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.

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Animal Medicine Monday – Wolverine

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The Wolverine is a powerful animal that resembles a small bear but is actually the largest member of the weasel family.  According to National Geographic, “these tough animals are solitary” and “need a lot of room to roam. Individual wolverines may travel 15 miles (24 kilometers) in a day in search of food.”

Wolverine is the keeper of personal power and defender of psychic attack. Wolverine is one of the strongest defenders against mental confusion. It will also eradicate evil or that which destroys life.

 

Animal Medicine Monday – Opossum

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Opossums are called the little heyoehkah, the sacred clown who teaches us to look at things upside down, inside out, and from multiple perspectives.  It teaches us how to trick ourselves into the light.  Because it is nocturnal, it is a shadow exposer.  If your intent is to see the light within your shadow, call of the medicine of the Opossum.

Animal Medicine Monday – Coyote

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The South Spirit Keeper, who guides your spiritual self-growth and development, in the Wheel of Allies is the Coyote. This gentle trickster teaches you about illusion and tricks you into the light by showing you your dark side with humor. As the south Spirit Keeper, Coyote is a teacher of trust, innocence, humor and love. S/he is also a teacher and protector of children and a master of disguise, camouflage and imagination. When you put on a coyote robe you can “see the world with a different eye”.

Animal Medicine Monday – Snow Goose

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Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSnow Geese – Credit: Cephas, Wikimedia

Snow Goose is the Sweet Medicine animal totem within SunBear’s Earth Astrology that corresponds to the sun sign of Capricorn.

The Snow Goose is the Bringer and Keeper of the earthly, personal and tonal dream, meaning how we live our every day life. Do we have a roof over our head, food in the pantry, gas in the car?  Are our bills paid?  Are our bodies healthy?  They are also the Keeper of mirrors and the masks of self, our Book of Life.  Who do we know ourselves to be?  How do people, events, and relationships mirror our self-concept? Are we aware of when we wear a mask to fit in, conform or belong or as an act of controlled folly?  Snow Goose helps us to translate the screenplay our Higher Self wrote it in our Book of Life, bringing clarity to our awake dreaming.

You might recognize some of Snow Geese’s traits that you relate to… They don’t like to travel without the company of another couple dozen geese and can form flocks of several hundred thousand. Snow Geese stay with the same mate for life. During spring migration, large flocks of snow geese fly very high along narrow corridors, more than 3,000 mi.

Animal Medicine Monday – Raccoon

 

raccoon_1280Raccoons are considered the masked heyoehkah, or sacred clown.  As they gather, they teach us to collect only that which is necessary.  They also teach us to horde, save and steal.  Raccoon is the teacher of jealously and possessiveness.  Because it is nocturnal, it is a shadow exposer.

Animal Medicine Monday – Thunderbird

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The bringer of thunder, lightning and rain; awakener of the voice of our Hokkshideh (our Higher Self); keeper of memory. The thunderbird is the over-soul of all winged ones and thus is able to communicate with all the winged ones. It teaches mastery of elemental alchemy. The thunderbird is the mythological equivalent to the phoenix, the dragon, the peyote waterbird and is a cousin to the roadrunner.

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Animal Medicine Monday – Elk

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Elk, the largest and most regal member of the deer family, are the totem animal corresponding to the sun sign of Sagittarius.

Elk are fast, good jumpers, and considerate.  While traveling in gangs, they take turns making trails in the snow.

Elk are master teachers and healers, as well as the awakener of the unconscious. This keeper of thunder and lightning teaches us to “hear the lightning and see the thunder,” which helps bring us from fantasy into the light of knowledge.  Master of rules and laws; Elk teaches us to resolve our karma circles. They are also the guardians of the gateway into the unknown (the nagual or spirit world) and masters of physical sexuality and orgasm.

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Animal Medicine Monday – Wild Turkey

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Wild Turkeys are called ground eagles.  Like the eagle, communicates with the Great Spirit, but from a more tonal and grounded place.

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Animal Medicine Monday – Frog

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Frog, the clan animal of the Water Clan, is a cross-cultural symbol as a totem for the shaman.  This “shield-jumper” helps us to integrate all the teachings of the different powers into our own system of knowledge. (A shield is a body of knowledge.) The frog is the keeper of the great memory clans, secret societies and magickal lodges.

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