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Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks [Kindle Edition]

Stacey L. L. Couch
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.   

Editorial Reviews


"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

About the Author

Stacey L. L. Couch describes herself as a shamanic cowgirl who works as a publicist and journalist for Mother Nature. A pioneer at heart, she empowers people with the ability to explore life's big questions. She aims to show how to form a real connection with our own souls through the natural world. A life-long student of nature, she has a biology degree in ecology and conservation as well as a 2-year shamanic certification. Her home on a 38-acre ranch is in Pagosa Springs, CO. She offers shamanic healing and teaching services at

Product Details

  • File Size: 998 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Turning Stone Press (November 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G761WW6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #767,998 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go along for the ride. December 1, 2013
By S. Cobb
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stacey's journey from academia to the world of Shamanism is fascinating. Her detailed writing allows those without the same insight to catch a glimpse of a different perspective of the world. I very much enjoyed being taken along for the ride.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful journey December 28, 2014
"Gracious Wild A shamanic Journey with Hawks" is a highly recommended book to read.
I happen to pick it up just drawn to the title and cover not knowing what an amazing book this would be. I found myself not able to put the book down and it is such an important book to read in todays ever changing times.

Stacey's Couch storytelling reveals deep profound vulnerable experiences which is so raw and real, which gives us great insight into new foundations and ways to experience and be in life.

On page 97 she states " I could spend an hour or two getting clear about what I wanted regardless of what I thought I could get, write these wishes down on paper, and journey to gather the power I needed to bring my true desires into the world. With that work done, I could carry on the business of living." When do we allow ourselves to slowdown, dream set intentions to the world. In todays busy world with technology and all of our ever fast paced of to-do's we forget some essential foundations of creating our lives. Stacey helps us reconnect with self and the importance of animal metaphors and shamanic ways that align with our lives.
A must read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring! February 3, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The authors connection to animals and nature is very captivating. Stacy Couch makes you feel as if you are there with her as she sees, feels, journeys, and grieves. This has helped me be more aware of some events that has happened to me in the past. A perfect book for someone (like me) who is starting her own studies in Shamanism. I would highly recommend this book for beginners and plan to keep going back to it for future reference.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A reader's review of Gracious Wild January 31, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Stacey's account of her journey from scientist to shaman is riveting! Her descriptive passages of the island where her journey starts right through to the wild animal rehab where she befriends two hawks and an owl are vivid, exciting and believable. Each of the animals that come in to her life, guiding her to the next part of her journey, are very real and easily seen in the mind's eye as you read.
I would highly recommend this book to any reader.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Shaman story January 31, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was a nice story but was not what I expected as about shamanism. The author did explain about the journeys she experienced but I guess I expected more. A quick read and I learned a lot about raptor behavior and rehab.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If I remember correctly, I came across this book in one of Sandra Ingerman's Transmutation News newsletters and I was so glad to come across it. I had been curious to learn more about hawks and what they can symbolize due to a memory I have from a rollover car accident I was in as a child where there had been a couple of hawks sitting on the gravel road about the time my mom lost control of the car. My brother, who saw the hawks, and I feel that the hawks were definitely a positive symbol since I, my 3 siblings and my mom all survived the rollover despite not wearing seat belts. This book has helped me to see the hawks' presence during the time of the accident as even more powerful and meaningful.

I especially enjoyed reading Stacey's shamanic journey and dream stories which helped to weave together the entire story in this book. I'm thankful when people, like Stacey, open up about their dreams and visions because I really feel a connection to them and the symbolism is so rich and makes my soul feel nourished. I was blown away and became emotional when I read about Stacey's vision she had where one of the hawks' spirits brought the spirit of the mouse it had killed back to the spirit world. That story gave me a whole new perspective to have with some of the happenings in nature and I'm thankful for this. One other part I really loved and was affected by was reading about the design on Graccia's breast that Stacey discovered. I was so curious how her shamanic journey's message relating to this design would unfold and how it eventually did is so amazing. I wish I could have seen this design and of course, Graccia and her Wild Grace, in person. I need to work on standing in my own power and I had never really thought about viewing birds, like the hawk, as helpers for inspiring me to do so. Reading about this really resonated with me and makes so much sense. I will now be keeping my eyes even more peeled for hawks that I may encounter on my path.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite! January 16, 2014
By Anna
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A beautiful story written from the heart. Anyone with an affinity for animals will love it. Anyone looking for a connection with the natural world will love it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared for agonizing detail
I read this book because it was recommended by Sandra Ingerman. I wasn't all that impressed and don't like the images it left me with. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Avowed Bibliophile
5.0 out of 5 stars Gracious Wild
My soul was deeply touched by Gracious Wild. Through her detailed descriptions, Stacey was able to take me deep within my own psyche and desire to use my connection with animals to... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ginger St. Ours
5.0 out of 5 stars Join Stacey Couch on an intimate journey into the natural world.
Gracious Wild was an intimate journey with a woman on a quest to find deeper meaning in her life. She shares with the reader, the kind of personal experiences that she would share... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Peter Speek - Senior Advisor, Money, Meaning & Choices Institute
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift to Yourself
One of my favorite lines in this book is "When you are a gift to yourself everything shifts, sparkles around you." Reading this book was certainly a gift for me. Read more
Published 13 months ago by EN-C
5.0 out of 5 stars touching and well written
From the first page this book wrapped me up in a magical world and cut though my skepticism about our ability to receive messages from the natural world. Read more
Published 13 months ago by J. Pouillon
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!
This book is a deeply insightful view into one woman's journey into herself, shamanism, and the natural world. I laughed and cried and couldn't put it down.
Published 14 months ago by Mary A. Stevens, II
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More About the Author

- -
Stacey L. L. Couch is a shamanic cowgirl who works as a publicist and journalist for Mother Nature. A pioneer at heart, she empowers people with the ability to explore life's big questions. She aims to show how to form a real connection with our own souls through the natural world. Stacey started her career working for Mother Nature with a bachelor's degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the University of Washington. She has lived in coastal, desert, marshland, rainforest, and grassland ecosystems studying everything from seabirds to raptors to foxes to songbirds. She is a published scientific author and has been the director of both a birds-of-prey education program and a community supported agriculture program. In 2003, she joined the shamanic field serving as a student, tutor, mentor, and administrator, and she graduated as a Certified Shamanic Practitioner (CSP) in 2007. She is a continuing student of the natural world and of spirituality as well as the sole proprietor of Wild Gratitude shamanic healing services.

Stacey lives on a 38-acre small mountain farm in southwest Colorado with her husband, two cats, dog, chickens, two mustang mares, and a host of wild ones.

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