In the most real e-course ever, my real-life-playmates are starting up a new round of woman-be-magikal adventures. Last time around it took me three weeks to find a perfect y-shaped branch for a divination stick to support my animal totem journeys. I was committed to the gesture of arms towards the Heavens, with a solid anchor to Earth. And then this washed up on our dock, a smooth, travel-sized gift of lake-wood for this bi-coastal mama. The boys dived for sharp mussel shells to use as whittling knives & we spent a dreamy afternoon carving the soft bits off our collective stick collection. It was truly a prayerful flowment, each of us with our bellies against the sun-&-snow-weathered wood, getting to know the wand under our care. We added feathers from the kingfischer for fierceness, & the local scrubjays to give our prayers voice + flight. The bottom is wrapped with materials from our camp, the ancestral home of these boys + their daddy + my own spiritual home, & then tied with their cotton string + twine from my own island heritage (though it came wrapping a gift from D's parents). There's a bit of pine from where they build their gnomie houses in the woods & a wee medicine bundle holding so many hopes & prayers.
The Lodge has been so much about the insect world for me, a surprise that's so obvious in hindsight. I've long known that birds of prey show up for me, when I most need them, as do certain fish, & sea mammals. Each night the boys draw their animal cards to accompany their sleep, before they chat in their heads with their "big angels" & we finish with an old-fashioned "Now I lay me..." So animal totems are a part of our lifecycles, but I never considered my insect friends in this way. And yet, they have always been my friends. I see now that they are also my teachers. Check out the tenacity of these carpenter ants, from a slice of wood that was 65 feet up our tree. The power of a community, the ability to destroy or take over, or thrive, when the roles are clear. It's awe-ing.
And these giant dragonflies, & tiny damselflies, so deeply ancient, that have spent thousands & thousands of moments at the tips of our family fingers. There's a trust between them & us. I never, ever get over the miracle of their transformation. It holds me captive everytime, even if the process takes hours. How they emerge from the water, split above the eyes & literally birth themselves into entirely new creatures. How their tiny opaque wings unfurl into four liquid glass masterpieces before they breathe vivid colors into their eyes & tails. Reason #8,999,567 that Mother Earth is totally insane. Noone should even bother trying to be cool, she's just the ultimate It Girl.
I was living with a number of questions about consumption this summer. Like, how do I feel about it, why do I feel about it, what's okay to promote, to encourage, to appreciate, to let happen. We bought D a Donzi speedboat for his 40th birthday. It's something I've always promised he could have. It's perfect & gorgeous & decadent. And truth be told, I'm kinda a Donzi girl, it's always been my favorite. As I was wondering about this, journaling about it, & talking to Pixie on the phone about it, a giant dragonfly landed a foot from my face & proceeded to eat a three-inch mystery meal for about 10 minutes, munch. munch. munch. It seemed like a joke, how it looked at me with those giant eyes, crunching away, but I realized it was showing me a neutral face to the reality of consumption. Once again, I get to make my own meaning.
When she & I were hiking Rattlesnake Island, we found these fairy eggs at the peak, & she showed me how the base of this feather has new feathers growing around it & a skin with some kind of lanolin. I never noticed that before, it's not on any of my own feathers. I appreciate that there's always a bit of fledgling in the experienced flyers. The Lodge is like a magnifying glass for the wild within & without.
And do you see Grandmother Spider? She came out everyday to join my yoga practice, to bask in the same Sun I love saluting. I keep a close eye when she's around, having had arachnaphobia for my first 20 years. Once D brought me to these woods I had to give it up, they're everywhere, & my bit Japanese upbringing informed me that they are good luck, so I've been honoring of that luck; really, really grateful. And, as you can see, she's not a little lady. In the Lodge I was able to see that she is the ultimate guide for someone who is a Legacy Architect, celebrity stylist, lifestylist, an activist who works with privilege & giving resources towards Life. Grandmother Spider is all about creating one's life, hanging between the seen & unseen realms in a way that's totally efficient. She weaves her own home, catches her food with it, shelters her eggs & uses it to create new structures & new nourishment. And she, with her sacred eight legs, eight eyes, eight everything, is all about cycles, infinity. She's there to remind me of so many truths. We want to move away from Lifestyle, which pulls resources, to LifeCycles, which require accountability & forward a Whole Future. She knows this.
Fall is closed, but join us for the Winter Session, January 6-March 11.