Learning to Embrace Mosquito, by Harper’s Staff
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September 1991 Issue [Readings]

Learning to Embrace Mosquito

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From the course listing for “Song of the Mosquito,” in the January 1991 newsletter of the Teaching Drum Outdoor School in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. The course, taught by an instructor named Tamarack, began at dawn on June 18 and ended at dusk on June 19.

The closest to a consensus complaint in the Northcountry is the one levied against the Mosquito. But to some, this maligned sister is an honored Teacher and respected Guardian of wild places. Tamarack was inspired by She Who Talks With Loons to seek Mosquito’s wisdom. During Tamarack’s quest, Mosquito has shown him how to live in balance with her clan. In honor of this gift, he’d like to guide others on the path to knowing and embracing Mosquito. In fact, he must share this gift; otherwise, like all that is given, it will fade.

We’ll discover how to walk in peace without the aid of protective clothing or chemicals. We’ll learn how to move in the rhythm of the Forest, so we don’t stand out as aliens ripe for bloodletting.

We are asked to give in order to receive; for this particular gift, pain is the offering. After ritual preparation, we will strive to walk beyond ourselves into the realm where we are one with the Life-Spirit. There, we will bare ourselves to Mosquito, in order that we might hear her voice. She will likely speak a different verse of her lifesong to each of us, which we will share with each other in order to come to a fuller knowledge of the circle in which she dwells.

Certain herbs call Mosquito to us; certain herbs send her elsewhere. The same is true of certain clothing colors and patterns, certain food and smoke smells, certain ways and times of moving. (We fast from regular food during the course, and from meat, spices, and stimulants for four days prior, so that their effects and odors will not interfere with our experimentation.)

This course is scheduled for the height of Mosquito season. It will likely be one of the most personally challenging—and rewarding—times of our lives.


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