Thursday, August 6, 2015

Shadow and Light

This last weekend I was at the Viridis Genii Symposium in Oregon.  I was inspired by the speakers, by the community and by the plants.  Under my feet was self heal, violet, plantain.  And towering over my head was old growth Douglas Fir.

I love to celebrate the earth holidays.  We are just on the heels of Lammas.  This is the celebration of the first harvest and proclaims the end of summer.  Although very hot when I left Whidbey Island to attend this conference, I returned to cooler temperatures and I thought I could feel a tinge of fall on the wind.

I remember reading once that in days of old, the people would celebrate the harvest and there was another feeling of fear.  Will the harvest be enough?  Will the food I gathered last until the first harvests of spring?

Although most people these days don't grow there own food (many of the people I know do).  There is still a fear looming around at this time.  This is the shadow.   What I have discovered by working with the earth and plant teaching is wisdom to carry forth through fear and doubt, and to actually lessen those feelings in favor of more possibility.

I wrote an eBook a few years ago about shadow and light.  I am pasting it here.  It includes a poem and then a shamanic exercise to work with the energy of the shadows that come forth during this time of the first harvest.

Shadow and Light

I have noticed
A holy presence
Here on the land
And in the garden
The hard work;
The planting, the watering,
The weeding, the tending,
The listening, the trusting
Is all coming
To fruition.
It is time now
To stand back
And witness
And begin the harvest.
In the old days, I heard
This time of year
Brought inspiration
...and fear
The peoples
Of the land
Held gratitude
For gifts of the green
And there was another energy;
A fear it would not
Be enough.
That energy; the Shadow
Is created
By the great light of the Sun.
Within its holy presence
Is a mystery.
Shadow is rest,
Quietness on the surface.
Dig deeper now
And find treasures.
Within it are places
Still needing nourishment.
Places we ignored or forgot
When we were cultivating.
We can look for those places
See what work is ahead of us
As we prepare to
Return to the earth,
Venture within and explore
Our vast inner landscape

Here is a shamanic exercise to explore the Shadow and turn your fears into inspiration:

Go out in your yard, to a local park or venture into the forest. 
Find a great tree that casts a large shadow on the ground. 
Stand in the tree's shadow. Notice your breath, and breathe in the oxygen from this tree and breathe out as an offering in exchange. 
Ask three questions and after each one listen, observe and notice what see, hear, smell, taste and feel as you stand in that shadow listening. What part of me have I forgotten?... What nourishment is needed?... Who are my helpers? 
When this is complete, step out into the light, the sun again and look at the great shadow. Feel the sun's warmth and strong rays on you.  Acknowledge both energies and welcome them...both are needed. 
Give thanks to the tree, the sun, the shadow cast and treasures you are discovering.

May it be in Beauty.

No comments: