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Monday, May 21, 2007

first lesson

This summer i wanted to do intensive personal work with one or several of my guides. i want some clarity on where i should be going in my life from this point forward, and i am thinking in circles. i need some guidance from elsewhere. i am keeping this blog to document what i learn on the journey.

The first journey is just a exploratory journey to see is anyone of my guides will even step forward to help me. i smudged my space and opened a circle, with my shamanic drumming cd playing in the background. i began a few yoga stretches, to open my body up, thinking, this would be a great yoga class, to combine yoga and dance and shamanism, my great loves. i finished my exercises and laid down on my mat to go into journey state.

I went into Journey state, and asked my guide to take me to my place of safety, and went before my council. Immediately my teacher stepped forward, and said: I've been waiting for you to ask for my guidance. now you are ready to begin. i almost began crying with the feeling of acceptance. i was worried he/she would say no. i got the feeling that my guide is beyond gender, androgynous but more male than female. so i will refer to him by the pronoun he.

i knelt in front of the council fire and he placed a mantle of eagle wings over my shoulders, a staff with a rattle on the top, and marked my face with black paint over my eyes like the markings of a bird of prey. he said: you are now a member of the eagle clan, you are an eagle shaman, a tribe of one, but part of a much larger tribe of individual shamans. you must agree to accept the responsibility of an eagle shaman before you receive instruction. do not rush into this decision for it will alter your life once you begin the teachings.

i asked how it will change me. he said, you will always be an eagle shaman, you must vow to be a bridge to others to the creator, to protect those who cannot help themselves, though in the natural world they are our prey. will you do this thing? yes i replied.

you must be prepared that this may affect your relationships. you will become a force to be reckoned with, which may feel threatening to others, can you accept this? i have no other choice, i replied, i must move forward. so do you agree? yes. i replied.

then you first lesson is to learn as much as you can about Eagle, he is no longer just your guide, you are a member of his human tribe. you must study his characteristics, habits. his habitats, his strengths and weaknesses, for they are yours now. that is all.

i asked when i should return for more lessons. he said: return everyday, for there is much for you to learn. before i left he pulled the mantel and staff from me and threw them into the fire. you do not need more things, he said, you must empty yourself of everything you have learned in order to be a clear vessel for the eagle's teachings.

i left the council area and found myself in an eagle's nest i was in an egg, and my mother was keeping me warm. i slept in this egg, and enjoyed the warmth and safety of the nest. when she left i felt the heat of the sun on my shell and the breeze of the mountain. i like being up high in the sun and the wind. at night i can hear night sounds insects, and feel the stars burning through my shell.

soon i feel i am too big for my shell, and i break to stretch, a crack appears in my shell, and i poke it with my beak. soon a sliver of the sun is reaching into my shell, and i begin to push at it, to feel the fresh air. soon i am out and in my nest and i see that i am way up high, in a branch of a very tall tree. i am small and cold, but my mother is there to keep me warm.

i grow quickly, soon i have small downy feathers, and am hopping around my nest. when my flight feathers grow in stronger, my mother nudges me out of the nest, and fall rapidly to the ground. i struggle, flapping my baby wings, bouncing up and down in the draft until i begin to glide to the earth. i am hungry, i try to catch a fish but it is too big and strong for me. i finally find a mouse to eat, and realize that i am on my own now.

Lesson One: Learn as much as you can about the Eagle. Use the journey state to get a feel for what eagles are like.

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