December 1-2, 1995: Linda Leonard

Lecture: Creation’s Heartbeat: Following the Reindeer Spirit

In the Arctice, the “shamanic” peoples who live in accord with the rhythms of nature regard the reindeer as spiritual messengers. Traveling between heaven and earth, the reindeer transport the souls of the dead to rebirth in the spirit world and carry the shaman to the source of wisdom and healing for the community. The peoples of the North have a soul-relationship with the reindeer, live by its rhythms, and follow its annual migration to to give birth. At the same time, they depend on it for their livelihood and live in the paradox between soul and nature. “Reindeer Spirit” is a metaphor for an ancient feminine instinctual rhythm of soul that offers a path to the ecological and creative living needed by the modern world in its “Dark Night of the Soul.” This presentation will explore the challenges of reviving the Reindeer Spirit as a way to nourish the soul. 

Workshop: The Healing Power of Reindeer Woman

For the Shamanic people of the North, the reindeer is a messenger between heaven and earth, a mystical creature that transports into our lives healing and wisdom from the world beyond. Linda Leonard, who lived with nomadic peoples in the Siberian wilderness and in Lapland, came to understand that the reindeer as “spirit guide” is a metaphor for an instinctual, feminine way of being in the world that honors both human life and nature. 

This workshop will focus on “Reindeer Woman” as an energy which is gentle and compassionate, strong and wild. Dr. Leonard will weave together fairy tales, legends and myths from the people of the North with dreams and experiences related to the reindeer (and deer) of contemperary men and women in our culture. The intent is to reawaken in each of us a spiritual awareness of animals as a source of divine inspiration and creativity. 

Participants are invited to bring dreams and images of reindeer, deer, and other animals that they have experienced as healing bonds to nature. 


Linda Schierse Leonard, Ph.D., is a philosopher and Zurich-trained Jungian analyst who has been in private practice for more than 20 years. She is the author of The Wounded Woman: Healing the Father-Daughter Relationship, On the Way to the Wedding: Transforming the Love Relationship, Witness to the Fire: Creativity and the Veil of Addiction, and Meeting the Madwoman. Her new book, Creation’s Heartbeat: Following the Reindeer Spirit, will be published in November. 

Creation’s Heartbeat: Following the Reindeer Spirit