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From Jamie Sams' & David Carson's "Medicine Cards"
(Revised, Expanded Edition)
You are so noble,
Until the bitter end,
Your medicine is the teaching,
Of true and loyal friends.
All of the Southwest and Plains Indian tribes had Dogs. These
noble animals would often give
warning signals of approaching danger. They helped in the hunt
and were a great source of
warmth on long winter nights. Since the canine tribe has many
breeds, early Indian Dogs were
usually half-wild. This wildness, however, never diverted the
owners of their Dogs' innate
loyalty. Dog has been considered the servant of humanity throughout
history. If a person carries
Dog medicine, he or she is usually serving others or humanity
in some way. Here you will find
the charity worker, the philanthropist, the nurse, the counselor,
the minister, and the soldier. Dog
was the servant-soldier that guarded the tribe's lodge from
surprise attack. Dog is a medicine that
embodies the loving gentleness of best friend and the half-wild
protector energy of territorial
imperative. Like Anubis, the jackal dog protector of Egypt,
Dog is a guardian. Throughout
history, Dog has been the guardian of hell, as well as of ancient
secrets, hidden treasures, and
babies ~ while mothers were cooking or in the fields. Dog honors
its gifts and is loyal to the trust
placed in its care.
In examining Dog medicine, you might find that you have fond
personal memories of owning
and loving Dog as a pet. The message that Dog is trying to give
you is that you must delve
deeply into your sense of service to others. Canines are genuinely
service-oriented animals, and
are devoted to their owners with a sense of loyalty that supersedes
how they are treated. If Dog
has been yelled at or paddled, it still returns love to the
person who was the source of its bad
treatment. This does not come from stupidity, but rather from
a deep and compassionate
understanding of human shortcomings. It is if a tolerant spirit
dwells in the heart of every canine
that asks only to be of service. You can also see Dogs that
have had the loyalty beaten out of
them. They cower and cry at the slightest look of disapproval,
but this is not their normal nature.
Some varieties of dog have even been trained against their nature
to be brutal and vicious. Out of
a sense of service, these breeds have adopted the attack-oriented
desires of their owners. They
carry an altered genetic memory of what service means if they
are to be approved of by their
Dog medicine asks you to look at how readily your sense of loyalty
is countermanded by your
need for approval. If you have pulled the Dog card, there are
several questions you need to
consider, depending on the situation about which you are asking.
1) Have I recently forgotten that I owe my allegiance to my
personal truth in life?
2) Is it possible that gossip or other opinions of others have
jaded my loyalty to a certain friend
3) Have I denied or ignored someone who is trying to be my loyal
4) Have I been loyal and true to my goal?
In the contrary position, Dog may be telling you that you have
become critical or mean due to
the company you are keeping. The reversal of this medicine could
also imply that it is time to
stop cowering with fear, and time to begin to tackle the adversaries
on your confidence. The key
is to realize that these are not external enemies, but thought-forms
in your own mind which tell
you that you are not worthy of loyalty ~ either to yourself
or to others. You may want to examine
the patterns of disloyalty in your life. Do you, for example,
pass on gossip, or not speak up when
someone else is rumor-mongering? Do you make jokes that belittle
others? Do you refuse to
return kindness? These are characteristics of fear, and particularly
of a fear that is common to the
human, two-legged family: the fear of not belonging or of not
being approved of.
Reclaim the power of loyalty to self and self-truths. Become
like Dog ~ your own best friend.
*Note: Dog was the card I drew this morning in my Medicine Wheel
Spread done with my
Medicine Cards, and it represents my Sacred Mountain or Sacred
Tree card, which asks me to
look at the present. In this position I am standing, in a sense,
at the crossroads of the spiritual and
physical realities. This card will therefore indicate how my
spiritual and physical realities have
melded to produce the "me" of the present moment.
Since all things evolve, tomorrow this "me"
will have grown in understanding and my card may be different.
In accepting this omen of who I
am in the present, I may then see what needs changing or modifying,
whether I am balanced or
upset, and if I need to enter the silence for answers. Although
Dog did not appear in the
reverse/Contrary, I have taken the liberty of including the
information for others who may have
need of it in the future.
"Fierce, with their bristles up, my gallant hounds!
That in their speed outstripped the howling storm"
From the Ossianic poem 'Manos'
The hound is a powerful guardian: Celtic ambassadors were accompanied
by hounds which
acted as bodyguards and in recognition of their role as protectors,
the term 'hound' became a
title of honor given to chiefs and warrior, heroes and champions,
whose names were often
prefixed by 'hound' - such as Cu-Uladh and Cu-Chulainn. Even
certain kings were honored in
this way, such as the British kings Cunoglasus (Tawny Dog) and
Cunobelinn (Dog of the god
In Ireland there are tales of the dog-tribes - 'men with heads
of hounds' - and the inhabitants of
Connaught are said to be descended from them. The Concheannaich
(Dog-heads) were a similar
tribe who lived at Moygonihy in Kerry.
The hound as a champion guards more than human lives and livestock.
He is the guardian
animal of roads and trackways, of crossroads and gateways. The
hound is the guardian of the
Mysteries, of the Underworld. English folklore is replete with
tales of the Black Dog - a phantom
hound that presages death or patrols the networks of ancient
trackways, roads and other places
of transit. Death represents a moment of transit from one place
to another and the hound stands
at these threshold places as guardian and protector. Just as
the hound would guard its master
from harm in the physical world, so in the Otherworld would
the hound protect and guide the
soul of the dead. For this reason, figurines of hounds often
accompanied Celts in their graves
and favorite dogs were buried with their keepers. Later, hounds
came to be depicted on
gravestones for the same reason.
The loyalty and faithfulness of the hound provides a model of
devotion and service which is free
of the complexity and ambivalence that characterize human relationships.
The contrast between
the innocence and selflessness of a hound's loyalty and the
burden of guilt we carry as a result of
our human intelligence and feelings is powerfully conveyed in
the Welsh story of Prince
Llywelyn and his hound Gelert. One day, when the prince had
to lead a raiding party, he left
Gelert to guard his baby son who lay asleep in his tent. When
he returned, he found the tent
collapsed with Gelert seated beside it, covered in blood. In
despair and fury he ran his sword
through the dog, only to hear a cry and to find his son alive
and well with the carcass of a huge
wolf slain by the faithful Gelert lying nearby.
Many heroes were accompanied by a hound. King Arthur's hound
was known as Cafall and the
Irish god-hero Lugh had a magic hound that was unconquerable
in combat and which could turn
spring water into wine. During a forest exile and separation
from his beloved Isolt, Tristan's
faithful hound Houdain kept him alive by catching game. The
life of the great Ulster hero CuChulainn
is intimately bound up with the dog as totem animal. As a boy,
arriving late at a
celebration held by Chulainn the Smith, he found the gates of
the enclosure guarded by the
smith's savage hound. The dog sprang at him but he grabbed it
by the throat and smashed it
against a pillar. Chulainn was deeply upset by the loss of his
hound, but the boy promised to rear
a puppy for him and to act himself as guardian-hound of the
household until the dog was fullgrown.
During his life he became a mighty warrior and was name Hound
of Chulainn by
Cathbad the Druid. He was also known as the 'Hound of the Bright
Deeds,' the 'Hound of the
Sweet Discipline' and the 'Hound of Ulster.' His downfall occurred
when three old hags
persuaded him to eat some of the dog-meat they were roasting
on spits of rowan. Once he had
broken his obligation never to eat the meat of his totem animal,
his power rapidly declined and
he was soon overcome by Lugaid, the son of Cu Roi macDaire.
Another great hero, Fionn mac Cumhaill, was surrounded by hounds
who had been humans. His
aunt Turen was turned into a hound by a fairy and his own two
hounds, Bran and Sceolang, were
once his nephews. Bran's legendary exploits, recounted in the
Irish Fionn cycle and the Scottish
tales of Fingal, have made him a dog-hero.
The connection between hounds and water is ancient. Many goddesses
of the Celts were depicted
with hounds as companions. Lakes, pools and the sea were all
seen as gateways to the
Otherworld and as guardians and guides of this realm hounds
were often depicted as going into
the sea. By entering the sea or a lake in legend, the hound
is seen as entering the magical
Otherworld of the Unconscious, of dreams, of life-after-death
in which all things are renewed
and healed and in which is found immortality.
Copyright of Celtic Sacred Animals
Throughout history dogs have been known as protectors and guardians.
Their acute hearing and
keen sight forewarned their masters of impending danger. Dogs
are known as mans best friend.
They serve selflessly never asking for their service to be praised.
They hold the energies of
unconditional love and teach us its true meaning.
The domesticated dog is a faithful companion to humans and has
a strong willingness to serve.
Their sense of spirit and the ability to love even when abused
is incredible. The dog teaches
those with this totem how to give and receive love unconditionally.
It also carries the energy of
forgiveness. People with dog medicine would do well in service
Dogs are intelligent and sensitive. They are able to sniff out
dangerous situations accurately and
guide us into safety. Psychic gifts have long been are associated
with the dog because of their
ability to detect subtle energy frequencies often unknown to
mankind. If dog suddenly appears in
your life pay attention to your immediate surroundings and let
the dog guide your footsteps.
Certain breeds of dog were designed for specific functions.
The study of the breed and its
purpose can help you define the energy associated with it. Since
wolves and coyotes are its
descendants these should be studied as well.
The behavior of a dog often reflects the personality of its
owner. Through its observation and
constant interaction with you it anticipates your next move,
and serves as a mirror image of who
you truly are. The dog is a great teacher for those who are
willing to be loyal students. The
choice is yours.
Dogs and wolves are related, but they're more "cousins".
They probably are both descended
from a common ancestor. I'll check that to be sure and let you
Oh - one of the oldest known breeds in the world is the Maltese.
They are mentioned and shown
in paintings in Ancient Greece and Rome. So they have been little
fluffy white dogs for a long,
I was taught that domesticated animals are not our Totems, but
that they can become Spirit
Helpers once they cross over. I have two that come to me this
way today. Domesticated animals
have lost their natural ways to some extent and thus they were
not considered along these lines.
IE: Domesticated geese, ducks, cattle etc. do not migrate or
react as their wild counterparts
would to the seasonal changes. The taming of any creature is
considered to change the purity of
their essence and lessen their connection to Spirit.
While I've had many dogs and cats over the years, and have found
some of them to be spiritually
tuned in, not all of them were. Personally I think it can vary,
but if they are attuned they will
come around you when you are doing your pathwork, meditations,
etc. and they will respect it,
almost joining you rather than disrupting your session. I used
to have a cat that would lay beside
me when I did readings for others, as soon as the reading was
done he would leave the room. He
did this when I meditated, or when I was doing ceremony. He
would enter the circle of sacred
space and take his place quietly.
It is said that domestic or wild, the animals can and do sense
spiritual work taking place and will
often join in. I've experienced this on both ends over the years.
Also it is said that we should not
fear or be disturbed when they draw near, outside or inside
our sacred space, they are attracted to
the energy of Spirit's presence and are considered a blessing.
That's not to say that if a wild
animal comes and is threatening for some reason that you shouldn't
take precaution, but we are to
give them space to join us first.
The Druid Animal Oracle by Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
Dog: Guidance, Protection, Loyalty
Dog brings guidance and protection, acting as a loyal companion
and friend on your journey in
both this life and the next. In the Druid tradition the dog
is seen as the Guardian of the Mysteries.
As such, he can be fierce, but if our intentions are good, then
he will lead us over the threshold
through the darkness and the waters of the Unconscious toward
the shimmering realm of the
Goddess. The time may come when you need to act with the spirit
of Dog--to defend your values
or protect that which you hold sacred. Faithfulness, trust,
and loyalty are vital ingredients of
close relationships, and the time may have come for you to focus
on these qualities--to develop
them gradually in yourself and to appreciate them in others.
Contrary it urges you to examine the degree to which you or
those around you may be lacking in
faithfulness or loyalty. Ask yourself to what extent you value
these qualities in your friends and
lovers, and to what extent you and they express these values.
If you find it difficult to keep
friendships, Dog as your ally will help you to develop the qualities
of selflessness and trust that
will nurture close relationships. But remember that sometimes
loyalty and faithfulness can be
inappropriate--a dog is often submissive and anxious to please
even a cruel owner.
Copyright: Cinnamon Moon & River WildFire Moon (Founders.)
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