Saturday, October 13, 2012

An Eye Out for Animal Medicine

Because I was raised in a Native medicine tradition, I notice things that the majority of people tend to miss or overlook. One of these things is the different kinds of Medicine at work and assisting me on this journey that we call life. In this context, "Medicine" is akin to magic, signs or influences from The Creator.

In pretty much all Native traditions that I know of, Spirit (The Creator, The Great Mystery or God) sends little messengers to humans in order to alert them to various things. Once you learn about the various creatures in the world and their Medicine, you can become more attuned to the world around you.

How does that help with creativity, you ask? Well, let me tell you a little story of something that happened to me, recently.

When the idea of teaching the Visionary Voices classes hatched in my head, I wasn't sure if it was something that was actually worth pursuing. Driving back from the grocery store in the Visionary Van, I was mulling the concept of these classes over in my head. What lessons could I teach? What format could I use? These and many other questions bumped around in my head like bouncy balls. It was then that I stopped at a stop light and happened to look down toward the hood of the van and this is what I saw.

A grasshopper was clinging to my windshield wiper, right in front of me. I laughed. "So what?" you say. "It's just a grasshopper!" But, wait. Other people would dismiss such a visit from this jolly little bug. Me? I laughed because I know about Medicine. Grasshopper Medicine comes to us in times when we need to leap, sometimes with nothing but faith as to where we will land.. Grasshopper teaches us to "take a leap of faith," as it were.

Here I was in my new Visionary Van (a manifestation of dedication to this path), thinking about launching an entirely new idea and kind of unsure about it. Suddenly, at this time of my considering a new direction, Grasshopper shows himself to me. A ha! Voila! Look! A sign from the Universe that I'm on the right path. It may look like a coincidence, but this is how Medicine works. See how wonderful and life-affirming such signs can be?

Another example is when I was pregnant with my daughter. I was driving along the same street, oddly enough, on my way to one of my prenatal classes. At the time, I was thinking about the little girl in my belly and how my life was going to change after bringing her into this world.

Again, I was sitting at a stoplight, not 2 blocks from the hospital I would have her at, when a beautiful little shining blue dragonfly landed on my windshield. Again, I knew my Medicine. Dragonfly is a guide that assists a person with change. With the baby, there would be many changes that would be happening in my life. At the time, I was reading tons of parenting books and I was very frustrated with each book trying to push some sort of agenda on me. Dragonfly helps lead us past the illusions that we carry and leads us to change the habits which are holding us back. Such a wise little bug, don't you think?

Once, in the middle of a meditation project I was working on, my car was invaded by a swarm of little black ants. I had no food that was left in the car and the car had been parked in a garage. I was very annoyed with the little invasion for a couple of days until I realized that Ant was probably trying to tell me something. Ant is the medicine of focusing on the details. Ant would be an editor's best friend. Often, I can see a project that I would like to see manifest in the future, but I have problems with seeing the little steps, daily, that I need to take to get there. Ant tells us and helps us to focus. When I had gotten the message and focused on what I needed to, the black swarm went away on its' own. Talk about a wake up call!

Creatures make themselves known to us can act as guides. We can find signs for knowing which creative paths are worth pursuing, which risks to take, and where we should hold back a bit. When you have a question about your next step in your journey, hold the question in your mind. Mull it over when you're driving or walking outside. And, while you're mulling, keep an eye out for critters. Do any plop themselves in front of you or call your attention to them? (I've had squirrels drop nuts on my head to get my attention, before.) If a critter makes itself known, go home a do a quick net search for "*insert animal here* medicine." There are tons of sites that discuss the Medicine of creatures. See what the critter may be trying to tell you and it might just be the nudge you need to, in the case of Grasshopper, take a "leap."

What kinds of Medicine do you see at play in your life? What critters are making themselves known? What are they telling you? I'd love to know!

And remember, my beautiful ones, that we are all visionaries. We just have to figure out where we excel!