Welcome to Karen's August 2012 Newsletter
I’m reflecting on a lesson I have used in older Shamanic classes. It was originally from Animal-Speak
, by Ted Andrews, entitled “The Lesson of Life, Death, and Rebirth” (pp. 24-25). In this lesson, we note the magical component of Creation
. Not surprisingly, the element is Fire
, and the direction associated with it is South
Astrologically, with Scorpio as my Rising Sign and Pisces as my Sun sign, I know all too well the image of the Phoenix rising from the ashes: transmutation of one form into another. I remember in the late 1970s when Elisabeth Kubler-Ross read from her book On Death and Dying
at the Boulder Bookstore on the Pearl Street Mall. And I remember in youthful desperation, as my father was dying ever so slowly of cancer back in Pittsburgh, how wonderful and life-changing her words were, as they wove a pattern between my brain and heart.
As it turned out, I volunteered to be Elisabeth’s personal assistant while she was in Boulder, working on opening her Hospice that fully operated within Social Services parameters. I ended up doing elder care and care management under the supervision of a professor from CU Boulder who taught and operated her own practice. For two years, her mother-in-law was one of my full-time clients until her passing.
The fires raging in Colorado brought these memories back, as my eyes tear up watching the photos on the Internet of families, pets and livestock fleeing their homes to avoid death in the inferno. Meanwhile, I contemplate and meditate on the element of fire and how people escape fires of this magnitude. Seeing images on the Internet of homes and ranches turning into pile of timbers and ashes, I know in my Soul the messages and omens displayed through this time in Colorado: death of all that was created before. Transmutation. Opportunities for new beginnings, new forms, new life.
Thankfully, we haven’t experienced a tremendous loss of lives. But the images of change and movement remind me of the days when the tribes packed up and moved on to follow the animal herds to a new land, a new sacred space, where all may create again by putting down their stakes and finding water and food to nourish them and their loved ones. And ceremoniously building the Fire
to cook on, to warm them, and to sit around telling stories through the night.
So back we are to these lessons in Life, Death and Rebirth. I want to share with you two “journeys” that in my Shamanic spiritual practice and in my teaching have turned out to be extremely helpful. The first is the “Predator and the Prey.” I’ve done this journey both from the position as Predator and that of Prey. It evolves easily when you study your animal totems.
In one scenario, I am Rabbit that is being hunted by Coyote. I learn to move myself around in nature in order to outwit Coyote -– for a time, until I am eventually killed and eaten. And on another occasion, I am Coyote, hungry, dusty and clever. I enter the territory where I know Rabbit hides and nests. And I thrill at the hunt and capture that ensures. Funny, how I even did these journeys and others like them during the 16 years that I lived as a strict vegetarian.
Then there is the journey that some think of as creepy: “Dismemberment.” This is when we invite our Power Animals known to best facilitate this process. Often I use Mountain Lion and Eagle together or separately. In the journey, I am actually killed by the Lion and eaten to the bone. This lends itself to my rebirth as I am journeying to my re-creation. As cruel as it may sound, after practicing this journey for 30 years, I want to share with you its value: starting over. Life, Death and Rebirth.
In client sessions and classes I use variations on these ideas in order to offer an experience of beginning again. We also use it to detoxify our physical and emotional bodies, create a new career, or fall in love again after loss, separation or divorce.
And so we learn there is no life without death. Shamanic practitioners have learned balance in their medicines and in their lives. Creation is birthed from destruction. Fire is heart energy, passion and deep, unconditional love. It is the element associated with true resurrection and rebirth.
As Ted Andrews says so well, “Change in your life reflects that the creative process is active. Most people ask for changes in their life, but fail to recognize them for what they are. They find them difficult and oftentimes chaotic. Transitional periods involve movement. This movement and its ensuring difficulties and chaos forces us to be our most creative, while reminding us that life is always in a perpetual process of creation. We can either choose to participate in it or ignore it. If we participate, especially through work with Spirit totems, the lessons of death and rebirth are learned and our lives are filled with the magic of creation.”
A special thanks to Renna Shesso for drawing my attention to the HEALING for Colorado from around the world occurring at noon on June 27, and to my circle of Global Shamanic Teachers, who work as a team spiritually and energetically in times such as these. Note: it rained very hard at my home in Lafayette on June 27 at 3 p.m. Also, particular thanks to Sandra Ingerman for her continuing work with our group, this planet, and all the ELEMENTS. Please refer to ShamanicTeachers.com
and Sandra Ingerman’s Transmutation News.
And thanks to the firefighters as they experience firsthand the predator/prey journey, fighting to save lives, homes, and all the possessions that hold our memories. Also, thanks to all the volunteers! We know that every wheel in the mechanism needs to be greased in order for movement and change to become order out of chaos.
Please join me on my blog KarenRiceKingBlog.wordpress.com
for meditations, journeys, educational events, and workshops. Also, see my website KarenRiceKing.com
, where you can conveniently connect to entries on my Blog, Facebook, Twitter
My helping Spirits intend that you thrive, and not simply survive, in these times.
“All we need is Love!”
Loving Light and Laughter,