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 vulnerability and opportunism. Preying on the strong is most often an act of desperation fueled by starvation. This shifts somewhat in the mating rituals of animals (and probably humans too) where the young, virile ones try to outdo the weaker but wiser ones. Youth does not always prevail. The same concept tends to govern spirit handling where we might, for example, live in a way that invites predatory spirits to prey on us. Such ways of living create vulnerabilities that include, in part, losing the protection of benevolent spirits, or setting up the perfect environment in which predatory spirits thrive. The third scenario seems to take place between practitioners and the malevolent spirits whose existence is threatened by the strength and healing ability of the practitioner. Through helping others heal, the act takes away the breeding and feasting territory of the malevolent. Predation when harmonically balanced is an essential part of sacrosanct natural order. The flip side to all of this is the essential feature of balance in nature and a thing that is divinely created as in all the sacred twins of light and dark, summer and winter, day and night, and so forth. The dance between these elements and the predator/prey relationship is found everywhere in healthy, well balanced ecosystems. Perhaps what we have failed to remember are the prayers. Hunter-gatherers conduct deeply spiritual rituals in preparation prior to hunting. These rituals insure that the prey, like the hunter, is entering into the sacred dance.

“…nothing knew the hunter as intimately as the quarry. Had prey been as inept as the jaws that consumed it all would be vanquished by stupidity.” [excerpt Ancestral Airs]

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