Retreat & Surrender

Prairie Dog medicine teaches that strength and inspiration can be found by retreating into the stillness that quiets the mind. The strength of this medicine is also knowing when and how to replenish your life force. Prairie Dog medicine people tend to seek self-empowerment to silence and inactivity where they can access dreams and visions without the intrusions of worldly chaos. When they reenter the world, they are profound and powerful anchors of calm resolve amid life’s storms.


The medicine of Prairie Dog is applicable to all fo the Marmot Tribe, which includes the Ground Squirrel clan, the Gopher clan, the Woodchuck clan, and the Ground Hog clan. Just as Native American warriors knew when to charge forward and when to become invisible, the Marmot tribe knows how and when to retreat. The Prairie Dog runs for the tunnels when a predator is on its trail; in the winter. It conserves energy by hibernating during the scarce time of the cold moons.
If Prairie Dog has surfaced in your cards today, it may be a warning that your body’s fuel gauge is running low. You might need a day of silence to retreat from regular activities before you become too exhausted to carry on. Have you put your basic needs at the bottom “To Do” list? Burning the candle at both ends may weaken the punch you can normally pack when tackling the tasks at hand. Take a much-needed break before you crash and burn. Prairie Dog teaches you that, in order to access gifts of inspiration and renewal, you must be at peace with yourself and rested enough to recognize the blessings being offered.


If you have been battling a situation without gaining ground, Prairie Dog reminds you that pushing too hard can create a resistance that does not allow for interaction. Take a break! Give it a rest! After a comfortable and relaxed time, you can return with a fresh perspective. In the meantime, the dynamics of the situation may have changed because your retreat allows the present challenge to work itself out. There is ample strength available if you quit pushing and go with the flow. Prairie Dog says its tunnels run both ways, now it is time to choose the backdoor exit for some rest and relaxation.


Oops! The worry bug may have bitten Prairie Dog, and it has appeared in the contrary. Has the workaholic syndrome gotten the best of your inner knowing and sensible outlook on life? Have you been tunneling in a nonproductive direction, because you forgot to come up for air, look around, and get your bearings? Have you become addicted to the adrenaline created by scurrying to catch up? If you get sick from the chaos of over activity, you may have an unwelcome and enforced rest period at hand. Constant stress can steal your inspiration and ability to think on your feet.


Another contrary message of Prairie Dog believes that compromise or retreat is a sign of weakness. Goodbye lie! You can get stuck in this one-way tunnel if you let your head get too big. If you cannot be still, be comfortable alone, and/or if you cannot delegate responsibility, you need a reality check. Do not be afraid to take a break, to refill your resources, and to adopt a healthy, more relaxed viewpoint. Contrary Prairie Dog also teaches that pushing too hard can have dire consequences. The cemeteries are filled with people who once believed that they were indispensable.


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