bat-medicine-1Bat Medicine

Transition & Initiation

Cycle of Power in the Night

Bethel Horizons, Dodgeville, Wisconsin
October 24-26, 2014

The bat is one of the most misunderstood mammals. Modern depictions in movies have given it a sinister reputation; nonetheless, it plays an important role in Nature and as a symbol in the totem traditions. Although more modern lore places the bat in cohorts with the devil, with its dragon like wings, in more ancient times it was a revered and powerful figure.

In Babylonia, bats represented the souls of the dead. In China, they were symbols for happiness and long life. The Mayans saw them as symbols of initiation and rebirth. In medieval times, they were seen as miniature dragons.


From the early Meso-American traditions came a sacred book of the initiatory process in which bats hold a significant role. This book was called Popul Vuh. It describes the seven tests that two brothers must undergo. The 7th test involved the house of bats. Huge bats flew through the labyrinth overseen by Camazotz, god of the bats. This being had a body of a human, the head and wings of a bat and carried a great sword to decapitate unwary wanderers.

This powerfully symbolic story and imagery reflects the process of transition--part human and part bat. It implies a loss of one's faculties if unwary of changes. It also holds the promise of rebirth and coming out of the darkness.

Some refer to the bat as the reflection of the traditional shaman’s death—breaking down of the former self through intense tests. It is facing your greatest fears--then it is time to die in some aspect of your life that is no longer suitable for you.

Most people fear transitions, holding onto a "better the devil you know than the one you don't" kind of attitude. If a bat has flown into your life, then it is time to face your fears and prepare for a change. You are being challenged to let go of the old and create the new.

Who Should Come

The workshop is designed for people from all walks of life. It is focused towards expanding the awareness of spiritual explorers, healing and shamanic practitioners, and the delightfully inquisitive.


What to Bring

Please bring any rocks or crystals that want to come along. A journal notebook is encouraged as well as any comforts for sitting on the floor, such as floor chairs, back supports, blankets, pillows, etc.


The workshop is residential and will be held at a beautiful Lutheran kids camp at Dodgeville, WI. You will receive detailed directions and a list of what to bring with your registration. Please include your email with any registration. The fee for the workshop is $525, which includes lodging for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, 3 meals on Friday, 3 meals on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. There is a fee of $10 for linens and towels or you can provide your own.

Class size is limited to 26.

To Register

Please send a $100 deposit or the amount in full to Marie Smith, 19126 Campbell Hill Dr, Richland Center, Wi. 53581. Please register by Friday October 17, 2014 so we can order the food. We eat gluten free at these workshops and you can preview the menu upon request. All special needs like vegetarian or dairy-free can be honored. I will take names for the waiting list if/when the class fills. We often end up with spots for several people on the waiting list.

There is a $100 administration fee for cancellations occurring within the two weeks prior to the workshop.

We will begin class at 9 am on each day and end at 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. If you have questions, please contact Marie Smith at or (608) 647- 2366.

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Herb "One White Horse Standing" Stevenson (Shawnee and Cherokee) has been exploring indigenous healing practices for over 20 years.


© 2014, One White Horse Standing