"Long ago, there was sage. Before there were men, there was sage. When men came, they took the sage. The Great Spirit told them no. They asked what they should do? Give back, was the answer. How should they give back? Let it grow.
This is why the sage is everywhere. This is how the sage is found in the bad places, the soulless places, the broken spaces and wounds in the Earth. It grows there and chases the badness away."
This story was given to me tonight, as I was walking home. Sage is known for its cleansing properties, for its ability to chase away bad energies and make places and people clean again. Of course, sometimes more than sage is needed, just as sometimes more than wisdom or more than strength is needed. But anything that helps to heal and make right is a start.
This next story is about Rabbit and his shadow. You may ask where this one comes from... well, earlier this spring, I was out walking the dog, and she startled a rabbit who was browsing nearby. The rabbit ran one way and the dog went the other, chasing what she thought was her prey. When she caught up to it, she went snuffling and sniffing in entirely the wrong spot, while I, bemused, wondered how that had happened.
You see, I had noticed something as well. I saw the rabbit run toward my right, but she had tossed something to my left, where the dog went. A rabbit made of energy -- basically, her shadow.
Rabbit must have learned to throw his shadow from somewhere, but I don't know that tale. Before he learned it, the various hawks and dogs, the fox and wolf and coyote, must have had an easier time of catching him. Sure, some of them won't be confused by it, they'll follow the real rabbit, but enough of them don't that the skill can be passed on.
Anyway, one day Rabbit was out doing his thing, and a dog charged up. He threw his shadow and ran away... but of course, how can you throw your shadow? Everyone needs a shadow, or you turn all light and brightness, and you'll sometimes become your shadow instead. So Rabbit has to steal back his shadow, every time. He'll call it away, or dash up and snatch it away before it gets chewed up too bad, and then run off again.
Anyway. Rabbit was being chased, and he threw his shadow out there and ran the other way. The dog wasn't fooled, and charged after him. Then a hawk came down and snatched at his back, before he could call up his shadow and try it again. With two predators determined to have him for dinner, Rabbit was all panicked up and couldn't help but run around looking for a hole to hide in. But the rabbit-hole he got to smelled like fox, and sure enough a fox popped out and tried to have a bite. Rabbit slammed on the brakes and tried to hop away, hoping the confusion would make one of the three grab another predator instead.
But no, Rabbit was grabbed three ways, and he would have been torn apart if he hadn't called up his shadow to fight for him. That shadow jumped right inside him and he fought, hard, kicking and biting fit to knock down a tornado. When Rabbit was done, he was so worn out he thought about sleeping right where he was, but his shadow made him get back up and jog away home where he was safe. Then it went back to its proper place on the outside of him, and settled down to being just a shadow again. Rabbit fell over sleeping, and didn't get up for two days. Then he woke up, told everyone what happened, and made love to his wife.
And that's how Rabbit's shadow stole him back.
Finally, a note of sage advice.
Yesterday, I was worn out. I was so tired, that I sat down and what should have been just a minute or two turned into a dozen. While I was dozing, there was a big crow outside snacking on dumped food, and in spirit I went and sat with her a bit. She was startled and annoyed at this, but as I wasn't eating her food, she went and got Crow. Crow looked at me, and asked me why I was there, and I didn't want to complain too much as it wasn't Crow's problem, really. But it fell out of me anyway; and it wasn't hard to read in my energy, either way.
But Crow looked at me, and loomed over me, and told me that I helped. That I still help. And then Crow gave me some advice in return, because I do Good work.
"Do your Good work, and let your Bad work do itself."
Interpret how you will. I found two meanings right away, and I'm sure there are more in there.
Thanks for reading.