Welcome to the community! We’re so glad you’re here and we’re honored to invite you in to a deeper sense of belonging, authenticity, and connection.
It’s All In The Name
One might assume that because we call ourselves ‘Buffalo Medicine Lodge’ we are affiliated with a First People’s tribal community/lineage, or that we’re irresponsibly appropriating a culture that has a history of suffering abuse by white colonialists. But neither of these are true. As human beings we share a commonality of experience that transcends culture and must be honored for what it is.
In 2015 our founder, Aimee Shaw, was experiencing another dose of what she refers to as ‘Snake Medicine.’ Let’s just say it’s a grueling time, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Prior to getting into the shower (honorably referred to as ‘The Temple of Sacred Waters’), she clenched her fists and cried out to God- “Why can’t I just be a Buddhist, letting everything roll off of me with no attachment? Why do I have to hold on so tight to everything, and take everything into me to be such a painful struggle?” And then she got in the shower. While in the shower she was gifted a very powerful vision by the Spirits. She saw herself as a young Native man at a buffalo kill. She knelt down and began processing the buffalo, cutting through thick fur and skin, covered with blood. Every part was to be used and abundant gratitude was bestowed for the buffalo’s sacrifice. Each organ was cut away and honorably set aside for it’s specific purpose. And then the Spirits said, “All the way to the bone. And even then, make a bone needle.”
Not knowing what a bone needle is and exhilarated by the power of the vision, she got out of the shower and went straight to the Internet to search for ‘bone needle.’ Once again any doubt of the realness of the experience was quickly mediated by the fact that a bone needle is really a thing. The confirmation provided a significant shift and a deep healing. Able to finally accept herself as a “processor” and finding immense wisdom in the communal experience of a buffalo hunt, ‘buffalo medicine’ took on a profound personal meaning. And lodge of course signifies a covering, a sense of community, a place to gather.
So that day in the shower was the first breath of Buffalo Medicine Lodge, inside and out, which existed purely in the realm of direct personal experience and outside any political notion of what is acceptable. Our covering has nothing to do with a fantastical notion of stolen valor or appropriated culture, but is born of a lived direct experience that can’t be denied- a very personal gift of healing by the Spirits. To get to that shower vision moment was a feat of it’s own and was years in the making. So welcome to our shelter- the archetypal communal experience of a tribal buffalo hunt and the individual experience of each hunter as he stands alone in the sacredness of his own existence. We are all processors, working deep and into the very bone.
Our vision has been decades in the making, starting out in one place and meandering alongside into another. Right now we work in the Austin, Texas area and surrounding suburbs, in Killeen, Texas and surrounding areas, and in South Padre Island. The vision has always been to have a ‘shamanic hospital’ of sorts- a retreat center where people experiencing ‘shaman sickness’ and initiatory crisis can come to retreat from the pressures of our insane society and gain clarity, insight, wisdom, and support in an authentic, supportive environment. We have a real heart for those with ‘soldier’s heart’ (our veterans), and are eager to help create a sacred container for working through trauma while honoring the warrior spirit. But this extends to all types of trauma, and we’ve collectively had a lot of experience in working with all sorts of people and all sorts of trauma, so we hold vision for offering a healing space for all people. We also want to create a community healing space where mentorship and the fostering of authentic belonging can occur in the context of ceremony and educational opportunities.
Basically, we want to create a sacred space where communitas are carefully tended and out of them can spring healing, learning, mentoring, and growth, and where individuals can come for one-on-one shamanic/healing services.