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Lions and Bears, No Tigers – Oh My!

SunBear
http://www.photozen.us/

Synchronicity is my teacher. Wherever I go, I notice the signs and symbols before me. I notice patterns that repeat, knowing they point the way to deeper wisdom. I know this to be a way for my spirit guides to communicate with me. I realize how integral synchronicity is to my conscious evolutionary journey. Here’s a story to illustrate.

When I began my formal shamanic training in autumn of 2011, I engaged in a shamanic journey to send me off on my personal studies. During my journey, a female cougar came to me with two twin cubs trailing her. She was sleek and beautiful. She nurtured me with her milk and purring, as I nuzzled into her belly. She promised to guide and to protect me during my days of discovery. When I returned home, I asked for validation of cougar’s presence in my life. A day or so later, on an early morning walk behind my house, I found fresh cougar scat on a rock, where I had searched for several years without a sign. Cougar continued to come to me in many a journey, offering comfort and support, along with her wisdom.

And so it was that I began to enjoy the medicine of cougar. Jamie Sams and David Carson, in Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power through the Ways of Animals, articulate the teachings of mountain lion medicine in this way:

  • Learning lessons on the use of power in leadership without insisting that others follow
  • Understanding that all beings are potential leaders in their own ways
  • Learning to balance power, intention, physical strength, and grace (or in other words, the balance of body, mind, spirit)
  • Learning to stand on your convictions and lead yourself where your heart takes you
  • Reviewing the purpose behind your personal beliefs
  • Discovering whether or not your plans include a pride of cubs wanting to be like you or to share in your dreams, or whether it is time to push the cubs out of the cave
  • Feeling we are not allowed to be perceived as human or vulnerable to others, and in this perception the pitfalls are many, but the rewards are great
  • Learning to balance keeping the peace with telling the truth
  • Learning that responsibility is the ability to respond to any situation without panic

Of course, much of my work involves holding space for others to come into their full empowerment and leadership abilities. And all of these themes have woven themselves into my experience this past year. The ones that stand out the most are following my heart and living my life purpose. For me, these two are synergistic, as my heart and intuition have stepped up to inform all I perceive, believe, and create. This has certainly created some level of risk, as I’ve dared to step beyond the pack of beliefs that govern much of our society. I’ve expressed myself and love in ways that have drawn attention to myself and others whom I love. I have “come out” as a conscious channel for Socha, my spirit guides. I am completely at peace with my decisions, because I know that I express myself authentically in each moment, and that’s a mighty high value for me.

A couple of months ago, at one of my favorite community events – a puja offered by Lisa Rizzoli of Tantra Sacred Loving  – one of the participants I had never seen nor met before told me I had strong bear medicine. I intended to research that a bit, but then forgot. Then during this week, traveling over the Sierras to Nevada City, Auburn and back to Reno, I saw so many bears: yard art, a river named “Rio del Oso,” sculptures, and sadly even one struck on the highway. Since I just completed another intensive, long-weekend shaman training, it’s not so surprising to notice a change in my medicine. Sams and Carson articulate bear medicine in this way:

  • Experiencing the power of introspection and the sweetness of truth
  • Entering the womb-like cave to digest experiences and to attune to the energies of the earth
  • Accessing the energies and wisdom of the ancestors and growing to understand the expansiveness of eternity
  • Becoming visionaries, mystics, and shamans
  • Making goals concrete realities by entering silence for good counsel

The recent shaman workshop revolved much around our shamanic ancestral lineage and accessing the wisdom there, another nice synchronicity. Socha’s messages for guiding my personal path have been plentiful, several per day of late, as long as I am willing to go into the dark stillness to connect. I have known myself to be shamanita, or little shaman, but I feel myself entering more deeply into my lineage as shaman.

And I know this in only the beginning, the beginning of something even bigger.

What signs and synchronicities do you notice of late?

What significance do you place on them symbolically?

How do you think they inform your wisdom?

How are they helping you on your conscious evolutionary journey?

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