A Voice for Spirit
by Shannon McArthur
Yesterday I got on the bus, leaving my new-to-me Cool Car at home (yes, there’s a story there; soon to be here!) so I wouldn’t get another ticket. Day before, the meter only gave me 3 hours when I needed 4 and I couldn’t get away to feed it. But things happen for a reason.
So, the bus… When I arrived there were 2 men in the shelter, one of whom got up and gave me his seat so I could wait in comfort. Bless him! The man remaining was a large Metis and we gently conversed to wile the time away. We spoke of the weather (who doesn’t?) We spoke of magic too, though I can’t remember how it started. He told me his name, the one that means something! and I told him mine. He said he sees auras and that my name suits me, that I sparkle. That’s one sure way to generate positive interaction! We talked all the way downtown and I felt disappointed that we couldn’t continue. I hope to see him again.
There was an exchange of stories that I’d like to share with you because we don’t get enough stories of this kind of real earth-magic that connects us to the Great Mystery. Our days are full of doing and its easy to forget why. So, my story is from last year at the Kamloops Indian Band Pow Wow at the beginning of August. They have a huge open-to-the-sky circle covered by a roof over bleachers on the inside to see the circle, and outside, booths for vendors where you can buy jewelry and bannock, beaded moccasins and other art of many kinds. We were sitting inside, cooling off and watching the spectacle within the circle. The Grand Procession when all officials and performers and members of the tribe show themselves and their finery, had taken place earlier after a blessing was said. It all seemed very different and special, not like any other civic celebration. They were all dressed up and were not shy of being thought spiritual. It seems political correctness has overtaken so many aspects of our lives and we’re afraid to expose our bellies, our softnesses, but not here. I’d like to know who decides what’s right because I think they’re wrong, a lot of the time! (Oh, is that PC?)
Young girls compete for Kamloopa Powwow Princess and the challenges are very similar to any beauty pageant. They are judged on beauty, public speaking and talent and that’s when it happened… I even remember her name, Sunshine Bird, and she played a wooden flute. While similar to the recorder I played in grade 3 it was bigger and sure didn’t sound like the noise I made!! All the people were quiet and still. And then I noticed people moving, pointing upwards, and so I looked too, as people will. High above, so high it could be covered by a toonie, crows and gulls flew a circular dance, a pattern of black and white echoing the shape holding the sound coming from below. And when the song was done, they flew away.
Afterwards I expected to hear about it but nobody talked about it; there was no picture in the paper, no write-up. I was bereft and confused. I still am and I really want to change it. Many years ago I made a promise to Spirit, to our Mother, that I would be her voice and I’ve been able to do it, now and then. I use a special deck of cards, a tarot deck called The Gaian Tarot that is based on earth, air, fire and water, the elements that our reality is made of. That’s the work I was going to when I took the bus trip yesterday morning.
And the story that Grizzly Four Bears shared with me? He told me of a similar circle of birds – eight eagles. And when I said I wondered what they were flying above, he told me it was him and his friends. Now I want to know more…