Animal Connection, Lesson 2

"What is man without the beasts? If all of the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to man.  All things are connected.  Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth."

                     ~~ Chief Seattle ~~

We have started our journey through the Animal Connection. It is important to realize that this journey has several requirements in order to succeed. 

1.  Breath - You must pay attention to how you breathe.  By being aware of how you are breathing, you promote relaxation.  Most practices such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation include exercises on breathing.  It's the basic foundation for any spiritual work and opens the pathways to success.

2.  Clear Intention - Why journey if you do not know the purpose of the trip?  You need to be very clear on what you are looking for whether it is a spirit guide or a relationship with another.  The Goddess does not guess at what you want.

3.  Receptive Attention -  You have to be open to receiving the message.  The best way to succeed is by being not only alert but relaxed at the same time while in trance.  This is achieved through the use of drumming, dancing, singing, etc.  You use the method that is best for you.

Questions:  Can you think of any others that should be included?  What are your thoughts on those listed?

"There are no temples or shrines among us save those of nature.  Being children of nature, we are intensely poetical. We would deem it sacrilege to build a house for The One who may be met face to face in the mysterious, shadowy aisles of the primeval forest, or on the sunlit bosom of virgin prairies, upon dizzy spires and pinnacles of naked rock, and in the vast jeweled vault of the night sky!

A God who is enrobed in filmy veils of cloud, there on the rim of the visible world where our Great-Grandfather Sun kindles his evening camp fire; who rides upon the rigorous wind of the north, or breathes forth spirit upon fragrant southern airs, whose war canoe is launched upon majestic rivers and inland seas - such a God needs no lesser cathedral."

        ~ Ohiyesa ~

Spiritual messages are received through four channels with which you should already be familar.

1.  Clairvoyance

2.  Clairaudience

3.  Clairsentience

4.  Claircognizance

Question:  What do they mean to you?

"Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice.  You lived first and you are older than all need, older than all prayer.  All things belong to you - the two-legged, the four-legged, the wings of the air and all green things that live.  You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each other.  You have made me cross the good road and the road of difficulties, and where they cross the place is holy. Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things."

                      ~~ Black Elk ~~

When we journey, we usually are involved in one or more of three worlds.  The Upper World or "Celestial Realm" is the kingdom in which the guides are in human form.  This is where we would find cherubs and angels.  The path to it is usually an entrance through something that travels upward - a rainbow, a tree or a whirlwind.  The Middle World is the one we are most familiar with for it is home.  It is an actual geographic location on our planet such as 223 N. Guadalupe, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The third is what the Animal Connection focuses on.  It is in the Lower World where animal spirits are usually found.  This is a wondrous, magickal place.  The entrance to it is usually downward into the earth such as a tunnel, a cave, the seabed of the ocean, a knot in a tree down through the roots.  This is where we find our Animal Guides.

 

As dolphins surface and begin to flip

their arched backs from the sea, warning the sailors

to fall-to and begin to secure the ship..."

           ~~~Dante - The Inferno ~~

 

Important to animal studies as to any magickal workings is journaling.  We all need to keep track of our experiences and add to them frequently.

My journals includes such entries as:
1. Date
2. Location
3. Animals observed and what they were doing
4. Research (I look up at least one of the animals seen in reference to their life cycle, adaptability, skills, environment)
5.  My interpretation of their meaning in my life.

Question:  (you knew this was coming) What would you include in your journal?

"Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them whenever they require it. If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
Saint Francis of Assisi
Ted Andrews in his book The Animal-Speak Workbook lists six items that our pets can teach us (just so we don't leave the little darlings out).

1.  Past Life Connections - did you know that animals can return also?  and that sometimes an animal that served as our totem could return as our pet?  What do you think?

2.  Behaviors we need to express - our pets often reflect our behavior.  When Magick is usually extra pesty, it is usually because I've been too wrapped up in my work and not taking time to eat or play. Have you noticed a particular behavior in your pet that drives you crazy?

3. Skills in accomplishing tasks - we can learn from our pets.  We just have to be observant and willing to learn from them.

4.  How to bond and love more unconditionally - we can sure learn this from our pets.  They ask for nothing besides regular care (food, water, etc.) and our love.

5.  How to communicate with animals more clearly - our communication skills with our pets can be used on other animals as well. We can learn to project our thoughts and they can certainly get their thoughts across to us.  We just have to be open-minded.

6.  How to recognize the presence of spirit - animals are very sensitive to the area around them.  They can sense the aura before we can. By paying attention to them, we can be more aware of the climate around us.

Question:  How do you feel about these teachings?

'"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is -
whether the victim is human or animal- we cannot expect things to be
much better in this world. We cannot have peace among men whose
hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that
glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing- we set
back the progress of humanity."

~ Rachel Carlson (1907-1964)~

The next lesson we will start delving into the animal kingdoms.  For now, I would like to leave you with Ted Andrew's "Seven Rules to More Magical Encounters".

1.  Practice seeing and questioning as a child does.  Be fascinated and filled with wonder about everything in Nature.

2.  Be a naturalist first.  Magic and spirit flows out from this and without the naturalist part, the magical shaman cannot be.

3. Take trips into Nature, at least once per season.  Each season brings its own unique offerings and each season has its own lessons for us.

4. Find one special place for you to sit and observe regularly, a place that you can visit throughout the year.

5.  Learn to observe and be curious about everything.  Notice what is going on around you.  Make notes or sketches of what you observe - plant or animal.

6.  Be unobtrusive when out in Nature.  Learn to be silent.  Try not to talk.  Just observe, contemplate and note activity.  Don't smoke when out in Nature.  It disturbs the environment and alerts animals to your presence.  If you disturb an area upon your arrival, remain calm and quiet and within ten minutes it will return to normal.

7.  Make your home environment attractive to wildlife.  Hang feeders.  Put up birdbaths and fountains.  Have a variety of plants.  Animal encounters occur in all environments, backyards and deep woods, urban and rural areas, waking and sleeping.

~ "The Animal-Speak Workbook" by Ted Andrews ~

 Nature Walk

This week I want you to attune to Nature by taking what is called a Silent Walk.

You will need to find the quietest "uncivilized" place you can.  There should be

no signs of humanity if possible.  This includes sights, sounds and so on.  Go to 

this place at either dusk or dawn when the world is the quietest and the time is

the sacredess for it is then when the spiritual and physical intersect.  It is also the

time when animals are the most active and the most visible.                              

 

Prior to your walk, prepare by performing at least 1/2 hour of meditation focusing

on Nature and becoming a part of it.  Plan on walking about 1/2 hour in one 

direction and then back.  So give yourself plenty of time.  Walk slowly and calmly.

If you pause in your travel, do not stare or make any sudden movements.  Staring

is a threatening posture.  Instead keep eyes lowered and do not look directly at

any animals.  Remember being silent - quiet - and peaceful is the key.  Animals can

sense disquiet and will stay away.  The idea is to become a part of their world, not

bring them into yours.  After all, theirs is a lot nicer than ours.                               

Please share with me your experience doing this walk (and consider making it a 

part of your life).

 

 Please send your answers to me: nimue@spiralmagick.com

 

                                                                   CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE FINISHED LESSON TWO!

Animal Connection, Lesson 3