My Story

Everyone wants to know how I ended up with a name like “Thea Summer Deer.” Both Thea, and Summer Deer, are given names. Summer Deer was given to me by a young medicine woman, the daughter of a Native American medicine man. “Summer” refers to the season I was born in, and “Deer” is one of my spirit helpers.

Deer is a medicine animal important to many cultures and tribes. To the Huichol, deer is symbolic of intuition and the heart’s connection to kupuri, the life force energy 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.

Tucson, AZ
circa 1990

Deer also has value to the Maya and Yaqui as a medicine animal. I was fortunate to work with the Yaqui (Pascua) tribe when I lived in Tucson, AZ, as Executive Director of Resources for World Health. I enjoyed watching the Deer Dances every spring. They 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. It is why we call our acoustic singer-songwriter duo  Thea & The GreenMan.

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On my mother’s side from left to right: great grandmother, grandmother, mother, sister. circa 1940

Another deep and meaningful Native American connection to the deer tribe is through my mother. She was born in Cheyenne, WY, and her grandmother, my great-grandmother Minnie Culver, came West in a covered wagon with her family when she was a young girl. They settled in Cheyenne, where the Deer Nation is considered a giveaway nation for the two-leggeds. The Cheyenne hold Deer Medicine People to be “spiritual doctors.” The Deer Clan is a clan of medicine people.

FW home
Frank Waters Foundation Home

Frank Waters, the late Cheyenne writer, has greatly inspired me through his work. I was privileged to meet Frank before his passing and 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, which included 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.

Requesting a Consultation

In Native America, when approaching a medicine person to ask for guidance or healing, a gift of some kind is offered with humility. If the medicine person accepts the gift, then it is understood that they have agreed to work with you.

The first step in healing is personal responsibility (ability to respond). It is up to you to carefully prepare to choose who you will ask for help. That can be facilitated through prayer and a cleansing of body and mind to receive guidance and clarity. One must undertake the direction when it comes. 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.

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In our world today we have forgotten how to ask for help. Let alone how to prepare ourselves to ask or how to receive it once given. Instead, we feel a sense of entitlement through the exchange of money. We give our power away as we look outside of ourselves for someone else to give us the answers rather than following our inner navigation system. I believe 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 schedule a consultation, or request help, support or guidance please email me at: Consultation.