On a recent visit to Yellowstone National Park, enroute to this year’s A Walk on the Wild Side event and our ceremonies with the animals, I did what many visitors do—I went browsing in the gift store. I was sure there was nothing I needed, so what harm could come out of simply looking?
Unexpectedly I found myself drawn to a display of Western Stetson hats. I told myself that I did not need a new hat, and tried to move away, but every time I did I felt the energy calling me back. I finally gave in and decided to purchase one.
When I finally took a good look at the hat that said it was mine I realized why I had to have it: as part of Stetson’s American Buffalo Collection, it was made with weather resistant felted buffalo fur, and—the final deciding factor—it was decorated with a buffalo nickel.
The buffalo nickel has been a very important part of A Walk on the Walk Side: Answering the Call of the Wild (see Return of the Buffalo: Visions and Ceremonies) from the beginning. And this year was no exception with the central theme being the buffalo, their relationship to the land, the people and the wolves. Apparently Spirit thought I should dress the part!
The weather for our event was perfect, so my first real opportunity to wear the hat came this past weekend. The forecast was for heavy rain, so I felt it would be appropriate to wear it to visit with the animals at the Woodland Park Zoo. Perhaps they would enjoy connecting with the powerful but gentle energy of the buffalo.
On every visit to the zoo I stop in at the Willawong Station where you can spend time with the resident cockatiels, parrots and budgies. Admission is free, but the birds are very confident and sure of their importance, and will seldom give you the time of day unless you have purchased the appropriate offering of a seed stick. They are very winsome, and will ask you to buy just one more stick…I have to set a limit before I enter otherwise they would take all my singles!
However, on this occasion I received a special visit from a cockatiel named Sky who seemed quite content to simply perch upon my hat and enjoy its good energy. He did not fly off until I told him that I needed to leave to visit with the other animals.
And Sky was not my only visitor that day. While watching Bamboo the elephant enjoy a special pumpkin treat I became aware of movement about two inches away from my right eye.
I thought at first it was a gnat, but when I focused on the very small form I realized that it was a spider, rapeling from the brim of my hat. She moved up and down her single silken line a few times, until she was sure that I had seen her, and then returned to the brim.
Grandmother Spider had sent her message of connection.
Hokh! Mitakuye oyasin, maka sitomni, hecitu welo! (We are related to all things, all things on earth, it is indeed so!) — Lakota prayer
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©2012 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved. http://www.reikishamanic.com
Think Outside the Cage
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is a mesa carrier in the Peruvian shamanic tradition. In addition she is also a Reiki Master Teacher, animal communicator, author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.
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