Many times on my Spiritual journey I have been amazed at the power of the collective consciousness to create, heal and change. Never was it more poignant and dramatic than on Sunday, October 20, l996. I remember the date so clearly because it happened to be my 49th birthday.
It was a picture perfect fall day in Iowa with crystal clear blue skies, gorgeous trees in their full fall attire and perfect temperatures in the 60’s. My friend Tiya and I decided to have a nice long horse ride before we headed off to the business of our day. I met Tiya at her beautiful farm with magnificent views, large oaks and rolling hills all around. I remember there was magic in the air as it was a special day for me. It was also a perfect day to enjoy our favorite pass time which was riding our horses across the land waves of Iowa feeling our connection with each other, our equine companions and Mother Earth.
As we headed off across one of the fields at a full trot with the sun and the wind caressing us, we came to an old barn and holding pen owned by a large farming family in our area. We had passed this barn many times and prior to this day it had always been empty. Today, however, the paddock was packed with cows bellowing and milling around. As we rode up to the fence we could feel how uncomfortable these cows were and how unhappy with their situation.
Living in Iowa, it didn’t take us long to realize that these animals were awaiting transport to a very unhappy ending. For years in the late ’80’s and early 90’s I had been a vegetarian for just such a reason. My heart ached for their fate. My friend Tiya was having the same feelings. As we stood there on our horses looking into those big brown eyes we just felt so sad. We even seriously discussed what would happen if we just opened the gate and set them free.
As we were both years into our Spiritual journey, we realized that this would accomplish nothing. The cows would wonder around into roads and all about and, in the end, some would be harmed and most would find there way onto the trucks once again. We knew this was not the way to go. As we stood there we began to hatch a new plan based on higher consciousness.
We decided to create a new reality for the cows and for ourselves. We split up, each of us going to separate sides of the coral opposite each other. We breathed into our hearts opening them up. We then sent this love into the milling throng of cows. We told them how loved and appreciated who they are. We created an intention that they would experience no pain and fear but that they would know they were honored and appreciated for their sacrifice. We also told them that every time we were blessed with nourishment from their race, we would remember them and thank them. Then we stood there in silence just taking in the magic. Most of the cows grew still and many of them came to the fence and looked into our eyes. The noise lessened and only soft murmuring was heard. As we continued on our journey, we felt the day was again one of wonder and we felt blessed to have connected so deeply with these cows.
That could have been the end of the cow story that day and it would have been grand. Yet, to our surprise and astonishment, there was more to come. We found our way onto a gravel road that we hadn’t ridden much before. After a few miles, we notice another group of cows far off to our left high on a ridge. They were noticeable because they were running. A heard of cows running at full speed was unusual. I mean how often have you seen a whole group of 20 or 30 cows galloping anywhere. The horses noticed too and stood bolt still as we watched the cows to see what they were up to.
Soon it was obvious that they must have been running along a fence line because they suddenly turned sharply to the right running down the hill toward where we were standing watching them. They came thundering right toward the fence. I kept looking for the cowboys with their whips stampeding them along like in the old western movies. Until this moment, I had only ever seen cows run like this in the movies.
The cows slowed their pace as they neared us. They began to line up in front of us maybe three or four deep. Most of them were looking directly into our eyes. Tiya and I stood there transfixed on the scene. When we managed to speak, we both agreed that chills and goose bumps were shooting along our meridians. We somehow understood without words that these cows were acknowledging our consciousness and honoring our choices. Right then I realized that our ceremony at the holding pen a few miles back was now a part of the collective consciousness of cows. I am sure to them this is commonplace, but because we are so out of touch with that part of ourselves, we were amazed. What better way to learn something like this then to see it create in front of your eyes?
Half jokingly I began to moo at them as if trying in my inept way to communicate with them in their language. I do this often and my husband is always amused as I cluck to the wild turkeys, sing to the cardinals and bark with the neighborhood dogs. Well, this time with the magic of the day, I was rewarded. These cows began a symphony of mooing. It seemed to me that we stood there for the longest time. The sound soon died away and we chatted about our experience, both still shocked and energized with what we had created. We slowly turned our horses and began to move down the road. Interestingly these cows walked as a herd right along the fence line with us. They walked with us all the way to the next road where their fence ended and then stood there watching us as we moved away.
Once again that would be a great ending to an incredible event but we weren’t done yet. We turned onto another road heading back to Tiya’s farm. After a time we passed a large herd of dairy cows draped across a hill side lazily munching the last of the fall grass. They were beautiful black and white dairy cows. As we walked along I commented that these cows must have not gotten the message about our consciousness from the other cows and I laughed. No sooner were the words out of my mouth then we noticed that one by one these cows had begun to move. They were walking slowly toward us from all different directions. Even the ones sleeping on the grass in the noonday sun began to rise as we stopped once again to watch. This event seemed to occur in slow motion and very gradually. Soon we noticed that most of this dairy herd had gathered down by us at the fence line once again.
We began to really connect with individual cows as we studied their faces and their eyes. The beautiful large brown eyes were so expressive. As we chatted about the different personalities and messages we were picking up from them, we realized not all cows are the same. It may be obvious but we had never considered the individuality of each unique cow before this moment. We began to brainstorm and came up with the idea of creating cow divination cards. Why not! There are angle cards, dolphin cards, and animal cards. Why not some down home Iowa cow cards with each one giving the receiver a unique and beautiful message. As we busily and seriously discussed this project we were wishing we had a camera with us to capture these expressions.
After a time we began reading the marking tags in each cows ears. Instead of numbers, these cows each had names. Most probably because they were dairy cows. It was then that we noticed the cow in the very front center’s nametag was Tiya! Talk about getting excited, you can imagine how awed we were.
Soon after that these cows began to disperse from the fence line resuming their grazing and lounging on this sunny fall Sunday. We reluctantly headed on down the road. Several of the dairy cows walked along the fence line with us until it ended. We picked up our pace and cantered most of the way home energized by our morning.
Words are totally inadequate to describe the energy this magical day created by Tiya and me. Everything seemed so magical and we felt such bliss and connection to ourselves, ours horses, the cows and all that is. For me personally, it was one of my greatest experiences of the oneness of consciousness on this beautiful blue green planet of ours. Not that I ever had any doubt about that Spiritual truth, but to have it activated emotionally, visually and physically within me was powerful.
You are probably wondering where you can get the Iowa cow cards. Well, like so many ideas they never came to pass in that way. Yet, the magic of each individual cow that connected with us that day remains as a special message in our hearts. I never pass a cow or eat beef without activating that conscious memory within me. I still know that every cow I encounters knows me as I do them. I am well aware that moments such as these are changing our world from one of separation and pain to a place where all hearts embrace our greater connectedness and live accordingly. Every birthday I recall the special gift of who I am and the magic Tiya and I created as we healed ourselves. I am so blessed to live in Iowa, to have access to the animal kingdom and the beautiful earth, to have good friends and equine companions and to realize I created it all.