When the spirit animal of Grouse begins to work with you as a totem, you will be learning lessons that entail understanding and connecting with the Sacred Spiral. At one time this bird that is sometimes referred to as a Prairie Chicken had abundant flocks in North America. Their numbers have dwindled and many of the American Indians that once roamed the Plains, do the Grouse Dance to honor these birds. In the dance the movements follow a spiral which goes back to ancient times to symbolize birth and rebirth.

One of the oldest known symbols of personal power is the Sacred Spiral. Grouse medicine can be imagined like a whirlpool or a tornado with the spiral taking one to the center. Going to the center will allow for a personal vision or enlightenment of some kind.

Sharp-Tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus Phasianellus) on the Nebraska Tallgrass Prairie, USA

Sharp-Tailed Grouse In Nebraska
Tom Walker Photograph
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In some parts of the world the Grouse is also known as a Ptarmigan. These birds feed on the ground and are not prone to fly like some of their other feathered brothers and sisters. They can fly but are built more like a chicken and stay closer to the ground. Their mating ritual is quite a spectacle to see with the males dancing around with their feathers spread and some species have glands that expand to make them more attractive. When the males dance, it is called drumming.

Painting of different ptarmigan species in winter plumage

Painting of Ptarmigan In Winter
Allan Brooks
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If you feel that the Grouse totem is working with you, it is probably a time to meditate on the different types of movements that are in your life, currently. Is your movement in sync with your greatest desires and goals? Are you in balance in all aspects of your being?

Often times different disciplines tell us to stop all external movement in order to be in touch with our inner self. Not so, with brother Grouse, he is inviting you to the dance. You might not want to whirl like a dervish but just the act of dancing or walking can put you in touch with Earth and your body. Movement is a way of getting you back in to balance with your body, mind and spirit.

In some cases he may be telling you that you are moving too much and need to ground yourself. Those would be times that you are feeling dizzy or have a lack of concentration. That might be a time to slow down, stop the movement and get back into to balance in the opposite way.

~Beverly Two Feathers~

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