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Author Topic: A Grace of Simple Gifts  (Read 1854 times)
Entwife
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« Topic Start: May 08, 2011, 05:10:33 am »

Wisewomen of the forest,
and wild Sages of the fields,
In voices loud and clear
their wisdom is revealed.

“Be Thankful!
Begin each day with gratitude
for blessings given or yet to come,
and gradually your heart and ear
will attune to the Earth’s sacred drum.

Sacrifice!
Give generously of all that you have
all that you are, or yet may be,
and you will find the fruits of wisdom
become your gift from the Axis Mundi.

For,
when all is said and done,
we are already One.
Connections invisible,
or plainly seen
bind us together,
though in this life
we may never convene.

Saints and Shamans
have clung to my tail,
knowing all Life is sacred,
despite our woes, conflicts or travail.
It is only shadows we must conquer,
only ourselves over which me must prevail!

Our dusty robes, like daily habit,
in shades of ochre, copper and black
are but a gentle reminder
that staying grounded and humble
will keep you on the right track.

Gather in fellowship,
and feast on joyous Wisdom!
Fertility and abundance
follow in our wake,
as we dance gently
around the Wheel,
and the Winds’ holy rattles shake."


Each singing poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature. Can you guess who is singing?
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SunflowerP
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« Reply #1: May 08, 2011, 02:03:58 pm »

I'm mostly baffled by this one - maybe some kind of birds?  Swallows, perhaps?

Sunflower
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« Reply #2: May 08, 2011, 02:14:36 pm »

I'm mostly baffled by this one - maybe some kind of birds?  Swallows, perhaps?

Sunflower

I was thinking some kind of small field animal. A mouse, maybe?
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« Reply #3: May 08, 2011, 02:47:25 pm »


Each singing poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature. Can you guess who is singing?


A snake? maybe a rattlesnake?
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Entwife
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« Reply #4: May 08, 2011, 03:39:11 pm »

Wisewomen of the forest,
and wild Sages of the fields,
In voices loud and clear
their wisdom is revealed.


I do appologize everyone. I had done some work on this one and changed the title. So, when I looked to see if it was posted here yet, I missed it entirely. Without further ado then, here is the Teacher featured in A Grace of Simple Gifts...


We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” Cynthia Ozick

 

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~William A. Ward

 

“For me, the essence of a medicine man’s life is to be humble, to have great patience, to be close to the Earth, to live as simply as possible, and to never stop learning.” Archie Fire Lame Deer

 



 

 

The wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is native to North America. It was nearly driven to extinction until a breeding and reintroduction program began in the 1930’s. There are five subspecies of wild turkey; Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, Merriam’s and Gould’s. Easterns are the ones I am most familiar with, distinguished by it’s chestnut brown tail-tips rather than the white tips of other breeds, and they are the main inspiration for this piece. Thinner than domesticated species, adult Easterns males average between 2 1/2 – 3 feet tall, 11-24 pounds, with a wingspan of about 49-57 inches. Females are typically half that size, although they can certainly grow larger than the average. The largest game bird in North America, they spend a majority of their time on the ground, although they most often roost in trees at night to safeguard against predators. They can reach running speeds of up to 25 miles per hour, and flying speeds of an estimated 35-45 miles per hour! As parasites can generally dull the coloration of either gender, good coloration often indicates good health. Toms with their boastful strutting displays are often symbols of male virility, and masculine pride. Hens with their earthy coloring, and primary responsibility for the well-being and training of the next generation are often symbols of Grandmother Earth, her abundance, and feminine energy/wisdom. Turkeys are associated with the Brow Chakra, or third eye, which is the seat of our feminine energy and higher vision.

 

The distinctive “strut” of the Turkey during mating season inspired a dance, the Turkey Trot, which was replaced by the more popular Fox Trot not long after in 1914. Their mating display and dance was also the inspiration for several Native American dances, and the feathers of this bird are prized for the making of ceremonial smudging, dance, or prayer fans, as well as decoration for other ceremonial items like Talking Sticks. Many Native American traditions honor this bird, which is reflected in the names given to it; Peace Eagle, Ground Eagle, or my personal favorite – the Give-Away Eagle. The alternate title for this piece was The Song of the Give-Away Eagle, but I thought that might make it too easy for anyone versed in lore of the Native Nations. As a creature that regularly gives up it’s life to feed other Relations, the Turkey symbolizes the importance of Sacrifice in our lives. This clever Teacher lives each day of it’s life in Harmony with the world around it, never taking too many resources at one time from any given place in their territory, and they often work cooperatively to survive and thrive. Many times, I’ve seen a male or female flock designate a watchful sentry while another is chosen to fly up into an apple tree to peck free the ripe fruits for those waiting below.

 

This canny Teacher can reach and maintain a large healthy flock in a relatively small area thanks to it’s fine foraging abilities. Thus, it makes perfect sense that this Teacher has such a strong association with the lessons at the heart of the Native Tradition, the Give-Away Ceremony. Still practiced today, this ceremony is meant to bring a community closer. The Give-Away fosters feelings and habits of respect, co-operation, community support, and fellowship; all lessons of the Turkey. Useful items, items of great personal value or beautifully crafted items are given away, usually on the last day of a ceremony or Pow-wow, to show appreciation for those who have traveled so far to participate, appreciation of local Elders and community members who have gathered for the ceremony, to return the honor given by the tribe to the individual/s hosting the Give-away, or even in respectful memory of a loved one.

 

Infamous as the main feature at the dinner table between Native Americans and Pilgrims, this Teacher remains popular today as a symbol of Thankfulness, brotherhood, earthly abundance, shared blessings, and positive community spirit. As a Creature Teacher with many predators, the elusive and canny Turkey helps us to understand and utilize our environment while living in Harmony, to be courageous in the face of what we may fear most, how and when to take pride in our selves, to know our Truths with unshakable faith and not be afraid to give them clear voice at the appropriate time. Turkeys rely heavily upon Oak trees, and the acorn yield of any given season can directly affect the well-being of the flocks; clearly an important Balancing Energy that should be examined by those drawn to Turkey. The “Wind’s holy rattles” in this poem alludes to the Turkey beneath Oak’s leaves rattling leaves.

 

Turkey people are often presented with many challenges in Life, but most often they recognize each one as an opportunity to learn, grow, and be grateful for the opportunity! A well-balanced Turkey person also understands that a great deal of Responsibility and Duty come with living a life that respects all Life as sacred, that views and treats all of Creation as a relative to one’s self. An inability to see any of Life’s challenges in a positive light, to accept All Our Relations as sacred and worthy in their own right, feeling emotionally overwhelmed in the face of life challenges, an inability to change one’s mind or adapt to new situations even when we recognize the need for change may indicate unbalanced Turkey energy. Turkey makes an excellent Shadow Totem for guiding us through these issues. Their earthy coloring and close association with the Earth reminds of the importance of staying grounded, properly humble, connected to and respectful of the natural world. Turkey understands that to truly understand or be at peace with Self, we must take the time to understand and live at peace with our world. How does the humble Peace Eagle appear in your life?



“Everything you need you already have. You are complete right now, you a whole, total person, not an apprentice person on the way to someplace else. Your completeness must be understood by you and experienced in your thoughts as your own personal reality.” Wayne Dyer

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.” Rachael Carson

 

Key Concepts: Gratitude, Sacrifice, Natural Cycles, Virility/Fertility, Abundance, Renewal, Generosity, Awareness, All Life is Sacred (All Our Relations), Pride, Humility

 

Associated with: Thanksgiving, Shared Blessings, Harvest, Abundance, Give-Away Ceremony, Autumn, Family

 

Potential Balancing Energies: Fox, Wolf, Dog, Coyote, Bobcat, Frog/Toad, Lizard, Salamander, Snail, plants like Grasses, Grains, Poison ivy, Wild Grape, Hazelnut, Dandelion, Blueberry, or Chokecherry, Trees like Oak, Pine, Dogwood, Hawthorn, Apple, Cedar, Sage, or Aspen. Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum, other Birds like Ruffed Grouse, Quail, Crow, Owl, Eagle, or Hawk, Snake, Squirrel, Insects like Spider, Ant, Grasshopper, Cricket, Millipede, or Earthworm.
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