Animals

Reclaiming My Original Medicine

Original Medicine, Part 1/4

About a month ago, I experienced a profound shift back into myself, which reconnected me with my Original Medicine in a way that I hadn’t even realized was missing. I’ve been keeping quiet about this as I integrate and process, but I’m finally ready to share. This is the first of four installments in the story of Original Medicine that I will share with you during the month of July.

As part of a mentorship weekend with my cohort, I had the pleasure of receiving a session of Equus work from Jesse Johnson. I had looked forward to this for the entire six months leading up to the weekend. I have always felt very connected with horses (both through riding them as a kid and working with them as part of my practice in recent years).

In Equus work, the horses serve as the guides and mirrors of the person receiving the session. I knew that whatever energy and emotion I was feeling would be reflected in the behavior of the horses. These horses in particular were all wild mustangs that had been rounded up by the BLM off federal land in Oregon. Their first contact with humanity had been incredibly traumatic (think helicopters and lassos), but they had since been rescued and gentled under the compassionate care of the ranch owner. I felt simultaneously honored to work with the horses, humbled by their powerful presence and reverent of their pure energy.

Horses.png

Our exercise consisted of working directly with the horses in pairs. My partner and I elected to go first and were matched with a gorgeous black gelding named Kett. My intention for this practice was to simply enjoy myself, to embody and emit my heart light and to connect with my Original Medicine. Our goal was to silently/nonverbally communicate and connect with Kett and with each other. There was no particular agenda to this exercise, but to simply play with the dynamic.

I immediately dropped into my heart space and felt resonant with Kett. I stood next to him and placed my hand on his withers, then issued a silent invitation and started walking. He paced next to me, turning as I turned, stopping and starting again as I walked. I felt completely present, joyful and aligned.

After a minute or two, I felt my thoughts shift to my partner and my desire for her to have an experience with us. Instantly, Kett stopped walking beside me. I tried to gently encourage him to resume our engagement, and even tried to amplify the energy to elicit a bigger response, but he stood resolutely still. I attempted to shift my energy back into my heart but found myself wrapped in thoughts like, “I really want my partner to have the experience she wants,” and “I hope she doesn’t think I’m monopolizing the exercise.” At this point, my partner stepped forward and formed her own connection with Kett. He began to walk with her, just as he had with me.

As I witnessed their interaction, I felt my energy return back into my heart and connected with my partner. I relished feeling her enjoyment of the experience. I then felt our collective three-way energy as both my partner and I connected with each other and with Kett. Together, my partner and I amplified our collective connection and made our energy bigger. Kett began to trot, then to canter around the arena as we silently urged him with our energy and intention.

As we brought Kett back down to a walk and closed the exercise, Jesse asked me what I had noticed and what Kett and my partner represent in my life. I shared, “Kett represents my connection with Spirit and my authentic light… My Original Medicine. My partner represents my Earthly support and physical structures. When all three (Self, Spirit and Earth) are aligned and connected, amplification and movement happens. When I tried to amplify the energy with Kett by myself, it didn’t work. When my partner and I worked together to amplify the energy, it worked and we got to run together. In order to create movement with my light and with Spirit, I need to bring in the Earthly support. Then we had momentum and it was easier to keep it going.”

Since this experience from last month, I’ve been sitting with that question. How am I living in alignment with my Original Medicine? How am I bringing this into balance in all three realms of Self, Spirit and Earth? Are there areas where this is incongruent?

You may recall that, a few weeks ago, I told you that I was remodeling my work and I asked you what you would like to see from me and my offerings. I have taken your feedback to heart and have made adjustments accordingly. This new direction feels far more aligned between Self (what I’m excited about and lit up by), Spirit (my authentic agreement with Source and my Original Medicine) and Earth (how I am offering and expressing this work, and what my community is asking of me). I will be sharing the result of this inquiry in two weeks (on July 18).

In the meantime, here’s what you can expect from July:

July 4 (today): Reclaiming Original Medicine (story and context for you)
July 11: What Is Original Medicine? (information and offering for you)
July 18: Introducing the I AM Project (special offer for you)
July 25: Introducing I AM Medicine (special invitation for you)

Animal Song

ANIMAL SONG: What does it mean to be an Animal Song Carrier?

A person who has been gifted the role of Animal Song Carrier fully embodies the medicine of that Totem. The Animal who chooses to offer its song to you declares in doing so that it gives you permission to access its magic, and that it trusts you to hold its energy and bring it forth into the world. The Animal Guide who invites you to carry its song empowers you with its medicine so that you can, together, co-create alchemy on the Earth plane. The Animal totem, after all, has a purpose and wisdom all its own, and by sharing its song with you, invites you to enact its vision into reality.

Working with Animal Totems is a significant component of my medicine and my discovery of Animal Song began (subconsciously) when I was very young. I have felt a deep connection with animals for as long as I can remember—in fact, my very first memory of this lifetime features the dog that my parents had when I was born (my parents are nowhere in this memory). As a child, when walking in the woods, wild deer would gently step out from between the trees to look at me before moving away into the dappled shadow. I remember visiting a flock of swans and watching them aggressively chase away other children who approached, and yet they allowed me to walk among them and sit peacefully in their midst.

The idea of connecting with animals in the energetic realm always made sense to me. My favorite stories growing up involved talking animals, and I read every book of Native American folk tales I could get my hands on because animals were featured as powerful, intelligent beings with a purpose and wisdom completely separate from human motivations.

I experienced my first Shamanic journey to discover my Spirit Animal when I was 14 years old. The Totem that revealed itself to me made its presence known in my life in a beautiful, supportive way, and I still receive the benefit of her guidance, even 15 years later.

As I deepened my relationship with Animal Guides, I discovered that I had many. I devoted myself to meditating with my guides, learning their medicine and honoring their wisdom. I found that some guides work specifically with certain situations and energies, some are present for short periods and others are lifelong totems.

Eagle is one such governing Totem in my life. In 2012, while offering blessings to a pair of bald eagles, they told me: “Eagle Song is more than the cries of the bird—it is the BEING of an eagle. It is the movement of air over feathers and the flexing of powerful feet and talons. It is observing without being observed. It is intensely knowing your body and valuing every part: there is no waste, only maximum efficiency for flight. But there is a part beyond our physical selves: that which lives between the layers and flies to the sun and back. This, too, is Eagle Song. Our wisdom comes from intimately knowing these parts and uniting them in our Highest Selves. We—and you, too, Child of Earth and Light—are far more than our physical bodies.”

In 2015, I participated in a traditional Native American dance ceremony, during which the Eagles told me that I am an Eagle Song Carrier. It was then that I truly delved into the essence of Animal Song and learned the enormous magic that comes from receiving such a gift. Being a Song Carrier for an Animal Totem is both an honor and a responsibility. By answering the call of the Spirit Animal who entrusts you with its Song, you effectively create a soul contract with that archetype to actualize its energy on the physical plane. You offer yourself as the vessel through which the medicine of this Animal Guide may flow as it works its own brand of magic for the well-being of Earth.

I carry other Animal Songs as well, but Eagle was the first to initiate me into this medicine. As such, I honor this totem through my work, and help others align with the Song of Animal Totems through private sessions, journey work and events featuring a particular Animal Guide.

It is my honor to facilitate another such event this Sunday afternoon (January 29), during which we will connect with Wolf Song. Wolf medicine is very strong in its cycle of power at this time and wishes to share its magic with the Earth plane for the benefit of all. Please join me this weekend to tune in to this powerful wisdom and let us together honor Wolf Song. Event information here.

Image by EntheoNation

Image by EntheoNation

Honoring Ten Years of Reiki and My First Teacher

This week marks the 10 year anniversary of when I began officially studying Reiki, though my lessons in energy healing began years earlier. My first teacher was my dog, Ginger. She was a beautiful yellow lab—a great family dog and my wonderful companion. We spent long hours playing together outside and rolling in the grass. Nothing comes close to the contagious goofiness of a puppy.

When Ginger was six years old, she was diagnosed with diabetes. This event marked a significant shift in the nature of our relationship: Ginger and I were no longer the springy young puppy and giggling child. She was an adult dog experiencing a health challenge and I was her big sister who wanted to take care of her. I was desperate to help her feel better. Twelve years old at the time, I was mature and capable enough to learn how to help monitor her diet and energy levels, test her blood sugar and give her insulin injections. While my attention to Ginger’s needs increased on the medical front, her illness also deepened our energetic relationship and loving connection. I would sit with her while she lay in her bed and put my hands on her, not petting her, but holding my hands in place on her body. I remember visualizing colored light flowing from my body, down my arms, through my hands and into her. No one had ever told me to do that or taught me about energy healing—it just seemed like a good idea. Ginger herself seemed to request that I place my hands on her when she looked at me dolefully. After 10 or 15 minutes, she would twitch her skin under my hands and I would understand that she had had enough.

Over the next few years, my connection with Ginger deepened as we both matured and I continued to offer her colored light through my hands. Then, when I was 15, my mom made friends with some women who had recently opened a massage and Reiki clinic in the area. I was interested to speak with these “energy workers” based on her description. My mom brought me and Ginger into the clinic to meet them and have a look around. When they began speaking with me about energy healing work, I felt completely mesmerized. They told me about Reiki and it was as though something deep within me awoke with the validation that this was a practice that existed in the world, not just in my relationship with my dog. I told them what I had been doing with Ginger and they said to me, “That’s Reiki. You should go take a class and be trained in that.”

I didn’t begin studying Reiki immediately—the timing didn’t feel quite right to start formally learning an established discipline. Instead I began intuitively exploring my Shamanic practice around that time, and it wasn’t until 2006 (at 19 years of age) when I began studying under a human teacher. A local Reiki Master attuned me to Reiki I on August 13, 2006 and I took Reiki II with her two months later. My mom began studying Reiki with another Master soon after that, then after completing her studies, she later attuned me as a Reiki Master in December of 2008. Learning from human teachers, combined with the fact that my investigation of Reiki overlapped with my time studying biology in university, gave my previously intuitive exploration a scientific, academic flavor. I’ll save that story for another time.

Suffice it to say that my practice has grown and changed significantly in the intervening years, but some things remain the same as they were when my dear Ginger first pulled healing energy from me almost 20 years ago. She was my first, most patient teacher who spoke to me through subtle cues that demanded my complete presence and attention if I was to receive them. From her I learned how to open to my intuition and allow it to inform my actions. I learned how to be present as a vessel for healing to take place, and later I learned that I was capable of animal communication. (As I processed my devastating grief over her passing I became consciously aware of the intimate psychic connection we had enjoyed throughout her life.) Laying my hands on Ginger and allowing healing energy to flow through me set the stage for me to meet my wonderful human teachers and receive the conscious training and direction I needed to deepen my awareness. The strength of the intuitive practice that Ginger instilled in me allowed me to easily step into the teachings of Reiki and integrate the energy seamlessly with my own on the conscious level.

As I reflect on my 10 years of working with Reiki, I know that no other practice has done more for me, personally and professionally, to promote my health, well-being and happiness. Yes, my practice now includes other modalities, especially a deep connection working with Shamanism, but it all began with me as a young girl loving my dog, wanting to help her feel better and doing the best thing I could imagine: offering her light and love. Ginger opened the door for me to connect deeply with her, and in doing so, I discovered Reiki, which in turn led me to grow in my purpose, my empowerment, my health and how I work in service to the world. And for all of that, I can only ever be eternally humble and enormously grateful to Ginger, my first teacher.

The Hawk and The Boy

Originally published on Eagle Song November 8, 2015.

The Hawk and The Boy
Michelle Levesque

Once there was a young hawk who, just as she had begun to learn the strength of her wings and discover the joy of flight, suffered an attack by another bird. She tumbled out of the sky and landed among the bushes. As she lay on the ground, barely able to move, she knew that she would soon die, and hopelessness filled her heart.

She eventually heard a rustling, and opened her eyes to see the face of a boy. “I saw you fall,” he said. “I came to find you. I am here to help.”

As he gathered her broken body in his arms, she felt the beat of his compassionate heart against her chest. Knowing that she was safe, she closed her eyes.

The young hawk slowly recovered, thanks to the loving care of the boy. As time passed and she regained her strength, she grew to love the boy for his gentleness. She knew that he would do anything for her.

When her wings had finally healed, the boy urged her to fly. The young hawk joyfully leaped into the air and started to spiral upward, but when she looked back, she saw that the boy had not followed her. Confused, she returned to him. She wondered why he had not joined her in the sky, when they loved each other so.

She saw the sadness on the boy’s face as he turned away. “You must go and fly,” he told her. “You were born to feel the wind caress your feathers.”

Days passed, and the hawk refused to leave the boy. She sat in a tree and watched him, and every time he looked up at her, she saw the pain in his eyes and her heart broke. “If only he would come fly with me,” she thought. “Then he would feel so much joy as we spiral together up above the earth.” And then her heart ached, too, in longing for the sensation of flight. As strong as her love was for the boy, she still felt the pull of the sky.

As time wore on, the hawk watched the boy she loved in growing despair. If only there were something she could do for him to see the joy return to his face!

Finally, one day, she could bear it no longer. “I do not know how to help you,” she thought. “I stay by your side and offer you my love, but I see only sadness in your eyes.” Her heart aching in grief, the young hawk took off, clumsily at first. It had been so long since she had flown! But as her wings found their rhythm and she began to glide higher and higher, she felt a tingle run down her spine.

And all of a sudden, from below, she heard a cry of joy! She looked down to see the boy gleefully jumping in the air, laughing and waving his arms. And as she saw the tears of happiness on his face, she felt her own heart lighten and fill with pure love and the joy of being. She whirled through the air, delighted at feeling the wind flow over her feathers and hearing the boy’s shouts from below. She knew then that, even though he would never join her in the sky, he would see her flying and he would share in her joy. “Every day, I will give him the gift of my flight,” she thought. “He will know that I love him when he sees me spiral above.” And even though she could never live on the ground with him, she would always feel his love as he witnessed her doing what she was born to do in this life.

An Offering for Elephant

Originally published on Eagle Song September 14th, 2015.

Elephant

Wise mother, North-holder, tribe guardian.

Thank you for blessing me with the wisdom of your medicine. I am so happy and grateful to feel your thick-skinned feet teach my small human form what it means to pulse with deep Earth vibration. The rhythm of your walk and swaying of your head echoes in my own heartbeat, and I feel my dance slow to match your deliberate strength.

Feminine sage, keeper of knowledge, partner of accountability.

I surrender to your teachings. I trust that my embodiment of your energy works in highest service to Self and Spirit. I thank you for your guidance in returning to the wisdom of the Mother, creating the Sister Tribe, building community based in vibrational and emotional intelligence. I hold in my cells the memory of safe passage to water and the oasis of the Divine.

Delicate strength, discerning pleasure, fine detail.

I embrace the sensitivity and dexterity of your complex trunk! I spin and whirl in perfect precision, savoring soft strokes and sweet, sparkling sensation. I am safe. Thank you for teaching me that, even in great expansiveness, no detail is lost. Your luxuriant eyelashes offer their evidence.

Earth ambassador, beloved teacher, honored guide.

I am grateful to remember the infinity of connection, even in the empty moments.