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Turkey Animal Medicine: Give-Away

Turkey is actually thought to be the Give-Away Eagle or South Eagle of many native peoples. The philosophy of give- away was practiced by many tribes. Simply stated, it is the deep and abiding recognition of the sacrifices of both self and others. People in modern-day society, who have many times more than they need, should study noble turkey who sacrifices itself so that we may live. In Turkey’s death we have our life. Honor Turkey.

Spectators unfamiliar with the cultural phenomenon of the pot latch or give-away ceremony are often mystified by it. A tribal member may gladly give away all he or she owns, and do without in order to help the People. In present-day urban life, we are taught to acquire and get ahead. The person with the most toys wins the game. In some cultures, no one can win the game unless the whole of the People’s needs are met. A person who claims more than his or he share is looked upon as selfish or crazy or both. The poor, the aged, and the feeble have honor. The person who gives away the most and carries the burdens of the People is one of the most respected.

Turkey was the medicine of many saints and mystics. Celebrate if you have Turkey medicine. Your virtues are many. You have transcended self. You act and react on the behalf of others. You aspire to help those who need help. This is not out of some sense of self-righteous moralism or religious guilt. Help and sustenance is given by Turkey out of the realization that all life is sacred. It is knowing that the Great Spirit resides within all people. It is an acknowledgement that what you do for others you do for yourself. Turkey medicine rests in true ego, in enlightenment. Doing unto others and feeding the people is the message of all true spiritual systems.

If Turkey is crossing your life’s journey, you are being given a gift. This gift could be spiritual, material, or even intellectual. The gift may be great or small, but it is never insignificant. Congratulations. You may have just won the lottery. Or the gift may be a beautiful sunset, or the smell of a fragrant flower. On the other hand, you may feel the “spirit of giving” growing within you, and wanting you to share with others.

Let go and give away the past. Share your gifts with generosity. Feel the freedom gained.

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

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