My friend Katrina is pretty good when it comes to astrology. She and her husband have been studying it for quite some time. She brought it to my attention that Mars is in retrograde. I did a little bit of reading up about it and, apparently, this causes stagnation of projects, a lack of energy, arguments, and illness. I have been feeling so out of it recently. Earlier this week I had an upset stomach. By the weekend I had an ear infection and a fever. Goodness gracious - early March, hurry it up!
In other news, I've moved on in Paxson's book Trance-Portation. Before I became so dreadfully ill this weekend, I started to revisit my spirit guides. "Revisit" should tell you that I've done work with them before. Now, spirit guides, animal totems, or whatever you want to call them have a nasty New Age reputation. For good reason! It's an easy meditation that newbies can do and is usually one of the first trance exercises introduced to people in self-help type circles. Just think of that scene in "Fight Club" where the lead character has a vision of a penguin who tells him "slide." Things like that make it seem very ridiculous, but I think it can be approached in deeper, more fulfilling ways than is portrayed by the media. I find myself agreeing with Paxson's sentiment - regardless of whether or not we create the spirit guides with our own unconsciousness, they can be helpful in communicating with that side of our being. Think of them as the adult imaginary friends if you want. And cultures all over the world have legends about meeting animals on heroic journeys. My own hearth culture is filled with sacred prohibitions and bonds (gease) with dogs and birds. There are cats guarding treasures and otherworldly entrances. There are salmon full of knowledge and magical deer. As myth can be a symbol for the heroic journey we must take internally from time to time, I find no problem with meeting spirit guides in an Indo-European context. Just ask my friend Dubhlainn who recently had a very powerful spiritual experience with a blue heron.
So I've started to interact with my spirit guides again. The first time I did such an exercise, I met a dove. I've never seen that creature since. The one creature who has had staying power is the lynx. The last two times I called out on my inner journeys, I met ... a beaver. It was quite unexpected, let me tell you, but he has prodded me both times with messages about productivity, creating, and rebuilding. I'm starting to wonder if it has something to do with my house... I really should get around to making curtains...
The lynx showed up as well. I don't know the beaver's name, but the lynx gave me one. Only... it's not in English. It has something to do with wind and grass. I feel a comfort that the lynx is still there. The appearance of a beaver in my mental landscape adds to the population of North America, specifically NY, fauna.