Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March Shamanism Column


As I sat down to write this column, I realized that my mesa was a mess! Not a good thing for a shaman. Each mesa has an order, a structure, that supports the shaman’s work and practice. Organizing one’s mesa is a synonym for organizing one’s life.

Even though mine had fallen into disarray for joyous purposes, I had to set it straight. I am still in the process of building my mesa, and I have been fortunate enough to have several friends travel during the past few months. I asked each one to bring me a rock for my mesa. Each person was to pick whichever rock spoke to him or her. Everyone came through many times over, and I ended up with so many rocks I didn’t know what to do. So I just kept piling them in the box with my mesa (I keep my mesa in a box to keep my kids out!). Every time I walked by the place where I keep it, I felt guilty. I realized that this problem was occurring along with the eclipses in the heavens, so it was time to make the hard choices of what to keep and how to move forward.

I opened sacred space and lit a fire to contemplate my abundance of stones. Part of opening sacred space includes thanking the Mother Earth and asking for help in being a good steward of all of her inhabitants, including the stone people. It is hard to imagine the stones having attributes of energetic beings, but just think for a moment without your preconceived notions. On their own, they are not able to travel from one spot to another, but they may be easily transported by people, animals, machinery, mudslides, waves, winds, and earthquakes. My mesa includes rocks from places where I may never myself visit, but they have come to me with their gifts! Even those traveling rocks that don’t end up in a mesa will be relocated to a new place, to become part of a new landscape, and they will have an effect on their surroundings.

I picked the new stones that would be added into the mesa, and found homes for the extra stones that were so lovingly gifted to me. For me, this work went hand in hand with the new beginning that is being called for by our star brothers and sisters in the heavens. Have you done your work to leave behind what no longer fits? Have you organized yourself in the new direction, to begin the new work for which you are being called?


For March, students of astrology in the United States typically associate the power animal Fish, associated with the sign Pisces. The many meanings of fish are as deep and profound as the waters in which they swim. Whether you look to evolution, Christianity, or Buddhism, fish is an ancient and mystical symbol attached to the beginning of “life,” both in physical formation – the womb, the mother, the primordial soup of life - and conscious awakening. Fish swims with currents in water that is constantly changing. Fish signifies a time of change or movement, particularly this year with all of the changes in the heavens. Water has long been a symbol of the unconscious, the unknown. Fish, who is comfortable in this realm, can lead you to discover your deepest truths, that which is hidden below the surface. The Piscean symbol pictures two fish facing in opposite directions, characteristic of the nature of the Pisces. One fish travels wide, while the other delves deep, always finding balance by returning and sharing with one another.

The Native American power animal for the month of March is the Wolf. When Wolf appears, there are many lessons for those who are willing to pay attention. Body language conveys wolf’s message, and those with this totem use body language as a part of their medicine ways. A lone wolf may suggest the need for freedom, while a pack indicates a need for working together. A large part of Wolf’s meaning involves boundaries. Wolves are loyal to the pack but don’t compromise their own boundaries for the sake of the pack. They also defend their territorial boundaries. When wolf comes to you, it may be time to check your own personal boundaries to investigate whether you have over compromised or conversely not given enough. Create your own world by defining your boundaries.

The Mayan calendar brings us the energy of Jaguar at this time of year. Jaguar, like Fish, is also associated with creation. Jaguars tend to live in caves near sources of fresh water. Caves have long been associated with entrances to the underworld and creation myths. If Jaguar has appeared for you, it is time to go within by meditating, finding inner quiet, and ask for the messages that are held for you in the underworld. Jaguar is the guardian of the winds of the west, and his medicine gifts include teaching us to walk the path of impeccability. Jaguar is the most powerful predator in the jungle, but he takes only what he needs. Visit the underworld of the jaguar, identify your path, and learn to be impeccable with your words and deeds. Jaguar leads you on the journey of the soul, to heal your fears and awaken your inner sight.

The heavens and the power animals are offering us a tremendous lesson involving Creation for this month. Imagine your world and create it. Follow Fish through the murky underworld as far and as deep as you can, establish your own space in the world by exploring where your boundaries lie with Wolf, and follow the path created with Jaguar.


I have never before journeyed with Wolf, so I asked him to accompany me to bring back a gift for March. I encountered a young lone wolf in a grassy plain, and he started questioning me about my beliefs of boundaries. What is really a boundary? Space? Time? Thought?

You can walk from one state to the next; the boundary is not real, only perceived. The same is true with countries; the boundaries are arbitrary, established by people who held that belief. I saw an image similar to the Truman Show, where it was possible to simply drop the curtain of the false horizon to see the limitless horizon of no boundaries.

Boundaries of time are not real either. For years, it was a commonly held belief that man could not break a four-minute mile. It was a boundary as solid as any other. Yet now top athletes regularly run a mile in under four minutes.

What about boundaries between people? They are false. We are all one. Boundaries are only perceived, but the one who does the perceiving knows no boundaries. Shatter the perception and the boundary falls away, and we see that there is only light, and we are all the same light.

Wolf’s greatest gift is questioning boundaries, not believing in them. Even the rocks in my mesa have learned to escape their boundaries. Thank you Wolf.


The calendar reinforces our need to embrace change and creation this month, offering us a new moon, the Ides of March, and an early Easter (Christian). The Ides of March this year, the date of Julius Caesar’s assassination, symbolizes the fall of structure, change of leadership, an opportunity for new to come. Christian Good Friday again reinforces this idea that changes are coming, and awakening is possible.

Practice this month embracing the changes. Ask Jaguar to assist you in releasing any long held fears and fears associated with change. Embark on your path, be willing to swim far and deep to discover you own boundaries and overcome them when necessary.

On March 15, the Ides, make a mid month offering to embrace the changes. Whatever seems right to you is the right thing – write a fear on a piece of paper and burn it in a candle flame; try something new that you have always been afraid to do; take a weekend journey to a new place. Face it with a spirit of adventure and willingness.

Dreaming for the world to come