Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Buffalo Medicine

This came from one of my favorite totem pages, ~ I got to sit with a Poppa Buffalo before we left Auburndale.  Buffalo can be hard to understand, very confusing, they can seem almost angry.  As I took his picture, without asking first, he snorted and opened his eyes wide, his tail flipped angrily.  I appologized, put the camera away and began to listen.  He let me film his exit from our sitting, I was very honored.  I have highlighted some of the things that are more pertinant to my experience.

The Buffalo

The buffalo is a symbol of abundance and manifestation. Their large heads represent intelligence of a higher order and their strong bodies ground them to the earth. They are the uniting force between the mundane and the divine and hold the teachings of right action joined with prayer.

Both the bulls and the cows have horns as well as humped shoulders. Horns grow out of the head and extend to the sky indicating a connection with a higher intelligence. Humps are often symbolic of stored energy locked within the body.

The buffalo's humps are located at the shoulders. In man the shoulders hold our personal energy which expresses itself through our hands. Whatever we touch or hold onto is connected to the energy stored in the shoulders.  Shoulders carry responsibility or joy. What we carry within is manifested outwardly.  The buffalo teaches us how to eliminate our burdens by directing our energy in a balanced way.

When defending against danger, the cows will form a defensive circle around the calves and the bulls will form a circle around the cows. This symbolizes the buffalo's mutual respect for one another as well as their protective instincts to defend and honor life.

To the Plains Indians it was a symbol of sacred life and abundance. It gave the gift of life to others by sacrificing its own. It provided meat for food and hides for clothing and shelter. When tribes prepared for a buffalo hunt prayers of gratitude were offered up to great spirit. After the hunt ceremonies were performed that honored the buffalo's spirit. Without the aid of buffalo these tribes would not have survived the harsh winters.

Buffalo's can be unpredictable and dangerous when provoked. Those with this totem need to remember to see the good in all things and not let their frustration store up inside them. Tai Chi or martial arts would be of benefit on a daily basis.

The buffalo reminds us to give thanks for what we have, to respect all life forms and to honor the integrity of our own divine essence. It is a symbol of equality, sacrifice and service and can show us how to live in a state of understanding, acceptance and joy. It helps us release our self pity and awakens abundance within our consciousness.  Buffalo is a powerful medicine to have and serves as a stepping stone towards healing our imperfections and reconnecting with mother earth and father sky.