Elk Animal Medicine: Stamina

Elk stresses friendship and co-operation – the sense of unity that comes from belonging to a group or community.  It emphasizes the need to establish relationships.  If you are engaged in some kind of competitive activity, whether in your working life or in a personal relationship, you may feel threatened and under pressure.  You need some equilibrium. Elk shows the value of friendships and of sharing your interests and experiences with others.

Elk stresses the importance of finding time for refreshment and reflection, and of renewing one’s strength. Elk has to do with stamina and the need to go to t hose of the same gender for support. Bonding and renewal.

Elk wandered through the forest looking for a partner. The mating season was in full swing, and the bucks that usually traveled with the other males had dispersed to find mates for the season.  As Elk bellowed his mating call through the forest, his bugling alerted Mountain Lion that a feast could be in the making.

Mountain Lion circled Elk, getting closer to his prey moment by moment.  Elk sensed the impending danger when the forest grew suddenly silent.  He broke for the high country when he spotted his pursuer, but Mountain Lion was far behind.  As Elk made a running leap for the timberline, Mountain Lion gained on him, but Elk continued to run onward, displaying tremendous stamina.  Finally Mountain Lion gave up, having spent his energy in spurts as he tried to jump over boulders to reach Elk. Elk paced himself, making headway as he climbed skyward toward the high country.  Elk had no other defense except his ability to go the distance, setting a pace that allowed him to utilize his stamina and energy to the fullest.

Elk medicine teaches that pacing yourself will increase your stamina.  Elk medicine people may not be the first ones to arrive at a goal, but they always arrive without getting burned out.  If you have taken on too much recently, it might be a good idea to look at how you plan to finish what you have started without ending up in the hospital.

Elk have a curious kind of warrior energy because, except at mating time, they honor the company of their own gender.  They can call on the medicine of brotherhood or sisterhood.  In discovering the strength which is gained from loving the gender that is your own, you will feel the comradeship that arises from similarity of experience.  This is a special medicine that allows the friendship of others of your same sex to overcome potential competition or jealousy.

If you have picked Elk medicine, you may be telling yourself to seek the company of your own gender for awhile. You may need a support group to realign yourself with the stamina of the warrior/warrioress energy that you are a part of.  This communication with others of your own sex  allows you to air your feelings in safety and to get feedback from others who have had the same experience.  You may need a new sense of community – communication in unity.

Elk could also be telling you to look at how you are holding up physically to the stresses in your life, and to pace yourself so that you maintain an equilibrium of energy over the distance you plan to cover.  Vitamins or high-energy foods may be one solution, along with some personal quiet time for replenishment.

Persistence brings rewards. Support your health and stamina. Honor your ability to endure.

Source: Sams, Jamie and Carson, David. Medicine Cards (Santa Fe: Bear and Company, 1988).

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