Dragonfly: metaphor for diversity


thanks https://pixabay.com for these pictures
I was surrounded by dragonflies. Like mini bi-planes, each dragonfly had broad flat orange wings – each with a black spot – that kept them hovering about 30cm from the ground. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and experiencing! These creatures in my experience are usually finely built and flit quickly in and out of your vision as they fly and hover over water. As I crossed the somewhat dusty flat ground toward Injalak Arts building, a hundred or more hovered and swirled not far from me, maintaining their height from the ground and seemingly not at all intimidated by this intruder. 
I’ve always been fascinated by insects and this was an event that was worth writing about! I couldn’t effectively photograph the dragonflies as on camera they blurred with the background of the ground – so my picture will have to do! Imagine hundreds of these hovering at about knee height all around you.

Dragonflies with orange wings with black dots.

What can we learn from Nature?

Seeing these dragonflies, so unique in their shape and behaviour was awesome. That there was so many dancing to the same tune was almost overwhelming. I couldn’t help but wonder at them and ponder about what I could learn from them.

In his blog, “Australian dragonflies and man: now and in the future” , Prof. Günther Theischinger says that “Australia’s 325 species of dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) includes many ancient lineages of Gondwanan origin, and most are thought to have become restricted to the cooler wetter habitats once the continent began drying about 20 million years ago. Later, dragonflies from Asia also colonised Australia and are now about one third of the fauna, including many of the arid-zone species.”

What diversity in one species! It is crucial that this diversity is maintained for the health of our fresh water systems. The appearance of dragonflies is then, a good sign for the health of local fresh water. … And, after all, fresh water is essential for the health of every part of nature and not least, the balance of nature.

The local indigenous people read the presence of dragonflies, associating them with nature’s abundance with the changes of the seasons. “Hunting and harvesting of bush foods still plays an important part in the life of bininj, and revolves around the traditional calendar of six distinct seasons. For example, in bangkerreng, the late wet season, the dragonflies over the water tell people that the fish are fat and plentiful.” Injalak Arts

We can all learn so much from the wisdom held by Indigenous Australians. Over generations, stories told by the elders contain information about the signs that nature provides about the abundance certain types of food ready to be collected. When a species of dragonfly appears, it may mean that a certain plant or flower is in bloom ready to be collected for food, or the change of season is near. So, even if this insect isn’t itself a source of food, then it is a signal that it is time to look for the plants that are ready for collection when they appear.

Diversity is so important. To have diversity we must look after the nature that is this planet. Our planet is evolving and changing as is the nature of the Universe. Natural change such as this we cannot change. The impact of human greed and ignorance is within our power to change.

What is dragonfly magic?

The next day at Gunbalanya saw us travel along a bumpy track to No. One Waterfall for a picnic lunch. What a beautiful place it is with its sheer rock cliff and billabong surrounded by pandanus and other interesting plants and trees … and wariness for the croc that is thought to have been stranded here after the last wet season.

Lunch was spread on a cloth. Immediately, dragonflies appeared. About eight of them hovering over the food. Each was delicate of wing and a different colour; red, blue, green, orange. Diversity. All in one place.

As the dragonflies’ presence symbolised diversity, diversity was to be found in our group; Indigenous Australians and white Australians born in Australia, England and South Africa.

Looking at the symbolic magic of dragonflies is important as it helps us to align our lives with nature. Not only does it lend meaning to our lives, it serves to make us more aware and caring of our environment. So here are some thoughts about what the symbolic meaning of dragonflies might mean for you.

Dragonflies flit here and there. They hover, perfectly still. – Do you move quickly from one thing to another instead of remaining, concentrating, and finishing one thing at a time?

Dragonflies signify the changes of the seasons; also, changes for you.

Dragonfly asks you to go deeper into things; to pause, contemplate and find deeper meaning and tap into deeper emotions.

The magic and mystery of life is awakening in you.

What is dragonfly message?

As we begin to listen to nature and to what she is telling us, we notice the presence of dragonfly and find meaning relevant to our lives.

The abundance and diversity of dragonfly warning us of the changes of the seasons of the land and the seasons of our lives. They remind us to speak out, look out and act to protect our environment.

The habits, colours and resilience of dragonfly reminds us of the importance of diversity; in nature, in human cultures.

A strong message came with the variety of dragonflies that came together and joined us for lunch – that people of diverse cultures come together to share and be together, to respect, accept and honour difference and diversity, and to learn from each other.

I hope you enjoyed this journey with me,

Blessings,

Betsy

ps. I couldn’t help but indulge a few of my dragonfly + one wasp photo below!


dragonfly on car antennae

red bodied dragonfly

Luminescent wings

wasp

Some references for you:

Injalak Arts Centre http://injalak.com/culture/

Prof. Günther Theischinger,  “Australian dragonflies and man: now and in the future”

Making Presents with Presence

What is your take on giving presents? Are you tired of feeling you have to meet the expectations of others when you choose presents?

Commercial gift

How can you make a present count?

What do you do if a person has everything? How do you choose presents that carry a message of your appreciation, gratitude and best wishes and intentions to the one it is meant for?

Present giving can be a minefield for stress especially at Christmas Season where the spirit of the time is about giving. To say the least, commercialism has a lot to answer for, for taking the spirit out of present giving.

Understandably, financial resources, the number of gifts to be found and the desires of the recipients become the focus and dull the joy of the giving spirit. Social and family culture is also a consideration during this time – ‘How it is done in our family’ – as families come together to celebrate.

Another way of approaching gift giving is to give a gift from your heart; to express all you feel and wish for this person in a present created by you.

Creating Presents from Your Heart

Q. What if I’m not creative? I don’t have a creative bone in my body!

A. Read my previous blog. It will help you understand the nature of creativity.

Q. How can I create a present come from my heart?

A. Creating from the heart begins with getting in touch with, and then listing everything that brings a heart connection between you and the other person. Remember all the things that the other person holds dear and is excited by. This will give you clues as to what kind of present you will create.

When you’ve decided what to create, gather the materials you require together. As you do this, you will consider the colours, shapes and textures that resonate with the person you have in mind.

You may have found a ‘recipe’ on the internet, in a magazine, or from your imagination. As you make the gift keep the person in mind, remembering all the positive things that you, and they, want in their lives. This will put your difference, uniqueness, energy into the gift. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Imperfections, like differences in relationships, are loved for their intention.

Q. What if I can’t make things? I’m all fingers and thumbs.

A. If you insist that you truly don’t want to dip into the full Monty of creating, then you can create by following the steps above, and purchasing, for example, a collection of things that reflect different aspects of the person. These will have the energy of your positive thoughts and will connect with the passions, colours and textures of the person.

Presentation.

Wrap your gift with the same intention, choosing colour and texture and style that reflects the spirit of the person or the nature of your relationship.

An Example:

I decided to create a present for a woman I had met a couple of times before. I wanted to show my respect for her. In making the present, I remembered the meaning of her name, her ethnicity, her love of nature and spirit in all things. I wrapped it in black tissue paper with a red ribbon – indigenous colours. When I gave it to her, she noticed the wrapping and then she took to heart the materials, the colours, the symbol – all that was important to her. We recognised the love and respect and connected in a way that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.


Wishing you a meaning filled Festive Season,

Blessings,

Betsy

Shamanic Wisdom ~ Walking in the East with Spirit.


horse - symbolism

I woke up feeling sad this morning.

The reason for it is one I don’t need to share except to say that it involves the behaviour of another…. and discussing it is not an option at this time. So, what to do? I could, as I have in the past, spiral downwards, become more upset and try to manipulate the situation with my emotions, or I could draw upon all my Shamanic wisdom and resources and be responsible for myself and my reactions.

How I took action.

I decided that the best thing to do was go for a walk. Walking shifts the energy in my body while it gives me the opportunity to ask Spirit to help me out. In the past, I would have indulged in my thoughts; they say this, they said that and I felt this and that etc. and in this way, put things into perspective in my mind. I would become very emotional and allow my emotions to fully expand and explode. Now I find I do it somewhat differently. Today I stepped out calling upon Great Spirit to help me with this situation; to put it into perspective and show me what to do and how to be.

On the Sacred Circle Map, I was walking in the East; in Spirit. Previously I would have been in the South, indulging my thoughts or the West with my emotions or maybe in the North looking for practical solutions. The North was helping me out with physical activity of walking to help me connect with Spirit. This means that I was walking mindful of my surroundings with my mind quiet and the issue resting with Spirit. I breathed in the air, the scents, sounds and sights and felt and acknowledged the great sadness within me, while feeling gratitude for the beauty around me.

Message from Spirit.

When I arrived at the field where beautiful horses graze, I found my solace. Today there were five horses (the number for my name) – usually there are four. Four of the horses were standing facing away from me in the shade. Sitting on the warm gravelly sand next to the small pond was a dapple grey looking straight at me, as though to say, ‘Yes, this is it! Take note!’ Then he proceeded to lie down and relax in the warm sand, then sit up and look at me again. Then he did it again but this time he turned his tummy to the sky and lavishly wriggled in the sand before sitting and looking at me again.


Horse symbolism

The Meaning.

When receiving messages, it is important that you have a clear intention in the first place so that you know what it is referring to! Today I stepped out calling upon Great Spirit to help me with this situation; to put it into perspective and show me what to do and how to be. Here was a clear message to ‘Chill out and relax!’ Tummy to the sky – vulnerability – I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable and this is important; now things will have the opportunity to shift. Sitting by the pond – look at your reflection; know who you are and what you want that will serve your higher good. Also, be aware of the other’s reflection – it is different from yours. Take care of yourself, enjoy and relax. Horses are earthy and grounded. They take us on journeys as they take us for a ride. They are playful, intelligent, independent and yet giving. These are qualities that I also bring into my message.

Further along the track, a little stick called me to pick it up. It is a beautiful wand and reminds me of the magic within me and that I am responsible for making the magic happen.

Wand symbolizes the magic.

Conclusion

On my return journey, the horses had dispersed and were munching grass in the sun. I had my answers and will take time to allow myself to process how they will manifest from in my life.


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Walking in the East:

  1. Make a clear decision that you are going to walk with Spirit and that you will release your mind/brain.
  2. Set a clear intention.
  3. Walk mindfully, noticing if your brain engages in deep thought. If it does, thank it and tell it you are looking at nature in this moment.
  4. Notice what grabs your attention and take in all the details.
  5. Sit quietly, breathing into your belly and this will help you absorb the meaning that arises from the symbols you’ve collected.

Courage or Fear


Courage

COURAGE

is

STRENGTH  and DETERMINATION

in the face of

FEAR

Courage comes easily when we are feeling good about ourselves. We are confident and fear stands out of the lime-light.

When I’m feeling courageous everything is bright and possible.

Yellow is my colour for courage.

When things seem to be too hard and I’m questioning my commitment, I know that fear has taken over. That means it’s time to take out the Yellow flag of courage. In these times courage is drawn upon in the face of fear which can be difficult to do especially if it isn’t a situation where our values or empathy are being seriously challenged.

With courage I can attempt anything and while I’m trying new things I’m learning and growing. Success is knowing I’ve tried.

Landscape Dreaming and Symbolism



Symbolism is an amazing tool

that we can use to assist us

on our journey through life.

This is how I connected with Mother Earth and my higher power this morning using the symbols around me.

I recently experienced an amazing drum journey with Heather Price. During the journey  I visited the landscapes that my Spirit is connected with.

The water landscape that showed itself to me was a shady tree near a babbling creek. This is a place where I often visit during relaxation meditations.

So this morning, as I walked along my favorite walk beside the creek it was no surprise to me that I found a place quite like it. The only difference is that at the moment the creek bed is dry; a symbol in itself.

I took some time to sit and connect with Great Spirit and this lovely place and this is what I found.

With no flowing water in the creek I observed that this reflects how there are phases in life; times of flood, times of steady flow and times where there is silence – a time to contemplate and integrate.

As I looked at the rocks in the creek bed they showed me that the large ones are steadfast, embedded in the Earth; unmovable. The smaller ones are at the mercy of the force of water and are swept up by the water in times of flood, although some find safety in the spaces between the embedded rocks. For me the large rock has significance. My recent journey has been the large rock embedding/grounding me in who I truly am.

How does this relate to your journey? Are you scattered and swept along by the floods – your emotions? Are you swept up and off on a journey of excitement and travel? Or are you standing firm in who you Truly are?

Looking at the large embedded rock, I noticed the flotsam that it had held from the last flood. Stepping into the feeling of the steadfast embedded rock, I realised that so much, in the way of information, experiences, sensations, emotions, comes my way constantly. I realised that some of these I mindfully decide to keep; act on, use for my benefit or save for the love of it. At the same time, most of it is no longer useful and I it allow to be flushed away down the creek.



As I sat there under my spreading tree, there was an almighty raucous as two bush turkeys battled it out, flying up into the branches and crashing to earth; one chasing the other with great determination!

‘This also has significance to me,’ I thought, as I watched them walk in opposite directions with as much dignity as they could muster. The argument was settled. They were able to let it pass and go on to the next thing in their lives. So often when the ‘flotsam’ hits us in a flood of emotions it is difficult to know how to let the stream wash it away so that we can start anew. I examine it, see it for it’s true value and decide to keep the worthwhile lessons and allow the flotsam to flow away.

I love being in nature and now that I am committed to noticing the messages there, I love it even more!

Message Successfully Sent!