Following The Animals

Today the cat is well

A few days ago a neighbour’s cat was lying in a basket, sniffling and choking leaving us with a wonder of what was ailing the cat, was it just a cat flu, and how the ailment may develop. I may be wrong, but somehow I don’t think the cat was thinking those things.

I would think the cat was fully aware of its condition and made the most of it, through each moment, calling upon all it could for strength and continuity. A few days later, the cat was up and about prowling around our garden labyrinth as if no illness had happened, and if it had, it was of the past and had no reference to the current action in the labyrinth.

The cat, as usual, was living in the NOW… no grudges, no motives beyond the next minute or so, just experiencing life to the full with sense perceptions all alert, and I imagine a bit of inner contented fun too.

Can we be like that cat? 

Of all of the Celtic, and all shamanistic mythologies, I love the changeling stories the best.

This is not exclusive to some distant shaman that we may spend $100s or $1000s buying cds, dvds, books and workshops to learn from as most of us are changelings without realising it.

Most common is going up to a dog, imagining we are a dog with a bit of smiling silliness, as an attempt to make friends. We approach cats by arousing all of our sensuasness to get the “snooty, standoffish” cat’s attention. We get alert and even psychic as we attempt to get entry into the mystical world of the horse behind its bold challenging yet luring eyes. With the horse, and the cow, we either choose to surf the beam of its eyes and become one or stay coldly human, show our fear and develop a possible dangerous situation as our sense of their threat actually translates as us being a threat to the horse or cow.

Animals are part of the surface of this earth, just like we are, but somehow we cannot accept this as we are blinded by a need to plan, organise and control. Where did we get this instinct from, surely not from nature of this earth?

Like all humans I love to do a bit of planning, arranging things, and try to make things happen within a certain time frame, time being a total and very handy human invention. I could not run a travel and guiding service without some of this, and being on a PC is a total manifestation of design, planning, arranging and control. Its why a cat does not use a PC, even though they seem to try to sometimes.

Animals around, I find, are lovely teachers to remind us where we are rather than where we think we should be, because thats how they live. Dogs remind us how to love, cats remind us how to serve, horses remind us of patience, flow and respect and wild animals forever teach us lessons of negotiation and tolerance.

and we survive, thanks to the birds

Ancient faiths were not based on idols and “god chosen” leaders but largely on the teaching of birds. Many of our ceremonies such as weddings, and the now almost extinct rituals of mating engagement came from the instinctive rituals of some birds. Defence, especially martial arts, largely came from the movements of birds, and then the rituals of nesting, birthing and raising young are so much like the birds more than the animals.

Maybe we did come from somewhere else and we have this instinct to look above just in case someone passes by to take us home. Maybe its birds in flight that inspires us to believe they can teach us how to be above the earth.

An almost dead, but so, so important ritual, is the taking of first harvest up a mountain at Lunasa to feed to the birds, who are believed to either be messengers of the goddesses or the goddesses themselves. As much as we know about agriculture and horticulture its always that special ingredient of fertility, synthesis and growth that’s in the control of the greater spirit that we see as goddesses or God. Our own bodies were created and maintained in the same way. 

I need reminders

I am very lucky being around a lot of nature, plants, trees, animals and all kinds of birds, Each day I get caught up in very human things like getting irritated when plans do not work as visualised, worrying about what will be or what might not be, obsessed with getting something just right instead of moving onto something more fun. Fortunately, each day I also often ask, “How would the bird do this?  What would the cat think of this? Would this be better for the plant, the tree?”

I find this very balancing and much more effective than calling on an idol or human by prayer, though I think the imaginary friend as guide is ok, and our very own “Harvey” (James Stewart) even better, but that’s another article.

This is home

Maybe we came from somewhere else and for 1000s of years built pyramids, tall standing stones, church spires, tallest buildings, and tall sculptures like that huge needle in the middle of Dublin that I swear was built to let all the heroin addicts know where to meet and score. Isn’t heroin and those other drugs an attempted path to the skies? – what a parallel!

I feel somewhere else is a false and heartbreaking illusion. This is home now, among the plants, trees, fishes, animals, birds and bugs, and if you open your heart they are not challenging you to become extinct and to go away but to be part of their present, much more than their future. By joining their present they have endless lessons to teach with absolutely no “learning curve” needed.

The Deeds of the Tuatha De Dannan to be shared by Robin Williamson this Thursday, May 28th, will be a wonderful day of personal transition from being a member of a distant audience into a world where the ancient tales are actually of the world now, where the animals, plants and trees will guide you on.

Do come and join us Thursday, at any time convenient for you.







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