As I finish up another week of training with my teachers in New Mexico, I'm all a-whirl with amazement. The shamanic path is, in some ways, very simple in its goals and practices, and for us, at this time, there is core message that shamanism delivers to us: the world is far more alive than we've been taught, and far more interactive with us than we've been led to believe. We are far more able to create joy than we are told- largely because or entire culture - the economy, entertainment and mainstream religion - runs on the power of dismay.
That word, Dismay, is applicable for us right now as we head toward the month of May, and toward one of the central holidays in the Celtic Shamanic tradition: Beltane, celebrated May 1. This is the beginning of summer, the direction on the medicine wheel of Joy, revelry, dancing and sensuality among other powers.
The prefix "dis"(dismay, disappointment, disease...) comes from the Greek/Roman god of death and the the underworld: Dis. To be dismayed is to have your "May Power" (the power of Joy) taken to the underworld and held by the God Dis. Now, be careful, because we live in a culture full of the martyrdom and victimization, so when our May/Joy power is stolen by Dis and taken to the underworld, we can we can move quickly to feeling victimized: "This sucks, man, Dis took my Joy to the underworld." (There's a Facebook status for you.)
But sometimes Dis comes to steal from us because it's time to refine that power, or to break open the small container that it is held in, to help us create the larger container that can hold more of that same power. In the Celtic Tradition, the Faeries steal from us possibly just to annoy us becasue they find it fun, but more often to open our attention- to remind us to get back to paying attention to the right things.
So how do we rescue our Joy from Dis? One way is prayer. Yep, prayer. Take a look at this article on brain neuro-circuitry, how we rewire our thought patterns, deleting the bad and opening the good. Prayer is the practice for this, I'm telling you. Real prayer at least.
Wahoo, dear travelers!