This is the totem that protects the inner child. In a sense it holds your social conscience by reminding you that through humility and judiciously granted trust an inner innocence can be maintained. Balanced with your life experience and personal knowledge, the inner child can survive and continue to grow and develop.
Grouse has chosen to give you her medicine for the Southern Totem. Don’t scoff. Thought by many to be just a lowly “prairie chicken” the Grouse is actually a noble bird. Grouse uses the art of subterfuge to lead a predator away from the nest and the young. Through her willingness to sacrifice herself and protect her young, the Grouse displays the height of bravery and courage. By thrumming into the air announcing her fleeing flight, she puts herself at risk to ensure the safety of her brood.
In Native American tradition the Grouse is seen as the keeper of the sacred spiral. It is through the dance of the sacred spiral that inner truths can be found. Sacred spirals appear in ancient art all over the world. From Australia’s aboriginal cave drawings, to the iron-age burial chambers in Northern England, to the stylized spiral of the meso-American cultures. North America’s native inhabitants left many spirals on rock faces and pottery designs. Even some of the lines on the plains of Nasca have spirals or spiral representations.
Those that are attracted to mazes and maze meditation should look to Grouse for inspiration.The Grouse and its spiral association are strong Totem power. Grouse understands the power of self-sacrifice and giving. Grouse understands that we can find inner peace and knowledge through more than just the stillness within. Grouse Medicine is aligned with that of the energy of the Sufi Dancers, commonly called “Whirling Dervishes.” Through the dance the dancers become more connected with themselves and can transcend into levels of higher thought and awareness through their spinning.
Grouse flaps her wings and spins in a spiral to show you she is there. Grouse asks you to enter into the dance of life.The Sufi are not the only dancers aligned with Grouse. Many of the Plains Indian Tribes honor Grouse medicine by dancing the Grouse Dance to pay honor to this powerful totem figure. Although different from the circular dance of the Sufi, the Grouse Dance is a dance which follows the line of the spiral. As the drawn spiral spirals inward into itself, it is through entering into the spiral and following its spinning design inward we enter further into ourselves. Those that have been chosen by Grouse need to beware of stalling and “running around in circles.” Look around you. Are you connecting with the you within and the Universe without? Are you allowing enough time for your observances. Are you avoiding going within because there is a difficult decision that you are avoiding making?
Another calling for those Grouse has granted her totem is to go within. The Sufi believe that while in the dervish state (just try spinning in a circle for a few seconds and see how dizzy you get – Sufi dancing is truly a form of physical meditation – total concentration and focus is what keeps them from spinning out of control) they enter the Great Silence and can then have direct communion with their Creator. As the spiral spins tighter and tighter it shrinks down within itself to a point of nothingness at the center. This great spiral is played out in the dance of the Grouse, and it is repeated in the movement of the stars in the heavens.
Astronomers now say that entire galaxies revolve around “super massive” black holes. The galaxies revolve in huge arcs of circular motion that mimic spiral drawings depicted on rocks in Neolithic sites. As galactic “generators” these are massive symbols of the ultimate in female energy (remember, so far science has not been able to find anything that can resist the inexorable force of a black hole…everything it comes in contact with is swallowed in its inky depths. So passive are these massive galactic gobblers that they can’t even be seen themselves. We only know of their existence by the light of the stars shining before they slip into the depths of the black hole’s proposed point of singularity.Grouse reminds us that we are all connected. Grouse calls a mate by thrumming. This thrumming sounds much to our ears like drumming. Grouse is associated with the drum and its power as a primal instrument. The drum is used in ceremony and religious observance around the world. The tambourine, made famous by gypsy dancers, is a modified drum. Saturday afternoon “B” movies about jungles told us that those on the African continent used the drums to talk to each other over great distances. Drumming is also prevalent in healing ceremonies. Drumming connects to the primal in all of us with its rhythm. Sacred drumming is celebrated at Indian Pow-Wows and a breeze through the percussion section of your local music store will show an availability of various types of ethnic drumming on recorded media for sacred and spiritual purposes. Grouse calls those with her totem to join in the great dance of life. How many times have you caught yourself tapping a toe or finger to a beat without even realizing you are doing so?
Grouse Totem calls you to enter into the great dance. Try some spiritual movement. From church floors to the lair of the Minotaur, walking mazes are either a true meditation path to follow (which is why there are a lot of small alter or devotional areas in some mazes). This tradition encompasses many civilizations and belief systems. Whether it is walking a Native American Medicine Wheel, dancing the dance of Grouse, or following in line with hundreds of others as they complete their meditations and prayers by following the maze laid out on the floor of the chapel, it all can be capitalized by those with Grouse Totem. Remember the spiral of Grouse when you want easy access to the you within.
Grouse invites us to join in the dance of life. Grouse shows us that if the matter is important enough that it is okay to take risks. But Grouse is careful. She does not reveal herself to the predator unnecessarily. Only if the predator is close and putting her brood at risk does she fluster and flutter into view hopefully drawing the danger away from her chicks. However, most of all, Grouse pushes us to travel inward on the spiral, in to the inner self, in to the inner knowing, in to the inner dance of creation. When Grouse has granted you her totem don’t forget to take joy in the dance of life.