Wisdom Runs the Circle
By Jada, Creator of Medicine Kid
Salutations Medicine Tribe,
As we are entering a new dawn, paving a new path and perhaps shedding our old skin, we can lovingly release pieces of our past, returning them, like rich compost back to the heart of the earth to strengthen our roots and awaken the tribal connection with ourselves, our family and community.
The message of Snake comes forth to remind us of our potential and innate power to create and manifest the visions and ideas we have to embrace a more holistic earth, existence and way of life. The snake in kundalini yoga is seen as a three coiled serpent seated at the base of the spine. When we get our creative juices flowing, we awaken the dormant energy and evolve with a more open heart, clear intuition, resonant health and vitality. Snake asks us to have a closer look at what may be holding us back from fully experiencing and feeling our brilliance and our innocence. This is an opportunity for rebirth.
What do you get to let go of to become who you are born to be?
My studies in indigenous culture took me through native lands that taught medicinal ways to connect closely to my primal self. A spiritual calling to study Aborigines in NE Australia back in 1999 sparked a fire within me that’s been burning since. Years later, a profound journey to the motherland of Africa brought an even greater reverence for wildlife and shamanic healing which soon there after led me to the communion with Pachamama (Mother Earth) in the sacred valley of Peru. The Inkan serpent in Peru, called Amaru is one of the three power animals that govern the cycles of life and spiritual ways of Andean culture. Amaru represents the underworld and the powerful root system and structure of all things. If snake has been a reptile that brings a squeamish or fearful feeling, trust me I can relate.
After meditating inside a botanical root chakra garden at the lovely Willka Tika (sacred flower) retreat center, I let myself sink deep into the rich wisdom of Amaru and the sacred earth energy of Peru. I made offerings to the garden and shed tears of my hurtful past. I gave my healing rattle, the one that I worked with to help mend my sons broken bones, in the snake garden as a gift of gratitude and trust in the healers path. More importantly, I let the powerful energy of Pachamama enter my being and felt a beautiful compassion for all of what the Earth endures on a daily cycle. How often do we pause to think about how lucky we are to reside and thrive here as a guest on the great mother? The wisdom of the Andes brought this powerfully to my attention.
Now, you do not have to go to Peru to awaken this kind of energy. Everything becomes sacred when we choose to make it so. A walk in the desert, sitting with the roots of a tree, lying back on the ground and feeling your heart beat like a drum. These are all powerful ways to get rooted, feel safe and supported.
To deepen your relationship and connection with the Earth element try two things.
- First begin to eat more root foods and as you consume them take a moment to welcome the strength and beauty of the earth becoming one with you.
- Secondly, read this most beautiful book, titled “Love Letters to the Earth” by Thich Nhat Hanh
White Swan Meet Black Snake And Play Nice
The dance of polarity, the yin and the yang, the tree of life, the infinite circle, the way of the shaman. The source of it all, our pulse and our story, the way balance is defined and the extraordinary nature of existence, can be found here in the powerful relationship between White Swan and Black Snake.
Listen to the simplicity and the silence that stands true. Awaken to the realities of black and white and find reverence in the profound depth of Earths grounding roots with the complimenting white realm of the bright sky. Which is better, smaller bigger, more? Neither.
Equality and the harmonic bridge is cultivated when the extremities are seen for what they represent. It is not good or evil but rather the Swan and the Snake that see in each others’ eyes, the story of the past or future. A window or mirror into the totality of the soul… kind or violent, this is our spiritual archetype, we embody it all. Making peace with our pain is our definite key. Admiration and revery for what seems so far reaching is all but deeply internal. Each of us embody a Swan and a Snake. This example suggests the potency in ‘making nice’ with our polarities and to honor the energetic dance these two power animals share, the powerful forces that live within each of us. It is the story of Chiaroscuro, light and shadow.
Looking at this polarity in the context of the human emotional body, this dichotomy gives us an opportunity to make peace with our pain. To go there can take great will power, courage and ask of our higher self to transcend or beam through the boundaries or reigns that demand our devotion to the human experience. Where black meets white in the middle is the crux of our greatest power. It is the space between the inhale and the exhale, where everything and nothing can be found. Where two bodies become one and the defining line of separation becomes blurred or frayed. Without the other one cannot be seen. Without the other one cannot be felt. Without the other one can not thrive or be understood.
Like the primitive form Ouroboros, an ancient symbol found in many indigenous cultures shows a snake eating its own tail and tells us the story of circular nature. The White Swan, Black Snake here symbolizes self reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return. Just as the dear Phoenix rises from the ashes, reborn, she operates in cycles that begin anew just as soon as they end. There is also a representation the of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting from the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished.
‘For a trees branches to reach the heights of heaven, its roots need to touch hell.” ~ Alchemical Dictum
This is a dictum that we may consider living by. These words suggest that we view the force of life, the cycle of life in such a humbling way in which to embody, understand and blossom through and through time and time again. Welcome the Infinite Circle.
The white light of the divine can only beam brightly due to its counterpart, opposing force and root foundation of the underworld. Snakes are recognized as power animals of the underworld, governing and dominating the force of energy that allows rebirth. The Swan, a power animal representing ease grace beauty, innocence can be appreciated for its enlightened glisten. Looking closely enough we can see that the swan and the snake are both creatures powerful beyond measure. What they bring to the middle world and how we choose to translate their message of polarity is the art of our own existence.
When our emotional body is detached from the polarity dance, this concept is sometimes more easily accepted or embraced. Because we are human we often feel pain upon suffering, angst and deep sorrow upon loss, hatred upon abandonment. Our emotional body therefore experiences deep purge, catharsis. This is our emotional body mirroring our relationship to the journey of life. Beneath it all there lies the deep roots of grounding and expansive branches that ascend above, all of which at one point in the circle of time return to each other once again. In a basic mandala of alchemy, the snake devouring its own tail or the swan and the snake ‘playing nice’ shows a poignant illustration of the circle of life. We all are given the opportunity to make peace with our pain, camaraderie with our polar opposites, undeniable trust in the delicate balance and most of all, reverence for where we have come from and where we are going.
We are all ancestors of the great Medicine Men, Women of our past.
Let’s not forget this. Wisdom does run the circle which is why I birthed Medicine Kid.
The child is our looking glass and through him / her there is much to see and learn.
Shedding and Rebirthing with Love,
*Thank You Robin Barcus Slolina for sharing Eve, your gentle snake and painting me as Swan.
A moment I shall never forget.