Equinox Sky Show

This Spring Equinox brought an unusually close conjunction of the Crescent Moon with the Pleiades. Just before the Equinox near the time of the new moon, I journeyed to contact the spirit of the Gila Monster - which had shown up in an earlier journey undertaken for me by Kara, the shamanic practitioner who writes the Conduit of Joy blog. I decided that I needed to get to know this new spirit animal better...

During the journey, the Gila imparted various pieces of knowledge to me concerning its powers and strengths: it waits out the noon day heat calmly, underground hidden in cool darkness, emerging to occasionally feed. Here, Gila embodies energy of the underworld. Unlike other lizards, it does not "drop its tail" to escape danger. Gila embodies strength, courage, fearlessness, yet being almost invisible - all traits which have made it a symbol and intimate of the shamanic for many Native peoples.

Gila is closely related to another lizard found in Huichol territories, known as Eemuukwee, which is believed to be endowed with magical healing powers. A piece of this reptile's tail is often seen in a Shaman's medicine basket.

Also related to Gila (as a patron spirit) is the Navajo "Hand Trembling" practice. Individuals become Hand Tremblers by way of a calling: a person may spontaneously enter an alternate reality state and exhibit characteristic trembling during a healing ceremony - thus being recognized as having the gift of divinatory sight, seeing both the cause and the cure (herbal and/or ceremonial) for a patient's disease. The hand-trembler may also draw images on the floor to produce a diagnostic image.

Gila's patterned back is jewel-like, a map of the cosmos? A map of Dreamtime spirit worlds? Could this be where the Huichol's found inspiration for their beaded visionary art?

But Gila seemed to have a real sense of humor - as it informed me that I should not be too surprised to see it show up in my totem since the Southwest U.S. - an area with which I have deep shamanic ancestral connections - is also known as the "Land of the Gilas." The Gila said jokingly, "Gilas Land... Gilliland, Get it?" Chuckling at the cosmic humor.

I created a sky protector piece to commemorate the events of this year's Spring Equinox, especially the visitation by Gila.


Two journeys - one to GIla Monster and one that began with Sasquatch (Yeti)

The Gila journey I will write about later. The second journey revealed that the Sasquatch was a costume worn by my "root" Siberian shaman ancestor. He told me that this was one of his ritual outfits - it's really a skin and mask that is worn as a body suit.

Beyond the basic information about what Sasquatch represents energetically (etc.) , the shaman informed me that he was time traveling to me from his time in the remote past. He was reaching out (forward) o me as part og his normal shamanic process of "remote viewing" - except that he was reaching out to let me know that he had been building this timeline - the future that I inhabit - from his dreamspace. He said that he was drawing the future out from the possible timelines and focusing on creating a specific spacetime possibility. That he was reaching out to me to let me know that he was me and that "we" are Time Lords in the strictest shamanic sense - that we must build futures which embody our dream, desires, intents, morals, vision, etc etc.  So he's there to guide and support me as I begin to help build the time line from this point / peerspective...

Meanwhile, I have been involved in a project dealing with Bhutan. I have always been attracted to Bhutan since I saw an image of the mysterious temple (monastery) clinging to the sides of a cliff high in the clouded mountains. I know that I lived there many times as a monk and as head lama in previous lifetimes. During research for this project, I discovered (recalled) that Bhutan has a national myth about YETI (Sasquatch). As a kid, I used to collect triangular Bhutanese stamps with this Yeti image.

Who knew? From further research online: 

Among the most famous of "hairy hominids" is the Yeti, said to inhabit the mountainous regions of the Himalayas. Actually there are three creatures referred to as the yeti. The Meh-teh is a man-sized ape-like creature with thick reddish-brown to black fur, a conical head, and long arms which reach almost to its knees. It always walks on two legs. The Dzu-teh is a large bear-like creature, usually seen walking on four legs but occasionally on two. It leaves behind clawed footprints. Locals say it raids livestock holdings. It is very likely to be some kind of bear. The Teh-lma is another ape-like creature, smaller than the Meh-teh. The Teh-lma is about three to four feet tall with a pointed head and reddish fur. They appear to subsist on frogs.


Wheel of Life - Bhutan Dreaming

The design is based upon the Wheel of Life thangka format. Many of the source images are from Bhutan. It is a commission for a teaching image - didactic in intent - concerning sustainable living. The assignment was to put such "modern" information into a framework (design) that would be easily recognized and read by a typical Bhutanese viewer.

The parts of the Wheel are are follows:

The inner circle shows the cock, the snake and the wild boar symbols - symbols of lust, bodily needs, ego. The inner ring shows "good karma" and "bad karma" effects - with the good karma leading to eventual Buddhahood.

The middle ring (consisting of 6 large slices) traditionally shows scenes for the 6 realms. In this case, I have shown realms relating to ecological living: green sustainability vs. out-of-control development & resulting pollution. Starting at the top running counter clockwise: a view of Bhutan today with mountains and lake; the landscape with sustainable energy (windmills and solar arrays); a waterfall and pristine glacial river with prayer flags; mountain poppies in a meadow; a view of lake/river pollution and uncontrolled discharge; a view of air pollution from factories and burning forests.

Around the Wheel's outer ring is Yama - Lord of Death / Karma.

I also placed some local fauna (birds and leopard) around the outside along with a traditional offering symbol.

So, this is my first attempt at creating a didactic visual that can be used to tell a specific story (contrasting two possible approaches / outcomes -> sustainable vs. current madness). Which path will Bhutan take into their future?

They talk of GNH - Gross National Happiness, so I imagine they will maintain the beauty of their land and the stewardship of it by continuing in a sustainable approach to living.


Dream of Bhutan

It's been my dream for years to visit the high mountains of Bhutan and witness the mysterious dances of the Black Hats.