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Moon Lesson • How Buffalo Soldiers On

The full moon around this time of year is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons — the leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see animals that came out to glean from the fallen grains. Additionally, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes. These ceremonies were to celebrate the harvest and usher in safety and protection for the coming winter.

With the light of this moon as our guide, we begin our journey by reviewing our current resources (our personal harvest) and considering these resources through a yogic lens of energy and energy balancing. Clearly, the availability (or lack of availability) of external resources like money, shelter, and food are critical. So we first must come to grips with the fact that we actually have no control over those external resources, we have the illusion of control. We can certainly work to shift the availability of those resources in our favor. And we can find ourselves in circumstances that shift the availability of those resources out of our favor. BUT, in truth, each of us are one natural disaster away from losing it all.

Jeez…Erica, you’re laying it on kinda heavy aren’t ya? Yes. Yes, I am. On this journey through thirteen moons, we aim to break free of illusion and live in our truth. To do so, we must begin by removing our rose colored glasses and taking a good honest look at our individual and collective situations.

For some, this impermanence is comforting. But for most, that truth scares the heck out of you. So we are going to use this month to help us reframe what our resources really are, build our resources from the inside and learn how to better utilize these resources toward the highest and best possible outcome. Before we get into specific exercises, I’ll introduce our Spirit Animal Guide for this month. Each Spirit Animal introduced is specifically selected to anchor you, inspire you, and guide you as you weave the lesson into your day to day.

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Consider the spirit of the Buffalo. Buffalo is a symbol of survival, strength, power and yes, renewable resources. In general, Buffalo stands as a reminder that you always have everything you need. At the same time, it reminds you that your attitude towards abundance influences every aspect of your life. Before I go on, I want you to consider the definition of abundance for a moment. Abundance means to ‘have more than enough resources’. Often, in the yoga community, you will hear people “striving toward abundance” or “moving through life from a space of abundance”. Heck, I’ve said it myself in the past. And what I’ve come to recognize is this is simply a fear of scarcity turned on it’s side. Meaning that if you are constantly focused on abundance, you have seated yourself in a mindset of lacking something—a mindset that reinforces the falsehood that you don’t have enough, haven’t done enough, and aren’t good enough…yet. In a world designed to profit from your self doubt, this is exactly where those external influences need your mindset to be.

The yoga teachings suggest that we have what we need and that there is no need for hoarding (aparigraha). So this concept of “abundance” is actually not very “yogic” at all. Instead, we might be better served if we keep our sights on our true resources of resilience, inner strength, perseverance, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude.

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So back to Buffalo, as the representative of prayer, gratitude, and praise, Spirit Buffalo helps to remind you that everything you need is available if you honor everything as sacred, stay grounded as you work toward your fullest expression of wholeness & connection, and express gratitude toward every part of creation around you.

How do we shift our mindset from a fear of scarcity to a space of stability? We look within.

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This month for your goddess inspiration, I’m going to share a story with you rather than site details. This is the story of White Buffalo Calf Woman.

Long ago, there was a time of famine. The chief of the Lakota sent out two scouts to hunt for food. While the young men travelled they saw a figure in the distance and as they approached, they saw that it was a beautiful young woman in white buck skin. She had dark hair, dark clear skin and piercing dark eyes. One of the men was filled with lust for the woman. As he approached her, he called back to his companion telling him he would attempt to claim her as a wife. His companion was filled with a humbling deep within his bones and he warned the friend that this figure appeared to be sacred and to do anything sacrilegious would not go well. The boastful, arrogant man ignored the other's advice.

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The second man watched as the first approached and embraced the woman. At once, a white swirling cloud enveloped the pair. When the cloud disappeared, only the mysterious woman was left standing near a pile of bones at her feet. The remaining man was rightfully frightened at the sight of his friend turned to bone. He began to draw his bow. But this fierce and mysterious woman asked him to still his weapon. She called him forward, telling him that no harm would come to him, as she could see into his spirit and his heart was pure and balanced. The woman spoke Lakota, so the young man decided she was one of his people, and came forward.

At this time, the woman explained that she was wakȟáŋ (holy, having spiritual and supernatural powers). She further explained that if he did as she instructed, his people would rise again. The scout promised to do what she instructed. He was told to return to his encampment, call the Council, and prepare a feast for her arrival. That she would return in seven days. When she returned she taught the Lakota seven sacred ceremonies and gave them the čhaŋnúŋpa, the sacred ceremonial pipe. After teaching the people and giving them her gifts, Ptesáŋwiŋ left them, promising that one day she would return.

It was said in the prophecy that when White Buffalo Calf Woman returns to restore the natural balance, grace and beauty of the world, we may once more live in great happiness and perfect health. I invite you to tap into your inner White Buffalo Calf Woman and spirit Buffalo to restore balance, grace, and beauty to your inner world.

This month (in-person and in videos for our distant learners) you will explore chakras, reiki, how and when to tap into these resources for stability, strength, perseverance, and more. To prepare for these experiences dive into the Moon Time Exploration below. The chakra workshops and videos will be held and loaded by the 15th.


Moon Time Exploration

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Focusing your target • Precision

This month, track your energy levels during this Hunter’s Moon. This doesn’t need to be rigid. Simply pay attention to how you feel throughout the day. Give your feeling a name…try to drop beneath the surface of readily accessible descriptions like “tired” or “excited”. Do you feel ‘drained’, ‘underwhelmed’, ‘defeated’, ‘heart sore’? Do you feel ‘full’, ‘energized’, ‘brimming with x, y, or z’, ‘passionate’? How about ‘angry’? Give yourself the time to really name the various levels of your energy throughout each day this month. Use the thesaurus if that helps. Write these words down in your journal each night. Just a date and a one word answer to “How do I feel today?”

Naming something gives it weight and helps us to process it properly. As we become more precise with our words we are less likely to devalue the impact of what we have to say and are more likely to trust ourselves. 

As you draw nearer to the end of this month, you’ll be ready for the 5 min Journey below. Return to this lesson around the 4th week of the month and dive into the practice below.

Read through the entire 5 min Journey before sitting down to do it. You will need this Moon Time Exploration to complete your 5 min Journey this month. Materials needed: your journal and a pen


5 min Journey Practice

Go back through your nightly recording of how you feel. Select one feeling on one day and start to walk back to the root cause of that feeling.

Typically we begin at the surface and make our way in. We might say things like "that person hurt my feelings" or "this happened to me". Our study of chakras and energy shows us that how we feel is simply a reflection of how we are choosing to intrepet our day to day interactions through the filter of our past.

So take a seat and get comfortable. Place your hands in your lap. Close your eyes. Draw a deep breath in and empty it out. Visualize this feeling as a word typed across your mental screen. Breath in and then empty out. Relax. Allow your inner gaze to soften. Give yourself permission to notice that your word has taken on color or colors. Remain soft and unattached. Watch the color(s) shift and swirl. When you think your word has landed on a particular color or combination of colors. Breath in again here. And empty out. Open your eyes and write the color(s) down in your journal. Look back at your Chakra Worksheets and see what colors/chakras this feeling truly relates to. This feeling had an impact on this energetic area in your life, past or present. Give yourself time to allow this truth to surface and clear.

If you are attuned to Reiki, you may go one step further and restore balance to this chakra. Place your hands on or over the area that cooresponds to the chakra that is calling for healing and do a mini-serf treatment. If you are so inclined, you are invited to share any aspect of your experience with this practice in our private Facebook.

 
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Asana

Pranayama

Mudra