The Ant People

As many of you know I have a large ant colony that forms the heart of my garden. I have watched them for years and their goings-on have filled many an hour with utter fascination and wonder. It is the time of year that the Ant People’s children are coming to the surface. I think … Continue Reading

The Quickening

This has been a year of consuming challenges. I had plans for lots of gardening and prolific writing. But spirit had decidedly different designs on my life, and as each of us knows intimately, spirit always gets its way. Attending to my responsibility toward the garden became something of a marathon. Note how I have … Continue Reading


Ah yes, predators. I studied the predator/prey relationship extensively for Ancestral Airs. It is a feature of the animal clan stories as well as developing the attitude toward doctoring malevolent spirits as hunter-gatherer societies did or still do. I know that in both the spiritual world and the biological one predation is wholly based on … Continue Reading

Animal Totems

There has been much discussion for a long time now about animal totems and animal medicine. Some people believe they can pick their animal totem; others believe that their animal totem picks them. The Old Timers that I knew said that ain’t necessarily true. They taught me that animal medicine had a great deal to … Continue Reading

Introduction: Gardens for Animal Allies

Animal allies or totems have probably been with us for millions of years. Animals were our first teachers; they taught us how to survive and how to behave. It is thought that we learned to hunt from the canine family, wolves, dogs, and their early ancestors; we learned to hunt in a pack. Boars are … Continue Reading

1. Turtle

It was believed by the ancients that the upper turtle shell represented the sky and the lower shell represented the Earth. By that reasoning they thought that turtle medicine united the Earth with the sky. The markings of the turtle’s shell represent the thirteen moons making turtle medicine distinctly lunar and feminine. Turtles have acute … Continue Reading

2. Fox

The trickster medicine of the fox teaches discernment and discrimination. He is crafty, charming, even dainty and a master of mesmerizing absurdity; all tools employed by his predatory nature. The fox is an adept, profoundly skilled at shifting his shape or disappearing at will. He manages energy impeccably. Moving easily between the worlds the fox … Continue Reading

3. Birds Including Eagles, Ravens, and Owls

Bird Medicine is one of the most complex due to the sheer diversity of species. Every behavior of each of them is unique, every bird song prophetic and magical. Birds are master shape shifters, charming and elusive. Most are tied to solar divinity and the illumination of lightning. They are passionate, protective and stand among … Continue Reading

4. Antelope

The antelope is the hallmark of the Sacred Twins. They are revered for their ability to give birth to twins, always separated at birth to insure their survival. This phenomenon is one of the metaphoric symbols of tantric enlightenment. Antelope enjoy a diversity of environmental comforts. They are extremely fast, have profound wide-angle vision and … Continue Reading

5. Badger

The badger is the keeper of stories and the wielder of empowered words. His knowledge of deep Earth medicine allows him to dig relentlessly for solutions. The badger is a healer that works alone; capable of entering another’s most guarded recesses to affect healing for them. He’s endowed with the definitive wisdom of the complex … Continue Reading

6. Bear

The bear is the herald of the warrior, fighting spirit. He invokes the imperatives of protecting children and the disadvantaged, remaining sexually inaccessible until those imperatives are secured. The bear is a champion of the moon and instills in us a love for animals. Their infrequent interest in predation allows them to excel as omnivores. … Continue Reading

7. Boar

The boar is a mystical old soul, the keeper of the secrets of sacred spots and the hearts of groves. The knowledge of the universe is always taught within the sanctity of groves when one enters into the mystery of the boar. He is the epitome of the virile, phallic, sacrificial son and the master … Continue Reading

8. Bison and Bull

The bull shimmers in the scope of the medicine he safeguards. He is strong, amorous and invulnerable. Confident virility allows him to excel in the mystery of sacramental death and rebirth into infinity. The male is linked to the magic of the sun and the apex and subsequent descent of summer solstice. The female of … Continue Reading

9. Elk

The elk epitomizes stamina and the ability to outrun adversity through strong and effective pacing. He is fierce, territorial, protective and the harbinger of alarm for the group whose company he relishes. The courtship behavior of the elk suggests that the cyclical balancing and overarching of genders is essential to life. The elk is a … Continue Reading

10. Dogs Including Greihounds and Wolves

The greihound is a creature of the twilight. Hailing from the canine world he is the privileged student of his ancestor the wolf. And like the wolf, the greihound is mystical and more complete. The canine world, opportunistic and resourceful teaches that an investment into loyal, protective family groups and the cooperative techniques of pack … Continue Reading

11. Deer and Roebuck

The guardian of birth, death and rebirth has long been recognized as the pregnant doe. Her nurturing nature and her association with the holy trinity places her at the heart of the moon, the grove, the cave and the grave. The buck and his sacred union with the hunter make him the epitome of the … Continue Reading

12. Moose

The moose is the champion of comfort, skilled and confident in a wide range of habitats and weather. This translates into the ease of moving into and out of other realms and embracing sudden and unforeseen phenomenon. His association with water not only links him to feminine mysteries but teaches that depth perception is one … Continue Reading

13. Hare

The hare is a creature that excels in the twilight and is therefore one of the gatekeepers into other worlds. The hare exemplifies ambition balanced with artistic awareness. He teaches that passive defense is most often the key to strength and health. The hare has long been associated with spontaneous sexuality linking him to the … Continue Reading

14. Lynx and Wildcats

The lynx is the keeper of ancient, expansive knowledge that embraces equally both the depth and the infinite reach of the wisdom that links him to inspiration, revelation and mysticism. As one of the guardians of the deep recesses of the Earth the lynx is capable of seeing into the inner workings of the universe … Continue Reading

15. Otter

The delightful nature of the otter teaches that playfulness and charm stand among the guarantors of good health. Peace and tranquility are facets of the otter world while never forgetting the imperatives of his divine, predatory predisposition. As one of the guardians of water medicine the otter will forever be linked to the feminine imperative … Continue Reading

16. Sheep and Goats

The ram is kaleidoscopic in his empowerment. He is orgiastic, phallic, amorous and promiscuous. In exchange for his privileges he stands as the manifestation of the spirit of sacrifice, the scapegoat, the one who bears the blame for others. The ram exemplifies the Sacred Clown as well, where force and power are balanced with mummery … Continue Reading

17. Salmon

The salmon is perhaps our greatest link to wisdom and abundance. He is tied profoundly to the moon and the cyclical nature of unified sexuality, inspiration, and ancestral medicine. His knowledge leads us to the mystical connection between the womb as a vessel of enlightenment and rebirth. He further reveals the secrets of immortality contained … Continue Reading

18. Beaver

The beaver enjoys an ancestral link to water, the agent of dreams and emotion. He is a monogamous creature building intricate dwellings to shelter his tight knit family. Industrious teamwork is the hallmark of the beaver community. Deeply touching is their penchant to abandon their home when a mate dies. Yet the community at large … Continue Reading