To understand the concept of medicine in the Native American way, one must redefine "medicine".
The medicine referred to here is anything that improves one's connection to the Great Mystery and to all life.
This would include the healing of body, mind, and of spirit.
This medicine is also anything which brings personal power, strength, and understanding.
It is the constant living of life in a way that brings healing to the Earth Mother and to all of our associates, family, friends, and fellow creatures.
Native American medicine is an all encompassing "way of life", for it involves walking on Earth Mother in perfect harmony with the Universe.
When you call upon the power of an animal, you are asking to be drawn into complete harmony with the strength of that creature's essence.
Gaining understanding from these brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom is a healing process, and must be approached with humility and intuitiveness.
Certain aspects of the lessons given by these brothers and sisters have been chosen to reflect the lessons each spirit needs to learn.
These are the lessons of being human, being vulnerable, and seeking wholeness with all that is.
They are a part of the pathway to power.
The power lies in the wisdom and understanding of one's role in the Great Mystery, and in honoring every living thing as a teacher.
The lessons taught are eternal and they are forever forthcoming. If the learning is over, so is the magic and the life.
In learning to call on the medicine of any person, creature or natural force, one must maintain an attitude of reverence and be willing to accept assistance.
For instance, small native children who are lost know they can calupon the medicine of their parents for assistance.
This brings the child the strength of his or her parents, even though the parents are not physically present. The parents will feel the pull of the child's need, and oftentimes will be able to see psychically through the eyes of the child, and determine where he or she is.
This is a kind of power that comes from the idea of unity, and of each being having within itself a part of all other beings. It is the law of oneness.
It is also possible to call upon the power or medicine of an animal when one is in need of specific talents. As all things in this universe have the same building block -- the atom -- it is relatively safe to assume that we all
communicate through the common denominator of each atom, which is the creative force or Great Spirit which lives
within the Great Mystery.
It is the teaching of these truths that has brough the native people to understanding, and it is these same truths that may open this door for you.
Each and every person has nine power or totem animals that represent the medicine they carry in their Earth Walk.
These animal or creature beings emulate each person's abilities, talents and challenges. For instance, if a person is connected to Wolf as a power animal, that person is a born teacher, pathfinder, innovator and self-starter.
This does not necessarily mean that the person has acknowledged those gifts and is using them to the fullest.
It can mean that the Wolf is there to bring that person to an understanding of the talents that need developing. If the
person is ignoring those talents, you might say that Wolf would be appearing in the contrary.**
To find these animals within you, you must look deep within yourself. What animals, insects, or creatures of nature
have you always been drawn to?
Which ones hold the greatest fascination for you? Once you have looked deep, and been totally honest with yourself on which creatures draw you the most, begin to study them.
I mean really study them, not just pick up a book and skim through it, finding out basic facts. Find out how these creatures live, what they do, where they live, etc.
Try to forge a deeper understanding of why and how they live as they do; what their purpose is in nature, and such. I don't just mean the bigger animals, like the horse, buffalo, etc.... you may find yourself drawn to a fish, or a sparrow, or even an ant or dragonfly.
All creatures have equal importance to life on Earth; we can learn from all of them.
How can this help you in calling on them, and help you to live better on a daily basis?
Well, there are several ways you can learn to live a better life through researching and getting to know your totem animals. By forging that deeper understanding of the nine creatures you are most drawn to, you will gain greater insight to their strengths and weaknesses, and thereby gain a better understanding of your own.
Learn to rely on those strengths, and accept and deal with your weaknesses, just like your totems do.
About now, you're saying "okay, but how do I call on them?"
That is even easier. Simply concentrate on the one
you wish to call on, whatever it may be.
The greater understanding you have gained by studying this creature will help you become more in tune with them, and will help you greatly in establishing a link.
Once you have established a link, the creature should be able to help you apply the knowledge gained to the problem at hand; sometimes, you can even gain advice.