Puma Medicine

    by Nandi Hetenyi

    I had an encounter with a mountain lion once. I’d been examining a pile of feathers, when I looked up and saw her.

    She silently walked up into the bush, not more than 15 feet ahead of me on the trail. It took a moment to register, but I realized what I just saw and how close it was to me.

    Bean, my fur niece, started growling and moving closer and a blood curdling scream that somehow resembled her name emerged from my deep body.

    She didn’t chase the lion. My entire body was shaking, hot, aware, wise, feeling in every direction, aware; my mind silent though I remembered all the things one does when you encounter such a creature.

    It was nearing dark. I decided what to do and we made our move. About 30 seconds up the trail, moving away, the puma screamed. Howled. Screamed and howled. All the way back to my car, she did this.

    This puma scream, cry or mating call was the most powerful, primal thing I’d ever felt in my life.

    I could feel her power running through my entire body.

    A power that was pushing me up this hill, forcing fear our of my chest so I could breathe, and reconnecting me with something so innate inside my very being.

    She reminded me who I really am, who I was trained to be afraid of. And, in some ways, still am…and how that is trauma.

    This body is sensorial in nature. Our first experience of life is through our sensorial body.

    We feel everything. Our first cry is that of grief at the separation from oneness with the great mother in human form.

    These bodies FEEL everything.

    Feelings are our innate instincts, our natural innocence.

    This is what gets conditioned out of us.

    We grow up, develop minds that eventually over ride these feeling mechanisms that are already wired with the world’s responses, reactions or lack thereof to all these feeling states.

    Fear, grief, anger, joy, playfulness, curiosity, genius, rage, shyness, timidity, sadness.

    These bodies learn through the responses of other bodies to our sensations.

    Our parents, friends, schools, governments, media, partners, lovers and all manner of people teach us what is acceptable and lovable and what is not.

    This is dangerous for the feeling body.

    Hiding in spirituality that the ego designed to dissociate from trauma, to deny difficult feelings yet project them or make them wrong in others, to sort through preference and aversion of what is acceptable/high frequency.

    This is dangerous to this feeling body that houses the soul life.

    It shames the wisdom of our true nature.

    Physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and sexual violence to our bodies is dangerous to our embodiment, which is the elemental feminine, our primal force of nature that is designed to be our good enough internal parent.

    When this is denied or abused, we are left with inner parents who model for us the death mother and we do not know what to do with these innocent, feeling parts of ourselves we continue to carry around because it doesn’t go away.

    Part of healing the inner parent is healing our relationship to our emotions.

    Healing our relationship to our emotions is an important step in feeling more embodied, more empowered from place of deep love.

    And in reclaiming the capacity to grieve in compassion for the traumatized self and retrieve the howl of the puma for ourselves.

    Our healthy relationship to emotions will pull us into a more life-affirming existence.

    Grief is what heals us, releases the grip of the death parent and the armor of the wounded child.

    Anger is information for self-preservation when a boundary has been crossed, something has been disrespected or there is a very clear seeing that something is off.

    Anxiety points us towards what is unmetabolized from our past that we project onto the future.

    Sadness and fear indicate loss, disappointment or a need to check in with the body around safety.

    The death mother can wrangle our emotions and make us think they are dangerous, that we will turn into stone.

    It is the very place in us we think will turn us into stone that will actually set us free.

    There is a wild puma inside each and every one of us.

    One that is powerful and potent in her life affirming energy, roaming the wild free and beautiful in her power.

    She roars and protects when she needs to. She plays when she wants to.

    She mates when it’s the season. Her boundaries are respected because she respects and trusts herself.

    She is the wild mother in us all. Let us reclaim her. Let us heal our inner parents and create a world birthed out of the innate love that underlies our true, innate, powerful emotional nature.

    This will repair the broken heart of the world.



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    About the Author:

    Dr. Nandi Hetenyi is a shamanic healer, grief midwife, writer and mentor. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from CIIS in addition to spending over 15 years studying and practicing Buddhism, yoga, meditation, dream work, shamanic journey, energy healing and personal growth, as well as recovering from her own addictions. She envisions a world where we feel comfortable in our own skins and are happy about being a human. You can follow Dr. Hetenyi on Instagram and find out more about her work on her website, www.sacredalchemyhealing.com.


    images via Unsplash



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