned home safely, with much change to orchestrate, like the storm. The rain abated for a bit, and there they were. The elk in twilight, appearing as if out of nowhere.
OMG I said to the Stone Giver, who I was talking with on the phone. The elk are here! And, for the first time in the three years I've lived here, the herd of women were accompanied by a majestic buck with a huge antler rack. Although it's really too dark and this photo is zoomed as much as possible, you can just make him out on the left, looking up at me from grazing. He felt me aim the iPhone at him from far away inside the house.
Elk medicine! Just exactly what I needed. Native wisdom on this sacred totem animal speaks of their medicine gifts of strength, endurance, protection. People with Elk medicine don't give up easily. They see a long ways ahead, and go there, even when there is no road, and no visible means. Elk medicine gives the strength to see long projects or plans through, maintaining energy for the long haul. Elk people avoid discouraging energy, and rise above feeling discouraged themselves.
Elk medicine is also about the protection of women, and feminine strength. This venerable old buck is protecting his women, certainly, but they are also protecting him. It's hunting season, and this twelve-pointer is a prize hunters literally kill for.
Elk hang out in groups of men and women. Elk medicine people are very comfortable in such groups; there is no feeling of competition. The vibe is comfortable, friendly, warm, cooperation in community, with a natural ease and grace that allows these huge, heavy animals to move as if they are weightless.
Another aspect of elk medicine is that they show how to live magnificently with duality. Things are and are not as they appear. The invisible is where a lot happens, and contrary to popular belief, creating 'something' out of nothing is an everyday occurrence. The way the elk suddenly appear and disappear in the field reflects that.
Just now five or six young elk ladies have gracefully walked up the field to graze all around Sir, my 33-year-old horse. He loves it when the elk come, but is respectful of males, keeping his distance in a friendly way. He too is deriving strength and community from their presence.
Nobility, stamina, feminine power, balance of male-female energies. Seeing a project through to completion. Watching these ladies and young elk girls flank Sir in the field as Tigs and Tux (the cats) watch through the windows with me, I am filled with calm strength and loving feminine energy. The whole herd is coming up into the field again. The warrior even is coming closer. This is getting interesting. Time to wish you well and take up my binoculars. Peace.
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.