Blessed Bees, Magical Beets and Slain Lambs

animal spirit homestead story

Last night I had dreams filled with talking Bees and Goddesses living deep in the Earth. After I awoke I savored the feeling of well being they left behind. I traced the feeling as it wound through my dreams, leading surprisingly to dinner the night before – and our first beets of the season. The sweet earthy flavor of the beets felt the same as the energy of the dreams. Flavors and feelings mingled with the soothing breaths of sleeping wife, son, dog and cat. I swear those beets gave me the dreams.

The day before I visited Damien and Michelle’s house to help out with the slaughter of two lambs. A ferral bee hive set up shop in a wooden box near the stall where the lambs were killed, skinned and gutted. Though most of the surrounding land was cleared for grazing, many of the bee’s carried heavy spurs of bright pollen. They obviously knew what they were doing when they chose the old brown toolbox.
The lambs bled out bright red in the straw dirt floor, this time a knife was used instead of a gun. Julee –  a latino helper Damien hires – led that part of the process, doing it the way he’d been shown probably since he was a child. I helped steady the two lambs as they were hung, occasionally lifting a warm body to better position it as it was carefully skinned by father, son and helper.
What gets re-awakened in us when we leave the digital world to take part again in life’s harvest? I remember the spirit of the land in one of my first journeys to her, giving and receiving, planting and harvesting. She was joyful and impartial at the same time.
The colors of harvest were red and golden that day. Early golden beets bunched in by baseball sized red beets, golden and cranberry colored pollen fixed to the bee’s spurs, and of course the blood of the lambs, much brighter than I expected as the dirt slowly absorbed it. Somehow all of this added up to the alchemy of enchantment in my dreams last night.
When Tadg finally woke up he spotted a brown gopher’s head popping up out of the dirt just outside the window. There was a time when that would stress me out, now I think of them as good fresh meat for our dog Bella.
Since I started working with the spirit of the land, making sure the spirits of the gophers passed on peacefully, I now know this to be part of the process of growth and harvest. Bella waited inside impatiently, barely able to contain herself. The trap was quick and successful. My journey to its spirit went well.
The dreams gave me such a deep feeling of wellness. Our lives have been shaken by the violent loss of a friends daughter, I’m so grateful to feel like life is reaching out to me, helping me re-connect with something bigger and more sacred than my fear. So often the harvesting of a life means violence to us modern folk. Harvesting a life without violence can be a healing journey.
I look forward to many more harvests. I just wish I could remember what the bee’s were telling me. I’m comforted by the knowledge that somehow my soul remembers.

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