Guarding the West stands Bear.
No ordinary bear. My second month of learning was to be accompanied by White (healing) Bear with the added bonus of a “Power Pack” , comprising an arrowhead tied to her back.
Unlike Mountain Lion, who was presented in a very public place, Bear came following the appropriate cleansings and rituals at the home of the Shaman. Situated in a highland glen, surrounded by mountains and forest, it is possibly the perfect setting for such work. I could have spent the entire month there.
A short drumming session preceded the ritual introduction to Bear. The Exchange of Breath with her was much less “dramatic” than it had been with Mountain Lion; a much more subtle, perhaps less “enthusiastic” energy. Preliminaries over, a short (sic) “Journey” session followed, during which Bear most emphatically came out of her shell: leaping, cartwheeling, and running ahead through a strange, tree barren landscape.
I was then shipped off while lunch was prepared, Bear in hand, to wander where she would. Turning out of the cottage gate, Bear decided a walk by the river would be appropriate. She sniffed out everything! most of which would have normally been passed by without much notice: stop at every anthill, inspect ants, clamber under a low-hung tree to inspect the bark of the trunk, search every still pool for fish…
It was obviously going to be an interesting month!