Thursday, November 19, 2009
From Wolf to Doe
Puberty brought me my first encounter with a spirit animal. I use the term here in the sense of an animal that you feel drawn to or that comes to you and that guides or imparts wisdom through their nature that aides one on their spiritual path.
I probably heard of the concept during my teenage years and when my fascination with wolves took hold I equated it to the New Age/Indigenous People's mold. Over the years wolves not only decorated my bedroom walls but called to me from movies, books and art. I dreamed that one day I would go on a organized group trip to howl with wolves to the light of the full moon, and yes it was an interest that was very romantic to me. I was often angered at the misconceptions about wolves in our culture, how they were blamed for everything from low elk numbers to stealing children and I used any opportunity presented to dispel myths about them.
As far as the spiritual side however, I can't say that I did much work with the wolf spirit. One meditation that came to me frequently was running through a dense forest from a wolf's perspective. I felt breath, low, quick movement and physical power in that state. It has been years since the wolf and I have conversed but she has remained an animal that I have great respect and admiration for.
Fast forward to my trance work now. I have received a different visitor. In two trances I have interacted with a doe and her fawn. In the last one she informed me that she is now my spirit animal. This shocked me somewhat. I had just assumed that I would stay with the wolf spirit my whole life. But the doe informed me otherwise. She told me that it was time to move into my mother role and embrace the qualities that I need to feed my soul now. I have reflected on this a lot since the meditation and I've come to some conclusions through research into the differences in the animals.
While wolves are obviously still mothers in their packs I think the wolf was my maiden animal. Puberty brought the wolf to me when I needed to learn to respect my emotions and unconscious urges. My early twenties brought me to face my darker side which the wolf is supposed to aide with. They are fiercely loyal and that quality is one that will always be with me, I still see many wolf qualities in my nature. But as I learn of the doe, and examine my new fascination with deer I see that the internal fierceness that I needed during my teen years and during my twenties is quieter now. I still need to be fierce but in a radically new way: that of compassion, gentleness and patience.
During my pre-natal classes I was asked to pick some words that I felt would represent my internal needs during childbirth. I picked Surrender Warrior. Dave thought that they were a contradiction and on first glance they are but to me they made the most sense to the childbirth process and my feelings about it. Two years into motherhood they still make sense to me. The doe listens, she offers alternative paths to a goal, she sacrifices for the higher good and all the while maintains a fierce protection of her young. The outward picture of gentleness and grace can be overcome in an instant if a predator is near. The doe is my helper and guide through the trials of motherhood, the good, the bad and the ugly. But while she is an example of how I connect with my mothering she is also a herald of my journey inward. The Hind (red female deer) referred to as the Eilid in Gaelic, tempts one to explore their own magical and spiritual nature. She has arrived just as I feel called to look deeper and find more meaning. So while I greet her with open arms and am so glad to have been chosen by her, I miss my wolf self slightly. Perhaps she will return in another incarnation someday, but who I was before, who she was before is now a part of the past.
Deer now pop out of the woodwork everywhere I go. The Stag visits as well, though he reserves his lessons for very select periods so far. I've also realized that indications of this change have been coming up for several years now but I guess I was too distracted to listen to the signals. I have several books related to deer that I thought I had read and absorbed but now I feel compelled to read them again. I love that the universe spins you sometimes and says Ha! You thought you had it all figured out but you didn't. And in terms of my soul this could not have come at a better time.