Grouse once flocked in abundance throughout North America, but now, even on the plains, where these birds were so plentiful, there is an absence of them. Many Plains Indian tribes dance the Grouse Dance to honor these birds. The movement of the dance follows a spiral, which is the ancient symbol of birth and rebirth, the ribbed tunnel of eternal return.
The Sacred Spiral is also one of the oldest known symbols for personal power. When you think of Grouse medicine, visualize a whirlpool or even a tornado, for the Sacred Spiral will take you to the Center. The spiral is a metaphor for personal vision and enlightenment. Many initiates on Vision Quests paint spirals on their bodies and believe that the Great Mystery will favor them with visions of power and purpose because of this symbol.
The whirling dervishes of certain Sufi orders are masters of the spiral dance and can transcend to higher states of awareness through the repetition of this sacred movement. It is said that dervishes can travel to the center of the spiral and return with any magical power they choose. In the dervish state, on enters the Great Silence and has direct communication with the Creator. By spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise, the dervish draws or repulses specific energies. Sufi dancing is a system, which connects one with the Divine Source through ritual treatment of motion.
If you have Grouse Medicine, undertake a meditation on the various qualities of movement within your world. Begin by visualizing the sun as one member of a huge group of stars swirling in the massive pinwheel shape of the Milky Way. Then draw yourself out of this pinwheel of light and into the spiraling of your own DNA’s double helix, an arrangement similar to a rope ladder coiled like a corkscrew.
Analyze the way you move through your world. How do you picture yourself in the act of locomotion? What kind of reaction do you create with the energy you send into the universe? What words would you use to describe the way you move through both the material and spiritual worlds? In the final analysis, is your movement compatible with your greatest desires and goals?
Many spiritual disciplines ask that you cease all external movement in order to recognize the inner life. Grouse medicine, however, is an invitation to the dance. Grouse celebrates the Divine Source through its sacred spiral dance, and offers this dance to you as a gift. You can spend a lifetime learning Grouse’s lesson on how to harmonize your dance with Mother Earth’s cycles, and how to offer the dance as a creation of selfless beauty.
Drawing the Grouse medicine card in the reverse position signals a dissipation of energy and lack of control and discipline. It is symbolic of a lost connection to the Source, and signifies a lack of clear intent behind an outpouring of energy. You may feel like you are in a tailspin or going down the drain. Confront confusion either in yourself or in others who may be in the picture. Examine the way your energy may be causing friction, sparks, or a convolution of a situation that needs clarification. Work towards harnessing your energy and directing it towards clearly defined goals. Such is the nature of the Sacred Grouse Dance.
In using this sacred dance as a tool to right contrary Grouse, you may also find that it is a tool to center or ground you. In grounding, you are once again connecting to Mother Earth and balancing out the spinning in your head. If you have become so involved with an idea or problem that you are no longer seeing it clearly, you may feel dizzy or lacking in concentration. This is a sign that you have entered the thought universe and are not connected to physical reality. You need grounding if this occurs. Dancing or walking will put you back in tough with Earth and your body. Grouse may then teach you how to notice the energy flows that put you in harmony and balance with body, mind, and spirit.
Excerpt from “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams & David Carson