This is an ongoing US and global project to help enthusiasts, scholars, practitioners, and curious parties learn more about shamanic living in a contemporary culture. The space here is devoted to sharing info, experiences and opinions about all forms of shamanic expression covering shamanism's multiple permutations. Among subjects explored are traditions, techniques, insights, definitions, events, artists, authors, and creativity. You are invited to draw from your own experiences and contribute.

What is a SHAMAN?

MAYAN: "a technichian of the Holy, a lover of the Sacred." CELTIC: "Empower the people...by changing the way we think." MEXICAN APACHE: "Someone who has simply learned to give freely of themselves..." AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL: "...a teacher or healer, a wisdom keeper of knowledge... (who) takes people to a door and encourages them to enter." W. AFRICAN DIAGRA: "views every event in life within a spiritual context." HAWAIIAN: "...human bridges to the spiritual world and its laws and the material world and its trials..." QUECHUA INDIAN: "embodies all experience." AMAZON: "...willing to engage the forces of the Universe...in a beneficial end for self, people, and for life in general."

-- from Travelers, Magicians and Shamans (Danny Paradise)

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Lesson from Our Feathered Friends

Last week I was visited by a family of Blue Jays. I had run into them earlier in the morning on my way to work and then later on in the evening when I returned from work they resurfaced again. That evening, they were outside my door all perched on a white chair and the parents were pushing each fledgling off the chair in hopes of teaching them how to fly. It was such a delightful sight to see! I walked away for a while and later on returned to find the entire family gone with the exception of one small fledgling (the one shown in the photo). The fledgling was sitting out there looking up toward the sky. I walked outside to see if I could locate the remainder of the family but they were no where to be found. The bird did not know to be threatened by me and made no attempts to leave or distance itself from me. It just looked up at me trustingly.

I had determined that the parents and remainder of the tribe would soon be back to retrieve the baby and I got out of the way. Hours passed and the baby fledgling was still sitting on my door step peering up at me each time I peered outside. I checked throughout the night and it was still out there in the corner and still no family. I, of course, was battling with my thoughts that the baby must be scared and abandoned. It also occured to me that the bird could be killed by the neighborhood cat. My instinct was to want to rescue it. However, I knew if I did so it would greatly reduce the bird’s chances of being reunited with its family. I journeyed to the mother Blue Jay and I got the message that this was the fledgling’s initiation. It was learning to survive out in the world alone. She assured me that she was watching close by and that all was well.

I checked throughout the night and into the morning and the baby bird was still there. Despite my desire to rescue what I assumed was truly an abandoned bird at that point, I trusted the message I recieved in my journey and walked away without intervening. This was difficult for me! I walked upstairs to the kitchen and my landlord/roommate came in and told me that throughout the night there was a blue jay that kept coming up to his window sill and peering down. I realized that although I did not see her, the mother Blue Jay true to her word, was watching over the fledgling. At that point I peered outside and the mother emerged looking down over the baby.

The birds had provided me with a great teaching. I was dealing with some internal challenges regarding fear of the void at that moment. This experience taught me that despite the fact that we may feel alone on our journey, even while having to walk through some dark times, spirit is always there watching over us, urging us to strengthen our wings, grow our abilities, and find peace in solace even if we do not realize that spirit is there.


Heart of The Mother said...

Blue Jays (from Animal Speak) represent the Proper Use of Power. Their cycle of power is year-round.
The word,jay, comes from latin "gaia" which has associations to Mother Earth. The Sky (blue) separates the Heavens (white) and the Earth (black). This is a totem that can move between both and tap the primal energies at either level.

The jay is aware of this ability, and this is relfected in its blue crest--higer knowledge that can be used.

So, if the Blue Jay has flown into your life....what a grand opportunity to work with some a creature.

hearsthetrees said...

Even the small creatures of the earth have to spend time in the “cooker”. What a great reminder for us all that Nature has a plan. And, when we can resist our urge to “help”, things work out as planed.

Allowing the light said...

Thanks for posting this nice story and the picture of the little one; he is really cute indeed!
As I had mentioned when you first told me that story, I find another great teaching in it: even if it sounds weird or doubtful, trusting the voices we hear, the messages we get in our journeys, the 'feelings' we have when we tune in -- All happened exactly as the mother blue jay had told you; isn't that great!...

Truth on the Wind said...

Kudos to you She.who.Remembers for remaining so centered!!! (Not to mention the strength of your faith in what you "heard")

Temptation comes in many forms, including cute, helpless little ones, right?

Thank you for sharing this!

fearless.woman said...

What a wonderful lesson, and such a terrific instinct - to trust to Spirit and to CHECK rather than relying on your first impulse, and such an exquisite choice to journey to the mother bird. Kudos,