Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Steven Farmer, author, healer and shamanic practitioner notes that animal spirits guide us by appearing repeatedly in the physical world in a short period of time or by showing up in an unusual way. Finding a crowd of vultures may not seem unusual in Florida but since I just landed from a lifetime in New York where the only vultures I knew of were on Wall Street, it sure felt that way to me.

While my niece and I were on our way to the beach we couldn’t help but notice a huge crowd of large, black birds up ahead. Being from Florida, my niece knew right away that something was dead up there. Both compelled and revolted I drove out of our way to find myself in the midst of black vultures. Thirty to forty of them.

We stayed in the car but still were able to get very close. Nothing seemed to intimidate them yet they were not menacing at all. A few seemed to be pulling apart what might have been the remains of  an armadillo. It was certainly not enough for the whole crowd yet those not involved with the slim pickings seemed unperturbed.

Most of my aversion to vultures comes from my own distorted perceptions. Vultures do get a bad rap. Probably because they eat things that are dead and decaying. Enough to turn anyone’s stomach. And to call someone a vulture implies that one is just waiting for someone to fail so they can swoop in for the kill. Not the most enlightened human behaviour.

Since this encounter with vultures seemed unusual to me I decided to probe a bit deeper. Maybe there was something to learn from these enigmatic creatures?

One thing I discovered is vultures are masters of their own energy. The greatest energy expenditure for most animals is spent on food. Tracking, hunting, killing. Vultures on the other hand feed off of what has already been killed conserving much energy in the process while providing extreme janitorial services to our ecosystem.

From the same family as the majestic condor, the indigenous counterpart to Eagle, the large wing span of vultures allows them to glide on air currents, harnessing the energy of Earth for effortless flight.

Vultures live and work together, both in cooperation and friendliness which seems to explain why there was no threatening behavior among such a large group with such little food.

I have much to learn from animals I am unaccustomed to encountering. Animals that conserve their energy. Animals that offer themselves in service in ways others find revolting. Animals that are often underappreciated. Animals that live in cooperation and friendliness. Animals that know their own worth, unaffected by others who know so little. Animals able to digest what is rotten and decayed. Yes I have much to learn here in the tropics.

This may be way more information than you care to know about vultures. Maybe you notice your own aversion to vultures just by reading this article. Or maybe there is another animal that holds a message for you.

Receive a free Animal Spirit message from Steve Farmer’s Oracle deck here.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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Our hearts natural resting place is one of unconditional love or what shamans call Munay. When we are in conflict with someone or create a position against someone a knot is created in our own heart. This knot energetically pinches the flow of love through our heart. Knots of anger, hatred, bitterness, pride, envy, superiority, arrogance, contempt, judgment or whatever is knotting up our heart is what ripples into the world. We become the perpetrators of what we are fighting against meeting anger with anger or hate with hate. The external conflict that we believe to be the fault of someone else is living somewhere within our own heart.

I discovered one such knot. Tightly woven against my mother.

As I journey into the waters of my life I am swimming in a vast open sea, moving further and further away from the shore in a series of steady, deliberate strokes. An island of sand with a single palm tree appears ahead. It offers respite. A place to pause. As I sit, dolphins appear swimming in playful circles around this small island.

This journey is a reflection of my life as I am moving further into the unknown. One such reflection of this journey is a literal move. From New York to Florida. Further and further away from the shore. I was born in New York City. I have never lived more than 50 miles from its hub. Over the past few months I have been traveling south, exploring new landscapes along the Gulf Coast. Slow and deliberate strokes.

On my last visit my mother invited me to stay with her until I find a place of my own. She extends her hand. A small island offering respite.

It has been many decades since I have lived with my mother. And I do not remember setting an intention to live with her again. Although the years have brought much healing and reconciliation to the relationship with my mother, a part of my heart has kept its distance. Holding a posture of I do not need you. My heart locked in pride and arrogance.

But now a hand is reaching out to me. And I humbly meet it with a hand of my own. As my knot unravels I see the harm my knot has perpetuated. The pain of separation this throne of arrogance has wreaked. My only action is to bow in humility for keeping my mother at a distance. For in rejecting the heart of my mother, I reject a part of every woman I know. The hearts of my sisters, my daughters and even my own.

As my heart unlocks a channel opens. A flow of love and light is felt. My heart rests in its natural state of Munay, unconditional love. Our relationship has drifted into unknown waters. How this may shape itself I do not know.

In the uncertainty of my life as I know it I am surrounded by dolphins. They are my lifeline, holding me in an unwavering circle of joy. My heart is uplifted in a desire for playfulness.

I am swimming in unknown waters. Moving further and further away from the shore.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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