Spirit Leaves: Leaves of Change


The best part of meeting Cedric Red Feather is hearing his traditional stories. Some are channeled in the moment; still others become part of his spiritual toolbox, an invitation to reflect and grow. Like the old Zen masters, he would rather simply lead a horse to water and leave the decision whether to drink entirely with the individual. This month’s prompt about moving from belief to intuitive knowing invited me to reflect upon my own journey from the safety of the box to a more individualized, expansive frame of reference.

The word “belief” is a funny one. I like the way Cedric incorporates the term when demonstrating the reality of reincarnation. He explains: “If you observe Nature, you will see that plants, trees and animals already know what to do. Deer shed the soft outer coating of their antlers, revealing mature ones. Trees lose their leaves in the fall, only to regrow them in spring. Deer do not have to believe in regeneration in order to sprout mature antlers; trees do not have to believe in photosynthesis in order to gain more leaves. It is the same with reincarnation: Belief is not required.”

Through Cedric’s wise teachings and my own reflective journey, I now regard “belief” as an outmoded concept, one belonging to an old energy. In the post-shift energy, I feel more akin with terms like insight, understanding, intuition and inner knowing.

Prayer, meditation, affirmation — by whatever concept vessel we travel — we will arrive at the same place. Our very own thoughts create absolutely everything we call “reality.” That’s why belief doesn’t yield much for us: implicit in the notion of belief is that one must harbor a belief in something, something separate from oneself. That very dualism perpetuates the notion that everything is outside of and apart from us, and that we must work very hard to achieve unity with the object of our attention.

The truth is there is no real separation. Our human self, our Higher self, our Angelic self and our God self are all constructs for the same thing. As a convenience to keep from dissociating or going crazy, we label things. We invent concepts, and then we relate to or worship those constructs. We might as well be relating to cartoon characters.

Every human participates in the initial perception of division from the loving consciousness that created our Universe. Trees branches move outward in beautiful extensions that sprout buds and flowers. We are like those natural expressions. No matter how far we travel from the trunk, we carry the essence of the tree’s original seed. We are part and parcel of the tree, yet we are individualistic in the energetic expression of our identity on Earth. It is a simple metaphor, but it helps convey the truth of contiguous existence.

So what, therefore, is intuitive knowing, that state toward which our Edge editor asks us to travel and to which our editor requests that we offer a GPS? The answer may seem disturbingly simple. There is no map, there is no trail, there is no GPS, there is no guide. Each person will get there at his or her own pace, but arrive there we all surely will. Intuitive knowing means letting down the artificial guard of all that we have been falsely instructed in, replacing it with the type of soul silence that permits us to ask questions and then listen as clear answers instantly waft up.

Once, Cedric and I were traveling somewhere. As we arrived closer to our destination, we became a bit anxious, as it seemed to be taking longer than we thought. We began asking questions aloud like, “How many miles since the last town?” and “How far to the next exit that has places to eat?” Almost within seconds, the highway was adorned with green signs, and billboards sprang up, offering mileage to exits and savory meal options. We looked at each other and said, “Stay on the road; the signs will appear!” That seemingly mundane slogan takes on a profound significance in the realm of the spiritual — for you are likely already there.

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Janet Michele Red Feather, J.D., M.A., is a ceremonial singer who has learned over 60 traditional songs in Mandan and Lakota and sings in nine different languages. Janet was a full-time defense litigator in California for nearly eight years. Her life changed significantly after she traveled to North Dakota in 1993 to fast and pray for a way of life. A regular columnist for The Edge, she has also appeared in Psychic Guidepost, FATE Magazine and Species Link. Her book, Song of the Wind (2014, Galde Press), dealt with her experiences as an empath, and her journey through Mandan spiritual culture. She is currently a full-time, tenured English faculty member at Normandale Community College, having taught Composition and Literature for a span of 20 years.


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