New Year’s Wisdom

photo_2I’m running a little behind this year in setting my goals and intentions and doing some creative planning for 2015. Here we are, more than two thirds of the way through January and I still haven’t finished my “resolutions” yet.   (On the plus side, that means I haven’t broken any yet either.) Somehow I get the feeling that I’m not alone, which is why I’m sharing this here.

So, naturally (being me), I decided to ask the cat. Rune can generally be trusted to offer a different perspective, help me see the important thing I’m missing. Her wisdom is so very grounded, common sense, and matter of fact.

When I asked her if there are things she wanted for us or for herself in this new cycle of our life together that has just begun, she was puzzled. “You mean this morning, when you got out of bed?”

Well no, not exactly, although I could certainly see how she would think that.  Just as Luna is my “nighty-night” kitty who says good night, blesses our bed space, and makes bedtimes special, Rune is the early riser who comes running in the morning when I finally drag myself to an upright position. She jumps on the bed, purring at full volume, greeting me and the start of a new day together.

Bigger than that. I tried to explain, imaging the larger cycles of season to season, dark-time to light-time. She was supremely indifferent. “But the sun rises every day. Why not just start there?”

I got her point. No matter how big the cycle you look at, you still have to live each and every day as it comes.  That means each and every day, is a chance to start fresh, to begin anew. Sure, we’ve all heard that before.  Maybe it takes a cat’s nonchalant, casual acceptance to bring it home. There’s a quality of presence called for in that outlook that’s hard to deny. It calls for one to focus more on living each moment fully, even as we include in those moments our goals, intentions and plans for the future. We can celebrate even the largest of life’s cycles by honoring where we are right in this moment.  It is, after all, the culmination of all that has gone before and the jumping off point for all that is to come.

But there’s the matter of dreams. Dreams are something that cats know a great deal about.  It seems likely that I will be posting much more about that in the weeks and months to come.  Cats sleep, after all, 18 to 20 hours a day, spending much of that time immersed in an energy world that most humans can only dimly comprehend.  Even with all the glimpses I’ve received over the years, I didn’t think it through when I asked “What about your dreams?”

This question was met by blank incomprehension as I realized I’d made the mistake of confusing the human notion of dreams as something desired but not yet manifest in the world with a cat’s experience.

“Yes,” she responded.  “I’m enjoying my dreams today.”  In that non-verbal way that the essence of thought is transmitted from one being to another, I understood that Rune’s dreams are as much a treasured part of her experience as her meals, her playtime, the warm sun on her fur, or her interactions with me. Our distinction between “dream” and “reality” has no meaning to her.  It is all simply and equally part of that thing we call Life.

There’s such a richness of learning for me in this brief exchange with my wise cat.  As of this moment, my “plan” for 2015 is to make a new beginning each day, honoring all my experiences, including my dreams and desires – both those which are already manifest, and those still in the process of becoming — as that which adds spice and savor to the process of life.

If that should prove tricky, I will remember to ask the cat.

Animal Spirit Messages: Owl as Guide

photo (26)(Reaching for the Spirit of Owl was an interesting learning experience for me. I found that because this bird has so many layers of archetype, myth and story wrapped around it, such as being the bird of wisdom, sacred to the goddess Athena, the bird of wizards and magicians, etc., that I had to reach past this wide, deep, archetypal layer of humanity’s creation in order to finally connect with the actual spirit of the being that expresses here on Earth in feather, bone and flesh.  Even then, it seemed that Owl was not unaffected by all that we have projected upon it throughout our time on Earth together.  Owl’s message, however, is perfect for this dark time of the year.  In fact, I am reminded of the following prayer of unknown origin that I found on a magnet, and have long had on my refrigerator: “Oh Owl, you who fly through the darkness, seeing everything in the night, help me to see through my own darkness to find the light within.”)

I am the night Hunter, winged predator of the night. I am silent and swift and sure in my strikes. Many creatures hide in fear of me.

I fear few and this makes me proud. The large cats I am wary of, but that’s about it. Many more creatures fear me than I have fear of.

My call leads humans astray in the dark although it can also guide them if they know where they wish to go.

For your kind, I am at my best as a guide. I can guide you through the dark if you will put aside your fears and follow. Trust that I will lead you safely to places where there is comfort, warmth, life, food and magic. Wherever you need to go.

There is no fear in darkness, it is kind, comforting, concealing. I am the light shining from within. It is the harsh bright light of day, the glare of the sun, that I avoid. I do not fear it, but I am truly at my best in the dark.

When you allow yourself to revel in the darkness and receive the peace and calm it brings, I will come to you to show you the way to what you seek.  I will remind you that there is life here, too, in the night. Yes, I am proud, it is good to be Owl!

The magic and mystery of the dark and the moonlight is mine. The depth and shadows of the night fascinate and beckon. Remember the wildness and the excitement of the night and remember the part of yourself that so often you experience only in dreams. It will energize you and make you more fully alive. It is hard for you to do this when you have to be awake all day. If you would follow me, I suggest you take rest during the light time.

Think of flying through the night illuminated from within, knowing yourself to be the fierce ruler of the skies. Dream on it, and you will know me. Speak of the guidance and the wisdom to be found in the dark silent places when I come to you.

Soar whenever you can.