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March 2008
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What the Ravens Said
Lena Stevens

I was sitting in our Labyrinth contemplating this article and asking spirit to guide me to write something that was not only informational but also appropriate for the times we are in. My mind was not clear at all what that should be and I felt somewhat daunted by the task. In addition, I was dealing with numerous irritating details of daily life, clients having the kind of difficulty in their lives I felt powerless to help with, and my own scatter and lack of focus.
           As I cleared my mind and became receptive I heard a voice. “Look up, look up” it called. “You called, you called?” I looked up and saw above me circling the sky at least eight Ravens, large and black and very active. They began to swoop and dive, chasing each other around, circling and playing with the breezes that had suddenly come up. I felt my spirits lift as I watched them, enjoying their antics immensely. “Do you have a message for me?” I asked.  “You don’t know how to play” was the reply. “You sit and worry and contemplate your next move carefully, thinking about consequences and the future. You sit too long. So long, you forget how to fly and your wings become weak. When it is stormy outside you huddle indoors. You try to protect yourselves from destruction by turning away from the storms, the fierce winds of change, the gnashing rain and snow.” Now it was apparent that the “you” was a collective “you” they were addressing.

            I shivered as I thought about being out in those elements they were describing and thought to myself, “these are Ravens not humans. We are not built for that kind of exposure. They are being a bit arrogant here, aren’t they?” Just then the wind increased to a gust, more Ravens appeared, and two of them swooped down to within inches of my head. “You (humans) are the arrogant ones who think you can escape these winds. The winds are coming, the winds are coming.” they cawed. “Then what should I do?” I asked. “Teach me your wisdom and show me how I can play”.
           This is what they said.
“We come from the North, riding the cold winds of the North. We are of the masculine, bringing clarity where there is confusion; bringing decisiveness where there is ambivalence. We clean the fog and clear the dust that settles onto the eyes, clouding intuition and the ability to see. We scoop and gather the finest crystalline light of the frequency of the sky above and deliver it to you in all its brilliance through our feathers. Look at us. We fly together as a family. We protect each other as a group, never alone. See that Hawk?” I looked to the side and sure enough, there was a huge Red Tail circling dangerously close to the flock but being chased off by three of the Ravens who flew in a kind of formation, isolating it from the rest of the group. Needless to say, I was impressed.
           “We protect our young, we know our territory, our habitat, and we fight for it. We teach our young to play, to have courage, to be aggressive when necessary, to be direct and straight. We communicate with each other.” Just then, I heard a great deal of cawing and they all suddenly took off, flew over the house and towards a nearby hilltop where they proceeded to swoop and circle and chase each other in what seemed to be even greater wind gusts. By this time the weather was deteriorating, the skies becoming dark and it was threatening to snow. I got up to move towards the house when the Ravens came back and I heard “sit down, we are not finished.”

            “We like the edge and we tell each other where the fiercest winds are. We love to play together. We do not know fear and there is never any failing, just practice and play. You (humans) must learn how to play, play, play; to move towards the winds instead of away from them; to be excited by what you create with mother earth instead of in fear of failure or death. You must teach your young how to play and how to be excited by the storms. You must seek out the challenges of the winds. The stormier the weather, the better and more perfect for learning to fly. The more intense the wind and the greater the blizzard, the higher we go. You (humans) are talking about raising your frequency and moving more towards spirit and yet you shy away from what makes you strong. Playing in the storms is our way. You must learn to play in the storm to strengthen your wings.”
I thought about all the clients I have and the people I know that are hiding from the storms of our times, huddled in fear and waiting for them to pass. I thought of the Ravens and their ability not only to survive, but also to thrive in the worst of conditions and to enjoy themselves immensely in the process. I thought of what they could teach us about how to face the winds of change with courage and excitement. I thought of teaching my young-self how to play in those winds and how to use the challenge of the storms ahead to soar even higher towards the light of the sky. I thought about the importance of community and playing together and how, like the Ravens, we could actually enjoy the challenge of riding the edge. I also thought about what I had learned in my studies with the Huicholes of Mexico about the use of feathers in Shamanic healing work. About how they gather and clean and move energy. And about how they can bring in that crystalline light from the sky realm that serves so well to raise and elevate our wisdom and consciousness. I contemplated the various feather headdresses and head ornaments worn for centuries by shamans and those of shamanic or indigenous cultures. I could see that feathers served to establish a connection to spirit and a channel for wisdom and a higher frequency of light. I vowed to pay attention to what I had been given by the Ravens and to use their wisdom with my clients and students by showing a way of welcoming the storms instead of running from them. I vowed to honor all the winged creatures whose feathers I have used in my work for years; the Condor, various Hawks and Eagles, Owl, and others. I was so deep in thought I had not noticed the quiet that had descended and that the Ravens seemed to be gone.

It was now snowing softly and I felt rather than heard something behind me. I turned around and there in the branches of a tree at the edge of the labyrinth sat three of the Ravens. “We can also be at peace,” they said. “ We know how to rest, when to observe, and how to simply be. When it is calm, we take advantage and rest. When there is food in front of us we eat.” I thought of the many times I had seen Ravens feasting on road kill.
“We are always in gratitude and never wish that things were any different than they are. You (humans) waste a lot of time wishing things were different and resisting the storms.”
They were so quiet and still in that tree, I thought they could be asleep.
“Remember that we are an ally for these times. Call on us the next time you need clarity, decisiveness, communication, community, and the courage to go seek out and play in the storms and in the winds of change. And let others know about us. Use our help.”
With tears in my eyes I thanked the Ravens for their message, agreed to share it, and left the labyrinth in gratitude and with a commitment to myself to learn to play in the winds.

Lena Stevens
Power Path School of Shamanism





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