By: Gaffer Maccluiunn
There are many "heaven"s, as I see it...
One of these, which I go to for information, is the Realm of Spirit
Animals. I do the usual preparations for a journey, then halfway up (I
use a ricketywooden ladder: my teacher suggested a ladder when I was
very young, and I haven't rebuil it yet...It's had many years of
almost constant use, and I think that it's time to repair this mental
tool...), and though the ladder continues (both up, down, several
other ways...) I swing through a little hole and come up underneath an
enormous tree. The place is filled with animals (of course) and I can
find out from them, generally, whatever I need to know. There's
usually something I do in return; I was taught (and believe, since it
works for me) that there are essentially five (5) KNOWN ways to relate
to a spirit. The first rule, as I believe it, is that no matter what,
in any dealing between entity and entity, the relationship MUST be
made clear for there to be useful communication. It doesn't matter as
much WHAT the relatioship is (although I have preferences), so long as
it is clear. The five ways I am aware of are:
1. Binding by Gift.
2. Binding by Love.
3. Binding by Trade.
4. Binding by Spirit.
5. Binding by Weapon.
Since the last one is, in MY way of thinking, least desireable, we'll
start there: Binding by weapon, for me, is only used when a spirit or
entity comes to me with something nasty planned, and only if there is
no other way. It is kind of like putting the genie in the bottle (the
old Arabian Nights Genies were very tricky, and would just as soon
devour someone who lets them free as grant them wishes...): first,
you must have superior force, and superior will. And Plenty of
Binding by Spirit is MUCH more preferable: This is the link you have
with your spirit animals: A link from like to like, regardless of
form. It usually HAPPENS to you, rather than you CAUSING it to
Binding by Trade is offering something in return for what you wish to
receive. Not as wonderful an experience as Binding by Spirit, but
still worthwhile. It is necessary to find some entity willing to
trade, however, and for this the Realm of Animals is where I use it
most. After a while, you can get into a routine, whereupon in becomes
Binding By Gift:
Binding by Gift is when the shaman leaves a gift or gives a gift, in
expectation of needing a favor later. This can be considered the case
when a spirit comes to you for help, but generally I classify that as
Trade, since it is the same as trade, just the other way around.
Binding by Gift, you do the thing first: If I need information that I
think the Squirrels, for instance, in the Animal Realm can offer, I'll
leave out a selection of nuts underneath the pine tree in the fron
yard, for I know that there are squirrels which frequent it. Then,
later, I'll go up to the Animals and ask for what I need. This
originally started as Binding by Trade, where they'd tell me the
information I needed to know, and then say, "In Trade, you can leave
nuts for the Little Brothers." Now, I do it aforehand, knowing. This
is a much more comfortable relationship than Trade, as Trade is
generally a one-or-two-time thing, while Gift is something much more
meaningful and long-lasting.
Binding by Love is actually entering into a friendship (or deeper)
with a spirit. Most of the shamans to whom I speak agree with me that
the relationship they have with their Spirit Helpers/Guides is a love
or lover relationship. Some explain that they are soul-mated to their
guides. This makes sense to me, and is the last form of relationship
of which I am aware in this context.
Hope this was interesting. Let me know.
Next: Spitual Emergence or Emergency (Paul Seymour)