When I was younger, I was an avid reader of horoscopes and numerology. I would go hunting for daily, weekly and yearly astrological predictions, even going to astrologers for more precise readings based on my specific time and place of birth. I wanted to understand myself better and get a glimpse of my future.
All of this was (and still is) fascinating information to me. I bring this up now because I have come to realize that after these astrological sessions, although I felt excited and enlightened and even armed for the future with the information I needed, something was missing — and the missing piece was me.
It was written in the stars, wasn’t it?
I can remember at least twice receiving the prediction that I was going to have a great year, a year of “harvest” in which all my past efforts would bear fruit and I would be showered in abundance and recognition. Or I would reach my career pinnacle and be presented with new opportunities and promotions. Undoubtedly, I told myself, fame and glory would be mine, I just had to watch it unfold as the years went by.
As you may have guessed, this never turned out quite the way I was anticipating. And now, with the benefit of hindsight and a lot of self-reflection, I can tell you why. I was sometimes literally sitting on the couch waiting for opportunity to knock.
I figured I just had to sit back and let the abundance/promotions/accolades roll in because it was written in the stars.
It was my destiny.
So what happened to all that potent possibility?
I didn’t go out to meet it.
I didn’t step out into the work that is required for the universe to move through you and manifest as reality. I forgot (or I suspect I just never really understood) the important role that I played in “my destiny” – because although it may be written in the stars, your destiny can only be yours if you claim it.
You have to show up and meet your destiny along the way.
We must meet the universe half way with our attention to detail, our effort, our courage, our focus, our willingness to do what needs to be done in the present moment, with trust that the future will unfold accordingly.
I let my lust for outcomes distract me from what needed to be done to achieve those outcomes. I wasn’t honoring what I was seeking, I wasn’t honoring myself or the dream in my heart.
I explored another side of this theme in There is No Way to Push the River, about the fine balance between going with the flow and the dangers of stifling the flow by feeling that we need to be in control or force things to happen.
And as quiet meditation and self reflection helps me peel away the layers of this habit I can see that my experiences with astrological predictions are asking me to meet and address another layer of my story.
In this case the story of the balance between a totally hands-off “what’s mine is coming to me” approach versus “it’s right to have a plan, to write some goals, to work towards them, to have a dream you can create with your own hands and then to trust that the dream that has been placed in your heart is one that you CAN achieve”.
So the essence of this fine balance, between source and the physical, between what is dreamed and what is manifested, came pounding into my life by way of the buffalo. For this is the gift that buffalo brings.
We can learn from the essence of the buffalo.
When I started taking the first few steps towards my dream of serving as a holistic healer, I knew I wanted to create a circle where women (and men) could gather in a safe space grounded in love to explore their inner life and connection to the present moment through meditation.
Once I took the first few tentative steps in trust, I was haunted by buffaloes. I dreamt of buffaloes, I heard buffaloes running in my dreams and one morning awoke convinced they were stampeding through the bedroom.
Around that same time I went into a café I had been to several times before, except that now there was a massive painting of a buffalo on the back wall and I was seated in the booth right next to it where I could see it from my seat.
And so I paid attention.
And then I knew Buffalo was not just here for me, he was here for the group, for the circle I wanted to create. I came to know that the buffalo would guard and guide the work of our circle.
He would not only help me to manifest this circle but he would bring love, strength and direction to everyone there and allow us to take our visions and insights and dreams gleaned in a circle of love out into the world, to take action and manifest a better life for ourselves and a better world for all. He would show us how to not just survive, but how to thrive.
Ted Andrews writes that the essence of the Bison or Buffalo is “manifesting abundance through right action and right prayer.”
He goes on to acknowledges that the buffalo was (and remains) a symbol of sacred life and abundance to the Lakota people and that he teaches how to pray for and bring forth abundance.
You do not have to struggle to survive if the right action is joined to the right prayer, meaning that by uniting the mundane (the physical aspects and work of everyday life) with the divine (our dreams, our thoughts, our prayers), all that is needed will be made available.
The buffalo’s massive shoulders suggest that it is through our own hard work, in shouldering our responsibilities and making an effort that we will be rewarded.
We must meet the universe half way.
Alignment vs. Hustle allows you to step into your destiny.
When we join right action with right prayers, the path is not difficult and the way/the path opens and flows easily. This also speaks to the important but subtle difference between “hustling” (pushing for sales, advancement, achievement) and “aligning” to your true work/desire/nature.
This work of aligning with the universe should not feel difficult, for the buffalo is very powerful but he forces nothing. Like water, the buffalo herd finds the easiest path across the plains.
And so buffalo aligns what you are doing with what you are asking for – without the hustle. He aligns the prayer and the path, the work and the reward, the life in the present with the promise of the future.
All things will happen in the time, manner and means that is best for us if we allow it…and nothing, not even time, is wasted.
One of the most powerful ways to access buffalo medicine is through gratitude.
In the past, instead of being grateful for all that I had (for my job, my family, my home, my health) I was busy distracting myself from the real work by looking for predictions of my future, longing for outcomes that could only be mine if I used what I had, if I showed up to the work right in front of me, if I started with gratitude for all that had already been gifted to me.
If you hear the call to align rather than hustle, or if you suspect that you are not meeting the universe half way on the path to your destiny but aren’t sure what to do next, then I can help.
Join me in circle or work with me in private as we uncover your destiny or what you are being called to bring forth into the world, and how the lessons of the buffalo can assist you in manifesting your most fertile dreams and stepping into all your magnificent possibilities.
I’m ready when you are….
is thundering love
slow pulsing energy
of the earth is the heart
the bringer of gifts
the mighty roar of hooves
the pounding, dusty rush of energy
shifts in the heart
the roaming guardian of the circle
the protector of presence
the smoke in the pipe
is power beyond measure
is proof of the “I am”
rides the plains in power and claims the big skies
sings of blood and bone, victory and longing
strength in the dirt of the work
how nothing is wasted
how we must stand in the ground where we become
where we become
the blood and the bone and the dust of our labour
where we are one
with the drumming heartbeat that calls
the potent power that breathes
into your slumbering intentions