Spring Spirit Animals

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Oooooh, darlings!  Can you feel it?  It’s Spring!  The world around us is getting lighter and brighter and awake-r by the day, and I feel like I’m brightening and waking up with it.

One of my favorite things to do in the whole world is take a walk outside.  No matter where I am or what time of year, there’s something magical about knowing that THIS walk could never be quite like any other walk.  It’s a place in time that’s completely unique, with a totally special and un-repeatable gathering of creatures, weather, and energy.  It will only last a sweet little while.  There’s actually a word for this, that happens to be used a lot in association with Spring—ephemeral.  Isn’t that so lovely?  It makes me want to notice and breathe it in and blow a secret kiss to everything I see.

This kind of noticing is more than just delightfully fun—it can help you receive messages that the Universe is trying to send you.  Have you had a moment where you just felt very aware of a plant around you, perhaps more so than usual?  Or maybe it popped into your head that you’ve seen a lot of such and such animal lately, and you’re not sure why you thought of it.  Or are you just interested—even fascinated—by a certain creature whenever you see one?  Those could all be nudges that a spirit animal (or spirit plant!) is talking to you.  Yes, plants, animals, even rays of the sun and stars can speak to you if you are listening.

Here are a few nature-beings that love to share the Spring with us.  I’ll tell you about the types of things each has been known to say, but it’s important to remember that your connection with for instance, a robin, will be unique to you.  If you are still and truly intend to hear your message, you will.  Messengers, or spirit animals, can be quite talkative, and have different things to say to different people (of course!), so trust your heart’s interpretation of what you hear.  Then, call on your spirit animals when you need a little guidance—or a friend.  You might not see them physically every time, but they listen too and will send you love.

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Robin

Robin is the warm, witty, cheery trumpeter of the Spring.  If you see a robin it might be telling you that a new day is dawning in some part of your life, and that you are strong and brave enough to handle the transition.  Robin shows up when we are growing in our ability to trust our own intuition and express ourselves creatively.  It says, “Keep your own sweetness and your own song, no matter what!”  Robin loves when we show our own style and choose fun over drama, so if it sees you doing so, it might just sing you a little “Right on!” song.

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Earthworm

Do you move the earthworms off the sidewalk and into the grass after a rainy day?  Me too.  They seem so vulnerable, but did you know that they have 10 hearts? They also do the majorly important work of enriching and aerating the soil that grows pretty much everything we need to live.  I think “the force is strong” with these dears.  If you especially notice earthworms they may have this message for you—that you should never underestimate yourself, because your contribution (just like theirs!) is more important than you think.  The small can be mighty, and perhaps you should expect the unexpected.  Oh, and also that it’s perfectly fine to be soft and squishy sometimes—you don’t always have to be tough!

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Skunk

Our friend the skunk might not be the first animal that pops into your mind as a messenger, but try thinking of skunk as one of the many Spring babies born every year—sweet, fluffy, and full of quiet wonder for its new world.  Add the rainbow of Spring flowers around that fuzzball, and its black and white coat really stands out—indicating a message, perhaps?  Though skunks have a pretty intense way to protect themselves (which you know if you’ve ever smelled it!) they would actually rather not use it.  As some of the gentlest creatures in nature, skunks like to remind us to choose peace.  If you feel connected to a skunk, you may need to tune into quiet self-respect in some part of your life.  Listen to yourself, be proud of your gentleness, and give yourself any extra alone time you need.

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Cherry Blossom

A tree covered in Spring blossoms is almost overwhelmingly delightful, isn’t it?  You could just get lost in all that scent and color and bloominess.  Well, that’s exactly what cherry blossom wants you to do!  You might notice cherry blossom especially when you’ve been sad, worn out or grumpy.  We know that no emotion is bad, even the ones that can be difficult to feel (usually they just want to be felt, and then they’re on their way!).  That said, if you’ve had a rough time lately cherry blossom might be letting you know that it’s good to seek balance.  Give yourself a moment of fun, laugh, do something beautiful—like sit under a cherry tree!

Busy Season, Quiet Heart

 PHOTO BY AFRICA STUDIO VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

PHOTO BY AFRICA STUDIO VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

There are so many beautiful traditions and holidays (holy days!) that we celebrate in winter, and I love the music, sparkle, and extra enthusiasm of them all.  It’s a wonderful thing to party with your peeps, decorate your world, and unwrap surprises.

There’s a flip side though, isn’t there?  One party becomes 3 or 4, one shopping trip or extra activity becomes another--and another.  There’s an enchanted hush that falls over the natural world in winter, but we have to be still to feel it.  We have to stop.  We have to breathe, and notice.  It can be tricky to balance the excitement with the peace when it seems like everyone around us wants to go, go, go.  If you’re young, it might be more than tricky--if adults have final say over your schedule, it might be almost impossible.

But you can always find a moment.

Magic doesn’t have to be expensive or epic.  Winter magic is in tiny, silent, snowflake moments--and all we have to do is notice it.

It’s actually very, very natural to crave coziness and a slower pace this time of year. Appreciating our gifts and blessings, the loveliness of pine trees and snow, the hopeful feeling of lighting up a dark night can be plenty of holiday “doing.” If you love the gentler side of celebrating, you are not alone.  Not at all.

Even our modern, festive “go, go, going” has roots in simple observing and connecting to nature. Seasonal foods, plants and trees, glowing light, loving gatherings, gifts and offerings are the peaceful basics that so many of our traditions are built on.

And of course, our shared belief in miracles and magic.

So remember to think in moments this season.  A moment to rest. To wander. To be quiet. To look for the brightest star. To smell a sharp, sweet spruce tree.  To watch a wavering candle flame.  Listen to your heart and make up a quiet tradition of your own.  You can always find the stillness.  And then the winter magic will find you.

Art Project: Let it Fall

It’s fall where I live.  Early days still, but you can feel the autumn-ness in everything.  The leaves are glowing yellow, with tiny bits of burgundy and fiery red.  It smells earthy, and acorns are crunching under feet and tires.  The geese are going by in their vees, honkity-honking.  I love noticing all the changes.

I even notice changes in myself.

Though our culture has it a bit backwards (with so much beginning in the fall!), autumn is a time where we have a natural pull inward, and a feeling that we want to slow down and do a little bit more noticing.  The summer has us moving, playing, interacting, growing.  When fall comes, there’s a shift.  Less adding to our lives, or our stuff, and more reflecting on who we are, what we’ve already done, and maybe even saying some goodbyes.

It’s even a really natural time to let yourself feel sad if you need to.  The energy of fall will be soft and misty around you if you want to have a good cry about something.  It will be strong and cool and apple-scented to lift you up after you’ve been grieving or missing somebody you’ve lost.

And just like the trees feel ready to let their leaves turn and fall, I feel things in myself that I’m ready to let go of—because I know that letting go makes space.  For rest.  For new adventures I want to have, new parts of myself I want to get to know better.  I love to take this time to remember who I was at the beginning of the year, and really be amazed at how I’ve changed and all I’ve been through.  I try to release ideas and plans and deadlines that aren’t helping me love myself and be happy.  I let go of time I’m spending with people or situations that don’t feel healthy.  If I’ve been trying to change myself for someone else, I use my reflecting time to figure out why, and I put my heart back into being ME.

Now sometimes all these thoughts and feelings come and go, and there’s not much you need to do but think and feel them.  But often there’s a magic (especially at times like season changes!) in making those feelings into things you can see and touch.  Expressing what’s inside, letting it exist outside you, is a really powerful way to feel whole and balanced.

Making something is a kind of sacred creative ritual that helps you feel connected to all the souls out there who have felt—are feeling!—the autumn-ness too.

One of my ways of doing this is painting, which seems to go perfectly with the little leaf canvasses that are all around us.  If you want to try this Let it Fall Weekend Project, here’s what you’ll need:

1. Your thoughts  (I wrote a few pages in my journal and made a little list of things I was ready to let go of in my life.  Do whatever feels best to you as far as how long you give yourself to think about it, and whether or not you write your thoughts down.)

2. Leaves

3. Paint (I used a few colors that felt connected to some of the things I wanted to let go, and some that were just my favorites.)

4. Brushes & Water (And a place you can get a little messy—maybe a big piece of paper for underneath your leaves.)

I decided to just kind of softly hold my list in my mind while I painted, but you could choose to have each leaf represent one specific thing.  Or you could write your ‘letting go’ thoughts on your leaves, then paint over them.  Anything that feels good to you is perfect here.

Once my leaves were dried, I set them out on my bedside table to remind me that all of who I was, all of what has happened in my life—even things I want to (or have to) let go of, become beautiful like autumn leaves.  Just like those leaves they are lovely as they fall, and they turn into nutrients and blessings for my future.

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Crystal Power

 PHOTO BY ANASTASIA TVERETINOVA VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

PHOTO BY ANASTASIA TVERETINOVA VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

Hello, Unicorn Loves!

Have you ever had a conversation with a rock?  Me too!  Many times, actually.  I put a black tourmaline in my pocket when it offered to help me feel safe, asked a Lake Superior agate if she wanted to come home with me, and chatted at length with a rose quartz & red jasper (about which powerful words they felt connected to) while I made them into word + crystal necklaces.  Rocks, stones, and crystals have a really unique place among earth-stuffs, because they are very healing, and very easy for everybody to accept.  “Crystals” may sound new-age-y to some, but almost everyone resonates with a birthstone, a white sand (it's quartz!) beach, or the flash of sparkle in a cave wall (treasure hunt!).

Rocks, stones and crystals are everywhere in our planet and everywhere in our culture, so they make really laid-back, comfortable, “down-to-earth” friends.  You can always ask for a stone’s help in whatever way your intuition tells you (just remember to do it with respect and thanks), but here are a few of my favorite practices and stones.

 

AMETHYST

Amethyst is a well-known, easy-to-find crystal of CALM.  Its beautiful violet color also has a special association with spirituality, which fits perfectly with its peaceful nature.  Amethyst reminds you that you KNOW WHO YOU ARE:  An integral part of this whole cosmos, made of stars, meant to be you, and able to help create reality!  Amethyst will help you tap into your clear, steady heart, even in times of change.  She helps you get good sleep, or chill out when you’re agitated.  Place an amethyst under your pillow, and pack it when you’re traveling, even just overnight.  Amethyst helps you be YOU, be PEACEFUL, and observe calmly and clearly, even when it seems like change and transition are swirling you around.

 PHOTO BY CHARLIE BLACKER VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

PHOTO BY CHARLIE BLACKER VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

LAPIS LAZULI

Made up of a family of minerals including lazurite, sodalite, calcite and pyrite, lapis lazuli is technically a rock, rather than a crystal--and it has been a rock-STAR of power and beauty since prehistoric times.  She’s been used for jewelry, painting pigment, carvings, mosaics, and makeup.  She's totally beloved for her rich blue, flecked with with light blue, gold, and white.  Lapis lazuli’s spirit power is to help us be honest, and express our truest, most creative selves.  If you need support sharing your truth or trying to describe something from your imagination (songs, stories, art, etc.) hold a small lapis lazuli on your throat and hum or sing a little bit (I like “When I Look to the Sky” by Train or “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit D. Frog when I do this).  Lapis will help you feel strong in being--and saying--who you are.

You can also look very softly at a piece of lapis and envision the whole starry night sky in its deep blue and gold sparkles.  Pick a sparkle and wish on it, like you would on a star.  Feel in your heart how every tiny sparkle is part of the Universe, and the whole Universe is in every sparkle.  Put all that magic and mystery and power into your wish, and know that it’s possible for anything you truly want to happen.

 PHOTO BY MARCO ZAMPIERI VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

PHOTO BY MARCO ZAMPIERI VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

RAINBOW FLUORITE

Rainbow fluorite is one of the trustiest unicorn crystals because it helps us integrate the so-much-ness of life.  We notice and feel A LOT (we’re meant to!), so fluorite protects us from overwhelm as we take things in and learn from them.  She is a master organizer, and cheers us on as we sort out all of our experiences in a way that really serves us.  Your mind, body and soul all want to be their best and highest, and fluorite loves to help you grow into that!  Put rainbow fluorite in between you and your computer to “take the best and leave the rest” of anything you’re reading or listening to.  And of course, rainbows are symbols of our own beautiful, unique true colors, so rainbow fluorite is especially able to remind you that you’re going to make sense of life in your own way and your own time, and that you’re growing into exactly who you’re meant to be.

 PHOTO BY VVOE VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

PHOTO BY VVOE VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

I love to say hello and goodnight to my crystals, or blow them a quick kiss now and then.  I also thank them for absorbing sad, scary, or stressed emotions from me by cleaning them regularly. All you have to do to clean most crystals is gently rinse them under running water, then dry them with a soft towel or some time in the sunlight.  They can also be cleaned with just a few hours sunlight, or overnight under the moon.  Burying crystals in the earth (a very restful, cozy feeling for them), or doing a sound bath with bells or music are also fun ways to clean them. The only exception on our list to a couple of these suggestions is rainbow fluorite--she doesn’t love to get wet, and should only be the sun briefly, as she’s sensitive to it and may fade.  And on the subject of taking care, always keep your crystals carefully away from younger kids and pets.

Overall, people love crystals, and crystals love us.  They’re easy to care for, and lovely fun to use--and help us feel beautifully and magically connected to the earth (which we are!).

 

Crystal Power Resources you can check out:

The Crystal Bible

Color Your Life With Crystals