Friday, July 9, 2010

Native American Animal Totem

My darling sister Mary's high school friend, Kim, made my village home a rest over on her drive from the Berkshires in western Massachusetts to enchanting Sutton Island downeast. Kennebunkport is the mid-way point. So it was not only convenient, but provided us an opportunity to visit for a brief moment.

Kim arrived around suppertime ready for a drink so we headed into the 'port for a delectable seafood treat and a cocktail on the wharf frequented by us locals and tourists alike. The night was summer exquisite. Clear and dry. The sky tinged pink as the sea swallowed the sun giving birth to a mother of pearl moon shimmering effervescent. The river sparkled as boats returned to dock. Weary sailors pulling in the sheaths and knotting ropes. A most delightful July evening. Picture perfect by most standards.

Swatting the occasional mosquito, we sipped and chatted about mid-life job searches and the amazing possibilities spreading out in front of us. Fifty-something transitions. Not ready to hit the links or the bridge table. We each were in the process of reinventing our professional selves to give back to the communities while leveraging skills honed over the decades.

Back at my home the ceiling fans whirred breezily wafting the fresh scent of the summer's eve indoors. We talked a bit and then headed in our own directions. I could see why Mary adored Kim. She is independent, talented, resourceful, an adventurous spirit. What fun to peek into their friendship.

We met in my kitchen the following morning. A sweet start to a lovely summer day. Over berries and croissants on my screen porch, she pulled out a deck of Native American medicine cards to interpret those forces motivating my journey and igniting my path.

Kim fanned the cards in front of me as if a magic trick. Choose four, she said. One at a time. East. South. West. North. Plus one for the middle. The sacred mountain card. She placed them on the glass table matching the directional forces of a compass. It all came together.

The Medicine Wheel Spread interprets the life forces and spiritual strengths shaping one's essence from four randomly selected cards. Each is placed according to the location on a compass. The fifth and final card is placed in the middle representing the present.

East card reveals where your spiritual strength lies and indicates the direction your spiritual Path is taking. It can reveal the major challenge in seeking clarity in your present position.

East = Dolphin
Dolphins are messengers between water and sky. They are playful and intelligent. They bring the message of harmony and balance.

Dolphins speak of the breath of life. Dolphin teaches us how to release emotions. To release your tension and emotions and create a total relaxation . Dolphins are linked to creating the solution for the children of earth. A time to communicate with nature. Imitate dolphin and ride on the wave of laughter spreading joy to the world.

South card describes how animal medicine is teaching the child within you or your adult self. It is what you need to trust in yourself and what you need to nurture in your growing self.

South = Turtle
Turtle is the oldest symbol for planet earth, it is the personification of goddess energy, and the eternal mother from which our lives evolve. Turtle is protected by her shell.

In honouring the earth, we are asked by Turtle to be mindful of the cycle of give and take, to give back to the Mother as she has given to us. Like Turtle you also have shields that protect you from hurt, envy, jealousy, and the unconsciousness of others. Turtle teaches you through it's habit patterns how to use protection. You are being asked to honour the creative source within you, to be grounded to the Earth, and to observe your situation with motherly compassion.

West card gives internal solutions to your present life challenge it indicates where your goals need challenge.

West = Raven
Raven is the messenger from spirit world. He represents mystery. Bringer of Magic and Light, Creation and Knowledge

Ravens are known as the "keeper of secrets". Raven flies to us with heightened awareness and greater understanding of our consciousness. It is with this new perception that we begin seeing into the hearts of others and experience their feelings. Raven asks us to experience the transformation it brings within our multidimensional self, and be reunited with the mysteries of the universe so we can expel our inner demons.

North card teaches you how you may spiritually apply and interrogate the lessons of the other directions. The animal medicine of this card is the key to walking in wisdom knowing the teacher within and connecting to the higher self.

North = Horse
Represents strength and freedom. Horse teaches us how to use our power gracefully.

Horse is power. Physical power and unearthly power. Enter into the darkness to find the light you carry, the need of the people. You are a message carrier and the carrier of wisdom. Your power is not given lightly but awarded to those who are willing to carry responsibility in a balanced manner. True power is found in remembering your total journey. True wisdom comes from walking in another person moccasin. Compassion, caring, teaching, loving, sharing your gift, talents and abilities are the gateway to power.

The Sacred Mountain card looks at the present.It indicates how your physical and spiritual realities melded to produce at the present moment

Sacred Mountain = Beaver
The beaver is the doer in the animal kingdom with an amazing ability to build and create. Beavers can help you solve problems by creating solid solutions.

A doer is characterized by industriousness. Incorporates a strong sense of family and home. Leaves itself many alternatives routes of escape, does not paint itself in corners. Possesses the power of working at attaining achievements. Teamwork. Always considering the alternatives, lest we dam the flow of experience in our lives.

In a nutshell, this reading substantiates the me that I have become. A free spirit with a heightened self-knowledge. A doer, with great compassion, wisdom and the ability to spread laughter. I can (and do) retreat into my shell.

Those unconstructed walls need to remain crumbled. The rocks I can navigate. But I am not retreating behind a fortress. Nope. Not ever again. My innocent, playful inner child is on her way out to play.

Cheers to my sweet friend, Kim, and her colorful deck of mystical medicine cards!


  1. Fascinating read. It's good to still possess such self-knowledge and be open to new possibilities.

  2. Wow. This is great stuff. Thank you.

  3. Oh, I should learn how to read cards! Or find a friend who'll do it for me.

    What an interesting way to spend time with some one. Of course the eating and the drinking part you described so eloquently are great pasttimes as well.