What’s in a name?

Red____ and I have just completed a ritual drumming, calling in the guides, in preparation for the work of the day. I’m in full regalia, perched on the edge of a couch as he potters about, mixing various sacred herbs.

“Is he one of yours?” he asks, nodding at a figure to the south.

Looking up, I’m surprised to see a diminutive Michael. He is standing, head bowed, with his sword held in front, point resting on the ground, hands clasped over the pommel. His stance confuses me more than anything. He is not normally this passive.

“What is it that you are running from? Don’t you know, that the faster you run, the quicker you get to the place that you are trying to avoid?”

Red____’s words jolt me back to the dream. The recurring nightmare which haunted much of my childhood.

I am in a forest. Dense trees either side define a straight path. I can hear only my own breath, and the gentle “crishp” of the leaf litter under my feet. The autumnal path belies the high summer in the trees either side. It is dark. Only a gentle candle, held aloft in a lantern, lights the way.

Ahead, through the canopy of the trees, a bright orb is visible in the distance. I assume it to be the moon, distorted through the leaves. Slowly I become aware that the orb is getting larger. At first, it gets no brighter, but appears to fill more of the sky ahead. I stop and, as I watch, both its size and intensity increase until, all but too late, I realise that I am about to be hit in the chest by a ball of light!

I dodge to the side just in time as the fiery heat of it barely misses me. As it passes, it appears to be moving in a pendulum like arc. It dawns on me what this means… I start to run. I can feel the heat build behind me; I am aware that the ball of light is near the nadir of its swing. I leap to the side as the light grazes past, diving into the protection of the forest.

I’m desperately thrashing through dense foliage. The forest floor is treacherous; I’m exhausted; gasping for breath I slip and trip into a small clearing and look up, just in time, to see the ball of light, again near its nadir, right in front of me.

Just in time, I leap and am pushing through the forest again. Several times I stop, lost amongst the trees, only to find the light right in front of me. Finally, completely exhausted, I find myself back on the path. I look up. Too tired to care a spread my arms and the light hits me squarely in the chest.

With growing trepidation, I realise that the orb will rise on its invisible cord, before falling again to crash through my back. I am running again…

“Slow down, Running Elk. Your friend knows the benefit of stillness.”

Running Elk (Found at bwog.com)

Running Elk
(Found at bwog.com)


Setting a steady pace and conserving energy provides Elk (Tsaylusi) the stamina to outdistance any stalking prey. Unlike Deer, these regal, impressive animals display a warrior disposition, both unyielding and steadfast. In mating season, bull elk make a loud whistling noise that attracts females and challenges other males. When mating season is over, Elk congregate with their own gender. By forming a herd of the same sex Elk has comfort, strength,safety, and the opportunity to leave competition behind. The medicine of Elk is about brotherhood and sisterhood, stamina and standing in your power.


Still not the next promised post. It’s coming. Honest 🙂

About A Misanthropic Bear

Intermittent posting of random touchstones, memories and events. This wasn't meant to be what it would become... But then, is it ever?
This entry was posted in Ceremony, Shaman tools and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What’s in a name?

  1. Pingback: The Feathered Seer – Part 2 (or when foxes come out) | Shamanic Paths

  2. Pingback: Red deer during mating season, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. alienorajt says:

    I love this one, Elk. It is deep, moving and wise. There is much I can identify with in your experience. On a purely selfish level, I very much needed to read the Elk’s message, the medicine wisdom and the dream today. I also look forward greatly to THE POST! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Running Elk says:

      Thank you, Ali. 🙂
      Not sure why THE POST is so bleedin’ hard. I can see it, feel it, smell it… but every time I start it, it just won’t come out… maybe I need to take more notice of this post and stand by for it to come out in its time…


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