According to ‘Wisdom of the Australian Animals’ when a saltwater crocodile silently watches you he is not only thinking of tonight’s dinner but this powerful creature is also asking you to look at family secrets and to allow aspects of the lives of ancestors to provide some illumination.
At a time when I have been looking at ancestral wisdom and actively working with life stories, I was a little taken aback when a woman, researching the life of my great-great-grandfather, George Watson, and his brother John who were prominent mercantile shipping personalities in Hobart in the early 1800’s, contacted me.
However, I do live in a house in George Street which has glass doors with images of Blue Gum Clippers of the kind they built in the Battery Point Ship Yards in Hobart.
Clearly, I am on notice to look at these ancestors again. Perhaps there is something, not only in my great-great-grandfather’s spirit of adventure but in his work with convict lads, that will guide future work and creative projects.
Emu is a powerful teacher and guide. It promotes spiritual excellence and achievement by encouraging diligence, hard work, respect and humility in the lives of those it visits. Emu demands the great application of time, energy and love to all spiritual pursuits and can guide those who seek knowledge down paths of wisdom.
Emu is an excellent guide for those interested in shamanic pursuits and techniques. It is one of a few animal guides that is very powerful for shamanists, or those who simply strive for brilliance in all that they do. Emu guide can be quite stern and is a custodian of societal law. When emu appears in your life, it is time to apply some mettle and hard work to your situation. Emu doesn’t permit laziness, and emu energy is not very relaxing or soothing.
The energy of emu tends to come about at a time when rapid movement can be nourishing. Many animals teach us to slow down and take our time, but emu comes into our lives to say ‘speed up, work hard.’ Rapid movement can also be applied physically, through exercises like jogging and physically demanding cardiovascular movement. It can be applied spiritually, by drastically increasing how often your journey, make offerings or rituals, pray etc. Look at what you are doing to serve yourself, your spirituality, or others, and multiply it.
On a personal level, I sense, as I work with children at Winters Flat Primary School, that it is time to apply some mettle and grow a fresh very wild garden.
You only need to be silent and look into the eyes of the frogmouth owl to know that this wise creature is reminding you that great wisdom comes from within silence.
Artists talk about the negative space. Negative space is, quite simply, the space that surrounds an object in an image. Just as important as that object itself, negative space helps to define the boundaries of positive space and brings balance to a composition. As I have worked with primary school students they have come to truly understand what can be drawn from the negative space that silence creates.
Spirit echoes through the silence, sending us messages. It is important to follow the visions that rise up from the time spent in silence.
One of the oldest art forms on the planet is the artwork of the satin bowerbird. If we take the time to observe we can learn from this bird. We can learn and strengthen our artist’s eye.
The male bowerbird creates what is called his bower. It’s not a nest, but an artwork he builds in the hope he can attract a female to visit it, observe his performance in and around the bower, and then—if he’s lucky—mating just might occur!” In parts of Northern Australia, the bowerbird collects colourful rocks, leaves or other trinkets and patiently places them in an artistic formation. When the shrine is complete they wait patiently for females to approach to judge their creativity. If the females like what they see the pair will breed.
Take the time to go out and gather some special pieces to make a bower, or altar of your own.
The whale is renowned for its soul songs, songs that enrich and nurture the soul. Carl Sagan taught that one of the truly magical things about whales was the importance of their songs. Whales, quite literally, have a catalogue of songs that they remember and sing. Apparently, they have a different song for each month of the year. They will also have a special song that they sing in a certain location, leave, come back and pick up the song again. These soul songs travel far and wide throughout the oceans.
Since I have been on placement at Winters Flat primary I have remembered the song of my soul. I am back in the classroom as a specialist teacher of writing working with children of all ages and plan to feature the activities and responses of students, parents and teachers in a special Advent Calendar at the end of this year.
Here are some words that are associated with the whale. Think of them as fridge leftovers and make something out of them. Sing a song, be it a ballad, some hip hop, a hymn or a rhapsody and share it today.
Because the turkey is closely associated with the spirit of the Earth, it is also symbolic of feminine energies at work in our lives. This animal has been revered in ancient traditions as a symbol of fertility and abundance.
The turkey is a useful guide to unlocking the fullness of life. It invites those who have it as a totem to cultivate the balance between giving and receiving and find contentment in what they have.
The spirit of the Turkey totem puts an emphasis on community and the importance of sharing and generosity. The wisdom of this spirit animal is about paying attention to the people who are part of our life, whether it’s our family members, coworkers, classmates, or society at large.
When the turkey shows up as a spirit guide, it encourages us to see beyond our immediate personal needs and foster a sustainable relationship with others. Those who have the turkey as a power animal or totem may be inclined to be generous and giving without expecting anything in return.
Turkey comes to remind us to share our gifts with those around us, without any expectation of receiving. The only way to receive is to give with an open heart.
It is no accident that Parrot has flown into my world, encouraging me to keep seeking what nourishes me. Like the parrot, we are each wonderful beings, each gifted with special skills. The parrot’s resplendent colours speak of wearing one’s beauty on the sleeve. The parrot is a gregarious bird who enjoys the interaction with others. After so long tucked up inside my burrow I am happy to be interacting with others.
The parrot also has a great ability to satisfy its needs by foraging for food and nesting places. It is known to eat fruit and seeds and builds nests in all manner of places. Like the parrot, I am actively seeking that which meets my personal needs and the really good news is that a vision is, like a jigsaw puzzle, falling into place.
Potoroos belong to a small family called the Potoroidae (rat-kangaroos), within the large superfamily Macropodoidea. The rat-kangaroos are small marsupials which hop on their hind feet, dig for much of their food with well-developed forefeet, and have a complex stomach that allows them to extract nutrition very efficiently from their diet. The Potoroidae contains several small genera, including Bettongia, (the bettongs, such as the burrowing bettong and the brush-tailed bettong) and Potorous, containing the potoroos.
The Potoroo has a habit of spending their time in damp pockets of forests, hiding from the eyes of humanity. They nest during the day and at times during the night in bowl-shaped depressions beneath the spreading sedges, generally well hidden beneath the shrub canopy. They come out to feed, at night when most humans have gone to bed. After an extended period of accumulated losses I abandoned much that I did and, while I have not exactly been hiding from humanity, I have kept a low profile.
Life is a discovery of self and, as I complete the last subject of a Masters of Social Work I have been gifted with fresh insight. I have been affirmed! I have been shown the benefit of the skills I acquired along the way and I can see that it is time to resurface! As I tentatively resurface I am welcoming the fresh insight that comes when you emerge from the darkness into the light and when you can what you have been blind to.
It is not surprising that Kookaburra has flown back into my life to remind me to lighten up. Working at Winters Flat Primary for my Masters of Social Work placement feels like I have come full circle. It is a little like a final jigsaw piece falling seamlessly into place. Nonetheless, I have expended more energy than usual and I am tired and emotionally more vulnerable.
Hearing Kookaburra’s laugh reminds me to remember that life is for the enjoyment of living. Since it is so cold and wet here in Castlemaine today I think I will treat my senses to another hot bath in a room filled with some rose incense I picked up.
The frilled lizard grows to around 45-90cm in length, about two-thirds of which is tail. It has a vivid yellow mouth and a large extendible frill gathered about the neck and under throat. The combination of the gaping mouth and the wide, brightly coloured frill provide an intimidating sight to any potential predator. It frequently runs at speed on two legs to escape danger, quickly climbing the nearest tree to safety. Their colour can be brown or grey with the frill being lighter and often tinged with orange or reddish-brown. Males are bigger than females and have a more robust appearance. There are two long, pointed canine-like teeth present in the lower jaw, which can inflict a painful bite.
There is so much that we forget to remember. One thing that Lizard has not forgotten is how to let go. Lizard when under threat will let go of its tail as a defence mechanism thereby ensuring his survival, yet we find it hard to let go of the past issues. Remembering these will always be a part of our undoing. If we could only remember to trust and let go our enlightenment would be ensured?
One housefly has taken up residence and has been persistently hovering, determined to attract my attention. I decided I really should take the time to listen to this determined, tiny creature. The housefly (Musca domestica) is a fly of the suborder Cyclorrhapha. It is believed to have evolved in the Cenozoic era, possibly in the Middle East, and has spread all over the world as a commensal of humans. It is the most common fly species found in houses. Adults are grey to black, with four dark, longitudinal lines on the thorax, slightly hairy bodies, and a single pair of membranous wings. They have red eyes, set farther apart in the slightly larger female.
The Fly teaches the ability to greatly multiply prosperity, endeavours and ventures at enormous rates. He shows how to be quick to act and respond to achieve results. Fly aids in demonstrating the power of keen eyesight along with expanding awareness in many directions. The fly also makes use of and gains nourishment from things that others see as “dung”. This can point to being able to use that which others pass by and seeing opportunities where others see only a need to clean up. Flies make the most of their environments…whatever it may be. Their short lifespan points to making the most out of every moment and having no time for regrets.
Bandicoot teaches us that one of the most successful ways we can understand the ancient earth is by living a quiet existence, especially amongst times of noise and trauma. Bandicoot comes in our lives to quietly nuzzle our shoulder and point out a little shadowy, sandy track that we missed, and to not neglect it simply because it looks quiet and uninteresting. Like bandicoot, sometimes the quietest places are where we find the most nourishment.
Bandicoot has appeared reminding me to set boundaries and look after my inner home. Bandicoot reminds me of the importance of taking care of myself, providing a healthy environment for myself and not allowing the chaos in the lives of others to dominate. Bandicoot wisdom comes from within and is a reminder, to be honest in my daily affairs and above all, be faithful to myself. To walk my walk and talk my talk will help me feel fulfilled.
These days I mentor very small writing groups. However, whether I have two or twenty-two people participating, those engaging invariably draw odious comparisons and think that their work is not as good as the work being presented by others.
When this happens I remind people that:
♣ a voice trained to live in a dark cave has a strong inner critic to keep it there. You learned to judge yourself relentlessly and to be cautious, and now your inner critic cautions you at every turn. It questions your natural inclinations, your spontaneity; and it ensures that you don’t stand out, and judges you when you do.
♣ When the inner critic dominates, self-worth is swept away.
♣ You are actually speaking the words of someone else
♣ It is natural to de-value your ideas and opinions if they are not heard and valued when you are young. You learned to question their worth, and now in adulthood, you continue to question them and struggle to share them with others.
Perhaps you can add some advice about how to be compassionate to the voice that wants to speak its truth!
* Understands the power of the sunrise
* Ability to survive harsh conditions
* Communication skills
The cockatoo is a member of the parrot family. Its most noticeable feature is its magnificent crest, which crowns the top of its head. This crest is used to send signals to other birds in the flock. More than a colourful ornament it represents communication. When raised and used with other parts of the body it can indicate several things from defending its territory or its flock, calling for its mate, showing fear or indicating that something is bothering it. True communication is a complex art. The cockatoo knows of this complexity and teaches us how to understand and correctly interpret messages that come our way.
Beautiful in colour and appearance the cockatoo holds the teachings of self-esteem and confidence. The rose and grey coloured galah teach us spontaneity and fearlessness.
These birds are intelligent, affectionate and acrobatic. Adults take care of one another and mate for life. Cockatoos are social birds and enjoy companionship with others of their flock. When danger appears they will either fly off or become very still hoping to remain unnoticed. They are always conscious of their surroundings and are masters in the art of survival. As pets, they are inquisitive and affectionate as well as unpredictable. Known as great escape artists they will use their powerful beaks to open locks on cages.
Coming into contact with one of these birds in the wild or as a pet can be an unforgettable experience. They are extremely ingenious. Watching them perform is like watching a magician pull things out of a hat, you never know what the cockatoo will do next or what hidden skill it will use to complete its task. The cockatoo is a great teacher. It is reminding us to play.
Yesterday I acquired some wonderful books by Marion Deuchers that promote art play. Back in the day, I encouraged students to create figures on their handprints and then use these to create stories. Needless to say, Duechers work with handprints really captured my imagination.
I plan to use these at a primary school where I will be doing my placement and with a small writing group that I am running at home.
Today the butterfly is reminding me not to rush the process of transformation. I am writing my final essay and I am preparing for a 500-hour placement beginning in June. Butterfly reminds me to spend some time in the cocoon of my home nurturing my creativity and getting in touch with my feelings. Within the cocoon, I can embrace the rapture of transformation and rebirth; trust that a force greater than me has a guiding hand in what I will do when I finally complete this degree in September.
You may not spend a week gorging yourself but just unike the very hungry caterpillar, you can undergo a complete metamorphosis and reinvent yourself repeatedly.
Transformation * Change * Celebrating Life’s Miracles * Magick of the Vortex * Lightness of Being * Joy * Understanding * Reincarnation * Seeing Time as an Illusion * Communication with the Spirit World
It’s hard to imagine any creature being so loved by so many civilizations and across so many traditions than the Butterfly. They have captured our fancy since time immemorial. As children, we found our imagination carried away on their painted wings, to the fantastical realms of fairies and elves. And as adults, we are beckoned back to the memories of those magical days, whenever we see these beautiful insects flutter dreamily past.
One has only to think about the miraculous life cycle of these amazing creatures to witness true magick. They begin as larvae in its most basic and vulnerable state, the fuzzy, wriggly form of the caterpillar. Then they enter their self-made cocoon, a time capsule that holds them in what seems like a suspended embrace, but in reality is more akin to a portal of metamorphosis. Finally, the chrysalis breaks, and an entirely new emerging, this one with wings of such ethereal beauty that our minds can scarcely grasp how such a previously odd and rather uninteresting creature, could transform into such a resplendent wonder.
If this stunning insect has chosen to journey with you as a Spirit Guide, count yourself fortunate, for theirs is the Magick of the Fairy realm, the miracle of transformation, and the teachings of one who passionately embraces change. They are a Spirit Animal that guides through the imagination, and imbues their human counterpart with a sense of joy and the ability to celebrate the special miracles we all encounter as we walk through this life.
Butterfly is beside you to teach you that you should always strive to keep your sense of wonder, to find the miracles in the tiniest of places, and to always look for ways in which you can create more beauty in your life, in the lives of others, and in the world at large. She teaches you that time is but an illusion in the greater reality of our immortal souls, whilst simultaneously reminding you that each moment is precious and filled with limitless possibilities.
As an amphibian, frog experiences a major shift in reality as he transforms from a pollywog to an adult hopper. In this way, frog gets to live two distinct lives in one lifetime. Humans also have this ability to transform, but we can do so multiple times in one lifetime if we allow emotional processes to run their full course in us. We are not the same person we were at the age of ten or twenty and as our world gets bigger we are constantly finding ourselves, returned to a state of limited resources.
The pollywog has no other resource save his excitement for life. He swims and propels through the stuff of life with a pure and ambitious energy and slowly starts to develop arms and legs and other tools to play with his pond more completely. There is a frustration in our limitations, but if we allow those frustrations to crush our spirit we leave the very effort that will see us through to greater freedom.
Frog says keep loving, keep hoping, keep swimming with all the energy you have and one day that effort will propel you forward in a great leap upon new shores.
My old school song began with the lines “Life is Adventuring, beyond the far horizon”. I honestly cannot remember the rest of the song but I do know that life is an adventure when you have lots of coloured pencils, and are able to travel through a portal into another universe, prance along with pipers and meet big friendly giants.
When frog hops into your life the creative spirit is reminding you of the importance of cleansing and renewing. Allow yourself the time to do this. You may need to look at your life in an honest way and ask yourself if you are heading in the right direction. Are there changes that you can make to the path you have followed? You will feel refreshed and will feel new growth when you permit yourself to do this.
One way to cleanse and renew is to spend time creating an ideal scene for yourself. Think of a goal that is important to you. It can be a long-term or short-term one. Write the goal as clearly as possible in one sentence. Underneath write the words Ideal Scene. Proceed to describe the situation as accurately as you would like it to be when the goal is achieved. Make sure to describe it in the present tense, as if it already exists.
Raven: “Nothing ventured! Nothing gained! Right?”
Donkey: “I am hoping we don’t regret following this piper?”
Raven: ” Well if we don’t take the risk we might miss an important opportunity!”
Donkey: “Ben Franklin also said that lost time is never found again!”
Like many animals, bats have learned to adapt to a wide variety of environments and habitats. The only terrain they don’t inhabit is the Arctic. There are 39 species of bats in North America, all of which are nocturnal. Some bats are insectivores, others eat things like fruit and pollen. Bats are associated with many different cultures and mean different things to different people.
The Mayans had a bat god called Camazote, who was said to have tested human souls with a large sword. This is slightly negative since the bat is associated with violence. In Biblical tradition, bats were believed to be messengers of Satan. The Puritans believed that if a bat flew close to someone, somebody was trying to bewitch them. The Chinese, however, view the bat as a symbol of happiness.
They are amazing creatures. Bats can fly in huge hoards while never hitting each other because of echo-location. This ability is linked with the gift of clairaudience, which awakens the ability to hear spirits in some beliefs. Because of their echo-location and manoeuvring in the dark, bats represent the perception of things that others cannot see.
To the Indian tribes of the northwestern United States, bats are symbols of diligence; while in the Great Plains, they imparted wisdom to their people. In the southwest and Mexico, they are representative of death and rebirth, because they go underground in the early morning, and then appear again each night in a noisy hoard. So they are reborn every night, flooding out from their caves.
Bats often represent death in the sense of letting go of the old and bringing in the new. They are symbols of transition, of initiation, and the start of a new beginning.
Information from Ted Andrews’s Animal-Speak, Jessica Dawn Palmer’s Animal Wisdom, and Steven D. Farmer’s Power Animals.
When Ghost Bat wings her way into your life she is urging you to let go of the past and allow yourself to be reborn. You will go through many periods of renewal in life as new cycles are already waiting for you. Don’t be afraid to allow the changes to come into your life, and be willing to let go of what you no longer need, as this is Spirit’s way of telling you there is something greater awaiting your rebirth. Now is the time to take the next step to a new you.
This may feel frightening but remember that the Australian bush needs a bushfire to allow new growth to come forth. Recently I torched my maidenhair fern. The rapid new growth is a delight. Fan a personal fire and encourage the flames to speed a renewal. Remember that meditation is a great way to get in touch with your inner guides.
The whale is known to have a substance in the retinas of her eyes called biomagnetite, which causes sensitivity to the electromagnetic field of the Earth. She reads the electromagnetic field like a map and this helps her migrate across oceans. Whale symbolism speaks of the ability to find your way through the abyss using the pull of your soul’s compass. Others may think that somehow you magically “see” the way, but you know the map is coming through a different channel. You may not know how to explain this pull, but it is there.
True practitioners of the law of attraction don’t have to think of where to go, they are mysteriously drawn. Whale spirit animal brings a time of being “in the flow” with the law of attraction. She is where she needs to be when she needs to be there.
Generally, the electromagnetic fields follow coastlines, but in some locations, these fields turn directly into the coastline. A significant amount of whale beachings occur in these locations. If you feel like you’ve followed your guidance onto the beach and now you’re stuck, wait. Either the high tide will come to haul you back in or you will experience a time of letting go. You are now at the mercy of fate. Before the rebirth must first come a death. Dive into the mouth of the whale to move through this process.
Spend some time dreaming and ‘seeing’ the way! Allow yourself to be drawn along by the creative spirit!