When we discover any possible power animal connection, we want to (1) study the natural habits and qualities or the animal (2) track it through folklore, mythology and spiritual traditions (3) learn from the animal itself, by journeying to it, and then with it (4) feed and honor the animal in our bodies and our lives. I want to let one of my great teachers on this subject speak to you on this subject. She is a true “wolf woman”. Born Huron, she was adopted by the Mohawk as a child and became the mother of the Wolf Clan of the Kanienkehaka (People of the Stone, as the Mohawk call themselves in their own language) and a powerful atetshents (dream shaman). She called me from across time. Because of her, I was required to study the Mohawk language, and she helped to put me on my path as a dream teacher.
I call her Island Woman in my books and the drawing shows how I first saw her, in a night vision in which I was carried to her on the wings of a red-tailed hawk. Here she is, speaking on the animal spirits in my book Dreamways of the Iroquois :
“If we are not in touch with our animal spirits, we don’t know how to be in our bodies or how to feed them.
“Everybody is born with a soul in the wild, an animal double. That animal soul can move from one animal body to another, which is a good thing because animals usually have shorter lives than humans, or their lives are cut short. The needs of that animal are your needs. If your animal is a meat eater and you don’t eat meat, you are going to get sick. If that animal is a runner and you don’t get off your butt, you are going to get sick.
“As you grow in power, you will meet other animal guardians. A true person of power, an arendiwanen, has many animal guardians, and when they are not traveling around, they live in power objects and in power centers inside her body. I keep some pretty big packs and herds of animals in my solar plexus, because I need extra to give to people who have lost their own animal spirits, maybe because they forgot to feed them, maybe because they chose a tame life and the animal spirits became disgusted with them….
“Some of the kids go vision questing to get an oyaron [power animal]. To go out in the wilderness by yourself, to fast and stay up all night and know fear are good things. A powerful oyaron won’t bother with anyone who isn’t brave enough to face him and claim his power, and we come into knowing by being alone with the spirits. But there are powerful callings that are announced when we are sleeping in our regular space. We may think we are hunting the spirits, but it’s usually the other way round. They are hunting us, which is why they can always be found. Especially in dreams.”
Drawing of Island Woman (c) Robert Moss
Robert Moss gives lectures and leads workshops all over the world. So please visit his website at www.mossdreams.com .
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