Wednesday, July 10, 2013

shamanic testing

On one of my drives to and fro today, I listened to DruidCast #72 which featured an A Day In The Life interview with David Leesley. As often happens, mental meandering occurs so I don't have the whole story to offer a synopsis, but one portion of the interview caught my attention on a visceral level. Though Leesley was identified as a "spiritual twin" by a tribal chief it was important he go through some shamanic testing. He thought it might involve tossing the white boy into a pit with a pig to see who emerges the victor (heavy paraphrasing). There was some expectation of a near death experience. Neither of these things occurred. Instead, over a period of time, all that was required of David Leesley, Shaman Twin in Question, was to visit the villages and talk with the people. Heal those that needed healing, counsel and listen to those that needed counsel. His translator and guide, unbeknownst to him, reported back to the chief all of his activities. How did he handle a certain situation? What did he eat? Did he stand tall, like a chief, and take matters into his own hands when necessary? In short, how did he handle the Everyday?

So I thought, Well, isn't it this acting with integrity what shamanic testing might be all about? (Special Musing Alert: I understand there are rigorous and intense initiations involved in many if not all shamanic traditions. This is merely a glimpse of my thought processes.) How do I handle certain situations? Do I stay centered and calm? Do I know when to stand up or when to walk away? Am I response-able? In that sense, we are always being tested by the Everyday. There are always opportunities to make better choices ~ even if choosing the lesser of two proverbial evils. It is the Everyday that makes us shamans, like the tempering of steel, like the eroding of rock by water. The near death initiation tests, irrevocably changes, but it isn't the Everyday. I suspect an initiate has to come back from that experience response-able. Can't stay in the Land of the Fae.

What a blessing to create in my Everyday . . .

The First Gate diorama for SummerQuest . . .

BadgerMum and Groundhog Gardner from my visionary visit . . .

Replete with velvet hills . . .

and an Inner Glow.

The Garden Gate, diorama closed.
(I love cigar boxes!)

Mother . . .

Daughter . . .

Pomegranate . . .

Mother~Daughter, Demeter~Persephone, Ereshkigal~Inanna . . .
Call Them what you will, They are completed.

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