n. pl. syn·er·gies
1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
2. Cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.
[From Greek sunergi, cooperation, from sunergos, working together; see synergism.]
[New Latin synergismus, from Greek sunergos, working together : sun-, syn- + ergon, work; see werg- in Indo-European roots.]
Years ago, sitting in my bedroom with my very good friend Eric, we passed back and forth Eagles and crows feathers... and we discussed the relationship between Law and Freedom. At one point I handed Eric a handful of eagle feathers... over a dozen I believe. They were to many eagle feathers for him to hold so he handed them back to me. I sat above him for a moment, and I wished that he would understand how to hold and work with an eagles feather. Spirit moved through my words at that moment and eagle filled the room as well as wolf. I told Eric that when he smudged some one with an eagle feather he was not "using" the feather, controlling it, but instead the eagle was there still a part of the feather and that all he must do is hold the intention in his mind to cleanse with the feather and smoke. The feather started to move his hand and arm on its own, and his face turned to a look of pure amazement. I could feel the insight and the excitement that comes from realization, at that moment spirit and I shared with him that shamanry is not using nature or spirit to our own end, but holding a larger intention that nature holds as well and WORKING WITH NATURE to accomplish what is truly needed. Eric bowed and was grateful to learn this, and I sat down next to him on the floor once more, just as much a holy fool as he.
Tonight I discovered that the definition of the word synergy is what was being communicated through me from the whole that evening. It was eagles message and wolfs message to both of us that night. I had never known that that was how I worked or the insight that spirit was gestating within me for so many years until I had had an opportunity to teach it to my beloved friend. This point of view on shamanry and animism is what I try to share so much in my work... SYNERGY... In so many ways animism is the spiritual practice of natural synergy.
I will be contemplating synergy through out this winter time... this long cold deep dark in the PNW. I will contemplate synergy and ask bear to help me to understand the role of synergy in relationships more deeply as we dream through this long winter.