Bears, Blog | August 18, 2012
The rescued bears at Earthfire love to play in water. Bramble the grizzly bear gives himself a shower under the waterfall in the Wildlife Garden. In this video Bramble is acccompanied by two worldclass opera singers in a live recording as the music follows his joyous movements.
Animal Tales, Blog, Deep Ecology, Ethics & Whole Community | August 17, 2012
Thirty-two mice I caught in my humane new “tin cat” trap; 2, 4, even 6 at a time. They would go in, be unable to come back out, scrabble and bite the metal a bit, then settle down for the night until I could release them in the morning. When I opened the lid they would stare up at me with frightened eyes, awaiting their fate. Not so the 33rd mouse. He (or she) kept up a racket the whole night. I just didn’t feel like getting up, getting dressed to go out into the cold damp night, into the forest, to the woodpile where I released the rest of the family (hoping it was far enough away but I am not sure…32 mice?). So she had to wait. Just after dawn I picked up the box and opened it cautiously as I always do to see how many I had caught. When I get to the wood pile it usually takes them a few moments of frozen fear before they leap out when I open the box (happy mice or happy owls – either way is good). Sometimes I even have to tap on the box they are so paralyzed with fear.
But I made an error assuming all mice are the same! The instant I opened the box to peer in she made a leap for freedom. I closed the box quickly enough to catch her just above her hips, holding her in what I hoped was just enough pressure to keep her caught without hurting her. It is a long walk to the wood pile. I held the box in both hands to steady the pressure as she did frantic contortionist moves, twisting, biting the metal furiously, biting her leg. It was like watching an animal caught in a fur trap; how a wolf or lynx or mink or coyote must act. It was a very long walk to the wood pile. I released her and she was gone into the safe darkness – no hesitation there. I walked back thoughtfully, and made myself my cup of morning tea thinking about her determination, her will to live, her vitality. I was impressed by the 33rd mouse.
I talked about the 32 mice “awaiting their fate.” Rupert Sheldrake, a brilliant and innovative scientist, suggests that each species inherits a collective memory that influences behavior through “morphic fields,” a field within and around a unit of life such as a cell, plant or animal, which organizes it. Though we can’t see them, he proposes that morphic fields are physically real in the sense that gravitation, electro-magnetic or quantum fields are physically real and are as pervasive in the universe. Though we can’t see them, we experience their effects and they organize our lives in a physical way.
He suggests it is a morphic field rather than genes that organizes the development of an embryo, for example, with the genes simply responding to the information in the field. He proposes that the structure of the field depends on what has happened before…”the past presses up against the present.” Each member of a species is molded by the field unique to that species, and in turn contributes to it, thereby influencing future members of the species. Could it be that after hundreds of thousands of generations of being a prey animal at the bottom of the food chain, mice “await their fate” not just in the present moment but with resonances; reverberations, of fear and expectation based on millions of experiences of their own kind before them? That to some degree they already expect their fate? That was the feeling I had as they looked up at me.
And another thought –what if these particular mice, being freed, add THAT experience to their species’ collective memory. Would it change it to some degree? Can we change the “presence of the past” through our actions? Is there a way to do it in some particular way that makes a few positive experiences counteract the millions of negative ones? Can we apply it to human populations who have been traumatized for generations? Is there is way we can apply it to the destructive patterns we inherited that are devastating the earth?
So many questions from watching one little mouse. But if we are all connected and are varying expressions of the One energy, intelligence, force, God; however each of us sees it; then quiet observation of any part of nature can lead us to fruitful wonderings and to deep, universal truths we can use to guide us. It is important that we allow ourselves time in our lives, against the press of modern life, for being in the quiet space that living in nature or meditation allows us. It will contribute to living our own lives more wisely and making better collective decisions as a society.
- For more information on this, Sheldrake’s book is called “The Presence of the Past.” He has written many book that shake our world view in a good way, – asking such questions as “ How do dogs know when their owners are coming home?”
Art & Creativity, Earthfire Stories | August 17, 2012
I began to contemplate how I could utilize my talents in a way that expresses humanity’s indispensable connection with wildlife/nature from the time I signed up for the Qigong workshop in February. The stories posted on Earthfire’s website and newsletters became the source of inspiration behind these paintings as I endeavored to reveal the sacred cosmic connection of all all life. I put these pieces on an icon panel as a way to show reverence for this sacred connection and for the sacred act of creating. These new paintings feel like the most authentic work I have done to date and I know that my vision will continue to evolve on this path. I am confident that I will gain more clarity during my time at Earthfire on ways that I may contribute back to nature through all of my talents.
You can view more works on my website: catherinelucasart.com
“MERGE” (Egg Tempera, Etching Ink, and Gold Leaf on Icon Board 13″ x 17″)
These paintings are symbolic of my experience with connecting and
merging with my animal spirit guides. The owl came to me in a vision
in 2009 that led me to the study and practice of shamanism and re-
awakened that deep connection to nature that I used to experience as a
child. These works are more symbolic than my previous works that were
created from direct observation of life. My attempt here is to blend
the ethereal with the natural bringing alive the manifestation of
spiritual into physical. It is interesting that when you view the
above painting straight on, you can see your reflection in the moon.
(I need to photograph the above painting better to show the detail
that was burnished into the owl).
METAMORPHOSIS (Egg Tempera, Gold Leaf and Gems on Panel 8″ x 10″)
This painting is symbolic of the the divine state that is achieved
upon deep communion with nature/life.
Buffalo, Earthfire Stories | August 16, 2012
Last night we hosted our telecall with Rose De Dan to go on a Shamanic Journey to find a name for our white buffalo calf. Here is one participant’s journey:
Hello! What an amazing journey the tele-call to name the white buffalo was. My hometown and birthplace is the Black Hills of SD, so I have a special place in my heart for the Sioux. My dog Dexter joined me on the journey-he recently passed over on June 19, 2012 and was 17. His power animal was the Buffalo.
I receive much of my information thru charcoal drawings, so I have attached the drawing for you.
In my journey the field I came to was a storm in SD. the storm was quite cold and gusty winds. The buffalo heard would breath a strong breath and as I’ve seen many times…the breath on the cold wind…looks like silver magic.
When speaking to the elders…they told me the white baby comes with LOVE. She tells us to breath deeply to Feel” the earth.
She will help us reconnect to nature, and communicate more fully with the planet.
I heard the words-Mystic Breath throughout my journey.
Her name the elders gave me was:
Breath on the wind”
Brady for short
My information was to teach others what I know.
I had a wonderful time on this journey…I feel so connected to her, my homeland…hopefully she and I can meet one day.
Love to all of you and your efforts
Buffalo, Retreats and Workshops, Wellness & Spirtuality | August 8, 2012
A tele-call with Rose De Dan of Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing; Susan Eirich of Earthfire Institute; and Mia Schiff, Pipe Carrier for the Lakota Sioux tradition.
Earthfire Institute has been gifted a white buffalo calf by a Native American retreat participant. The White Buffalo Calf Woman came to the Lakota people at a time they were in conflict and she brought unity - teaching people the correct way of interacting with each other and with the land - how to walk on Mother Earth in a sacred manner.
Earthfire’s vision is one of teaching people how to come back into circle through animals, enlarging our sense of community to include all living beings. Rose De Dan’s vision is one of bringing people back into relationship with wildlife; gathering Peoples of all nations (including the animal nation) together in ceremony to restore peace, harmony and balance to the Earth.
Because of her mixed heritage (98.5% bison, 1.5% domestic cow) our little calf is uniquely suited to Earthfire’s work of bringing people together into community. Though not 100% genetically pure we still consider her to be a sacred messenger and want to treat her accordingly.
We are being guided to find a name for her – and because the white buffalo calf represents bringing together people from different paths - to open the search for her name to the community.
To achieve this Rose De Dan and Mia Schiff will take participants on a shamanic journey during the one-hour telecall to see what guidance can be obtained about the white buffalo calf’s name and purpose. This virtual gathering will bring together North and South American shamanism, people and animals, domestic and wild. The guidance and energy obtained during this call will then be included in ceremonies led by Rose at the upcoming event A Walk on the Wild Side at Earthfire Institute 2012 in late September.
After the call concludes you are invited to share what you experienced and the messages you received. Comments can be made at the Earthfire Institute community message board earthfireinstitutecommunity.ning.com or emailed to email@example.com.
All proceeds from this call go to support the animals of Earthfire.
To learn more about Rose De Dan, please visit www.reikishamanic.com.
Click here to sign up for the tele-call
Blog, Deep Ecology, Ethics & Whole Community | August 3, 2012
I don’t quite know how to explain it. Maybe it is normal, but that little cactus I rescued from a souvenir shop (see The Cactus
) is blooming again. It started blooming just before Easter (I thought of it as a thank you) and continued, bloom after huge bloom on this tiny plant, for three months before it went dormant. Then a few days ago I went to water it – and it was blooming again! As if it stopped just long enough to gather more strength and then burst forth once more. It not only burst forth into bloom though – the magnet glued to the pot; the very same magnet that was supposed to attach it to a refrigerator as a curiosity, had broken off along with part of the painted pot. Little cactus bursts free of its bonds! May we all be so vital that we burst free of ours in a vibrant expression of life!
In case any skeptic thinks I am making this up, I did that old movie thing (how do you prove a date) and took a photograph of it with a current newspaper.