Tag Archives: winter solstice

Gift of Deer Spirit

20 Dec

Please note: these pictures may upset you. I hope not.

Two days ago I had a phone call from daughter. “Can you come over her. I have a present for you.” I couldn’t go right then but she brought it home that evening. Triple wrapped in plastic bags and stuffed in a brown poke. She is an O.T. and I know her patients love her. I know this because I see the notes they write and the gifts they bring. I watch her tear up telling me about a patient who walked. Not only walked, but walked across a stage to accept a graduation diploma when no one thought she would ever walk again.

But the brown poke. Held a freshly skinned deer hide. For me. From a patient of hers. A deer hide and rack. I have skinned and dried timber rattlers. Picked up an owl off a Texas highway and carried it to GA packed in salt. I have stopped on the road to remove a hawk–a hawk whose wing I carried with me for years. I have collected antlers from the woods in WV. I’ve even sold a few if truth be told. And one year our dogs carried home a coyote pelt. But it was too far gone to do anything with.

But I’ve never dressed out a deer skin. Today is the eve of winter solstice. The turning point. And spirit of deer sought me out. That’s what it feels like. I am honored. And almost clueless–feeling the huge responsibility of caretaking. The honoring of it–the blessings over–the offering of cornmeal–that I know, but I didn’t think I knew anything else. Googled. Skin can be immediately tanned, or cured and tanned later. I’m choosing the latter option.

So this morning before the sun came up, I spread the skin on the basement floor. Such a light spirit arose from it. The skin was still in need of scraping but areas of it that were clear of fascia and fat shone with a silver brillance. It glowed in fact. I don’t have a buck knife or a draw knife or anything close to what I needed so I grabbed a hacksaw and started scraping. And once I got into it, it seemed like something I had done before. Many times. Removed fat. Removed fascia. It was slow going. At first I wore gloves but they got in my way so I ended up just diving into the pelt, barehanded. I rubbed in salt. deer skin Lots of salt.

I stroked the fur. Talked to the deer spirit.deer fur Thanked it. And just as I was finishing, Hawk began chanting high overhead. Many calls. Many many calls. And the calls affirmed that all was well.


Then, what to do with the scraped remains. Could not put in the garbage. Remembered that Sunday evening I will be going to a day-after solstice celebration. We will be burying a gift of many things into Mother Earth. This is what I will give to the earth.deer fat

Today I’m going to sit with the spirit of deer. Hawk I understand and am familiar with. But this is new to me–deer is new to me–and what’s coming through right now is a sense of gentling.

From “aaargh” to Winter Solstice and beyond

19 Dec

Aaarrrgh.  That’s where I’ve been with my computer problems.  Stuck in “the land of aaaargh.”  Yesterday this little machine was cleaned up, restored to factory settings–not by me obviously.  Good?  Yeah, but…everything I had previously installed–Norton, Picassa, Office, Sony stuff for camera–all of that had to be reloaded–by me.  Not a big deal for someone with patience, or even for someone with a bit of techno savvy–someone who keeps track of stuff like “product keys” and passwords–but that would NOT be me.  I get nuts.  Heart beats faster.  Feel tension in my forehead.  My scalp gets too small for my skull.    And constantly I hear the questions I’ve been asked lately–like “why do you have so many computer problems?”  If I only knew . . . . But there, I’ve said it–the “land of aaaargh” is where I’ve been. This is so NOT what I wanted to be posting today. I’m moving on.

But first, just to show that the lights are on and everything appears o.k.–a record–this is what “the land of aaargh” looks like.  Seems innocuous enough.computer glitch

Big shifts in my environment–cloth work environment. Jude has discontinued her on-line teaching presence. I didn’t think it would be a big deal. But it is. A BIG deal. I’m finishing up several pieces that were started during my apprenticeship and then, who knows. So as I’m looking at this cloth, this cloth that started as a plea to the universe to protect grandson. And slowly morphed into a tribute/acknowledgment of the upcoming winter solstice, the fulcrum point between seasons of life. Going deeper. Then surfacing. Dying into. Blooming out of. And now, it’s a placeholder. Marking time and space between different worlds–different dimensions. The mysteries of things we may sense but cannot see. The notion of parallel universes is stitched into this fabric. The idea that for every choice, the choice not taken also exists. The figure–grandson soaring–now feels more like spirit holding things together. Embracing all the various components as One thing. THE thing.wintersolstice13

Winter Solstice Altar Cloth

19 Dec

On Friday I’m attending a winter solstice celebration marking “a time of realignment, a new cycle for humanity … a  huge astronomical shift in the Earth’s herstory.”   I’ve started this cloth to add to the building of an altar that will be part of the ceremony.  A little more hand stitching.   You might want to check out this 21 December 2012 link.Altar Cloth

%d bloggers like this: