Feeling Blue

A Soul Gift

I practice shamanism and try to journey as much as possible. During the pandemic I am dearly missing my monthly drum circle connection. There is some contraversy over whether you should share your journeys with others or keep them to yourself. I don’t plan to share all my journeys or even all that occurs in them in my posts and yet, I do believe that inviting you to experience some of them is somehow “the right thing to do”.

I went on a shaman journey in search of my grandma Campbell. She is one of my spirit guides. In life, she was a formidable no nonsense kind of woman with a strong mind and a loving heart. I wanted to ask her some questions. What is a soul gift that I could use to help others was the first question. The second question centered around how best to use this gift. I was hoping she would demonstrate the gift for me or show me the best way to use or interpret it also.

I struggled to focus on the journey. Lots of false starts, distractions and obstacles which usually indicates the approach of deep learning and understanding for me if I can just press on.The drums had been beating for a while when I finally reached my desitination. I found myself on the back steps of my grandparents old homestead in Hillspring. I sat and looked out at the yard. The corn was nearly 6 feet tall in the garden and the bees were buzzing around grandma’s favorite geranium pots. I soaked up the sun as I waited for grandma to come. Grandpa appeared at the bottom of the steps. He was wearing a lopsided knowing grin, baseball cap, grey work clothes, checkered jacket and suspenders.

One version of clothes that suited him. His eyes were filling me with so much warmth that I couldn’t help but smile back. He didn’t speak. “What do you see?” I jerked a litte at the sound then realized it was grandma behind me coming out of the old screen door. The door made a WHACK as it closed and gave me some time to peer back at grandpa. What did I see? Home, love and an amazing creative man who worked hard to support his family. An interesting artist too who tended to paint with neon colors no matter his subject matter which included mostly images of the Mormon temples and nature. I had learned that my grandpa was color blind. It didn’t seem to slow him down at all. If I hadn’t been told that fact I probably would have never considered it the reason for the vibrant hues he used in his art. “How do you think he knows what the colors will look like together?” grandma nudged. I hestitated to think and was a bit puzzled. “ I am not sure” I replied. She smiled and sat down beside me still looking up at grandpa. “He feels them” she said. Still puzzled grandma I thought “What do you mean?” I replied. “Blues, purples and some reds feel cool when applied to the canvas” she explained. “Yellow, oranges, pinks and some other reds feel warm to him”. The concept wasn’t lost on me. I seemed to intuitively know that this was true. My uncles, who are also deceased,Walton and David appeared on the steps. David asked me if I wanted some raspberries. Of course I did! I took a few bites and enjoyed the sweetness. They drifted off into the yard puttering around the gardens and shed. We all had grown up eager to come to the homestead, raid the gardens, pick a few weeds and devour their rapsberry patch at every opportunity. Grandma and I enjoyed the sun and the closeness for a bit.

I almost forgot my task and the drums seemed to beating so far off in the distance it was easy to believe they were just part the universe keeping time with my experience for the moment. My uncle Blaine appeared suddenly. He had passed away in the fall of the previously year. He sat down on the steps and took my hand. I started to cry and was swallowed into his big bear hug. “Why are you here?” I asked when I could regain my composure. “You asked about soul gifts?” I nodded. “Like grandpa knowing which colors to use, you know things by associating images to how they make you and others feel”. “That gift has to do with who you are and where you came from. Within you are generations who have felt when to provide a sanctuary for others. How to open a space for comfort, relief from grief and support. Your mom fills that roll for your family and for others. Her loving reach has touched so many lives and changed the future of many a stray for the good during her lifetime. I could hear the drums calling me back from my journey. I had spend so much time getting here and now had to leave without all the answers to my questions. It figures, I thought bemused. “You have our soul gifts and those of previous generations.” “What makes this different, in you, is the combination of the sight and the feeling. Sometimes what we see doesn’t match the energy we feel is being manifested. The images that form when others talk help you to process the meaning behind their words. This is part of the soul gift and it enables you to fill in the spaces with intuition and intent”. “Our hope is that your learn to use it to help yourself, family and others you encounter”.

I had to go quickly. I waved back to my ancestral guides and followed the drums back to the present.

A few minutes of reorientation took place when I come back from the journey. I was laying on my mat on my side in the drum circle processing what I had experienced. I sat up and started trying to write in my journal what had occurred.

Even now it’s a struggle to practice the soul gifts offered by those that have come before and yet I try to honor the opportunity.

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You Can’t Undo Awareness

Reflecting on Luna Terra Soul podcast and card reading.

Every blessing ignored becomes a curse

The Alchemist

In our most recent podcast “The Ace of Space”, Selena (Luna Terra Soul) mentioned the book “The Alchemist”. I hadn’t heard of it before or at least not yet connected its importance to the current journey I am on. In the podcast one of the cards that had come up for me was the 4 of Swords. I’ve had some time to reflect on its meaning and the significance of appearing now.

The confession of not being in balance is true. The more I clear space, the more real it becomes. The 7 of Pentacles does tie into the present and future as I reflect on what path to take next. It’s a confirmation to always have a back up plan. The main story in “The Alchemist” follows a young shepherd on his quest to find his treasure in Egypt. At one point he is distracted from his quest for a period of time. I know how that feels as I have often set out to accomplish one thing and ended up pursuing something else that filled the space without awareness. An event occurs that brings him back to his original goals and he has to decide which direction he will follow. The parallels of his journey and mine are not lost on me. We both seek a treasure. I have a feeling that we both at this point believe the treasure to be one thing and will eventually realize it might be something else entirely. 

I can always go back to being a shepherd

The Alchemist

“ I can always go back to being a shepherd…maybe I’ll never have another chance to get to the pyramids in Egypt”(excerpt of reflection by the boy in book).

I can always seek out the opportunities that my education and experience has brought me. There is comfort in the familiar path and very little that is unknown if I seek to continue it.

“Why not” is mentioned in the book. To some, that might seem insignificant. To others, it’s something I have been known to say often. An omen perhaps to relate to a kindred spirit? To go into ambiguity and uncertainty with an open heart and mind. 

The synchronicities that come up for me in this book would be spine tingling if I wasn’t used to the universe’s ability to validate the reason I go where I go and do what I do when the timing is right to do it. That might sound confusing so let me explain. 

Series of events…

  • Selena mentions the book “The Alchemist”
  • I don’t recall it and decide to start to read it
  • Right away I start to see the connections
    • I am a visual person, the fact that the journey begins in Spain in areas in which I have stood, engaged in the culture and heritage. I have sailed across the very channel he speaks of to the port of Tangier. 
    • The desert of North Africa will forever be forged in my spirit. I didn’t quest to go all the way to Egypt but I can close my eyes and smell the dust, feel the sway of the camels as we venture further into nothingness and dream under thousands of stars.

The geography is one part of the familiar journey, the boy’s personal journey of balance and desire is another. The book talks of a Personal Legend. It goes on to explain that when we are young everything is possible. As time passes and life interferes with our goals we say goodbye to those dreams. If we stay open to the potential the universe will send us omens to forward our Personal Legend. It’s just waiting in the wings for us to be aware once again and is willing to pick up where we left off if we chose to continue.

Further in the book it talks about “making a decision is only the beginning of things.” I have noticed this anomaly happen in my life. I don’t have to have the master plan in place, just intuitively choose a direction to go. The rest will fall into place as it should if I am aware of the signs, nudges and gifts of knowledge that show up when appropriate. 

I haven’t finished the book yet as I write this blog. I felt compelled to get down my thoughts today before I go for my walk. It feels right to do so and share it with you.

I am still not sure what my next chapter looks like. I have some reflection still to consider. The dreams I had as a young girl no longer seem valid to this midlife woman’s heart. I will have to see and feel what the cards are bringing up next. There is comfort in knowing there is time and I am learning the practice of patience.

The Essence Of Salt

The ying and yang of salt

I have always struggled with my relationship with my dad. He was a character. Lived life on his terms no matter what or how it affected others. In some ways I envied him and his ability to put himself first. In some ways I pitied him because when you only put yourself first soon others stop including you in their lives at all. My dad wanted to be free. He married an unwed mother(my mom) in a time when I am sure everyone around him thought he was crazy to do so. They went on to have 6 more kids. With 9 people living in a small space, privacy and freedom was at a premium. He was resourceful so he found ways to access and enjoy both of these things. After 45 years of marriage, on my mothers birthday no less, he announced that he wanted a divorce. Loaded up his station wagon and drove away without looking back.

Ah, if only that was the end of the story.

Salt has interesting properties don’t you think? If you explore the makeup of anything on this planet it contains some degree of salt. We can’t exist without it. I have always been curious about Ying and Yang, opposites that attract, cravings for things that aren’t good for you. I often wonder if it’s because of my dad and me trying to come to terms with who he was and my relationship with him. He loved salt. He would add it to almost everything. In his later years, when he was stuck in the hospital with high blood pressure and heart problems he would holler loudly when they took it away from him. My sister and I would sneak in packets of it when no one was looking and he would store them in his table drawer by his bed. He was 89 years old and stuck in his ways, the doctors meant well but didn’t know this man and his love affair with salt.

Salt wasn’t good for him but he didn’t care nor did he want to live without it. He was discharged from his stay and went on to live for a few more months after that. He was a hard man to be around if you had history with him. Yet, he was a fascinating dinner partner or guest if you didn’t know him very well. He was well read and knew a lot of facts about many things to keep the conversation going. A simple operation would have fixed his heart problems if he so chose but he was terrified of going under the knife. His dad had died in an assisted living ward when he underwent a hip replacement surgery. He associated his death with being operated on which wasn’t true but there was no persuading him otherwise. His love affair with salt was the same. It didn’t hurt him he insisted. His heart trouble, blood pressure were all misdiagnosis. He only took the pills because everyone made him…lol. He ate the salt when you turned your back and continued to live as he wanted.

The night he died a few close family were in the room with him. He had mentally checked out earlier in the afternoon in the emergency room but in true dad fashion his heart refused to stop beating. It would choose when to go and prove that the doctors wrong. Salt had not killed his heart. His heart was strong and lasted well into the night.

We chose to have him cremated. Some of his ashes were buried with his brother, some scattered over the prairies where he worked as a lineman for an electric company, some I kept to take to his 3rd wife in California and more we still have awaiting a trip back East to bury with his mom and dad.

The trip to California was something unexpected. I met with his new family that had taken him in and genuining seemed to love him. He had spoke often of the ocean, the beach and the sun. We chose a pier that was close by where I could sprinkle a bit of his ashes to honor where he had been happy.

I was standing on the pier, close to a corner that faced the beach and that had some shelter under a structure. I was looking down into the waves crashing against the logs. The water was almost black in the shadows, swirling up the beach then out again into the ocean. I tipped the container slowly downward and watch the wind catch the contents in a white cloud as it descended. Time stopped just for a few seconds.. the dust drifted aiming for the surface of the waves. The alchemy of the salt water and the porous material was fascinating to watch as they mixed together. The remains landed as a membrane on the black water. Spreading out like a serpent that kept stretching out vertically at first then undulating further and further to form a channel of cloudy white. I watched as my dad seemed to sigh and soak up the salt as if he was regenerating. It might have been my imagination but I thought I saw bubbles popping like epsom salts in a tub. I looked around nervously in hopes no one else was watching my dad reclaim his fill of salt. A white milky image took shape about 6 foot 4 in the water just for seconds before a big wave came crashing down to claim the ghost in the undertow.

Good for you dad I chuckled. I was happy he had found a way to stay true to himself even then. To reclaim a part of himself that he couldn’t let go of no matter what others thought or did.

We are made from this substance, it keeps us alive but also it can kill us if we indulge too much.

Such is the true essence of salt.