Monday, May 12, 2008

May Shamanism Column

Welcome to the Monthly Shamanism Column



Dreams, the nighttime variety, have been very powerful lately, and this is often a means for shamanic messages to come through. If you can remember your dreams, think of any signs from nature – were you by a lake or climbing a tree, did an animal visit you or mark you in some way? Sit for a moment before opening your eyes and bask in the dream world to see if there is a message that rings true for you. You don’t have to go to the computer to look up the dream’s “meaning.” Trust your instincts. If you see bear standing tall and beating his chest, maybe you need to stand up for something, or if birds are singing and it seems joyful to the dreaming you, maybe you need to experience more joy.

Dreaming is a very useful tool for a shaman, and it is important to remember that not all dreams happen while sleeping. Shamans who dream while awake perform an important service to all mankind by dreaming of the transformation that will lead the world in a more perfect path. The shamanic journey can be thought of as a dream that happens while the dreamer is awake but outside of normal time. Meditation is another form of wakeful dreaming. The practice of visioning is being used more and more to create positive future paths. And despite what your teachers may have told you in school, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a good daydream!


For May, students of astrology in the United States typically associate the power animal Bull, associated with the sign Taurus. The Bull is solid, strong, practical, stubborn, slow, and stable. Bulls need security, financial and otherwise; they need solid ground under their feet. The Bull is a perfect symbol for the United States in May 2008, as our financial security is seriously in question. Bulls are slow and plodding, but once set in motion will remain at a task with great persistence and reliability. The Bull will try to get its own way, but will not take any risks.
The Native American power animal for the month of May, or the growing time, is the Beaver. The Beaver teaches many, many lessons to those with this totem; they are as busy as shamanic teachers as they are in life! Lessons of the Beaver involve cultivating flexibility and adaptability. Beaver teaches compassion, accepting others for who they are. Beavers are the builders, the creators, and can help you solve problems through creativity and work. This can be symbolized as needing to work on your foundation, or needing to build a new foundation to access new challenges. Beavers symbolize fertility and knowing how to work in harmony with the environment through their work in building dams and creating new fertile spaces. Beavers also teach inner peace and breath work; those with this totem would do well to practice meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises. Also, the beaver symbolizes accessing the hidden inner world or under world of dreams, making it possible to manifest them.
The Mayan calendar brings us the energy of Snake, one of the most powerful medicine animals, at this time of year. There are many legends and myths associated with snake, including fertility and immortality. Snake is the symbol of the South in shamanic work, and we ask snake to teach us to leave our past as snake sheds its skin, all at once, leaving behind that which no longer serves and carrying forward only that which is part of our essential nature. They symbolize swift changes, speed, agility. They have no eardrums, but sense vibrations that travel through the earth, and those with this totem may access their inner power through hearing or clairaudience. The snake’s eyes are always open, offering the gift of sight.

With so many gifts coming from our animal totems this month, each person can develop his or her own strengths. Be ready for change, a change in path, a change in foundation, a change in focus or growth.


I asked Beaver to guide me on my journey for May. I have never visited with Beaver, and I could barely keep up this time!

Beaver met me at the atoll pool where I usually begin my journeys. It is a peaceful place for me, away from crowds and surrounded by nature. He insisted that we get up immediately and leave, that we run quickly as the foundation was washing away. I ran after him asking where we were going. Beaver said, “I have prepared a place for you.” It was disconcerting to be leaving my familiar place and indeed watching it crumble away behind me, but I trusted Beaver and followed him through a wood to a new place that had enough shade and enough sun and a cleared space for a new foundation. Beaver instructed me in taking enough trees but leaving some for the shade and choosing where to cut.

When I asked for the gift to bring back for readers for the month of May, Beaver began slapping his tail on the ground, sending out a vibration, and he kept going faster, saying that the frequency is higher now, and we have to send out our new vibration from our new places. A strange gift, I know, and Beaver talked very fast, so I’ve done my best to keep the essence of his meaning. I hope that it resonates for you.

Thank you Beaver for your gifts.


May starts with May Day and ends with Memorial Day.

On May Day, it is traditional to leave a basket of flowers for a friend or neighbor without getting caught. If you get caught, you have to give a kiss. A nice, warm occasion to start the month. Honor mother Earth by giving a living flower in a pot so that the recipient can plant it and enjoy it for a long time to come. Also plant flowers of your own as it is said that the Earth laughs in flowers.

Memorial Day in the United States is always more poignant when the country is at war. Honor those who have left this world to take their place among the spirit guides.

Pick one of the power animals this month and find a way to honor it, with a picture or symbol. Ask for the animal’s guidance and teachings, and try to practice the lessons you receive. In most parts of the United States, it is temperate to be out in nature, so enjoy the outdoors and notice anything that calls to you – a rock, a tree, a stream. Spend some time with this teacher to learn from it.

Dreaming for the world to come


Deb said...

Lisa, I found this by coincidence. Nice work.....

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