Snow: A Spiritual Message
Snow: A Spiritual Message
Even people who dislike snow can feel its magic in Sedona. White lace covers red rocks and evergreens like Grandma's Christmas tablecloth, welcoming the holidays. Fresh desert air grows soft-engulfing travelers with fairy dust and hints of juniper. Somehow, the Canyon's call feels deeper, more hallowed and mysterious. For a moment, we really can imagine "Peace on Earth." In Sedona and around the globe, first snowfalls give us pause. We remember making snowmen and snow angels long ago. And yes, some of us love skiing, snowboarding, hot chocolate and crackling fires. We enjoy the contrast between Mother Nature and cozy cafés, between frosty weather and warm hugs. But for most people, fresh snowfall also offers something akin to spiritual experience. We watch in wonder.
Researching the spirituality of snow uncovered some interesting information. The world record for most snow angels made simultaneously in one place occurred on February 17, 2007 in Bismarck, North Dakota where people created 8,962 snow angels by waving their arms and legs on the State Capitol grounds. (1) According to the Leni Lenapi tribe of New Jersey, Rainbow Crow turned black by burning himself as he brought Fire from the Creator to save this world from perpetual snow. In Tibetan lore, milk from the Snow Lioness can heal and re-harmonize the body. Snow Lioness milk symbolizes the Dharma-the pure, underlying order of the cosmos. Sometimes pictured as a wheel, on the national flag of India the Dharma actually looks a bit like a snowflake.
According to Kabbalist Rabbi Boruch Leff, "the Hebrew word for snow-sheleg-has a numerical value (gematria) of 333-the same as the word shich'cha, which means forgetfulness." (2) Something about the way snow covers everything brings out its natural beauty. We can forget a less than perfect landscape as snow blankets it in white. Smoothing edges and drawing disparate parts together, snow turns imperfection into something exquisite. Watching this kind of external transformation ignites the same possibility for inner alchemy. As we admire the beauty of snow, it softens our own judgments and attachments, giving us a glimpse of personal harmony. Perhaps not surprisingly, "The Hebrew word ka'sheleg, which means "like snow," [as in "ka'sheleg yalbinu" in Isaiah 1:18, which means 'your sins will become white as snow'] is the gematria 353 -- the same as simcha, happiness." (3) In forgetting imperfections, we can feel happiness, because without all the judgments our true beauty reveals itself.
Speaking of beauty in imperfections, did you know that snowflakes are rarely symmetrical? Despite all the photographs and Hallmark cards indicating otherwise, most snowflakes look lopsided. Check your jacket next time, and you'll find few "perfect" flakes. Somehow this knowledge doesn't change the overall effect, though-which offers hope for us as humans. We do not need to look, act or feel exactly how everyone expects in order for us to make a stunning contribution. Like us, each snowflake matters in its own small way-adding to a cumulative effect.
In order to grow, snowflakes need special conditions. Like mythological humans, they begin humbly as a speck of dust. Super-cooled water droplets solidify in 14 degree Fahrenheit air and surround this tiny piece of earth. That process, called nucleation, results in a slow growing, smooth faced hexagonal prism. The simplest and most common snowflakes remain hexagonal prisms all their lives. Sometimes, though, unstable conditions urge the corners to sprout arms, and water vapor condenses on those points. When temperatures shift, each arm grows tiny plates, which continue to evolve with every change in their environment. (4)
In 1954, physicist Ukichiro Nakaya classified falling snowflakes into 41 separate morphological types. Expanding on his studies, in 1966, C. Magono and C.W. Lee published a table that further divides snowflakes into 80 different crystal types. Within each type, the more shifts in temperature the greater the complexity and potential for variation. Yet each begins in the same special union of earth, air and water. The hexagonal shape of snowflakes comes directly from water's chemical composition, using for its blueprint the six-fold symmetry of an ice crystal lattice. (5) Nature provides guidelines, but once created, snowflakes take on a life of their own-remembering their origins but constantly recreating themselves in response to other influences. Seeming chaos produces tiny "stars" that dazzle.
Popular books by Dr. Emoto (The Secret Life of Water; The Hidden Messages in Water) and his interview on "What the Bleep Do We Know" have brought to mainstream consciousness the idea of communication through water. His microscopic photographs of droplets as they begin to freeze reveal how different words shown to water alter the ways ice crystals form. Symmetry increases through positive affirmations. Through Dr. Emoto's work, we learn that we can communicate with water just as water interacts with us in our bodies and environment. Dr. Emoto identifies two key components that create the most healing and purifying effects on water: love combined with gratitude. In the presence of reverence inspired by thankfulness, ice crystals transform. They become the picture perfect ones of holiday cards and our imagination.
Muting noise, snowflakes carry quiet messages from above. They remind us to forget our imperfections. That mystery abounds. That we can slow down and embrace the underlying silence.
But snowflakes also respond to us! As we gaze and absorb the "still, small voice," we can join in harmony. Recognizing the beauty before us, we amplify that beauty and become more beautiful ourselves. "Hark! The herald angels sing." "It's a wonder-full life!" Have a blessed Winter Season.
Laura Bruno is a Life Coach, Medical Intuitive, Animal Communicator and Reiki Master Teacher. In addition to private coaching and intuitive sessions, she teaches Conscious Eating 101 classes, Intuition workshops and Reiki Certification classes around the country. For more information, please visit: International Renaissance Coaching
Laura wrote the long-awaited book, "If I Only Had a Brain Injury: A TBI Survivor and Life Coach's Guide to Chronic Fatigue, Concussion, Lyme Disease, Migraine or Other "Medical Mystery", now available at If Only I Had a Brain Injury or at Amazon.com, as well as her new E-Book: The Lazy Raw Foodist's Guide, available at: www.lazyrawfoodist.com
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