This is the third Wisdom Wander of the 2015 Walking the Ways of the Summer Light series. The focus is on the element of Fire. The purpose is to commune with the element and gather questions (rather than answers). At Solstice-tide a question will be selected to answer on a Pilgrimage.
When I started the Wisdom Wanders I thought I might vary how I selected my oracular traveling companions, but I’ve found a pattern that works for me so I’ve been repeating it. Before heading to the spot I’d already identified last week, I pulled three cards from the Oracle of Initiation as guides for my Fire exploration; Unconscious, Sanctified, and Wonder. To match the three Oracle cards I pulled three cards from a mix of the Shining Tribe Tarot’s Major Arcana and the suit of Trees (this deck’s suit connected to the element of Fire) to point me toward Fire’s lessons for me: The Chariot, The Hermit, and 9 of Trees.
This Wander I was struck by the value of having a special place in nature to return to again and again. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary has been my nature home base for quite awhile and this past year I’ve focused my attention on a small part of the sanctuary: the field where the Winter Solstice bonfire takes place. The transformations of nature are rich in this small plot of land and it is the site of my ritual to release grief and unproductive patterns into the last December’s bonfire. This combination of natural process and personal ritual weave together into a net of insight that is still coming into focus for me but clearly include how life and death are intertwined, seeming opposites are really part of the Whole, and my magic making may be as simple as the perception of the extraordinary in the ordinary.
I’ll describe some of these Wanders happenings but I’m sure the words will fall short of the experience. I can tell you that an orange bird flew at top speed so close to my ear that I felt the whoose of its flight and said a “Wow” in my heart, but the words only scratch the surface of the experience. That the card that emerged from my pocket after this bird encounter was Wonder says both everything and nothing at the same time.
After my bird encounter and three ritual circlings of the field, I walked right into the remains of the bonfire. Most of the field is filled with grasses, milkweed, clover, and other wild things. This green life is encroaching on burnt remains, but there is still a dark circle at field’s center. Here I created a mandala of cards between the burnt and milkweed’s bursting.
The dark blue card of Unconscious lay down on the burnt log. In the Oracle of Initiation companion, book Mellissae Lucia writes that this card shows the shadow that were once suppressed but when released becomes the key to shining your light in the world. What I placed into this winter’s fire to be burnt away is becoming the light, energy, or illumination I can offer to the world. The Chariot as the lesson card here reinforces the idea of transforming my dark depths as the way forward.
Closer to the green life, the two cards of illumination, Sanctified and Wonder, emerged. Sanctified is the card of the union of masculine and feminine in the embrace of Love. The disturbance of the 9 of Trees as the lesson card connected to Sanctifying points the way to seeing grief as an act of love – and going all the way through its pain as a way of sanctifying a death. Wonder danced with the Hermit here, and showed how stepping away from human company for a while connects us to the wonder and teachings of nature.
Not all the messages were about the solitary life, however, The orange beetles who appeared in the first flowering of milkweed were clearly copulating! Yes, sex is certainly a part of the gift of fire.
And, yes, there was a dragonfly (see Earth, Air, and Water Wanders for the full story)… of sorts. Actually it was a damselfly and strangely, though it stayed still for me for a long time and let me come quite close I could never get a clear picture. Perhaps not all messages are meant to be clear upon first receiving them. Perhaps more pondering is needed to gain the sweetest gifts. And for this Wander’s report, I will leave you with that mystery to ponder.
REFLECTION AND QUESTION MAKING
Fire questions are the questions that might lead to sudden illumination. They might seem to come out of nowhere. Just let ‘em come. Give them some attention and they’ll expand from the energy you offer them.
Here are a few that have come to me on this Fire Wisdom Wander:
- How can my fears move me toward my greatest achievements?
- What if I dared to be flame?
- What fills me with wonder? How can I do some of that right now?
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