I was visited by a Chippewa medicine man (shaman) who is a very talented artisan. He makes ritual tools for various native ceremonies, my favorite of which are his medicine smudging fans made of rooster feathers. He visited my store to show me his wares and I will be showcasing his work in the coming weeks.
And while his work is absolutely stunning, and infused with the spirit of the animal from which the feathers and furs originated, the four-hour conversation I had with him was one of the most profound experiences in my life. Seriously. Every single thing that we talked about was something I desperately needed to hear. Maybe its just that time of year with the Spring coming and all, but I've been feeling that itch to change the direction of my spiritual path. And then "out of the blue" this wise man appears and shows me what I needed to see.
I am writing this right now the day after I met with the medicine man and I am filled with absolute hope, humility and a sort of quiet anticipation. I feel like I can peak over the edge of the cliff and see that the fall is not that scary and I find myself wanting to take that leap, the leap into the unknown, the unexplored, and find myself vibrating at a much high frequency.
I have felt for a long time, as I'm sure many of you have as well, that there are so many inauthentic people in the world. It is rare to have a "real" conversation with someone about things that truly touch my soul. So many people, I feel, are just now beginning to awaken, which is wonderful for them (and for the world as a whole), but I've been craving the connection with another human being who really gets it, someone with depth of experience, someone from whom I can learn.
My spring-time new beginning started when I met with this medicine man. And while I have a whole lot to process still, my first takeaway from this enlightening experience was a much needed reminder about working with Nature instead using Nature. He imparted a short story to me to explain the difference:
A Magician from Europe traveled to the United States to meet with a native Shaman. The Magician wanted to learn the powers of the Shaman because he recognized that they were different from his own. When he met the Shaman, the Magician started by showing the Shaman that he could command the Wind. He threw his arms about and said some words and the Wind blew very hard. The Magician was proud of himself, but when he looked over to the Shaman to see his reaction, he saw that the Shaman was crying. "Why are you crying?" asked the Magician. "I am saddened because you are torturing the Wind by forcing it against its will," muttered the Shaman. "I cannot teach you anything," he added. And with that, the Shaman sent the Magian away on the Wind, never to see him again.
I must admit I got a little misty when he told me this story. And I knew at that moment that I had a lot of changes I needed to make in my own life, and in my magical practice. I don't generally walk around commanding the elements to do my bidding, but the general mindset of forcing your own will upon a situation in order to get the results that you want has its place, but might not be the best course of action every time. He told me that over time, one who works with Nature will develop a friendship, or rapport, that may be called upon when needed. It is about asking, not telling or commanding.
Over the next several months, I plan on shifting the intention of my various product lines to be more in tune with encouraging a gentler approach to change. We live in a fast paced world and we all want and need things to happen NOW!, but we also need to learn the value of patience.