EARTHFIRE STORIES

Spiritual Ecology
June 23, 2017

The Ermine

I was driving to town the other day on my way to run errands. I was almost there when I suddenly felt a strange movement and weight on the top of my right thigh. I...

A tele-call with Rose De Dan of Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing; Susan Eirich of Earthfire Institute; and Mia Schiff, Pipe Carrier for the Lakota Sioux tradition. Earthfire Institute has been gifted a white buffalo calf by a Native American retreat participant. The White Buffalo Calf Woman came to the Lakota people at a time they were in conflict and she brought unity – teaching people the correct way of interacting with each other and with the land – how to walk on Mother Earth in a sacred manner. Earthfire’s vision is one of teaching people how to come back into circle through animals, enlarging our sense of community to include all living beings. Rose De Dan’s vision is one...

I would like to tell you about a grizzly bear. Not bears in general but a very specific bear. An individual. Teton Totem came to Jean as a child of divorce. Born in captivity, his owner had 30 bears and with the divorce could no longer keep him. When I first met Teton he was bear perfection – an artist drawing the most perfect adorable teddy bear couldn’t have come close to his cuteness. Jean even suggested making a poster with a whole row of stuffed teddy bears, putting Teton in among them – it would have been hard to pick him out. But even as a tiny cub there was no doubt about his strength and “bearness.” This was a serious, strong-willed animal. We had just bought the...

We had a particularly powerful workshop last October with Rose De Dan of Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing. According to Rose and other shamans who look at life from an alternative frame, Windwalker the cougar, near the end of his days, had hung onto life to be here through the last retreat of the year.  People had flown in from around the country to see him one last time. Rose made him the focus of the workshop with ceremonies honoring him and his courage and beauty of spirit. Paralyzed in his hind legs, he lay regally and greeted each participant with warmth and dignity, purring his way through the entire visit. People in turn helped him into his wheelchair, groomed him, lay with him in...

We are moving towards treating animals with compassion. Not fast enough, but in the right direction. In the last e-newsletter I wrote about a conference at the University of Cambridge held in July on the nature of human and animal consciousness where neuroscientists from different fields were moved to make a formal declaration, based on their findings, that animals, birds and other creatures such as octopuses have the neurological underpinnings necessary for consciousness. I had said this is a big deal. A friend wrote back asking “You mean we are still trying to prove this? Will people who don’t already realize this ever have enough proof? I find it amazing that animal...

We received an urgent call – could we take in a sweet fox who had been someone’s pet and now was abandoned? He had been living alone in a locked cabin with food being thrown in sporadically, and the situation was no longer tenable. The exterminator was scheduled for the next day so he needed a home immediately. Many considerations. . .  we had no room – but it was life or death. We could try to put him in with our foxes Feather and Lightfoot and hope they got along. We would have to get permits as he was in Wyoming and he would be coming across state lines. Could we get them quickly enough? The laws had recently changed in Idaho and everyone in all the relevant offices were still...

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