A Summer Solstice Story: The Mink and the Sun


A Telling by Eldrbarry

Mink’s mother, Sea Lion, as a young maiden, liked to sit in a rock in the sea, basking in the warm sun. When she found out she was going to have a baby, her parents questioned her about it. They asked her who the father was. “I don’t know any young men,” she replied, “and I stay home all the time. The only thing I can think about is that I was warming myself in the sun.” So when the time came for the baby to be born, they named it Make-Like-The-Sun, The Mink.

When the child was growing up, the other children used to make fun of him. “You haven’t got a dad,” they would say. “You’re not like us.” Made-like-the-Sun would come in crying to his mother. “Don’t listen to them,” she assured him. “You have a father.” “Where is my father?” asked Made-Like-The-Sun. “See that warm sun up there?” said his mother. “That is your father. Without him nothing down here could live.”

When Mink told the other children that Sun was his father, they ridiculed him. Perhaps it was because everyone made fun of him that Mink became a nasty trickster. He set out to try and outsmart everyone, and one by one Mink played tricks on them. He embarrassed these people, made them look foolish, played dirty jokes, cheated them, and stole from them. When he grew older, he began to wander from tribe to tribe, playing dirty tricks everywhere he went.

One day he looked to the Sky world and decided that Sun and Moon were not smarter than he. “It’s a pretty easy job lighting the world,” he said. “I must go up and visit them for I want an easy job like lighting the world.” Now you might think it was hard to get to the Sky world, but actually it was very easy. Mink waited for one of those days that those who live in the Pacific Northwest know so well, when the clouds were brushing the treetops and the rain drips down. He climbed a tall Cedar tree, all the way to the top, and found himself in the Sky world.

He walked and walked towards the east for the Sun always rises there. It was dark when he saw a great wooden lodge with Sun symbols carved upon it. He went to the small door carved out of a tall pole and knocked upon it. “Who are you?” He was asked by the woman inside. “I am Mink, son of the sunshine,” he replied. “Come on in,” he was told. ” Your father, the Sun will be home soon. Soon he must walk again all day back to the west.”

When Sun came home, he told his squaw – “I know that Mink, he is very tricky. I have seen his tricks. He is not to be trusted. I will play along with him and see what he is up to.” The boy was taken into the presence of the brilliant sunshine. “So you are my father,” Said the Mink, Made-Like-The-Sun. “Yes, I am” replied the Sun. “I have come to help you carry the Sun across the sky.” Said Mink. “You have come at the right time,” the Sun said. “I am not young anymore, I am getting old and tired. Tomorrow, I will show you how to take over.”

Early in the morning, Mink was shaken awake. Sun was standing there wearing a beautiful shiny golden fur robe, and a great golden sun mask, and carrying a torch filled with pitch, which he lit. “I will walk from east to west, but I must not listen to the people down on earth. The people will say to me, “Give us more sunshine so we can warm up. Clear the rain and clouds away,” but I must not listen. I just keep walking from east to west, across the plains, over the shining mountains all the way to the ocean.” Motioning to Mink to come with him they set off across the sky.

Looking down Mink saw the great open plains covered with grass rippling in the sunlight, and the Columbia River. Soon they came to the tree covered mountains, and then climbed up over their white shining peaks, reflecting the light from Sun’s torch.
On the West side of the mountains, clouds and fog hid the forests and rivers, and shoreline below. Mink could hear voices. “I wish Sun would burn these clouds away.” “I am so tired of this rain, why doesn’t Sun stop and warm us up. The Shaman promised us a nice day, but again it is raining.” Finally late in the afternoon, the clouds parted and there below was the beautiful shiny sea, reflecting the ruddy light as the torch now burned low. On the way home, to Sun’s lodge, they passed the Moon, pale compared to the Sun.

The next day, Mink begged and begged to be allowed to carry the torch, but Sun said he was not ready for that. But Sun let him wear the shining robe and the shining golden mask as they set off on their journey. This time, great white clouds were drifting across the plains, as thunderbird flapped his wings with loud thunder and lightning flashed from his eyes when he blinked. Sun just plodded on. Over the great mountains, shining white with snow, over the cloudy coasts where the rain continued to fall. Again they heard the voices pleading for sunshine and warmth and an end to the rain. All the way again to the sea.

The third day, Mink again begged to carry the torch, and this time Sun let him. However, Sun insisted he must go along. “We will walk from east to west, but we must not listen to the people down on earth. The people will say to us, “Give us more sunshine so we can warm up. Clear the rain and clouds away,” but we must not listen. We just keep walking from east to west, across the plains, over the shining mountains all the way to the ocean. You must never stop in your journey.”

Early in the morning, Made-Like-The-Sun rose in the east with his sunshine mask on. He was the great Sun! His father accompanied him as he walked across the sky toward the west. He did very well. When the people on earth called up to him, “Give us more sun,” he did not listen, he just kept walking. Across the plains, over the mountains that clapped their peaks together, causing the snow to rush down their slopes, past the fog bound and cloudy coastline, where again he heard the peoples complaining, to the vast sea and the end of the day.

The next day Mink insisted he could do it all by himself. Sun gave in. He repeated strongly his instructions. “You will walk from east to west, but you must not listen to the people down on earth. The people will say to you, “Give us more sunshine so we can warm up. Clear the rain and clouds away,” but you must not listen. Just keep walking from east to west, across the plains, over the shining mountains all the way to the ocean. You must never stop in your journey.” Then Mink set out alone, wearing the shining golden fur robe, and the great shiny golden mask, bearing the torch filled with pitch and blazing hot and bright. Sun, not sure he could trust the Mink, followed at a distance. Across the plains, up over the mountains they journeyed.

At first Mink did well, though Thunderbird flapped his wings, though the peaks clapped, he just plodded on. But when he got to the rainy coasts, he was not so strong. At first he tried to be. He heard the people down below saying, “Let the sun shine a little more to clear these clouds away and warm us up.” “No” he said and kept plodding from east to west. But he kept hearing the people calling him from below. “We just want a little more sunshine – just a little more to warm up. It’s Sun’s fault the fogs linger. The shaman promised us a nice day.” Finally Mink said, “I’m tired of their complaining. I’ll show them. I’ll just give them more sunshine.” and he stopped and stooped down holding the torch towards the earth below. Quickly the clouds burned away. The sun heated the ground. Then the people began complaining about the blistering heat. The forests began drying out and the rocks on the shoreline cracked. Fires started in the forests.

Sun heard the people screaming down on the earth. “Oh, it’s too hot! We’re going to burn up!” and he hurried to see what his son was doing. There Made-Like-The-Sun was, stopped and stooping down. The Sun yelled at Mink. “I knew you were not to be trusted. I told you not to stoop down. I told you to keep walking,” he thundered. “I will take my job back now,” and seizing the shining mask, he booted his son out of the sky world with a kick to the posterior.

Mink tumbled down from the sky, and the torch went out. The pitch poured onto his robe staining it and making it smell with a strong musky aroma. But “Made-Like-The-Sun” landed in the water in a magnificent dive. Mink is a skilled diver like his mother, the sea lion. Sun quickly lit another torch, but until he did, it was dark – the first eclipse. Sometimes now the Sun makes other eclipses – to remind creatures of the earth, they can not take the place of any of the heavenly bodies.

As for Mink, he was very ashamed since that day. Though he kept the beautiful fur robe, now stained by the pitch, and with a strong smell, this son of the seaworld and the skyworld, keeps to secretive places and avoids others, though sometimes you may see him basking in the sun on a rock in the river wearing that beautiful but stained fur robe – Mink, Made-Like-The-Sun.

If you want more information about the energies of Summer Solstice, occurring this year at 10:07am on 6/21/18, I offer you three blog posts from the archives: The energies today (2016), Solar Flares and Terrorism? (2015), and Through the Worm Hole (2013).

Posted in Shamanism, Summer

Neptune Retrograde: Reassess Your Spiritual Practice!

NeptuneNeptune, planet of inner exploration, creativity, and spirituality is going retrograde on June 18th until 11/24). Of course, he’s retrograde about half the year, every year, so this is not a cause for panic. Honestly, nothing astrological is ever a cause for panic, so if someone is giving you fear-based messaging about astrology, ignore them. Whenever Neptune is in retrograde, we tend to shift our attention away from practical matters and go inward. The fact that it’s happening just before Solstice is a little amusing to me, because Summer Solstice tends to be a very outward, social time of year. It wouldn’t be entertaining if there wasn’t some push-pull energy going on, though, right?

So, the next 5 months are going to be great for revamping your spiritual practice, getting creative, meditation, and working with inspiration. Here are some links to astrology blogs that are excited for your/our prospects and growth during this time (note that not all of the articles are about this year, so some of the information about other planets won’t be relevant):

Astrology King
Astrology Answers
Lynn Koiner
Katalina Aster

Every once in a while, a pattern comes along in the Universe that really inspires me. This year, probably because we are obviously going through a paradigm shift, and because there’s so much news fatigue going on, Neptune Retrograde falls into that category. I see an opportunity here, whether people do it on their own or within a supportive structure, for us to repair some of the trauma so many of us are feeling, and actually strengthen our spiritual selves. So I got a bee in my bonnet to create some Neptune Magic.

If you feel similarly inspired, if you are serious about wanting to detoxify your life, bring your spiritual journey into your goals and priorities, use your increasing awareness to your benefit, and creating (or enhancing) a solid spiritual practice that will sustain you going forward no matter what is going on, I am starting a 22 week coaching group for a few dedicated souls. I’ll be keeping it small so everyone can get the attention they need. Every week, members will get a guided meditation and one solid exercise to help them move forward. There will be an opportunity for everyone to meet live online once a week – to discuss patterns, ask questions, and get help working through challenges. We will begin on Monday. People who sign up by this Friday will get an extra 20% off. Enrollment will be open until the end of the month, in case people don’t see this for a few days.

choose your payment option

Register by 6/15 and get 20% off!

Posted in Astrology, Classes, Healing, Personal growth, Practice, Shift, Tools

Anger and Fear

Anger and fear go hand in hand. For many people, anger masks fear, because it feels more empowered. For others, anger is something to be afraid of. Either reaction ultimately takes us out of our power.

As I said in my previous post on anger, anger is a call to action. The trick is in figuring out what action we are being called to. If the anger is masking a fear, it is vital, if we are to move forward, that we identify the fear.

Fears survive in the darkness – if we can put a name to them, they frequently dissipate, because fear is an illusion. Specifically, fear is the illusion of the absence of the Divine. I’m not talking about caution, healthy respect, or awe; none of those are fear.

Fear, it has been said, is ten miles high and ten miles wide, but is paper thin. But we can only know this by walking through the fear. And fear is such a strong, visceral emotion, that it’s really easy for us to manifest what we fear the most – that which you focus on, you feed, because energy follows focus. Once we identify the fear, we can use the oomph of the anger to power us through the paper wall.

If we fear our own anger, on some level we fear being powerful. Children who are taught that anger is a bad thing are really being taught to “keep sweet;” to allow others to control them and to not make waves. As previously discussed, that frequently leads to rage.

The reason anger can be so physically uncomfortable is because we don’t do anything with it. What we identify as anger starts with a strong chemical reaction in the body. This chemistry is similar to the fight-or-flight reaction, in that we can draw on it to power our actions.

When we fear the anger of others, we actually fear how anger is expressed. If people around us as we were growing up had unhealthy ways of acting on their anger, the emotion probably elicits actual terror, because the expression has gotten jumbled with the emotion itself in our heads. As we shift our own relationship to anger, and learn to use it as a positive tool, that fear will fall away, because anger will no longer equal violence, in words or in actions.

A good place to start to shift our relationship to anger is by focusing on the chemical reaction. That chemical reaction is going to produce a physical sensation. Figure out where in your body it is centered. Keep bringing your attention back into the physical. Is the sensation hot or cold? Dull or sharp? Tight or loose? Steady or throbbing? Empty or full? As you do this, you take the judgment out of it, and you process it from a place of neutrality. It is neither good nor bad, it just is. Your head is going to want to interject, to make a mess, to distract you; just keep bringing your attention back into the physical.

Once the chemical reaction has subsided, you can bring your head back into it. Does anything need to be done about the thing that triggered the anger? Usually not. Are there blocks or challenges the anger can be used to break through? Is the anger reaction even based on the here and now, or did something in your present remind you of an older, deeper wound that needs healing?

If you’re looking for more hands-on help in shifting your relationship to fear, I offer a monthly workshop in Newhall. Please join us!

Posted in Classes, Healing, Personal growth, Practice, Stress, Tools

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