Give Away

Turkey is actually thought to be the Give-Away Eagle or South Eagle of many native peoples. The philosophy of give- away was practiced by many tribes. Simply stated, it is the deep and abiding recognition of the sacrifices of both self and others. People in modern-day society, who have many times more than they need, should study noble turkey that sacrifices itself so that we may live. In Turkey’s death we have our life. Honor Turkey.


Spectators unfamiliar with the cultural phenomenon of the potlatch or give-away ceremony are often mystified by it. A tribal member may gladly give away all he or she owns, and do without in order to help the People. In present-day urban life, we are taught to acquire and get ahead. The person with the most toys wins the game. In some cultures, no one can win the game unless the whole of the People’s needs are met. A person who claims more than his or he share is looked upon as selfish or crazy or both. The poor, the aged, and the feeble have honor. The person who gives away the most and carries the burdens of the People is one of the most respected.


Turkey was the medicine of many saints and mystics. Celebrate if you have Turkey medicine. Your virtues are many. You have transcended self. You act and react on the behalf of others. You aspire to help those who need help. This is not out of some sense of self-righteous moralism or religious guilt. Help and sustenance is given by Turkey out of the realization that all life is sacred. It knows that the Great Spirit resides within all people. It is acknowledgements that what you do for others you do for yourself. Turkey medicine rests in true ego, in enlightenment. Doing unto others and feeding the people is the message of all true spiritual systems. Depending of how Turkey is in your cards, you are being given a gift. This gift could be spiritual, material, or even intellectual. The gift may be great or small, but it is never insignificant. Congratulations. You may have just won the lottery. Or the gift may be a beautiful sunset, or the smell of a fragrant flower. On the other hand, you may feel the “spirit of giving” growing within you, and wanting you to share with others.


There are several aspects to pulling the gobbler card in the reversed position. Are you gobbling up anything and everything out of a fear of lack? Are you holding on too tight and refusing to let go of a dime for charity? It could be that the Scrooge in you has grown accustomed to the miserly aspect of living. If not, you might look at the possibility that you are fearful of spending money at this time. Another aspect of “contrary gobbling” is the idea that the world “owes” you something and that you do not need to recycle the energy. “The buck stops here” may only mean that it stops in your bank account. On all levels of this contrary message, the keynote is that generosity of spirit is being neglected. This can be towards self or towards others. Remember, never give to receive. That is manipulation. Giving is without regret and with a joyful heart, or the “give-away” has most its true meaning.


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