Grouse Medicine

The world is always talking to us, sending us messages, in the wind, in the plants that we find ourselves attracted to, in the animals who cross our path in some way. And in many other ways. Perhaps someone mentions a book that think you’d like, and a few days later, someone else mentions the same book. Waking up to see the clock say 2:22, or 11:11.  I try to listen, and watch for these signs.  What direction is a bird flying, and how many of them are there? Sometimes the message is crystal clear.  Other times, I may not understand it at the moment.  Sometimes it becomes clear as time goes by, and an “aha!” hits me when I least expect it.  The world is a very mysterious and magical place.

A few days ago, our new intern, a young woman named Caroline, who is working and learning with us for a week, as part of the Wwoofer Program ( Willing Workers On Organic

Farms ) had asked me if I would spend some time with her teaching her more about alternative spiritual teachings, and of course, as this is what I love to do, I said “Yes”.  We went upstairs to the room we use for workshops, called “The Kiva”.  We had been learning together for a while, discussing this and that, and I had begun talking about how in our spiritual evolution, this vast journey of many lifetimes we are on, there come times when we reach a point of truly spiraling up into new realms of awareness.  At that moment, my husband Hawk bursts into the room in a flurry, telling us that neighbors just called, and he had to go up there right away because a grouse had crashed into their window, broken it, and died. They called him because they knew he would be able to harvest it for food, and they did not want to deal with it.

Now, Grouse Medicine, the grouse as an animal totem, is all about the Spiral Dance of Life.  When a grouse appears to you, whether dead or alive, it signifies moving upward, as the grouse does, with a great whirring of wings, spiraling up to a new level of being. A turning point. And then, this happened.  Caroline had never been exposed to any of this esoteric philosophy but had a yearning to learn about it. It was a rite of passage moment for her, and the grouse came, sacrificing itself, I believe, to make sure she got the message and saw that a new path, an important path was opening before her.  We were all blown away.

That night we feasted on grouse and banana cream pie, to honor the spirit of the grouse who came, and Caroline is going to make her first medicine pouch in order to safely put a few special grouse feathers, from the ones that Hawk saved, there. She is even considering changing her name, as she said that “Caroline” never fit her.

And so, life moves us, teaches us, and we spiral upward.





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