I found that one of the first innate gifts I developed during my shamanic training was that of pattern recognition. When you’re continually zooming out to go into other worlds, and then zooming back in again, you are able to see the patterning of this world at a glance, and so you can easily follow the trajectories of certain lines or actions that lead to inevitable conclusions, just as they have always done throughout history.
This is how shamans can become oracles or prophets. Being able to foretell the future is not some kind of woo-woo hocus-pocus; it is just about having a more zoomed out view. It’s a kind of upgraded, finely tuned common sense, really.
Another thing I began to tune into was the language of symbols, which are everywhere. They speak to all of us in concepts that we absorb far faster than the meaning of written words. It’s like lightening and thunder. The lightening (symbols) hit our subconscious first, and then the thunder of the words and reason arrive afterwards. But the lightening has already struck the tree and it’s on fire.
That’s why I believe that it’s so important to learn the meaning of symbols which we are surrounded with in our everyday lives – whether in advertising or in the architecture of certain buildings. They are communicating with our subconscious minds whether our conscious mind understands them or not. It’s like when someone plays a note on a piano. The sound enters and winds around the labyrinthine corridors of our ear and then resonates throughout our whole mind-body-spirit world regardless of whether we consciously know that it is B flat. Some of us only need to hear two or three notes in a certain order, and the rest of the whole symphony instantly reveals itself.
This is all about pattern recognition … and you don’t need to be a shaman to have this ability, which is why I have included a whole chapter on it in Stories in the Summerlands: A pilgrimage into esoteric Avalon.
I hope that once you begin to learn how to read this secret language, which some call the Language of the Birds, you will be able, like one-eyed Odin, to talk back to “the birds” in a way that will enrich your own life.
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