My creativity has been ramping up lately. And it hit me while at RWA why that is. My Spirit Animal has been crossing my path almost daily. I’ve been walking/jogging in a park with nice walking trails near my house and I see a Great Blue Heron nearly every time I’m there. I live on a farm with several water sources nearby so we have herons in our neck of the woods as well. And while at RWA in Orlando, I jogged every morning and saw two every morning. Some of you are probably thinking, “Well, Michille has gone off the rails.” And if someone had seriously uttered the words My Spirit Animal to me before I took a Jungian psychology course for my master’s degree, I would have said the same about them. But that was before . . .
I took a Jungian psychology course in which we were guided on a shamanic drumming journey in search of our “ego-free animal spirit guide” (I swear). When the professor (a guest speaker) came in the room and told us, I thought she was a lunatic. I mean, really, the vultures on her house didn’t really portend anything, right? (They actually did – someone died and the vultures never returned.) So what is a shamanic drumming journey?
We started with a ritual that involved burning herbs outside at dusk: sage, cedar, sweet grass, lavender, and mug wort for cleansing, purifying, presence of the Creator, healing and higher consciousness, respectively. It’s been a couple years, but I remember we turned to all four cardinal directions and murmured something to honor something-or-other all while the herbs were smoking and drifting around us. Then we lay down and made ourselves comfortable (very like savasana) while our guide for the journey played a steady beat on a native American drum with some serious history at about 120 to 130 beats per minute. This shifts the brain waves into a theta state (again like savasana if it’s done right), in which a person enters a light, aware trance much like lucid dreaming. Senses are heightened in this state – sight, hearing, sensation, even smell – and all the sensory experiences have meaning. The experiences offer messages which can be deciphered in order to understand one’s own personal symbols.
We journeyed to the lower world through a couple layers of middle underworlds in search of our “ego-free animal spirit guide.” Shamanic drumming journeys can seek power animals, spirit guides, ancestors, or angels to ask them questions about things, events or ourselves in relation to our lives. Once we’d entered the lower world, we created our own place and we populated it with what came to mind. The idea of being in a light trance is so that your subconscious mind can populate your world with things you might not choose in a fully conscious state. My mind created a world like a nature preserve with a Great Blue Heron, a deer, a duck, a mouse, and a bald eagle. When we were brought out of the lower world and back to this world, we analyzed the world we’d created. Bottom line, out of all the animals in the world I’d created, the Great Blue Heron was the one.
And since that class, I realize that the more Great Blue Herons I see, the more creative I am. I’m ecstatic that my creativity is back and my motivation with it. After my master’s, which was two very intense years, my fiction brain went on vacation. I studied craft ad nauseam, but didn’t do anything with it. My creative brain is firing again. WOOT!
A funny side note is that our guide, in explaining animal connections to the world and all that, she said that “if an animal sacrifices itself to you, like a bird hits the windshield, the animal is giving its energy to you for some reason.” Her advice was, “Use the energy.” Living where I do, deer sacrifice themselves on a regular basis to human energy. Groundhogs, skunks, squirrels, and rabbits do their part as well.
So I am using my Great Blue Heron energy, not from sacrifice, but because it’s showing itself to me almost daily. What is your talisman, lucky charm, ego-free animal spirit guide? Does anyone have one, or am I the only truly crazy writer among us?