The Medicine of Moose a Moccasin Workshop.
I’ve been drawn to work with moose medicine for some time. I am eager to birth a sweat lodge and a community drum of moose hide. It hasn’t been right timing just yet. I’ve used a thick tanned moose hide with an unusual finish as inserts between the inner and outer layer of moccasin sole leather, cushioning the steps very nicely. I hadn’t worked with moose hide quite like the one that came forward last week for a pair of moccasin. OMG! Sumptuous, butter soft, caramel color leather.
* I just got scolded by Steller’s Jay. I have hides – deer, elk and horse – hanging on the deck railing, it’s such a gorgeous October day. This mornings fog, a cozy blanket, gave way to the sun and now the hides are soaking it up. I offered ceremonies to honor their spirits. These hides have given as much as they’ve received already. Wopila! Saturday they will be birthed into drums at the Bainbridge Island Bodhi Center. Today, Steller’s finds them in his way. Too bad!
Back to the moose, Alces alces. I watched the moose in this photograph a few years ago while at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado . There were several in a loose group, cows and juvenile, who kept my attention for hours – they were browsing casually through the grasses, willows and aspen twigs, paying no mind to me. Moose are such massive animals, beautifully muscled, they were quiet and graceful as the moved their hulk with ease within the branches and briars of the meadow. They came so close I felt I must be invisible, holding my breath I backed away as silently as dry grasses and shriveled leaves will allow giving them the space they deserve. I’ve been fortunate to see moose in Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Canada also. Rare sightings that thrilled me. While the population of moose in Colorado seems to remain stable, their numbers are markedly diminished in across North America yet the species as a whole is still consider of least concern in efforts to conserve their population and habitat. As the reach of climate change deepens, while mining permits are still being issued and habitat loss continues, the threats are increasing to the wellbeing of the majestic moose.
“Moose are in jeopardy across the U.S. – from New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine; to Minnesota and Michigan; and even Montana. One of America’s most iconic animals is at risk of becoming just a memory. It’s time to take action on climate change.” National Wildlife Federation
The fact of this makes working with the medicine of moose an even greater honor. Rather than getting lost in the conflict that accompanies these disturbing facts, I embrace the opportunity to be present with the needs of this magnificent creature. What are the tangible and concrete practical measures that must be taken allowing their numbers rebound? And to keep their environments are healthy and abundant? What are the prayers that are needed so the needs of moose are met? What apologies need to be made to the moose nation for the acts of mankind can I make on our behalf? What other ways can I be involved in the conservation of habitat or protection of the overall ecosystem in which the moose resides in North America? I remind myself that my vote counts despite what seems a dismal political landscape.
The Athapaskan would pray to Raven to assist in their hunts of the moose. Thus when the moose appeared, it was a special and sacred gift. The moose can teach invisibility, shape-shifting, depth perception, acute judgment and ability to negotiate landscapes. Moose carries a feminine energy from its association to water and great maternal energy. There is a primal strength with moose. Their ability to dive into the depths of water reflects the ability of an individual who aligns with moose to go into the depths and draw new life and nourishment from it. When moose comes into your life, the primal contact with the feminine force and void of life is being awakened. It is an invitation to learn to explore new depths of awareness and sensitivity within yourself and your environs. ~ Paraphrased excerpts from Ted Andrews Animal Speaks
Join in and attend a Moccasin Workshop October 18-19. In this workshop you will commune with the spirit of the animal – moose, buffalo and elk are available, each carrying their own powers to support your walk in the world – your everyday and any ceremonial needs you may have. With every stitch you can call on the wisdom of the four-legged and your ancestors who walk with you.
“Barbara I have to tell you that your moccasins are more than something to wear on my feet. I LOVE wearing them, as they hug my feet, giving a sense of security, tenderness and love. I slow down my steps when wearing them – mindfulness? reverence for a feeling I don’t fully understand? I’ve already had the feeling that I NEED to put them on, and once felt they were on, when they weren’t! Thank you for sharing this medicine. I will continue to try to be mindful every time I wear them. In gratitude.” ~ Marge
Reserve your seat and confirm your hide preference.
Deep gratitude for the moose’s medicine! Aho Mitakuye Oyasin!