Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Yesterday I was feeling a little worn down after a long, arduous week at work and spending my weekend indoors with a particularly trying set of executive class students (yes it was perfect beach weather on Sunday). My energy levels were at a low. So I decided to throw some cushions out on my fire escape and read a book on Shamanism as the sun went down. Very peaceful; and well worth the 5 mins prep time that usually puts me off climbing out onto my fire escape. Shaman draw spiritual strength from nature. They perform rituals using representations of earth, wind, fire and water and also form strong connections with animals. They collect totems which they use for strength. Often crystals or representations of animals (anything from a ceramic figure of a bear to a wolf’s claw or actual wing of a falcon). The rituals they perform with these totems are said to draw the strength of the animals into their own souls. Interesting stuff, particularly as I have been finding increasingly, of late, that spending time in nature has a profound effect on my spirit (just as the office, watching television, dealing with other people’s nonsense and the like, saps the energy from my soul). I decided that perhaps I would give one of these Shaman rituals a shot. I’d started a vague hunt for a suitable totem once before. At first I’d started collecting shells and twigs I liked, I tend to find such treasures often when I dive or hike. I’m guessing trees have powerful energies but shell fish not so much. I decided to start small and planned to drop by the Museum of the American Indian on the way home from work. I was planning to find a wolf like Herman Hesse’s Stepphenwolf (a wolf who scavenges on the steps of a town). A loner, too tame to run wild with the wolves and to wild to live at peace in the town. I definitely have an affinity with such a wolf. More later.

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