Our Relationship to Plants and Animals as Food

food as energy

The food you eat comes from the plant and animal world.  Plants and animals have done a sacred give-away of themselves to provide nourishment for you.  The food – plant or animal – has a consciousness as well as a substance form.  When you eat the substance form, it releases its spiritual essence, which is what really nourishes you.  In this way, it gives you life.

There is such a thing as dead food and live food, even though both may be cooked food.  The manner in which your food is prepared affects how and to what extent its essence can be transferred to you for your sustenance and health.  Food prepared in fast-food restaurants and take-out chains or available in the frozen-food section of the supermarket is essentially dead food.  It has not been prepared with loving care; it has been thrown together on a rushed assembly line, and too often we the scarf it down on the run.  Families less and less often sit down to a lovingly prepared meal and truly focus on and appreciate the nourishment, this give-away that comes to us from the worlds of Grandmother Earth.  More and more, our meals are squeezed into our work schedules – between meetings, band practice, our workout at the gym, picking the kids up from school, or going to the movies.  Remember, everything is energy.  The energy we radiate into the food we eat is what we carry into our bodies.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animals as Teachers

animal-wolves

Animals are powerful teachers and have much to offer us because they possess natural balance, harmony, and alignment.  They do not have doubt, blame, shame, insecurity, and all the other blocks we experience.  A wolf does not worry because it is not an eagle.  A fox does not experience jealousy because another fox is bigger and has longer, shinier fur.  They don’t yearn to be something else.  The animal simply knows what it is and instinctively knows its purpose.  Animals teach us to accept ourselves for who we are because they are so in alignment with who they are.

One way to align with and communicate with the animal world is to go to your local zoo.  Spend time with an animal that you are attracted to, particularly one of your own totem animals, for they are the key to your own unique naturalness.  Do not stare into their eyes, as that is a signal of aggression or danger; rather, gaze at them indirectly or with soft focus.  Send your energy and your communication softly, with respect and honor.  Ask that animal to receive the energy and send its energy back.  They communicate in images, so see what you get.  Observe the animal in its catness, its deerness, its rabbitness, its crowness, its wolfness.  What makes it what it is?  If the opportunity presents itself, imitate the body movements, mannerisms, and sounds of the animal, just as you did with the trees.  What does it feel like, look like, act like in your own body to be a jaguar, a bear, an eagle?

Over time, you will want to get to know your own personal totem animals.  We encourage you to explore this arena by reading Sun Bear’s book The Medicine Wheel (New York: Prentice Hall, 1986).  His sacred vision, his Earth wisdom, and the love of Grandmother Earth that Sun Bear shared during his life were instrumental in bringing back the sacred Medicine Wheels and reawakening people’s connection with the Earth Mother.

In their natural habitats, animals maintain harmony and balance.  They exhibit alpha/beta behavior and assert their territorial imperative to maintain that balance.  That same behavior is exhibited by humans as well, since we are still two-legged animals, but we don’t create balance and harmony with our alpha/beta behavior.  More often or not, we dominate and try to take control, thus upsetting the balance in the environment.  When we enter the picture, we destroy the whole balance and suffer immeasurably for it.

Read how Reintroducing Wolves into Yellowstone National Park changed the Ecosystem as an example of this harmony and balance.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World: Mythologicals

dragon-238931_1280

In the Center, we catalyze with our sexual soul force through open heart to heart communication.  Our open hearted sexual communication is what gives us our identity as a human being. This comes through our soul, our life force energy.

The mythical animals, the receiver-transformers, sit in the Center of the Animal World wheel.  The unicorn, the pegasus, the dragon, the thunderbird, and other mythological archetypes transform our myths and our dreams into sources of understanding and power.  The mythological animals sit in this place along with the ancestors because they are stored within our ancestral memory.  We sit as unbalanced two-leggeds in the very Center of this wheel, but if we can grow up and become balanced humans, then we can evolve to our own circle and become “human beings.”

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World: Winged Ones

animal bird-red-kite

In the East, we determine with the spirit through passion and lust. The words passion and lust are bound to create controversy. Think of it this way. You have not had an apple in a long time, and you may never have an apple again. As you eat this apple, you totally focus your attention on it. With all your senses, you taste the juice of it; you are aware of the texture and smell of it.  You savor every morsel of it as if it were the only thing going in town. This is eating an apple with passion and lust. So, in our lives, with everything we do, whether it is cleaning the floor, writing a paper, or making love, we should do it with the spirit of passion and lust, as if it were the last moment of life. Savor each moment by determining with your intent and focus from your spirit.

The winged ones are aligned with spirit, and they are the receiver-determiners in the East of the Animal World wheel.  They are masters of movement in alignment with the wind energies, so they can fly the currents of the mind.  In every aspect of their being, they symbolize the way our mind receives.

The winged ones also represent our fierce desire to fly.  Even in the earliest cave drawings there are two connections made to the animal world by shamans and sorcerers: first to the horned ones and second to the winged ones.  Early humanity equated freedom with the symbol of the winged ones.  The greatest thing our mind can conceive is its individual, autonomous freedom, and birds represent this at the highest level, symbolically and in practice.  They also give us their wings and feathers as medicine objects that can direct or move energy.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World: Four-leggeds

weimaraner-1801724_1280

In the North, we receive with the mind through clarity and caring. Our mind is an open cup, ready to receive from many viewing points and perspectives. When we are open only to one viewing point, we can get tunnel vision. The more ideas and concepts we can receive with our minds, the greater will be our capacity to see many different perspectives and therefore, gain more clarity.

The four-leggeds, the runners who are double receivers sit in the north of the Animal World wheel.  They are in perfect balance within themselves and with everything around them.  They know when the weather is going to change or a storm is brewing or a natural catastrophe is about to happen.  They receive energy, very often absorbing human emotions.  If your pets are in the area where you are doing body work, healing work, crystal work, medicine work, or magickal ceremony, they will soak up every bit of negative energy.  Your animals will literally die for you.

Fact about dogs: They possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in us. And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours.  That’s a lot more receiving than humans are even capable of.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World: Creepers and Crawlers

animal-creeper-green-mamba

In the West, we hold with the physical body with intimacy. Now, this does not mean to hold as in hold on tight.  It is holding in the sense of transforming energy through stabilization and for utilization.  Think of it as an electrical cord. The body is the structure through which electrical energy moves like a conduit, and provides the transformed energy to turn a fan, or work a toaster, or move the body parts.

The crawlers are those whose bellies are closest to Grandmother Earth and who often move through her.  They are the receiver-holders who sit in the West of the Animal World wheel.  The snake is the closest to the Earth, receiving her energy from the Earth, then giving back to us knowledge of the perfect alchemy of the Earth

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World: Swimmers

animal-swimmer-dolphins

South energies teach us how to give with our emotions with tenderness, which is a means of “energy motion” or “E-motion.” Emotions are meant to be expressed, to flow freely. In other words, if we are angry we give our anger; when we are happy we give happiness; when we are sad, we cry and give with sadness. Our emotions are a part of our beauty which we have to give away. As long as we are giving our emotions with tenderness our emotions are true, clear and clean expressions of what is happening with us. We are in balance.

The swimmers, the receiver-givers, sit in the south of the animal world.  They move through the water, the South of the Animal World wheel.  Fish receive through the water whatever energy is present and hold it in their flesh.  The highest incidents of food poisoning in the world result from eating seafood contaminated by pollution in the water.  The cetaceans – dolphins and whales – are the greatest receiver-givers and holders of genetic memory on this planet.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World

animal world

Animals, the third world of Grandmother Earth, are the receivers of energy.  Their gift is teaching us how to receive. Knowing how animals are receivers is probably most easily understood by those of you who have pets. You will recall the times when you were sick or just “blue” and your pet came to curl up beside you and “made you feel better.”  Animals will take on the energy of their human companion. Often people say the pet looks like or acts like their caretaker.

In our tradition, animals are known as “Sweet Medicine.” Each animal through its habits and ways carries within its being-ness a “medicine.” It is a gift of healing they bring to us if we align with them. Mostly they teach us to be who we are. You don’t see a dog wanting to act like a frog. It is content in its dog-ness. These animals are great teachers and allies.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Be A Tree

plant-trees-woods

After communicating with the tree, practice being that tree you are talking to.  Move your body and arms, mimicking its limbs and bending in the wind.  Let your body take on the structure and form of the tree.  Don’t let your mind determine what this should look like.  Go inside and listen.  Feel what it feels like to be a tree.  Let its voice, resonating inside you, guide you into the shape of its spirit.  And whatever you do, don’t be inhibited by the thought that someone might be seeing you act like this.  Your actions might intrigue them.  Then you can become their guide.

When you take your leave of the tree, thank it with an offering of tobacco, corn paho, or a strand of your hair.  Practice this, and you will experience a powerful connection, not only to nature, but to every other aspect of your life.  Learning this new language doesn’t require long journeys, expensive equipment, or great amounts of time.  All it takes is practice with an open heart, receptivity, and a strong desire to rediscover the shining of your true nature.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Talk to Trees

plant-tree-woman

Walk out in the woods, or park or even your own backyard.  Connect directly with a tree that has attracted you or pulled you to it.  Put your arms around the trunk of a tree, sit in the tree, connect physically with it in some way.  Offer a prayer and perhaps some tobacco or corn paho (fine cornmeal).  This is a way of saying thank-you and honoring the tree for its gifts and its beauty.  Talk from your heart – maybe say something like this: “I’m new at this.  In fact, I feel awkward talking to you.  I’ve been told that you can communicate with all the worlds, so talk to me and teach me how to hear your voice.”

Then be quiet and listen.  It’s that simple.  If you don’t feel a connection at first, don’t give up.  You have to relearn, remember actually, how to listen as you did as a small child when you were still closely connected to all things in the Great Round of spirit.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.