Raccoon As A Native American Totem

One of the creature teachers that I am getting medicine from right now is Raccoon.  In Native American teachings the totem of raccoon is about being a generous protector.  As I became aware that this little Robin Hood of the animal kingdom was working with me in my East Direction and most specifically in tandem with the Council Fire of my Sacred Path, a magical and wondrous connection has been made.  I’ll share that with you a little later in the post.

When we realize that brother or sister raccoon is acting as a messenger spirit for us, we are asked to contact our inner warrior and to become a protector and generous provider for those in need.  While other creatures in the animal kingdom will fight each other for the best of the kill or food source, Raccoon practices giving back to the source of strength, guidance and protection.  A raccoon will provide for the others of its group before taking anything for itself, showing no sense of greed.  There is an almost mystifying ability in raccoon medicine that teaches us to assist those in need without allowing them to become victims or dependents.

Raccoon - The Three Amigos Mug
Raccoon – The Three Amigos Mug by Tberling at zazzle.com.

As my regular readers know, I have posted recently about my journey on my Sacred Path and the lessons that I am being taught about the Council Fire, Taking the Shawl, South Shield, and Medicine Bundle.  Last Sunday, as I outlined my future posts I made a note to do a post on Raccoon to post today.  As I studied and meditated last week about Raccoon and how it is working in my life, a most miraculous connection came to be and I don’t think it was a coincidence.  I believe my Spirit Keepers have been preparing me for the events that evolved last week for some time now and my path crossed with some truly Generous Protectors. People who are looking out for the good of others with no greed in their hearts.

My attention was first called to an article written about Pine Ridge Reservation and the conditions that the Lakota are struggling to overcome. That article broke my heart and a voice spoke to my soul that I must do something. I’ve learned to listen to those messages when they come so strongly! My next step was to visit one of the charitable organizations that was mentioned in the article, One Spirit and offer some of my time and energy to help them and the Lakota People. All the pieces started to fit, as I then learned about the needs of Donna and Billy Jumping Eagle and the children they provide a safe house for on Pine Ridge Reservation. That knowledge prompted me to write my post from last Friday asking for your help.

Remember last week when I posted about the Medicine Bundle and to look at my Allies and Supporters? My heart has been warmed by the response of my Allies (you know who you are!) with the support they have shown for the Lakota People at Pine Ridge and One Spirit. Bless you for helping me to get the word out and for your donations!

I am honored and humbled to have Raccoon sharing its medicine with me and bringing the message that “We are all related” so alive on this leg of my journey. Since this blog’s inception I have shared that message at the end of each post. Is it a coincidence that it happens to be a Lakota saying? I think not…

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ Lakota for “We are all related”

Medicine Bundle: My Sacred Path Lesson


To continue with the cards that came to me in the Four Directions Spread of my Sacred Path card reading, we come to the last card. The card for the North Direction. This card expresses the wisdom I will gain if I follow a true course and apply the knowledge of the other three cards.  The North wind is the place of the Elders, gratitude, and healing.  Which card came to my spread?

The card I turned over was the Medicine Bundle which represents Allies and Support.  It tells me to honor the wisdom of my Ancestors and my Allies. I should look at the strengths that have been given to me and count them as some of my personal Medicine. They are supporting me in my present path and I should recognize them as blessings from my Medicine Helpers. It is with their help that I will find the courage to support Self.

This card reminds me that I am not alone, I am not empty, I am not voiceless.  I am awakened to the idea that no matter how difficult the path, I am being supported during the climb. Since I have been struggling on the path, I am being cautioned that I am out of balance with my natural Allies.  If I learn from the other three lessons, my Allies and I should start to walk together again.  Actually, my Medicine Helpers and Spirit Keepers never stop assisting me if I stumble on the path. I just need to remember to be grateful for their assistance and be most humble in thanksgiving for their help.

Medicine Bundles have been used by Native Americans since ancient times. There are all sorts of purposes for a bundle of medicine to be collected. The bundle would hold articles that represent totems of Power Animals or Allies of nature. In times past, a Medicine Bundle could have a personal purpose or it could have been for a Tribe, the Warriors, Dreaming, Visions, or a multitude of needs. What was collected and put in the bundle was to assist the person carrying it in the endeavor they were about to take on or to keep with them for a lifetime on their personal journey.

As I have continued to reflect on the lessons from this Sacred Path reading that I did for myself, I’ve felt much better. I still have some work to do with myself but at least now I know the ways to go about it. I found out that there were decisions that I needed to make and act upon, I needed to return home to a me that I had neglected by wearing the metaphorical Shawl, I need to reconnect with my Inner Child and have more fun, and my Spirit Keepers are always with me.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

South Shield: A Sacred Path Lesson


To continue with the cards of the Four Directions Spread that I first posted about on last Monday, it is time for me to share about the third card in the reading.  This card represents the West direction and shows me how to find the inward answer that introspection brings. In order to reach my goals I need to seek my own truths about what I desire, how I plan to fulfill that desire, and what my purpose is in meeting that goal. The card that falls in this position of the spread gives the tool that will assist in finding those truths.

The card that came up for me in the West Direction was the South Shield. The lessons of the Sacred Path that pertain to this card are of Innocence and the Inner Child.  So the tool I need to use to get back on my Sacred Path and begin a balance again is my Inner Child and the Innocence of that part of me.  I am to let myself return to the child like parts of Self that need no support from my ego. I need to balance work with play and sacredness with irreverence. Basically, the card is telling me to “lighten up” so that I can continue on my journey. It is telling me that I have been way too serious and that is what part of the block has been.

The South Shield is telling me to let loose and laugh more so that I can break up the high-minded garbage that has clogged up my energy source. I need to stop holding on so darn tight and remember how to trust like a child.

If I take time to reconnect with my Inner Child, I should be able to find some of the lost magic that every soul needs. I am reminded that playfullness heals a world full of woes.  Yes, the South Shield is the perfect tool for me to get back on my Sacred Path.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

Taking The Shawl: A Sacred Path Lesson


As I continue to explain the card spread of the Four Directions of my Sacred Path, I can now tell you about Taking the Shawl. If you read my post on Monday, you know that I was struggling with a writer’s block and somehow I instinctively knew that it had something to do with my spiritual walk and growth. On Wednesday I explained the first card of the spread and the Council Fire card which let me know that I needed to make some decisions.

The second card in the spread represents the South Direction. This card tells me where my faith should be placed or a loss of faith that has caused me to feel weak.  I was feeling weak but not from a loss of faith, more from not paying attention to my faith. So, let me tell you which card came up for my South Winds of Direction. Where am I to put my faith?

Taking the Shawl was the card I turned over and when I read the lesson and it’s application, I wept.  Tears of sadness were not falling from my eyes; no, they were tears of joy and understanding. My Spirit Keepers were telling me it was time to return home. Time to remember a me that I had forgotten and to wrap the shawl around my body feeling Earth Mother’s loving arms embrace me with love and joy.  I had not forgotten that wearing the shawl meant that sharing the goodness of Traditional Teachings was important and good for the global “we”. I had forgotten the magic that I once believed in of the simplicity of happiness. I am to continue my faith in loving others who have forgotten the Sacred Path and also to place my faith in my inner joy.  I realized that I was being entirely too serious and must return home to an inner joy by wearing the shawl.

In my mind, I now envision a most lovely shawl laying on my shoulders and my faith is renewed.  My next post will tell the third card in the spread…the West Direction and it’s significance in my spread.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

Council Fire: A Sacred Path Lesson


The other day I posted about working with my own journey on my Sacred Path and a card spread that I did with my Sacred Path Cards to determine why I was feeling out of sinc and blocked with my writing. I promised that I would explain the results of the Four Direction Spread and how it fits with what is going on in my life and the answers I feel I received.

The first card to be placed in the circle is the East Card.  The card that falls in this position tells me of the Spiritual Door that is now opening in my life. The card that I picked from the deck will act as the spiritual seed that needs fertile ground and nurturing.  How I accept the role of nurturing greatly depends on my present situation and my state of mind.

The card came up “Council Fire”.  It is all about decisions.  It has been the custom of Native Americans  since ancient times to call a Council Fire when decisions need to be made that effect the whole Tribe or Nation.  It was a great honor to be chosen as a representative of the People and sit at Council. Many facets would be looked at before a decision was made by a Council. All Sacred Viewpoints of those affected by a decision would be considered and treated with respect.  How was the situation handled in the past and does it apply now? A Council Fire was never taken lightly by the indigenous peoples of North America.

So, why did the Council Fire card show up in my East Direction? I have been pacing back and forth and trying to make several decisions about my life and where I want it to go from here. My Spirit Keepers seem to be telling me that I must make a decision and move forward.  It will take some courage to make some of these changes and I know that no change occurs without first having made the decision to change.  The card very much fit into a door that is opening and I must make a decision to go through the door.

My decisions:

  • Take time each day for my own Spiritual growth. My inner energy is thirsty and I need to water it daily to bring it back to life.
  • Begin the process of getting out of the antiques business. I give myself one year to accomplish this. The clutter of the massive inventory is preventing and blocking my progress as an individual. I can see now that its time in my life is done and it is time to move on.
  • Sacrifice less of my time for the benefit of others and concentrate a little more on my own needs. I don’t mean for this to sound selfish, I’ll continue to give of my time because that is important to me.  I just need to balance it out more.
  • Embrace my need to write.  There are stories I must tell…I think I’ve always known that. I need to break down the walls that I have built and let those stories come out. I must begin in earnest to let the writer in me out.

My next post will be about the South card that I drew and how it plays out in my Sacred Path.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related