Jesse Wolf Hardin's Earth Magic
Anima & The Prophetic Heart
Shamans, seers and healers of many diverse cultures and faiths have been prophesying the future for millennia. Some of these foretellings have been heeded, others have fostered entire movements towards mitigating or solving a potential tragedy beforehand. Indeed, sensing the future can contribute to anxiety as well as certainty and satisfaction, and it’s value ultimately lies in the degree to which we can make use of the information and vision we’re given.
Some people are born with a greater sensitivity and propensity for prophecy than others. These gifted folks have hold of an advantage for sure, but they bear an increased load as well. With foreknowledge comes responsibility, the ability and necessity to respond. Both the depth of such gifts and their implications has always guaranteed that the prophet would be a rare individual, often simultaneously revered by the community or tribe a kept at a comfortable distance. It must seem easier to avoid the prophet and what they see within us and ahead of us... but in times of trouble and transformation such as these, we are wise to turn to the insightful visions of those who appear most destined and assigned to know. Amongst predictions of apocalypse, ascension, scientific transhumanism and the intervention of extraterrestrials, are voices resonant with the teaching and implorings of the inspirited natural world... and it’s to these we must dearest cleave.
If we’re to further progressive values and preserve a diversity of spiritual, cultural and biological expression, we need to set out a plan of involvement and action that is informed not only by history and personal sensibility but also by a predictably evolving future. For all its surprises and sudden turns, everything that happens in life does so in relationship to every other being, energy and occurrence. This can be shown in many ways including the new science of turbulence, mapping a process that was recently considered not only chaotic but utterly unpredictable. Accurate prophecies arise not so much from out of body revelations as from enhanced recognition of these kinds of patterns of relationships, of expansion and contraction, gifting and need, cause and effect. While trance work can get one out of their mind and dramatically broaden perception, the specific ability we are talking about is more of a genetically encoded, bodily sensing of the endless interconnections and purposeful direction of what was, what is, and what will one day be.
It would be ill advised to ignore any available wisdom or special abilities considering all that is at stake, not just personal satisfaction or growth but also the fate of planetary ecosystems and existing systems of conscious belief. Nor should we defer entirely to the fevered Seers, what is for us all a native seed and skill to be strengthened through practice and put to use for both ours and the greater good. In the heart of even the most confused, ambivalent or externally directed person there resides a visionary seeking to recognize and internalize all the available mysteries of the universe. And for even the tribal shaman, medicine woman or man born and trained for their sacred duty, it is the still through the empathic heart that they can remember, foresee and understand.
We can increase our prophetic skills through intense focus and constant advances in perceptual and empathic recognition. Since all things and events form patterns, all patterns can be depended upon to leave traces, tokens of significance. These traces are what we call “signs,” and “reading” the future is not only revelation but a reading of this complex text of unfolding life. Signs are tracks— whether left behind by animals, by unfolding human processes or manifest Spirit. If we look closely we can learn not only the character of that which left them, but also the direction it proceeds from, and the direction it is heading: its likely origins, and its probable destination. All sign conveys meaning, as much as we are able and willing to grasp.
An omen is a sign of what has yet to happen. When these signs are less than clear, we call it “foreshadowing.” When one is consciously aware of the signs influencing them, there is a mating of informed presaging and inexplicable premonition. Connections are inevitably made at a subconscious level, so that we are able to “follow the dots” from where we are to where things are going. It is spirit, the animating force of nature that speaks... not a booming tenor ringing from out of the sky, but as a celebration of the spiraling self knowledge and self direction of the universe heard from within us more than from without.
Contrary to what we may have been told, omens are intrinsically neither “good” nor “bad.” Whether unfolding events are fortunate or unfortunate, benevolent or harmful, depends on not only our situation, attitude and perspective, but also on our ability to employ the raw energies and incumbent lessons of whatever comes to pass. An omen is a prognosis and prescription, as well as an augury of any difficulties to come. Truly, signs and omens are not only indications, but suggestions. Every sign is a call for intentional relationship and response, containing important information on how best to proceed. And every omen is more than a warning— it’s an opportunity to intentionally and compassionately influence future events.
Omens are real, of that there can be no doubt. Yet because preconception rules the contemporary mind, omens are all too easily imagined or misinterpreted. One who is afraid, will read into every omen the imminent arrival of that which they fear. One who is unsure will tend to interpret all kinds of omens as fortuitous, as they look for the assurance they need to go on. And how we relate and respond even to the real omens in our lives is still up to us. An omen is a reminder of choice, and every moment is a decisive moment.
By tapping our inherent prophetic powers, we evolve our personal medicine and leave victimhood and blind obedience behind, pursuing our destiny rather then ignobly succumb to fate. “Fate” is something we claim to suffer or bear, destiny something we help to bring about. Fate is what we accept, destiny something we rise for, follow and assist.
One’s destiny is no “kismet,” no chance lot or division of fortunes. It is embracing all that we are and all that we can be... in alignment, and in cooperation, with the holistic intentions and forces of Earth and Spirit. It is our original directive, as well as our personal potential to fulfill our terrestrial and spiritual opportunities and assignments.
We should feel emboldened, knowing beyond question that we are each born with the heart and power necessary to complete these assignments. No matter how unenlightened or unnatural one’s surroundings, we are inevitably afforded the crucial moments, venues and teachers required to develop the most needed skills. And we’re each entrusted with the essential and fundamental lessons, whether we opt to make full use of them or not.
Human destiny may be predisposed, but never preordained. It’s launched into a particular motion with a special direction and purpose, but it is not predetermined. It works with us more than for us, and its full realization is dependent on our conscious complicity. It’s a collaborative effort between the existing wave, opportunity, momentum and the conscious volunteer. No destiny is unalterable, but nor is it complete without our active participation. It’s a an opportunity realized, a dimension to grow into, a mission to complete. Destiny is our personal planetary song, but it is still up to us whether or not we get up and put our hearts into the ongoing dance. How well we fulfill our individual role in this cosmic, rhythmic choreography depends on our intention and followthrough, informed by the past and present experiences of this living world, and empowered by the advantage and hope that grounded prophecy provides.
Jesse Wolf Hardin is an acclaimed teacher of Animá earth-centered
practice, the author of five books including Gaia Eros (New Page 2004),
and performs on the GaiaTribe CD “Enchantment” <www.cdbaby.com/gaiatribe>. He and
his partners Loba and Kiva offer online Animá correspondence courses, as well as
host students and guests at their enchanted canyon and true ancient place of
power. Opportunities include weekend retreats, personal counsel, shamanic
vision quests, resident internships, and special Apprenticeships for the most
dedicated. Annual events include the Wild Womens Gathering, and the Medicine
Woman and Shaman Path intensives. Contact: The Animá Wilderness Learning Center
& Women’s Sanctuary, Box 688, Reserve, NM 87830 <www.animacenter.org> <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
©Jesse Wolf Hardin 2005-2007 Reproduction in any form is prohibited without express written permission from the author.