On Christmas Eve, 2017, I was inspired to produce an Australian version of the traditional carol, the Twelve Days of Christmas. Over the following twelve days, I relied on intuition and a deck of Australian Bird and Animal cards to decide which bird or animal, my true love, the creative force, would bring to guide me.
On the twelfth day, it all came together as a collection. It had been a significant commitment to come to the page each day and work with the bird or animal who tapped on my chamber window. I considered leaving it at that! But then all these Aussie birds and animals crowded around me demanding to be noticed. It was like a classroom of small children, all with their hands up, anxious to have their say.
In his book, ‘Animal Wise’, Ted Andrews suggests that the reader take the time to learn more about the animal world. He suggests studying a different animal each week. He says that if we do this, within 52 weeks our knowledge will have grown by a significant amount.
I have decided to spend 52 weeks in 2018 undertaking workshops with Aussie birds and animals in order to discover just what they will teach me about the creative life. This page will maintain a record of the birds and animals who agree to provide workshops for me.
The Superb Blue Wren is a tiny charismatic bird who has flitted into my life. The wrens found the green corridor I had created in my backyard and the neighbours have also been enjoying their presence.
Common Blackbirds are, for some people, considered a good omen. Others believe that the Blackbird brings the lessons learned in meditation. It is also associated with travel to the Otherworld and the mysteries found there. A family of blackbirds have made my place home! These timid birds keep to themselves most of the time. They love to bathe in the water bowl I have left out for them.
The Musk Lorikeet is a gregarious, comical bird. The Musk Lorikeet is usually seen in small flocks, and often occurs with Rainbow, Little and Purple-crowned Lorikeets. Like other lorikeets, this species forages mostly on flowers, specialising in those growing at the tops of tall eucalypts and paperbarks. It often feeds in association with other lorikeets, forming noisy mixed-species flocks.
The Possum, like the Opossum, inspires us to see opportunity in every situation and to harness all opportunities to our best advantage. Possum urges us to see life as being built on foundations upon which great things can be built. Sloth may have been promoted as one of the seven deadly sins but Possum reveals that there are advantages to idleness.
Over the Australia Day long weekend, I stayed at a coastal Airbnb on the Bellarine peninsular. While there I closely observed an Australian Pelican nesting in a mangrove thicket. This bird reminds me to take it easy. It is suggesting that it would be beneficial to an effort to float through life and float through my emotions. The challenge is to savour each special moment.
It is timely that Echidna has nosed its way into my life. Echidna is urging me to step out of my comfort zone; that it is time to lower my boundaries and tear down the brick walls I have established to protect myself from being hurt.
It is no challenge to find mobs of grey kangaroos grazing in nearby Happy Valley! I was out still hunting and a mob passed quietly by, stopping briefly to check me out and observe what I was doing! Their bounds remind me to take a leap of faith!
Sometimes called native companions or Australian cranes, these grey birds are beautiful dancers, famous for their elaborate performances which appear to be for both pleasure and as a part of their mating ritual. The Aboriginal people have immortalised their graceful steps through dance. Vocal birds, the females also make a trumpeting sound while dancing. They look very elegant moving across the plains; the freedom contained within their dance spreading and radiating joy and spontaneity. Join in! Come Spirit Dancing With Brolga!
The crocodile is a notoriously patient predator that carefully strikes at the right opportunity.Crocodiles have evolved over thousands of years to be patient, Are you prepared to invest time waiting? Have you got the will to position yourself, be patient and then pounce when the time is right?
Hiding who you are. Knowing who you are. Pride. Pretence. Deception. Display. Showing off and showiness. Using façade as a mechanism for growth. Doubt and self-confidence. Preserving the hidden self. The Frilled Neck Lizards introduces us to the art of deception
Humans have long revered whales and other animals in legends. For thousands of years, they have been aligned with the gods, mythologized, and celebrated in art. The humpback whale has come to remind us to go with the flow.
The Satin Bowerbird has reappeared! Bowerbirds live up to thirty years and can spend half a decade building the bower. This provides a model of the patience, dedication, focus and fortitude demanded of true artistry.
It is quite easy to become bats about bats! Bats emerging from a cave or tree represents the archetypal energies of consciousness breaking out of a limited, enclosing perspective to soar in the limitless expanse of the universe.
When I upturned a pot on my deck a small beige frog emerged, reminding me that like him, I could transform, change and reinvent myself repeatedly. Frog has plenty of wisdom to offer those of us who feel the need to renew.
It seems that we need the message of week fourteen reinforced – drummed in so to speak. This week Butterfly has fluttered into my life reminding me that like her and the frog, I could transform, change and reinvent myself repeatedly.
This week the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo has been screeching at me, reminding me to play and satisfy my curiosity.