“There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
~ Leonard Cohen

Here we are in a global pandemic. Not the first time as humans. Not the first immense shifting in life on our planet. Still, here we are. I’m wondering how you’re feeling. I’m curious how you’re finding your way. I’m wondering how we, our diverse humanity, will navigate the challenges and changes.

What purposes and potentials are living inside this pandemic? I’d love to share with you this guidance from Throwing of the Bones Ceremony:

Seeing from a Different Point of View

Praying Mantis hangs upside down in a lavender bush and sees everything 
from a different point of view. The pandemic is offering the opportunity to open our eyes, hearts, and minds to see from entirely new perspectives.

Who and what are essential? What does it mean to have shelter and be safe?

In some lives, the separations between home, work, school, family, friends, meal preparation, and daily time schedules have collapsed.

The divisions, inequities, and harm among people are evident. As are tremendous acts of generosity, tenderness, and love.

We can’t so easily hide from the presence of death. We are yearning for sacred spaces for those who are ill and dying, for honoring death, for the grief and for those who are grieving.

Intimacy is being cultivated and rewoven in relationships. There are also high levels of tension and stress, and bonds that are falling apart.

The earth is showing how regeneration naturally unfolds in a very short time when even just some of our human ways of living come to a stop, slow down, and pause.

So shine some light into those places within and around you that are beyond the known horizons and buried beneath the same-old same old. Purposefully see, feel, and explore from another point of view. What is being revealed?

In the ways of Praying Mantis who hangs upside down in the lavender bush, let yourself stay awhile and settle into the experience. Take some breaths. Take your time. Take another look around your inner landscape and the outer world.

Be curious. See what you see. Without any judgments of better-than or less. Without any expectation that you’ll have to agree with or condone or participate in whatever it is that you discover.

Who knows what magic, beauty, and never-before-noticed possibilities exist, ready and waiting to be found. Open the door a bit wider. Let more light in. Eye-opening, heart-expanding, mind-changing experiences are empowering catalysts for healing and growth.

Imagine the possibilities if each of us took just one step in a new direction guided by the visions of our wide-open hearts.

Honoring and Protecting the Sacredness of Life

Buffalo naturally roam the prairies and live in great herds. When protecting a young buffalo, the adults form a circle surrounding the little one. The guardian buffalo hold their ground, facing outward, encircling and protecting the precious new life.

The pandemic is opening the opportunity for us to reclaim our genuine human nature and our relationship with the sacredness of life. How would we think, what would we share, and how would we live day by day, if we were intentionally supporting and protecting the continuance of life? Of our species? Of animals, plants, and birds? Of insects, frogs, rivers, and whales? Of the web of life on our earth?

In the way of Buffalo, the circle that is formed to nourish and protect is not a permanent structure like a wall. The circle shifts and transforms when the herd is ready to return to their wanderings through the prairie. Buffalo have an extensive field of relationships among themselves and with their companions in their ecosystem – the soil, water and winds, birds and butterflies, coyotes and mice, the changing seasons, and the seeding and dying away of plants. Honoring the sacredness of life continues with every step and interaction.

To bring Buffalo Medicine into your life, the place to begin is in your relationship with yourself. Humans have made up all sorts of distortions about ourselves and how to relate. We’ve built intricate hierarchies based on harmful judgments and fears. All the while, the other-than-human beings are simply going about being who they are and living their unique purposes. No better-than or less-than involved. Buffalo flourish in being Buffalo. Pine Trees are purely being Pine Trees. Moths don’t wish they were Butterflies. Wildflowers don’t judge the color, size, and shape of their own and others’ blossoms to determine who is worthy of love.

Being in the center of the circle, in the way of Buffalo, is about respecting and cherishing your own existence. Standing in your center is about being naturally you, and pursuing the pursuits of your life in the midst of a vast relational world. When free of judgments of better or less, you simply know yourself, understand your belonging, and live your purposes in the web of life.

The pandemic is opening our eyes to our interconnectedness. Do you have a circle of love and care surrounding you? It’s vital to acknowledge and purposefully connect with those who fully see you, who understand, nourish, and support you. With the physical distancing, closures, and health concerns, we are being challenged to find innovative ways to experience and shape our connectedness. It’s not only human relationships that generate a nurturing field. Discover the places and activities, the colors and sounds, the foods and rest and play, and the other-than-human-beings who engage your aliveness. Choose creatively, consciously, and with care.

Then explore what it’s like to be the guardian Buffalo. Encircling. Honoring. Nourishing. Protecting. Watching over. Who and what is in the center of the circle? Your child. Everyone’s children and grandchildren. Your health. Everyone’s well-being. The animals and plants, land and waters, in your ecosystem. Our earth. Your livelihood. A new project. Cultivating community. Restructuring economic, political, and health care systems. Celebrations of life passages. Honoring the death of loved ones. Space for the grief for the losses being experienced by so many. Visions for new cycles in your life and on the earth.

When we reclaim our guardianship of the sacred, a dynamic flow of healing is set in motion – in our lives now and in the legacy we leave for the generations to come.

Praying Mantis and Buffalo Paintings by PattyMara Gourley. See more of our Bone Spirits Bundle.