Excerpt from Awakening
Lightworker Publications – 978-1-928806-19-6 – $16.95 USA / $19.95 CAN
Linda L. Beaucage (Bwaun Equa)
THE TEEN AND EARLY ADULT YEARS
The Lesson of Initiation and Transmutation
During the summer right before my 13th Birthday, I received other good teachings regarding living life, and being respectful of other beings with which I share this planet.
My cousin, and I, decided that we had not had Rattlesnake meat for a while, and both of us were hungry for it. My cousin, who is a year, or so, older than I, figured that we were old enough to know what we were doing. Besides, we had hunted with the adults many times, and we knew how to do this kind of hunting. (Yeah! Sure!)
Anyway, we had our plan. After we spotted the snake, I was going to be the bait, by jumping up and down. Once the snake lunged at me, my cousin was going to trap its head with the Y shaped stick, and chop off its head with the hoe. (OK….) We gathered our equipment, and headed out into the bush.
As we were walking through a gully, we heard our quarry. Rattlesnakes are usually nocturnal, and do not like the heat of the day. This one had been resting under the edge of a rock, but because of our intrusion, it had left the coolness of the rock’s shadow, and was now coiled, shaking its tail, and eyeing us.
In our ignorance, we were not aware that one who is hunting rattlesnake, needs to look at the snake’s tail to see how many rattles (a few, or a lot) it has. By knowing approximately how many rattles, one can somewhat judge about how far the snake’s striking distance will be. Oh, yes. And to also observe the snake’s terrain, i.e. flat land, hillside, etc.. This particular snake had several rattles, and it was residing on a hillside.
As my cousin was making his way up the hillside, off to the side of the snake, I was getting prepared to start jumping. Before we were ready to execute our plan, the snake executed his plan.
The next thing that I knew was that the head of the snake was in my ankle. My cousin chopped off its head, but the head was still in my ankle injecting its poison.
I reached down and extracted the head from my ankle; my cousin had taken off his belt, and had placed it on my leg to be used as a tourniquet.
I have to laugh when I see these movies showing someone sucking the poison out of a person who has been bitten by a snake. If someone were to do that, they could end up dead before the person that has received the direct bite. If the “helper” has a cut, or a cavity in their mouth, the venom will go into their blood stream very quickly.
What we were taught to do, was to tourniquet the area off, take a knife and gently “X” the puncture wounds, then again gently cut a shallow, straight line between them. Then push the blood away from the direction of the heart, loosening the tourniquet as you push the blood out and away from the direction of the heart. Then tighten the tourniquet again.
We were a good one and one-half, to two miles, away from the house. Our next challenge was to get us, the snake, and the equipment, all safely back to the house. My cousin had me on his back “piggy back” style, and I had the snake in one hand, and the hoe and the Y stick in my other hand.
Of course, blood was all over my ankle and foot, and down the side of my cousin’s leg. When my Aunt Birdie spotted us coming out of the bush, and seeing the snake, she knew that one, or both, of us, had been bitten.
We had a big old barrel ring hanging out on the back porch, and depending upon how it was rang, the people out in the fields would know what was going on. For instance, it was sounded in a certain rhythm to let them know that it was time to eat. There was a different rhythm for letting them know that there was trouble.
By the time that we made it up to the house, everyone was in from the fields. We still had the old crank phones at that time, so my aunt got on the phone, and told the operator what had happened, and asked the operator to call ahead to Point Pleasant Hospital to let them know that we were on our way in. (It was called a hospital in those days, but according to today’s standards, it would be more like a clinic.) We were about 45 miles away.
At that time, my folks had moved to Lima, Ohio, where my father had found employment, so I was just visiting my aunt and uncle. I kept begging my aunt to please not call my mother, because besides “killing me”, she would make me go back home. I still had six weeks of summer left, and I sure didn’t want to spend it in the city.
I was placed in the back of the pick-up truck, and off we headed for the hospital. I continued to plead with my aunt, “Please don’t tell my mother! Please don’t tell my mother! She’s going to kill me!”
Now, the irony of it all is that by this time, I’m starting to get numb around the mouth, and I’m starting to slip in and out of consciousness. It appeared that all that I could think about was my mother “killing me”, not the fact that, “Hey stupid, you’re dying here! Don’t worry about your mother!”
For the rest of the trip into Point Pleasant, I don’t really remember consciously what took place, because I was busy with the ancestors that came to be with me.
I remember miunci being there with me, and telling me to calm down, and to breathe like she had taught me to breathe – slow and deep. Then she told me to go deep within myself, and to find the poison, and to stop it from going through my body. I needed to push the poison back down my leg, and back out through the holes where it had came into my body. That is what I remember about that trip.
What I remember consciously, is being in the hospital, and them telling me that they have to test me to see if I’m allergic to the anti-venom. They had by that time started an IV on me, and I had done a lot of work inside of my body.
The discoloration and swelling around the puncture wounds was greatly reduced, and I was in a much calmer state of being. Still worried about my mother “killing me”, but in a much calmer state of being.
They kept me overnight at the hospital, and I returned back to the farm the next morning, after being treated to breakfast in town. In those days, to eat in town was truly a big treat.
In late August, we were starting to harvest some of our tobacco. Gathering the leaves, we would tie them into small bundles, and hang them up on the framework in the Basin Barn to dry.
It had only been about 5 weeks since my first encounter with the rattlesnake, but the next thing that I see, is a small rattlesnake head in my right wrist.
I just reacted by grabbing the head, and once again extracting it from my body. All the while that I was doing that, I was yelling for people to get over to me.
We did the tourniquet, the “X”, and the shallow straight line thing.
Once again, my aunt rings up the operator, tells her the story, and we get into the pick-up truck, and head for Point Pleasant. At least this time, they will know that I’m ok with the anti-venom.
The hospital once again started an IV, and they did not give me a full dose of the anti-venom this time. However, I did have to stay overnight, but that was alright, because we had breakfast in town before we headed back to the farm.
It had been an “odd” year, and the animals were actually starting a second breeding season. It was my last few precious days before I would have to go back to the city to start school.
I was not exactly a happy camper about having to leave my beautiful place of existence. Most of the time, I was moping around, and I really was not paying attention to where I was going.
There had been a second cutting of the hay, and I was walking through the fresh cut fodder in my bare feet. The next thing that I notice, is a baby rattlesnake head in the top of my foot. “Oh @*#&$^%)(, I exclaimed!!!! Here we go again!!”
Same script unfolds, with the exception that they didn’t start an IV, and they didn’t give me much of the anti-venom. They also didn’t keep me overnight, and told me that if I were to get bitten again in the very near future, don’t bother to come back, because I most certainly had an immunity to the venom by now.
That night, I couldn’t sleep, so I was sitting by my bedroom window. We did not have screens on the windows, so it was easy for me to sit on the window sill.
My heart was so sad. I was missing miunci so much, because I knew that she could tell me what this was all about.
I could hear miunci telling me to breathe deep and slow. To go within, so she could come. In a short period of time, miunci was sitting there beside me on the window sill.
She explained that snake medicine was strong healing medicine. Unlike the Whiteman’s religion, who taught that the snake was evil, the snake brought strong healing medicine for us.
When snake comes to a person, it is a time of Rebirth, Resurrection, Initiation, and the coming of Wisdom for that person. The snake is a symbol of transformation and healing.
She told me about the ceremonies where a person would permit the snakes to bite them several times, so they could learn to transform the poisons within their body. If an individual survived that ceremony, that person would be able to transmute all poisons – physical, or otherwise. It activates the energy of kill, or cure, ultimately leading to dramatic healings. “Remember”, she said, “when I told you to breathe like I had taught you to breathe, deep and slow, and to go within, and find the poison?” She told me that they came to me three times, because they touched my Mind, Body, and Spirit.
She also explained that when a snake sheds its skin, its eyes cloud over; it’s almost like its going into a space between life and death. She said that if a medicine person was able to be like the snake, they could learn to move between the space of life and death for healing, and enlightenment.
It all seemed so simple when she explained it. I was aware that it was time for me to start to listen to my Spirit Helpers, as they worked within, and with me, in order to start to grow on my own path.
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