Ethnobotany, as Dr. Manuel Lizarralde, one of my podcast guests, so beautifully explained, is about more than just plants. It’s about our cultural uses and dependence on the plant world for shelter, housing, food, medicine, clothing, tools for living, and the lore that comes with them. They contribute to the richness, mystery, and magic of our lives.
Baskets are beautifully woven, priceless art, and time-tested vessels that help us carry, store, fill, and empty the gifts of daily life and the gifts of our metaphysical one. The weaving is often passed down through generations. The patterns hold memory and meaning. Basket weaving can be traced back to our origins. Often woven from reeds and grasses, they are useful.
Each culture weaves symbols and meaning into its baskets, making some priceless.
“In a world where there were no cupboards, plates, or bowls to hold your belongings, baskets served as indispensable items that had multiple purposes. They allowed people to carry water, clothing, food, and much more.”
In my travels with Native American elders, I learned to see more deeply into some of the symbols they shared. Many seemed simple or mundane, but I wanted to know more. The Burden Basket is one such example. Jamie Sands in Sacred Path Cards reminds me that this basket encourages self-reliance. To honor the process path of others and to refrain from gossiping about another whose back story we may never know. To enter another’s home respectfully and maybe leave our troubles by the door, in the burden basket, rather than dump them on another’s doorstep.
In dream work, we often go back into a dream if we find it disturbing or want to be in the energy of the dream for a brief while longer. Dreams dance in and out of our awareness like fog dissipating in the morning sun. I recommend using the basket in your meditations for dreamwork and personal awareness. One common example is to get settled into a quiet place and in a comfortable posture. Imagine finding a basket at a doorway that beckons you to leave the day’s troubles inside it and behind. Then, enjoy the meditation. Your thoughts and concerns will be waiting for you when you return.
Another suggestion is to place a basket by your bedside or at your favorite work area. Use it as a gratitude container for the day. Or write down a small miracle, a synchronicity, on paper and again place it in this container. At the end of a month or year, take them out and recall with gratitude what you have received that might be forgotten.
Both suggestions work really well and remind us of the power of the basket. When seen in our dreams, it can lead to unknown discoveries. And remind us to listen to inner guidance for solutions.
Sweet Dreaming. Judith
I’m down by the river again. The shade of the trees brings a breeze and coolness, a shelter from 90-degree days. I sit and write, observe, and enjoy the quiet time. Today geese swim by. Several families as if taking a leisurely Sunday stroll.
Geese as symbols have a rich history. Their flight, flight formations, and family systems offer possible guidance.
When these birds fly in formation, they create an uplift draft for the one following them. This allows for a greater flying range than if one bird flew alone. Think about teamwork and how it impacts your goal or job outcome. Think about the teams you currently work in, family, or job-related experiences. And if one goose falls out of order, they immediately feel the drag. So, they get back into formation quickly. They also share the leader position. When the leader is tired, another takes over, so the first one gets a break. Seems to be the opposite of our 24/7 type mentality. And they take care of each other when down and out.
Also, geese head out in Autumn, going south to warmer climes. And then head back North in the summertime. This ability to move back and forth speaks of flexibility, especially for our inner growth/ spiritual quest. As symbols, the South is the place of blossoming, warmer weather, and then back North to not only enjoy more of the same but come back to the wisdom place. They are sensitive to the seasons. Are you a snowbird? Do you enjoy the southern states in the wintertime?
Feathers were made into writing implements, the quill pen. For writers, this could be a great symbol. Though we have the computer, getting thoughts down and expressing ourselves clearly as possible takes disciplined efforts. The noble Goose and its patterns seem to be a perfect fit for application in our society whether work or family.
They mate for life, and both share in the raising of their young. Those with a Goose as a totem would probably mate for life and share in child rearing and perhaps have a love of travel.
Several years ago, I lived by a large pond. One November day, cold and chilly, I heard loud honking noises. I looked out my back window and saw hundreds of geese on our pond. Seems like there were having a family reunion before heading south. It was fun to watch. Yet, some folks who live on lakes, ponds, and rivers don’t like to see them wandering around in their yards because too many create quite a mess. Yes, I have seen geese seem to be pests on waterfront lawns. They eat grass and a few insects. Today overhunting, destruction of staging and winter habitats, and the ingestion of lead shot threaten their existence. And warming temperatures are delaying their flights south. They have a purpose within our ecosystems. How can we live with them if they appear to be pests on our personal land space? If we understand that we are holistic by nature, then we can figure this out. Any ideas?
Mother Goose, the Golden Goose Egg captures the child in us, the innovator, the dreamer of dreams, and the possibility we can bring our dreams into our daily life. So, how do you relate to Geese today? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
Sweet dreaming. Judith