Deer is an important medicine animal to many cultures and tribes around the world. To the Huichol, deer is a symbol of intuition and the heart’s connection to kupuri, or life force energy that is transmitted through the ceremonial deer hide drum. The deer is a special ally of the Huichol shaman who uses kupuri to bring Earth-Spirit balance. It is in this balance that I seek to walk.
Deer is also an important medicine animal to the Maya and Yaqui. My connection to the Yaqui is through having lived and worked in Tucson, AZ with the Yaqui (Pascua) tribe as Executive Director of Resources for World Health. I loved watching the Deer Dances every Spring that traditionally began on the eve of May 1st. The Mayan connection is shared with my husband, Chuck, affectionately known as The GreenMan who was born on May 1st. This day also happens to be Green Man Day and the Festival of Beltane, celebrated in Europe as planting day. While Thea & The GreenMan may have had a Beltane past life together and roots in a European tradition, we also had a past life together in the Yucatan. Chuck writes about it in his beautiful, Song to Thea.
Another deep and meaningful Native American connection to the deer tribe is through my mother (far right) who was born in Cheyenne, WY. Her grandmother, my great grandmother, Minnie Culver (far left) was a pioneer woman who came West in a covered wagon from the shores of Lake Michigan. She and her family settled in Cheyenne where the Deer Nation is considered a give away nation for the two-leggeds. Deer Medicine People are considered to be “spiritual doctors” by the Cheyenne; for the Deer Clan is a clan of medicine peoples.
Having slept beneath the Cheyenne War Shield of the late Frank Waters (Author of, Book of the Hopi, and The Man Who Killed the Deer) I can say that I have been powerfully blessed. I met and sang for Frank, who is part Cheyenne, in his last days. My essay, “Frank Waters, The Man: A Chance Meeting”, was published in the book, Rekindling the Inner Light. I have been greatly inspired by both Frank Waters, his life, and his writing, and his loving widow, Barbara Waters, a writer who works to keep his legacy alive.
Deer Medicine People have long understood the right relationship to the Elements and the Elementals. “Summer Deer” is a name that was given to me many moons ago by Redwood, who at the time was a 15 year old medicine woman in her own right and the daughter of a medicine man. She recognized the spirit of the deer that walks with me, even before I learned to see it for myself. “Summer” refers to the season in which I was born. I carry the gift of this medicine in the spirit of service and healing. It is both an honor and a responsibility.
In Native America when a medicine person is approached and asked for help a gifting is always made from a place of humility. If the medicine person accepted the gift then they agreed to work with you. It was understood that an important first step in healing was to accept personal responsibility (ability to respond) for your healing.
It is up to you to prepare and carefully choose who you will ask for help. This can be facilitated through prayer and a cleansing of body and mind in order to receive guidance and clarity. It is understood that when the guidance comes, it must be undertaken. To do otherwise would dishonor self and Great Spirit. It is one thing to ask for guidance, another to receive that guidance, and yet another to carry it and put it into action.
In the world today we have forgotten how to ask for help, let alone how to prepare ourselves to ask for this help or how to receive it once it is given. Instead, we feel a sense of entitlement through the exchange of money, and give our power away as we look outside of ourselves for the answers rather than following our own inner guidance. In this respect we have lost a whole navigation system. It is my belief that we are healers in relationship with others who are their own healer. I hope you will find the information on these pages useful and empowering on your journey. As you heal, I heal.
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