MEDICINE FOR OUR PRESENT AGE: BEAR, BUFFALO AND INISKIM

Carol Proudfoot-Edgar & Susan Gilliland

July 29 - August 1, 2010
Pendle Hill Quaker Retreat Center, 338 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA 19086

Yana Bear wraps me round
Medicine through my body flows
Buffalo on yonder ridge..
Walking Wisdom to me            
Together We shall mend
And set the Peoples free..
Trees will clap their hands
Rivers again run joyfully.


This year’s workshop will focus on the powers, methods, and ways that are found in the practice of Bear and Buffalo Medicine.
 Throughout the history of North America, Bear and Buffalo have legendary powers and medicine. Every tribe and village had groups of both Buffalo and Bear Healers or Dreamers. Although one might specialize in the medicine of a different Being, it was presumed that every healer would be cognizant of these two specific Animals of Power.  Their significance is reflected in healing practices, dances, regalia, ceremony, stories, songs, and almost every aspect of life. They embody the ‘wealth’ of the Spirit World, available to the humans, to be used to prosper the Whole.
 
In previous workshops in Philadelphia, we have spent time introducing general features of Bear Medicine. This is the first workshop in which we also explore Buffalo Medicine. Thus a greater portion of our time will focus on Buffalo with another distinct portion focused on ‘how do these Medicines work together?’ A lesser amount of time will be devoted to Bear Medicine…unless while we are together, Bear has a different agenda in mind! (And Buffalo agrees with that agenda!).
It is not necessary for someone to have taken the previous workshop on Bear Medicine. This workshop is complete with itself. 

In this description, I’m alluding to general shamanic understandings about these totemic Beings.
From a shamanic paradigm, these Beings confront us with such questions as:
What am I being asked to give…to offer…to the people?
How am I in service?
How am I tending the young and the descendants?
Am I feeding my dreams and passing along my medicine?
Does my mind hold the Whole while my heart tends with specificity?
 
Bear and Buffalo come to us offering help specifically for the Humans while each of them also carries a special message regarding Humans in the Greater Web. Bear (Yana) seeks to know how we share of our lives with our wilderness kin, our companion animals, and the very habitats providing for all.  While Buffalo challenges us to know how to walk on the Earth, among the Plant People, so that flowers bloom in our footprints.
 
These are not just metaphors or pretty ideas: they are real questions, genuine challenges, requiring authentic answers and responses from us. 
 
In addition to healing practices focused on the Whole, these Beings also embody teachings and wisdom connected with specific development cycles of
growth: whether that growth be of an individual life, a community, a project or a vision coming into realization. 
 
 
Buffalo represents the Eldering time – in either age or knowledge accrued. Buffalo teaches how to bring things to completion and how to ‘tradition’ ourselves; that is, in what form to pass along wisdom with which we have been gifted. That is why Buffalo ceremonies are often called the “Give-Away Dance” because they entail sharing of that with which one has been blessed…and sharing ALL with which one has been blessed.


  
In addition to development wisdom, Buffalo medicine holds two formal jobs:
Calling the Buffalo – Calling the People
Enacting the Steps to Right Balance
 
We shall learn about both these tasks and how to perform them in our shamanic work, in our circle, our communities. They are not “one-step fix it jobs.” They entail
**discipline in using one’s voice and one’s singing (or one’s ‘calling voice’);
**learning the appropriate movements of ankle and foot (thundering into the Earth);
**extracting energies that block ‘sharing’ of abundance
**and following practices that restore right walking or balance.

The assumption is not that we shall learn all this in a weekend. Our assumption is, however, that we can learn the opening steps, the chirping sound, and what steps to take immediately that initiate and sustain right balance.
 
We open our Circle together by supplicating White Buffalo Woman --beseeching Her to walk among and with us. We light our Candle and hear again her story of coming to the Peoples. This enduring story carries essential knowledge of Spirit upon whom we are all dependent and to whom all are answerable. It is a story about each of us, too, as much as a story about Her.  The essential teaching is that we hear and respond to the invitation to be “White Buffalo Woman walking among her people..”
Our purpose this weekend: to learn how to so be, to so walk.
 

This is an advanced workshop in that participants must have prior training in shamanism and journeying. We will explore new journey methods, different ways for Calling these Beings to us, the form their Medicine takes through us individually, and how to be in Circle with them. Two months before we gather, a letter will be sent on how to prepare spiritually for these days and what we each need to bring.
 


After registrations are received, participants will receive a letter describing how to prepare and what to bring to this weekend so that we have maximum benefit from being in Circle. It is recommended, if possible, that participants use the lodging available at Pendle Hill.  This allows for an uninterrupted quality of time together.
Participants must attend all sessions beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday to no later than 2 p.m.Sunday. Early registration is advised since enrollment is limited to 30 participants.
 
Workshop Location
The workshop will be held at Pendle Hill in Wallingford, a suburb of Philadelphia.
We have rented the Brindle House for our workshop.
You can learn more about Pendle Hill at www.pendlehill.org
Because we are renters and Pendle Hill is not sponsoring this workshop, they cannot answer questions about the workshop.
 
Requirements
You need to have experience journeying and working with your helping spirits.
Some outdoor activity will be part of the workshop.
 
Policies
You will be notified by email when your registration has been received.
People who register earliest will have first choice of lodging [private/shared room].
If more than 30 people want to attend, priority will be given to those people whose registration and deposit are received first.  
If at the time of your registration the workshop is full, you will be given the option to be on the waiting list.  Your deposit check will not be deposited unless you have a place in the workshop.
Refunds: before June 15, your deposit minus a $40 fee will be returned.
No refunds after June 16, 2010 unless your slot can be filled from the waiting list.
This workshop is educational in nature and is not a substitute for medical or psychological treatment.

When making your travel plans please allow sufficient time for travel glitches (city rush hour traffic, thunderstorms delaying flights).  Participants must attend all sessions, beginning 7 PM Thursday and ending no later than 2 PM Sunday.
 


 MEDICINE FOR OUR PRESENT AGE: BEAR, BUFFALO AND INISKIM
Carol Proudfoot-Edgar & Susan Gilliland
July 29- August 1, 2010
Pendle Hill Quaker Retreat Center, 338 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA 19086

REGISTRATION

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COSTS
 
1] WORKSHOP FEE: [covers tuition, snacks, facility use, lunches and dinners Fri and Sat] = $490
            Deposit of $250 due immediately.
            Balance of $240 due before June 20, 2010
 
2] LODGING: [includes Thurs, Fri and Sat night and 3 breakfasts] Please check your preference:
            Private room = $210
            Double room = $150
                      Commuter (no room required)
      We have lodging space for 18 people in our building.  People who register later will be across the street in other Pendle Hill buildings.
      Payment for lodging due to Lorraine Emanuel by June 20, 2010.
 
To register now, please send a completed copy of this form and a check for the deposit ($250), payable to Lorraine Emanuel. 
 
Mail check and completed form to:
Lorraine Emanuel
73 Todd Rd
Wolcott, CT  06716-2833
 
The deposit is due immediately.