The Sights and Sounds of Mother Nature in Ithaca

We recently took a spontaneous trip out to Ithaca where we were graced by the sights and sounds of  Mother nature in her glory but even more specific-the animal kingdom.

Ground HogAs you know, Heart Centered Living has been focused on plants, animals and our connection with the great wide world web for months now. The Medicine wheel teachings have been providing us a stable foundation with practical exercises that connect us to the animals, plants, gemstones and elements with lessons based on the purpose and meaning of each one. The Path of the Shaman classes are for those who want to make a difference in the world but don’t know where to start and how to go about doing it and these classes provide an opportunity for self-discovery, personal power and direction and purpose in a safe, sacred way.

So it was no surprise that in just one day, Erick and I saw a mama duck with four ducklings, a wood chuck, red fox and gray heron all to tell us something about life and our role in it.

While we were there we spotted a mama duck with her ducklings of maybe 4 weeks, they were neat to watch, as Momma Duck would be busy foraging for food in the shore waters the other ducks were not too far away doing the same thing, however, on a few occasions the little ducks would swim a short distance from Mom, and then after a little while and making sure they did not stray or (Swim) too far, she would go and get them and veer them back to the rest of the family.


I loved watching this play on “ok you can go and do your thing, but I need to still be able to see you and keep an eye on you because I have 3 other ones I need to watch after too”.

The gracefulness and the natural instincts of “just letting the little ones do their thing while keeping a watchful eye on them” reminded me of the time when Richie was around 10 years old (now 19) and he wanted to swim out to a dock that was quite a distance from where he was swimming at the time. I too was quite a distance from the dock, but I could tell he really wanted to do it, and so I let him.

With a bit of apprehension that I did not want him to see. So I watched as his little 10 year old body was determined to make it to that dock and of course he did with not a care in the world.

Everything inside of me was rooting for him, while also battling a tinge of worry or concern that something may happen and I will have to jump in and help him. But I was very wrong. And that day forward a new relationship was forged between the two of us as I learned to give him more independence. To this day, I use that experience as a way of gauging how much and when I need to interfere or assist and when to just let nature takes it course. How very delightful to have witnessed this once again with the mama and her ducks and remind me that somehow my natural Motherly  instincts were right on that day with my son Richie.

Red FoxAfter a lovely little walk around Stewart park where Erick and I were able to dig up a little lambs ear that was a bit of a straggler in a driveway, as well as a tiny bit of Ivy, for the garden back home, (remember to always give something back to the earth when you take something from her as a way of honoring and showing your gratitude and respect) we witnessed a woodchuck chasing a red fox. My only guess is that the woodchuck had some babies nearby and the red fox was trying to get at them. It was really neat to watch, because the woodchuck chased the fox so far, then the fox would stop and then they would have a little bit of a staring match and then the wood chuck would go after the fox again. Interestingly enough, I have been noticing the red fox has been showing up in my journeys and shamanic work that I have been doing so it was no surprise to see the two of these guys at it as if wanting me to know that “something was up that I need to look at” as well.

Our last stop was Taughannock state park, where we sat on some gorgeously large rocks that were being washed with the pristine waters of the Cayuga lake. We remained there for at least 30 minutes or so as we watched the sun set, with the waves crashing on the large rocks only inches away from us. What a magnificent ending to a magnificent day. Of course we did not get out of there without Mr. Gray Heron making his appearance at a dock in the boat marina as we were walking back to our car. He just sat there on the edge of the dock, as if a statue, not moving, not even blinking, it was the coolest thing, as we approached him from the bridge on the side, he did not even move his head to watch us. He was cool, calm, collected and probably keeping his eye on the prize (which more than likely was his dinner of fishes in the water below him) None the less it was a gift indeed. Mother Earth gifted us with so many wonderful sights, sounds and symbols of how we are indeed connected in this intricate web of life that we all weave together and we are very thankful for that spontaneous trip over the hill to Ithaca.

Gray HeronIf we could talk to the animals (because they certainly talk to us) What would they say

Ducks are known for emotional comfort and protection. Because of its connection to water, it is linked to the feminine energies, the astral plane, and to the emotional state of humans. They serve to teach us how to maneuver through various waters of life.

Wood Chuck or Ground Hogs are known for their mystery of death without dying -trance and dreams. Also known to hibernate they teach us the symbolism of death and rebirth or as some societies would call it the great initiation. It is also the symbol for opening to dream time and allowing us to increase our ability for lucid dreaming.

Red Fox represents feminine magic of camouflage, shape shifting and invisibility. An animal most visible at the time of dawn and dusk  the between times when the magical world and the world in which we live intersect. The red fox is associated with sexual energy, the kundalini and the freeing of the creative life force.

Gray Heron represents aggressive self-determination and self-reliance. Symbols of balance, they represent an ability to progress and evolve. Herons do not seem to need a lot of people in thier life, nor do they feel pressure to “keep up with the jones” or traditional in their life roles. They stand out in their uniqueness, and they know how to snatch and take advantage of things and events that the average person would not even bother with.

So let me take a moment and describe the uncanny connections to these gifts that presented themselves to me on that day. The duck and her ducklings reminded me of my motherly instincts and connection to my son which of course fluctuates between being protective and allowing him to be free.

The woodchuck or groundhog usually shows itself to me around this time when I am starting to contemplate a new project, one where there is uncertainty of uncharted territory. Because my name Renee means rebirth the woodchuck is very symbolic for me ultimately giving me permission to give birth to something new while also allowing something else to die. I am well aware of all the “projects” on the table right now and will work with my dream keepers to see them through during the night and day to determine which need energy and which need to wither away.

The Red Fox was amazingly accurate in it’s showing up to teach me a thing or two about camouflaging, shape shifting and invisibility. During our last shamanic class one of our exercises was to  shape shift into our power animal through dance, song and other movements by imitating our animal. Interestingly enough, I was about to dance, and create the sounds of one of my power animals when Red Fox decided to show up instead changing the whole vibe for me. I simply allowed her to show me what I needed to see and proceeded to work with her energy. Not to mention I have been seriously embracing the divine feminine, high priestess and goddess energy at the same time. SO there is a lot to be said about this beautiful sleek animal that is showing up time and time again for me to look at.

Last but not least-the Gray Heron. The Gray Heron plays a very special role in my life, when we lived in Greene, we were surrounded by water and I would see the Gray Heron quite regularly. A majestic, regal bird I always found his flight and his stature truly powerful and meaningful. During the last month or so before our move, I was driving back from Greene, and I noticed a big bird on the side of the road, and it was a gray heron. I handled the bird as I was taught and ended up having a pair of beautiful gray wings still in tact. Looking back I now see that Great Spirit wanted to reminder that just because I was moving away did not mean I no longer possessed gray heron energy (or truly it possessed me in a loving way )

Interestingly enough, two days after my encounter in Ithaca with this bird, I found myself doing self-healing/energy balancing exercises before I got up this past Monday morning, and when I laid my hands on my solar plexus I noticed being guided to use the words determination and perseverance to see my projects through. Then yesterday while preparing for my Creating a Power Object Class tonight, I found my gray heron wings in tact and wanting to be put out  where they could be seen.

As mentioned before, everything has a message for us if you are just willing to open up and listen and its not only part of my work but my love for you and this planet  to create a safe, sacred, special place for you to see, hear, feel,  and know what that message is for you right now. I hope that you will consider to talk to the animals because I guarantee they will talk back to you.

With love and admiration for you and all that you do,

What animals are trying to talk to you and what are they saying……

*If you would like to know what magnificent and majestic animals are gracing your life these days and what messages they have for you contact me at 607-226-2354 to set up an Animal Medicine Reading. We have around 8 different animals that have been with us at least since our birth and for many other life times as well. Find out what animal is protecting your inner child? What animal is showing you how to express your gifts more? Learn who your guardian protector is on your male and female side. Just as our guides are with us to show us the way, so do the animals. By discovering and observing this medicine, you can find peace, contentment and joy in all your relationships and all areas of your life. *

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