Native American Animal Medicine

"To understand the concept of medicine n the Native American way, one must redefine "medicine". The medicine referred to is anything that improves one's connection to the Great Mystery and to all of life. This would include the healing of body, mind, and of spirit. This medicine is also anything which brings personal power, strength, and understanding. It is the constant living of life in a way that brings healing to the Earth Mother and to all of our associates, family, friends, and fellow creatures. Native American medicine is an all encompassing "way of life," for it involves walking on the Earth Mother in perfect harmony with the Universe.

Our fellow creatures, the animals, exhibit habit patterns that will relay these messages of healing to anyone astute enough to observe their lessons on how to live. The precious gifts of true medicine are free. Each lesson is based on one major idea or concept and, for the sake of simplicity, each animal in creation has hundreds of lessons to impart, and all of those lessons are powers that can be called upon.

When you call upon the power of an animal, you are asking to be drawn into complete harmony with the strength of that creature's essence. Gaining understanding from these brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom is a healing process, and must be approached with humility and intuitiveness. Certain aspects of the lessons given by these brothers and sisters have been choosen to reflect the lessons each spirit needs to learn on the Good Red Road. These are the lessons of being human, being vulnerable, and seeking wholeness with all that is. They are a part of the pathway to power. The power lies in the wisdom and understanding of one's role in the Great Mystery, and in honouring every living thing as a teacher. The lessons taught are eternal and they are forever forthcoming. If the learning is over, so is the magic and the life.

This system of divination is one tiny aspect of the process of teaching a person how to be intuitive, how to seek the truths of nature, how to relate to the Great Mystery's creatures, and how to observe the obvious in the silence. This silence of the quiet mind is the sacred fertility of the receiving spirit. If you use this divination tool in silence, you will find a wondrous new world speaking to you through the ways of your fellow creatures.

It is possible to find animals that speak to you in a particular way -- the way of power. These creatures may carry special medicine for you, and will call to you in the Dreamtime if you are to study them more closely. Your power ally is a certain species with which you have recognized an important connection. This species becomes your teacher, with whom you allow yourself to grow and learn. Nothing can replace the observation of these creatures in their natural habitats, for this connects you with the Earth, the animal, and the Great Mystery.

The spirit of the power ally may choose at times to enter the consciousness of one who had walked the Medicine Way for many years, and align itself to aid in healings. This is a part of the initiation process of Animal Medicine, and brings great power to the healer.

In learning to call on the medicine of any person, creature, or natural force, one must maintain an attitude or reverence and be willing to accept assistance. For instance, small native children know that if they are lost, they may call on the medicine of their parents. This brings to the child the strength of the parents, even though they are not physically present. The parents will feel the pull of the child's need, and oftentimes will be able to see psychically through the eyes of their child and determine its location. This is a kind of power that comes from the idea of unity, and of each being having within itself a part of all other beings. It is the law of oneness.

It is also possible to call upon the power or medicine of an animal when one is in need of specific talents. As all things in this universe have the same building block -- the atom -- it is relatively safe to assume that we all communicate through the common denominator of each atom, whcih is the creative force or Great Spirit which lives within the Great Mystery. It is the teaching of these truths that has brought native people to understanding, and it is these same truths that may open this door for you."

The Healing Powers of the Animal Medicines

"In ancient times, an initiate, seeker, or person needing guidance would come before the elders. The elders were usually six in number and sat in the North. The elders were wise, not simply because they had led a long life, but because they knew the inner secrets. They understood the Wolf trails of the mind, experienced many powerful visions, and owned their powers and gifts.

Picture, if you can, a roaring Council fire and six elders sitting in the North under a new crescent moon. The crescent moon is drawn on the Earth in corn pollen. Three elder men sit on the left as you approach from the South, and three elder women sit on the right. In the darkness, the old ones are splashed in firelight. You sit in front of the second, or middle, man. His fierce, birdlike eyes hold you like a vise. He holds up a beaded medicine bag or pouch. It is covered in symbols and power designs and it is fringed on the bottom.

The middle man motions for you to reach inside. You do so. You pull out, perhaps, a Wolf tooth or Bear claw. He tells you to place it on the ground between the two of you, in a specific position. You do so. Then you take other items from the pouch and place them with the first item. Each position or direction has meaning and each object is a lesson or talent.

The middle womaqn looks at the objects you have selected and at the configurations you have placed them in. She begins speaking to you in a soothing voice. She seems to know all about you. She seems to reach inside to your very soul. she is a guide and a wise counselor. She is able to tell you if and how you have parted from your trail. She is able to tell you if some mischievious person or power has tricked you and how they have done so. She is able to advice you on any health problems you may have. She is able to guide your spiritual development. She causes you to look within yourself as never before, and you discover your harmony with all creation. She is able to give you advice on any question. When you leave the elders, you feel empowered and able to meet any situation. You feel complete.

The need for this type of guidance exists today. This is the function of the Medicine Cards. We are in an age that has severed itself from nature and magic. The Medicine Cards are a method for remedying that dissocation."

The source for this page was the book "Medicine Cards". Click the link below to purchase your very own copy.

Medicine Cards The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals by Jamie Sams, David Carson (Editor), Angela C. Werneke

as of Saturday October 16/99

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