I have been blessed with great teachers in my life.  Teachers that lead me into healing, awakening, awareness.  Teachers that help me develop my skill, my art form, my self.  

I met an amazing teacher a few weekends ago when I chose to embark on a new apprenticeship.  

After a full day of an inward journey, our teacher led us outside for an exercise in aligning with our Totem Animal.   We were to call in our animal ally, become and embody this animal, draw upon its medicine and wisdom, and then die to our Animal Totem.  

Jaime Sams explains in the book, Medicine Cards, that "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...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 honoring every living thing as a teacher." 

I found myself tearing up with the explanation of the exercise.  Truly unsure why, I gave myself space to feel the source of the tears.  And in that space of allowance, I realized that I was not at peace with myself.  I was not at peace with my life story.  And, in humble truth, this life has been hard.  So incredibly hard at times.  Disease, death, divorce, depression ... It can leave a person broken.  

There are times when I tend to gravitate to the realm of Spirit to escape the harsh reality of life.  Definitely to find guidance and love and healing.  But, there is a part of me that does it to escape.  

And after the last few years of life, I wasn't too keen on coming back to this physical form.  I just wanted to be done.  And thus, the tears.     

But there is no escaping the Universe.  There is no escaping Spirit and energy and consciousness.  There is no escaping healing and, ultimately, becoming.  

And so, in reverence and surrender, I allowed myself to fully embody the medicine of my Spirit Guide.  I laid on the cold ground, uncomfortable in my form and in the elements.  And yet, I followed the beat of the drum and the song of the Shaman.  

And I became a Wolf.  

The wolf is the teacher of medicine and as I embodied this animal, I felt Mother Earth under my paws; I felt grounded in her.  I saw with a clearness of vision the elements and energy around me.  I felt my power as I encircled my tribe.  I understood the depth of my loyalty to and protective nature of those that I call my family.  I felt my connection to Grandmother Moon and the illumination that her intuitive nature brings. 

I felt complete alignment with the wisdom and knowledge that Wolf Medicine brings.  

And then, the moment came to die to the wolf.  To fully release attachment, embodiment, and form.  I shook.  Cried.  And fully allowed myself to break.  

And in this moment, there was no need to hold it together.  No need to hold my head up, wipe my tears, swallow it down, carry on.  No one needed me.  No one was counting on me.  No responsibility laid before me.  

And in that moment, there was permission to break.  To lose it.  To die.  

And I felt my form release.  
Break down.  
My flesh, 
my bones, 
my emotions, 
my hurt, 
my fears, 
my life story.  

I broke down.

Into pieces.  
Into fragments of matter.  
Trace minerals.  

And Earth Mother accepted me.  Drew me in.  Enveloped me.  Buried me in her depth.  Held me.  She released my charge.  Transmuted my hurt. Allowed me to transform.  In my own time.  In my own way.  

Fragments of me poured into the pond and then evaporated into the sky.  I remained there and gathered essence, power.  And then I began to rain.  To cleanse.  To baptize the very ground that healed me.  To give back to the beautiful mother than held me.  

A distant voice called to me, beckoned me back into my physical form.  Called me home.  

And as I rained down, looking over my body - there was a sense of gratitude for this life story.  For the lessons and wisdom held within this form.  For the medicine of this animal ally that I embody.  

And for the first time in my life, I wanted to embody me.  To draw upon my own power.  My own medicine.  My own heart.  I wanted to retain my knowledge and wisdom and LOVE.

And as the rain fell over my form, I felt my essence come into more and more dense material form.  From energy into matter.

And then I realized,    

I Matter.    

And the medicine I hold is a vital part of Great Spirit.  

And so it is with you.  You Matter.  
And the Medicine you hold is a vital part of the Collective Great Spirit.


The Dark Knight of the Church