I heard a spiritual teacher once say something very encouraging– in reference to the Native American story that you’ve likely already heard – about the white wolf and the dark wolf inside of us. Here is the story for quick review if you’ve never heard it:
A Cherokee Legend
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
The encouragement from the spiritual teacher is that –well, first of all my own observation. I see the dark wolf in myself and of course in others; but seeing it in my self is the most painful and disheartening. It is dispiriting to see others feeding the dark wolf also; and it is for these who have no knowledge of their actions whatsoever that can evoke greatest compassion. And I say this without a grain of self-righteousness being intended.
I recognize in my past the states of being totally asleep as to which wolf was being fed (to continue with the Native American teaching example)—not to mention knowing that there were two wolves in the first place! Ignorance is bliss only temporarily for eventually awakening (whether in this lifetime or the next) awakening is bound to eventually occur.
And when that awakening does begin to happen one can be filled with great regret—we see unflattering and embarrassing things about ourselves then and that usually happens at 2 am or throughout half the night! It all bubbles up and there are, at least in my own experience, cycles or layers of time between these realizations about how the dark wolf was fed—sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. The light shines upon our awareness and what we were not conscious of or about (because we were busy feeding the wrong wolf) suddenly comes squarely before us. We don’t want to look because it is painful.
And sometimes this is where people turn to anything to rid themselves of the pain of sorrow or regret over their mistakes. Who knows how long this process takes—lifetimes maybe, who knows? But when we get to the point where we have to acknowledge the two truths, the two wolves, that is when we become awakened or fully conscious of ego and how it operates.
However, even when we ‘are’ conscious and aware of feeding the wrong wolf, there is a period in which we cannot seem to stop ourselves—due to habit (brain patterns/proclivities), prior soul wounds, due to the wiring of our psyche for whatever reason, even when we are conscious that we are doing it and we know we are feeding the wrong wolf we do it anyway!
Now what? I see this in my self. I am conscious that the wound has taken over (again) and aware that I am reacting in the old patterned ways which, after all, are only for the purpose of wanting to avoid pain and I see myself doing it anyway! This is called, in some circles, responding in a patterned way to the trigger!
But now the difference is that we are aware we are doing it and that awareness is 99.999% of the battle that the spiritual warrior fights. The encouraging news from the spiritual teacher is that success is guaranteed once awareness occurs. And if you think about it, that makes sense. Once you know—you know and can no longer ‘not know’. Once you are conscious, you are conscious and can no longer ‘not be conscious’. Oh yeah, we can try and that’s called denial but in the end we become conscious of that too—it just causes more pain.
Again, what do we do? One thing is that this can bring us into great feelings of compassion for ourselves and for others and the general human condition. We can see in others the struggle they are suffering through because we are currently or have been in that same struggle. For those who have no level of consciousness about feeding any wolf at all (totally asleep)—and these are often (but not always) the folks that seem to trigger us in the first place—we can have great compassion for them but first we must create that compassion for our own self. (Both at the same time really in many cases I think.)
What I do is go quiet when triggered and since I’ve moved closer to family and since financial demands have been greater all with impositions on time and energy (well, who amongst us does NOT have concerns like these?)—however, the point being that I’ve been triggered every which way but loose and old ghosts of the past are knocking at the door asking to be fed again! Each one wanting, no demanding, something different—in moments it becomes overwhelming. And I’ve had to watch myself dealing with the two wolves—some days more successfully than others; yet always aware.
And again that’s the good news—once we are aware we are guaranteed success but then the success becomes challenged again over and over. More good news is that we can relax about that too once we know it is simply life and impermanent and always changing! Like my mother’s wisdom goes: Hang in there, it won’t last. I add, hang in there and remain aware, conscious. Don’t let the dark wolf take over completely by going into denial because eventually that, too, will need to be brought to the light of consciousness and again usually at 2 or 3 in the morning!
So often I think of the people of Tibet and the Dalai Lama and that suffering and the example of the refusal to feed the dark wolf that His Holiness has demonstrated and how much discipline, courage and compassion this required of him individually. Yesterday was human rights day 2012 and still Tibet is not free; it is heartbreaking if we let our mind take us there… and to be more like the Dalai Lama in the face of that the Chinese takeover that his country suffered… well, he continues to be the example for me. The Buddhists train themselves purposefully to handle intense fear and to handle death by contemplating both. I sometimes think of the charnel training that some developing monks are sent by their teachers to do.
I’ve read about this numerous times and heard it referred to in documentaries and so my sensitivity to this is not as strong as it is would be if I were hearing about this the first time. So this may be a bit shocking to the reader who does not know of this. That high in the Himalayas the ground is often too frozen to have an actual ground burial when someone dies and burning bodies is not practical because of the situation with trees. Therefore, the way that the bodies are dealt with after death involve feeding them to the vulcher birds and wild animals after the charnel ground workers chop up the bodies. The charnel ground is much like a very exposed grave yard and to be there at all one is to face great fear from many levels as you can imagine (body parts everywhere and all that) but to be there at night… the monks send the students there to learn to deal with highly intense emotion using various tools of the mind. Sometimes I wonder if this is why folks get themselves so attracted to graveyard ghost chasing experiences and freakish paranormal phenomenon fascinations and magnetisms. I wonder if they are not trying to induce their own somewhat milder charnel ground experience in order to teach themselves to remain calm during intense situations—or some degree of this somehow. I don’t know. Probably some of that is dark wolf stuff too; we shouldn’t make a blanket statement there.
I’ve heard it said that everyone is (in some way) is either trying to avoid pain or induce pleasure. I’d like to think we’re a bit more sophisticated than that; but perhaps not. Life is sometimes pleasurable and sometimes painful all on its own. The question is can we be with it either way without fanning either flame or feeding either wolf? Can we just sit with that—can we sit with whatever it is that comes up in the charnel ground of life even though the whole time we hear the calls of the hungry dark wolf? He will quiet down and wander off if we just give it a little time—or so that has been my experience.
I think to withdraw and not react for a while until you know how you want to react even if it takes months to make peace with it all—a better alternative than its opposite. Then, of course, we see how life is such a balance of up’s and down’s and irritations and joys and we don’t need to necessarily over-react to any of it. But if we do over react and are aware we are doing so… the bottom line encouragement is to take heart because once the awareness is there, the good quality we want to substitute will eventually take hold. Will we ever stop being triggered? Probably best to expect that we always will be but our response to the trigger, with enough charnel ground practice, will be something we are less attached to. And then I think too we can trust our response by not labeling it good or bad; we can say that we are acting consciously and in the end maybe that is the best any of us can do. And that’s staying awake. Being too strict with ourselves or too forgiving with ourselves–neither one is favorable as Buddha taught. The middle path is best. We have to love both wolves but not let either take over!
My own intuition was working as a guide last night when after doing yoga stretches on the floor and being at eye level with the bottom bookshelf (a row of Buddhists books), I noticed a strong attraction to one of the books. I looked at it for a long time just allowing myself to be sure of the pull from the book; my eyes just kept going back to it in my post-yoga relaxation phase. Without my glasses on, I could not see the title. I took it off the shelf, retrieved my glasses to find that the name of the book is The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way – Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika (yes, the last word is really that long and when pronounced is very beautiful IMHO). I’m reading some other books and doing my own writing, but there’s something in this book I’m about to revisit!
Could I possibly have ancient shamen buried with the local tribe just above my house? (Correction; the house I rent.)
The world’s oldest profession is the shaman!! The ancient shaman is the ancestor to the modern-day doctor and the priest.
The oldest religion of which we have any secure knowledge is shamanism.
Ahhh, and to think one or more may be buried here upon this property… no wonder the crows circle above that area and nowhere else. And no wonder the crowd of deer come and go from that very place. More on that later… but first…
Inserted Later: I’ve just learned that in the archaeologically termed “Woodland Period”, the Cherokee in this area actually did create their burial mounds on the top of mountain ridges or “high up” —this according to a Cherokee Archeologist from Cherokee, NC. —More on this below
(This has nothing to do with anything but if I could have a “DO OVER”, I’d have studied archeology in college instead of physical therapy…. Note to Soul: next time!)
That’s twice now! Yes, I know that posting something like this is risking appearing crazy to some; so be it— I’m used to it. I just have to blog this quickly because it happened AGAIN and after this weekend… well, you’ll see what I mean.
I’m taking a bit of a break from outdoor work, mowing and raking all those things that make landlord’s happy. A few weeks ago (and if you are a regular follower of this blog, you may recall this), I found a “mounds” candy bar wrapper in my yard when I was mowing. I live on a country road two-lane curvy highway in the mountains of North Carolina and many people are of the habit of tossing their litter and it ends up in the yard now and again.
And today was no exception, there were some papers in the yard and as the mower and I came across from one, upon picking it up I nearly froze in my tracks! There it was again! A MOUNDS candy wrapper (coconut filled dark chocolate). So what you might say and I’d agree. Apparently someone who likes Mounds candy tosses their wrapper when they come around this particular bend—and it happened twice. So what! Right? But there’s more to it–there always IS with me!
The first time it reminded me that the landlady told me that there is a Native American Mound (burial place—mound of earth—ceremonial ground for Cherokee) here high on the ridge. I’d been meaning to investigate that for years but the timing was never right and I wasn’t about to mountain climb the steep ridge alone. I’ve also been waiting for the right weather and when the overgrowth wasn’t so dense to make the ascent. Well, my grandson got up there a few weeks ago and reported a headstone of some kind. Hmmmm, no mound? A headstone? Yeah, he said, adding that it wasn’t raised up, bur ‘sunken in’ and the headstone had some strange writing on it. He got up there to have a look before I had time to explain what a Mound actually is; so he didn’t recognize it. The ‘sunken in’ graves, according to him, sounded strange to me. (My grandson is 13 years old.)
So this past weekend my daughter, granddaughter and I, attempted to repeat the feat. My grandson warning me that I’d never make it up there which is all I needed to hear in order to vow that I’d get there! O, really? Watch me!
It wasn’t easy; but we made it up after doing some honest to goodness vertical rock climbing (like the real-deal ‘where do I put my foot next and where to I put my hand’–that kind of thing). It was quite THE adventure! Any tree root, protruding rock or nearby limbs were grips for hands and feet. Anyway, the point is that we got there! Eventually!
The mound plus two christian graves off to the side of it were obvious. Bingo! LOL My grandson only found one christian grave and the strange writing that he reported actually could be made out with some effort. My daughter had to put her fingers over the letters to ‘feel’ what she couldn’t make out with her eyes. This was carved with a rough tool; perhaps a stick when the cement was wet. We’re talking the 1800’s. It read this way… her first name (omitted out of respect) and then the words “wife of” and the first initials and last name of the husband. Beneath that it said, born (month/day) 1831, died (month/year) 1893. It appeared ‘sunken in’ to my grandson because it wa directly next to the native american mound.
Next to headstone was another. That one said FATHER (_______) [last name intentionally omitted for privacy purposes], died 1907.
Why do I say they are christian graves? On the wife’s headstone it says, “Blessed are they who trust in the lord”. Strange trivia–the date of her death as indicated on the hand-marked grave stone happens to be the same month and day as my own mother’s crossing.
Here is a general image of a Native American Mound if you’ve never seen what one looks like; I just took this image below off google as an example of what a mounds looks like for readers who don’t know.
Very Unusual Green Vine Growing Over the Top of the Native American Mound and Surrounding the Two Christian Graves that are Off to the Side of the Mound and a Circle of Trees Surround the Entire Magical, Sacred Area <p>
And all along the ground where the headstones were and the Cherokee Mound itself was the greenest thickest vine type of growth. It was only there and nowhere else–you can see it in the images below. I’m going back up there to take more pictures of the mound and surrounding area. After I found the mound, I read online that mounds are good places to meditate and after being up there, I can see why!
The general location of the property that I rent and thus the mound is very close to the V-fork (or the Y) of where two creeks merged–the Cherokee, it is said, believed that places where water meet to be sacred and often burial mounds are to be founds where 2 or 3 bodies of water merge as it does right at this location. (Across the street is a creek that merges in a V with a creek on the other side of the property here.)
The energy up there was quite sacred and peaceful and the trees around the area seemed to be protecting the spot–yeah, I know I’m repeating myself now but it deserves that emphasis. This spot, by the way, cannot be seen by any human from any direction and there are huge rocks upon which to sit and meditate nearby. And these huge rocks are up against trees.
Anyway, the whole time I’m mowing the lawn today, I’m thinking about going back up there if I can find a safer way up than yesterday’s adventure. Do I risk it at my ripe old age of 64? Maybe if I take my cell phone along with me!? Yeah, I’d bring the phone and also what I forgot to take up there with me yesterday, which is CORNMEAL to make an offering to the earth. I can’t get over the vine covering the ground up there just in those specific burial areas. It’s fall (autumn) now and there’s nothing much that is green and fresh looking growing right now; I’ve not seen that vine anywhere else. It’s as if mother earth covered that area with the vine to honor the contents beneath.
Yeah, so anyway, I’m waiting to get a call back from the Cherokee Nation. I called them today; they may not call back but it seemed right to reach out to them for some reason.
So I pick up this stray paper as I mowed the lawn today and there it is a second time–a mounds candy wrapper!
I brought it in and snapped a photo of it just for me to remember—the universe is recognizing the connection with the Native American Mound and that I went up there yesterday. I saw that same wrapper weeks ago which reminded me about the mound to start with.
After all, I didn’t find the mounds candy paper any other day. It was today!
Today–the day after I hiked up there with my daughter and granddaughter!
And whoever tossed the wrapper had no idea he or she was working in such harmony with the happenings here!
Photos of the christian grave markers; I have whited out the names out of respect and for privacy purposes….
Notice the green vine?
it is only present around the graves and the mound ONLY!
PS — Intuitively, I feel the Cherokee buried in the Native American Mound next to these graves are from the Deer Clan. (I’ve read there are four major clans in the Cherokee.)
There are many deer on this property and they can often be seen coming down from the top of the ridge there (sometimes 10 or 20 at a time) and returning to the place where the mound is up there.
I read online that the sacred wood of the Deer Clan is OAK and there is a huge old Oak Tree growing on the edge of the mound itself, seeming to be guarding it. One more thing and then I have to get back outside to finish my work; it must be done today, for tomorrow the rains come.
I’ve always seen big black crows circling the top of the ridge in the area of the mound! Rather spontaneously I call them the guardians or ‘the watchers’ and will catch myself saying aloud to myself, Oh, the guardians are back. Funny how you just say things like that without knowing why, isn’t it?
Lately, I’ve been finding crow feathers–a single feather here or there–around my back door or the side of the house. I’d like to believe these are the crows and Cherokee ancestor spirits acknowledging me. These feathers are (to me) magical and sacred.
Congratulations if you haven’t shaken your head, rolled your eyes and clicked off this blog post up until now and made this far! Maybe you and I are a “relation”! 🙂
ADDENDUM ~ I just spoke to a few Native American experts from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation and they said that the Mound is likely from what they call (in archeology terms) the “Woodland Period” and when I asked what that meant, he said that the natives buried there were from the 1,000 BC to 800 AD timeframe. Wow! We’re talking pre-European, pre Columbus! In that time period is (according to archeology studies) is when the Cherokee in this area would bury their dead high up on mountain ridges as the case here.
So obviously Mr. and Mrs. christian people from the 1800’s had no way of knowing the Cherokee buried in the Mound next to them–the mound is from some 2 or 3 thousand years before they were even born!
It was very interesting talking to both of the Cherokee men from Cherokee, NC today; they told me how to enter the mound from the East (the doorway) and offered other ceremonial information, etc.
Just as a side note, if anyone in North Carolina or Tennessee who finds a mound on their property comes across this blog post, apparently many (not all) of the Mounds were documented during the time of the “Thompson Project” and one could call the State Historic Preservation Office to find out more.
And one more thing–color me crazy but I think that the spirits of the crows and deer around here are connected to the natives buried on the ridge. Shaman of that period would shape shift or it is thought ‘turn into’ an animal — as in merge with the animal’s consciousness. These ideas are not at all foreign to me or my soul, especially because of the work that I do–that concept is not strange to me at all. Although, I realize that for some readers, this would seem incredulous. When one realizes (as shaman do/did) that everything is energy and consciousness… well, that’s a whole other topic for another day.
I found some drawings of what the Cherokee natives living here thousands of years ago would have looked like, including their homes. Here’s one below. I’m having all these imaginings and fantasies of how they walked this very same ground as I am today–they would probably scratch their heads and laugh at my lawn mowing! And at the idea that I could “rent” the land or even the house that is upon it.
I’m suddenly (by looking at the image to the left) being whisked away in my memory now to being back up there like I was yesterday…. my gosh, the energy up there is totally amazingly serene and peaceful and sacred. They must have done many ceremonies up there!
I was just thinking how they probably washed things in the creek across the street.
Today I am waiting for a washing machine that the landlady is having delivered — what a comparison! One wonders if life was really as happy and simple as it looked in this image. I wonder what they’d think of a washing machine.
I have clear soul memories of living on the land that way and being connected to… well, a time of living simply and being One With The Earth. And those memories always make me feel so grateful for the walls and roof and my warm bed and being to a certain extent protected from ‘the elements’ as they call it now.
If you want to know what ‘the message’ that I mention in the subject line of this post actually is — in case you haven’t put it together by now. I’ve learned that to me what is obvious is not to others. So let me spell it out. The Universal Intelligence or ‘Universal Harmony Energy of Divine Guidance and Acknowledgment’ directed me (or reminded me) to follow-up on a desire that I’ve held for many years but not acted upon and had nearly forgotten which was to go looking for that Indian Mound that the landlord said was here up on the ridge. How? Via the “Mounds” candy wrapper in the yard that I came across while mowing weeks ago.
It took me a matter of weeks to actually get up there. The day after I did (today, the date of this post), I come across another Mounds candy wrapper–this being the acknowledgment that the mission was accomplished, a sign of the recognition that I had just come down from the ridge top where I saw the mount the day previous!
And (obviously) now I cannot get this whole thing out of my mind and feel that this is a lead to something else and I trust that I’ll be guided to that too.
I’ve always thought that we (you and me) are ‘our own ancestors’…. what do you think?
When I came to the mountains, the certain feeling of being back home again was (and still is) overwhelming.
ADDENDUM: I keep remembering the day that I first looked at this rental home where I now live. The elderly landlady was struggling with her key in the back door to get us inside to show me the home and directly behind us within less than 10 feet at was a curving 6-foot high retaining wall. That detail will be more important in a moment.
Generally, at that time of my life, I wanted to move from my previous rental because they were cutting down all the trees and they filled in a deep crater in the ground where the deer lived down in and under. Surrounding this crater were a number of saplings bent over and covering them were various vines and berry bushes. Perfect natural home for the deer!
The deer went down below ground there under the convenient hideaway year round. It was cool in the summer and warm in the winter being protective from the weather conditions. I could watch them come and go from my living room. They were my friends and I’d give them apples and corn and often I’d catch them looking into my window as I worked. I am not making this up! Many times there’d be three of them just outside my window looking in at me. Very magical!
When the humans tore down their home and clearcut all the trees, I was heartbroken and wanted to leave too… just the way the deer actually did; they had to… their home was destroyed. Late in the day when the human tree butchers had gone, I’d see them looking around confused and I’d cry for them and … well, if you want to know the truth, I really wanted to leave the planet back then. Anything to get away from humans! But back to my other story…
When the landlady fumbled with the key at the back door, something caught my eye and I turned to look behind me.
And there just at the curving retaining wall, which at that point was less than 10 feet away (so close I could reach out and touch him), was a huge deer with antlers–large enough to be an elk!
He stood there so majestically holding a pose looking right at me. It took my breath away.
” A deer”, I murmured. I was in such awe that I could hardly get the words out of my mouth.
I knew it was a sign and that deer were welcoming me to this new home–she hadn’t agreed to rent to me and I had no idea how much the rent was; nor had I even walked inside to have a look. Yet, I already knew that this was going to be my new home. How could I pull off a move? I had not a nickel saved or even a whisper of a hope of any sudden influx of money to provide for the relocation financially. You may be wondering why I was looking at a rental when I could not afford to move–that too is a whole other story for a whole other day! Suffice it to say that I was definitely divinely guided to that moment. But back to the deer…
I knew that it was no accident that this deer was standing so close to the back door at that moment looking right at me!
The lady seemed to glance my way to ask me to repeat what I’d said. “Look, a deer–right here, see?” and she barely glanced in that direction and went back to struggling to get the key in the door.
I’ve always wondered if she actually even saw the deer–she surely didn’t act like she did.
And I can’t ask her now because I don’t see her anymore. (I deal with her daughter with any rental issues.)
Since I’ve lived here and it’s getting close to 9 years now, I’ve never had a deer that large with antlers that huge stand that close to the back door or to me personally in that way since. This only further validates the special-ness of that moment.
I’ve tried to make good friends with them (the deer), and they will look to me and let me come somewhat near but never as close as my old friends did where I lived before. Those other deer would eat apples out of my hand. These deer move around me almost like ghosts. Anyway, I digress.
I’ve often wondered if the animal that I saw that night was a spirit animal or perhaps a Cherokee shaman ancestor in animal form.
I think they know that I love this place. Yesterday, I looked up at the autumn beauty as the trees above on the ridge sent down their leaves in the wind that circled around me and said aloud with tears in my eyes, “I love all of you! I love you!” (a state of joy of course).
An essential aspect of Cherokee spirituality, philosophy, cosmology and NATURAL LAW is the belief that everything on Earth is the reflection of a star.
This includes not only people and animals but also trees, rivers, stones, and mountains–all are sentient (alive!) beings to the Cherokee.
They said on the local news station that deer hunting season starts November 14th (in just over a month). As you begin to think about Thanksgiving this year which may be around the 14th, will you keep our dear deer brothers in your heart? Perhaps take a moment to see them surrounded by light?
May you run fast and swift deer brothers! May you hide well from the hunters! I love you! and my heart breaks again as I type these words and am crying without reserve. Excuse me, sorry 😥
Many people here are baptist christians and therefore through their own admission and preaching, they clearly articulate that they do not know how to connect with nature in the ways in which I am communicating here. And, as they will readily and with glee tell you themselves, they do not equate nature with divinity in any way whatsoever. And thusly do not treat the earth and the animals as sacred.
They will not hesitate to inform you of your error in thinking should you suggest otherwise and will lecture you with great assurance, righteous and fervor. I’ve been ‘preached to’ several times from the religious locals who affirm with great conviction that trees, rocks and the mountains themselves have nothing whatsoever to do with god or divinity. They quickly add these comments too–they will say… and by the way, there is only one god (theirs–the white bearded one on the throne and you know the rest) and that there is only one life and this one is IT (sad) and THEN afterward it’s either heaven or hell (that’s it) and any second now, the rapture. And they’re going to be raptured and you’re not. Yeah. Okay, whatever! Things are slow to change in the Appalachians; and the consciousness of many of the fundamentalist religious locals seems to be like 13th to 14th century consciousness or twisted puritanism. It is well-known that the preachers in the churches have no formal religious training or have not studied theology or probably not even world civilization in any way. Formal education is not necessarily highly valued from what I can tell and the community college is filled with young women who are fearful that their husbands or fathers will find out they are in school. You get the idea.
Some days, when I am feeling my most cynical or discouraged (something I try to avoid), I’d have to admit to thinking that most folks around here may as well be called Muggles who live in Muggleville! A little humor helps us get by sometimes!
Anyway, about the deer and hunting season…if you could hold them in protective light in your thoughts…
One last thing, the last 2 trees standing across the street that I asked (via cyber request to readers) for protective light around are still standing–so far, so good. I’d like to thank readers for honoring my cyber request for protection for them. It did help! (Or so I’d like to believe) So anyway, Thank You
Remember the deer during hunting season… well, O well, here’s a kicker! the chart for deer huting dates for North Carolina all state SUNDAY RESTRICTIONS! Hmmmmmm…. I wonder if the hunters have made any connections with that one! No killing of animals on Sunday but the rest of he week, have at it? I can’t look at those websites because my stomach ties up in knots, but as far as I can tell, it looks like mid January is when hunters have to stop killing deer–by law.
Maybe if we say it this way,
May all deer and all other sentient beings (including but in not way limited to humans) be protected from killers and hunters. May all intentional killing and hunting for sport or religion or terror purposes be ended and may we all live peacefully together Now and Forever.
Spiritual Issues or Illusions? And Patterns! I posted something yesterday — the muggle protection charm. This blog post is an email that I wrote to a friend. Part way through it I decided to make this a blog post… for whatever it’s worth to those who also struggle with questions around spiritual issues and illusions.
This is part of my spiritual challenge or how would you say it?–just one of those lingering issues that I still have an issue with–Ha! I have “an issue with an issue”; and both issues are an illusion–so, really there are no issues, except for within my own mind.
And I have a feeling that one or the other will work its way into the blog or newsletter this week.
It’s like this issue is everywhere I go, it’s a pattern. You remember, right? I moved from the last place I rented because they cut down all the trees on the property next door–you know how disturbed I was about it. Remember? The family of deer lost their home too (they covered a pit wherein the deer lived under the berry bushes) while they massacred each and every single tree along with the berry bushes simply to put in a stupid trailer and a few horses.
When I first started to awaken or attempt to be conscious or to be aware there was an awareness, it was somewhere in the 80’s… No, wait, it goes farther back than that even. I just had a
flash of a similar troubling “issue with my issue”when I was a child. It was forgotten until this very moment. I do recall that it troubled me a good while but like these other issues there
was nothing whatsoever I could do about it–hand’s tied; out of my jurisdiction; not my area as John Travolta would say in his movie role, playing Archangel Michael.
Trees, always trees and animals; the cruel and thoughtless death of either disturbs my spirit deep, deep, deeply. We were kids, you see? Oh, around 7 or 8 up until around 12. There was this huge tree at the entrance area to the housing section–there were two actually… Ficus trees, one on either side of the entrance to that neighborhood of houses–in the middle of a plot of land, smack in the middle and then on the edge of the land on either side of the road a half-high brick wall with the letters of the name of the area proudly displayed. It was a middle class area actually and eventually turning to lower class long after we moved. Not that this last sentence has anything to do with the story of the trees. They grew as we did and it was “THE” play area and gathering spot of all of us as we grew up, you see? We’d walk along the half wall and climb the Ficus trees as they grew–larger and larger they did as we were growing as well. Until finally, they were large enough to climb and climb we did! These trees became massive, their trunks nearly a car length wide with lots of branches and places to camouflage and hide. We played as many childhood games as we could imagine there beneath and inside those trees. Those two trees were “IT” for us kids, you know?
And as I recall at times there’d be up to two-dozen of us gathering there to play with not a swing-set or sliding board in sight. No matter, the trees were “IT”and our minds imaginations made up the rest of it—it, the games.
One day one of the trees was gone, missing, out of there, nothing but a hole left and stretching my mind to the memory of it now, the recollection comes. We were told it was diseased and had to be removed. I knew it was a lie. And next thing you know a house starts to be built right upon the very spot that our old friend’s large trunk once sprung out of Mother Earth.
And then, years later, the same thing happened to our other friend, the other Ficus tree on the other side of the road. I was older by that time as I recall, perhaps ready for middle school or even high school–that part is a bit blurry. The half-walls were taken down and the tree gone suddenly. And that plot of land, too–our old gathering spot, taken over by house construction right in the middle, over the top of the roots of our friend, the Ficus tree. Ha! One can almost imagine the owners of the home being haunted by children’s gleeful, playful voices in the middle of the night. Of course, that brings up a whole other area of speculation, doesn’t it?
What once stood or was on the land where you live? Around here it was all once Cherokee as most of the ‘born and raised’ locals inherited land that was stolen from those Native Americans. That’s not prejudice, it’s fact–even the “local born” teacher at the college who teaches a course in Appalachian Culture will tell you that–I took the course and used my intuition to discern truth versus lies. But on that point, even she did not differ.
On THIS property where I now rent, on the ridge right above me and to the left, I’m told (by the property owner who used to live here as a child) that on that ridge above the house is an Indian “Mound”–a burying-place for the Native American ancestors. I’ve never gone up there to look but next time my grandson comes, I’m going to ask him go up there with me to see. He’s always wanted to go back behind the major tree line and I wouldn’t let him go without me. Now, for some reason, I feel called to go and try to find it. We will take an offering.
Usually, so I’ve been told, mounds can be found nearby where 2 or 3 creeks come close to each other or perferrably meet up. They are considered power spots. I’m just realizing that I live near a power spot! Here where I live there is a creek across the way and also behind me to the left. I remember now. This actually would be the right place for a mound here where the creeks fork and where it is highest elevation on that ridge out back.
I rent from the lords of the land around here.
In the last place I lived there was a church that I was behind and I was concerned that the old house that I rented was on top of a grave yard (they are almost always behind churches here). Then I saw the graveyard up on the side of a nearby mountain and was relieved. Baptists as well as Cherokee like to bury their dead where there is a beautiful view, usually up high. In fact, the house I was renting before was an old school-house which actually made me pretty happy as far a vibes go. I’ll take living where an old school-house was over living over a graveyard most any day of the week!
So I was remembering this morning — and this came by way of me just trying to get a handle on this mystery, the sadness, the whole business of trees and so forth — the lack of reverence for the sacredness of nature from humans, etc. And the memory was about how devastated and heartsick I felt when… Well, let’s start with the yellow brick road that I was walking down (ha ha) and when looking for a job (physical therapy), I chose a facility that was located in a wooded area; yet it was still in a city.
There happened to be trees all around the place and this is where I thought it would be great to work — because of the trees you could see looking out any window there. So I’m working there a year or so when right outside the window in the therapy office where we’d write our notes in the charts–and the window was nearly ceiling to floor and our desktop faced the window, anchored to the wall. So it was like you could not avoid looking out and on that side of the property just after the little parking area there. And it was that we were forced to watch them massacre the trees and there they lay one atop the other–just a field of dead bodies and day after day more fell and it was horrible and affected me deeply. No one else seemed to care or notice but I became sick over it. That was Florida where they love concrete jungles.
Most all the places I’ve rented here in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina have had graveyards nearby–this house is the first without a graveyard within a stone’s throw. When I lived and worked south of here by a few hours (but still in the mountains), where I worked (I found out much later) was the actual place where they gathered the Cherokee — the outdoor prison — where they held them before they began to march them away on the famous journey known as the Trail of Tears. Imagine that!
And about 5 miles from where I worked was once the area that the Cherokee gathered once a year for their “games” like the Olympics. I found all this out later after I moved. The vibes in those areas absolutely correlated! And on a past life level it made perfect sense that I ended up in those places and even where I am right now.
Since those things and others that make me certain that I have reconnected with a Cherokee past life here, I googled the trail of tears and most information gives 1830 – 1850’s. A shiver!
Gosh, I’m laughing a little bit thinking that maybe an old body of mine is buried up on the mound behind me and I am here returning to the place I once lived and died actually. LOL
Oh, so who knows…? Maybe this is why I am so disturbed to the depth of my soul about the trees being cut down across the street. One tries to figure these things out you know? Something so deeply disturbing can seem mysterious especially as it happens or recurs… persists–this trauma I always go through at the thoughtless death of trees and killing of animals.
You as my friend remember the weeks–nearly a month or more–it took for me to get over the time I stumbled upon the group of hunters who had killed a beautiful black bear! And of course, I know you remember the time that I stood with my own body between a deer and a hunter up here in these mountains. That was one deer that did not get shot (least the hunter shoot me too) at that moment in time! You know how I feel, the deer and bear are my brothers (and sisters) and I must stop writing now or I will allow the tear that is forming in the corner of my eye.
I will just add that there are many past life memories from around here and I know that I made a vision quest atop of Grandfather Mountain which is always why I call that mountain ‘my grandfather’ and why the first time (in this current lifetime) that I went there, I felt I was home and did not want to leave–ever!
I was very sad yesterday and nearly ill in my stomach and had to leave here for most of the afternoon so that I could not see the destruction of the earth across the street which once was so beautiful and now it is awful. I had to get away for the day. I have asked for help from higher mind–an insight to help me understand the patterns… I have experienced these devastating feelings numerous times in the past. Pattern!
I did blog post quite a number of Moons ago about a tree friend of mine who had to leave to make way for a highway bridge… (link below).
As a matter of fact dear friend, I may go ahead and cut and paste these words into a blog post.
And since I’ve just decided that I’m doing so, I have a line or two to add then… additions below….
Long time karmic history can take years and lifetimes to overcome and the process of surrender is to the emotionalism and in my case the intense sadness in these cases with the bear, and the trail of tears and the land and the trees and all such other issues in the psyche. The physical body is transitory and all worldly phenomena (the world of matter, of form) and eventually even the illusion of the witness and the observer is because it will also dissolve and return to pure awareness or pure consciousness Itself. And the illusion of time also dissolves into the Allness of Divine Oneness or Concordance. And so at the time of ‘release of form’ (death) of any kind whatsoever–death of trees or bears or deer or our own self, the Presence of the Allness of Creation as Divinity radiates and all is joined together again. So now then, what is the point of lamenting the loss of a tree or a bear or even the self–our own or others or the many–since all form eventually returns to Source.
And these are the few Tao-like thoughts today via an ego that is doing its best to allow the higher self to have free reign of the consciousness, thoughts and the keyboard in order to help me realize the possible source of my emotional patterns with these issues of illusion.
Ha! and a final thing. I mowed the lawn a week ago and as the locals here do all the time, trash was up on the lawn–they throw things out of the car windows without thought as their usual way of doing.
So as I bent down to retrieve the paper, and in doing so saw it was a candy bar wrapper and the name was MOUNDS; and right away I thought that this was some sort of message for me and didn’t know a connection except one.
My mother told a story of when she took her mother-in-law to the funeral home. My mother’s father-in-law had recently crossed over and on the drive home my mother stopped for gas and asked her mother-in-law if she wanted a snack and replied that a candy bar would be fine.
So my mother chose that kind (a Mounds bar) and the old lady went berserk accusing my mother of rubbing it in her face associating the Mounds bar with the death of her husband! She was going a little loco at the time.
I remembered that as I was picking up the candy bar wrapper and disposing of it properly.
And now I find here that a week later I am writing a blog post which contains references to “mounds”–the native american burying-grounds. Interesting, no?
Your Friend, Joy
PS– Here is the blog post about that other tree friend of mine and a few others… I hope you will like to read it and if so, just CLICK HERE
Maybe if I had a Native American Indian name, it would be “Talks With Trees”.
I really can’t blame some of you who might think I’m a little bit off my rocker talking with trees.
Frankly, I’d have thought the same thing 15 years ago.
But then if Kevin Costner can get away with Dances With Wolves, why can’t I believably talk with trees?
The Times They Are A-Changin as Bob Dylan would say. People these days are generally much more willing to admit that they not only talk to their plants, but to their trees too. Fifteen years ago? Not so much.
I’m remembering my early conversations with a tree. One time, after having one of many daily chats, a particular old tree told me that it was going to be cut down. And, yes, trees converse just like humans do–believe it or not. At least that’s been my experience. I used to stop for a shady rest under this one particular tree half-way through my daily walks in those days. That was back when I lived in heat-ravaged Florida. This tree was like an oasis in a desert for me, located at just the right point in my walk where I needed the cool relief it provided. Its trunk was huge and its long, leafy arms seemed to be trying to reach across the empty field in which it was centered. Its name! I can’t remember its name right now, but it definitely had one. Maybe by the time I finish this post the name will come to me. How could I have forgotten it?
This tree was my friend and we both enjoyed our daily visits. I’d purposefully lean up against its trunk as some of its lower willow-type, leafy arms shielded me from view of the street. It was like this tree’s lower branches would embrace me and I felt safe beneath its protective limbs.
As I approached it from the distance of my walk, I could see its magnificent aura reach outward and upward toward the heavens. What was his name? Well, anyway he told me that he would be cut down and I didn’t believe it. I wrote it off to my own fear-thoughts and denied what I heard. I’d have been devastated if it actually happened. Besides, there was no reason for it; the field had been empty for years and there was no construction anywhere in sight. I argued. The spirit of the tree comforted me explaining that it was ready to return. Just like a human at the end of a long life, it was ready for a change.
Years later, after moving away I returned for a visit. It was painfully clear that the tree had spoken the truth. I’m glad I wasn’t around when it happened. A road was put in across that field connecting a new bridge–he was gone. Evidently, trees can know their future. Pretty amazing.
This tree used to give me messages from Spirit. A tree that channels! Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Yeah, I hear ya’. But I promise you I’m not making this up. I wish that I could remember his name–darn it! Anyway, I used to lean against his truck and could feel a surge of energy and something like an exchange occured. It was as if he was drawing out energy into the earth on my behalf somehow and then re-energizing me. Sometimes, I’d pour out my problems to my friend and then integrate the wisdom from nature that he offered in return. Of course, I never talked about this to anyone. And actually, now that I think of it, this is the first time I am. I guess that it just never came up before. What brought it to mind was a recent conversation I had with my maple trees.
Years later, after having moved to the mountains, I came across a cute little book in a metaphysical bookstore. Talks with Trees; A Plant Psychic’s Interviews with Vegetables, Flowers andTrees by Leslie Cabarga. After reading it, there was no doubt that I wasn’t the only person having these types of conversations. An adorable little book by the way.
Anyway, now I can finally get to the point of what I wanted to blog about in the first place. The other day I was trimming the overgrown grass around the feet of one of the 3 maple trees located in the front yard. It was a dreamy and untypically cool July day brimming with gentle summer breezes. As I was well into the task and enjoying the weather I heard, “thank you” comingfrom the tree. I was a bit surprised, not expecting a conversation to ensue. “I didn’t realize you cared about this kind of thing”, I said. The tree replied that it liked to be trimmed and looking nice just like the rest of the yard. “What do you know! Really? Well, you’re very welcome”, I said. This particular tree spoke to me once before, complaining a bit that the other 2 trees had ornaments of some kind. It wanted something special beneath its branches too.
You see, one of the trees has a solar light on a shepherds hook underneath it and the other has wind chimes dangling from a branch. But that particular tree had nothing special to adorn it. I promised to take care of that. Today I bought a little decorative bird house and hung it on one of his lower branches, finally fulfilling his request. I didn’t hear him say anything, but I’m sure he appreciated it.
I don’t know why I am using personal pronouns in the masculine when referring to trees. I don’t necessarily consider trees as either male or female. It just seems easier to pick a gender with the telling of this tale.
But I didn’t finish telling you about these 3 maple trees. Let’s go back. When I got to the middle tree to clip the grass and sapling shoots from around its base I heard, “I’m the closest to the road!” And there seemed to be some enthusiasm with that statement. Before hearing that I was pretty much caught up in my own thoughts, clipping away. Again, the sudden dialogue startled me.
I stood upright, stepped back and looked at the position of all three trees with a surveyed glance. And sure enough, this tree actually was a little closer to the road than the others. I’d never really noticed that before.
I thought something like, “Well, that’s nice but what’s your point?” The tree explained that since he’s little closer to the road than the other 2, he does a better job of absorbing the carbon monoxide from the cars going by on the highway.
One thing that I realized through my years of conversing with trees is that they take their service to humanity pretty seriously–just like a human counterpart would with their profession. And they are so happy to be recognized or acknowledged when a human walks by and says hello. And they especially like it when they overhear a human remarking how beautiful they are. Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re talking about their ego in any way. I’m not sure if trees have egos in the first place. It’s just that they’re thrilled when they’re acknowledged by the humans that they serve.
Once, after the remnants of a hurricane turned tropical storm came through, a group of trees told me how they worked really hard all night long absorbing the wind. Accompanying that was the feeling that taking up the wind (and the rain too) was a really important job.
The name of the tree in Florida that was cut down is beginning to come to my mind. I remember the word “light” in the name which I believe was associated with this tree’s huge white aura. Well, it’s after 3 am. I began this post because I was unable to sleep. Besides, it’s been on my mind to make this post all week anyway. Ring of Light–that was that tree’s name! Ring of Light! I’m so glad I remembered.
Anyway, next time you pass by a tree, consider saying hello–won’t you? You don’t have to say it out loud, just speaking it in your mind is fine–they’ll hear you! Nothing makes them happier than when a human acknowledges them. Trust me on that–I know because they told me. Besides, the psychic who wrote that book says the very same thing.
If you stop a moment and listen the trees will talk to you too!
I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree. –Joyce Kilmer
PS — Another tree name is River of Dreams — another old friend of mine who told me his name… another story for another day.