Here we go.

Well, first let me say hello and welcome to shamanista.  Let’s just get to it, shall we?  Here’s what this is: a daily (fingers crossed) animal, not unlike a horoscope but very much unlike a horoscope, randomly chosen (but who’s to say what’s random, right?) and chatted about by me.

I mostly write, and have found that it takes very, very little to discourage me from doing my dishes and eating 3 squares, nevermind writing a story or article or chapter or whatever the thing is I’m working on.  I hear a lot of us are like this.

I am probably not a shaman, as I have never willingly strapped myself to a rock on a mountain and spent the night there.  Neither have I participated in a full hallucinogenic experience in the desert.  I have no Native American ancestry-only Italian and Scottish (who have their own shamans, but that’s another post).  But I have undergone healing rituals, shamanic and otherwise, and I have, like so many people, experienced profound connections with animals and have made it my business to study them (in my fashion) and, when I remember, to listen.

And so, what I’ll be doing here is talking about an animal every day, and doing so from a spiritual point of view.  Specific animals have specific traits of survival, of mating, of eating, of nesting, and of playing.  I find it helpful to just look at how another creature goes about his or her day.  It’s a positive focus for me, and since I saw two wild turkeys today, and I didn’t see them on a bottle in my hand, I have decided to share my daily animal findings with you, my public, which, let’s admit, is probably only my sister and my boyfriend.  But I read these out loud to him as I write them (lucky guy!), so he kind of can’t be counted in “my public.”

Oh–the turkey’s lesson is “giving away.”  Today, I gave away a bunch of clothes, books, and household items.  I gave them to this animal shelter that has a thrift store that benefits the shelter. 

I’m kind of new to blogging.  Okay. Very new.  I mean, I read them all the time, and can follow threads and all that, but just give me a minute to figure it all out.  For instance, if I have failed to properly set up a means for you, my public, to respond, it was not done out of malice, but out of ignorance, and here’s hoping an animal shows up soon to run my blog. 

Don’t laugh–they found a unicorn in Italy.

Thanks for stopping by,


P.S.  This is an intro post, so the turkey mention was brief.  It won’t always be that way. ~S.


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Okay. So this is clearly not happening every day.  Maybe it’s time for me to drop the very limiting concept of linear time.  Maybe I am posting every day, only “every day” is a fluid term.  Maybe one day is 24 hrs long, and another, 124.  Maybe one day is only one minute!  Maybe that one night the moth spent trapped in my room felt like 1,000 to him.

Yesterday afternoon I was on the porch and feeling like a loser, to be very honest and uncreative.  Like a big disappointment.  Very “what’s the use.” That feeling is the reason I stepped away from the computer and onto the porch in the first place–to get a bit of air, to change the scene.  Anyway, I’m out there for about 4 minutes (linear time) when tout a l’heure, (that’s french for “all of a sudden.” je lovay ma frenchay…), when tout a l’heure, a GIANT hawk flies right by my face.  Some things to know: (a) I’m on the 2nd story, on this porch; (b) he was prob. about 10-13 feet from my face–very close, if you ask me.

It’s always interesting to me to note the direction a bird is flying.  In this case, he flew past my face (from N to S), then circled back around over my house, then continued flying south, toward the coast, which would be more SE. I live on the East Coast.  (Should that be capitalized? It is in my heart.)

I want to say this about the hawk, and then I’ll move onto directions.  The hawk, like the eagle, is a big-picture bird. He flies above, seeing, quite literally, the forest for the trees and the trees for the forest.  He is able to focus and lock on prey–one tiny mouse–from miles above, dive, and kill (and eat).  He also sort of cruises around a lot, catching waves of air.

Hawk’s Keyword:  Messenger    

Hawk is akin to Mercury, the messenger of the Gods.  Hawk Medicine teaches you to be observant, to look at your surroundings.  Observe the obvious in everything you do. Life is sending you signals.

Life is the initiation.                                                                                

(from Medicine Cards, by Jamie Sams and David Carson, St. Martin’s Press) 

So, this reminds me of something the Chrissie Hynde said in a recent interview in the NY Times:

“Ambition is not my middle name,” Ms. Hynde said. “But I don’t care — I’m up to my eyeballs most of the time goofing off. I’m kind of a hippie, so the idea was not to have goals or anything. Just moving around and observing and living life; that’s necessary before you can make a record anyway.”

For someone like me, who is so self-obsessed as to bemoan the self-imposed, outcast state of loserdom, this quote from this a-may-zing artist distills a piece of hawk medicine.  For those of us w/ task-masters for inner voices, we have got to chill.  How else can we hear the music (stories, plays, songs, whatever) we claim we want to write down?  Hawk, I want to add, is a very cool bird.  He’s like, “Whatevs. I’m just flyin. I will see a mouse.  I always do.  And when I do, if I am hungry, I will kill that mouse, and I will eat it.  Daddy-o.”

I’ll do a different post on directions so that it’s easier to find.

Off to chill, yo.

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As you can see, I have already skipped a day.  No judgment.  No judgment.  No judgment.  Right? (Grumble.)

Two nights ago, a giant moth was trapped in my room and kept me up all night.  I couldn’t catch him, and he kept flying around and crashing into things, namely my ceiling fan.  I apparently finally fell asleep, because when I woke up, it was morning, and Moth was seemingly asleep as well, on the windowsill next to my bed.  We were in the same position, I’d like to point out.  At least as “same” as a person and a moth can be when stretched out.  (Diagonal, with our heads both at what I’d say was 1:00, in case you want to know.)

Here’s what I’ve learned about Moth.  It’s a lot like Butterfly in terms of medicine/lesson/spirit, as you’d imagine, but here’s the big difference:  the moth is nocturnal and the butterfly, diurnal.  That’s a big difference.  I read up a lot on the moth, and have found certain words most helpful in distilling Moth medicine.  I get these lessons and then forget them the next day, unless I have a list of reminders, sort of like rubber bands around the wrist.  Here are a few of the words/concepts/phrases:

~ intuition (trusting its guidance)

~ attraction

~ subtlety

~ faith

~ vulnerability

~ nocturnal

~ seeing the light in the dark.

More later. Oh, by the way:  the moth’s body was about an inch and a half long and I don’t know how wide. It was brown, but I found nothing that looked like it on line.  

As I was saying, more later.

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I can’t believe it, but this thing is already getting me pumped for tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to seeing which animal shows up and how. Or which animals.  I will not limit myself!  I will not limit the shamanista blog.

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