R.I.P. Ken the Rooster

Ken (1 of 1)Ken the Rooster, was a bastard.

When I first moved in with my boyfriend, I was charmed by the chickies that live on his land.  Ken would follow me around the yard, and I was delighted because I thought he liked me.  My boyfriend, Mike, told me I was misreading his intentions.  Ken was looking for my weakness.

I didn’t believe him.  I am all love and light, and something so beautiful as Ken wouldn’t hurt a being of light, right?  Ha!  As soon as my back was turned (literally), he attacked me.

It wasn’t so much that he hurt me is that he surprised me.  I was marked by his spurs, but no real damage to my body was done.  Then he did it again.  From that moment on, Ken owned me.  I wouldn’t go out in the yard without Mike by my side.

I looked at the spiritual meaning to see if I could get a deeper understanding of why this would happen to me.  Ken became the embodiment of my fears.  He could feel me coming as soon as I opened the door.  I didn’t realize what an emotional projector I was until Ken entered my life.  Animals sense fear.  I would project my fears onto Ken even before I left the house.  No matter how quietly I would open the door, he could feel me.

I began to experiment.  I started to draw in my energy instead of project it out.  When I did that, I noticed a difference in Ken’s behavior towards me.  He wouldn’t even acknowledge me when I did this.

I’d like to say understanding this helped me master my fear of Ken.  It didn’t.  I was still terrified of him and trapped myself in the house because of it.

This morning, I was waiting for the telltale cock-a-doodle-doo of his morning song.  It wasn’t there.  I knew immediately that he was gone.   I walked around the yard to look for evidence of his passing.  I saw the blood and the feathers that were left behind.

I would like to say that I grieve for him.  I grieve for myself instead.  I grieve the loss of Spring as it came to life on this beautiful land that I live on.  I regret that I am relieved that he is gone.  Ken was beautiful.  I loved him, and I loathed him.  That’s the truth of it.  Humans are complex.  I was taught to believe that we can only hold love or fear in us at the same time. Never both.  I disagree.  I loved Ken.  He was beautiful.  His presence was comforting.  And, I was so afraid of him that I wouldn’t leave the safety of the house when I was alone at home.

I am not sure if we ever transcend our duality.  Love/fear.  Black/white.  Up/down.  Maybe it’s as simple as accepting ourselves exactly as we are with all our complexities.  I can be both love and fear.  The problems arise when I allow fear to rule me and I become trapped in the house of my life.  Ken will be teaching me long after his bones turn to dust.  Thank you, Ken.  I am sorry.

Shamanic Journey: Hummingbird Medicine

bm6gr0Whenever I have a question that my logical mind can’t answer I practice a technique called shamanic journeying.  Steven Farmer has a beautiful guided shamanic meditation on Hay House Meditations (free on their podcast app).  This particular journey invites an animal guide in to help you gain insight into your question.

I have been struggling with how and what to eat that will best support my body in being it’s healthiest expression.  My question was what should I be eating to accomplish this.

As I have done this meditation many times, it was easy for me to drop into my sacred place in my imagination an allow Guidance to pop in.  Guidance showed up in the form of a tiny little hummingbird flying around.  At first, I was confused because hummingbirds eat all. of. The. Time. And mostly nectar (sugar).  I’m like, that can’t be right!  And, then, I let go and was able to discern the deeper meaning of hummingbird.  Hummingbirds in many spiritual circles represent joy.  It isn’t what I eat that matters so much as how I eat.  I rarely eat with joy.

I often have a lot of angst attached to what I eat, when I eat, how I eat, what I am doing while I eat, etc. that eating becomes a stressor instead of a pleasure.   As joy only exists in the present moment, it reminds me to savor and deeply experience the food when I do eat.   It’s an excellent place to start.  I think the rest will fall into place if I allow joy to be my guide.  Before I eat something I can start by asking myself will this bring me joy?  It’s an interesting experiment that I am looking forward to exploring.

Read more about Della here.

Haiku Day 5

snake pastel
Pastel by Della McGee

I stepped on a snake

it was basking in the sun

shedding old wounds too?

While walking in the woods yesterday, I literally stepped on a snake.  I was so busy looking up at the leaves that I didn’t look down at where I was walking.

I looked back at what I had slipped on when I saw this garter snake slowly slithering away.  It had a bulge in its body either from me stepping on it, or maybe it was digesting lunch.  I so hope it was lunch.

It got me thinking about how Snake sheds its skin and how I seem to do the same.  Each layer coming off revealing more and more of who I really am.

Find out more about Della here.

The Squirrel Buddha

Buddah SquirrelDuring my walk around the neighborhood today I saw this squirrel eating a nut while sitting atop a Buddha statue in the neighbor’s yard.  Squirrel invites us to “squirrel away”  or prepare our resources for the coming winter.  In this case, I believe squirrel is saying the resources to gather are spiritual in nature.

I also sense squirrel is saying to look at what I am eating.  Does my current diet support my body for the upcoming change to cooler temperatures?

I also feel squirrel sitting atop the Buddha’s head is asking me where are my thoughts these days?  Are they Buddha like?  Not so much these past few days.

Or, maybe, it’s just a squirrel atop a statue eating a nut.  😉

Find out more about Della here.

The Snake Ring – A Menopause Tale

snake ring 2To say I have struggled with symptoms of menopause over the past 2-1/2 years is an understatement.   I have even called one friend in tears and used the word suffering.  I am not a sufferer by nature so this was a big deal for me to admit how hard of a time I was having.

I had experienced peri-menopause for the past 10 years so I wasn’t surprised when the symptoms of menopause hit one cold January day with warm flushes that started slowly, an increasing warmth as it traveled up my body.  I had a sense of excitement as I was proud to begin my journey into cronehood.  I have always resonated with the image of Crone.  Not the old, dried up version but the empowered, magical Crone.  A wise woman who knows herself.

It was easy for me to be in that space as it was January and warmth in January is a good thing.  As the weeks and months wore on my symptoms increased.  I no longer felt a sense of pride in becoming a crone I just wanted the ordeal to be over.  When menopause started that January day I thought this would be a few months journey, maybe a year of symptoms and then my periods would stop and I would have ascended into my Wise Self into Crone Woman.  Nope.

I’m still struggling, crying, cursing and gnashing my teeth that my periods haven’t stopped yet.  I don’t think I would mind so much if they were on their once regular 28 day cycle.  Now my periods can be days and weeks over due.  That too would be alright but that often means that PMS will hang on until I bleed.  I have been known to beg my body to bleed so the PMS would end.

I know this seems dramatic and it is.  They don’t call it The Change for nothin’!  In the past 2-1/2 years I’ve ended a long term romantic relationship and found a new love.  I’ve moved, changed jobs, let go of friendships that were no longer working and found my voice.  I am discovering a new me by letting go of that which no longer serves who I really am.  I don’t let go easily.  There is usually kicking and screaming and often times blood is drawn along the way.

As, once again, I  await on Woman Who Bleeds to show herself the symptoms of PMS keep me company.  I am at a place in my journey that when Crazy Woman arrives I surrender to myself.  I go deep within and I ask for help.  Being closely connected to nature that help will often show up in the form of symbolism.  This time it is Snake Medicine.  In the past week I have dreamed of snakes, taken a Facebook quiz where snake showed up as my animal helper and had a vision of snakes filling my body while working with a healer.

Snake is a the perfect helper for women going through The Change.  Snakes shed their skin and we as women shed our old selves during this time in our lives.  This shedding prepares us for our wisdom days so that we can show up as leaders, healers and role models for our families, friends, and communities.  During my vision I knew I was to find a piece of jewelry to wear that was to remind me of my sacred journey.  Menopause is a sacred journey and thinking of it as such seems to ease my PMS symptoms.  The snake vision gave me a sense of peace that I was doing something of importance and a knowing that this journey isn’t in vain.

While attending the Minnesota Renaissance Festival I found my ring.  I’ve been wearing my snake ring every day since I found her.  Snake helps me to stay strong when Crazy Woman is present.  I know this woman intimately.  I no longer see her as a destroyer but as a builder.  I need her help to find the strength within me to be my wise self.  She does not suffer fools, has very little patience and is not apologetic.  She fights fiercely on my behalf.  She has always been there since I became Woman Who Bleeds.  I have tried to hide her all these years.  She will no longer be pushed down under the programming of female passivity.  I welcome her as she is my teacher and my guide until I fully become Crone Woman.snake ringDella is a healer, teacher, artist and writer.  You can find out more about her here.