My Butterfly Spread. The Bear is East, the Snake is South, and Wolf is West, and the Lizard is North.

As my last full day in New York came to a close my grandmother gave me one last gift; a reading of my choice using the medicine cards. I chose what is called the butterfly spread. It is a spread is used give insight into the path of a project or life.

To begin, I stood facing my grandmother with two feet on the ground. We breathed and centered ourselves and then sent down our energetic tap roots from between our ovaries, going down and down into the depths of the earth. Then we spread roots from our right foot and our left foot, grounding ourselves to the energy of the earth. Then we asked for the energy of the earth to come up and into us, cleansing us. It came up through our feet chakras, swirling around and through our body, then our survival chakra that lies between our ovaries, and the second chakra, the one of emotions that lies right below the navel. Then to our solar plexus, the energy center of our body and our third chakra. From here we sent the energy of the earth up through our heart chakra and out to our fingertips, where our hand chakras, the ones of creativity, lie. Then to our throat chakra, communication, and to the third eye, and then lastly to the seventh chakra that lies at the crown of our head. As the energy came up through our crown and swirled around us we then took a deep breath and ran the energy back into the earth, flushing out any and all good and bad energy in each chakra and leaving us a clean and open slate.

Then again I went down deep into the earth, this time asking what is the question or the task that I will ask the medicine cards about today? All at once there is was. The word Community. How will I manifest community? What will be my role in it? Why is community important? And so I brought the task of creating community to the medicine cards.

The first card I drew was the card for the east- the place of birth and beginnings, the Egg Card. Here is where the nucleus or seed of my project would lie. I sat with the cards in my hand until I knew just which one I wanted. Pulling it forth I saw that it was the Bear Card, the solitary Bear of Introspection. Then the card spoke to me quite powerfully, bringing tears to my eyes as I realized that I, like the bear, felt alone, and was seeking a sense of belonging. And in that desire for belonging is the seed for the manifestation of community.

The second card is for the South, the Larva Card. This card is about early doing, the laying of the groundwork that will allow for the completion of the task. In this card lies the question of whether or not the energy will be great enough to overcome the obstacles that lie ahead. And it seems my cards are speaking a resounding YES. I drew the Snake Card, a card that speaks of being able to transmute all poisons, transforming them into creation.

“Snake medicine people are very rare. There initiation involves experiencing and living through multiple snake bites, which allows them to transmute all poisons, be they mental, physical, spiritual, or emotional. The power of the snake medicine is the power of creation, for it embodies sexuality, psychic energy, alchemy reproduction, and ascension (or immortality).”

Could it be that this is speaking of the experience of losing my first love at age 21 to a tragic death? Despite the words of those who love me wishing I did not have to go through such things, I feel strongly that I would never have had it any other way. And that indeed my experience with Stephen gave me much more then it ever took from me. Perhaps this is because I did indeed experience it, willingly and without resistance, a quality that is strongly embodied in Snake medicine.

But the part of the snake that spoke most powerfully to me was it’s rattle, telling me that in the now, I must be willing to sound the alarm, stir up the pot and make some noise. I must work to make my voice heard, despite my soft-spoken nature if I am to bring this Community to fruition. Perhaps creating this blog is part of me doing just that?

The third card is for the West and is the Cocoon Card. It is the place of the spirit, and speaks of higher purpose and transformation. How will this Community serve the Great Spirit? Here I drew the Wolf Card, the card of the teacher. The wolf is the pathfinder and forerunner of new ideas; the one who returns to the clan to teach and share medicine. And it is an animal with strong familial ties.

It is also an animal strongly connected to the moon, a symbol of psychic energy, and the unconscious that holds the secrets of knowledge and wisdom.  The moon in this card is what spoke to me most strongly, speaking of a community that looked to a broader, larger, cosmic vision and stood as a beacon of light and a model for the world to strive towards.

My forth and last card was the card for the North, the Butterfly Card. This is the card that speaks of the rewards to be gained in this project, and whether or not the Great Spirit has walked hand in hand with this community. Although this card speaks of manifestation and the rewards that may lie at the end of ones path, it is also a place of Spirit, but one must remember that matter follows vision and spirit.

For my North Card I drew the Lizard. Looking at the lizards card made me think of chameleons and the ability to survive in the harshest of deserts. To me this card spoke of a community able to change, adapt, and evolve, thereby surviving even the hardest of times. The lizard is also a creature of dreams and shadows. It is truly an animal of spirit, and a fitting one to tell of a dream come to fruition and evolved into even bigger dreams.

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