The very first night I slept out here at my farm, sometime in mid-December, 2011, was a night i’ll never forget (see First Night With a Lover blog). I was on an air mattress in a sleeping bag and my head was in the West. The minute I laid down, a barred owl hooted just outside and I could tell she was close. Owl is feared in many Native cultures as a bringer of death. If someone heard an owl, it was an omen that soon they, or someone close, would be transitioning physically out of this life. Owl medicine is perhaps one of the most complex of all the totems. In addition to being the “bringer of death” it symbolizes deep inner wisdom and the ability to see the 360 degree truth of matters, especially when they are hidden. Owl flies in perfect silence, like the grim reaper, and its night vision is impeccable. Check out this amazing experiment showing just how quiet owl is compared to a pigeon and a falcon. This spring I was sitting on my porch enjoying the quiet night, and a large shape flew just over the roof a few feet above me. Twice. I heard nothing. It was like mother nature’s stealth bomber. Owl’s silence, coupled with its amazing night vision, makes it deadly for some in the night. So when they hoot, they make their presence uncharacteristically known. No wonder it has been so revered, and feared.
When I built my first medicine wheel in the woods, to honor the Divine Feminine, one of the first objects I placed on the alter was an owl shaped piece of wood. It faced the west, just like my head that first night. Within a year I had found four dead owls. Last Fall during a dark time of the soul (see Dancing in the cycle of life), sitting on my deck after dark, I heard five owls in the woods (three barred and two great horned). I have been surrounded by owls since I moved here. I see them in broad daylight, hear them often at night and see their droppings in the woods. Everywhere I look, I see owl faces: in the trees, on the ground, and sometimes even in the clouds. As I type this, one hoots in the woods.
I have never been afraid of owl medicine though, because to me, death is a part of life. In the woods, something lives and something else dies every single day. Owl is a reminder to take inventory and see what needs to go, so that something else can live and grow. If I am full (especially of old stuff that is no longer useful), there is no room for anything new, or anything to grow. I am asked by owl to be vigilant and constantly cull that which no longer serves. She is a reminder that the pruning of life is healthy. We are all familiar with her question”who?” To me she also asks “what?” What is it time to let go of.
Moving out here on to the land has been so full of new experiences, because there is room for them, and owl has helped me keep my space clear. During that first sleep at the farm, I awoke in the middle of the night and had a sense that my head was in the wrong direction. I wasn’t sleeping well, and intuitively knew that my head should be in the East, the direction of the rising sun, and not the West as I had started out the night. My experience with this land is about new beginnings, new ideas, new energies, and a new way of living. That new way is all about harmonizing with everything I encounter. And through all these encounters, owl has been a constant reminder. I am strangely comforted by her voice in the middle of the night. It is as if she is telling me that all is as it should be. Because I cleaned house, something new is being born in my dream-time and she is by my side, cheering all the way.
I don’t know how to say this gently…so i’ll just say it. In December of 2014 I was dying. How do I know? My life force was spent, and my body in chronic severe pain. I had little will to be here and was, in fact, beginning to check out. It started after the Winter Solstice of 2012…you know…the BIG winter solstice (the one where the Mayans ran out of stone and didn’t have room to finish the calendar)… I was so homesick after that. I could not look at the stars because I wanted to be back “home” out there. I envied Karlheinz Stockhausen for having returned to Sirius. Living here on Earth came with a strange feeling of detachment and numbness, even with all the physical pain. My motion towards transition was confirmed when a healer in KC and I found a black hole in my abdomen. My soul was preparing to leave and had created an umbilical to the great energy field that is beyond our known. In December, a healer relayed a message from my guides. They wanted me to know that “if I chose to stay, I would have lots of help.” So there it was in all honesty and openness: time to choose. Stay or go. I knew this choice had been coming. I knew it in the deepest, darkest, and brightest, corners of my being. I was strangely comforted that it was OK to choose either way…that it was totally up to me. The offer of help, stuck with me. It beckoned to me like a siren, and brought tears to my eyes every time I spoke of it. I don’t say this to be melodramatic, but rather only to tell a story that seems all too familiar in the media lately, of those who have chosen to leave. I can relate, and understand completely without judgment.
I did not go see a doctor for any of my symptoms (too numerous to count), because most doctors are ill prepared to help someone harmonize their body, with the mind and the spirit, let alone help coax my soul to re-occupy this chosen body. This is the stuff for more adventuresome and imaginative folks who see and feel WAY beyond chemistry, biology and even physics. And help came in some really unexpected ways.
Two miracles happened. First, was my moving onto the land. The land showed me a detachment of patience. It exists purely to exist…life just for life’s sake. It showed me that every day something lives and something else dies: perhaps the only imperetive of the circle of life. It showed me a way to harmonize with all that is: to adjust and to keep going. What’s next? Go there! (Robert De Niro). It showed me how to BE, and that BEing without judgment, is to be totally free. “There is no birth and no death. There is only the continuum of birth and death as punctuated points in the grammar of life.” I am “an eternal witness in which roles come and go.” (Deepak Chopra)
The second miracle started showing up in photographs. On Halloween Night I walked the property and noticed a change in the orbs I had been photographing. Hundreds and even thousands, of all different shapes and configurations showed up. They danced upon my cold breath that night and showed me that I am already home…that home is not out there somewhere, but right here inside this body. They reminded me that play is the way life continues, and creativity is the dance of the Great Mystery. Their presence somehow assured me that I was not alone, and that there was magic in each and every breath I took. It was enough to stimulate my curiosity. And curiosity is what drives me. It is the carrier wave of my creativity. I found myself wanting to get back in the game and fully play this role that I’ve chosen.
All who have chosen to manifest at this time are heroes, regardless of how long we each choose to be here. And so I laid in bed in early January of 2015, and spoke a commitment to stay. To fully BE here, HOW, and fully incarnate. It hasn’t come over night, but with each day joy returns as I ask help from my Angels and Spirit Guides, and Friends. Chinks become cracks, and steadily my body–this home– releases the tension between its constituent parts, and the past, present and future integrate. Harmony returns to my movements, and ease, back into my body, mind and spirit to play this role I have chosen among many roles. Whether I am here for another day, or another 75 years, as my breath did on that cold Halloween night last fall, the creative cycle of life, death, and resurrection dances on in each moment!