The Art of Living in the Wise Woman's Tradition

Kryta Deere, Canada

(Submitted by the author)

Shortly after Thanksgiving I buried my cat. Her brother had left two months earlier, after a long life of almost 20 years. They were my true companions and loyal friends, helping me over the most difficult but important period of my life and witnessing my transition from Mother and Career Woman into the stage of 'Wise Woman'.

I remember delivering them, tiny and black, cutting the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors. After my retirement to the country they never left my side. We shared the bad as well as the good times. They were my teddy bears, live animals I could cling to whenever I felt afraid, sad or lonely. When they grew old I looked after them as I would do for an ailing partner or parent. I could not bear the thought of putting them to sleep and nursed them to the end. It was not always easy to adhere to the Wise Woman's Tradition which regards death as part of Life.

Strangely enough, their death opened me up to new energies, energies I had not experienced for more than 20 years. I felt sudden surges of creativity, joy and confidence. It was almost as if a spell had been lifted, enabling me to be reborn and to finally step into my new role as Healer and Teacher.

A symbolic language
Living in the country has put me in touch with the Earth and given me an opportunity to follow the cycles of the seasons and honor the phases of the moon. I have learned to listen to the divine forces speaking to me through the natural world and have come to understand their symbolic language. Looking back over the past decade, I find that many of the animals that came to me and caught my attention were messengers of things to come or a reflection of my own energies at that particular time.

My Black Cats represented a period of seclusion, the need for protective surroundings and the search for mystery and magic. The first indicator of change was a Monarch Butterfly that emerged from a bank of snow in the middle of March, promising my own metamorphosis and transcendence to joy. A green Tree Frog, not native to these regions, sat patiently near my door, giving me to understand that I needed to connect with the lunar energies and the element of water for getting in touch with repressed emotions.

Death to the old way, transition and initiation into a new life was communicated to me through Bats that started circling around my house in the fall.

Four years ago, when my spiritual search had intensified, I noticed two Deer watching me from the edge of the forest. Being associated with gentleness and innocence, they reminded me to establish a strong bond before going into the world and to new adventures.

During the short summer months I often had the sad occasion to rescue Hummingbirds that had accidentally flown into my picture windows. I held them in the cup of my hands, giving them Reiki until they were able to regain their strength. They always flew away, thanking me for my healing abilities. They are a symbol for accomplishing great feats and teach how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.

Families of Raccoons demonstrated that their masks hold the knowledge of transformation through disguise. The neighbor's little Dog, preferring to live with me, gave me to understand that I was ready for companionship.

New patterns
This spring I noticed another phase in my own development: the need to change into new patterns that will be beneficial for all. The message was delivered in the form of a Fox whose energies represent the feminine magic of camouflage: necessary tools for a therapist.

A group of Skunks, by nature peaceful animals, illustrated the need for respect and self-esteem, while the arrival of a Grouse indicated that I had to mark off sacred space in my surroundings, while expecting new teachings on how to dance and drum my life to new dimensions. Grouse brought the symbolic message that I am ready to reclaim my power as co-creator, combining male and female energies and to apply them for the benefit of others.

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