Walking along the arroyo, I admired the animal and bird tracks imprinted in the sandy soil.  A family of deer left a trail of hoof prints. Mice revealed their network of homes and travels with well-worn paths between the junipers and piñon pines. Ravens and songbirds left intricate patterns which abruptly disappeared where the winged ones leapt into the air to fly. Even though on this day we did not physically meet up, I felt our companionship on earth, our unique purposes and forms, the beauty and wonder of our interwoven paths.

Then I came across the big padded footprints of Bear. I stopped in my tracks, thrilled and in awe, as I’d love to see a bear. Yet I don’t want to be an intruder in Bear’s territory, to be perceived as a threat to their family and home. I took a few steps alongside Bear’s immense pawprints, matching the stride, connecting with the majesty, the wildness, energy, and spirit.

Sprinkling an offering of tobacco, I shared my respect and gratitude for Bear, for the gift of knowing they are here. I took a look around in all directions, feeling my love for the vast horizons and big blue skies, for the warmth of the sun, for the soils beneath my feet, for all those living underground and flying in the air.

I honored the human beings with diverse origins, languages, and lifeways who have inhabited these river lands. So many generations have gone before, so many more to come. I acknowledged the deep healing being called for in these times.

I circled back around toward home, holding close the medicine of Bear, welcoming the gifts, sensing all of our belonging in the web of life. My heart full. Grateful. Love-full.

Bear Medicine: Bones Spirits Bundles

art by PattyMara Gourley

Bear Medicine: Gratefulness &Raquo; Bear3 227X300 1



Originally Published on https://joannedodgson.com/blog

JoAnne Dodgson Ceremonial Healing

JoAnne Dodgson’s life is centered in the lineage of Ka Ta See and the path of the kala keh nah seh ~  medicine storyteller, weaver of webs of balance, healer, teacher, and ceremonial guide. She offers ceremonial healing, apprenticeships, and retreats to remember our belonging and weave harmony in our relationships with ourselves, each other, our earth, and web of life.

JoAnne has been learning, living, and sharing the ways of the kala keh nah seh for over twenty years. She has a doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in Holistic Health. As a therapist and community activist, she worked in trauma healing centers and college counseling centers. She has been on the faculty in Transpersonal Psychology, Women’s Studies, and Holistic Health programs. Earlier in her career, JoAnne was a teacher in public schools and residential programs for adolescents. She also served as the director of a women’s shelter.

To share her passion for the healing medicine of stories, JoAnne has written several books including Spirit of Chocolate: A Woman’s Journey to the Rainforest in Search of Her Dreams and UnLeashing Love. She lives in the enchanted desert mesas of New Mexico.

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