The Medicine Mojo of Bee And Ocotillo
I woke up not in the best mood. Part of this trip was to fix shooting mistakes from the previous year, which wasn't working out very well, and it had been some time since I produced anything really super compelling. I felt blocked and frustrated, stuck in an energy that just added to my mental and emotional stagnation. In the absence of shooting the flowers and scenes I was hoping to, I found myself struggling to pull myself up by the bootstraps. It didn't help I woke up late and missed the morning sunrise blaze. I was meditating a bit more frequently in my life, finding some calmness and centeredness the more often I practiced, and so I did that this morning, and focused on letting go of my attachment and my self-deprecation...a forgiveness of sorts. After finishing with a 'what now?', I started waiting for inspiration...
With diffused lighting still persisting on as the morning went by, I stopped waiting for inspiration and instead just got into action, sort of like faking it until I felt it. Indeed, that was good medicine, as it reminded me of a truth I discovered years ago. So often we humans wait for inspiration before we take action...giving our responsibility away to some vague external event to shine light on our inspiration to do something, to cause something...silly monkey mind.
The world really doesn't work that way though. Instead, it is action that creates inspiration. It is doing a thing, not sure about it, making it up if you have to, just getting that one damn foot in front of the other that will cause inspiration. A success; something that worked out; something that wasn't as bad as the mental anguish of sitting there thinking about it; or SIMPLY CHANGING YOUR PHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE to what is around you, will lead to what you have been waiting for. And that inspiration will only lead to more action, which will lead to more inspiration...is that was what I was waiting for? I got into action, and before long the inspiration was flowing. What I intended on shooting would just need to morph as new ideas and perspectives flooded in, and that is what I did. I visualized and planned new shots, then spent the morning looking for the scene that would allow me to best control the shot.
Drawn by the abundance of blooming ocotillos and knowing the difficulty of shooting them smartly, which has often alluded me in the past, while also watching the patterns of the birds and the bees working their routes, I settled on giving up on saguaro blooms to tell the story of the ocotillo and its gift to my desert, Soronan and Soul. I picked this flowered stem because of the heavily shadowed background, and the angle of the diffused light, and waited for the desert's gifts, which came plenty and often, both bird and bee. This was the first image produced of the morning, one of many that made it into my portfolio that day. The rest of the day stayed productive and my attitude continued to get better. It was time now to re-address my need for blooming saguaros, and come up with a new plan for that. By the end of the day, I was deep into the low desert, and before midnight set, I produced my famous saguaro with blooms against the milky way image. What a day this turned out to be.
Looking back, it is interesting looking at the energies in play, both internally, and what nature provided. If you know me, then you know I receive inspiration and moments of enlightenment delving into the spiritual energy associated by both eastern religion and native American religion of the subjects I work with. So often, it seems like the medicine I need was always right there in front of me, impacting me. So, in light of what I was dealing with that day, it might be noteworthy to share how both the Bee and the Ocotillo Energy influenced me.
The bee totem is a helpful symbol for manifesting things the bee symbolizes, including fertility, health and vitality, and prosperity. It's also a good luck totem for being productive in your work and finding work that is fulfilling, because the bee spirit animal has a strong work ethic and symbolizes hard work and dedication, among other things.
The Spirit of the Ocotillo, as well as the essences of its flowers, interestingly enough was a medicine in the most important ways for how I had been suffering. When one's passion in life is frustrated, blocked, abused, or becomes destructive with impulses erupting in anger, aggression, jealousy, defensiveness, manipulation, complaining, blaming, demanding attention, while also feeling repression causing energetic mental and emotional stagnation, low vitality, poor self-esteem, high reactivity, and being overly sensitive and reactive to external stimuli (in short, a total snowflake), the medicine spirit of the ocotillo is exactly what is needed. Indeed, I was deep into all those symptoms, often on any given day. The cure it provides for those willing to connect, is the stimulating of the deficient fire lost, cooling negative and wasteful expression, calming, re-centering, and rechanneling of energy into self-healing and creative manifestation.
With the combination of He, Me, Bee, and Ocotillo, Johnny found his mojo.