Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter in the Munanso

Snow is not only valuable for its moisture, which we are in desperate need of this year, but also for its energy as it blankets the Earth's surface in a cooling energy.  In the Munanso it brings a coolness to everything, and allows us to see all the animal tracks that come into the space.  Especially at this time when there is so much heat upon the Earth, the snow is very important for cooling the energy. 
In the Munanso the snow brings a beauty and serenity which is wonderful and we often also light the cooking fire, especially if we are going to do any work with the Misterios, and the fire brings a balance to the snow and allows us to appreciate more deeply the qualities of both.  We take the time to observe the bird activity and how the birds continue to find seeds among the bushes and weeds.  Although all may look bare to us, the fact that the birds look fat and happy prompt us to look more deeply at our surroundings to see the opportunities that are truly there.

As Paleros who live in the temperate zone rather than in the tropics or sub-tropics, we adapt to the seasonal changes that we find ourselves living with.  We spend time outside in the winter to understand the Spirit of this season, the behavior of the natural phenomenon (plants, birds, animals) that surround us, to feel the energy of the Sun in this season, the strength of the light of the Moon and Stars.  While we may prefer summer, we do not run from winter, and when the snow comes and changes our plans we have to look beyond the surface to see what the Misterios themselves are telling us and what opportunity they are bringing for growth in directions previously unexamined.

Fortunately we have many large overhanging porches and roofs in our Munanso which allows us much room for  movement even when it does snow.  Below our Munanso made entirely of logs from the land looks very welcoming in the snow, in many ways the snow brings the energy of the Mountains to us and we are covered in the blessing of the Misterio whose energy manifests as snow.  

The snow melts gently and slowly into the Earth, replenishing Rivers, Lakes and groundwater (underground Rivers and Reservoirs).  It allows us to see the contours of the Earth around us and see through the trees and underbrush which is pushed low to the ground with the weight of snow.  We are able to see how the Bateys, Munansos and Bohio line up with each other, and the spacial relationships between the various Ceremonial Spaces upon the Land.  We are able to see the deer, foxes, birds even more clearly and everything leaves its tracks clearly visible in the snow.  We are able to see the deer trails.  The Snow brings the "skeletal structure" of the Land into focus, including the animal pathways (arteries if you will). 

The Snow allows us to appreciate shape and color in a way that is impossible in the intensity of the colors of Spring, Summer and Fall.  Below a painted bowl in Anani's Munanso sits on a wall built from various different stones with a small carving she tucked away in a crevice.

In another place another carving is barely visible under a blanket of snow leaning up against a simple stone which has so much expression inside its apparent simplicity.  The snow allows us to look deeper into the world around us.
And in our looking more deeply we can uncover an incredible design and relationship that is expressed on multiple levels and we can see the relationship of human expression and the natural expression of Mother Earth in a relationship of creativity where we utilize our internal vision from the Spirits of the Ancestors to take the raw element and expressions of Mother Earth and bring forth new expressions and relationships.  Below two carvings by Ciba Jaguar sit within a stone wall showing a moment of harmonious relationship of Human to Earth!


  1. This is a new understanding of winter, even for me in Alaska. thanks as always! Althea

  2. whereabouts in Alaska do you live Althea?