Shamanism, Subtlety, and Patience

Winter brings an abundance of flatness in grays and whites. Does nature have gifts that we are missing during these seemingly lifeless days of winter? 

Some artists can deliver the dull colors of a northern winter, drawing us into their rendering of a wintery landscape. I have wondered how they develop this skill.   I asked my artist friends about this and they all recommend the same thing: spend a lot of time in nature. 

Study the fine shades of whites and grays emerging from the sky, the trees, shadows in the snow, and the changing patterns of scenery the clouded sun creates as it moves across the sky.   As you are willing to spend time with subtlety you will see it is gifted with grandeur, depth and the unfolding of nature’s story and hidden beauty.  

As a shamanic teacher, I have found that some students are losing the gift of subtlety and patience. Our lifestyle is so fast paced that we have come to expect answers to be available and visible in an instant.   Like the grays and whites of the winter months, shamanic journeying requires the willingness to sit in quiet observation enabling the depth of what is there to unfold and teach us.  

Being harried or impatient does not provide us the wisdom we seek. We are then merely glancing, touching down and taking off, rather than taking the time to study, observe, and gather the gift that our journey offers. As a shamanic practitioner it is important to develop a keen awareness of faint beauty and delicate movement as well as the soft message. Not all wisdom comes blaring out at us in a cornucopia of color and loud sounds, or for that matter, with instant clarity and speed.  

I am using this winter time to sharpen my surveillance skills while observing the nearby landscape and the detail in the ash tree limbs that sway before my window.  I invite you to stop and observe the messages and nuances of the grays and whites, and tell us what you learn.