into her darkly cave...
where silence surrounds... the answers She gave..."
is a word you may hear me utter. Usually when i can't explain something or, i've experienced or felt something profound through Spirit.
Recently i had a re-visit from Mother Bear... a Spirit Bear.
It seems my life's journey holds quite a magical bent. And, often feel like i don't know what i'm doing half the time—oh, i know that's a self-judgement, though i do "keep on keeping on"... staying on my path as best i can and, when i allow ‘magical stuff' can happen and will show up—usually when i least expect it.
Recently, i was chatting with a dear friend about my creative process and, how my own intuitional knowing doesn't always inform at the time i would prefer it. Though, i’ve come to learn that my inner knowing + creative sourcing will often kick in much later, sometimes days or weeks later or, my knowing informs in a whole other route than expected. I would never claim i'm psychic though, (far from it!). Though, i know i'm definitely spirit-guided, and intuitive, with much gratitude. I am so blessed with a heck of a lot of unseen help from the Spirit realm. I’m one lucky bum.
"living breathing light
push kawsay holographic
i know i'm out there"
—Haiku by weaver
I adore the word, "kawsay" (pronounced cow-sigh), which comes from the beautiful Quechua Indigenous language meaning, "living breathing energy... life force, energy that animates the universe: it comes from the collective, from genetics and from spiritual energy... life, everything is energy; of the major organizing principles... energy that permeates all of Creation on various vibrational levels..."
One potent teaching i received during my years of advanced earth-based training was to practice "pushing the kawsay". This term also brings to mind the Scots Gaelic poetic phrase, "Òran Mór" which means, the 'Great Song' of the Universe... where, everything holds a song... it's own frequency and vibration. Everything in the universe is singing, even rocks, trees—everything!
It’s interesting to note that sound-healer/musician Kailash Kokopelli believes that all dis-ease and unbalance in the body is ‘out of tune’ where, certain sounds and frequencies, through music/sound can help re-tune the body. He shares the example; the dis-ease of cancer holds a certain resonance (or song) and if the sound-healer can match that same resonance/song though sound, the cancer or dis-ease can be eradicated… combusted.
Back in high school, I was known to visit the Principal's office way too often. An art teacher i had, eventually realized that it was best to remove me completely from her classroom, in order for me to be able to connect with 'my muse' and get some actual work done—as i tended to be over-disruptive during class.
Mrs. Plummer would assign an art project where everyone would begin creating except me. I'd just sit there, staring about, not knowing what to do for the most of the class, goofing off. It was like, i had to kick the assignment 'out there' to the art-goddess or whatever, and patiently wait for 'it', whatever 'it' was, to return back to me when 'it' was ready. I couldn't force it—believe me, i had tried.
Often, Mrs. Plummer, frustrated with me, would set me up in an empty classroom, all alone with art materials and sure enough, i'd eventually create—the 'muse' would finally fall out of me and i create stuff i never even knew i could create = Was that me that did that? I know now that i was perhaps, "pushing the kawsay". I also learned that i needed quiet reflective time first, in order to connect with my own inner muse.
We're presently in the cycle of Lughnasadh or Lúnasa from the Celtic realm of Scotland + Ireland... also known as Lammas in England and other parts of Europe. A seasonal one-of-four annual fire festivals, marking the time of harvest before the Celtic New Year of Samhain arrives at the end of October. On the wheel of life, we're also in the direction of the West, the time of the 'falling leaves' who teach us how to simply 'let go' with ease and grace. A dear friend recently shared with me that the leaves have "worked for and created much...they give to protect Mother Earth—there is much to learn here..."
Lughnasadh marks the beginning cycle of the noticeable descent of the Sun into the darkness of winter. From the connection between the Earth (female principle) and the Sun (male principle), the union of the Sky Father (Sun God) with the Earth Mother we celebrated at Bealtaine, emerge the fruits of the first harvest of the year. Lughnasadh is a time of joy and celebration about the first fruits. It is also a time of tension, because the dark days of winter are coming nearer, and most of the harvest has not been brought in and stored away quite yet.
So, during this turning of the wheel is also a place of 'going within' and introspection as we move more and more, spiralling into that cave of darkness, as our dear earth Mother slowly goes to sleep, to deeply rest and regenerate during the cycle of Samhain/winter.
Three and a half years ago, before we moved to Gabriola, i had a very strong, visceral dream about a huge mother bear that 'sniffed me out'. I wrote about this powerful dream on my blog back in 2016 >>
I know that this dream marked a shift for my partner and i, in finding a new home, where, now we live on beautiful Gabriola Island, a 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo, BC. We never dreamed of living here before that dream.
Living here has been nothing short of magical where, every day we both continue to pinch ourselves... so deeply aware of the amazing blessings we continue to receive—with many new close friends, a nurturing supportive community and holy wow, a stunning beautiful sacred land to live upon the ancient sacred unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw people of the Coast Salish.
This past week, i was called (more than once), to go back to a special place, a good walk from our home, to visit a very large stone-being i had unexpectedly met on one of my walks, a couple of years ago.
I seem to connect with big stone beings, as they often like to reveal their faces to me—why, i do not know? I’m grateful the the gift.
I recall being guided off the main road to a trail i wasn't aware of. There, was a sign that read, "public access". So, cautiously, i climbed down the steep, rocky-rooted trail that led me to a high cliff above the ocean. What a beautiful place i had stumbled on and what was cool was, i was all by myself and it just felt good! I hold a fond memory of sitting in reverent silence for a long time on that sun-warmed boulder. It was like i was being supported in some way.
I was moved to explore, hiked around, up and down the dry, wild terrain. The place felt particularly special...inviting—covered in crunchy long grasses, stones, fallen branches, lichen, old gnarly arbutus, garry oak, maples, towering rock walls and honkin' huge boulders. I was drawn to head over to one very grand stone, right at the edge of the cliff. I asked permission to come close and was invited to connect with this immense being.
I sat in still-reflection as i gratefully leaned my stiff back into the side of this grand warming rock that was probably 30-40 feet long and say,15 or more feet tall at her high point—one huge presence! I made an offering of thanks for the blessed gift of just 'being' with this beautiful space of inquiry, adoring the feeling of being deeply backed (no pun intended). I also sensed healing vibrations filling my body and weary soul. I had such a wonder-full time with myself that afternoon, appreciating what was around me, which filled me with much rested thankfulness of being guided there.
Heading back up the rough trail to go home, i was nudged to turn around and look down where i had been. Oh my, i was blown away by what my eyes saw. I had been communing and connecting with one very large stone, shaped like a bear!
There she was, in all her majesty, revealing herself from profile perspective. Such a megalith and oh, that shining face! From every ounce of my being, perceiving that this was one big spirit, a bear. I stood there for a long time, within utter awe. I couldn't take my eyes off this being—as my heart safely opened. I was drawn to take a photograph of her because she was so stunningly beautiful, especially the way the warm sun lit up her sleek kind face. I'm grateful i still keep that photo of her.
Interestingly, the spirit of Bear sits in the West on the Great Song-Wheel of Life. Bear represents introspection, reflection, slowing down, rest, respite, death and rebirth and another aspect of the Goddess. Bear can also show us how to go within during the falling leaves-time, to enter her embracing dark cave, to hibernate, heal + regenerate. Bear can also represent primal power, sovereignty and right-brain intuition coupled with instinct. She also connects us to the beauty of art, re-bonding us with the very deepest of our ancestral roots within the belly of the Mother. She helps us to be in touch with the Primal Mother—the She-Bear Goddess Artio who will defend you fiercely from all uncertainty.
Ancestral roots?... mother? interesting...
The cave of Mother Bear is where She seeks answers while hibernating and dreaming. She then lazily awakens in the Spring, just like all the colours that emerge, awakening the power of the unconscious. Mother Bear asks us to walk the path of inward silence of the West, to calm our inner chit-chat, the place of rites of passage... a path to the dreamtime... a place to dream our lives into being... along side with our dear Mother's own dreaming.
One of my favourite poems by Mary Oliver is titled,
a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring
down the mountain.
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring
I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:
how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge
to sharpen her claws against
of the trees.
my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,
it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;
all day I think of her--
her white teeth,
her perfect love.
This last week out walking, with full intention of honouring a strong pull to go back to visit the bear rock once again. Somehow i knew i needed to go though, wasn't really sure why.
Though following my hunch, off i went.
However, upon arriving at the spot i remembered where the trail down to the cliff was, i noticed that there were a number new "private property" signs up to the right of the "public access" sign entrance.
I carefully made my way down the rocky dry uneven trail. I inched sideways further, where i saw there was also, a chain-link fence up, blocking the whole way to get down to where i knew bear rock was at the cliff's edge.
I was royally annoyed. Why was this barrier keeping me from visiting Mother Bear? I was sure i needed to be here in some way. Though i wondered, perhaps not. What happened to the 'public access' that's no longer public? What? Whoever had bought the adjacent property next to the 'public access' marker had completely blocked any entry down to cliff's edge anymore.
How dare they?
Yearning for another way, i was determined to get to Her and know why i was being so called. I made my way down along the stupid fence and, off to the left, discovered a steep climb towards the lower cliff though, noticed there was yet, another 'no trespassing' sign at the bottom. Stink. “I'm really not going to get there, am i?” i thought to myself—not legally anyways. I began to make my way down though, soon was told intuitively ‘to stop'. I clamoured back up the steep trail landing at the top on my butt, irked… frustrated.
I kept asking myself, "Why was this being so difficult?" Had i not been respectful with the Spirits? Do i need to ask permission?
I hadn’t asked permission.
I humbly asked for consent with an old tree that was reaching itself out, horizontal to the sun, over the Salish Sea. I pulled a small stone out of my pocket, mindfully blew some prayer though, tucking as an offering within a nook of the bark, then sat down in deflated silence. I asked and, asked again.
Eager for some kind of reply, i heard a raven vocal-ing high above, as shared-air swished through wings, raven passed over, dropping onto a branch, see-sawing. I sensed being checked out.
I asked again… sensing a stirring of words from my open heart…
"Dear one, you can connect with me from here, now… from anywhere, you know..." the voice whispered. I smiled, "Of course, i know that."
The inner voice again breathed... "Go to Drumbeg..."
Go to Drumbeg?... what?
That didn’t make any sense!
Drumbeg Park is at the other end of the island. I didn't trust that last message—what i thought i had heard.
I chose to sit a bit longer with the tree, feeling kind of bothered and disappointed though, enjoyed the birds flying about, the swirling water and such.
As i mentioned, i usually don't get messages like other perceptive folk seem to, so easily. I'm often intrigued + impressed by their adeptness of their gift or i wonder, perhaps good guessers. If i'm lucky, and listening, a teaching or message can often come much later, usually in an unexpected or ‘round about way. I’ve come to accept that this is how i access from inquiry, a gift.
Discouraged, i stood up to leave, thinking i should just go home and, just get some work done. I had a deer hide soaking in a bin that needed attending to—birth a drum.
Making my way up the same route i had come down, got in the car and intended to drive home. When i got close to being back, something tugged, and i said to myself, “Ah, forget work,” and kept going, down the road towards Drumbeg. “Why not? It's a beautiful sunny day…I can work later…i should treasure these last warm days of summer.”
"I didn't hold you when you were born...
‘cause I knew you were going to be adopted so soon...
I didn't name you either... Couldn't do it—it was just too hard..."
—Marlene, my birth mother...
I love the stunning drive to Drumbeg Park. I prefer to take South Road that’s more scenic, by the ocean, while winding through sights of trees—i never tire of it.
Roughly fifteen minutes later, i arrived at the other end of the park. With wooden flute in hand, i made my way down a steep + short narrow path carefully navigating over a number of large washed up, bleached white logs, entering the beach. Surveying my space, i noticed some tourists off to my left, So, gazing to my far right, i was surprised and thrilled to see there was a massive rock wall that i hadn't noticed there before.
I wanted to check it out…and, as i got closer, i noticed another intriguing large boulder rock that nudged my eye. One that had been eroded from the inside out over time by the sea and frost. We have many large sandstone and rock like this all over the island—many of which you can crawl or sit within. One of our island's most famous, is the Malaspina Galleries at the north end of the island off Taylor Bay Road. I love drumming in there in the quiet season when the tourists have left.
I carefully edged my way around this huge rock and noticed from it's back, it held quite an interesting, almost Mayan-like profile of a face.
I offered a courteous ‘hello’.
I continued on towards the stone wall and explored jumping rock to rock along the face, curious with the eroded niches carved along the stone face. I got as far to where the tide was coming in, then turned, inching my way back towards that big rock.
I walked completely around the stone-being, sensing…curious…attentive… felt invited to climb up inside the cave-like opening, which looked a little bit like the shape of a heart.
Tucking my flute into a back pocket, it took me a bit to get myself scaled up high and into the opening. Grabbing whatever edges i could, i managed to pull my weight up and inside and sat down on the rough sandy floor. This stone was so much bigger in size and energy than i thought—and i could feel a shift once inside. All around me were holes eroded right though the wall of the rock that i could see through. There was what seemed to be some red ochre on one part of the wall.
I got myself settled in the roomy cocoon space and pulled out my flute. I attempted to blow for a bit enjoyed the cool acoustics within. I soon put my flute down and chose to sit in silence. Perhaps i may receive a message in this old ancient stone? And, if not, well, we’ll see.
As i sat, at first, with eyes closed, i could hear ocean waves rhythmically rolling over pebbles on the beach, and not far away, the rush of a strong rip tide. I took a couple deep long breaths. I liked being there.
Looking out, very near, was a towering old cedar, dancing in the light winds. Overhead, a stellar's jay flew in and out it's branches chattering noisily, plus, there were wispy angel clouds sailing by in that afternoon azure sky.
I sat for about 40-minutes or so enjoying the smells and the sounds, shot some silent video of the view out, blew more flute and to no avail, got no sense of any message or 'hit', other than knowing the joy of just being, there.
I asked the wind… the trees… the sky… stone… do i have to know?
I savoured being inside this old rock formed of petrified sand. I felt held by something—maybe hugged? There was something soothing and embracing about being within. Though, i couldn't seem to settle myself—something also, felt quite foreign.
Realizing that good ol' time was going by, i gingerly climbed back out, down onto the rocks onto the beach. I then headed back to the car after scanning the beach for washed up treasures like, interesting small branches of driftwood, shells and such, then drove home.
I still felt somewhat miffed that i didn't get to see and be with the big Mother Bear Rock back off Canso Road earlier, though did enjoy my time at Drumbeg and i wasn't sure why Mother Bear or whatever had asked me to go there? Most likely, wondered that perhaps, i needed to let the latter piece go.
The next day, upon waking, i suddenly realized that i had been with Mother Bear spirit, at Drumbeg all along. I had been sharing my lovely afternoon with my partner there when, it hit me like a ton of bricks. That the big ol' rock i had climbed into and sat within in so long—i had been held in the arms of Mother Bear!
Mother Bear had held me...
...and, i wept...
Later, two old memories surfaced out of nowhere. I recalled two times quite young, incidents where i had been 'held' against my will.
When i was about 3 or 4. My mom had attempted to force feed me a boiled egg. I didn't want to eat that damn egg ‘cause i couldn’t stand the smell of it. Though she really wanted me to eat that egg, and, wouldn't let me go until i did. I fought and fought, trying to get away, though she held firm. I felt suffocated. I screamed and yelled as she pushed and shoved that egg into my tight-lipped mouth. Crumbled egg was everywhere. She eventually gave up.
I still dislike eggs to this day—not my favourite food.
Though, i do know now that she was only desperately trying to get me to eat something of value. Apparently, i was quite the picky eater as a kid. I found foods to be either visually gross and/or weird-stinky like pizza or weiners. Campbell’s chicken noodle soup was definitely my ‘go-to’ back then.
The second remembrance was when i was little older, though still very young, at about aged 5/6, maybe 7.
One afternoon at home my dad’s accountant/friend for the Farm business over for his annual visit. He had come to bring my dad's completed income tax back for its final sign-off. Then, they would sit down in the living room for a dram of whiskey—it was their ritual. I don't recall where my mother or sister was at the time though i was hanging around, curious, like a kid would be.
At one point, the man scooped me up, plunking me on his knee. I told him that i didn't want to sit on his knee though, ignoring me, laughing, began to bounce me up and down. I didn’t like being bounced up and down. I stated to him again that i wanted to get down because i had to go to the bathroom. Both my dad and he seemed to find this scene very humorous. Me? Embarrassed + trapped. With drink clinking in one hand and his other arm, clutching me tight against his chest, continuing to bounce me up and down. Up and down, up and down. Helpless, i began to cry, feeling suffocated and helpless, pleading with him to let me down as i really had to go to the bathroom badly… up and down, up and down… and, then…
It happened. I peed all over his lap.
Laughing though shocked, he released me to the floor and i ran away feeling so shamed and confused. I don't even remember what happened after that—though i also wondered where my mother was during the whole affair? I often ponder why my dad even allowed his friend to go on as long as he did. Why didn't he look out for me and stop him? Many thoughts have come.
Being held against my will... not feeling safe while being 'held'...
+ i had never been held by my birth mother...
and, where was my mother?
all very interesting.
Though, Mother Bear Rock, an old, cold, stone, boulder 'held me' within Her warming safe embrace, and, thinking back to my beautifully guided afternoon, i had felt very safe. Safely held within the Mother. My blessed earth Mother.
Thank you Mother Bear, Artio, i thank you... i know you continue to hold me + for always. I hold much gratitude for your gentle teaching.
I am within great joy that i can visit with Her anytime, from anywhere... especially during this time of falling leaves, Lughnasadh.
and, perhaps she'll have a message for me, most likely, later...
brightest, weaver x (((?)))
“something like a hug
i don’t know, far from such space
was never ever.”
—Haiku by weaver
… may i continue to learn…
text/images by carol weaver, copyright by weaver © 2019
Mother Bear stone rock photos by weaver + jp wright © copyright 2017/2019...
a new drum journey with mother bear rock...
Added March 22, 2020...
It was She who called me to come back to drum within Her…
x (((o))) come be held... come journey…
i wish to acknowledge with gratitude that i live, work + play on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation...
i'm a creative soul choosing to walk softly on our blessed earth mother's back... more here...
Spirit Art Frame Drum Available by weaver…
Click to view more >>
• Healing Drum Quotes >>