Animals as Teachers

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Animals are powerful teachers and have much to offer us because they possess natural balance, harmony, and alignment.  They do not have doubt, blame, shame, insecurity, and all the other blocks we experience.  A wolf does not worry because it is not an eagle.  A fox does not experience jealousy because another fox is bigger and has longer, shinier fur.  They don’t yearn to be something else.  The animal simply knows what it is and instinctively knows its purpose.  Animals teach us to accept ourselves for who we are because they are so in alignment with who they are.

One way to align with and communicate with the animal world is to go to your local zoo.  Spend time with an animal that you are attracted to, particularly one of your own totem animals, for they are the key to your own unique naturalness.  Do not stare into their eyes, as that is a signal of aggression or danger; rather, gaze at them indirectly or with soft focus.  Send your energy and your communication softly, with respect and honor.  Ask that animal to receive the energy and send its energy back.  They communicate in images, so see what you get.  Observe the animal in its catness, its deerness, its rabbitness, its crowness, its wolfness.  What makes it what it is?  If the opportunity presents itself, imitate the body movements, mannerisms, and sounds of the animal, just as you did with the trees.  What does it feel like, look like, act like in your own body to be a jaguar, a bear, an eagle?

Over time, you will want to get to know your own personal totem animals.  We encourage you to explore this arena by reading Sun Bear’s book The Medicine Wheel (New York: Prentice Hall, 1986).  His sacred vision, his Earth wisdom, and the love of Grandmother Earth that Sun Bear shared during his life were instrumental in bringing back the sacred Medicine Wheels and reawakening people’s connection with the Earth Mother.

In their natural habitats, animals maintain harmony and balance.  They exhibit alpha/beta behavior and assert their territorial imperative to maintain that balance.  That same behavior is exhibited by humans as well, since we are still two-legged animals, but we don’t create balance and harmony with our alpha/beta behavior.  More often or not, we dominate and try to take control, thus upsetting the balance in the environment.  When we enter the picture, we destroy the whole balance and suffer immeasurably for it.

Read how Reintroducing Wolves into Yellowstone National Park changed the Ecosystem as an example of this harmony and balance.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World: Mythologicals

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In the Center, we catalyze with our sexual soul force through open heart to heart communication.  Our open hearted sexual communication is what gives us our identity as a human being. This comes through our soul, our life force energy.

The mythical animals, the receiver-transformers, sit in the Center of the Animal World wheel.  The unicorn, the pegasus, the dragon, the thunderbird, and other mythological archetypes transform our myths and our dreams into sources of understanding and power.  The mythological animals sit in this place along with the ancestors because they are stored within our ancestral memory.  We sit as unbalanced two-leggeds in the very Center of this wheel, but if we can grow up and become balanced humans, then we can evolve to our own circle and become “human beings.”

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World: Winged Ones

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In the East, we determine with the spirit through passion and lust. The words passion and lust are bound to create controversy. Think of it this way. You have not had an apple in a long time, and you may never have an apple again. As you eat this apple, you totally focus your attention on it. With all your senses, you taste the juice of it; you are aware of the texture and smell of it.  You savor every morsel of it as if it were the only thing going in town. This is eating an apple with passion and lust. So, in our lives, with everything we do, whether it is cleaning the floor, writing a paper, or making love, we should do it with the spirit of passion and lust, as if it were the last moment of life. Savor each moment by determining with your intent and focus from your spirit.

The winged ones are aligned with spirit, and they are the receiver-determiners in the East of the Animal World wheel.  They are masters of movement in alignment with the wind energies, so they can fly the currents of the mind.  In every aspect of their being, they symbolize the way our mind receives.

The winged ones also represent our fierce desire to fly.  Even in the earliest cave drawings there are two connections made to the animal world by shamans and sorcerers: first to the horned ones and second to the winged ones.  Early humanity equated freedom with the symbol of the winged ones.  The greatest thing our mind can conceive is its individual, autonomous freedom, and birds represent this at the highest level, symbolically and in practice.  They also give us their wings and feathers as medicine objects that can direct or move energy.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World: Four-leggeds

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In the North, we receive with the mind through clarity and caring. Our mind is an open cup, ready to receive from many viewing points and perspectives. When we are open only to one viewing point, we can get tunnel vision. The more ideas and concepts we can receive with our minds, the greater will be our capacity to see many different perspectives and therefore, gain more clarity.

The four-leggeds, the runners who are double receivers sit in the north of the Animal World wheel.  They are in perfect balance within themselves and with everything around them.  They know when the weather is going to change or a storm is brewing or a natural catastrophe is about to happen.  They receive energy, very often absorbing human emotions.  If your pets are in the area where you are doing body work, healing work, crystal work, medicine work, or magickal ceremony, they will soak up every bit of negative energy.  Your animals will literally die for you.

Fact about dogs: They possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in us. And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours.  That’s a lot more receiving than humans are even capable of.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World: Creepers and Crawlers

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In the West, we hold with the physical body with intimacy. Now, this does not mean to hold as in hold on tight.  It is holding in the sense of transforming energy through stabilization and for utilization.  Think of it as an electrical cord. The body is the structure through which electrical energy moves like a conduit, and provides the transformed energy to turn a fan, or work a toaster, or move the body parts.

The crawlers are those whose bellies are closest to Grandmother Earth and who often move through her.  They are the receiver-holders who sit in the West of the Animal World wheel.  The snake is the closest to the Earth, receiving her energy from the Earth, then giving back to us knowledge of the perfect alchemy of the Earth

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World: Swimmers

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South energies teach us how to give with our emotions with tenderness, which is a means of “energy motion” or “E-motion.” Emotions are meant to be expressed, to flow freely. In other words, if we are angry we give our anger; when we are happy we give happiness; when we are sad, we cry and give with sadness. Our emotions are a part of our beauty which we have to give away. As long as we are giving our emotions with tenderness our emotions are true, clear and clean expressions of what is happening with us. We are in balance.

The swimmers, the receiver-givers, sit in the south of the animal world.  They move through the water, the South of the Animal World wheel.  Fish receive through the water whatever energy is present and hold it in their flesh.  The highest incidents of food poisoning in the world result from eating seafood contaminated by pollution in the water.  The cetaceans – dolphins and whales – are the greatest receiver-givers and holders of genetic memory on this planet.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Animal World

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Animals, the third world of Grandmother Earth, are the receivers of energy.  Their gift is teaching us how to receive. Knowing how animals are receivers is probably most easily understood by those of you who have pets. You will recall the times when you were sick or just “blue” and your pet came to curl up beside you and “made you feel better.”  Animals will take on the energy of their human companion. Often people say the pet looks like or acts like their caretaker.

In our tradition, animals are known as “Sweet Medicine.” Each animal through its habits and ways carries within its being-ness a “medicine.” It is a gift of healing they bring to us if we align with them. Mostly they teach us to be who we are. You don’t see a dog wanting to act like a frog. It is content in its dog-ness. These animals are great teachers and allies.

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Plant World: Fruits and Flowers

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In the North, we receive with the mind through clarity and caring. Our mind is an open cup, ready to receive from many viewing points and perspectives. When we are open only to one viewing point, we can get tunnel vision. The more ideas and concepts we can receive with our minds, the greater will be our capacity to see many different perspectives and therefore, gain more clarity.

Fruits and Flowers, which are the giver-receivers, sit in the North of the Plant World wheel.  They give away their beauty, and their scent, which is air in the North.  They also receive.  All alchemists know that if you put flowers and fruits in any kind of magickal circle – church, lodge, marriage ceremony, funeral – they receive or absorb any negative energy that might be present.  If the atmosphere is impure, flowers and fruits will wither and rot quickly

Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.

Children of Grandmother Earth, The Animal World

Each of the worlds have a wheel of their own.  Each of the directions dance with the Animal World in different ways.

In our tradition, animals are known as “Sweet Medicine.” Each animal through its habits and ways carries within its being-ness a “medicine.” It is a gift of healing they bring to us if we align with them. Mostly they teach us to be who we are. You don’t see a dog wanting to act like a frog. It is content in its dog-ness. These animals are great teachers and allies.

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In the South are the swimmers of all sizes and shapes.  They are receiver-givers. The fluidity of water has to do with our emotions. Look at the dolphin: it is a receiver by nature, but if a human is in trouble, it will give help to the human.

lizard_1280In the West are the crawlers, those who creep with their belly on the earth. The earthworms, lizards, and snakes are receiver-holders. They know the earth intimately, so from them we can learn how to be in a more harmonious relationship with her. The earth worm eats compost and changes it into soil, therefore helping the soil to hold its integrity.

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In the North are the four-leggeds, the receiver-receivers, those who run with the wind and teach us balance. Some of these animals have been willing to “receive” humans onto their backs and make our transportation easier.

 

 

 

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In the East are the winged ones, the receiver-determiners. These beings relate to our spirit (fire). The eagle is known as the “Messenger of the Great Spirit,” carrying our prayers to spirit and bringing messages back to us.

 

In the Center are the mythical animals, the receiver-transformers and catalyzers. Mythical animals have a way of stretching our imagination and teaching us in the dreamtime.  They carry truth through the myth and legends of all cultures. Also here are the two-leggeds who are not yet sacred humans. The Sweet Medicine SunDance Way speaks of unbalanced humans as “two leggeds.” They are human in form but lack the consciousness and right behaviors of what it is to be truly human. When humans become balanced, they move to their own place on the Human Wheel.

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Children of Grandmother Earth

In the totality of Grandmother Earth there are four categories or Worldsas we call them. They correspond to the four directions. In our tradition, we often speak of these worlds as “children” or “people.” Though different in nature from humans, we relate to them with equal respect and honor.  As varying forms of life, we are all children of Grandmother Earth, all manifestations of the creation of all substance form. Each of the Worlds carries and manifests energy within its own unique expression.

apple-tree_1280The Plant World sits in the south and are the Givers of Energy.  the Plants as the givers of energy. What it means for the plants to be givers is that their gift, their essence of being-ness as a plant is to give. They give nourishment, shelter, beauty, inspiration and most importantly through the photosynthesis, the oxygen we breath, our breath of life. Plants teach unconditional giving. You don’t find a plant trying to decide who it will give air to today according to its likes or dislikes.  Through its being-ness, it simply gives.

coal_1280In the West is the Mineral World, who are the Holders of energy. The saying goes, that “within one grain of sand lies the entire Universe.” It is from the Mineral World that plants are born, so we might say that what is “held” is the potential for life. The Mineral World teaches us that substance is primarily a container, a vessel for spirit. The Mineral World is thus like our physical body.

meerkat_1280Sitting in the North are the Animals as the receivers of energy.  Their gift is teaching us how to receive. Knowing how animals are receivers is probably most easily understood by those of you who have pets. You will recall the times when you were sick or just “blue” and your pet came to curl up beside you and “made you feel better.” Animals will take on the energy of their human companion. Often people will say the pet looks like or acts like their caretaker.

The fourth World consists of Humans as the determiners of energy. Among all the creatures, it is only the humans who were created with free will, an agency of choice and self-determination. It is also only the humans who have the genitalia for experiencing full body orgasm at will. These two features distinguish us from the other Worlds. We determine our own reality and with this comes authority, responsibility, and power. It is our choice whether we exercise these in beauty and re-creation or in pain and destruction.

Remember we said wherever you have four, you also have five. So with the four Worlds is the fifth World: In the center of all Worlds is the World of Spirit, the catalyzer of all energy.  All forms of life have “spirit” (manitou): they have life force energy, which we call the catalyst, pulsing through their form.
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