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The Hunter & The Wild One

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

Many moons ago, before buildings, technology, and weapons of mass destruction existed, we were hunter-gatherers, living in tribes among all other earth beings. The women gathered herbs to heal with, cooked meals, and watched after children. Men, in turn, protected the women and communities at all costs, and hunted for food.

We lived in communion with the earth, taking what we need with reverence for the natural balance, giving gratitude through ceremony, and seeing all beings for the spirits that lived within them.

When the hunter went out to fulfill his duty, his intention was to take a life to feed himself & his community. He would carefully track his prey, and when he came upon it, one skilled shot would usually bring it down with minimal suffering.

When he brought the animal back to his home, all parts of the animal went to use: the skin to make tents or to keep warm, bones to make weapons, meat to feed grumbling bellies, fat to moisturize dry skin. Nothing went to waste.

Not every animal is easy prey, however.

There are the sacred wild ones who live among the easier targets, and are elusive to hunters.

And so the story begins.

Walking through the forest, the hunter tracked the footprints of a doe. He could tell from her elusive wanderings these last few weeks, that she was mature, and large enough to feed his tribe for a week. He started to wonder if this doe even existed, for how often she escaped him, in a flash of light.

As he neared a clearing, there she was, unsuspecting, eating ripe berries off a huckleberry bush at the foot of Grandmother Mountain.

As he lined up his arrow, he stumbled back a bit, crunching some leaves beneath his feet.

The doe looked up at him, knowing what was seconds away from happening.

As they made eye contact, time stopped. The world around them stopped moving. The doe did not move, and neither did the hunter.

Here she was, open and ready for an easy shot. Yet, the hunter found himself dropping his bow and his arrows.

As he slowly walked out of the woods and into the clearing, the doe began slowly advancing as well.

Eyes locked on each other.

They were inches away from each other now, and the hunter extended his hand.

The doe bowed her head beneath it, and the hunter felt electricity under his skin, as though his soul understood hers.

Suddenly, he found himself understanding, that he was not meant to kill this doe. For, she was a Wild One.

And she was the spirit of the forest.

She was to be respected, and left to be free.

For, if she could escape him for this long, him, the most skilled hunter in the village, then this wasn't a competition, but a lesson from the land.

Stories like this one are not uncommon when looking back to the Old Ways. When living in communion with the earth, we seeked to survive, yes, but more then that, we understood the delicate balance of nature, that larger forces are at work, and some are meant to be left alone, to fulfill their purpose. To stay wild.

For they have roamed this earth so much longer then we humans have.

To live with reverence for the Earth, is to surrender to that balance, to let go of what we want to take, what we need to give, and just be, with her, among her.

Nowadays, the Wild Ones are sought after prizes. Hunters catch wild animals to be kept as pets, so far from their natural habitats, without a memory of who they're supposed to be, who they were created to be. Birds with clipped wings, iguanas in Alaska, and jungle cats living in apartments. These creatures are seen as trophies, killing has become a sport, and the delicate balance of nature is so out of alignment that animals that were once so common are becoming extinct.

And we humans are out of alignment too, because we see ourselves as separate from nature. We see ourselves higher on the totem pole then a spider, or a bald eagle.

We fear that which we do not understand, so when we come into contact with a Wild One, there is no room for a sacred experience.

We want to leash it, cage it, squish it, or make it our prized possession.

We don't ask ourselves how this animal can teach us, what message it brings us, or take a moment to try to feel into the significance of their presence.

We see nature as a place to retreat, to vacation, to escape. But we forget, that we are nature. Every breath we fill our lungs with is because a tree makes it possible. Every mosquito bite we avoid is because of a spider.

Every blade of grass, every pine cone, every flower is us.

Our past, present, and future.

There is no separation.

We have just succumbed to fear and greed for too long to see it anymore.

The next time you leave the confines of your house, and step into the fresh air, ask yourself, are you here to give, are you here to receive, or are you here to connect?

In what ways can you return to the sacred communion between yourself and the land on which you reside?

Light, Love & Faerie Wishes,


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by Ilona Bartnicki I've lived most of my life as a caged wolf. Fed, bathed, given warm blankets, basic needs well met within 4 walls. The only taste of wilderness was moonlight through an open window.

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