b2ap3_thumbnail_crow-symbolism.jpg    In Shamanic journeys such as I have experienced them up to this point there is usually a team of spirit animals along for the ride.  Every journey is different and I have encountered beavers, coyotes, horses, Sneakers (dog), etc.  I find the nature of the beast(s) very revealing.  There are many books and a lot of information on line that offer different interpretations of the qualities these spirit aninals embody and what their presence in a dream or a journey signifies.  It is said the qualities a spirit animal possesses illuminate the personal challenges we are facing.  I find this to be true and often get the feeling of a lightbulb going off in the inner recesses.  

     Recently a consistent fellow traveler has been the Crow.  Crow sits on the right hand of the great spirit, in this case the masterguide, overlooking the territory or sacred space we assemble in.  Most sources agree Crow is the keeper of sacred law and the master of the arcane art of shape shifting.  Crow medicing has helped me address issues that seem our of harmony, out of balance, out of whack or unjust.  Shaman Stacy Couch writes, "When you find yourself in the midst of crow symbolism..It is time to release your attempt to restore balance and instead to watch the cosmos to find it's own equlibrium....you are not God.  You have no idea what someone else desires, what karma they carry...Let the magic of crow teach you how to see life impersonally and better understand the nature of existence."  It was a wake up call to bring this approach to situations where I have a deep personal investment or attachment.

     This aspect of Crow medicine hit me hardest teaching the ancient healing art of Sat Nam Rasayan.  Mastery is neutralty and I am often anything but neutral.  My opinionated nature ties me up in a knot and casts any possibility of healing into the void, the blackness Crow represents.   Allowing what is there to be free of agenda and interference brings to it the possibility of grace.  

     Here's the way Joseph Campbell puts it in Vol II of The Masks of God - Oriental Mythology,  "But for those who have found the still point of eternity, around which all - including themselves - revolves, everything is acceptable as it is; indeed, can even be experienced as glorious and wonderful."  Always it seems we come back to what process painter Michele Cassou calls "Point Zero", where painting, mythology and healing converge.

     So it is the journey that started with painting find it's way back.