My experiences during the first Wisdom Wander of the 2015 Walking the Ways of the Summer Light Retreat-in-Everyday-Life follows. The 2020 e-retreat begins on Monday, May 25th; You are invited to join us! The focus is on the element of earth. During wisdom wanders, we commune with an element and gather questions (rather than answers). At Solstice-tide a question will be selected to answer on a wander with a purpose, which I call a pilgrimage.
To begin my first formal Wisdom Wander, I couldn’t pass up the offer to visit my friend Linda’s newly created double spiral herb garden. After I left the spiral, I continued earth exploring at a state forest.
To gather my guides and translators, I brought out my Oracle of Initiation. I meant to pull 2 cards as guides to earth exploring, but a third one jumped out of the deck. To match the 3 Oracle cards I pulled 3 cards from the Minoan Tarot to serve as lessons from earth. Although I mixed the Earth suite and Majors, only majors appeared. I didn’t read anything about the cards or analyze them before taking them out with me into the spiral. We’d come to know each other as we walked.
As I walked the spiral, I’d pause and consider the ground, the tree line and sky, and the plants who were trying to establish themselves in this very dry spring. Sometimes I would take out one of my cards in relationship to a particular plant or view. The God came to be by the one plant already flowering, the catamint. Examine for when I looked up to see the trees. A bumble bee flew by and Shipwreck appeared. This seemed a collective rather than personal message of alert. So many bee hives are suffering from colony collapse and, without these pollinators human food production will be impacted. Shipwreck sends the message: Listen to the bees. They are in free fall and need nurture. More flowers and fewer pesticides are what is suggested. If we don’t listen, we humans may next be in free fall.
After I left the spiral, I visited a state forest that surrounds a lake. (Locally, we call it the Goshen ocean.) I left my cards in the car for this walk. I wanted to focus on what was happening in the natural world as I walked the rocky paths around the lake. Toward the end of my time, I paused in a clearing of trees that reminded me of place in Nova Scotia special to me and my late partner John. My awareness of John’s presence around me come and goes, and I don’t talk about this connection widely. (I struggled to write this bit of blog post actually.)
I hesitate to speak of my communication between the realms because, well, I don’t want to be seen as a kook bag. Although I do Tarot, I often remind people I have a Master of Science in Management and don’t work as a psychic. I hold on to the status and respectability of my academic and professional life, these are places where people don’t speak to the dead.
But I’ll confess to you here that I was talking to John. I hadn’t been aware of his presence for a while, and didn’t expect a response. I started talking about the special place we’d traveled to together and how grateful I was for the adventures we’d had. Then a dragonfly landed on my left side and started climbing my body. The dragonfly climbed up my chest, stopped over my heart, and posed for some pictures. I smiled broadly at the silly beauty of the encounter.
I didn’t think that the dragonfly was John, but this was a message about connection on a deep level. I didn’t remember the symbolic meaning of dragonfly but upon returning home found this on dragonfly symbolism: “Coincidentally dragonfly encounters like these seem to defy the simple expectations and underscore the ongoing mysteries that nature serves up. … In some (Japanese) spiritual ceremonies, dragonflies are thought to be the guides of souls revisiting their families on earth.”
I hadn’t anticipated this happening on an earth element walk. The earth for me is about the physical and the real, but as we wander we must be open to any gift that comes. So in this open mode, my encounter deepens my knowing that the earth is vibrantly alive with connections. It reinforces my current conception that the dead are not in a far away place, but here besides us. And the earth and spirit are not separate, but intertwined. This is, of course, the wisdom of indigenous people, which I hope we find more ways to honor and then to live out its implications.
REFLECTION AND QUESTION MAKING
My encounters with these bees and dragonflies had me wondering:
- What is the link between the seen and unseen realms?
- How does communication flow between these realms?
- What is my role in facilitating communication between these realms?
Registration now open for the 2020 e-retreat of Walking the Ways of the Summer Light where you can receive daily inspiration and support for cultivating the essential energies of the summer sun and walking the path of transformation. If you want to get an introduction to this year’s Walking the Ways and our focus on transformation, come to our gift call on Sunday, May 24th at 4pm.