April's Tender Nest: Cultivating the Creative Self through connecting with Mother Earth Goddess Energy
Writings on observations and encounters with Mother Earth in our 'everyday life'.....How to draw upon our indigenous soul connection with the earth and Pagan traditions to manifest art.
Blog entries on everything from connecting with animal totems, wildcrafting and plant magick, significance/symbolism of the trees/plants in the Celtic and Aboriginal traditions to practical kitchen magick, how to harvest and use Oregon Grape', meditations/visualizations for journeying/active dreaming, and other art based 'how-to' witch-'craft' projects, for e.g. how to knit a sweater for a tree etc. ;)
Wolf Medicine: Path-Finding by the Light of the Moon
As the moon comes to its half-way point tonight, waning into Scorpio, I'm reflecting on the route it has taken this last week. This January moon is known as the Wolf Moon by several Aboriginal peoples, including the Algonquin, Cherokee and my ancestors the Haudenosaunee.
It was a time for introspection and preparation. Families would repair tools needed for hunting in the Spring. It was also a time where ancestor stories and important myths were told. The Kwakwaka'wakw people of the Northwest Coast, inhabit much of North Vancouver Island, where I spent my childhood; they use this Mid-Winter time to transmit spirituality, through dance ceremonies, where they channel spirits and ancestors dancing in elaborate masks and regalia, at potlatches or feasts. These aspects remind me at this time of year, there is still a natural desire to seek cozy time at home, as well as, going within to seek guidance in the dream time.
After Yule, there is often a big push to 'get going' and start new things, get out there, be active, shed your 'winter weight' etc. However, I don't think we should be hard on ourselves if we're still in hibernation mode; reflecting on what we want to do when we emerge, when the snow drops peek through the hard earth and start to blossom in celebration of Imbolc, come February.
All this reflection had me turning to my Clan or Totem animal the wolf, and the wolf as a companion for the Hermit within the Tarot.
Every year, I faithfully use the We' Moon day-timer to plan my schedule and love how I can also keep track of the moon's position and Astrological influences. This last week I noticed as the Sun was moving into Aquarius on Sunday, the Moon was in Virgo until Tuesday.
I was attending to details in my home studio, getting it organized before I start a full time course the end of this month; very Virgo like. I was also aware of wanting to hide away in my home, and relish in long sleep-in's that include vivid dreams. Wanting to live as, what we associate with... the stereotypical 'hermit'.
However, the Hermit within the Tarot, which is associated with Virgo, also represents the 'Wise One', who is embarking on a journey with a lamp (representing the 'light of knowledge'), which can signify a withdrawing and inner quest. I am preparing for a new journey in my career and pushing my boundaries to learn more about the world of building a small business. I think this is why I have been resonating with the Hermit, I have been doing a lot of reflecting around this process. Even though the way before me is unknown, I can use the light of my past experience and knowledge to help guide me along the dark bends in the road ahead of me.
My companion will be the wolf.
The Tarot deck I often use, is the DruidCraft Tarot by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, it is a great companion to work along side their other deck The Druid Animal Oracle. I find their work helpful in learning about the Celtic myths and symbols, and connects me with my Scottish ancestry. The Hermit card in the DruidCraft deck includes a wolf walking beside the Hermit as he sets out on his journey. Like the wolf that accompanied the wizard and poet, Merlin, on his hermitage in the forests of Caledon. According to this tradition, Carr-Gomm state the wolf is guiding with intuition and learning "to cross barriers, take risks...in order to learn and grow".
I know the wolf will be at my side as I move in the direction of new learning, she is always a faithful companion when I journey with my helping ancestor. They will both be a support to me in this path-finding: Sniffing out unfamiliar territory with curiosity, guiding me to find my place in the pack, following my own unique purpose, drawing on patience while respecting others in community. This is the way of the wolf.
Grandmother Twylah, who was a well known elder from the Seneca peoples (one of the 6 Nations of the Iroquois) and Wolf Clan member herself, said: "As a Wolf Clan member you must always walk your truth".
As another chapter in my life unfolds, I am aware the sun has entered Aquarius, the sign of ingenuity associated with the Star in the Tarot. A fitting way to think about living out one's true self among others. Astrologer, Steven Forest states: "ability to choose our own path" is the lesson of Aquarius. In turn, I love what Angeles Arrien has to say about the Star symbolized in the Tarot, "The quality of looking within and trusting what is there....looking toward the guiding star.....the confidence of our inherent light or life force that has every intention of actualizing creative ideas on earth through our own natures."
Someone once said to me: 'every star has their time to shine', perhaps I will find this shining star within me, as I tackle new knowledge and use this light to guide me on the path, along with the bright light of the moon.
The Druid Animal Oracle: Working with the Sacred Animals of the Druid Tradition by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
The Druid Craft Tarot, by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm (Illustrated by Will Worthingon)
The Inner Sky by Steven Forrest
The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols
by Angeles Arrien
Art by: Vyanadhyana
Links: www.wolfclanteachinglodge.org established by Grandmother Twylah Nitsch
We'moon : www.wemoon.ws
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