The Myst-Guided Apprentice
In the Counsel of Animals

What song
curls itself
like a nonchalant cat
around my soul?
A song of belonging,
of quiet and stillness
that soothes my heart...
purring Earth tones
deep and rich and knowing;
Come, Puma,
in your warmth
shall I recover
my Ancient shamanic power.

Tiger prowls...
not one to change his Path,
and yet...
and veers abruptly right --
not one to defer,
but not foolish enough
to walk where there was no Light.

Ho! Brother of the South
who listens with his cryptic mouth,
believing --
I hold your gift of wise Illusion
close to my heart in gentle fusion,
your Medicine to mine--
a sacred Sign.

Shall I dance with the Ghost,
and fast with the Moon...
draw smoke from the Sky-people's Fire?
Shall I sing with the Stone,
and drink from the Sun...
shall I weave my rug with the Briar?
Just so, Coyote call herself,
and wonders how to answer...
Just so, the Dance becomes myself,
while I still seek the Dancer.

Ho! Brother of the West,
of Woods and Mountain Stream,
who knows my deepest Dream
and heart-drawn Quest...
Hear me, my honored Guest,
and of the Truth I seek,
for all who gather, speak
of my request
sent from this Group
to One who knows all hearts,
all minds, all Art,
and weaves the Sacred Hoop.

Ho! Northern Sister of the Plains,
whose Song reflects the thundering Rains,
I walk your Path with wiser Eye,
and hold your Sacred Horn nearby;
I weave from Earth your Lullaby...
Rest well;
the Truth remains.

Ho! Eagle:
Sister of the East,
etched against the sunrise - ...
as an earth-toned star
above the Mesa’s breast - ...
Sing your Spirit-cry
that draws the Sun to freedom
and, eager, draws me too,
ever onward
to my Sacred Quest.

swift in your passage,
racing your shadow
across the Plains,
empower me--
lead me
to the place of quiet Rains.

The eagle tastes the wind and knows
the journey of the rain,
upon the current of the sky
from oceans far away.

Eagle Journey
I was watching an eagle fly. She landed on a branch.
I was thinking about connecting with her. And,
suddenly, I am on her branch.
The nest between her and me is empty.
Then, poof! I am in the nest - small as an eaglet.
Uh-oh! I know what that means! She is going to make me learn to fly.
Yes, indeed!
She reaches in and snaps me over the edge of the nest.
Pure panic!
"I can't fly!" I yell.
And she says, "Of course not; not as long as you
think you're human. Think you're an eagle!"
Finally, she catches me, and flies back up into the nest.
Uh-oh -- not the nest... we go again... I have a feeling she's going to do this until I learn to fly.
I tried to visualize through my panic of being an
eaglet, of knowing myself to be an eaglet… that slows my fall.
I managed to crash land into a lower branch.
After a very long time of calming myself down, I
managed to fly-hop to a higher branch. And I felt
I was getting it... soon I would be flying.

The vision shifted, and next, I was flying as an eagle.
I was trying hard to keep my perspective as an eagle.
Suddenly, I must have made that complete shift, and I heard:
"Now be an eagle-shaman - not a shaman being an eagle,
but an eagle being a to see not land forms but web-energy lines."
And it worked...
How cool was that!

Hawk carries the Scroll from a far-off Realm,
and drops it by my side;
Perth seals the Scroll with magic Rhyme
that burns the Neophyte;
upon the Parchment, my Sight reveals
a pyrographic Word:
one last "Fare well" to prophetic Kin
from Phoenix, the Thunderbird.

From cliff's stone ledge
to cirrus sky,
from right to left,
a Peregrine flies
low overhead,
as we cross trails --
What message fills
your feathery sails?

Ho! Falcon...
you call:
striking the chords
of my Web --
drawing awareness
across them
as a bowstring --
warning of danger
from Darkness...
Thank you.

Elder Bee said to the Child,
"All this is quite perplexing.
No longer can I taste the Wild.
It is, you know, quite vexing.
Man changed our Flowers to fit his need,
without a thought to Us.
And now the Pollen holds no Power,
and We cannot adjust.

The Council of Elder Bees met near the Throne of the Queen-mother --
for grave circumstances were sweeping over the Queendoms everywhere:
mutant beserkers were killing, raping, destroying
everything in their path from the Southern Realms --
and in the North, poisons were blighting crops,
infecting babies,
and negatively affecting life in general...
the People were concerned
(normally, bees were not subject to emotional outbursts,
as if they had all evolved from a Vulcan Garden of Spock)
but the People were demanding ACTION
any action, to cushion the prophetic unfolding
of their Ninth World.

"Why walk alone upon your Path?
What fear to share your Trail?
Tis company that makes the night
Less darker through the Veil...
And as you cross my tiny walk
Hear what I offer thee:
Tis not your final port-of-call
but the Journey cross the sea
that makes the difference in your heart
and lightens your own Song --
and likewise gives another hope,
by having a friend along."

Lizard on a Dreaming-stone
--Wizard of the Sand--
contemplates, as is his wont,
the Visions of his Clan;
ancestral Dreams have spiraled up
to touch his Present-sight:
remembrance of another Time
when Dark attacked the Light;
and so he sees Earth drawn again
to keep Her Truth... or die...
and, once again, he must record
Her valiant Battle-cry;
Lizard on a Dreaming-stone,
what Visions you must hold!
My friend and I give honor to
the Stories you have told.

Warm inside his winter Home,
Snake stops feeding --
aligns his breathing
with the Mother's Stone;
the Moon of Longest Sleep
has given warning
that come the Morning
begins the Deepest Deep.

Old Frog Proverb:
Some say tis enough
To sit on a lily-pad,
But I find that trust
In accommodating flies,

Welcome, Gila: Warrior of the West,
Swift upon the sands- Teacher, by request:
Upon this woven Shield, your song becomes my own;
I learn your quiet Power, of Myst within the Stone,
Of Fire within the Heart, of Strength within the Wind –
I follow where you walk, and find the Path within.

I followed Badger to her home in the hole of the tree. Then we went into her tunnel. It had soft, moist sand all around with roots hanging down everywhere. I followed her around curves and corners, gradually sloping downwards. I set my requested intent, and asked her to lead me to the tunnel that would answer that intent. And so she led me through this one, and stepped aside for me to step out. As I looked out the end of it, I saw a desert landscape. Something flashed by quickly. I realized it was a lizard of some sort - banded: like dark and light or something. I heard him chuckle and say, "Gila monster is what you humans call me...indeed... I am your Guide in this area. Hop on, and let's get to journeying." It was then that I noticed – startled - that he was the size of a small horse that I could ride. And he was offering me that option. So, yeah, I got on. We went to a flat rock that had only looked like a small pebble when I had left the tunnel. But it grew incredibly as we approached, and was somewhat off the ground on this a cavern existed beneath it. "Go on in," my Gila Guide suggested. As I walked in I saw a circle of Shamans, and at first I was unsure if they were men or women. But it was women, and they were sitting around a fire, passing a pipe. Without turning, one of them addressed me: "Your fear draws illusions around you, so you don't know who you are, but you still are what you are." Although Gila had not followed me in, he read the confusion in my mind and thought to me: 'Have I two feet, 3 or 4? What I believe, feel, or think is of no matter. Truth is. And that's all.' The women then asked me to come into their circle, and one pointed at the fire, saying: "Go into the fire, and journey." It wasn't the kind of voice that allowed for much discussion. I knew that. So I went to the fire, and found a Gateway - a hole in the ground - with a ladder leading downwards. I went and climbed down the ladder and stopped where it the end of the hole/tunnel. There was only sky below...and then land far, far, far below. Dizzying... And a bit scary. I climbed back up. The women said that I had just seen the last world, from where we had all come. This fire area was a sipapu that had led from there to here. I asked why I had been allowed to see this so sacred place. And the one woman looked at me and said, "Because of the Way you are, you need to see and experience things in order to be able to do them. You need to go and prepare a circle with a fire area, for welcoming those who will be coming up from the world you are leaving to get to the next one...where you will have journeyed and prepared a place for them." I left with Gila, who took me quietly back to the Door to Badger's Home.

'tween day and night
'tween sky and sea
two porpoise came
to you and me:
a magic sung
in mystic tone-
an ancient tongue:
Lemuria's own.

Move through the Deep
ever move, never sleep
wary of Dark Intentions
that hide in Dark Pretentions
to thus destroy thy Keep
:move ever, through the Deep:
Move with the Light
ever true, never slight
wary of Darkest Power
and what abides this Hour
to steal thy Mystic Right
:move, ever, with the Light.

Sea Lions
The sea lions sing
in their own key
while the rocks resound
more quietly;
the ocean hums
a long, deep chord,
as Earth's own spirit
is restored.

Time upon Time beyond Time,
the Song returns:
Whale remembers --
He is the Cantor for the Earth,
and his Plainsong is heard
throughout the Universe;
he sings now, that all will know
that She, the Earthmother herself,
has stepped into her Circle,
prepared for Battle,
prepared for the Change--
Overhead, Phoenix and Gryphyn hover protectively,
while She murmurs the Chant of the Narwhals.

Blue, the whale
Blue, the sea
Blue, the star
that fostered me.

My heart resounds
with whale song -
releasing bonds
that held me strong;
touch so deep,
so true, so long -
I have no doubt
that I belong.

Who am I, whale, to thee?
...some human on a boat?
...some lost bit of creation?
...some tragic anecdote?
I hear you answer me
...with visions you have spun
...with songs of revelation
...with Truth that we are One.

Sea Web
I am the dolphin, and the sea;
I am the sandy beach;
I am all I envision,
and way beyond that reach;
I am the singing, and the Song;
I am the mystic Door;
I am all I imagine,
and infinitely more.

Sand Dollar
Sand dollar caught
'twixt sand and sea
tugs at my heart
and whispers to me:
"Give me my life -
toss me back Home...
Renewing my Spirit
will quicken your own."

No time now for sliding down
muddy banks into a summer stream;
no time now for playing tag
among the rushes and reeds;
Elder Otter smokes the Pipe
of Upside-down and Forever-change...
and the Council, too, smokes that Truth,
smoking for Peace and Faith through the coming Days.

Manta Ray
Spread your silver wings, sacred Manta,
and soar upon the currents of the sea;
here, amidst the blueness, Spirit's calling...
remember who you are in Prophecy.

Ho! Rainbow Manta Ray --
Movement of Spirit energy,
soft and subtle
within the River of Light:
I learn to flow,
let go my need for standing;
I learn the peace
that "passeth understanding";
I learn your dance
of gentle grace and trust;
I learn my truth,
once cloaked in fearful dust...
You honor me
by inviting me to see
what prisms hold
in their reality:
all Life exists
within a living Light
that breathes through all --
thus, granting all that right...
no matter what
the choice of life may be,
the Spirit gives,
and gives eternally...
so this my Quest,
for which my heart was molded:
I must BE love,
and never once withhold it.

Trick! Trick! I leap and play...
Do I look like your innocent prey?
And do you think to catch me scared and running?
I dart from your eyes and devious mind...
And tag you fatal from behind...
Oh, how outrageously cunning!
Tricked again, oh, Snake of Dark -
I teach the Child of Lightning Spark -
and give her this, my Mongoose pelt,
to wear on her Heyokah belt.

I shall put on the Mongoose pelt,
and sidestep the Cobra's thrust-
moving swiftly, silently, subtly -
tagging the reptile's crust;
I honor the Mongoose Elder,
and learn Her lesson's key:
"Count coup, and keep the Power"
- the score - Advantage: Me.

Prairie Dog
the quiet mountain air
and see a Vision
of what was there,
or coming;
down your Earthen hole--
Ho! Prairie dog,
what do you know
of me,
or my becoming?

Welcome, Crow!
Your Heyokah medicine is not lost on me...
You weave cacophonous glyphs
and black feathers
upon your Shield for protection;
but I know your Name
and Sacred Ways;
I know your Song
of balance and change...
Welcome, Crow:
I honor your Labyrinthine Spirit.

One crow speaks to me of rain;
Two crows, of some profit gained;
Three, of seeking; Four, of Sight;
Five, of moving toward the Light;
Six, the pull of Karmic choice;
Seven, of an Ancient Voice;
Eight, preparing; Nine, of fame;
Ten, the Sacred Law reclaimed.

One Crow, two Crow,
call my Name
Three Crows
balance Ice and Flame
Moon and Ocean
cross my Trail
Tidal Runes
of Horn and Grail;
One Star, two Star,
give me Sight
Three Stars key
the Gate of Light
Earth and Heaven
weave the Plan:
Crafters of
the Way I am.

Raven casts a wise look at the ocean...
"See how the color of the water has changed?
How the surf chants more loudly --
how it crashes more violently against the cliff?...
Storm comes...
much bigger than before;
its greenish-gray shadow covers both sea and sky.
Come, let us go find good shelter...
None who watch or tarry before this
will live to tell their tale."

Raven one: Change will come;
Raven two: a Path in view;
Raven three: protecting thee;
Raven four: behold! a Door;
Raven five: a Shift inside;
Raven six: Coyote tricks;
Raven seven: Message from Heaven;
Raven eight: an unlikely Gate;
Raven nine: Self redefined;
Raven ten: an Ancient friend.

The young Raven stopped in the midst of a swooping game
of toss-and-spin with the westerly Wind,
and settled (quite unsettled)
on the Oak's nearest branch;
a Vision, a Message,
a reach-out-and-shake-your-brains Touch
from the Ancestors, encompassed him;
and he had not even gone on his Quest yet --
not even been initiated
into the Elders' Circle or the Warriors' Guild --
he sure couldn't deny that Touch,
and the U-R-G-E-N-C-Y behind it;
the Circle met tonight,
so he would pass on to them what he had learned...
but he had a feeling
he would no longer be playing toss-and-spin
in childlike innocence, anymore.

Ho! Hummingbird:
Messenger of Joy and Prophetic Change
Flash of Rainbow and Chord of the Sacred Song:
I honor thee...
I honor thy Blessing and welcoming Dance,
I honor thy Courage and magical Chants,
I honor the Trust you've given to me,
I honor thy Message of Harmony...
I honor thee
I honor thee.

Ho! Jay
Sentinel of the Pinon, Guardian of the Mountain Lea
Harbinger of the Shifting, Blue-feathered Coyote:
I honor thee...
I honor thy brash, insistent Word
that wakens me from my Dream;
I honor thy bold, intrusive Way
that spoils the Darklings' scheme;
I honor thy Feathers left for me
as Talismen of the Web,
whose Touch of warning truly makes
the difference 'tween Life and Death.

Ho! Great Blue Heron
Guardian of the Shore
Touchstone of the Wetlands
and Mystic misty Moors...
You honor me with your Feather
- a Gift of Grace and Speed -
and cross my Path in warning
of Danger in the Reed.

In the still of the Night,
Owl shifts her flight
--a smell of wrongness in the air--
and heads for her Pine
to ponder this Sign:
leaving Mouse to quizzically stare...

Horn-ed Owl of the Light
Spirit-song within the Night
Take me with you on your Flight
and let us dance...

The call of the Osprey
'cross hundreds of miles
is echoing through my mind:
speaking of passage,
of magic, of Fey,
of Truth and a mystic Sign.

High Buzzard draws
a King of Coins,
a Two of Wands,
and Five of Swords --
and sends a Message
to his Clan
of Choice and Change
at Death's own Door.

Grandmother Spider
I seek your audience
I sit quiet upon your Web and wait…
The Sacred Silence
that sings upon your Fibers
wends its way through to my heart;
I feel your Touch
the whisper of your Thoughts upon my eyes;
I hear your Heart
- weeping -
the fading, dying strands of your Web
brushing across my hands...
"Heal them," I hear you say...
for in the farthest reaches...
a Gnashing presence...
a Shadowing tears at your Soul.
I am weeping, too.
"What can I do?"
"Heal me," She says.

I have seen the vision of butterflies
From here on my lunch-time leaf,
But real as it seems I am dumbstruck
By a feeling of disbelief.
What link do they touch within me?
I seek to deny their power;
I hide with the fear of my Knowing –
The leaf in my mouth turns sour.
I have heard the summon of butterflies
And find that I must now move:
No more tis enough to be who I am
Accepting a self-warped truth.
I weave, with doubt as my shadow,
The fabric of Death’s dark womb,
Tucking in strands of hopeful thoughts,
Til I am all consumed…………….
…..time stretches so everlastingly
like waves on the shore of my being,
til I’m touched by the warmth of coming dawn,
awed by what I’m now seeing:
Wings! I have wings! And the freedom
To attend to the desperate cries
Of my kinfolk who wander, still seeking
The secret of butterflies.

Guarded by butterflies
Sent from the Light
Before me and behind me
To left and to right
Butterflies below me
- I walk on their Flight –
Butterflies above me
- all day and all night.

See my Path beneath my feet,
And stretching to the dawn! –
Butterfly wings like cobblestones
Inviting me beyond
The edges of myself complete…
Though really not at all –
I walk on clouds of butterflies
And know I will not fall.

Quieter than most,
This Butterfly host –
Escorting me o’er the Rift;
Til Spirit brings
Truth of my wings
And I accept the Gift.

Butterflies, gentle as flakes of snow
Yet stronger than wood or steel,
Set me to pondering in this Flow
What their coming to me reveals.

How symbolic the knowledge
That my cocoon
Is formed by this mystic weave
Of butterflies dancing and
Singing a Tune,
Sung – at first – on Creation’s Eve.

Butterflies fluttering beneath bare feet
- a Path unlike any known –
no matter I run or jump or sleep,
their sentient Tapestry
flows with me
- separate and yet as One –
a kaleidoscopic mystery
whose Presence is ‘round me spun.

Be here, and listen to the Song
The butterflies sing to thee –
Sunshine whispers between their wings
In mystical harmony.

Learn, my Child, the Butterfly Dance,
As they are teaching you –
Here’s your Dream wrapped up in Chance
- with wings of Indigo-blue.

- indoors and out –
- within, without –

Wings of Phoenix
Wings of Elf
Wings of Butterfly
Wings of Self…
Currents of Deepness
Currents of Night
Currents of Spirit
Currents of Light…
Truth of Becoming
Truth of the Sidhe
Truth of Transforming
The Truth of Me.

Ho! Badger
Guide to the Underworld
Guide to the Nexus of All
I honor your alliance and teaching
I honor your patience and vigilance
Keeper of herbs and medicine
Keeper of teas and liniments
I honor your Path as it crosses mine
I honor your Path, and send you this rhyme
Good fortune til we meet again
My friend.

Badger Journey
I went to see Badger for an herb that might balance K's thyroid condition. Badger went to her "cupboard", and brought some powder out. She said, "This is powdered root. Put it in the bowl and mix it with a few drops of water. Make a paste. Now when you go back, apply it to either side of her neck. Add a poultice gauze on top. DON'T LICK YOUR FINGERS! It's extremely bitter and can be poisonous, especially to Humans. DON'T WIPE YOUR HANDS ON YOUR CLOTHES!"

(Even K told me this, knowing me as she does, and being able to journey in both worlds with me, she was aware of what I was about to do.)

Badger continued, "Go to the waterfall - the small one - wash your hands off there. Be sure there is no residue. It would not be good for you." I thanked Badger.

Then she told me to take the rest of the powder and make paste poultices for the next three nights. So I came back, and did as Badger had said. Now we have only to wait and see. I believe that the powder is from the root of the Nightshade plant, and that tomatoes are a member of that family.

Elder Beetle, on my Path,
speaks out that I may hear:
"Do try to be more diligent,
and ever persevere."

Race the dolphin in the sea:
it echoes deep inside of thee --
'tis joy and fun within her heart
that lights the journey you must start.

Here's your dolphin-name, Seeker…
Here's how we honor your Truth…
Come dance with us through the Doors;
Breathe deeply, dolphin-girl…
Drink of the Well, Ikka-Ri…
Joy and Love are always yours.

Dolphin Journey
I went to Badger, and told her of my intent, after having asked for protection from all directions. The tunnel she chose seemed to have a layer of leaves in it that we walked through. Soon I could see light at the end of the tunnel, and could smell salt water. She wrinkled her nose, and said she wasn't partial to salt water. She said, "Go on out, now, and I shall wait for you here." I climbed out and was on a beach facing a great ocean. I felt my orientation was pointing east, but who knows? A dolphin met me near shore and called. "Come on, Ikka-Ri, let's go!" (Ikki-Ri is my given Dolphin name.) So I became myself as Ikka-Ri, the dolphin. We went swimming through waters reminiscent of the Caribbean. Very clear. We dove deeper and swam for quite a while. (Finally, I have learned how to do this properly, and not choke on water or try to breathe underwater.) We came to a place under the water that seemed to have been an ancient civilization -- like if Greece were underwater. There were all sorts of broken alabaster columns and statues, buildings and fountains. There was a roadway of some sort that we followed to what appeared to be the town square (so to speak). Jikker-Ki, my dolphin friend, led me over to a particular piece of sculpture. It was a sundial. But it had a permanently engraved shadow cast on it. Like I had seen in a movie when nuclear explosions caused shadows of objects and people to be imprinted on concrete walls, as the only evidence that they had existed. The shadow imprinted on the sundial was comparable to a clock reading 5 o'clock...with that area between 12 and 5 shaded in. There was some information being passed to me, but I wasn't getting the connection well. We surfaced, and I just lay there, catching my breath, warming myself in the sun. Then Jikker-Ki said, "Let's go over to the Dwarf place. Maybe there's someone who can give you more info on this." So we swam further to what seemed east. As I got to shore, I resumed my human form, and followed the Path to their Village. I was met by an older dwarf, who seemed to be waiting for me. He had one of those carved pipes, which he was tamping down and working to get a good smoke to rise from. He had me sit down, and started talking. "You have to understand about the Call. It's like a Gong. When the Gong sounds, it echoes through all sentient beings, what you would call all 'Creation'. We don't have that term in our worldview because it is a limiting concept. All is, all was, all will be; no time-line, no beginning, no end. The term 'Creation' limits your Vision. Remember that. In any case, when the Gong sounds, when the Call is made, it echoes through all things. Unfortunately, with you Humans, it's mostly blocked. Very few of you are sensitive enough to hear it. But some do. You do. And Tee is one as well. She just has to find her own way to that awareness. She must re-visit the blinding flash she first saw. She must ask the Light, "What is your message for me?" Then, because she has been called a second time, she must ask the Cloud, "What is your message for me?" It is her Journey, not yours. This specific Call is for her. Rather, the message within the Call is specific to her. All of us hear the Call; the message is different -- each to his own Calling. Tell her that. So, okay...How do you want to return from here? You can go back with the dolphin, or you can take the Middle Earth tunnel, and just go under the water back to your land. My wife here will guide you." So I said I'd like to go through the tunnel, but I was afraid of the dark. He said, "No mind; she's got a good lantern and this is her Calling." So I said, "Okay." His wife and I started walking through the tunnel. Her lantern made it seem like nothing more than a simple tunnel of earth that held none of the fears and anxieties that I thought it would. As we were walking, I commented on my Faery Shaman training I was going to be taking. She said, "You are already doing what they are doing." "Well", I said, "in any case I would be honored if you would accompany me on the Initiation Journey. She said, "Sure." I said, "What's your name, so that I may call you?" She said, "Smashfoot." Puzzled, I asked, "Smashfoot?" "Yeah; I got it 'cause I smashed my foot going on the wrong Journey. Now I got it right. Sometimes, that's what you got to do." We were almost to the end of the tunnel, and I was getting ready to bid her good-by, when she added: "You know, I don't get it. You just keep going round and round and round on your Journey. Round and round your House. When you going to just go through the Door?... Talk to you later, Round-about." She chuckled, and left, as I came out of the tunnel and back to where I had started.