A Wolf Song is a healing story about a multidimensional, dual-life journey of tragedy, gratitude and forgiveness. Its key characters-Hanna and Margaret; their "spirit" wolves, Nano and Nala; family members; and teacher Trudy Goodenough-meet every ten years under Trudy's guidance and the wolves' whims.
The story begins at childbirth; the girls meet nearing their tenth birthday and discover their wolf spirits under a jump rope. Each chapter contains a verse which reveals the lessons of each chapter. Ordered to meet every ten years by the wolves, Hanna and Margaret meet at twenty in Wales and in New York City at thirty. Nano and Nala are not necessarily balanced. Their karmic rites spill over into the young women's lives. One of the wolf spirits wreaks havoc at a public event, and a battle between light and darkness ensues.
"Lisa Osina's book brings you into an enduring balance between the physical world and the world of spirit." Lynn Andrews, shaman and author of Medicine Woman and 27 other spiritual and self-empowerment books.
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Read an Excerpt
A Wolf Song
A Story of Forgiveness through Gratitude
By Lisa Osina
Balboa PressCopyright © 2013 Lisa Osina
All rights reserved.
Two beasts from heaven were perched side by side on a crystal slab within this atmosphere. The air was like a vacuum. They stared into the beyond, peering through the veil of life, and watched earth from above. They were looking for bodies. These two souls—no ordinary ones—were on map-less journeys, and they needed the right fit. They were plodding, feeling, listening for a murmur or a calling to them. To be boys or girls, butterflies or simply swirls? Both had long journeys ahead of them, but they did not know their purpose, nor were they given the lessons. They only knew they would need sturdy bodies—bodies that would sustain a life in heaven and in hell.
These wolf spirits had enrolled with the Academy Mother Earth. This path would enhance their physical existence. Wolves are teachers, and these two particular wolf spirits were shattered from another time. On earth, in the physical, they would bring back the parts of their spirit that had fled home to the Pleiades in a past life. Now was the time for them to reemerge from the Pleiadian star of Maya, to be on earth and collect earthly wisdom.
One turned to the other. Yup. He nosed the other. Strong bodies. There was a physical consciousness between them; they felt fur and body parts, and they interacted physically in the ether, although once on earth, they would not be visible to the ordinary eye.
The wolves were transported telepathically to a ceremony of a pool of spirits and potential earth bodies. They were named here by their own animal spirits. Nano would be the male and Nala the female. So empty they were, so easy it was for them to choose. The spirit wolves walked instinctively toward their suited bodies, which appeared as pregnant mothers with translucent bellies about to give birth.
Nano chose a wealthy family, and Nala chose a poor one. What would happen to these two spirit wolves as they surrendered to the unknown earth bodies? Would they fully merge? They had chosen two girls, who would become women, who would experience the extremes of life. Yes, they would need sturdy bodies to endure the life ahead.
But after birth, once they had entered the physical, it would all be up to them, the two girls.
Nano and Nala stood as close as can be and nuzzled each other's ears, for soon they would separate. They heard a deep, penetrating tone; a chorus of voices engulfed them. The vibration of this sound surged through their spirit bodies and sent them through the ether into the form of the physical.
Waaaaaah. Nano's newborn heard screeching sounds and saw bright lights as he was being handled and bounced about. Hmm, guess I'm here. This is going to be interesting. He heard his own thought echo and felt the empty void.
Nano felt the loneliness of becoming physical; he could only hear his own voice. The outside noises made the inside silence even louder. So accustomed was he to hearing the voices of the all—the reverberations of earth and the universe, and now such a silence—such an aloneness. He heard his voice let out a wail, and everyone gathered around her. She was a girl! Nano knew that consciousness now belonged to her, the child. The warmth of their bodies filled her as Nano pulled back and allowed this spirit and body to be hers.
Oh, this is a good tool, this screaming, went through her. Was that a thought she heard? She was carried and washed and wrapped and then plopped on warmness. She felt a heartbeat and a cooing voice in her ear, a gentle touch on her new body. Warm, she knew she was physically feeling love, and she quieted. She was experiencing physical company for the first time; no chatter, just warm love. Then she slept on her mama's breast.
Meanwhile, Nala was being born, and Nano witnessed her birth along with his own birth. He saw her in the ether and around the body of the second newborn.
"I can go anywhere from here," Nala said. "I'm asleep, but I'm awake! Where the hell am I?"
Her kindred spirit, Nano, stayed firm and directed her. "Stay in her body now; get grounded. Get used to being there while she's asleep. Let her sleep."
"Oh, she's screaming!" Nala cried.
"Yeah," Nano said. "She needs you inside her, close—now!"
Nano's girl, named Hanna, was more cooperative than Nala's, and her initial experiences, such as feeding time, were interesting. She ate the beauty through her eyes and began to grow and expand and get stronger inside. Outside, taking food into her mouth was clumsy and burpy, and she often lost most of what she took in. Hearing her body make demands seemed senseless to her spirit, though she learned quickly how essential these demands were in the physical. The mother's breast was soft, and it felt like an umbilical cord to the stars, which was where she yearned to be. Suckling was ecstasy for her spirit, and it also served the purpose of filling her belly, which seemed to growl endlessly.
The melting of body and spirit was quick, and she began to realize that there were thoughts going through her brain. Her spirit was imploding from within. She couldn't see the difference between herself and her wolf spirit, until eventually Hanna completely forgot about Nano.
Years one, two, and three of life on earth were a stew of trauma and battle, laughter and innocence. Although Hanna knew not of her wolf's existence anymore, she felt a deep connection with the pets living at home. There was Trixie, a king poodle. She stood tall, and she truly believed she was king of the house—yes, king. The cat, Lovely, stayed away from Trixie in front of the family, but at night they slept together. As Hanna watched the two, it brought back deep memories of howling, hunting, and hunger for a mate. She didn't understand where these memories came from; what she did know was that there was a friendship awaiting her, and this lonely girl was going to find it, she would search her entire city of Poughkeepsie, New York if she had to.
On family trips, Hanna would pass the time searching, looking with wonder into the eyes of each person she met. Her family was unaware of her search. She met many sets of dead eyes. It would make her stomach churn, and she would begin to count: two, four, six, eight. The numbers formed a wall of protection around her as she opened herself each time for friendship, and each time it was denied.
One day in that third-grade year, Hanna was searching at the park nearby her home after school. Could her friend be that little girl from the school yard who sat in the corner all alone and ate her sandwich one crumb at a time? Or was she the one who always followed the teacher around? She wondered. There was one girl in her class at school whom Hanna sometimes saw at the park, but she always seemed unapproachable. The girl had a twinkle in her eye that gave Hanna's belly a tug when their eyes occasionally met; it made Hanna want to cry with joy all of a sudden. Could it be her? she wondered. Her name was Margaret; she knew that from school. Hanna wondered if Margaret would be her special friend. She looked around the park and spotted her in the adjoining playground, near the swings. She thought, I'll just see. Maybe she'll be nice. I could just go have a swing and see.
"Hi, ya wanna play?" Hanna asked.
Margaret excitedly jumped up and pulled out her jump rope. The rope flew through the air, the wooden handle whacking Hanna in the mouth. Hanna fell backward, tasted blood in her mouth, and watched her front tooth fly out. She hit the ground hard and looked up as Margaret knelt down to her.
"Sorry," Margaret said, giving her a tissue to suck on.
"I have to find my tooth for the tooth fairy!" Hanna said. The girls searched the grass as the stream of blood from her mouth slowed and she regained her balance.
"Here it is!" Margaret grabbed the tooth from the ground and handed it to Hanna, who stuffed it in her pocket.
"Hi, I'm Hanna. Where do you live? We live on the hill."
"Do you know how to jump rope?" Margaret asked.
"Yeah, a little, I think."
Margaret started chanting a song that Hanna didn't know, but she knew the jump, so she skipped into Margaret's rope. They found themselves jumping in turn, same rope, facing each other, smiling brightly and breathing hard. They continued for a while, searching in each other's eyes. As their gazes locked into each other, both began to hear a choir of voices from within, and both began to sing the same tune. Hanna sang the words:
Oh, softly I touch.
You and I, how softly we know
That the sound of our voice will
Let our spirits show.
Margaret began to howl, and still the two girls jumped on.
When they had tired and flopped down on some grass nearby, Margaret held tight to the jump rope, as if it held the song in its coils. She wrapped the rope around her, caressed it, sucked on it, and chewed it. Hanna was close to sleep when Margaret kneed her in the side. "Did you hear that song?" she asked.
Hanna sat up, leaning back on her hands. She looked up to the sky and felt like howling again. She turned to Margaret. "It made me feel like a wolf!"
"And me! I felt like a wolf in the snow or something, like I could be anything. What were the words again?"
"'The sound of our voice will let our spirits show.' And Margaret, you howled! You heard it too, didn't you? You heard the voice. I know you did!" Hanna seemed frightened.
"I heard, Hanna. I heard the words you sang. It was many, many voices singing, and many wolves singing with them!"
"This is just like in a book or a movie," Hanna said. "If I told anyone about this, they wouldn't believe me. They would say I'm daydreaming again, making up things, but you, Margaret, you heard it too, so we know we're not making it up, right? It's not making believe, right? Here, let's try it again. Let's see if it happens again. What were we doing?"
Margaret stood up with her jump rope and started to jump a two-step skip. Hanna warmed up for a moment and then jumped in. They synced into a simultaneous rhythm with their skips and quickly lost themselves in the movement.
Nala and Nano sat side by side in the tree above. They watched the motion the girls were making and gave each other a nose-to-nose rub; they breathed into each other's face and neck and felt their spirit breaths.
"Nice to see you," said one. "If we keep them jumping, we can visit with each other, make them love what they are doing."
"Give her the song again; she loves it," said the other.
"Yeah, I'll give her the tone; you only gave yours a howl. Let her sing."
"Grrrrrrrrr ... she needs to howl."
"Connect her with us. She can't just howl all the time. The others will think she's crazy! Give her the tone!"
"Grrrrrrr," Nala growled.
The girls were jumping, one howling, the other trying to remember the song.
"Come on, Margaret! You remember the song. Let's try and sing it again! 'Oh, softly I touch ...'"
Margaret opened her mouth, and all that came out was a long, lonely howl. Her face cracked at the sound, and she stopped jumping midstream. Hanna tripped on the rope, and they both fell to the ground.
"There, you see what you did?" Nano said to Nala. "She needs the tone; she needs the song! Give it to her!"
"Nope," Nala responded. "Keep her wild. She'll have to learn it later. Let her fall and trip on it for now. Your girl knows it; she can sing it to her."
"But then they won't create the tone that calls us." Nano nosed her in the ribs, and Nala jumped from her lazy stance.
Nano continued, "We have to get them ready for later ... so they know how to call us."
Hanna's wolf spirit, Nano, was well beyond a size imaginable. All black he was, with a white stripe down his bushy tail—like a skunk. His triangular face had a white stripe between his eyes, reaching to the top of his head. He started circling Nala and nosing her, butting her in her butt and moving her into a circular movement. The two began to intertwine in a spiral motion, their furs combining, their noses sniffing their tails, footprints forming a spiral of markings at their feet, soft puffs of their spirit forming a path underneath them.
The girls recovered from their fall. They lay side by side on the grass and looked into the sky full of clouds and streaming sunshine.
"What do you see up there in the sky, Margaret?" Hanna asked. "Don't those clouds look like things to you? I see sheep all the time; they follow each other, like we do in the cafeteria at lunchtime."
"I see carnivals and fun places to jump and play," Margaret answered as she turned over to her side and laid her head on the soft grass.
"Can you imagine being this small?" she asked as she looked through the grass at ground level.
"I imagine that each blade of grass is a huge tree towering above me!" Margaret jumped up in excitement and began hopping over the grass, reaching to the sky.
"What is that, that we imagine, Hanna? Why can't we touch it with our finger? I can see it in my imagination, all those things, but I can't touch them ... they get lost ..." Margaret lamented. She stared down at Hanna with her hand on her hip, waiting for her to respond.
Hanna sat up. She'd been listening to Margaret and wondering what this word imnation was and what it had to do with sheep and grass, and how she could ever be so small that grass towered over her.
"Margaret, I don't understand you. What's this word, imnation?"
Margaret laughed. "You mean ima-gin-a-tion. It's the stories that you have in your eyes, the things we make up, the way we make believe; that comes from imagination. Mommy always says, she always says, if we feel sad or angry, we should imagine ourselves in a world of clouds like cotton candy, pink and blue and sweet. Make our whole body feel sweet and soft and whole. Big lollipops and cotton candy, she always says. Imagine that."
"Oh, that," Hanna said. Her head was bowed; she stared at her hands as they played with a piece of grass. "I'm not allowed. It's like make-believe, and it's against our house rules."
"Oh come on, Hanna." Margaret pushed her arm. "You don't have to obey house rules here, you know that! You can imagine anything here with me on the grass; with our wolves, we can!"
Hanna lay back on the grass again. She tried to open her heart to the fun of imagining. It happened like magic the moment she gave herself permission, and within no time, she had soared high into the sky above, where she found a cloud. It was pink, purple, and golden yellow, with a deep red bottom, and she curled up in the center, sensing the boundaries and feeling safe there. Here, her worries disappeared, and her questions dissolved. She lay there for quite a while, just experiencing the make-believe. It is so real, she thought.
Then suddenly her vision changed. At first she couldn't believe her eyes. A shiver went through her, chilling her all over, but she so taken by her vision that she dared not move. Shadows appeared as the sun shone through clouds above onto her cloud. A darker backdrop appeared, and she saw a giant wolf head before her ... it was black, and she knew it was male. A striking white stripe split the wolf in half, and she saw him transform from male to female before her eyes. The female invited her, and she felt herself draw up close to the dark, long, silky fur. She buried her face in her side, and the feminine aspect of Nano gave her a lick.
Then Hanna stood in her vision and saw the other side, the male, the tall and postured; he had such a stare, and she felt him penetrate her with his look. It felt warm inside, and she welcomed it, instinctually knowing that it was food for her spirit. He pointed his nose to the sky and howled, and Hanna quickly drew back from him as he circled her. He beckoned her to him, and she was able to stand next to him. They stood side by side, nose to nose; the wolf reared up in the air and told her to mount. She complied, and they lifted off together into the sky toward the stars. Hanna looked down at her world and up at the unknown to her imagination. She wasn't sure what was "real" and what wasn't or if Margaret were still on the grass. These thoughts brought her back to earth with a jolt, and she felt she had hit the ground as she came out of her dream.
Excerpted from A Wolf Song by Lisa Osina. Copyright © 2013 Lisa Osina. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
…after reading this book, I walked away with a refreshed memory of how magic worked itself into my own life as a young girl. Do yourself a favor: buy this book and be transformed. Buy it not only for yourself but for any young girls in your life… The concept of the Power Animal is one component of Shamanism. Lisa Osina in her new book, “A Wolf Song – a Story of Forgiveness through Gratitude,” brings to light the actual workings of the relationship between two animal spirit helpers and the females they choose to assist. Lisa’s teaching story demonstrates how trust, innocence and belief wrapped themselves around the lives of two young girls brought and kept together by synchronistic events (really the workings of their power animals). As their lives unfold they are both exposed to mythic tragedies. With the help of Nano and Nala – the two Wolves who are their spirit helpers – they use tragedy to their advantage and ride its chaotic wave into a future of Beauty. Trudy is the Wise Old Woman who guides them across the wave with love and spiritual teachings. The girls learn to be grateful for adversity as it was their greatest enemy. Another concept of Shamanism is the Waking Dream. The girls sleep and dream their way into deeper relationships with themselves, their Wolves, Trudy and their spiritual paths. The dreamtime spills into daytime; Lisa teaches this process in such a way that it deliberately becomes difficult for the reader to discern one dream from another! Lisa engages this process herself by bringing her own real – life teachers into the story: her four mentors from the School of Sacred Arts and Lynn Andrews, founder of the school and writer of multiple books about spiritual growth. The illustrations throughout the book were completed by another peer, Susan Wagner, and each one is to be meditated upon for additional spiritual insights.
Welcome to A Wolf Song!! I hope to hear your thoughts, feelings and questions about A Wolf Song! Thank you so much! Blessings, lisa