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SHAPE SHIFTING PART XXVII (Chapter 27)
Finding and using the wisdom of our Animal totems
~ White Wolf
Author's Note: The importance of Shape Shifters varies
within the different tribe cultures. The following provides
a glimpse into understanding the connection between
humankind and all animals on Earth Mother directed
Chapter 26 Review
The other people coming in from other lands & destroying
the land & the waters right here; will be the biggest battles
to protect food, animals & people, who could no longer live on Earth Mother. The rivers will take the form of a black snake from the contaminated waters. Many will be killed to protect what is Creators Given Right, life itself. The battle will continue throughout the history of this Earth. It will never stop. But the people know they are the caretakers and they will never give up. The battle over Sacred Water & Land will indeed go on for longer than life itself. Wolf is still wondering about the 7 sister’s-stars brought to mind by 4Words; doesn’t really fit into the stories at this time. But he knows as history itself has proven before; when it’s time it will be revealed.
All the people in this circle are worried; moaning with long faces of deep concern. Wolf sees this and understands the need to change up their thoughts back to the now.
Wolf describes his Eagle flying vision. Eagle Two Hearts name was mentioned, and they all smiled from memories of times they made quest together. Wolf continues; we saw the surrounding lands and how far the white melt has rolled back exposing more sacred fertile land, and is happy to say he saw a several herds of the hoofed ones. Wolf grinned big talking on about the Great Spirit’s sacred ways of all creation to continue on and procreate itself. The wonders of the great mystery, are overwhelming and provide the right amount of humble to keep the people with good hearts moving forward in a good way. As in all things there is a down side. Wolf continues to speak of the two negative ones that separated, and then met up with more of their own kind and likeness in an aggressive negative way. They are the opposite side of us. Our hope is to plan some ways to make trades, or we could call it a truth, or truce, or a treaty of agreement.
Wolf passes the task to set up night watch and signals to sound of any approaching enemies to Little Wolf. All get busy preparing their sleeping places, while the young warriors plan out the watch shifts to remain on guard throughout the night.
Wolf walks out of the cave and looks up. The rain has stopped but off in a distance he sees the tall thunder cloud beings from the passing storm. He sees a flash in the distance and a low rumbling voice that says in his ears so only he can hear. “This has been a few days of many important lessons. You and your tribe have learned well so I will, give the truth in warning. The moon is filled with the suns reflection, and when the moon appears again to be filled this same way in the sky; that is known as one moon’s time. In one moons time be ready for the disbanded that will come to take what they want, this is: “Greed that comes from the dark side and the unknowing.” The words turned to a low deep rumble. Wolf looks behind him to see that no one else has heard. Raising his arms to the sky he gives thanks and turns to find his place of rest hoping for a vision of how to be ready and defend their home camp, Mother of caves. It would seem that without even trying their cave home has been given a name. “Mother of caves” It is now their Oyasin (relation).
Such a challenge is much to think about, but he has faith and trusts Creators guidance to continue, knowing this could take more than one vision. He finds his place and drifts quietly into dream land. It is the deepest dark he has ever seen, as if he had no eyes, and then suddenly his vision begins. Off in a distance he sees a large hole in ground at the base a large Oak tree and the closer he walks to the hole it appears, the hole is either getting bigger or he’s getting smaller. When he gets to it he jumps right in knowing this is where he must go to seek the vision of his animal totems to ask for the wisdom and help to lead and protect his people. Suddenly and not so quietly, in fact there’s a loud short vibrating sensation leading to an explosion that can only be defined as an ear piercing BOOM, like the speed seems to be faster than sound can travel itself and therefore passing the existing sound of this time, perhaps the boom was a sound that validates the entrance into another realm of time with a speed he has no memory of. He continues to accelerate even faster falling deeper and deeper into Earth Mother. This must be the beginning of the planning vision he seeks.
Wolf remembers when he first closed his eyes; he remembers using the vison quest technique of visualization and that’s why the hole in the ground at the base of a big tree kept getting bigger as he approached it, or did he get smaller… he’s still not sure. He must focus on the now, and for now he’s falling straight, faster than he has any memory of, down into the underworld, Earth Mother’s realm.
All is dark, there nothing to touch, only the feeling of his stomach contents (tingling sporadically like butterflies), rising while his body feels the wind and pressure of falling faster than he can even imagine, especially in the total darkness. This has Wolf feeling out of control as if his mind holds no sense of direction, purpose, or guidance towards a quest. Must not be time yet to know, he’s thinking, as he remains in total darkness; he stretches out his arms and feet. This is strange. He feels himself sliding downward as his feet and hands start touching the sides, first one then the other of what feels like a man size whole in the ground. Deep he plunders into the depths of secret places of wisdom, pockets of knowledge within Earth Mother. He remembers a similar vision; it was under the falling water in the depths that bring a squeezing of the body and pushing in the ears. He remembers on his way back up getting his feet tangled in the weeds holding him there for a short bit, only to get caught again halfway farther up to the surface. He feels this was Creator’s way of protection but he’s never been sure from what. Perhaps one day he will know. However for now, this type of journey, he has no memory, but he’s heard stories of this type of vision journey quest and it seems to be the way of introduction to his own personal spirit animals. But this is the first time he can remember having this vision himself. He’s reminded of the inner Earth quest to locate your animal spirit guide. He has the words he was taught to ask, and seek what he needs to find within this place of deep spiritual magic. But first he must stop falling so deep.
He begins to push his hands and feet against the sides of the hole. Dirt and pebbles are flying so he closes his eyes, for protection from the airborne debris. He pushes harder to slowly try and make a safe stop. Just in time the falling hole curved to feel like a sloping grass walk way on a narrow hill. Wolf tumbled rolling over and over front to back, eyes still closed tight to still keep out the dirt, his feet keep scrapping loose from the top falling into his eyes; he’s rolling fast and almost uncontrollably down the grass hill.
Suddenly whoosh……………he’s still rolling but now instead of down the slopping grass it has become horizontal on the same level as the surface of Earth Mother. He’s rolling quickly, then slows down. He comes to a stop flat on his back, looking up. Wolf is concerned because he is blind, so he stands up slowly and begins waving his arms around trying to touch something, he calls out: “I’m blind, I’m blind, I can’t see, I’m blind.” He hears a deep rumble, more of a vibration than a voice, but he could understand what was said: “Open your eyes” the deep rumbling voice said. Wolf slowly opens his eyes and exclaims: “I can see, I can see everything with, well, somewhat more clarity and a light.” The deep voice says more and has Wolf understanding that Creator has a strong sense of humor and has always claimed it to be good medicine. That being thought of and true, Wolf starts chuckling to himself, knowing his dose of good medicine has brought a big smile, and then it comes loud and clear: “What a concept! You can see with your eyes open.” “Wopila” (Thanks) Wolf says, still chuckling, and looking all around as if he could see Creator.
He’s not sure what kind of underworld magic this is but without any light he can see just fine. He knows it’s totally dark and the reason he can see must be to receive the messages and guidance that should be following closely while he remains in dream/vision land. Seeking that guidance from his animal totems, he hopes to find in the wisdom pockets of our Earth Mother.
He’s in what appears like a long tunnel. He turns his head to look down one way and then the other. The light source of mystery only shines so far down the tunnel, then darkness remains from that point forward. He starts walking into the dark; as he walks through the tunnel turns to light. He pauses when he sees far ahead in the direction he’s walking. Beyond the extent of his own mystical light that only shines so far. He holds out an arm and sees the light shape surrounding him on the tunnel walls changed. He tries it again with his leg and the shape of the light changes again but it’s different. Wolf gets down on his knees and holds his bare arm close to the ground, as he thought it’s bright and he can see the sand and small stones in the dirt. It’s him. He is the light that is glowing. This confirms in his mind the powerful medicine within light is energy to use in ways that could help his people. He nods his head and, re-focuses on the fact that this is a dream time vision and could end without warning, so he looks down the tunnel again with new understanding and purpose. He sees something off in the distance. It’s a small obscure light a fair ways ahead coming from what appears to be a light shining down from the above world down thru a hole from perhaps yet another tunnel. There is some kind of animal, low to the ground, moving quickly around over there. Wolf keeps walking, getting closer with each cautious step, squinting and peering hard to identify what the animal is. He’s getting closer yet it still remains in the dark. Suddenly it rushes him, scuffling on the ground and stopping with a skid and a growl. Wolf is startled and has some fear of the unknown and quickly steps back and leans his back to the wall.
He still can’t see what it is but felt its strength and knew this was his first connection. Whatever it is, quickly it hustled away back to the light coming down. Wolf sees closer now and the animal is covered with brown and grey striped fur, with a wide black stripe down the back, from head to tail. It’s a large animal but short almost like a small bear with short legs. A few steps closer ever so slowly Wolf stops. The animal pauses a second to looks at Wolf then continues back to moving dirt. Wolf had good focus and knows it’s a Badger. He knows a Badger is wise but also aggressive and powerful. As he continues watching it moving dirt he’s thinking about some stories he remembers around the nights’ camp fires when the elders would speak and share wisdom from their own personal life’s experiences.
Badger has been known as keeper of the stories. He sees the wide black stripe on back of its head down to the beginning of his tail. Wolf remembers from the stories of his grandfather: this in and of itself is very symbolic of how open it is, the keeper of the stories with much light and knowledge of other animals and Earth Mother herself held within the deep darkness of the seemingly black hole that is the Badger’s back. He remembers the depth of one elder’s words: “The black hole lives out in space and is the most unpredictable of things that can eat stars and time itself.”
All looked at him without knowing what he was talking about even to this day, that still is part of the Great Mystery. He does remember the Badger has exceedingly strong jaws that are the symbols of powerful expressions. This ties the Badger to the mysteries of the “WORD”, particularly the magic of storytelling.
Are you my totem guide? Wolf asks the Badger. The Badger stops and looks up to answer: “I am one of your spirit animals. You as the warrior you are, and many you have. Keep going… you know part of what I gift to you, I just heard you thinking about it. So think of me later and my words will come to you.”
The Badger continues: “I would ask you to remember only this one thing. The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other’s memory. This is how people care for themselves. There is a new time coming that will seem strange and defy our ways which will change life as we know it.”
There are all kinds of people on earth that aren’t even here yet you will meet them some day. They will be looking for a certain stone. They will be people that do not get tired, or take time to see and be thankful for the natural world of all living things around them. They do this, all because of the rock to be known as the center of greed. Which means they would without thought, gladly take everything for themselves. So, they keep going and going all the time stomping on sacred grounds and circles, without even looking back or for that fact knowing. These people do not follow the way of our great-grandfather, they follow another way. They will travel everywhere looking for this stone of greed that great-grandfather put on this earth in many places. They will come from across the great waters under the promise of the stone that will bring them peace forever, which has been proven that it never will. These same people scratch and claw cheat steal and lie their own personal way to make their rock bigger and way more than they will ever need, and keep it for their own will, as many others will be suffering, and made to carry the burden and full weight of the rock they keep making bigger. The laws of the land will be written for these men, so that when it sometimes doesn’t work in their own favor, they will just change the laws or ignore the laws, and the very reason they were set forth in the first place. There will be a time of reckoning for such men. We pray and give thanks for what we have and look forward to the day when peace abounds, as the good and bad circles made, connect. Creator has the plan, we have the faith. Soon this time will become history as all times do, so live your life, and stand with pride for your beliefs. They are real and they are yours.
So, nobody has the right to mess with them, even if they think they are above all the laws. You know what happens when a big heavy rock starts chasing someone down a steep hill.“ The badger has finished talking for a few seconds and looks up at Wolf: “You must hurry now, there’s not much time left,” and he goes back to moving the dirt around with enhanced purpose. Wolf thanks the Badger. The Badger looks up at him and just grunts, then straight back to work.
Wolf looks farther down the tunnel and see another small light from way off in a distance and begins to walk that way.
As Wolf walks toward the light he has more questions than answers, especially of what the Badger has said. What is the meaning of some of the Badgers words? What is greed? What is law? And what is this rock that was spoken of? How will it help his people? He shakes his head. Something has him feeling this so call rock of greed will be the down fall of his people and all of man. Not weapons, not war, not anything. How sad his peek at the future, at that time; Says the end of man and all things will come from the greed of a rock. Wolf’s thinking it will remain to be the Great Mystery, until the time of circles to connect.
The light he’s walking towards is getting a little closer or at least larger, whatever the case may be in this magical realm. His mind shifts to the estranged band of negative energy tribe separated from theirs. Like a sun sparked a great light in his mind. That must be the meaning of greed, how those would take everything for themselves and have no care for our people and tribe that have come so far. He’s thinking their goal would be the animals and plants. The food that grows on this new land and without them, they must fight for their rights, or walk away to find a new, maybe even better place. But he still has no answer for this rock the Badger spoke of. Wolf continues his wonder in thinking and keeps walking, coming ever so closer to the next light coming down from above. He sees something moving around up there ahead, much like he saw the Badger, only this animal is very small or far away. Wolf is peering into and through the darkness trying to focus on what this new animal is up ahead.
He reaches the animal to find its a mouse with white feet. “You have the legs of a deer.” Wolf said. The mouse looked up, then went back to grooming himself. Wolf asks the mouse: “Are you my Animal totem?” The mouse pauses to look up and says, “Yes. I am but one of your many totems.” And he immediately goes back to grooming himself. “Do you have some directions or a message for me?” says Wolf. In a fast squeaky voice the mouse said, “Pay attention,” and with that he scrambled his way up the down hole.
Wolf scratching his head is wondering what a mouse could bring to a warrior? He remembers very little from his ancestors about the gifts that come from the mouse and looks forward to asking Four Feathers, perhaps she will have those teaching memories. Wolf looks down where the mouse was and sees a big mess of sticks and rocks in a random pile with no true reason or cause, just a mess. Plain and simple, he’s thinking, am I messy? Chuckling to himself he shrugs his shoulders and looks farther down the tunnel.
He sees nothing but darkness and continues to walk in that direction. Before long he sees a light up ahead, same as before - it also comes down from a hole above the tunnel. Wolf keeps walking toward the light and notices that the tunnel is either shrinking or he’s getting taller.
Wolf reaches the next animal and sees it’s a coyote. He walks up and stops to see the coyote pushing dirt over an old bone with his nose. Wolf clears his throat and the coyote stops and looks up at him. Wolf asks: “Are you my animal totem?” The coyote shouts out loud with his nose in the air “Nooooooooo” as he runs out of sight up the down hole. Wolf looks up and is blinded by the light of the sun. He leans back down in the shrinking tunnel, being in the shade again. He walks but three steps and smacks into the end of this tunnel. That’s a sign to get out of here by following the coyote. He remembers the coyote is the trickster but it matters not, he must be followed to get out of the underworld. With that Wolf scrambles up and up towards the light at the top of the hole.
Wolf closes his eyes from the bright sun and when he opens them all is dark, but his eyes begin to adjust to a very faint outline, like the breaking of dawn may not be far away. He’s laying on his side so he rolls over and sees to confirm it is the first of the morning light coming through the home cave’s open mouth. He doesn’t see anyone else standing. He gets up quietly and walks out the front of the cave to watch the sunrise. All these connections with the animals in his dream vision has him reeling and overwhelmed - possibly with some answers. But he must sort it out and speak with others who remember the stories of the solid connect from the beginning with all the animals and man, when they walked the land together as in one mind.
Wolf walks to his place, the buffalo fall rock it has been named, up on top of the cave to watch the unobstructed view of the sunrise. He sees his son LittleWolf already there and as he takes one more step LittleWolf says, “You’re just in time, dad.” “You learn well my son.” Together they softly chuckle while Wolf walks up to sit next to his son.
They sat there in silence watching with the reverence each sunrise provides, until just before the first ray of light when LittleWolf speaks. “I like to see which tree top it will be near; it’s different each day and always moving this one way.” Wolf smiles and starts confirming how right LittleWolf is. When suddenly, they both pause in silence as the first sun’s ray is about to send out the streak of fire across the land right to them. It seems to happen like magic as a blessing of light and heat that comes from their ancestors in the sky. Together they acknowledge gratitude and respect to be humbled by this grace of all that is. LittleWolf speaks first, “It’s moved to be over that little tree next to the tall one from yesterday.” His father speaks. “Our sun’s path is a little bit different each day as it crosses the sky. Through the many winters of watching this very thing, it has been acknowledged that the seasons of Mother Nature has her cycle, from hot to warm to cold and everything in between.” LittleWolf nods his head and silently they continue watching until the sun becomes high and bright in the sky.
They hear a brave splitting wood to make the morning fire for the first meal of this day. LittleWolf starts to get up but his dad grabs his hand asking him to sit a while longer, he has something to talk with him about. LittleWolf sits right down and stares at his dad. Wolf begins with the question of the time when he had told him he had a vision of how to make that man carrying thing they used to carry FourWords. “Tell me of the vision you had, from which it came.” LittleWolf smiles and tells his dad, “I do remember that vision.” Chuckling a little, LittleWolf says, “This is a change, I’m telling you a story.” They both laugh softly to not wake all the others. “Some were up all night watching out for us sleeping.” LittleWolf smiles, nods, and begins.
“We shifted into the wolves and we are running fast dashing between and over the shrubs and bushes. We heard something and stopped. Strange sounds were calling to us; it was coming from over the hill on my east side. We stood there still silently looking at each other, all ears pointed towards the songs of elders singing carried on the wind coming from the hill. I sent my friend 2Claws ahead to continue your given mission of bringing more warriors to help carry, watch guard and if required protect ourselves, numbers of warriors count for your mission right then.”
LittleWolf felt compelled by the spirits to meet the source of the call for the ancient ones. Just to say it was carried on the wind seemed to be sacred to his soul. Little Wolf stood up as a man and began to walk towards the hill. Just before he reached the top of the hill he was trying to explain to Wolf something of what he had no words so doing the best he could think continued: “It felt like an invisible wall of vibrating tingles all over his body. Every pore or cell of my skin was being touched and sound stimulated. It was a loving embracing feeling as if passing through a place like the separation of two worlds only different. I knew it must have been a vision so I went with it to get the message, same as you have taught us dad.”
Wolf takes out his water bag and gives his son a drink. Wolf follows and puts the bag down. LittleWolf relaxes from telling the story, the first time is like reliving the actual moment and what was to follow was what he knew had to be way ahead of their time. Wolf just nods his head and smiles. LittleWolf smiles back and continues.
“It was suddenly different; the air smelled different, the sky was darker like night. The singing was clearer, and it was very, very cold. I listened to the words and didn’t understand them all, but the basic seemed to be a call to all the ancestors to come and help them. I saw a light from over the next small hill moving low to see without being seen; I peeked over the hill down at the light. Strange and scary things. Many of our people were dancing around a fire and singing the sacred song heard all the way from the other realm. Overtop of all the commotion there were loud noises, bangs, flashing stars like lights, and puffs of smoke, then he saw this big square thing and the people were talking to it and the odd men on it.” “What do you mean odd son?” “They had square heads and sticks they would point at our people. Our people were in big trouble. Fire came out of the sticks and our people would fall. It was sad. That’s when I saw the man carrier. Some of our people came running to put a fallen man on this two-stick carry blanket. I stood up and made a loud war cry with my lance in the air. An elder dancing in the circle looked up at me. We both made war cries together. We could see each other. Then suddenly water started coming out of these big swivel sticks on top of the box the strange men stood on they were getting all the people wet and it was so cold outside. What kind of madness is this?” LittleWolf was confused. He heard a big roar and what looked to be a giant bug with flashing star lights and one bright sun light moving around like searching. “I looked back down at the elders’ circle dance and saw three elders looking at me. I called out a war cry and they called back, but also moved their lances to direct me to look up the next hill. I saw a warrior on the next hill, where the big noisy bug flew from. We all war cried at the same time and there was a flash and he was gone. But you know dad it kind of looked like you.” Wolf just smiled. “What did you do then son?” “I ran. I ran over the hill flashed through back to day light it was raining and no time to think I shifted and up the hill towards the home cave I ran.”
“You had a good vison my son. We will go deeper in this connection another time, it has some hidden meanings. For now I’m smelling FourFeathers hot flat bread cooking, let’s go eat. I have much to talk with FourFeathers about last night’s dream time vision.” “What’s that Dad?” “Things I should remember but don’t. Perhaps she will share some wisdom with us. We have big plans to make.”
Wolf grabs his water bag and stands up. He starts talking to LittleWolf still sitting there as Wolf walks away: “I must talk with both FourFeathers and FourWards to see how a Badger, a coyote and a mouse will help guide us to our future. I think I’m going to be surprised of the powers of a mouse,” and he continues walking towards the camp down below.
LittleWolf, with his eyes open wide stands up. Running towards his dad says: “Hey Day wait, What?”
Image Courtesy the Author