The Meaning of Bears

Bears are kinda cool, in my book.  They’re relatively inoffensive, as long as you don’t get between them and their cubs, or them and some really, really good food.  There are a variety of species, and they eat a variety of things.  They’re not always bloodthirsty and angry and roaring.  They’re playful and inquisitive and intelligent.

If a bear is your totem, it could represent a good balance in your life – the ability to be curious and figure problems out, but also the ability to live a balanced and healthy life through your diet.  In addition, some bears hibernate.  A bear coming into your life (hopefully not in the, “I’m going to kill you!” sort of way) could indicate that you are in hibernation, about to emerge.

Bears also care very deeply for their young.  We say that someone is a mother bear, or that mother bears are the most dangerous creatures in the world.  With a bear as your totem, you know – or will know – how to hold onto and defend what is yours.

Protector of the family, intelligent, adorable AND omnivorous, what’s not to love?

From an AP News Article on Bears

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Taming the Dragon

I recently acquired a juvenile bearded dragon here in Buffalo.  I decided I wanted to try raising a dragon as it may fare better under my care than did my leopard geckos.  In any case, I got it, and at first, it was as calm as could be – probably frightened out of its mind.

Anyway, we’re getting him settled in, and now that he’s got a little grasp of what is his – I’m not allowed in it!  My hand entering the cage, well, that’s just out of the question.  The little dragon will leap halfway across the cage to bite me(but my fingers are bigger than his mouth).  I spent all of the weekend trying to figure out the best methodology to tame the dragon.  I finally settled on a plan.

Whenever he hisses, I simply put a “green” into his mouth – he eats green onions, parsley, blackberries, etc – stuff high in calcium.  It surprises him.  And he can’t leap at my hand if there’s something in his mouth.  So he closes his mouth. Tears off the piece.  Calms down.

On Saturday, it took me three hours before I could get him to stay in my hand without wriggling or hissing.  On Sunday, he let me pet him a bit after about twenty minutes.

The Bearded Dragon is a desert animal.  Desert animals have a wide set of lessons from which we can draw.  The first is that of timing.  Knowing when to stay perfectly still and soak up the sun, and knowing when to sit in the shade can mean the difference of life and death for desert animals.  Similarly, knowing how to balance ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually can mean the difference of life and death.

Desert animals also learn how to find alternative sources of water: mist and dew drops after a rain, certain plants, certain spots.  We can take this knowledge from desert animals and apply it to our own lives: and start looking in different places for spiritual knowledge.

The dragon can be fierce, and makes an impressive display when needed.  But they can also be calm and still and gentle companions.  Similarly, we must have the same sort of convictions: calm until our habitat – our home, our family – is threatened, and then voracious, daring, and protecftive.

The dragon, to me, seems to be about balance.  A lesson we could all take into consideration.

The Cougar

Hey guys – this post actually stems from a very odd dream I had last night, which I would like to at least study in a broad, magic relevant context.  As we all know, the time between Mabon and Samhain just flew by, and we’re looking at an upcoming new year.  At this time, it is especially important to be paying attention to those signs and omens all around you.  Why did that particular bird just fly over you?  What are your dreams filled with?

Last night, I had a bit of an issue with sleep, but between 7 and 9 am today, I had a dream which involved my roommates and our apartment, a small, gray kitten, and a large, lion-like cougar.  We were, for some reason, in our apartment which was translocated onto the middle of my campus (don’t ask me why!).  We looked outside, and rounding the corner, prowling, was a large cougar.  We grabbed the kitten and held her as far inside as we could, and I grabbed my phone to take pictures as it was going by us at a dead-on run.  My picture didn’t come out.  I then called 911, to explain that there was a cougar in the middle of our campus.  They redirected us, and said that we were on national radio, and asked if we wanted to join them in a prayer.  I woke up.

Checking my Animal-Speak book, I found that Cougars are a sign of mastering yourself and beginning to assert yourself and your knowledge in your everyday life.  Because cougars are paired with their prey – deer, and porcupines – we must study those as well.  Although no deer or porcupines were apparent in my very weird dream, it is wise to remember that deer are gentle, and have mechanisms for blending in, which the cougars can see right through.  In addition, cougars have a fantastic ability to capture and eat porcupines without any major harm to themselves.  The ability to pick through a (pardon the pun) sticky situation is one that a cougar possesses.

Its interesting to note also, that in the region I am in, there are no wild, large cats.  According to the DEC of New York, there are no cougars in the state – but there are bobcats and bears.   I can’t remember why, but I was reading and viewing a substantial amount of user submitted proof to the contrary one night a long time ago.  That aside, I have never experienced a large cat (or a bear) in the wild, and I doubt I will while remaining at home.

So, on the eve of our new year, what can this indicate?  That I have begun to master myself and express my knowledge?  I do feel like I am coming into my own.  I know that I am strong, and I know that I am capable of surviving on my own.  Mabon was all about independence – and Samhain is on the rise.  Samhain’s primary energy, by my own personal determination, is that of Communication.  How fitting.

Have any weird dreams lately?

Self Image in Circle

This topic might draw a few readers, but it is one that I find extremely important.  How you see yourself reflects strongly in how a circle casting will go.

Having a good body image is always essential if you walk the path that we do.  The gods speak to us, and they say, “you are the leaders of the world…when you walk forward, the world takes the step with you…but when you stumble, the whole world begins to fall”.  Being confident in yourself, how you look, your intelligence and your spirituality is the first thing that any one will see when they meet you for the first time.  If there is an uncertainty, it will be found.

Now that I’ve made it sound like every time you meet someone, its a test…let’s talk about the circle.  The Circle is drawn, as you know, with the basic method of purification, censing, sprinkling, casting, calling the quarters, then calling the spirits and Gods.  This layering of steps causes a magnification in all that you do within the circle.  Because the circle is a container for which to hold all energy raised within, the energy spirals around and around.  Think of it like a never ending funnel  that you send a coin down – it just keeps getting faster and faster, stronger and stronger.

This in mind, entering circle either unclean or unsure of what you’re meant to do is probably a bad idea.  When I was in sacred space with my High Priest, one thing he said struck me very truly, after the circle was done.

“These are your Gods.  When you speak to them, have pride.  You should never be afraid of them.”

He was right.  The reason I had spoken so softly in that instance, was not from fear, but more from awe.  It was the first time I had raised energy with my High Priest, and his voice had dropped unbelievably low, and the air had practically shimmered around us.  I spoke to the Gods silently, and instead of waiting for signs or feelings, they answered me back.

Needless to say, the point he brought up was very relevant.  If I had been frightened, or not confident in what I was doing, the effect would not have been as strong.  We would not have been as close to the other side as we were that night.

Have a great day!

Animal Speak and Novel Writing

This seems to be my advertising post, first one in a while, so hang in with me.  When I think of something more spiritually inclined to write about, I most definitely will.  But, both of these things which I am talking about below have affected me in the best possible spiritual way.

I may have mentioned the book before.  But, I finally decided to start taking a chunk out of it, metaphorically of course as I would never injure a book.  I’ve gotten to the end of chapter three, and I am amazed at how simple, logical, and respectful Ted Andrews was in writing this book.  He makes things both easy to understand for people who may not be pagan/wiccan/nature oriented, and also is able to remind me of things which I tend to forget in every day life.

The visualization exercises are so well written that, upon reading them, I am nearly sucked into the vortex of my mind.  I haven’t even gotten to the omens chapter yet!  Its an enjoyable read and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone, Christian, pagan or in between.

Animal Speak is a great read.  Don’t be surprised if I mention it again and again.

On a second note, I’d like to plug a great non-profit organization that I participate with every year, since 2003, and plan on participating again, and actually helping the area which I go to school in.  National Novel Writing Month is a November based, 30 days long fun filled adventure in which hundreds of thousands of crazy people across the world band together and support each other: to each write a 50,000 word novel.  I’ve done it, like I said, since 2003, and have come out with the following results:

  • Colder Than Death – a story about a young woman who is stalked and then kidnapped by her stalker.  Unfinished.  53,000 words.
  • “The Kids” – a story about a bunch of kids banding together to create a secret society.  Unfinished.  55,000 words.
  • How Can You Love ‘Em If You’ve Never Met ‘Em? – A story about a young woman who falls in love with a man over the internet.  Finished.  60,000 words.
  • Immortals’ Gift – A story about a demi-god who gets on the wrong side of Zeus – and is assigned to babysit a girl, when his brother god is constantly trying to set him awry.  Finished.  39,000 words. (Not during NaNoWriMo)
  • Immortal Burden – The characters from Immortals’ Gift return to usher a boy into the world of the Gods, as the leader of all earth-born god-children.  Finished. 56,000 words.

NaNoWriMo challenges your creativity, productivity, and will power.  When you can write a novel in a month – you can do anything!

That’s all for now, folks.  I’m headed home.