To carry Goose medicine is to carry the energy of the journey of the great quest, to set a high goal and find the right ways to navigate towards it. Goose also comes to teach us how to navigate the greatest turbulence in our lives as well as how to make greater headway when things are going well.
Geese are amazing birds, especially when it comes to migrating. The lead Goose when it tires will fall back within the flock and another Goose will take its place as navigator. This indicates that we too need to pay attention to when we are tired and to allow others to take the lead for a time if we are one is in need of rest and rejuvenation. If any Geese are injured or become ill during their flight and descend to the earth, their mate or another Goose, if the bird is without a mate, will follow and remain with them until the fallen bird either recovers or dies. No Goose is ever left to die on its own and this too is a reminder for us that we are never alone, Spirit and the Universe are always with us. For those that have this bird as a totem, its a strong indication that you too need to be extremely loyal to those things and people in your life that you feel a strong bond or connection with and to be sure that those you allow close to you are also loyal to you.
Goose medicine people sometimes have a tendency to become connected with people that are not as loyal as they are, sometimes this arises from the hope of being able to "change someone" through loving example. Geese people need to be aware that the only person they can change is themselves. Unfortunately for the goose medicine person, sometimes their sense of loyalty to those who may not be good for them leads them into crises after crises as they "stick by their man or woman". While this may sometimes work out and the Goose person is rewarded for their patience and loyalty, more often than not, at the end of the day they need to make some tough decisions as to whether their sticking around is truly beneficial for the other person or whether they are trapped in a co-dependant situation that is benefiting no one. Sometimes the most loving thing one CAN do is tell the other person to shape up or ship out! Since Geese mate for life, this can be an extremely challenging decision for the Goose person. This tendency to want to stick about is not only extended towards one's spouse or life partner, but often friends and co-workers as well. Goose people need to feel that they are part of a team or group, they tend to feel they cannot do things well on their own but really do need other folks to work with them towards common goals. Because of this, its very important that the Goose medicine person seek out those of like mind and be sure that those they unite with in any sense of the word, are willing and able to pull their share of the load.
If need be, Goose medicine people need to be able to give themselves permission to seek out another flock! Its not only Goose medicine people that need to hear this message, any time anyone finds themselves in a situation involving others where great effort has been made and little progress experienced may find that Goose suddenly appears for them when they least expect it.
Not long ago I was sitting in my father's garden when I heard a mighty ruckus in the skies over head. I looked up to see a flock of Geese heading west, the place of death and rebirth on the wheel of life. At that moment I could not help but feel how appropriate their sudden appearance was for I too had been contemplating some major life changes involving my own family that I felt had been thrust upon me. These geese were sending me the message to think of these changes as a "great quest", that it is all part of the journey of life and I knew in that moment that the skills and tools I needed to navigate these changes were at hand. I have always been struck by how Geese fly in a V shaped formation. Each Goose can clearly see where it is going, and I too remembered that I needed to ask for clarity around my own situation, to wake up to the fact that I really didn't have a plan or map of my own to help me navigate and had instead as the saying goes, been flying by the seat of my pants! Time to breathe, take stock of the situation and then decide which direction I needed to move in for myself.
This V shaped formation also reminds me strongly of the Rune Kenaz which represents wisdom and solutions to problems. This shape also suggests an arrowhead, hitting the mark so to speak, breaking through. I was beginning to understand that the route I thought was best to take for all concerned, might not be what was really needed after all and I needed to be open to a new way of approaching the situation. The letter V comes from the Hebrew "vau" meaning nail or being affixed to something, potentially a new path though it might just as well indicate that one is stuck in old patterns that need changing. Just maybe, I needed to set my own flight plan and allow others around me to do the same as they saw fit. Sometimes one just has to let those one loves do what they feel they need to do no matter how it looks to anyone else on the surface. Where family is concerned, having Geese suddenly appear can also indicate that one needs to break free from old family patterns and traditions if those things are leading the flock towards "disaster" such as patterns of alcoholism, abuse on any level including emotional as well as physical, martyrism (yes, this can indeed be a family pattern and every bit as dangerous as any other "negative" pattern!) and so forth. In my own situation, I could see that it was rapidly becoming "every goose for him or herself!" This was confirmed for me when at the precise moment I was thinking about family patterns that I myself felt ready to step away from, yet a second flock of Geese began calling and flew overhead, also headed west. I reckon one can't get much better validation than that!
For yourself, think back to the times that Geese have appeared for you. What was happening in your life? Do you remember what you might have been thinking or pondering? What direction where the Geese flying in? If they were in the air, this may indicate that prayer and seeking higher forms of guidance will be most beneficial for you. Pay close attention to your intuition! If you saw them on land, time to get grounded by doing something physical such as exercise or working with the root chakra, eating foods high in protein and so forth though because Geese are Vegetarians, plant proteins such as from nuts would be a better option than from meats or dairy products. Also doing very practical things such as cleaning clutter from your home, doing research on how to reach goals by connecting with people that have accomplished what you are seeking to accomplish or have grappled with a challenging situation that you yourself are facing is a wise course of action. If you saw them on water, then the energy of your emotional body needs to be worked with. Are you in touch with your emotions or do you tend to squash them down? With Goose, you need not fear your emotional energy as they float upon the water and thus calling upon Goose medicine can help you work with your emotions and yet not feel overwhelmed by them. You can learn to simply allow yourself to float with them rather than trying to suppress or fight them. Geese are at home in the air, on land and on the water. This relates to the number three, the number of the Goddess and the Divine Feminine. Thus for those who carry this medicine or for those who have Goose appear as a temporay totem in time of need, its important to honour the spiritual, the physical and the emotional in order to best navigate through both times of challenge as well as times of good. It also indicates that you need to see where on each of these three levels you can support and nurture those things that have value to you in your life.
For those that carry Goose medicine, its also very important to regularily examine one's values and see if one is trying to fit a square self into a round hole. Have you been imprinted with values, ideas and beliefs that do not serve you well? Even when entering into new relationships, I have known Goose people to start to imprint strongly with the other person's values and ideas. This can be very beneficial if it helps one to stretch one's mind and one has a strong sense of their own true beliefs and values to share in return. Otherwise the Goose medicine person may find they are being pulled off their proper course of flight and doing things that are not in their best interests. It may help when approaching anything new in life to think of one's self as a gosling. Goslings imprint from the very time they hatch out of the egg so the first moving object they see becomes "mum" to them. I knew someone who had a goose as a pet because as a gosling it had seen my aquantence when it first hatched and from that point on, the gosling would follow her around and completely ignored other geese in the area. Fortunately it was love at first sight for both parties involved and the Goose became a most beloved pet. Once while driving down 3rd ave here in LA, I saw a couple who were out walking their Goose. A most unusual sight, even for LA! It was obvious by how the Goose was sticking so close to this couple that as far as it was concerned, they were its "flock" and a happy enough trio they appeared to be. The moral of the story is to make sure that what you are allowing yourself to be imprinted with is really to your benefit. And this goes for anyone who is entering into anything new and suddenly finds that Goose is appearing for them!
For some Goose medicine people, they feel they have two sets of imprints or even flocks happening in their lives; the Spiritual imprint that they came into this world to express and the imprint they were given from their families. Sometimes these two imprints mesh well together and yet for others, it can be a difficult challenge to determine which set of imprints one really needs to follow. The goose medicine person often has a very strong attachment to family and yet the call of the spiritual quest they came here to pursue can be equally demanding. If family members tend to have problems that the Goose medicine person feels they need to try and heal, then they often do find themselves descending from the skies/spiritual realms in order to stay with those that have "fallen". Yet their eyes will still be on the heavens above and its important for these folks to find ways of re-connecting with their spiritual ground as often as possible until they too can allow themselves to take flight again. It is also very important for people in this situation to know that they can find a "spiritual flock" that can support them.
While Goose medicine people do bond strongly with those they love, they also tend to have strong need to travel, if not on the physical, at least in their own imaginations. This ties in with the migratory patterns of Geese as well as their association with stories and myths of far away lands and mystical places. Goose people seem to be happiest in life when they can embark frequently on travel, journeys and quests of some sort. This can serve them and others very well indeed for if there is a solution or idea that needs to be found, the Goose person will most surely travel far and wide to find it, even if its only on the internet! Give the Goose person an idea for a quest and they will happily take up the challenge. They may not always trust their instincts however and this is a shame as their navigational instincts are excellent. Goose people really need to learn to trust where their own inner radar is leading them! This applies to a wide variety of life situations as well for if one needs to know if something or someone is going to help lead them to where they want to go it would be wise to ask the advice of a Goose Medicine person or to call upon Goose. The Goose person may not know how they know what they do, yet they do have this uncanny ability to see possible turbulence or clear skies ahead. The Goose person may find it difficult to put into words what they sense, yet they may have this "feeling" that one direction or another is really the way to go.
For me, the appearance of Goose means two things most commonly; I need to pay more attention to myths and stories as they begin to appear in my life and that something needs changing, a new possibility is beginning to open up in my life and a whole new "map" is needed to navigate it. I need to prepare to embark on a new "quest". There is a wonderful line from the Peanuts cartoon; "Always listen to the control tower". The "Control Tower", the Universe, is always speaking to us through an infinite variety of sources. Stories and myths, signs and omens, intuition, something someone says on the bus as we are heading into work, the program that comes on the telly which is exactly what you needed to see at the moment you turned it on, (I have this happen almost every time I get the urge to watch the Wisdom Channel!) the ways and means are truly astonishing! It is by this listening to the control tower that we access the wisdom of Goose. Goose reminds us that we all have our own "flight plan" that is totally accessable to us when we turn within for guidance. We may not always be able to totally see everything that lies ahead of us in life and yet we can learn to trust the wisdom within us that does know and has every potentiality provided for well in advance if we do learn to trust it.
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