Peacock Mountain

IMG_20160501_152820One fine spring day I found myself perched high up a steep slope in a mountainous region of Arizona the locals aptly call the “Peacocks”.  It’s easy to see why – the emerald blue foliage that dominates these mountains resembles the cascading plumage of a peacock’s tail feathers. I was there to get out of my usual routine of work and daily life, to spend time out of doors in contemplation of my purpose in the earth and getting serious about living it fully.

My tent was strategically located on a small sandy plateau surrounded by aromatic brush and thorny cactus. Through the front opening I was greeted by a welcoming vista of gentle, rolling valleys and mountains that went on for hundreds of miles.  The mountain tops dissolved into the billowing, thunderous clouds, giving me the impression there was no division between earth and sky.

Despite the strength of the sun, the winds maintained crispness in the air and at times roared past my tent, drowning out the twittering conversation of native birds.  I thought about my desire for adventure and travel, and how often I felt bound by the four walls of my home or office. Then came the waves of tiny nagging voices that clamored to be heard, naming all the reasons I could not have what I envisioned as my ideal life. I was not good enough, did not deserve it, was not competent …I wanted to shut those voices of doubt off forever.

I shifted my attention away from the raucous noise inside my head and looked out to the expansive panorama in front of me. I felt myself being drawn into the vastness, merging with the landscape. New thoughts arose in my mind…

“See these, plants, trees, shrubs and flowers. They have adapted to the environment and flourish. They don’t say, ‘Oh that tree is taller, better, prettier, slimmer, had it easier, had nicer parents, or has a better view.’ They are beings that know only to grow and be who they are. Their root systems, branches, stems, leaves, flowers and seeds simply acclimatize to the circumstances. They develop quite well. Even in the harshest of conditions on the planet, the members of the botanical kingdom determine to take hold and thrive.

Human beings have equal opportunity. We are imbued with the same life-giving spirit as the things that grow from the earth. It is in the rain, the sun, the stones, the wind and the soil. It is the force of life; the vast, invisible field of energy that flows through our molecules.

desert_phloxWe don’t see a tree shrinking back and refusing to be a tree because it feels powerless or a victim. We don’t see the tiny pink blossoms on this arid mountainside refusing to show their beautiful faces to the sun due to issues with self-worth. Yet they exist in a harsh and cruel environment. They freeze in the mountain snow, go thirsty, cook in the desert sun and endure gale force winds. They barely cling to life on precarious piles of organic rubble scattered across barren stretches of rock. Who has it tougher than a flowering shrub on a high altitude, arid mountain? Yet here they are, magenta blossoms wide open, beautifying the scenery, glorifying their existence!

The trees and plants adorn our world, provide oxygen, food, fuel and materials we need for our comfortable existences. They don’t complain about lack of comfort or past deeds. They simply live and grow the best they can, giving all without hesitation.”

During the days and nights I spent in the mountains, the leafy beings around me were my companions and I felt blessed with their presence. They reminded me to feel just as blessed with the life I had been given, and any hardships I had tolerated were simply part of a story that had nothing in common with the indomitable essence of life that dwells within me as strongly as them. As they are unstoppable in emanating beauty, so can I be.


What can we do to keep a positive outlook?

Eihwaz-runeEIHWAZ is the rune that represents the Yew tree, which remains supple and strong in any season. It is resilient even in harsh conditions. In reference to the question, it’s not too difficult for us to maintain a positive outlook when everything is “coming up roses”, but what do we do the rest of the time? We have to admit that our resolve to look on the bright side is tested when things are not going our way. Here’s the good news – drawing this rune indicates that although things may seem tough or gloomy, the change we desire is at hand. The boughs of the Yew tree were also used to make hunting bows. Just as the hunter waits patiently for the target to step perfectly into the sights, we must remain calm while the necessary elements of change shift into place. The hunter knows better than to give into emotional drama, lest it should cloud his/her keen instincts. Whether it feels like it or not, progress is happening. When the new situation manifests, we can act boldly and swiftly. Maintaining a positive attitude is a choice. If we are having negative thoughts – evict them now.


How can we get past self-doubt?

DagazIn this moment, DAGAZ, which symbolizes the dawn of a new day, speaks to us of possibilities and a shift in our underlying expectations. It is the rune of playfulness and fun. It is an indication of happiness and prosperity, with big changes in the works. So what needs to change? A tendency we humans have is to use up our mind-space thinking about all the times we have failed. Yet, any successful person will tell you it took hundreds of failures for them to finally get it together. I once heard a self-made millionaire tell an audience that if they were not failing at least 300 times a day, they would not get the results they desired. The underlying shift that must happen is for us to stop seeing our screw ups as a permanent downfall. We learn from our mistakes and get better. It’s time to give appreciation for all that life has taught us and to focus on every achievement we have successfully accomplished. Celebrate every step forward. When feelings of self-doubt arise, replace them with the list of our triumphs.



How can we maintain an attitude of gratitude?

Tiwaz-runeTIWAZ is the rune that represents the ancient Norse warrior (Tyr) who gave his hand to a giant wolf that was threatening to devour the entire universe. In exchange for his hand, Tyr’s people were saved. It is an extremely positive rune that signifies effective leadership through selflessness and sacrifice. Compared with what there is to gain, the sacrifice can seem relatively minor. We can ask, “What are we willing to give up and replace with a constant state of appreciation?” With the understanding that what we think literally attracts the people, events and things that show up in our lives, it would make sense to manage our thoughts. For example, complaining about something attracts more of the same thing. Expressing gratitude for something we are happy about draws more of that into our lives. There is something in every situation we encounter and in every person we meet that we can be grateful for. A skilled leader knows how to draw out the best in a person. Tiwaz calls on us to be the best that we can be. It’s true that sometimes we have to make sacrifices, but isn’t it cool that we had something of value we could give up in order to have the greater gain!


How do we get in touch with the unstoppable drive within that guarantees our success?

raido-runeThe rune is RAIDO. It symbolizes riding, a journey or a chariot. It references the sun as it moves across the sky like a mighty rolling cartwheel. It represents nobility and acting honorably because of its association with the leaders of ancient times that rose horses. It indicates the ability to discern and do what is in the best interests of everyone involved. Drawing Raido suggests a journey is at hand, either physical or spiritual. Considering the question that was asked, it could be both, but definitely a spiritual journey is necessary. Within each of us is the pure, untarnished soul we are at our innermost being. As we move through life and the world, we pick up ideas and beliefs that are not pure. Greed, jealousy, dishonesty and abusiveness, to name a few. These weigh on us like a layer of thick tar that prevent us from moving swiftly and unhindered to our goals. The result is apathy, and willingness to surrender to a mediocre life of suffering. The journey within requires facing every harmful characteristic we have decided to take on. Once we take the blinders off and admit what we are really like, we can make a choice to change. We can let go of that destructive behavior and replace it with powerful, effective ways of being. The more tar we remove, the lighter we become and thus, the more energy we have to move forward into our ideal lives. Raido calls for us to act in ways that with command respect, and in this case self-respect is equally important. The first step to touching the unstoppable drive within is deciding we truly desire the rewards of health, wealth and happiness. We have to want it more than anything else and be willing to do what it takes.




How can we stay in touch with the bigger picture?

Wunjo-runeWUNJO is the rune. This wonderful rune represents glory, bliss and joy. It is the time after a long struggle when victory has been achieved and the celebrations are in full swing. Drawing this rune is a reminder that the journey is just as important as the destination. It is important to derive as much happiness along the way as you would upon reaching the destination. In the ultimate sense, it is a spiritual state of indescribable bliss. In reference to the question, a feeling of joy happens when we are in touch with the bigger picture. It is the connection with our true purpose and divine self. And it is possible to experience this even in the small details because they are contained within the big picture. The nitty gritty details of life can be stressful but they are necessary. In moments of frustration or other not so pleasant emotions, take a moment to step back and consider how this moment fits into the big picture, our ultimate purpose. Feel the joy and allow it to permeate the moment. We are in the journey and it’s just fine to celebrate right now!



How can we take courage to go the final mile?

Othala-runeOTHALA popped up to answer this question. This rune represents land and property held by the ancient clans, where there is a deep connection to the individual member of the clan. It is the physical manifestation of the rewards resulting from the efforts of the previous generations that were handed off to the current generations. It is strongly related to our ancestry and the lineages that make us who we are, the nobility that is in our past and is our destiny. Othala speaks of inheritance and wealth, both materially and spiritually. There is a dilemma we face as humans that happens just before we reach the finish line for an intention we have set out to accomplish. It’s the feeling of wanting to give up when we are almost there. The prize is right in front of us but all we can think about is the overwhelming weight of all the hard work and sacrifice we have made to get this far. It is a moment when our commitment to achieve success is tested in a big way. We have a choice to lay down in exhaustion because we just can’t take it anymore, or we can push beyond what we believed we could do and reach for greatness. Othala clearly states that greatness is at the core of our being. The sole purpose of the existence of our ancestors was for us to be here in this moment, crossing the finish line, reaching for the crowning glory. It’s time to take courage, step it up a notch and bring home the prize.



What can we do right now to get better results?

DagazDAGAZ is the rune. It symbolizes the dawn, a new awareness, and a new consciousness emerging. As the old ways of thinking fade away, new opportunities arise, just as the night gives way for the dawning of the new day. Here we are reminded of the natural cycle of the universe. Drawing this rune indicates that we have already come through the challenges and wonderful events are about to happen. We have put in the hard work. A major transformation is upon the horizon. In answer to the question, the results have arrived. I would like to note here that this is usually a time when we tend to freak out a little. The goal we have been working to achieve is so close we can “smell” it. It’s like feeding the dog in the morning. He has been waiting patiently for hours while you get out of bed and head to the cupboard where his kibbles are stored. As you open up the bag he starts jumping around like a frenzied lunatic. Can you relate to that feeling? The energy has been building up. Now that you can see the results falling into place you want to explode if you don’t get them in your hands RIGHT NOW! Dagaz is showing us that we are in clear sailing, so my recommendation is we channel our energies into giving as much gratitude as possible for the fruits we are about to harvest.


How can we improve the harmony in our relationships with others?

Berkano-runeThe rune is BERKANO. It is symbolic of new life beginnings and personal liberation from past restrictions. It indicates a powerful energy of nurturing, protection, support and creation, much like the bond between a parent and a child. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if we treated everyone in our circle of contacts with same care we would give to our sons and daughters? Keep in mind that each one of us is a human development project. We continue to grow and learn until the day we die, and if we were perfect we would probably ascend! Think about a little child struggling to interpret the world and grow into maturity. A loving parent would have that child’s back, so to speak, guiding them to improve their skills and to make sense of life. In our adult relationships it helps to remember that although we have adult bodies, we may still have the emotional maturity of a 2-year-old. When we witness the people around us acting out, we have a choice. We can act out with them, or we can become the nurturing parent that assists them to resolve the dilemma they are experiencing. We can use the healing and life-giving energies of Berkano to nurture harmonious relationships with others.