Our Partnership With Nature
Choosing to Respect and Provide for All Living Things
by Cie Simurro~Thunderbird Starwoman (Part 2 of 2)
...if you want to help change the paradigm by which humans relate to
the natural world, you have to first start with yourself, and then offer your help with strong intent.
Totem - a natural object, especially animal, adopted as emblem of clan or individual (The Pocket Oxford Dictionary).
My work with the land in North Carolina really opened me. So did my healing work. After vision questing, opportunities for helping the Mother were placed before me. Since I walked the land every day with my animals, I knew what flora and fauna lived there. When the town board asked for input on what to do with the shared 214 acres of property, I was able to write up a strong proposal to keep the acreage as conservation land because of the many rare and important species that made their home there. Even my dogs and cats got into the act. My dogs, Molly and Elizabeth, brought me to a tiny, bedraggled opossum, which became known as Precious. I carried her around my neck in a fleece pouch and fed her with a dropper. I eventually gave her to a possum rehabilitation specialist. She was successfully re-introduced into the wild. I've brought baby mice back from catatonic states, rescued baby birds, and journeyed for people who wanted to learn about their totem.
After North Carolina, I moved to New England, where the natural world escalated my training, and it was sometimes quite traumatic. I went from a person who likes to have a nest, to one who moved from place to place, many more times than I would have wished, dragging furniture and books with me. Each place I went, the natural world had advocacy work for me to do. My four-legged medicine partner, Thunder, and I spent long hours in the woods, meadows, and wetlands. I was almost always called upon to educate the sensibilities of some homeowner or tree cutters (even when they called themselves conservationists). When unable to affect the direction of the cutting, I would do ceremony to help the spirits of the trees cross over, transmuting into other forms. I began to have unusual manifestations from the animal and mineral kingdom. I have travelled through three states with a Luna moth on my sweater. Similarly, a yellow swallowtail butterfly stayed on my body for twenty-four hours. When I wrote about porcupine, I described my relationship with a particular porcupine that mentored me in trust and openness. These true stories illustrate how personal and mystical our linkage with totems and the natural world can be. They enumerate the many ways one can walk lightly and caringly upon the earth. The lack of caring I witnessed made me ask to be of help changing the human-to-nature paradigm. The sub-title of my Totems for Stewards of the Earth book is: An Ecology of Love. Every person who has the desire to relate personally to nature can do so. I encourage you to be a steward for Mother Earth, in all the ways you can imagine being of service.
During the times when I am researching and writing about a totem I experience all the energies and related issues associated with that totem. I also come to love each and every one. I write these articles to help people open to ways they may connect with nature—substituting practical, natural things for chemical products, learning how to live in peace with all the kingdoms, and using creativity to solve conflict of interest. My prayer was, "How can I help?" At the time I did not think caressing a flower or weeping for the life of a wee beast meant anything to Mother Earth. Now I know every act of love to the "critter" nation, the plants, trees, and stones, causes our Mother to care for us with more enthusiasm. The more we interact with Nature, the more Nature interacts with us. I tell you all this to show you that if you want to help change the paradigm by which humans relate to the natural world, you have to first start with yourself, and then offer your help with strong intent. Watch the opportunities arrive for ways in which you can be most helpful. If a girl like me from Brooklyn, in New York City, can have an intimate relationship with the animal, plant, and mineral kingdoms, and Mother Earth, then so can you. Trust me. I speak to you only from experience. Open yourself to your own experiences, wherever you are, whenever you can. More will be given you as appropriate to your soul growth. The challenge of our times is whether mankind will answer the call to live in harmony with nature. It is only human to want to curl up in a fetal ball and constrict when we feel hurt or overwhelmed. Expanding one's boundaries into the fluidity of expansiveness is nature's way of dealing with loss, diminished returns, and pain. More, more, more, not less, less, less.
My totems articles are a combination of natural history, personal story, and the esoteric significance of the animal, bird, insect, tree, or stone. I begin each article by journeying with the archetypal totem (aka: deva, or chief) for a message that gives the people a feeling for the totem's universal wisdom. The metaphysical principles expressed by the totem are embodied in the animal, tree, or stone. The significance, or "medicine", expressed by behaviour, form, and function, manifests as spiritual power, of which they are the essence. This is very similar to the well-known doctrine of signatures by which the characteristics and healing qualities of plants are related to their function and form. From thirty years of doing healing work with both humans and animals, I have understood how fascinating the purity and intercession of totems are. Since man's beginning he has looked to animals and other totems, for living examples of natural behaviour, for survival, and for connection to the world of Spirit. Studying totems puts us in touch with principles for living that are relevant today. Our souls' longing to know ourselves as part of the larger community of life surges within us. I invite you to join me in creating a new paradigm of mutually shared compassion in linked destiny, for a shared future on Mother Earth.
We are in a grand partnership with Nature. It is as subtle and complex as the delicate, yet tensile, web of the spider. Just as nothing can touch the web without the spider knowing and feeling it, so also does every change in our ecology resonate throughout our entire environment. This relationship is not just physical. We have inextricably linked destinies on this dear planet. It is time to create a future for all living things, in order that we may all survive. This is accomplished through making choices that respect and provide for the needs of all living things. What a precious part each of us plays in the health of our world! Studying and working with nature can help us renew our faith in the process of healing, and of life; make our hearts young again, restoring the years that stress and struggle have taken from us. It puts us back in touch with the "forever perspective". It is my heart's desire that my readers feel embraced by the love of Mother Earth and the community of critters to which we all belong.
In the tradition of the grandmothers, like her mother's mother's mother who was the healing woman of her village in Sicily, Cie Simurro~Thunderbird Starwoman, has been a healer all her adult life. She has been a writer and teacher of ancient wisdom for the past 33 years. She does individual healing sessions and trains people in shamanic practice, light work, joyous empowerment, and earth stewardship. Known affectionately as Lady of the Beasts she does healing sessions for pets and/or their humans. Long-distance sessions available. If you want healing, training, or a Totems reading, call (413) 625-0385 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For Cie's totems book, Stewards of the Earth: An Ecology of Love, send a postal money order for USD$24.00 ($20 + $4 s&h) to PO Box 295, Shelburne Falls, MA, 01370, USA. She also has monthly totems articles on www.wisdom-magazine.com.