Scorpion Medicine

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Scorpion Medicine

scorpion

Once upon a time there lived a tribe of scorpions in the remote wilds of a beautiful canyonland paradise. Each winter the elders would gather up the younger generation and tell stories to help enrich their lives. Many of the  legends had valuable insights about how to live life, and some times symbols and figures were etched into stone to remind people of the future not to forget lessons from the past.

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“Let me tell you about the gifting of Grandfather Scorpion,” said Uncle Scorpion, to the little ones. “Long ago, some strange, giant beings floated down the great river in an unusual craft and landed upon our shores. They then got out and began looking around to find a place to sleep for the night. Your curious Grandfather went out to meet them with a raised stinger, to defend or welcome the unknown giants, depending upon their intentions.”

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“But the giant beings were filled with fear at seeing a scorpion, so squashed Grandfather to his death with one crushing blow,” he continued.

“Thus, Grandfather’s gift to you was to run and hide whenever you see these strange beings approach your home, or at least raise your stinger to defend your presence, if they ever catch you by surprise. These beings have lost their connections to all the other creatures and live in fear of many things they do not fully understand. So always respect your Grandfather and live by the wisdom he has passed on to you,” advised Uncle Scorpion.

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But many moons later, a young girl scorpion and boy scorpion forgot all about the wisdom stories and began gossiping about the crazy decisions other scorpions seemed to be making. So one of the elders, upon hearing them, took them aside for a thinking question: “Do you realize that when your stinger is pointing towards others and after the poison is released, your tail curls back and points at yourself? So, be careful what you say, or it may come back to haunt you. Otherwise, scorpion karma may follow you with some trickery,”he added.

Several days later a boat appeared on the water and the strange beings began to land. The two gossiping scorpions forgot about the wisdom gifts and stood their ground with stingers down, to meet the intruders. These giants looked friendly enough, they thought.

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Unfortunately, the intruders were still afraid of these scorpions with their wicked little stingers and so crushed them to their deaths. Scorpion karma had finally caught up with the two little gossiper’s, whom had ridiculed others and forgot about the ancient wisdom path. So they then became an unfortunate (for them) part of scorpion history to teach other scorpions (the fortunate one’s) to pass on the “stinger” wisdom gift.
What is the stinger gift?

The wisdom gift and medicine of the scorpion stinger is multi-faceted in its efficacy. It teaches that behavior has consequences and ignoring nature’s wisdom leads to a finite path. It can sometimes be  self-deprecating.
True scorpion medicine only works for those who take it and appreciate its potential. It is one of the many ancient wisdom’s that is available through the fractals of nature’s various medicines.

ice jan 1, 2014 018

Our world is made up of fractals, the patterns that ripple throughout all nature. All “others” are connected and share the natural world equally. It is only by self-delusion than man arrogantly believes he is the manipulator and controller of nature. Only by a reverting back to appreciating all things in nature are equal will better tolerance and harmony result amidst all creatures and the environment in which they live. The only reason for “others” to exist is for comparison so each can know itself as separate from. Not greater or lesser than, but different. To lose any one “other” is to diminish diversity.

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The path to wisdom and knowledge is endless. Living in-tune with earth wisdom will lead to an open endless path. False wisdom, is knowing and not doing. Coming to know wisdom and not practice it, ultimately is not wisdom.

Once stung by anything, it slows us down enough to re-evaluate our own pulse amidst the many. Shifting consciousness will facilitate different directions and results. If we run too fast across the landscape we will be out of tune with it. To help the planet and all life forms, we must first help our self. We are only a self in relationship to others. Harmony comes when all “others” are in tune with each other, and thus able to make true music compatible with the earth upon which all feet dance.

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Unplug. Reconnect to Source.
Follow Flow
.

For more family harmony, tune-in to the river with:

Gary Lane’s Wapiti River Guides
http://www.doryfun.com
208:628-3523

Salmon With Feathers

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OR coast Sept 1-8, 2013 486

If one was to track down the DNA of a salmon, that is, it’s true signature, they would be astounded by where all it has been and eventually ends up.  It might seem that when a spawning salmon dies, the river bed is where if finally  ends up. Wrong. The salmon becomes food for many organisms once it is dead and is far more reaching than one might first imagine.

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How so? Well,  dead fish often end up in other places than just  the waters from where they came.  For example:  when a bear eats a dead spawned out salmon, it may drag it into the woods.  So, the carcass of the dead fish itself then becomes food for land organisms that may also eat on it.   Or a bear may  defecate  in the woods, leaving nutrients that plants eat to make berries.  In turn, the berries are eaten by birds.  Interestingly, new genetic studies indicate that feathers of birds can contain some dna chain of the salmon’s signature.

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So a salmon’s signature can be found in many places.  Simplifying natural processes comes with great difficulty when  deciphering ecological tracks and using various tools to measure them by. But now, with the science of genetics, we have yet another tool to help trace movements of fundamental elements that are vital to keep ecological cycles pure and functioning properly. With more sophisticated technologies comes ever more simplified revelations of the elemental. We may use telescopes and microscopes to see beyond the naked eye, but in the end everything is simply just a part of something else.

OR coast Sept 1-8, 2013 132

The Beauty of a Circle

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Jack’s send off ceremony was held on Oct 13, 2013 on the Salmon River, ten miles upriver, at the giant eddy at Spring Bar Launch and Campsite.  This was and continues to be an ancient Nez Perce place of importance, but now more of a bi-cultural mixing grounds where all those who truly love this place often gather.

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After ending our sacred boat circles at the Spring Bar Eddy on the Salmon River, in tribute to our passing river friend Jack Kappas, the power of circular motion continued on.  I learned later that while a few people shared more stories around a shore side campfire after our more official ceremony, other friends were fishing below the sacred eddy as their chosen way of extending memories. They hooped and hollered when they caught 5 fish, as they were listening softly to ipod music, Jack would have liked, and felt his help urging steelhead to bite their lines, was with them.

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In addition, when Charlie and Lesile headed homeward, they spotted a bald eagle sitting on the rocks at Hippie Beach, which then flew upriver towards Spring Bar. They too felt like it was Jack heading back upriver again, keeping an eagle eye on the river he loved and friends who loved him. Perhaps that eagle’s flight was part of the help for those fishermen upriver and their prized steelhead.

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The day after our memorial three of us (Kristin, Barb, and me)  that were also close friends with Jack, gave his  “Uncle Ernie”, a  tour of the canyon and showed him a few of Jack’s favorite places.  He felt bad that he had never visited our area to take advantage of Jack’s many invites to get him on the river. But, we assured him he was now here and fulfilling that need, all the same, though in different form, Jack would be happy.

Before we left the canyon we had one more final tribute to pay, as the two girls forgot to get Vic’s (Jack’s favorite chocolate lab ) hair and a few fragmented bones that Jack had saved after his dog  drowned in the Salmon River, and I forgot my drum for our original ceremony, so we gathered at the side of the sacred eddy to complete or intended circle of both in a special riverside ceremony.

After entering Vic to the river, then some drumming with three last solitary beats, one each for the 3 ceremonial  boat circles, as Nez Perce consider that number sacred, ending with one moment of silence. Astonishingly, but not surprisingly,  a fish jumped near where Vic had been entered to re-join Jack.  It reminded me of a favorite  quote: “Silence is the voice of the Great Mystery” and how mystery permeates everything in nature.

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A couple of days later I took Charlie fishing upriver, and we had a wonderful day on the water. We shared many stories, about Jack, other river friends, and a gamut of subjects. Kirk was also fishing below us, and I had to tell Charlie about some “Wapiti Moments” that Kirk and I had on the Grande Ronde years ago, along with the original 5 (including Jack) of us who attended the ground-zero salmon and dam breaching hearings in Lewiston years ago.

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The day was long and we did not see Kirk again until end of the day when we both arrived at the ramp about the same time. the three of us shared more stories about Jack, those crazy “wapiti moments” (when things go south, and ingenuity kicks in for survival) and other pertinent things that tie river people together, especially this special  place in the canyon.  We all have  our own life circles and stories, and as we ended our fishing day united at the ramp from our separate loops, did we yet come full circle again as the sun slowly set into the far beyond.  We all had smiles on our faces, just as the ancients smiled down on us. Knowing all the while, with each new day, all  those smiles will soon be returning.

Great beauty is truly found in the circle.

salmon river spirit oct 2013 007

Erosion is the way of nature.

chukar & steelhead meal, wood cutting Oct 2013 020

Roll on river, roll on.

Where Is The Far Beyond?

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GR April 7-9_ 2006 050

Where is the far beyond? This  is a question with an answer just as far away, quite out of reach by human understanding. But there is a river where one can go and might find a far easier answer to that question.   At least that is what the Nez Perce called the Grande Ronde River in Northeastern Oregon: “River that flows into the Far Beyond.” All their answers to many great mysteries were found there.

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We do five-day float trips on the lower 100 miles of this beautiful river, and at the bottom end it has enough goose-neck bends to seem like  never-ending turns with a new view around each one.  Never ending beauty also adds to this same feeling of having entered an arena of inexhaustible wonder.  Various landscapes are encountered along the way, from a thick forest of pine and fir in parkland like stands at the top, to subtle changes along the route, finally entering the more arid environs of open rimrock canyonland territory.

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Rapids are never too demanding, except for a place or two at very high water. Most is just good solid fun without worry of changing your underwear after the run. In between the whitewater sections are placid pools and quieter water where more time can be used to study the hillsides for wild animals that frequent the canyon. Many elk and deer can be found on mid elevation benches taking advantage of spring green-up for those who float the river early enough.

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This river is a product of the Wallowa and Elkhorn watersheds, both draining from the massive shoulders of sawtooth mountains that kiss the sky. Snow melt gives rise to peak run-off sometime in late May and early June, depending on weather and annual precip conditions. But even when the river runs at the average peak flows, it is fast and furious, but not terribly difficult, and definitely not terrifying.  There are not many eddies, and the current is fast, so one need pay attention, all the same. Specially when camp is ready to be made, it sometimes means an adventurous landing.

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Not only is the corridor of  escarpents and lava layers overlying steep benchgrass slopes, but so too is the area steeped in a colorful history of the two cultures who discovered the hidden trearues at staggered timelines of progression. It is easy to see why the Nez Perce made a part of this terrain their esteemed homeland, as well as why early exlporers and homesteaders found similar reasons to seek security in the same places. Later modern day explorers, like Buzz Holmstrom, who then began floating these waters early on, established yet another course in riverine history and is an additional  subject we like to explore during our  float trips of current times.

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Side hikes to ridgeline and hillsides with a kaleidoscopic fill of colorful wildflowers can seem like jumping through the Looking Glass wth Alice in wonderland. It is like a different world, only it doesn’t take a Looking Glass to appreciate, just a boat to reach those places and hiking boots.

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When waters calm down and flows are on the backside of the peak, fishing becomes good again, for rainbow trout and smallmouth bass. The additional advantage of this river for fishermen is the pool to riffle ratio that creates ideal situations for the fish to occupy.  So for fishermen who can read water, there is a story behind every appropriate rock.

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This family oriented river also has great campsites where one can sit back and absorb scent of the pines waft with the coffee and bacon smells off a morning campfire, too. It is a great way to start a fun-filled day, and 5 days is too short, but better than none. And the only way to get close to the far beyond is to take the first step forward. All these rest will soon fall into place.

Let your fingers begin the walking to start the floating:     208:628-3523

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