“The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.”
In my work with seekers (to ground us before the drum comes out and we head “away”) I call in the Seven Directions and all of the players that represent that team. As I speak or sing gratitudes to each of these elemental forces it is simple to express thanks for the beauties, the ease-full moments.
In the North, I thank the body of our mother for salt, sand, spices. In the South, I offer gratitude for the flame that brings love, art, and magic into form. However, if I am to play with Black Panther, my very dear friend-- my invocations and blessings would include one for isolation and impenetrable bounds in the North. In the South, that reverent flame would be the heat/hellscape of a devastating passion.
Sexuality, sensuality, rage, grief, fear are our raw material with Black Panther. When we struggle again our shadow-selves the pain is exponential. The judgement, shame, guilt linger and find easy projections onto our loved ones or that random lady on the subway/bus/plane! We become bound by taboo, choked by words unspoken, beholden to habitual response.
Black Panther slinks through the dark on paws that are sure and steady. Her footfall is silent. Her plush, jet coat stretches over ribs that are sharp and filled by growl/roar/screech. She will knock you down from behind, pull flesh from bone Just Like That.
You might roll over on your back, throw your hands up and beg her to do it again. (Not a bad idea.)
You might try and pull yourself to your feet and run. (I can’t recommend that strategy.)
As her eyes flash more brightly in the shadows and every single tiny bristle of fur (hers and yours) stands on end-- you might reach out to her in silence. Surrender? Maybe. Communion of souls? Yes, that.
Consciously call on Black Panther as ally and you have access to a level of healing and power that bridge time and space and annihilates every binary polarity that holds you hostage.
Abundance with deep reverence is Buffalo’s wisdom legacy. With Buffalo’s strength of spirit and embodiment of the sacred, there is no race to cut the line in a powerplay of greed and grasping. Instead, we share with gratitude the wealth offered. We know that there is plenty to go around if we practice the power of the circle, of grace and gifting. How can we live Buffalo’s teachings in a world of obscene economic injustice?
Buffalo trundled up alongside me just a few years into the Pluto and Capricorn era to make the global lessons of deep transformation of resources, power, and structure keenly personal. Just a few months into my “phoenix from the ashes” divorce stint, while still heavily mired in the ash heap, the next floor to vanish beneath my feet was financial. Reorganization at workplace. Position eliminated. Exhausted unemployment while fighting to find new work.
Buffalo snuffled closer and we spoke our gratitudes for what we had. Still, the path grew bleaker. Damn, much bleaker.
Cue the revolution. After skipping at least one meal a day since July 2014, after hocking wedding bands, anything left in closets, the fan off my bedroom ceiling: Somehow, I am laughing.
Buffalo shook out my beliefs about working hard, earning and saving money-- about resources, about security.
Such beautiful medicine is found in observation of the abstraction of money by innovator and author Charles Eisenstein in the unputdownable “Sacred Economics” (primer for Pluto in Capricorn if I ever saw one):
“In that realm it is exempt from nature’s most important laws, for it does not decay and return to the soil as all other things do, but is rather preserved, changeless in its vaults and computer files, even growing with time thanks to interest. It bears the properties of eternal preservation and everlasting increase, both of which are profoundly unnatural.”
What true wealth will I bank? Promises? Ecstasy? Connection? Wisdom?
That store will not sit untouched but be depleted in sacred giveaway. This is as it should be. Coffers of this type of treasure will be filled from unlikely allies, serendipitously placed strangers, from hustling hard but with grace. From plants, animals, children, elders, the elements at play. From each of the Seven Directions.