Everyone wants to know how I ended up with a name like “Thea Summer Deer.” Both Thea, and Summer Deer, are given names. For the purpose of this story I will share why the name Summer Deer holds special meaning. It was given to me by a young medicine woman, who is the daughter of a Native American medicine man and “Summer” refers to the season in which I was born. She also recognized the spirit of the Deer that walks with me. It is both an honor and a privilege to carry the gift of this medicine. You can read more about my story in the upcoming memoir, Woman Being Guided.
Deer is an important medicine animal to many cultures and tribes around the world. To the Huichol, deer is a symbol of intuition and the heart’s connection to kupuri, or life force energy that is transmitted through the ceremonial deer hide drum. The deer is a special ally of the Huichol medicine person who uses kupuri to bring Earth-Spirit balance. Deer Medicine People have long understood the right relationship to the Elements.
Deer is also an important medicine to the Maya and Yaqui. My connection to the Yaqui is through having lived and worked in Tucson, AZ with the Yaqui (Pascua) tribe as Executive Director of Resources for World Health. I loved watching the Deer Dances every Spring that traditionally began on the eve of May 1st, which also happens to be Green Man Day and the Festival of Beltane, celebrated in Europe as planting day. My husband, Chuck, affectionately known as The GreenMan was born on May 1st and why we call our acoustic singer-songwriter duo Thea & The GreenMan.
Another deep and meaningful Native American connection to the deer tribe is through my mother who was born in Cheyenne, WY. Her grandmother, my great grandmother, Minnie Culver came West in a covered wagon with her family when she was a young girl settling in Cheyenne where the Deer Nation is considered a give away nation for the two-leggeds. Deer Medicine People are considered to be “spiritual doctors” by the Cheyenne; for the Deer Clan is a clan of medicine peoples.
A Cheyenne writer whose work has inspired me is the late, Frank Waters. I was privileged to meet Frank before his passing and to have spent time in the Waters’ home in Taos, NM with his wife Barbara. Frank Waters, who has the designated title of Grandfather of Southwestern Literature, authored many books including, Book of the Hopi, and The Man Who Killed the Deer. My essay, “Frank Waters, The Man”, was published in the book, Rekindling the Inner Light.
In Native America when approaching a medicine person to ask for guidance or healing, a gifting of some kind is made with humility. If the medicine person accepts the gift then it is understood that they have agreed to work with you. An important first step in healing is to accept personal responsibility (ability to respond) for your healing.
It is up to you to carefully prepare to choose who you will ask for help. This can be facilitated through prayer and a cleansing of body and mind in order to receive guidance and clarity. It is understood that when the guidance comes, it must be undertaken. To do otherwise would dishonor self and Great Spirit. It is one thing to ask for guidance, another to receive that guidance, and yet another to carry and put it into action.
In the world today we have forgotten how to ask for help, let alone how to prepare ourselves to ask for help, or how to receive it once it is given. Instead, we feel a sense of entitlement through the exchange of money, and give our power away as we look outside of ourselves for someone else to give us the answers rather than following our own inner navigation system. It is my belief that we are healers in relationship with others who are also their own healer. I hope you will find the information on these pages useful and empowering on your journey.
If you would like to request help, support or guidance please visit Consultation.