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.


libramoon said...


Emerging Visions visionary art 'zine #17 ~ hOLy ChAOs

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love the "Gila land"="Gillaland" concept...I never fail to be amazed and amused the Universal sense of humour.

Beautiful piece of artwork too!