Here’s a tale straight from the Spotted Owl Archive of medicine stories…..it’s an old tale from Spotted Owl herself, retold for the Lunar Eclipse……!!
“Now….Once upon a time we all know well enough in our bones, well, there was a Moon, a Full Moon – she was just a perfect mirror, a real soul pool – some called her the ‘Story Midwife Moon’, others just ‘Storyteller’, but, she was the one who knows the truth inside things, speaks it too, brings it out into the world – oh yes, she was most illumined with knowing, and she was always coming at the sixth counting of the Lunar tides, the ‘women’s tides’ – well, within her bag of tales she carried theoldest songs of the warm oceans – she knew the secrets of the green forest folk, the messages carried in their sap – she held council with our animal brothers and sisters who told her how they had brought the star wisdom to Earth and held it here in good faith for all of us, all Life – and she could foretell and foresee the pathways of our children’s dreamings, the soul messages of the swelling fruits soon to come to Earth – yes, she knew what was in our hearts and was friend to women and men alike, though each to their own calling, as it is….
…..and so it was that while the hunters made their offerings and asked for her guidance before setting off on tracks bathed in the light of her knowing, well, the expectant mothers would call upon her to speak with the spirit of their womb-borne, as was the tradition on the sixth Moon of their pregnacy – it was a good time as those ‘soon to arrive’ were now returning from swimming amongst the inner stars – and, when all were ready, the wise women were called to bring out the old Moon songs and all sought to hear of the purpose that each of ‘the returning ones’ would be bringing, to find their true names, ones that would remind them when they got here of why they came – after all, we all forget otherwise eh?!…..
…….so, gathering in the women’s circle and raising the old ocean songs, their movements and rhythms filled with memories of ancestral heartbeats, the thrumbing of their spirit horses carrying them, the wise ones would circle the boundaries of the nine realms and fly beyond this world – off they flew to find council with ‘Storyteller’ as she rocked the spirit children within her great canoe, wrapped within the folds of her silver, blood-red and blue-black medicine blanket – but, it was the mothers themselves who would speak with their womb-borne ‘cos they were the living gateway between the worlds and they fed the souls of their children with the deep knowing of the Great Mother that they held within their own flesh, blood and bones – yes, it was a good time….only, it happened once on a blue moon, as they say, but, that Moon Woman, old ‘Storyteller’ she went missing……!
…..well, here it comes, that ‘blue one’, coming up right now…..yes, that old silver shining Moon woman threw one into their midst, turning first to deep sanguine reds and then even deeper indigos and eventually all blue-black darkness – twas as if she’d been swallowed by the Sky herself, leaving only a shadow and an echo in the silence…..and out in the land the hunters stopped in their tracks….”shheeesh!..where’s the light gone, what kinda dreaming is this?!” they said to each other under their breath, and the animal brothers and sisters stopped with ’em and whispered too “….ahh, there it is, there it is….!”
Oooh, but, the mothers and wise women, they kept their thoughts held on the old ‘Storyteller’, and followed her…..oh yes, they knew just what she had going, wise as women are to Her ways…and they kept right on with their thrumming and singing, softly, softly now – and turning their ears inward, they listened and listened, followed and followed…..
….and in that place, where everything opened out on the inside, as it were, in that ‘all at once’ place that the mothers plumbed with their own pregnant dreamings, what did they find……well
….first, people, you should take a listen yourselves, just for this moment….its a big moment, room for us all…..and there, “ahh, there it is, there it is!”…..a whisper…..a gentle shimmer of sound, like the shells and coral at the bottom of the deep ocean, swaying and singing like a slow breathing, with a soft deep heartbeat….you remember that sound?!
So, where had that sky crone ‘Storyteller Woman’ gotten to? Well, a big wind had blown in from the stars, sent by the Ancestors themselves – this wind, it was a kinda song, but, not just any old song – this one, it could only be called ‘Big Mystery’! And, it came from the heart of all things, which was everywhere y’see, yet hidden inside….but, Storyteller Woman knew what it meant, and, in that moment, she herself stopped her singing and listened…..and as she did so, she saw the great spirit-horse of the Earth Mother, come flying swiftly towards her, twisting and turning like a great cloud on the wind…..up it came and down it came, and swooped her up, took her with it as it fell right into the very heart of everything……
….now, here is another mystery! Cos’, in that deepest of places, the ‘all at once’ place, was a great lake, an inner ocean as it were…..and as the churning, spinning spirit-horse of the Great Mother carried Storyteller Woman ever more down and down into the watery heartland of the dreaming, those waters too began to spin and churn…..
….and here too, back under the darkened Moon, everything began to spin and churn, a big mix-up and very confusing it was….thats how we feel it, when ‘Storyteller Woman’ goes silent and disappears…..we don’t know what to think now do we! Aaah, but, there it is, there it is…..
…..but, it was the mothers who knew what they were at, and, keeping their ears turned inward like, they followed that soft sound with their hearts, right down into the womb of all things…….whispers from the deepest ocean……like the song of silence itself….right down deep in the heart of everything!
Now…..your probably wondering just what had happened to all those young-old spirit children that our Moon Mother, the ‘Story Midwife’ had been looking after! She had up and left them all wrapped up in her medicine blanket rocking inside her great canoe – and that was the long and the short of it…..those little ones were so comfy in there they were fast asleep and dreaming their spirit dreams, warm and safe and invisible to the world, rocking away gently…..but, their dreaming…..
Just as ‘Storyteller’ knew what to do, just as the wise ones and pregnant mothers knew what to do, so did all the spirit children…..and when ‘Storyteller’ reached the very bottom of that deep inner ocean place, right inside the ‘all at once’, well there they all were, the mothers dreaming with the womb-borne’s dreaming, all together inside the great dreaming, swaying with that whispering, shimmeying old old song……
…….and so, meanwhile, while we were all running around in this big mix-up wondering what to do, not knowing what to think and feeling out of sorts, it was the spirit children right then who told the mothers why they were coming here, only this time it was with a big message, right from the heart of the great dreaming itself, which is where the old Story Midwife had led them this time! And so, just as they knew how to, the mothers passed those precious dreamings back to the old silvery one, ‘Storyteller’, and, now that all the women, young and old had worked and dreamt together, She knew just who it was coming in this time, this special bunch, and what they were coming for – and once ‘Storyteller’ heard this, thats when She kicked into action! Up she flew again on the Earth Mother’s spirit horse, right up, all the way back to her canoe, filled up with those stories that belonged to the sleeping womb-borne spirit children….and, as she climbed back in, off flew the spirit horse and up she began with her songs again….now she knew just when would be the right time to bring each of those new-old ones to Earth, their birthing times….such was her job, the ‘Story Midwife’!
….and yeh, you guessed it, out came her light and illuminated everyone down below in the lap of the Earth Mother….phew! What a relief! Everything returned to normal…..or did it?
Well, on the face of it everything looked the same, was all in the right place – yep, it was all just where it had been before the light went out in old ‘Storyteller’ and she stopped singing her songs, but, it felt different – things had ‘come to light’ now that had not been known before, something was afoot in the world and, thanks to ‘Storyteller’, the mothers and wise ones knew those special names that they would give back to their children when they arrived, the very ones the spirit children themselves had told them in their stories in the midst of the Big Dreaming……
……that next lot though, the old-new ones coming in, well, they had the names to remind them that the stories they were bringing this time would be holding open the gateways straight to the heart of the great dreaming, Big Mystery itself! That sure enough felt different, and wouldn’t you if you knew that everything was going to be renewed…….and once new Life comes into this world, well nothing is ever going to be the same again, now is it?!
….ha ha, now thats a good thing to know at this time…..sweet dreamings t’y’al!”
so, thanks to Spotted Owl for giving us a glimpse of…….well, who knows whats in store, as we negotiate these eclipses and swing around that old Solar hitching post at the Solstice……we’ll come back to the eclipses and the Story Midwife next time and see what the stars have got to say about it all …..next post, coming soon!