My “sharing” message the other day was inspired by a box I received (in the crappy old mailbox on its shiny new post). I have been doing some trading and sharing here in the hovel, card readings bartered for a plethora of payment types. I have been reading cards professionally for nearly 30 years. Never made much money at it, but I have made many friends and learned so much more than I ever could have imagined. There is a confusing aspect to doing something like this for payment though, on the one hand you don’t want to under-value a skill/craft that has taken you a long time to learn (and that hopefully you are very good at). On the other hand you don’t want to turn anyone down merely because they don’t have cash, but they can use your help, and you can both learn something valuable.
The trades I have been making are joyous and completely unique to the individuals I’ve read with. It is an overhwhelmingly beautiful feeling to share like this. It has always been my dream to set up a store front, a place with a pretty front door that has a lyrical bell to ring every time someone walks in. I still want that, and will not give up that fantasy, but this “virtual” meeting place, my own little spot that people can come to, is a lovely location too. You are all welcome as you cross the threshold, and we sit down for a sharing moment together.
In my latest package was an amazing deck of oracle cards that I had never seen before. They were new and fun and very inspiring. They came all the way from Australia. They will not be incorporated into our card altar, but instead they will be our “special occasion” deck. We’ll use them to mark significant days or events. Our first peek at them will be in honor of Kris’s birthday, today she turns (well, in Australia she’s already turned) 23. It is completely fitting that we initiate them with her special day, because they came from her. Happy Birthday Kristel Joy.
Before I was born my grandmother (the crazy one who lived in Hawaii, the one who I shared a love of the ocean with) dreamed me. She told my mom that she had seen me in her night visions, I was blue-eyed and looked like my father, and I would write, and be strongly creative, individual like this family had never seen. My mother was convinced she was carrying a boy, so they had no girl names picked out. But my grandmother said, “no, I’ve read about this. The Aboriginal peoples of Australia believe that THIS is the dream world, and the Other Side is the real place. That little girl is ready to be here, and she’s on her way. I’ve seen her.” No one listened, but then, there I was. True, my eyes are actually grey, but in a family of Mexicans, they were blue enough. (My parents version of this story was that I was just pushy, and shoved my brother back in line, and he was generous, so he let me go first. Of course, we all know that the first kid is the guinea pig, and all manner of things can go wrong with that kind of thinking. Maybe my brother was just letting me go first so he could sit back and watch what happened before he committed himself.)
This deck is called Animal Dreaming Oracle Cards by Scott Alexander King. In the guidebook he talks about the animals lessons being their “dreaming” and how if we tune in and pay attention we can learn from them, that we “will be shown how to live interconnected, whole and abundant lives.” Thank you Kris, this couldn’t have been more perfect, or fit better into what we are building here.
(As we all live such interconnected lives, the first draw seems to be just as perfect.)
When threatened, Echidnas quickly dig themselves into the ground leaving no part visible except for their quills. Such a move precludes anyone from picking them up or altering their path. They effectively shut themselves off from the world, preventing anyone from interfering or getting too close.
Such action not only protects them from predatory attack, but unfortunately also shields them from the assistance or support offered by those who would see no harm come to them. What if the Echidna’s quest for food leads him onto a busy road, into oncoming traffic, and inevitable danger, for example? What if a passing motorist stops and attempts to direct him off of the road? What if the attempts prove futile, because the Echidna’s obstinate character prevents him from realising the error of his ways?
Quickly agitated, Echidnas prey on Ants because they know they hold a secret: patience and strength of character. Ant nurtures the collective powers of the mind, body, and spirit. It expounds the strength found in community and unity.
We are being asked at this time to open our hearts to the needs of those around us and the nurturing they can offer. It is no longer needed for us to shut others out as the Echidna does, we may now let down our guards, relax our sense of personal protection, develop tolerance and begin to trust.
Echidna helps us to understand the fundamental distinction between denial and determination or, more to the point, the difference between not wanting assistance and not needing support.