We are in one of the healing caverns in the shamanic West. I am working on a client who has suffered a debilitating psychic intrusion at the hands of a male shaman with whom she briefly studied. All matters having to do with healing the victims of psychic intrusions must be dealt with in the West, so I have come to this place to begin the healing. On the far westerly wall of the cavern, petroglyphs and shamanic symbols are visible in the light of the small sacred fire I have created there. I have also smoked the cavern so thoroughly that my client and I are hidden within a protective “fog” of sage and cedar. The energy of the healing in progress is palpable, causing the fragrant smoke to pulse and shimmer as I work. I have called upon animal spirit helpers who are adept in this kind of healing to appear and assist me. As I begin the healing, I am aware that Otter is making its way towards us from the shamanic East. She swims through the golden water of the East Sea, through the deep Green Sea of the shamanic Center, and into the iridescent Black Sea of the shamanic West. At last she climbs out of the sea and makes her way north and west over the desert plain of the West towards the cavern in which I am doing the healing. I’m surprised that it is Otter who has responded to my call for assistance, but welcome her soothing presence as she enters the cavern. As I complete the removal of the intrusion, the client is still very weak, and there is a psychic opening in her torso where the intrusion once resided. Because it’s very important to thoroughly close such openings, to prevent any further intrusions, I close the psychic wound by cauterizing it with fire medicine. Otter now approaches and teaches me how to use her medicine to create a psychic bandage of otter fur over the wound, which will prevent any further intrusions while the wound heals. I watch in amazement as otter fur magically appears wherever Otter touches the wound. Soon there is a beautiful, glossy protective layer of Otter fur over the entire wound, and the client breathes a sigh of relief. The healing is complete and her recovery can begin.
In feminist shamanic practice, Otter is found in the East landscape of the Medicine Wheel Mandala. Were you to research Otter medicine online, or in any number of books on the subject of animal medicines, you would be told that Otter is playful and sensuous in its movements, that it is often described as the “ultimate feminine medicine,” that she is friendly, and never jealous, among many other delightful qualities. However, as with all animal spirit medicines, there is much more to Otter medicine than one can discover in books and online. Shamans learn an animal spirit’s deep medicine ways by working directly with that animal spirit in healing efforts in shamanic reality, as in the story I’ve just shared with you about how Otter medicine assist a shaman who has created relationship with it, in completing healings.