Elk wandered through the forest looking for a partner. The mating season was in full swing, and the bucks that usually traveled with the other males had dispersed to find mates for the season. As Elk bellowed his mating call through the forest, his bugling alerted Mountain Lion that a feast could be in the making.


Mountain Lion circled Elk, getting closer to his prey moment by moment. Elk sensed the impending danger when the forest grew suddenly silent. He broke for the high country when he spotted his pursuer, but Mountain Lion was far behind. As Elk made a running leap for the timberline, Mountain Lion gained on him, but Elk continued to run onward, displaying tremendous stamina. Finally Mountain Lion gave up, having spent his energy in spurts as he tried to jump over boulders to reach Elk. Elk paced himself, making headway as he climbed skyward toward the high country. Elk had no other defense except his ability to go the distance, setting a pace that allowed him to utilize his stamina and energy to the fullest.


Elk medicine teaches that pacing yourself will increase your stamina. Elk medicine people will not be the first ones to arrive at a goal, but they always arrive without getting burned out. If you have taken on too much recently, it might be a good idea to look at how you plan to finish what you have started without ending up in the hospital.


Elk have a curious kind of warrior energy because, except at mating time, they honor the company of their own gender. They can call on the medicine of brotherhood or sisterhood. In discovering the strength which is gained from loving the gender that is your own, you will feel the comradeship that arises from similarity of experience.


If you have picked Elk medicine, you may be telling yourself to seek the company of your own gender for awhile. You may need a support group to realign yourself with the stamina of the warrior/warrioress energy that you are a part of. This communication with others of your own sex allows you to air your feelings in safety, and get feedback from others who have had the same experience.


Elk could also be telling you to look at how you are holding up physically to the stresses in your life, and to pace yourself so you maintain an equilibrium of energy of time. Vitamins or high-energy foods may be one solution, along with some personal quiet time for replenishment.


If Elk has appeared in the reverse position, you may be stretching the rubber band to the breaking point. Be care of undue stress levels, or you might just create an illness to force you to take a break. On another level, you may not be honoring your desire for companionship with the opposite sex, and you may have forgotten the excitement of mating season. This is not necessary sexual companionship; it is merely suggesting that the exchange of opposite energies could be rewarding. If you are in a relationship, it may be you need to stir up some excitement together.


In all cases, Elk is telling you to look at how you choose to create your present pathway, and how you intend to perpetuate it to reach your goal. Your best weapon is the same as Elk’s: to stop when you need to, to persist when you need to, and to allow room for change and exchange of energies.


Excerpt from “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams & David Carson