Thursday, June 27, 2013


Now that I have embarked on a new and personal spiritual path,  I do so very much alone.  By choice, I think.  Sometimes I think it would be wonderful to have someone, or a couple of someones, with whom to share my discoveries and my challenges.  Someone who could really understand, share my excitement when I soar…help me pick up the pieces when I bomb.
I have friends who are pastors in Christian churches.  These women believe “community” is a huge and integral part of a spiritual life.  For them, and for many others, that may be true.  For myself?  I’m not so sure.  What I do and what I experience are so personal, so “learn as you go,” that I’m not sure I could ever truly share it.  And I know for sure that I am not in a space where I need someone to tell me, “THAT’S not the right way to go about (whatever brand of spirituality)!  Which is why I have avoided pasting any label on the path I’ve chosen.  Once labeled—“Christianity,” “Buddhism,” “Shamanism”—there are rules, and dogma, and “you’re allowed to do THIS, but cannot do THAT.”  I guess the best way to describe my spirituality is, “You do what you need to do, and I’ll do what I need to do, and if we can then live in harmony with each other and with all creation, then it’s all good.”
It’s clear to me that the Almighty has chosen to speak to me through animals—particularly birds.  I feel a deep connection to them that I can’t explain and which I know is not shared by many.  But I didn’t always understand and trust the path.  Once I felt the call and began to be drawn down this road, I expected some huge, life-changing miracle to transpire.  As if I would suddenly be zapped with animal love, and I’d wander around like Francis of Assisi, with a throng of adoring wild creatures trailing behind me.  When this didn’t happen, like any human being (we tend to expect instant gratification…) I began to doubt my choice.  Maybe this was all mumbo-jumbo and I had no idea what I was actually doing or being called to do. 
Recently, I’ve come to realize that embracing this spiritual life will be a process, not an event (duh!).  When I compare myself with the me of two or three years ago, I see the changes.  I see the slow growth of understanding and knowledge.  I don’t just gaze at birds in awe and longing any more.  I feel them.  I learn from them.  And I am more and more able to understand what they want to tell me.  I don’t hear any non-human creature “speak;”  it’s more a matter of sensing what they wish to communicate.  For beings without spoken language, this would be the natural way for them to get a point across, wouldn’t it?  The human’s job is to reach beyond what she understands as “language” and learn to communicate in other ways.  I can see this happening in my life, and it’s exciting.  But it in no way resembles what one sees on TV or even what one is led to “expect” by teachers.  It’s very personal and unique to every individual. 
This may be where organized religion drops the ball.   For obvious reasons, I’ve never been comfortable in communities where coloring outside the lines or marching to a slightly different beat labeled one a sinner or an enemy.   There is no room for uniqueness or individuality in an organization of folks who are all supposed to do and believe the same things.  And I understand that trying to speak to that “individualist” element would create chaos in a church.  Which is why organized religion works for some people.  And why it does not work for me.

I discovered this amulet at a vendor’s stall last weekend.  It spoke to me. I wear it now as a reminder of who I am and the path I walk. 
I walk with the birds and animals, the ocean and the forest, maybe the desert and the tundra if I am ever lucky enough to go to those places and hear their voices.  In the past few years, I’ve discovered  a peace and joy and sense of belonging that I have never experienced anywhere else.  I know it’s where I’m meant to be.       


  1. I can sympathize. I've been following a Celtic oriented Druid group. The problem with groups is, that it's a group. Which is ok, if you're into that. Kicked in a few bucks for their book of ritual hoping I'd get more information on who is who and what they do and, in a way, got more than I anticipated. When these guys say ritual, they really mean it. They must spend half their time setting up the alter. Three cauldrons, incense, a branch with bells, a sickle, etc, etc. etc.

    I'd really rather just let it happen. You don't have to call the sacred space into being, you're walking in it every step you take. It's just easier to see in the woods, than in a parking lot. I'm not even sure I'm making sense right now.

  2. And that is a beautiful piece of artwork. Is it symbolic of all birds? Oddly the shape when I first saw was the Eye of Horus.