Breathing Up to Dragons

Spot the dragon.

Five or six years ago, a friend read my animal cards for me, to determine what animal energies exist at my personal cardinal points: horses at east, lizard at south, panther at west, and crow at north. Frog at left, ant at right, dragonfly below, butterfly above, and antelope within. I loved this reading, and it helped me immensely in my breathing meditations, in helping me to orient myself within a safe sphere.

A few weeks went by, and I felt sad because there was no owl in the reading. There was no bat. There was no honey bee. And I began to think about the cross-quarter points on the circle. Who stands at my southeast? My northwest? So I meditated a while, and filled those in.

Then one day as I was breathing and meditating, I decided that because the animal meditations had so enlivened my awareness of my personal circle and orientation, they might help enliven my chakra breathing and meditating, so I contemplated and meditated, and found animals for each of those energetic points as well.

I work with more than seven chakras, and until all was said and done, I had thirty energy points, on my body and in my surrounding sphere, that I began to check in with. I found that, in order to remember them and not have to check a paper while I was breathing and meditating, I began going through them in my head as I was falling asleep. This helped me memorize them, and it helped me get back to sleep if I woke up in the night.

At the time, I was working in a shop that sells precious stones, and I found that as I imagined breathing into the great tortoise who stands at my earth star chakra, I was picturing serpentine, that stone that appears to hold within itself a map of vast landscapes. So I added a stone at each point. A while later I added plants. I stopped there. With occasional doubling up (both elephant and whale exist at my lower heart chakra), that’s over elements to remember and work with.

All of this is simply to explain why seeing a dragon in the clouds on my walk yesterday was particularly satisfying. At the very top of the chakras that I breathe open in my meditations, in the soul star chakra, are dragons. So when I saw the dragon, I recognized part of my inner self in the outer landscape, and I breathed all the way up to dragons, without even meditating.

And in some ways, that’s the point of the whole thing. Encountering animals and birds and plants and stones out there in the world outside myself brings me to a grounded awareness of my inner spaces. Now the morning birdsong, while just as beautiful as ever, is also a subtle reminder to keep my voice strong because of the songbirds at my throat chakra. A deer crossing the field at dusk reminds me to consider my higher heart chakra, to open myself further to deep self-compassion and unconditional love. The inner and outer landscapes mirror and reveal each other. Even up to dragons.


Gratitude List:
1. Dragons in the clouds
2. Meditative practices
3. I have to say it: School is almost over for the year. I need this kind of school to be over now please. I will be able to prepare myself for online learning in the fall, if that is what we must do, but for now, I am really grateful that this school year is almost over. For me. For my students. For my family.
4. Small creative projects that I can fit into the day’s rhythms. I made five little one-sheet/one-cut booklets yesterday. I want to print out several of my little Songs of the Beloved to glue into them as I decorate them.
5. Yeast. I got a little overwhelmed last week with the care and feeding of my wild yeasts, so I tossed it into the fridge. Yesterday I was ready to play again, so I took it out to warm up, then fed it last night, and I am about to go mix and knead the dough for a loaf today. I have been marginally successful in the past couple of months, so this might be my last attempt. If today’s loaf is still too cakey, I am going to return my yeasts to the wild and just keep using bought yeast. Still, working with this particular force of nature is a deep joy, no matter the little frustrations.

May we walk in Beauty!


“A witch ought never to be frightened in the darkest forest, Granny Weatherwax had once told her, because she should be sure in her soul that the most terrifying thing in the forest was her.” —Terry Pratchett


“Oh, God, make me a hollow reed, from which the pith of self hath been blown so that I may become as a clear channel through which Thy Love may flow to others. I have left behind me impatience and discontent. I will chafe no more at my lot. I commit myself wholly into thy hands, for thou are my Guide in the desert, the Teacher of my ignorance, the Physician of my sickness.” —attributed to Abdu’l-Bahá


“Truth is an agile cat. It has more than nine lives.” —Joy Harjo


Silence

A day of Silence
can be a pilgrimage in itself.
A day of Silence
can help you listen
to the Soul play
in marvelous lute and drum.
Is not most talking
a crazed defense of a crumbling fort?
I thought we came her
to surrender in Silence,
to yield to Light and Happiness,
to Dance within
in celebration of Love’s Victory!
—Hafiz

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