Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks (Paperback)
Gracious Wild is the story of Stacey Couch's incredible journey out of the mundane world of science and reason into the vast shamanic realms of creativity and inspiration. Readers will travel on this intimate exploration of what happens when one woman allows the messengers of nature to guide her. These winged guides wrap her mind up in the mysteries they present, leading her to a richer, more fulfilling life.
Stacey's tale begins on an isolated island where, as a scientist, her main responsibility is to care for a couple dozen foxes in captivity. As a result of a series of ecological tragedies, the fox population is on the verge of extinction and a novel hawk species begins nesting on the island for the first time in recorded history. It is during her time watching the nesting hawks alone in nature that her real quest begins-a series of hawks become her guides; rousing life's biggest questions like "why am I here?"
Gracious Wild weaves Stacey's relationship with the hawks alongside her study of shamanism with a good deal of information included for those seeking more details about this spiritual path.
Stacey's belief is, "that wild animals are trying to speak and interact with us every day. To listen to them is to listen to that which is divine within each of us. Their calls mirror our own inner calling to a greater purpose."
Gracious Wild offers a vivid and candid tale of a woman who loses then rewrites the meaning of her life at the same time showing readers their own humanity; how being open to spirit messages from animals can provide important and beneficial (life-changing) guidance.
About the Author
"Simultaneously realistic and mystical, Gracious Wild weaves archetypal themes into the author's personal connection with the proud yet wounded birds of prey who changed her life. Stacey's heart-warming, at times heart-wrenching, narrative scintillates with possibilities the modern human mind normally embraces only in dreams. Reading this soulful, beautifully written book is a shamanic journey into nature's wisdom of renewal, empowerment, compassion, and hope." ─Linda Kohanov, author of The Tao of Equus, Riding between the Worlds, Way of the Horse, and Power of the Herd
"This is a uniquely passionate and powerful book that explores the deepest mysteries of connection within the expressive world of birds. The author's personal journey is so well expressed to enlighten the messages available when we open to this sacred connection. This book will assist readers in transforming their everyday relationships with creation. Inspiring us all to honor, listen, and protect our messengers of the divine." ─Melisa Pearce, author of Touched by a Horse Inspirational Deck (Whispers from a Horse's Heart)
"Stacey shares the doors to her wild self in her book in an authentic manner. This is not a guidebook to shamanism, though she does provide a brief introduction and helpful resources. Instead, Gracious Wild is a woman's story of her spiritual journey. Her story is an inspiration for those of us looking to connect to our wild selves as well. It is told with love and honesty. I can see women coming together to read Stacey's book, discussing all the doors it opens for exploration. I can see how once you have read her book you won't see the wild animals around you in the same way." -Paola Suarez, SageWoman Magazine
"Gracious Wild is a remarkable and heart opening story. Stacey Couch shows us how our relationship with nature and the wild creates a bridge between the seen and unseen worlds. This is such a beautifully written book that takes us into the deep mysteries inspiring us to create a deeper and more profound connection with the natural world." -Sandra Ingerman, MA, author of Soul Retrieval and Medicine for the Earth
"This treasure is a must for all that love nature and are intrigued by the shamanic way of living, whether new or experienced. There is nothing I love more in reading a book than to enter into the adventure of a great story and find myself profoundly affected by depth of emotion and experiential wisdom. Gracious Wild does this and more in a provocative story that weaves together the raw beauty of nature, the fragility of life, the yearning of the wild, and the sacredness of Spirit through the author's insights, healing, and travels through dimensions and worlds most people know only in their dreams. This exquisitely written book warmly touches hearts and gives flight to the soul, while offering opportunities for healing and cathartic release. Don't be surprised if Gracious Wild moves you to tears and helps you experience some spontaneous healing of your own." ─Colleen Deatsman, author of The Hollow Bone and Seeing in the Dark
"Our ancient ancestors understood that sacred Nature and her plants, animals and birds were masterful teacher-healers. Gracious Wild is the powerful story of one woman's profound healing in the company of hawks. These birds' timeless wisdom, connection between the Earth and the Sky, and fierce vitality guide the author to embody her soul's truth and step onto the shamanic path. This book is a perfect accompaniment for anyone's healing journey." ─Evelyn C. Rysdyk, author of Spirit Walking: A Course in Shamanic Power
"Gracious Wild is honest, poignant and eloquently told with reverence and gratitude for the natural world. An intimate and authentic account of one woman's journey from science to shamanism as well as offering fascinating insight into the world of hawks, Gracious Wild is recommended reading, bringing inspiration of how everyone can discover grace from the divine spirits of the natural world." --Indie Shaman Book Review
"In a gripping memoir-narrative, Stacey Couch takes us on an unforgettable and seamless journey from the Dream World to the Real World, from the Scientific World to the Hawk World, from urbanity to wildness. Along the way, we become enthralled by the magic of synchronicity and the joy of spirit mirrors. In the madness of this modern world that we live in, I found Gracious Wild to be a gentle oasis of joyous and uplifting sanity." -Jon Turk, author of The Raven's Gift: A Scientist, A Shaman, and their Remarkable Journey Through the Siberian Wilderness
"Stacey Couch's Gracious Wild, A Shamanic Journey with Hawks is a fascinating and tender account of her journey into healing which was aided and mentored by the intimate contact she shared with a series of venerable hawks along the way. A highly recommended, beautifully written story of power and transformation: a lens into a world not often seen or heard from." -Kay Kamala, editor for A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism
"Gracious Wild is extraordinary in how it shows the profound understanding and soul transformation that can come from inviting the mind to open to the natural world and to connect with it on a deep level. Stacey Couch beautifully describes her own journey and artfully weaves together her encounters in a way that accesses the draw our souls all feel to nature while also enrapturing our minds in the mystery." ─Christa Mackinnon, psychologist, psychotherapist, counselor and author of Shamanism and Spirituality in Therapeutic Practice
"Gracious Wild illuminates how our animal allies are ever present and persistent teachers, constantly whispering encouragement for us to unfold into the magnificent beings that we humans have the potential to be. With the detail of true 'mouse energy', Stacey's writing brings the winged-ones to life: seeing the feathers' colors, imagining the breeze created by the flap of a raptor's wing, feeling the presence of the soul of each marvelous bird. A beautifully crafted tale of one woman's journey of awakening to the power of the visible natural world, as well as the unseen, non-ordinary world." ─E.P.I.C. magazine-Empowering People, Inspiring Community
"Since ancient times shaman have worked with the spirits of nature, and Gracious Wild is an excellent narrative of this work in contemporary society. An intimate and authentic account of one woman's journey from science to shamanism, Gracious Wild also offers fascinating insight into the world of hawks and brings inspiration of how everyone can discover grace from the divine spirits of the natural world." ─June Kent, editor for Indie Shaman magazine