WELCOME TO THE BADGER THE KEYS TO OUR HEALTH by Antonella Vicini Why do we need a new magazine on health, well being, complementary medicine, art, poetry, music? I seriously believe, and so do all the contributors to The Badger, that we have in our hands the keys to our well being. Granted, not every individual on Mother Earth owns all the keys, it would be almost impossible, but each one of us has at least one or two keys at the ready and our intent is to show you and share with you keys that are already there and how easy it is to use them in our lives. Let me take this from the beginning: the choice of our name: THE BADGER, the badger is a fierce animal, very much respected and honored both in Northern American Native traditions and in European Celtic ones, from what I have learned I have come to realize what a powerful healer the badger is. A badger will not let go and will continue tenaciously to look for another way to tackle his goal, just like a good healer will not let go his/her search until the best solution is found for the person in need. Badgers have their homes underground, so that they go to the roots of things, the good healer does the same and keeps looking until she/he can find the most profound reason for a dis-ease or a psychological issue.
I am using here the term healer in the very broad sense of somebody who takes care of a another person, be it a MD, a nurse, a psychotherapist, a physiotherapist, a masseuse, a spiritual healer. For me whenever there is a person in need and somebody who takes care of her/him, that is a healer, in fact if you think of your own lives how many times was your Mum's or Dad's presence to make you feel better? Sometimes the need is subtler and more profound than a simple medical intervention, the human touch is needed and it really is the Panacea that cures all diseases. At THE BADGER we believe that the arts in all their beauty, science for the good of everyday life, spirituality, philosophy, food and the healing arts proper are beneficial to restoring that balance, health and sense of worth that each and every human being deserves. I offer you THE BADGER, the persistent healer, all the articles come from experts in different fields, each person has his/her own idea of what balanced health is, they are here to pass on information, give inspiration, receive your comments, suggestions, contributions. Each human beings has at least one of the keys, let's start our quest!
CONTENTS A tour of Epidaurus Antonella Vicini
Music for the soul AJ Michael
Badger Medicine Fredric Lehrman
Into the Matter KeltoiRadio
Readers' Corner AJ
Healing with words Antonella Vicini
Food is our ally Travelling Judy Hayes
Photo â€“ graphy Luis Vasconcellos
A TOUR OF EPIDAURUS with
In the ancient town of Epidauros everything is ready to welcome the new patients, they have travelled from afar, but they are sure that the difficulties and troubles of their journeys will be re-payed by the hoped for health ahead of them. The first night they are accompanied to wash and eat lightly, drinking pure water and eating locally grown grain and vegetables, the following day they immerse themselves in the beauty of the land around, the clear fresh air, the tall trees, heavy with birds and their chirping lives. Later they go to the open air theatre and enjoy the dramas acted on stage as a way of letting go of their own emotions and feelings. On that night they bathe again and purify their bodies. The third day after their arrival is set for the main experience: they will spend the entire day purifying each layer of existence with water, silence, meditation, fasting, possibly quiet prayers and eventually sacrifices
offered to the local god. When night falls, they will enter the temple (covered by the white sheet of the initiates), in its innermost part they will sleep and hope to receive a dream from the gods, if they do they will certainly be healed.
Such was, in a poetic way, the practice at Epidaurus in Greece in the centuries before and after Christ, a place of great beauty and harmony where people were encouraged to cleanse their bodies, because their therapeutic approach was based on the healing power of nature. According to this doctrine, the body contains within itself the power to re-balance and heal itself according to its own nature (= physis). The ancient approach focused on simply easing this natural process. In this way the healer was very kind to the patient; treatment was gentle, and emphasized keeping the patient clean and sterile. The patients sometimes could be treated to health sometimes this was not possible, but changes in the lifestyle always made a difference, such as : diet and exercise (that made a big difference to problematic conditions such as diabetes, or nowadays high blood pressure).
Here above you can see the possible reconstruction of the inner temple, the most sacred place, where people went to dream their disease and the cure as well. Here, in an altered state of consciousness, they had access to their deepest knowledge and could find their remedies. These words are now familiar to us, after over a century of psychological studies, after many discoveries about spiritual healing, shamanism, communal prayers, healing techniques. I am telling you a story from ancient Greece, because I am familiar with it from my studies and personal journeys, but there are as many and even more stories like this from all continents, all different eras; they all have one point in common: human beings do have the keys to their well beings ready in their hands, they only need to remember and re-organize their priorities. I still recall the first time I went to Epidaurus and was in awe of the theatre, even more of the area for the sick people and the path to the temple, a place where body, mind, emotion and spirit could be at one and find perfect balance in order to be whole again.
I was particularly impressed by the perfect union between buildings and the surrounding area, there seemed to be no fracture between what was man made and the natural world, as you can see from the map and the photos the goal was balance and it was achieved perfectly.
The building were spaced in such a way to allow for a comfortable walk immersed in the woods, from the theatre to the temples, to the long covered walks, shaded from the sun or the occasional rain, the pilgrims of health were sheltered and protected by the powerful god Asklepios who, in his wisdom, sent them prophetic dreams and supported the healers of the time in their work.
What is the meaning of healing? Does it mean full recovery? Does it mean a good life is still possible even if disease of body or mind cannot be defeated? Does it mean learning the lessons taught by the issues arisen in our bodies, minds, emotions, spirit?
Some healing practices only look at the body and cut it up to cure it of ailments with remedies that oftentimes pollute and kill the body, but sometimes they also save it. Some paths look at the deepest sources of the issues of the body /mind/ emotion/ spirit unity and work with preventive remedies, so that the body can be stronger in each part when and if attacked also on a physical level. Each person needs to find her/his keys to an aware life and health, there is no judgment, no good or bad, each one is different and reacts differently when confronted with disease or death. In this magazine you will find many different voices, speaking to your bodies, your minds, your emotions, your spirit in ways that will touch you, or at least we hope so. This is my wish for THE BADGER: our quarterly magazine aims at giving our readers and writers new perspectives, new ways to look at our lives, to help us live them better in a more harmonious and conscious way. We care and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!
MUSIC FOR THE SOUL THE BADGER will give space to one or more musicians who will share with us some of their soulful gifts with a piece of music available to you. This month we start with
To me all things in life have some poetic meaning behind them. Music gives me a way to express the poetry I see in the world and within myself, so that I can share it with others. I am blessed to be able to pick up a pen and sit at an instrument to create and give what hides in my heart. Music allows me the outlet to heal, breathe and be inspired. I only hope my music does the same for those who come into contact with it.
AJ Michael Here's my piece! 'The River & The Prisoner' from my record released last year. https://ajmichael.bandcamp.com/track/the-river-the-prisoner
(Quite appropriately his album is entitled THE MENDING SESSIONS. AV)
Badger Medicine By
Fredric Lehrman The first time I met a badger was a several years ago in a small suburban neighborhood north of London. I was walking from the bus stop in the town, rolling my luggage behind me, and it was getting dark enough that I could just make out the street name on the small sign at the critical turning point to find the driveway leading to where I would be staying. It was Autumn, and thus seems an appropriate starting place for my first commentary in this magazine. As I walked down the long lane–– a few homes on the left, thick underbrush and random trees on the right–– the darkness took on a magical quality, as if entering a faerie forest. I knew that the house I was trying to find was at the end of the road, but I saw no lights ahead, and now there were no more houses, only bushes on the left side of the road as well. No traffic to be heard behind me, and mysterious twilight ahead of me. An abrupt rustling in the forest to my right, quite close. Thinking it might be something as big as a deer, I stopped, not from fear, knowing that bears and boars had long ago disappeared from the south of England, but from curiosity, and in order not to scare whatever was shadowing me on this lonely walk. A moment later, a strange and unfamiliar creature emerged a few feet ahead of me, and without looking back, proceeded up the path. I followed the low-to-the-ground, broad-backed, too massive for a dachshund, thickly furred shape as it continued resolutely ahead of me. It was clear that it was not afraid of me, as its pace was unhurried. Even though the wheels of my suitcase made a sound that did not belong in a forest, there was a sense of companionship coming from my unidentified guide. And for an instant, from a long unvisited shelf in my subconscious library, a thought came of the phrase “Wind in the Willows.”
About a minute later the road turned, and there was the house, pleasantly lit inside. In that outflow of brightness I saw my escort more clearly, and he turned his head just long enough for me to catch the white and black stripe pattern adorning his profile. â€œA badger!â€? I thought with a childlike thrill of amazement. He half-paused for just a moment, and then turned to his right and re-entered the wood.
Next time: What can we learn from Badger?
INTO THE MATTER Every issue we intend to tell you some interesting stories, from many different walks of life, in order to expand our idea of finding keys to health and well being in the most remote places, in each and every experience of life. We will choose people who have actively pursued their dreams, investing time, money, energy and, above all, passion into the biggest enterprise of their lives.
Hagal and the adventure of Keltoi Radio Hagal is a personal friend of mine, I have known him for a very long time and all along I have respected his commitment and stamina in following his passion, with loyalty and perseverance. Some years ago he called me with a new project, the most interesting and absorbing of all: a web radio like no other before. Keltoi Radio took its name from the words used by the Greeks to indicate the ancient Celtic populations that lived in so many parts of Northern Europe. Such name described the fame and level of awareness that ancient European nations had of the Celtic world. Besides, the name also hinted at the openness, accompanied by a welcoming attitude, that the radio was going to display over the three years of live daily programs. Hagal was the center and the pivot of the entire operation, from his small studio perched high on the mountains, surrounded by tall trees, he could listen to the birds and the leaves singing around him, while he was launching the different programs. At the beginning there were going to be mainly programs on Celtic lore, spirituality, traditions, but soon many more subjects were introduced: such as sustainable building and living, spiritual paths from other continents, traditions from the deep south of the Mediterranean, beyond the Celtic areas, astronomy and astrology, science, archaeology, economics, healing
disciplines, new approaches to medicine and care of the unity body/mind/soul. Broadcasting live 5 days a week is a huge commitment, since Hagal did most of the work alone, and it was always his smiling face and welcoming attitude that opened and closed the programs.
Thank you Hagal for the years spent making our lives brighter with the fire of Keltoi, I hope that THE BADGER will become a place for many people to meet and share their voices, just like Keltoi has been for us. Keltoi radio at the moment is not bradcasting live programs, but its great music can still be listened to at this link: http://www.keltoiradio.org/index.php?lang=eng This is the Keltoiradio Youtube channel where you can find most of the programs, both in Italian and in English. https://www.youtube.com/user/keltoiradio and this is the video on Keltoi itself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3u0eNgifIY
I hope you have enjoyed this first descent into the matter, we will continue to look for people like Hagal who have dreamt big and followed the scent of their visions. AV
POETRY The trees are answering your prayer In cooing cuckoo-song, Bidding Shakuntala farewell, Their sister for so long. Invisible beings. May lily-dotted lakes delight your eye; May shade-trees bid the heat of noonday cease; May soft winds blow the lotus-pollen nigh; May all your path be pleasantness and peace. by Kālidāsa ककाललिदकास "servant of Kali" (from Abhijñānaśākuntalam "Of Shakuntala recognized by a token")
This page will give some hints of poetry, inviting you to find out more about the authors, their works, the unique beauty each one of them has given to the world. There will be no comments from us, we will be happy to receive your comments and suggestions.
READERS' CORNER This page is dedicated to you readers, it will be filled with your poems, writings, inspirations, whatever you will want to contribute to THE BADGER. We look forward to this space. For this issue AJ Michael has sent one of his poems, enjoy!
TAKE THE WHEEL there is a language in my blood written in cursive script stained onto scroll within a tree the shadows and shades cover the shambles of past existence as air lends assistance in feeding the roots joy replenished in revelatory notions backtracked and shot towards; latter and former creation of emotion, a sense of devotion youâ€™ve learned cannot come without request or commitment take back your wheel and spin it proud out loud, exclaim you wish to be loved wish to be touched profoundly by one who could, but would never run away from you. take back your wheel and spin it proud out loud, exclaim you wish to be loved wish to be touched profusely by one
who could, and will become undone with you. take back your wheel and spin it proud out loud, exclaim the hopes of your soul empty out the hole and look above escape the cove and come undone heart, be wise and mind take heed there is no room for travesty no poetry will save your indiscretion take the wheel and learn the lesson for you will grow if you are willing to listen if â€˜the mind has already forgotten what the body still missesâ€™ remember the muscle memory from times before remember what you once held inside your soul AJ Michael 2014
HEALING WITH WORDS Forlorn on a beach, she cries her lost love. Was it ever hers? Seduced by the deep dark eyes, by the courage beneath the fear, she had led him down corridors and passageways to the core of her life, to the centre of the mighty island, there he had slained the beast of impossible ascent thus freeing his companions. He had accepted her unwillingly, as another companion, never as his love. Now she cries and despairs, she cannot see the future of great honor, her immortal destiny with the mysterious elusive foreign god. She only lives in the past of her betrayal, the defeat of her lineage, her useless submission and the empty island around her. Far in the distance she can hear the voices of her lost sisters. Each one of them sits on a rock, their cryings make beautiful songs for the travelling sailors. The whole sea is full of their wailing, their chants of eternal loss. Only this has remained of the ancient power of women, naked voices in the empty immensity of the sea. Perhaps one day somebody will hear them, somebody will free one of them from their frozen stance, allowing a new dance to happen.
Ariadne's song is so powerful that the air around her reverberates with it, the sea is moved to a mighty storm. The traitor will lose what he cares for the most, her family will be avenged, his life will be one loss after another. But her heart is still pierced by the arrows of a destructive love that won't go away. Very far away her song is heard. In the light as lightening eyes a sparkle is lit. The handsome god has found his peer, he can recognize and honor the goddess of old. His power is such, his sight so acute, his knowledge so old that his origin is as profound as her roots. He can embrace her back to life, to immortality where she belongs. In his sacred precincts, in his rites, there she will be honored and remembered forever. Her light will shine, the goddess will not be forgotten until the time comes for her to be back.
From Talking with Gods, Sages, Fairies... a Novel by Antonella Vicini, available on AMAZON Copyright Antonella Vicini 2013
Healing can happen in many ways, since the ultimate goal is being whole, each path is honorable and important. Some people write, some compose or act, some paint and sculpt, each way is perfect for that person. In this part of the magazine we will give space to the words that can heal others and the authors themselves.
The myth of Ariadne abandoned at Naxos has been very popular in poetry and in all the arts, here below you can find a link to the recording of the opera Ariadne auf Naxos Richard Strauss. His take is very different from the tone expressed by the verses above, but what matters is the involvement felt by such a story. You may want to delve deep into it too. Antonella Vicini https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxfeyVa28No
FOOD IS OUR ALLY Before going to the pharmacy let's look at our fridge and pantry, perhaps, the experts among us can go to our gardens and pick the right herbs. The word farmakon in ancient Greek meant both poison and remedy. It has become clear over time that too many medicines can actually poison our bodies and be more dangerous to our health in the long run. What can we do then? We can start from our daily attitude to food, that alone will tell us a lot about how we feel and behave towards the most important person on the planet: ourselves! If we neglect this important aspect, our health will decline, without us really knowing why, just a feeling of not being centered and focused, maybe what we are eating is toxic, or what we are not eating is depriving us of essential nutrients. If we eat too little or too much, there may be issues too, but this is not my field, this is just an introduction to different experts who will share their experience on how food can help in the healing process, producing balance and a diffused sense of well being, presence, centredness and efficiency. For this issue I just want to tell you a personal recent story: For some weeks I was sick with a sort of flue mixed with food poisoning, I lost many kilos, had terrible headaches and my blood pressure was like a roller coaster. I have to say that I rarely use allopathic remedies, so that I was really concerned about the way to go. Then one day, in spite of my weakness, I had a brain wave and called one of my oldest friend a MD who is versed both in Western and Eastern medicine, spiced with a lot of good common sense, she told me to change my diet entirely, to drink a relaxing herbal tea and that was that. I was at first very perplexed, but I decided to try, since nothing else seemed to work. After a week, my blood pressure was low again, with smaller variations, the headaches had disappeared, I was slowly on the way up towards full recovery. Remember FOOD IS OUR ALLY.
Reflections on Travel by Judith A. Hayes The season of Autumn is an ideal time for travel. The heat and crowds of summer have dissipated. The crispness of the air invigorates, which is precisely what travel is designed to do. Surmising that there are a variety of reasons for travel and many benefits to be derived from it, I decided to undertake a survey of individuals across the centuries to discern their views on travel. How I might I accomplish this? Such an idea would have been impossible to realize a decade ago, but with the proliferation of websites on any subject, suddenly I could access the thoughts of distinguished individuals both ancient and contemporary by reading compilations of travel quotes. For this reflection, I selected those observations that speak to me directly and serve my purpose. Though the quotes are not my own, I find them quite valuable in structuring my own thoughts on the subject. I will consider travel from the perspective of the benefits that it confers. Whenever possible, I would like to connect the expressed views on travel to the travels of an ancient hero whose legendary journey was so eloquently depicted by the Roman writer, Virgil. Of course, I am speaking of the Trojan hero, Aeneas, whose wanderings define for me the very notion of travel. * Although the journey of Aeneas was ordained by the Fates and not willingly chosen by the traveler himself, many of the observations made by my sources about travel are relevant to Aeneasâ€™ journey.
The first reflection about travel comes from another Roman born a little more than a decade after Virgil's death, the Roman philosopher, Seneca (1st CE), who observed, â€œ Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.â€? How does this happen? Travel is a series of departures from the familiar and a series of steps beyond the boundaries of the comfortable. Because the familiar and routine are absent, creativity is demanded in travel. It is necessary to anticipate, assess, adapt, and adjust to constantly changing circumstances. This necessity both requires and develops imagination and vigor of the mind, as Seneca describes it. For Aeneas the trials of his journey were many and varied. For example, Aeneas was forced to navigate the treacherous waters between Scylla and Charybdis and to avoid the rapacious hunger of the Cyclops, among other challenges. Like earlier sailors who had faced the same situations, Aeneas found it necessary to summon not only his courage but also his vigor of mind to survive these trials. Travel is not for the faint of heart. Those who have traveled in a region foreign to them know full well the mental alertness and agility required to face the unexpected. These qualities of mind and spirit are enhanced by the experience of travel, not just for the adventurer but also for those in need of healing. Someone who is healing, either physically or emotionally, can definitely profit from the renewed vigor of spirit engendered by travel. A friend of mine who was dealing with cancer was encouraged by her physician not to postpone a trip to Spain with her family, but rather to continue with her plans and find healing in the process before beginning her next phase of treatment. She returned refreshed and with renewed vigor of spirit in preparing to face the subsequent treatments, which were successful. For her, the healing and invigorating aspects of travel cannot be downplayed.
“A wise man travels to discover himself” is another adage about travel, penned by James Russell Lowell, an American writer. In fact, one of the most frequent benefits of travel is enhanced self-awareness in my experience. Even travel not originally designed for self-discovery can have this effect. The lengthy voyage of Aeneas from the ruins of Troy to Hesperia, the land in the West, certainly illustrates this point. A number of prophetic experiences, most notably his encounter with the ghost of Hector during the final battle for Troy, kindle in him a determination to leave Troy and establish a new home for his people. The last thing from his mind is the idea that the journey might lead him to see more deeply into himself. Nevertheless, that is precisely what happens. Time and time again, he is forced to be introspective and he discovered resources that he didn’t know he had. In Book V of the Aeneid, while the Trojans are engaged in funeral games commemorating the first anniversary of the death of Aeneas’ father, the weary and disillusioned women are incited by Iris to torch the ships beached on the shore. The conflagration is devastating to Aeneas. As a result, with his morale at a low point, Aeneas prays to Jupiter to either save his fleet or to strike him down. He even succumbs to thoughts of ending it all. Following the apparition of his late father in a dream, Aeneas discovers a renewed strength and resolve. He realizes that he will be able to persevere in the face of great obstacles and profound disillusionment. In many ways the apparition of his father is a metaphor for the very significant discovery he has made about himself. In this same episode of the Aeneid, Aeneas derives yet another important benefit from travel. This dimension of travel was very well articulated by the American writer, Henry Miller, who wrote: “One’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things.” In the course of his journey Aeneas begins to see himself no longer as a Homeric hero leading his men into battle but rather as a true leader who has responsibility for the well being of all his people. Nowhere is this change more apparent than in the aforementioned episode in Book V. Deeply troubled by the rebellion of the women and the destruction of the
ships, he spends a restless night in troubled sleep until his fatherâ€™s spirit appears to him and gives him direction. Once again this vision may be a metaphor for his conscience, which is maturing and â€œseeing things in a new way.â€? Understanding that the journey has wearied some of the Trojan women and exhausted some of the elders accompanying him, he makes arrangements for them to stay in Sicily with Acestes, the friend who has welcomed the Trojans and treated them with such kindness. In considering the welfare of his entire band first of all and by making such a compassionate decision, Aeneas demonstrates that, in terms of personal growth, he has travelled a great distance. I have hoped to show through my choice of examples three unmistakably positive outcomes of travel. However, I have only scratched the surface in this regard and know that there are other perspectives to be considered on this interesting topic. I look forward to pursuing them in future issues of THE BADGER magazine.
*I have chosen the well known, but less quoted Aeneas because of his modernity and his practical approach to reality, in spite of the wondrous events around him.
Luis Vasconcelos Introduction by Antonella Vicini With a swirling motion the old man raised his hand from his work and stopped in admiration: it was a work of art, each letter as clear as the next, the message of the inscription would be seen from afar by many thousands of people, his job was done......... This is how writing really was, the word from which so many have come from derives from the Greek stem GRAPH which meant to scalpel the rock with a chisel, it represented the difficulty of extracting each letter from the stone, as well as the act of writing a letter or a bill. Perhaps for human beings it was just as hard to excavate letters connected to sounds that finally created what we know as Alphabet. Using it human beings have made mark on the world around in order to leave their messages.
Photos = light graph= write: writing with light, in the past it was litterally so, since cameras could only operate when enough light passed through them, now we can take photos at anytime in any place, but do we still write with light?
Luis Vasconcelos is a well known Portuguese photographer who honors us with his latest work and his vision of photography, since he says that: These photos are all about my way of seeing the world, and freezing what I feel with my eyes, on a "photo-graphy" . Since photos don't need many words. When I asked him to share his vision, Luis sent me some more photos and these notes: The "eternity" of the moment. This is the essence of photography. The decisive instant when something happens in your mind, and in your heart, that determines the act of taking the photo-graphy. A moment in time, reflected in a 2 dimensional image. A moment of Life, an instant of your personal Universe, that you decide to share in an act of Love. Luis Vasconcelos
Scattered throughout the magazine you can admire Luis's latest angle on life: the very small. AV All the photos are Copyright of Luis Vasconcelos, the photos with raindrops have already appeared in SEASONS Magazine September 2014.
THANK YOU Thank you for reading our magazine, thank you to the many people we spoke with, for the many suggestions, for the courage to open up and share Above all I want to thank personally the people who have made this first number possible, both those who wrote an article and those who gave their support without appearing here. We will have our new issue in January 2015, with more articles and more voices looking for the keys. If you want to keep in touch with THE BADGER, please send your questions, comments and creative contributions to
firstname.lastname@example.org we also have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/THEBADGERQuarterlyMagazine?ref=hl We look forward to the future and are always curious, are you ?
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Or AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE IN AN ORDINARY WAY This is a tale of many tales, a tapestry of myths seen by contemporary eyes. Learning thus becomes the most precious adventure of the soul. Through the original metaphors of the circle and the square nations the ancient tales became new and alive in the daily lives of the characters. This is a path of initiation to life and its mysteries, its revelations and wonders. TALKING WITH GODS, SAGES, FAIRIES..... a novel by Antonella Vicini Available on AMAZON
Ovvero UNA VITA FUORI DAL NORMALE IN UNA MANIERA NORMALE Le storie mitiche del mondo occidentale e orientale si intrecciano con le vite quotidiane dei protagonisti, illuminandole con il fascino delle riscoperta. Attraverso le originali metafore del cerchio e del quadrato vengono riscoperti i principi del vivere sociale e del corretto posto che ogni essere vivente ha nel creato. Questo Ă¨ un percorso iniziatico alla vita e alle sue meraviglie, adatto a tutte le persone curiose di conoscere meglio il mondo che li circonda dai 14 anni insu!
Parlare con Dei, Saggi, Fate..... raccontato da Antonella Vicini DISPONIBILE su AMAZON
SEE YOU IN JANUARY 2015
THE BADGER, the badger is a fierce animal, very much respected and honored both in Northern American Native traditions and in European Celti...
Published on Nov 5, 2014
THE BADGER, the badger is a fierce animal, very much respected and honored both in Northern American Native traditions and in European Celti...