When we combine a life of Art or Artful living with the joys and perils of our real emotional life, nature teaches us everything we need to know how to navigate such a winding river, and in order to navigate this journey, she teaches us through experience with her fire, her wind storms, her insects and her animals. In order to be aware of the consciousness of this planet and how she communicates to us, it requires more of self, it requires a desire to increase our awareness within an environment filled with awareness and with synchronicity practices of a purity of body, mind and soul. That is not only an enormous task, but its a lot to ask of a simple human being. The true magical and the secret garden exists within this reality, decade after decade of our lifetime. The dark and winding tests with the epiphany of light next to it.
The art lesson for today is the fine art of the “Wasp” who teaches us the art of being stung and stinging others, the totem medicines of boundaries and respecting boundaries. I have had a long relationship with the stinging wasp clan, they have taught me so much about being a human who needs to bow to nature in order to learn from her. When I was younger, I had thin skin, meaning like everyone, I was taking things personal or not being grounded enough or self-nurturing enough to “get it.” I have been stung so many times by wasp, and my first was at 17 years old, when a whole nest of wasps fell on my lap as I was driving the tractor through the horse barn – they stung away like there was no tomorrow. It was very painful, but what would ensue that summer was very painful as well in my emotional life, it was a ‘wasp oracle’ in natures magic.
Unlike the owl ‘warning’ medicines, wasps are very small and very personal, and they roam about town, country or city out in the light of day to see, and have no fear, regardless of their size. That is also is applied as a metaphor or totem that being stung is a day time event. As teachers, wasp first teach us how to bow to their sting, with dignity and respect, the second lesson is to learn to ‘focus’ on the wound itself in the present moment and nurture it quickly. The third lesson wasp teaches is that life has a lot of pain associated with it (being stung as a metaphor). These three medicines are brought into present awareness when you get stung, so when a wasp appears, take a good look around our immediate environment or what happened that morning or evening. See who are the stingers are or ask the self, am I the stinger out of line with the balance of my life or relationships with others.
Wasp will only sting when things have gotten out of hand or if you really need to pay attention to the small dangerous things happening in your life, don’t let it drag out too long and too far in your life. Being influenced by others who do not have your best interests in mind or a new friend or work associate who likes to sting for the pure shadow joy of it. For the few who do have a lot of experience with the Stinging Clans like myself, the second half of my journey, Wasp came no longer to sting me, but to teach me that it was time to sting other people. When that day came and happened, I had learned to sit eventually sit and not run from wasp, I over came and bowed and sting me. From that moment on, wasp began to just be near me but never stinging me again. This is true of every totem mastery.
It was then, when wasp approached my space I didn’t have to negotiate anymore. That was a very freeing day, of course it never would have come if I hadn’t taken gladly and humbly wasps medicine for decades. Wasps are never angry beings when they sting, they are territorial, that is a huge difference when we translate our stinging or being stung. Wasps are so small but so powerful, ask anyone who is afraid of spiders. Spider totem or medicine is much more ancient and collective grandmothers medicines, so the teachings are much more complex.
My journey as a stinger has only been six years with wasp medicine, and it is in my teachings with my apprentices as a teacher, instead of the last forty years of being stung as natures apprentice… until last new moon. I had an indecent where wasp came into the house and I needed to sting one of my apprentices and I didn’t do it. In response to my not doing it, two weeks ago on the ull moon, I got stung about 12 times on both arms and my lower legs, its funny that they didn’t even hurt and only 1 of the 12 stings actually felt like a penetrating sting, my body just instantly healed the stings within a day, and this too goes along with the completion that I no longer take things personal etc, because self mastery and completion with mirrors of relationship or nature goes hand in hand.
When I work with students or clients and even my apprentices, I share over and over again that when we work with symbols or art symbols, mythology or folklore in our living journey, it makes no difference whether these things are extracted and used in our night dreaming symbolism or our waking dreams, the symbols remain the same and tell the same story, our story. The depth in which we journey inward to our heal our fears or shadows, our challenges or our frustrations, this reflects the depth of our creativity as a mirror to the self so we can see ourselves better. Artists, Singers, Dancer, Musicians are always expressing a part of themselves in their art, even if its a portrait or a dance of somebody else, and the symbolism that shows through such artistic expression can be extracted easily when one understands symbolism, the mythos, ancient and primal art, not as a historian but as a viable and living experience of our soul.
Whether its a Wasp ora Tiger or even a Rainbow all has an effect on us and its making meaning of it when symbols begin to become repetitive. Wasp was one of the repetitive symbols for me along with many others, but nothing stung so sharply as wasp or carried such power in a little package. Now when I walk through my day, if I run to town or talking on the phone, if a wasp makes itself present, I know what that means when applied to what I am doing at those moments and know how to then shift my path a bit until things are fully revealed.
Conclusions are important in symbolism and in storytelling, this story of the Wasp is the Art of the Sting, the medicine is to heal when we get stung and to heal, we must learn to “never” scratch an irritation after being stung, in other words practicing letting the drama go in relationships and just work on the relationship need, because translating to human terms, wasp medicine says NEVER SCRATCH the pain from another person who stung you, it will continue the burning and painful experiences over and over again, decade after decade, let go and heal yourself. Just sit with the sting and meditate, breath and then contemplate why wasp had to come out of its way to sting you or had to sting another for territorial “BOUNDARY” reasons.
Wasps show us directly about disrespecting other peoples boundaries or lack of boundary issues that we carry.
Art, Nature and Magic… by Phoenix of Elder Mountain Art Residency