Speaker for the Animals

We live in a rapidly changing landscape where people and urban areas are displacing the places for the wild ones to live. Who speaks for the animals? We will.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Weasel - Silent Observation

Sly Circumvention, Silent Observation
Ferreting out of Secrets
Totem animal of Royalty, Liars and Thieves,
Salesmen, Businesspeople, Travelers,
Diplomats, Magicians;

Solitary by nature, Weasels are small carnivores who feed upon mice, other rodents, insects, lizards and other small animals. With their short legs, taloned claws, and long bodies, weasels are fierce hunters, stalking their prey silently and stealthily until they can attack from ambush. They can follow mice and other rodents right into their holes and burrows. Most of their prey is then taken back to their dens, which are also in underground holes, where it can be eaten safely.

Weasel medicine is the ability to track and ferret out prey surreptitiously. Stealth and silent observation are the prominent characteristics of weasel people. Because they are small, sly and stay hidden, they bring people with this totem the ability to 'listen in' without being noticed by others. Such people are very good at picking up secrets others would never tell them.

Because weasels are small, they are vulnerable to larger predators, so weasels—and weasel people—should never take on more powerful competitors directly. But then, they don’t need to. Stealth, cunning and expert use of camoflage is one of the more successful survival strategies in the wild.

Society usually holds that direct confrontation is the measure of a man or assertive woman. But all too frequently, confrontation with a more powerful person leads to loss of a job, a dangerous physical conflict or loss of an opportunity. Weasel people seldom are promoted into the top positions in business or industry. They are not leaders. However, they make superb leutenants, because they will execute orders with cunning and stealth. Many are caught up in the rules of righteousness or ethical behavior. Weasel people have to rid themselves of such attitudes in organizational politics, because these attitudes expose the individual to overpowering force from more powerful forces. Weasel survives through flattery, subterfuge, lies or near lies, ambiguous answers or excuses. He may not be well liked, or even in a powerful position. But he survives when others get their pink slips.

Weasel people are often solitary, but get along well enough with everyone. The "Eddie Haskel" of the animal kingdom, they take what they need and are not ostentatious about it. They don’t poke into other’s business or step on toes. They really want no trouble from anyone, but they can deliver a ferocious “bite” if attacked. Even larger “predators” tend to be cautious with a weasel person, and if they should make an enemy of a weasel person, learn never to turn their back on them.

Weasel deals with competing animals furtively, and can dispose of their competition and provide for themselves without danger to themselves. In Nature, survival is the only criteria of success of a species, and those who would learn from nature would do well to emulate the successes of weasel, who often lives and prospers in the shadow of more powerful and dangerous animals. His survival depends on knowing when a dangerous predator is in the area as well as where to seek his own food safely.

Silently watching and listening, weasel people know who is “in” and who is “out,” which way a decision is going, and who is a critical ally in any situation, using that information to position themselves in any organization. They keep their own counsel, remain silent and uncommitted, avoid taking positions in disputes prematurely, wait to see who takes which position. Then, they make themselves useful to others so that they are seen as an ally to people on all sides of any dispute.

Monday, June 12, 2006

WHALE - The Power of Creation

Containment, Concealment and Resurrection,
The World, the Body and the Grave,
The Power of the Unconscious,
The Truth and Strength of the Inner Being,
The Descent into the Dark,
The Awakening of our Inner Depths,
The Mystic Mandorla or vesca piscis,
Creation, Practical Use of one’s Creativity.

With 90 or so different species of cetaceans or whales, the whale is the largest mammal on earth. Some whales are toothed, eating fish, seals and other marine life, while others have baleen in place of teeth, feeding on plankton and the sea life within this sea weed.

Whales have held spiritual associations and archetypal meanings for many cultures through the ages. The list above describes some of the key associations. It is an ancient symbol for creation. In Jewish and Islamic spiritual texts, the whale symbolizes containment, concealment and resurrection—as Jonah was swallowed by the whale and forced to wander in the dark of the belly for three days before being spit back up. There comes a time for each of us when we are swallowed up by the whale and descend into our dark places. In the belly of the whale, each of us teeter between heaven and earth, being both macrocosm and microcosm; at any instant, we could tip over into macrocosm and enlightenment. It is in the dark night of the soul where we meet the Creator.

In modern psychotherapy, this period of containment and imprisonment symbolizes man’s descent into the darkness of his shadow or into his Unconscious for a period of introspection and death, before being “reborn” or resurrected as a new being.

In dreams, being swallowed by a whale is archetypically the passing of the Threshold of the Heroic Quest into the Darkness of the Underworld, where the dreamer must confront his demons and dragon, find his pearl without price, and return to the World of Mankind changed, renewed and prepared to bring his gift to the waiting world. The whale is the world, our very bodies, and the place where each and everyone of us experiences the transformation of souls.

The whale swims in deep waters, and is a power of the deepest part of the Unconscious. Like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, the medicine of whale can bring an obsessive need to be with the gods rather than be here living life as a human, or bring the need to capture and possess the love of god rather than allow Creation Its own regimes and element of existence. Whale dives deep and lives in the depths with the intent of the Creation to be innocently aware of itself and awake in the worlds of man and God. Swallowed by the Whale, Man becomes the Creator.

In general, the whale is not a predator of man. Even so-called “Killer whales” or Orcas, seldom attack men or people in the water. Recently, I have dreamed of Orca in ways which suggest that It represents the power of Creation offering itself to us in this time and age: a power of the Unconscious Sea upon which we all dwell. Creation is bringing a new Creativity to Man—a time of renewal and change is upon us all. All about us are signs of a more tangible love from the Power of Creation. These gifts of creativity should be used with wisdom and love—for both ourselves and others.

The pursuit of wisdom and spirituality must bring all peoples together rather than holding us apart, for the loss of love is deepening the needs of many for signs that they are loved here on Earth. Feelings of loss and lovelessness are driving men and woman into despair where they do harm to themselves and others. Now is the time to reach out to others, including the poor and downtrodden, those of different religious persuasions, and different social classes. Now is the time for power to be used more wisely and justly for everyone is here to be transformed.

The Needs and Wants of all beings here on Earth should be honored and respected, including the plants and animals. Life is here to be honored as sacred. Our emerging creativity must bear fruit in the form of love among all peoples, regardless of divisions of race, religion, or nationality so that peace might reign as once promised; or else it will not be continued as before.

If whale has shown up in your life, it is time to re-examine your use or lack of use of your creativity. Are you copying others and their ideas, or are you adapting their ideas to new and pragmatic uses to improve the lot of others? Each man and woman possesses this gift, to be reined in if it is not well used. Think of ourselves as the ‘prodigal son’ or ‘daughter’ who has been given priceless gifts of creativity and adaptation; how are you using your gifts? And what return will you take to the Father as you complete your assignments here on earth?

Sources: J.E. Ciriot, A Dictionary of Symbols
Jean Chevalier & Alain Gheerbrant, Dictionary of Symbols
Ted Andrews, Animal Speak
Alice Anne Parker, Understand Your Dreams

Swan - The Beauty of the Soul

From ancient times, Swans symbolized the Beauty of the Soul. Totem of the child, the poet, the mystic and the dreamer, the coming of Swan intensifies the emotions and the feeling nature within man and woman, as the Soul rises to the surface to feel its way in the Sunlight of Earth.

In myth, swans pulled the god Apollo’s chariot across the heavens, signifying that our own lower selves are pulled along in the wake of the Soul’s own journey.

The Soul’s Beauty is too great for this weary world, and she comes only occasionally, preferring—like the Swan--to remain in her own cold realms of inner conscousness. But when she does come, she is so bright, so bright, that many fall beneath Her spell. She calls many to tragic ends seeking a Beauty which is not for this world.

In ancient Greece, the Elders taught that no animal sings so sweet as the swan as she dies. In fantasy and faery, swans transformed into beautiful women, drawing men into hopeless yearning for that which could never be possessed. Swans were sacred to Aphrodite, goddess of Love. Once touched by Swan, men can feel their hearts, and the music of poetry awakens within them. Yet Beauty is also perilous, for once men have drunk of Beauty, they cannot live without it. Passion denied is the dark side of the soul’s need, for men destroy the things they love.

In the youngest children, the soul stirs and feels its “inferiority.” This is why children relate so well to the Tale of the Ugly Duckling. For in their innocence, they yearn to be loved, as does the Soul, for itself. And adults wonder about the shining eyes of their little ones as they gaze uncertainly upon the world in which they find themselves.