Panther Medicine

The week of the New Moon and Autumn Equinox provided quite the life laboratory to delve deeper into my own process. I serendipitously scheduled my most recent public talk right in between these two cyclic compass points. The magnetic pull of Pluto’s reinstated forward momentum also added a deep soul quality to the experience.

My talk was on the value of discomfort and it’s relation to core wound themes currently active through the lens of Chiron. Of course, that meant revealing significant themes of a profound personal nature to a roomful of people and standing in my own ensuing discomfort. There was no way to ignore the impact as word got back to me of the various ways people were triggered by the reading from my book, Entering the Mystery with Radical Trust – A Story of Faith. I felt overly exposed and way more uncomfortable than after any other talk I’ve done. I’m doing my own work right alongside the public unveiling of my healing journey – a very Chiron conjunct the Midheaven in Pisces kind of thing. So, of course, it’s only natural that something came up for me too.

We are all in a resolution moment in terms of key thoughts and beliefs that need to be seen in the light of day. Pluto going direct certainly helps to purge our subconscious saboteur from the dark recesses so we can see where the imbalance exists through the mirror of relationship. That’s what is swirling around as the thinning of our cosmic grid allows a higher electromagnetic frequency (Uranus) to enter via the heart center, breaking up emotional density held in the cellular structure of the body. Not so much fun, but definitely necessary.

So this weekend my partner and I, two Taurus’s, decided we needed an immersion day in nature to recalibrate after a week of sharing space with our friend, Chiron. That morning I sent out a prayer request to my guides asking for a message to help with some of my thought programming up for review. And off we went into the woods. (For those who live in Asheville – we were at the Biltmore Estate). We decided to try a trail off the beaten track to really embrace an incredibly beautiful early fall day in the mountains with solitude and silence – together.

We had walked for about 30 to 40 minutes, holding hands, talking, breathing in the spirit of the trees, the wind and the Sun. There wasn’t a soul in sight as we were in a more secluded section of the 8,000 acre property. The trail opened up into a thinly wooded expanse and I saw a large animal walking through the forest. Of course, my first registered thought was a deer but immediately, and I mean immediately, realized that’s not what it was. The long tail, powerful body and round head with pointed hears clearly indicated a large cat. PANTHER came out of my mouth as I stopped suddenly - not believing what I was seeing. It walked casually, completely at ease in its own power, it’s back to us as it moved in the same direction we were going. The tail was the most noticeable marker that helped me identify such an unexpected silent companion.

It must have heard us when I stopped my partner to point it out because it stealthily bolted down a ravine where she caught a glimpse of its outstretched body in mid- air. I was in such awe and felt absolutely no fear whatsoever. I knew that this random and unlikely occurrence signified a potent message. Panther/cougar/mountain lion are all interchangeable names and in shamanic traditions are a compelling totem.

It seems as if my prayers had been answered. Wow. Amazing. My partner though wasn’t quite as at ease with this sighting (we joked about my “Jerimiah Johnson” alter ego). We walked a little further while debating whether or not we might be in danger. Here we were right smack dab in the middle of the unknown – viscerally and in real time. Was this cougar/panther actually gone or had it only moved out of our sight? Out of respect for her uneasiness and an innate sense of wise caution, we decided not to continue on the winding path. All we had to do was veer left through some rhododendrons and there we were, on the entry road into the Estate.

We had felt so far removed from the “known” and yet what a metaphor for how the “unknown” exists in a parallel reality only a breath away. One foot here, one foot there. Isn’t that how it is so much of the time. We had crossed into the realm of the spirit world where messengers carry symbols of great significance. Since this sighting I have been infused with panther medicine. Its healing resonance lingers in the image imprinted in my mind of this beautiful solitary creature steadily walking on its journey.

Obviously, more to be revealed, though I feel as if some piece of my story has come to a close. That this sighting can act as a marker for a distinctive turning point will remain etched in my memory.

Here are a few messages from Animal Speak that resonate for me personally about Panther….

“The panther often signals a time of rebirth after a period of suffering and death on some level. This implies that an old issue may finally be resolved, or that old longstanding wounds will heal, and with the healing will come a reclaiming of power that was lost at the time of wounding.”

“The panther marks a new turn in the heroic path of those to whom it comes. It truly reflects more than just coming into one’s own power. Rather it reflects a reclaiming of that which was lost and an intimate connection with the great archetypal force behind it. It gives an ability to go beyond what has been imagined, with opportunity to do so with discipline and control. It is the spirit of imminent rebirth.”

I love, love, love putting my prayers out into the ethers and seeing how they are answered. And so it is.