Monday, March 1, 2010

Moon of Affirmation

On the Medicine Wheel there are 13 moons.

On our Western calendar there are 12 months.

In ancient times, our ancestors used to name the Moons with the help of environmental signatures, and they would vary according to regions and landscapes. For example, in the Montégégie of Montreal, Quebec, the Moon of June could be named the Moon of Ripe Strawberries where in the Niagara region of Ontario the Moon of July could be called the Moon of Red Cherries. Images and impressions tied to the Moons and shared through storytelling allowed people to identify the clans and their ancestral land. It also conveyed the understanding that men along with nature are influenced by cosmology. Today, we don’t call the moons --- moons anymore but we call them months. The Moon of Changing Leaves for example would be the month of September. I believe that by calling the moons --- months and by distancing ourselves from a language that is based on experience, impression, senses and imagery we’ve also lost the consciousness that we’re affected by the moon, the sun and the planets.

There are more babies born on the Full Moon than any other time of the month. There are also more accidents, more crimes and more phenomenons, which occur on the Full Moon as well. Passamaquody elders have watched the Moon touch the tides of the Atlantic Ocean for a very long time and they say that the Moon touches all of us plant, animal and humans a like. I tend to agree with this statement even though we live in modern times. These may be ancient teachings but they still apply today, this is why when I started teaching the Medicine Wheel I chose a vocabulary that dealt with human development to speak of the moons. This language best suited the people of our time.

1. Moon of Welcome – birth to 1 year old.

2. Moon of Affirmation – 2 years old

3. Moon of Drama – 3 years old.

4. Moon of self-value – 4 years old.

5. Moon of omnipotence – 5 years old.

6. Moon of territory – 6 years old.

7. Moon of Inter-Relations -7 years old.

8. Moon of Surrender – 8 years old.

9. Moon of Breaking the Masks – 9 years old.

10. Moon of Reasons – 10 years old.

11. Moon of Humility – 11 years old.

12. Moon of Metamorphosis – 12 years old.

13. Blue Moon – Moon of Initiation – 13 years old.

I’ve lived through 44 Moons of Affirmations in my life and out of those 44 maybe a dozen were celebrated consciously. In Western society we teach our children to celebrate their birthday. We buy them gifts and offer them cake with candles. They make a wish and they expect to be celebrated in a similar manner every year. In Shamanic circles rather than celebrate our birthdays we celebrate every Moon of our personal Wheel because every Moon delivers experience, learning, healing, knowledge, wisdom etc…. Sweet 16 and milestones like our 30th, 40th and 50th birthday celebrate age. I’ve noticed that rather than putting importance to time like we do in Western society, Shamanism allows us to give value to living moments.

When we explore the Moon of Affirmation we often look at the terrible twos. It’s about saying “yes and no:” Testing the waters! And yet, it’s more than about challenging our caregivers it is also about expecting them to give us permission, approval, recognition, support and confirmation. Some can spend life times seeking for affirmation. Last week when I started preparing for our Moonlodge circle on Saturday, I asked myself the question: What does the Moon of Affirmation have to tell us this year? I knew that cosmologically this Moon of Affirmation had a strong male principle. We always say that the Full Moon is connected to the feminine but that isn’t quite true. Men do vision quests and they too seek out the council of the Grand-Mother. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have more men consciously and ritualistically return to hunting the Moon? Synchronically speaking there were more men than women in the last few weeks that came to me with questions concerning dreams and meaningful, spiritual, life experiences. Hence, I decided to approach four men in my life and ask them to share with us two affirmations that touched their life.

The idea of working with Goddess during the Moon of Welcome or with quotes during the Moon of Affirmation is to help us in self-discovery. Working with the Medicine Wheel brings us to learning and healing. Thank you to JA, RM, LB, and CC for helping us understand affirmation.

JA delivered two quotes about integrity.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt about JA, a man that I’ve known for a good decade, is that he’s a man of honor. He’s one of those few people I know that still believes that our words are binding. JA said that the single most important quote that he could remember came from his father. He used to say : A man is only as good as his word. Just be careful not to become the fool.” Walter, another fellow and mentor to JA said something similar to what his father used to say: "integrity is doing what you say you will do but just be careful not to say foolish things." JA admits that integrity has become more and more important with age.

RM wrote: I had a mentor in business a decade ago, his name was DB. I had just started working with him, I was being placed in a leadership role in this business and I wasn’t totally comfortable with it so I was looking for a guide. I figured there are strong leadership roles in wolf packs so I started seeking a Wolf in the dreaming to teach me, that’s when we met. Any way I can’t tell you who he might have been quoting but he would say, “All things happen for the good. Not all things that happen are good but they happen for the good”. That always helps me to understand that there is growth or a lesson in every situation even the ones that are hard to get through.

The second quote is by Abraham Lincoln from when he was addressing the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, in 1859:

“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away." How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”

These quotes couldn’t describe RM better. He’s an optimist and literally sees goodness in all things. Like JA, I’ve known RM for a good decade and what I’ve appreciated most in this man is his down-to-earth nature and the way he relies on simplicity. It’s amazing how heroes aren’t born from Gods but humans who use their god given gifts.

LB’S quotes are from Einstein and Moses.

“My two role models are actually Albert Einstein and Moses” he writes, “Moses because he was born into royalty but he did the right thing to rejoin his family and people. He sacrificed a life of comfort to do the right thing and help to lead his People out of Egypt.”

“Einstein because he was a dreamer” LB adds.

“He was so dedicated to his life work and passion. I read that he came up with the theory of relatively by imagining he was flying next to a beam of light. He was a great thinker and a scientist who was also a dreamer and used the power of imagination.”

LB and I have been friends forever. It’s the dreaming that brought us together and as long as there are dreams there will be the two of us. In LB’s quotes there is innocence, childlike wonder, and playfulness. Affirmation is positive energy and it comes in so many different forms, colors, flavors and movements!

Finally CC sent me his quotes this weekend.

In point form he wrote:

First quote. People don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care.

“I heard this at a seminar by a guy named MC,” he wrote, “MC was a great leader and people person.”

“I applied his quote in my life. Sometimes I bombard people with information and they become stagnant or uninterested. When all I need to do is listen to them and their story; support them and let them know how much I care about them. People like to be listened to and cared about. Once you can get that in a relationship then they become more receptive to the information I try to share.”

Second quote. Treat others how you would like to be treated.

“To be honest” said CC “I can’t remember who I heard this one from. This quote means a lot to me and I live my life by this one. I can say that I do not have one enemy. I can’t think of anyone that has a bad opinion of me. I do my best to teach honesty to my kids. I remember one time T and I went to the store. I bought a scratch and win ticket. When I got home I noticed the store owner, S accidentally gave me 2 tickets. T said: “wow dad you got one for free.” I told him “no I didn’t pay for this one” and I made him take it back to the store to S. I think that lesson stuck with him.

When me and M were on vacation with 2 of our friends we were walking behind a group of people I noticed something fall from this girl in front of me, when I looked down I noticed it was a roll of money. I picked it up and tapped the girl on the shoulder she looked away she was a little bit drunk. I asked the guy beside her if he was with her and he said yes. I held out my hand and told him she dropped the money. He kept staring at me confused and surprised. Why would I do that. My friend D who was beside me said CC your probably the only guy I know who would do that. Well that’s how I was brought up and that’s how I would like to be treated if the shoe was on the other foot.

CC and I are new acquaintances and we naturally connected. I love his affirmation, it’s also one of my favorites. I think that what he suggests is that feed our world with our affirmations and feel proud of ourselves when we do so. Gratitude is definitely part of the Moon process.

Affirmation.

It’s about slowly growing into the heroes who shape our lives. Strangely enough if we want to be able to give affirmations we have to be open to receive affirmations from the cosmos, our parents, our friends etc… Unfortunately, there aren’t enough affirmations in our world today. It wouldn’t hurt to cultivate more and more of them each day. Thank you to the guys who contributed to my blog. You are our heroes this month.

4 comments:

Michelle said...

Wow I just about missed this thread :)glad I went back to review...Nice to think of our Affirmations in life... I really enjoyed hearing from the male energy too..Great post!

Cougar-D said...

I really liked the part about heroes being people who use their god given gifts. What better way than this to affirm ourselves. I hope I can grow into a hero too, like many people in my life

Wapeyit Malsom said...

I have no doubt that you will grow into a HERO Cougar-D. It takes acknowledging the heroes in your life and then, wanting to be like them (Moon of Drama - on the Medicine Wheel).

LISA

Rose said...

I think I have some work to do during this Moon. I understand your question about Models now and given my answer, no wonder writing that letter is on my to do list. Now I know it needs to be done in this next Moon