Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Hummingbird

Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke
Today we celebrate Memorial Day. There are various stories about its origin ~ though flowers have been laid on graves since time immemorial.

One story says that it began when former slaves in Charleston, SC, dug up the bodies of 257 dead Union soldiers buried in a mass grave at a Confederate prison camp in order to give them a proper burial, as a sign of gratitude. Another relates that on May 5, 1868, Major General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic established May 30th as Decoration Day, a time to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Flowers would be blooming all over the country in May. That year also saw the first large observance at Arlington National Cemetery, including the presence of General and Mrs. Ullyses S. Grant.

What does this have to do with the Hummingbird? With my focus on Memorial Day, war and peace, I drew a card, wondering what gift would present itself to enhance the day.

As ever, I was impressed by the vitality of the draw. In the guide book, the themes of this card are Victory, Success, Recognition, Inspiration, and Illumined Presence. As a nation, we have been fortunate that most of our wars have resulted in victory and success, such as ony war can bring. Memorial Day is for the recognition of our war dead who continue to inspire us to always think twice before heading into battle.

Beyond that, Hummingbird brings a wonderful set of gifts to me: beauty, wonder, awe, joy and free-spiritedness. Hummingbird is its own kind of warrior, bringing forward the needs of Nature to sustain even the most light-winged and precious of her creatures.

Again, from the guide book:
"Receiving this card may signify spiritual insight, expansion or breakthrough. It cautions us, however, not to lose poise. A flash of arrogance, conceit, or out-of-control pride can ignite a wildfire within." It's message is: "Remember what guides you."

Balance. Not such an easy step on Memorial Day. How can I honor the fallen warriors while holding fast to notions of peace and non-violence?

What guides you? What kind of warrior are you? How do you balance giving honor with your other beliefs? What do you value most? How do inspiration and success show themselves in your life?

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