When we love something, we grant it soul, we see its soul, and we let its soul touch ours. We must love something deeply to know its soul (anima). Before the resonance of love, we are largely blind to the meaning, value, and power of ordinary things to “save” us and help us live in union with the source of all being. In fact, until we can appreciate and even delight in the soul of other things, even trees and animals, we probably haven’t discovered our own souls either. Soul knows soul through love…
~ Richard Rohr
You have to have compassion because it gives you the juice, the power, the passion to move. When you open to the pain of the world you move, you act. But that weapon is not enough. It can burn you out, so you need the other—you need insight into the radical interdependence of all phenomena. With that wisdom you know that it is not a battle between good guys and bad guys, but that the line between good and evil runs through the landscape of every human heart. With insight into our profound interrelatedness, you know that actions undertaken with pure intent have repercussions throughout the web of life, beyond what you can measure or discern.
~ Joanna Macy
Anything [manifested] in the physical world is already history.
~ Caroline Myss
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
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
… 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