Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so I must never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.
~ Albert Schweitzer
How can I be useful? If you aren’t asking yourself that question every day, I submit to you that you don’t yet fully believe that we’re all in this together.
~ Eric Liu
The resolution of a koan requires a certain trust of mystery, a faith that there is an answer which will come in time.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen
Peonies are old-fashioned favorites of many gardeners because of their spectacular late-spring blossoms. Each spring new shoots rise up from below the ground and develop into clumps of large leaves. Its name means “healing,” and this embodies its protective energies.
… The peony does have some interesting folklore. Its roots were used to carve amulets because of its protective energy. If stormy weather arose while on a boat, a peony was burned like incense and the rough weather would calm. To the Chinese, the peony is the queen of flowers and was always associated with the summer season. They have grown peonies for 2,000 years.
… Some traditions tell us that the peony was created by the goddess of the moon to reflect her light at night. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, alignment with this flower helps your own inner sun reflect out into life more distinctly. It helps to cleanse the aura of negative energies and it reminds us that the manifestation of any healing and artistic abilities will be beneficial now and that opportunities to use them are at hand.
~ Ted Andrews, Nature-Speak
Hope is roving gypsy
With laughter on her tongue,
And the blue sky and sunshine
Alone, can keep her young;
And year by year she lingers
Under a budding tree
To join the red-wings’ chorus:
~ Dora Reed Goodale, 1902
This flower is sacred to all who worship and reverence the virgin goddess in any of her forms. As a flower, it is associated with creativity and self-expression. It is a flower which draws to us higher inspiration and psychic purity. Iris was the Greek goddess of the rainbow who led souls to the Elysian Fields. Alignment with the flower named for her awakens within the auric field a strong sense of peace and the hope for new birth, and thus as a messenger, it reminds us to maintain hope for a new birth and new peace will soon be at hand.
~ Ted Andrews, Nature Speak
… Butterflies appear to dance as they light upon flowers and such. They remind us not to take things quite so seriously within our lives. They awaken a sense of lightness and joy. They remind us that life is a dance, and dance, though powerful, is also a great pleasure. Butterflies can be reminders to get up and move, for if you can move you can dance. Dance brings the sweetness of life back. This is further exemplified by the fact that butterflies actually have taste receptacles on their front legs. They taste flowers by walking upon them.
Butterflies bring color and joy with them. When butterflies comes into your life look at how much or how little joy is within your life. Lighten up. Look for change. Don’t forget that all change is good. Butterfly medicine reminds us to make changes when the opportunities present themselves. Transformation is inevitable, but butterfly will help teach you that growth and change does not have to be traumatic. It will teach you that it can occur as gently, as sweetly, and as joyfully as we wish.
~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak
… Because it sheds its skin, the snake has long been a symbol of death and rebirth. It sheds its skin as it outgrows the old. This death and rebirth cycle is part of what snake represents. It has ties and significance to the ancient alchemists and their symbolic transmutation of lead into gold. This is associated with higher wisdom that comes with the passing of time. This cycle of death and rebirth is often symbolized by the ouroborus, the ancient image of a snake swallowing its own tail. It is the symbol of eternity.
Before the snake begins to shed its skin, its eyes will begin to cloud over. It gives the snake a trancelike appearance. To many mystics and shamans this indicated the ability of the snake to move between the realms of the living and the dead, of crossing over from life to death and then back to life again. As the skin begins to shed, the eyes begin to clear as if they will see the world anew. For this reason, alchemists often believed that wisdom and new knowledge would lead to death and rebirth, enabling the individual to see the world from an entirely new perspective.
… Anytime a snake shows up as a totem, you can expect death and rebirth to occur in some area of your life. This rarely reflects an actual death, but rather a transition. Look for a change in conditions and a movement to new life. Examine what is going on around you. Are you needing to make changes but aren’t for some reason? Are you trying to force change too quickly? Are you striking out at people and shouldn’t? Are you not striking and should? Remember that a snake not only uses its venom and bite to overcome prey, but also for defense. What is needing to be healed? What new opportunities are surfacing that you need to strike out for and take advantage of?
… Snakes are symbols of change and healing. They have speed and agility, so those who have snakes come into their life will usually find the changes and shifts occur quickly and are soon recognized and defined. When snake comes into your life you can look for a rebirth into new powers of creativity and wisdom.
~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak