Sunday, May 2, 2010

Following Reindeer Goddess: an Inner Journey

(This is an image of a Scythian reindeer from 5th century B.C.E.)
On March 25, 2010, I wrote a blog post about my experience with "reindeer woman".
To read that story click here.
Since posting that story, I've had a few synchronicities involving the reindeer motif. One happened when I was at a nearby Borders store in the anthropology section (which is very small). I picked up a book up at random. The title was Inside the Neolithic Mind by Davis Lewis-Williams & David Pearce. I opened to a page at random and I was very suprised to see the heading on the page that the book opened to (pg 161): Inside the Cave of the Reindeer Woman! It is a Samoyed story of the initiatory journey of a shaman. The axis mundi/tree of life was inside this cave, along with many numinous beings. In his relationship with the imaginal realm (inner world), the shaman was able to develop powers (siddhis) that enabled him to serve his community. After the initiation, he returns to the cave of the reindeer women in times of need, to access the imaginal realm an find ways to restore balance to his people.

Also through synchronicity, I discovered another connection to the reindeer goddess and the earthquakes that I wrote about in my former posting. I found the Lapp people's story about the creation of Earth in the writing of Linda Scheriese Leonard. (Creation's Heartbeat: Following the Reindeer Spirit). In this story from Lapland, the creator uses the body of his favorite creature, the reindeer doe, to create the world. He hid her still-beating heart in the centermost depths of the Earth. Here I will quote from Ms. Leonard's book:

"The vaja's (reindeer doe) heart would be the heartbeat for the earth, so that when peace and love reigned the reindeer doe's heart would beat with joy. But if hatred and greed disrupted the earth's harmony, her heart would convulse in pain and tremors would shake the earth from top to bottom." [page 30]

It seems that the reindeer goddess speaks to some of our current worldly issues. Besides the mythic connection with earthquakes, the reindeer's natural habitat is being destroyed through weather changes and the oil industry.

A very dear and close friend brought me a special gift last week, when I was too weak to leave my home: it was a handmade bracelet of reindeer antler, made by the Saami people. It has Saami runes on it. Since I've had such a powerful set of encounters with the reindeer goddess, I have decided to follow her on an inner journey and see where she may lead me. I am too physically incapacitated to travel in the outer world to follow the reindeer. Perhaps my illness is part of what enables me to mine the inner world for riches. I hope that what I may find serves others as well.


  1. Powerful post, Debra. Perhaps this reindeer journey is the one you have been preparing for most of your life. I anticipate the next installment! I learn so much when I come here. Thank you for sharing.
    - Trish

  2. Trish,

    Thank you for stopping by. You have been a great encouragement to me since I started blogging!

  3. Wow. I love hearing how this is unfolding for you, and it's so interesting hearing about the Saami connections. Glad to see another post.