Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Watching the news lately, hearing stories of rescue and heartbreak, I cannot help but think about all the
animals that are affected by nature's fury.  This year has seen its share of historical fires, floods, tornadoes, and drought...and the wild animals in and along the path of these natural, oftentimes tragic occurrences, are sometimes overlooked.  In no shape or form am I advocating overlooking the people who need help, I am just, at this time, concerned about the animals of our earth who are affected as well.
Only, maybe I don't need to be.  Maybe they don't need my attention; my help.  Maybe they're just fine.  They probably know a lot more than I do how to avoid these natural disasters.  There is, after all, something called instinct; animal instinct.  Living so close to the land they are attuned to their environment, more so than humans give them credit for. I would bet that most species who can survive living in the wild probably know a weather related disaster is coming.   But, can animals really predict disasters? I would tend to answer; yes.  We've all heard of them: tales of dogs barking before a big earthquake hits; wildlife behaving strangely before the big hurricane; earthworms pouring from the ground just before a big flood.  Are these tall tales . . . or true?  My guess is it's a little bit of both.
So then I consider this: If I were to choose which animal's special "sixth sense" I would like to have, knowing that its particular sensitivity could help me before during and after a serious weather incident, which animal would I choose? I guess I would have to do a bit of investigative work and I cannot think of a better place to look than at the indigenous of our world and the practices of the shamans; medicine men and women.

In the Shamanic belief, shamans believe that everyone has power animals and are able to use that animal's spirit, lending to you the wisdom of its kind.  Hawks will lend their hawk wisdom; tigers their tiger wisdom, etc. And, they need not be only mammals and can be reptiles, insects or sea creatures. Shamans also believe that everyone has power animals to aid in overcoming illnesses and keeping negative energy from entering their bodies.  They believe that over the course of a human's life, everyone has several power animals, especially during their childhood, otherwise they couldn't survive.
So then what are the attributes of some of these power animals? Better yet, let's call them "Animal Spirit Guides."  We'll start with the bear, since I, for one, know that the bear and its talents has worked with me in my own life.  After all, I asked it to.   And, for those of you who have begun reading my novels in the White Bird Series, you have begun to understand that animals are a very important element in my story.  
When one looks for the attributes of each animal, focusing on what it represents as a power animal, there are hundreds of resources available on the internet.  If you'd like a book on power animals, "Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews is very popular. For the purpose of this article, I will be using information from this website: www.animalspirits.com. It is very popular and well-researched.

The Bear (Emblematic of grounding forces and strength) 
Bear Wisom includes:
  • Strength and confidence
  • Standing against adversity; taking action and leadership
  • Using healing ability to help self or others
  • Importance of solitude, quiet time, rest.
  • The spirit of the bear provides strong grounding forces.

The Mountain Lion (Master Hunter known for its high intelligence)
Mountain Lion wisdom includes:
  • Using leadership power wisely and without ego
  • Balancing power, intention, strength.
  • Gaining self-confidence
  • Freedom from guilt
  • Cunning

The Eagle (Symbol of spirit, vision and strength)
Eagle wisdom includes:
  • Swiftness, strength, wisdom
  • Courage, keen sight, healing
  • Illumination of Spirit
  • Ability to see hidden spiritual truths
  • Rising above the material to see the spiritual
  • Grace achieved through knowledge and hard work
The Elephant (Symbol of commitment, royalty and strength)
Elephant wisdom includes:
  • Connection to ancient wisdom
  • Removal of obstacle and barriers
  • Confidence
  • Patience
  • Using education opportunities
  • Royalty
  • Strength

The Wolf (Symbol of wildness, social and family values)
Wolf wisdom includes:
  • Facing the end of one's cycle with dignity and courage
  • Death and rebirth
  • Spirit teaching
  • Guidance in dreams and meditations
  • Instinct linked with intelligence
  • Social and familial values
  • Outwitting enemies
  • Ability to pass unseen
  • Steadfastness
The Spider (Grandmother Spider wove the web of the universe)
Spider wisdom includes:
  • Weaver of the web of fate
  • Wisdom
  • Creativity
  • Divine Inspiration
  • Shapeshifting
  • Understanding the patterns of illusion
  • Female energy for the creative force of life
The Orca (Record keeper for Eternity)
Orca wisdom includes:
  • Creator of the Cosmos
  • Freeing the soul from the physical body
  • Controlling rainfall on earth
  • Soul memory
  • Seeing the unseen
  • Having the ability to convert raw material into stars, planets, etc.
What I have included in this respective list is just a tiny example of the hundreds upon hundreds of animals in the animal kingdom, each with its own special unique quality.  Animals are our spiritual teachers in so many ways.  If this interests you at all, there are many websites, books, seminars that share their knowledge. You can then begin researching on your own so you can begin learning more about the animals of our world and what they can offer, discover for yourself how each can talk to you and awaken the knowledge that lies deep within your soul. This particular way of looking at animals allows us to honor them for what they can teach us instead of exploiting them just as a food source, or for clothing, medicine, hides, oils, or entertainment. 

We will continue seeing nature rear its head, and sometimes we will feel insignificant against such fury.  But we need not feel as if we are alone.  The animals of our world have chosen to be here, just as we have and they are quite aware of what is going on and will offer their help if asked.  From the tiniest ant to the white sperm whale, each species communes with the earth and understands that the planet, the animals and mankind are at an impasse, moving from one age to the next.  Maybe we should watch the animal kingdom, see how it is reacting to these changes and learn from them.  When environmental changes occur as they are today, accepting and adapting to the changes is a key to survival.  The animal kingdom knows how to do this, mankind, however, still struggles.  I don't know about you, but my eyes will be on them, not the media, proclaiming our world is about to end.  And as I watch our beloved four-leggeds, winged-beings and creatures of the sea, I will do what I can to make sure that I, representing the race of human beings, honor them, respect them, cherish them and listen to them.  Or rather, if I happen to see an army of worms scurrying for higher ground--I will follow.