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As requested by Pat, I’m posting information on the Lizard and the Eagle.

Beginning with the Lizard, here’s the information previously posted from the Medicine Cards:

Lizard… will you dream with me?
Travel across the stars?
Beyond the place of time and space,
There live visions from afar.

Lizard sat lolling in the shadow of a big rock, shading himself from the desert sun. Snake crawled by, looking for some shadow to coil up in and rest. Snake watched Lizard for awhile as Lizard’s eyeballs went side to side behind his enormous closed lids. Snake hissed to get Lizard’s attention. Slowly Lizard’s dreaming eyes opened and he saw snake.

“Snake! You scared me! What do you want?” Lizard cried.

Snake spit his answer from his forked tongue. “Lizard, you are always getting the best shadow spots in the heat of the day. This is the only big rock for miles. Why don’t you share your shade with me?”

Lizard thought for a moment, then agreed. “Snake, you can share my shade spot, but you have to go to the other side of the rock and you must promise not to interrupt me.”

Snake was getting annoyed. He hissed, “How could I bother you Lizard? All you are doing is sleeping.”

Lizard smiled knowingly. “Oh Snake, you are such a silly serpent. I’m not sleeping. I’m dreaming.”

Snake wanted to know what the difference was, so Lizard explained. “Dreaming is going into the future, Snake. I go to where future lives. You see, that is why I know you won’t eat me today. I dreamed you and I know you’re full of mouse.”

Snake was taken aback. “Why Lizard, you’re exactly right. I wondered why you said you should share your rock.”

Lizard laughed to himself. “Snake,” he said, “you are looking for shade and I am looking for shadow. Shadow is where the dreams live.”

Lizard medicine is the shadow side of reality where your dreams are reviewed before you decide to manifest them physically. Lizard could have created geting eaten by Snake if he had so desired.

Lizard is the medicine of dreamers. Whether dreamers smoke you or dream you, dreamers can always help you see the shadow. This shadow can be your fears, your hopes, or the very thing you are resisting, but it is always following you around like an obedient dog.

If Lizard dreamed a space in your cards today, it may be time to look and see what is following along behind you. Is it your fears, your future trying to catch up to you, or is it the part of you that wants to ignore your weaknesses and humanness?

Lizard may be telling you to pay attention to your dreams and their symbols. Make a dream log and record all that you remember. Be sure to pay attention to each individual symbol or recurring pattern. If you do not remember your dreams, you could try setting a music alarm for 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. Or you could try drinking a lot of water before bedtime and allow your bladder to wake you up. Dreams are very important. Pay attention to them.

Source: Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals by Jamie Sams and David Carson, Illustrated by Angela C. Werneke.

Here’s from Animal Magick by DJ Conway:

Related to crocodiles and snakes, the lizard family (Sauria or Lacertilia) is found in various parts of the world, except in extremely cold regions. In the western hemisphere they range from Canada to Tierra del Fuego in South America, including the West Indies. In the eastern hemisphere, they are found from Siberia to Africa and Australia. There are more than 3,100 species of these reptiles.

Generally, lizards have a slender body covered by loose skin and fine scales. They shed their skin in patches, at regular intervals. Most of them have four legs with five toes on each foot; an exception is the family of legless lizards – the worm lizards. Unlike a snake, the lower jaw is fused and cannot be opened too wide. They are basically terrestrial animals, but many are very good swimmers.

Although most lizards are less than a foot in length, the monitor lizards (the largest of the species) can be over nine feet long. The frilled lizards expand a fringe of skin around their necks to frighten away attackers. The horned toad has spiny scales and will squirt blood from its eyes when frightened. The gila monster and the beaded lizard are the only poisonous members of this species; they are found in the desert areas of Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico.

No lizard is truly a water-living creature, although they may enter the water and can swim. They like to bask in the Sun as they are reptiles and are cold-blooded. All lizards are able to grow a new tail if they lose it in an accident. They hear reasonably well and see as well as many mammals.

The myths of Egypt and Greece portrayed the lizard as signifying wisdom and good fortune. This creature was an emblem of both Hermes and Sarapis. The Zoroastrians classified it as an animal of the evil Ahriman.

The lizard appeared in Roman art as a symbol of death and rebirth. Sometimes it took the place of snakes as the genii of a house. If lizards lived under a house, they were fed on milk and crumbs. Their appearance was greeted with happiness, for it meant that good luck was coming.

Among the Polynesians, Moko (King of the Lizards) was worshipped as a god and the protector of fishing, the prime source of food for these people.

There is a type of small lizard known as the alligator lizard which has a powerful gripping action in its jaws. One of our cats found out about this when he accidentally sat on one. The lizard clamped down on the cat’s tail and got quite a ride before he fell off.

Superstitions: This creature had a dual symbolism in Europe. Although it was believed to be a sinister being, it was used in certain love charms. However, many Europeans believe that if a lizard crosses the bride’s path on the way to get married she will never be happy.

Magickal Attributes: Dreams, mental creations. Stop running from your fears and face them. Asking for guidance in facing difficult situations that make you afraid. Understanding dreams.

Chant:

The world of dreams, that nightly place,
Is formed of symbols, great and small.
O Lizard, help me understand
Those symbols that my mind recalls
From other lives and knowledge past
When once I knew what they all meant
Teach me dream symbols once again,
O little lizard, Goddess-sent.

And here’s from Animal Speak by Ted Andrews:

KEYNOTE: subtlety of Perception

Lizard is an animal of great subtlety. Its movements are quick. It has four legs and can run with great speed. Some lizards can live in the house, and they help to control the insect populations. The gecko lizard is one of the few reptiles that has a voice, and this should be meditated upon by anyone that has it as a totem. The Komodo dragon of Indonesia is a monitor lizard, and it is the largest of all lizards. If at all possible, try to identify the kind of lizard and study it individually.

Most lizards have long tails which help them maintain balance and can also serve as a defense mechanism, as you will learn later. Most also have a crested back, ruffs, or spines. These serve as protection but they are also very symbolic. Some have ruffs about the neck. The neck is an area that bridges the higher and the lower, and lizards with them are those that can teach you how to bridge the subconscious with the conscious – dreaming with waking. They can stimulate lucid dreaming.

Those with spines and crests along the spine usually reflect that the sensitivities of the chakras are heightened or about to be. Are you being too sensitive or not sensitive enough? Are you being too picky or are you missing the obvious? It can also reflect that the kundalini or life force is active and flowing strongly, which will heighten all sensitivities – physical, emotional, mental, psychic, and spiritual.

The lizard is the expert at subtle perception. It can sense vibrations through the ground. Its eyes can detect the subtlest of movements, and it has extremely acute hearing. All of these are symbolic of specific forms of clairvoyance practiced in many societies.

A lizard has an ability to recognize the sublest insect movements, and it can remain still or relatively so to mislead its prey or protect itself. This indicates that your intuition and psychic perceptions are either already active or about to be activated more strongly. Pay attention.

There are a number of characteristics that distinguish a lizard from other reptiles. They, too, have a dry skin, and like many, they also have cclaws. They are also sensitive to vibrations in the ground. They feel it with their feet, tail, and body. Their eyes are sharp with an ability to detect the slightest movement around them. They also have acute hearing.

All of these characteristics give it a symbolism associated with the psychic and the intuitive. The ability to perceive subtle movement – physical and ethereal, waking or sleeping – is what lizard medicine teaches. To some within the Native American tradition, the lizard is associated with dreamtime. Dreams contain some of the sublest perceptions of the mind of which we may not be conscious. They are translated to us through dreams to make us more conscious. These can be fears or foreshadowings, but almost always they are the things to which we do not pay attention.

Individuals with a lizard totem should listen to their own intuition over anyone else’s. Lizard usually reflects heightened sensitivity. You feel what others may not. You will see things that others may miss. You will hear things that are not being said. No matter how strange it may seem, learning to follow those perceptions is what will enable you to succeed most frequently.

One of the most significant characteristics of some lizards and their claim to fame is the ability of the tail to come off. A predator may grab for it, its paw landing upon the tail, only to be surprised as the tail breaks off and the lizard scampers to freedom. The lizard then begins the process of growing another in its place.

This detachment is also part of what lizard can teach. They can help us to become more detached in life to survive. Sometimes it is necessary to separate ourselves or part of ourselves from others to be able to do the things we must desire to do. The lizard helps us to awaken that ability for objective detachment so that it can occur with the least amount of difficulty. Lizard can show up to help us break from the past. It may even indicate a need to explore new realms and follow your own impulses before you get swallowed up in what is not beneficial for you.

Like most reptiles, the lizard will often bask in the sun. It is cold-blooded, and it needs the warmth of the sun to stay warm. This basking is often a feigned sleep, and it serves a secondary purpose of fooling insects that may mistakenly come too close. This ability of feigning sleep while basking in the sun is sometimes related to controlling the sleep state — especially dreams. Lizard, as mentioned earlier, is the totem that can help us understand and use this state more effectively.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, this information is being presented for Pat, a reader of this blog who has inquired about Lizard. Each source has been cited, as this is obviously a direct copy from the books I have on hand and is not intented to appear as my own unique writing.

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Having tickled the snooze button three times, irritating the crap out of the dogs who got their hopes up each time, I finally forced myself to an upright position.  My mind went through the typical line of pre-coffee questioning. What time is it? What day is it? What am I supposed to do before work today?  Then the mind kicks back answers that have nothing to do with the questions posed. Tomorrow’s mom’s birthday. Don’t forget to get directions to Morgantown. The new schedule comes out today.

Brew coffee, use the potty, let the dogs out, put uniforms in the wash, fire up computer, pour coffee, sip coffee (damn, that’s good stuff!), check bank account (ugh), pay bills (double ugh!), prepare deposit (crap, I hadn’t planned on going to the bank this morning… but it’s a must-do, especially with the holiday). Finally, nestle into Self for a bit of meditative time in the morning.  What are my coffee thoughts?

Here’s interesting.  Tuesday night I was hangin’ out on T’s porch smoking a cigarette (I know, I know *rolls eyes to self*).  I could hear the wood creeking beneath T’s feet on the second floor of his cabin.  The scent of Sage wafted from indoors to out – a scent I’ve come to love.  I was listening to the coyotes, to the occasional grunt of the cattle on the other side of the river, and getting lost in my own thoughts when I heard this little shuffle sound about two feet away from where I sat.  Well, it’s a fully screened porch, so if I was hearing something two feet away, that meant it was INSIDE the screened porch, not outside.  Mouse, maybe?  Nah… senses heightened, I begin to scan the porch floor, when low and behold, a baby oppossum makes his way from the back wall to the back door.  He was no bigger than a small ferret, or a young kitten.  He stuck his nose and front paws through the back door, as if he were contemplating going inside for a stroll.

“No, no, little buddy… wrong way! Don’t go in there!” I caution the little guy with a soft voice.  He turns and looks at me.

Well, I’ll be damned if this wasn’t the first time in my life I found myself having a face to face confrontation with an oppossum!  Such was my awareness in the moment that I found myself giggling.  Irony? I don’t think so.  Just a few days earlier, when I’d reached for T’s deck of Animal Medicine Wheel Cards, I sure did pull out the oppossum… a card suggesting I learn how to “play dead” as my best defense mechanism.  Knowing that, I reflected on the Death card that I’d drawn from my own Rider/Waite deck – not one month, but two months in a row!  I furthered that “connection” by thinking on the card in July’s reading in the Higher Power position that said the best thing for me to do right now is nothing.

Was I not taking the message to heart?  I heard it, but did I listen?  Maybe… maybe not.  In any case, the Universe found the good sense and humor to place me face to face with a tiny oppossum on a Tuesday night on T’s porch.  Naturally, I wanted to reach out and pet the furry critter – but, of course, I knew better.  I don’t know about the babies, but I know the grown ups can puncture a car tire with their teeth – and I also figured that with this guy bein’ a youngin’, Mamma might not be too far away.  Instinctively, I pulled my feet up and tucked them beneath me.  The critter just sat there and maintained eye contact with me.  I could hear him in my head.  We carried on a mentally whispered conversation for a few minutes before I finally called out to T.

“Uh, T?”

No answer.

Louder now, “Hey… T!”

T comes to the back door, “What wha wha what?” In that voice he does.

“Uh… there’s a baby oppossum on your porch.”

“Yeah, and?”

My eyes widen, as does my grin.  I make another attempt. “Uh… there’s a baby oppossum on your porch… with me!”

He grins, then grabs his larger than life flashlight.

“Where?” He says with a smirk.

“Right there… staring at me.  He’s a baby, he’s under that chair right there.”

T turns his flashlight toward the chair and the moment he does, the little guy unlocks his jaws, spit clinging from the dagger… I mean tooth… on the top of his mouth to the equally sharp weapon on the bottom of his mouth, and a wicked hiss comes from the wild child.

T hisses back at the baby, and I pout.

“Oh, don’t hurt him!” I say without thinking.

T looks at me like I’m on crack, rolls his eyes, and does the lip smack thing.

“You know I’m not gonna hurt him! I will have to set a trap, though.”

I flashed back to Stinkerbelle’s first visit to T’s when she noticed the metal cage on the porch and asked what it was for.  I smiled when he explained that it’s the nice way to catch critters without hurting them so he can set them free elsewhere.

Then T turns off his flashlight, looks at me as if impatient, and says, “Well, you comin’ in or what?”

My eyes dart from the critter to the door while my mind measures the distance between my feet and the fang-filled fur ball.

“He won’t get my feet when I try to walk past him?”

T snorts. “Did ya see him try to get mine when I was in his face with my flashlight?”

“No,” I pout, “But that’s YOU!”

“Just get up and come on, girl! He ain’t gonna hurt you!”

Swallowing the lump in my throat, still grinning at the synchronicity of the event, I make a cautious yet mad dash to the back door, then find my safe haven on T’s sofa.

I’ve seen oppossum before… in the road while I was driving, or through the glass window in the back yard when they were after the goodies I’d left for the bunnies and birds, but I’ve never had one just walk up on me quite like that.

Here’s what the Animal Magick book by D.J. Conway has to say about Oppossum:

Magickal Attributes: Finding yourself in a corner and creating a diversion. Dealing with the unexpected; planning strategies for protection. Are you playing ‘possum and not dealing with distasteful situations? Wisdom for getting out of distasteful or dangerous situations, relationships.

Chant:

Cunning possum, Trickster changeling,
So alive, yet seeming dead,
Teach me wise old possum magick
That reacts from instinct, not from head.
Show me the way to slip past danger.
Fill me with earthy wisdom great,
That I might be secure and happy
Living life and trusting fate. 

This makes me think of the old farmer up the road, his aggressiveness towards me, and everything that has changed within me and without since that Tuesday he assaulted me on my own front porch.

I was thinking on these things and more as I was driving home from work late last night. So many doors and windows seem to be opening. So many messages seem to be reaching me loud and clear, free-flowing and uninterrupted. As I was thinking about all the blessings life brought to me yesterday, I turned the corner on the road home, and a deer stood in my path. I brought Pixie Dust to a full stop, staring at the beast in all her glory. She stood there, held her position, and made eye contact with me. Deer has many messages – including that of death, re-birth, and transformation. She can also foretell of danger. I smiled, nodded in acknowledgement, and she ran off up and over the hill and so I continued… on the road home.

NOTE TO SELF: Caution: This is a multiple warning that danger may be near… the oppossum and the deer share that message.  As T would say, I’d better keep my witts about me.

Hello, Thursday.

Life is good.

W

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Okay, so seeing a deer on the road amidst a Kentucky Summer is not any grand surprise.  Nonetheless, synchronicity plays its role… and the timing of the deer’s appearance, coupled with a multiple sighting makes it worth noting.

Yesterday morning, I was driving to work, thinking poetic thoughts, which I’ve not done in quite a while, actually.  I had the iphone headset in listening to music I’ve stored in a folder entitled, “Wendi’s Enlightenment”.  Golden rays of sun were playing peek-a-boo with the winding road between the leaves and branches of trees that held hands, forming an archway over the path I drove. Nature’s glitter accompanied me.  I had a sudden flashback to the recent drive with T wherein I broke the silence with, “Whatchya thinkin’ ’bout?”  His reply: “How quick I’d have to step on the brakes if a deer jumped out.”

The moment I had that flashback, a deer jumped out onto the road in front of me.  It was far enough back that all I had to do was down-shift and slow a bit, no brake-slamming or swirving required.  It was a magnificent creature – much larger than most deer I see around here.  I believe it was female.  She was so graceful, with tall (and I do mean tall!) legs and long body.  Her head was dainty, delicate, and feminine.  She looked right at me and ran alongside Pixie Dust for a few seconds before making a sudden turn and heading up the wooded hill.  I immediately felt a desire to look up the meaning of deer, but as I was on my way to work, that wouldn’t be possible.   I made a mental note to look it up when I got home.

Following the eleven-hour work day, I was driving home at about ten-thirty p.m. and had drifted back into the same thought I’d had on the way to work… those poetic gratitude thoughts.  Again I slipped into that day-dreamy mindset, which probably isn’t all that healthy considering I was driving!  But again, when I slipped into that mode, another deer – shorter, fatter, more masculine, jumped out in front of me.  Again, the distance was such that a down-shift and slight brake were all that was required – no risk of hitting the critter.  Seeing him brought a wide, wide smile across my face as I realized the message was being confirmed, as well as being a two-toned message: The Deer and the Stag – the masculine and the feminine… the God and the Goddess… all in one day.

I’ve loaned out one of my animal magick books, so I’m limited to one resource, but here’s what D.J. Conway has to say, in part, about the deer and the stag in her book, “Animal Magick”:

Magickal Attributes: Keen scent, grace, swiftness, gentleness. Using other methods to reach your goals than force. Being alert for any danger. A white deer in meditation often bears a message or will lead you to someone or something that will reveal spiritual knowledge. Hunging and seeking, abundance, dreams, intuition, introspection, listening, death and rebirth, transformation. Accept others as they are and don’t try to change them. Deer: woodland Goddess, psychic powers, alternative paths to a goal. Stag: Lord of the Underworld, messages from guides, better understanding of the cycle of death and rebirth.

Chant:

Woodland dreams of intuition come with the graceful deer.
I gret you, brothers of the forest.
Your gift of magick will brighten my life.
Transformation will come to me.
Like you, I stand listening to the drum beat of life,
Poised to follow my guiding spirits.

Considering I had the Death card surface for June’s reading, and that many of my recent rants and writings, as well as Tarot Cards and Fairy Oracles, have reflected the theme of transformation, I’d say the message deer brought was right on time, and right on target.

Loving Animagick!!

Life is good.

W

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Oooh…. ouch. Another repeat card, this time from yesterday. Same card as yesterday, still inverted. Bleh….

Okay, so I’m being given the same cards because even though I’ve seen them, understood them, accepted them, the situation that brought them forth has yet to be resolved.  I’m missing something.  Something isn’t clicking into place. I’m stuck… stuck in a rut…. and it’s time I get myself out of this mess!!!

Yeah… the answer is clear. When I drew this morning’s Fairy Oracle, also a repeat card: “Letting Go”, I asked HOW to let go.  This card offers that answer… let go by taking the focus off of self.  Take the spiritual eyes off of the mirror and set them elsewhere.  Quit focusing on how I feel (stressed, scared, worried) and try applying some compassion to other sources.  In readings, I often tell others, “You must first give in order to receive because it’s what you put out that returns times three.”

Talking to self: Okay, kiddo, you’ve got the answers.  Now APPLY them!

*NOTE: As I typed the above line, several crows flocked to the tree in my front yard, cawing their little heads off.  I got up from my chair, looked out the window, and saw at least three of them in the tree.  The moment I sat back down in my chair to record the event, the cawing stopped.  Crow spoke to me on June 10th in a similar fashion, so I’m including this, too, as a repeat message that I’ve not yet applied.  Click here to read Crow’s Message.

“Five of Swords”

Here’s what I wrote yesterday:

Let’s look at the five, first. When we see a number 5, we see in the middle, a little tiny stick. At the bottom, we see a big round belly, and at the top, we see a cap (a hat). That little tiny stick in the middle represents a sort of spiritual anorexia, or a dehydrated soul. The big round belly indicates our attempts to fill that hunger with outside sources, material objects, other influences. However, the cap at the top of the five is showing that we’ve closed ourselves off to Higher Powers, divine influences, or universal wisdom… Soul food! The message of the five is to stop trying to fill the void with outside objects, look inward at your True Spirit, recognize that it’s been ignored, and tap back into the universal flow of divinity and Higher Consciousness. (see how this card connects with the Fairy Oracle for today?)

Swords represent action and transformation. In this card, we see one man standing, holding three swords, while two other people drop their own swords and walk away from the situation. This shows that the Quarrent (person drawing the card) has been acting out of discord, selfishness, self-centerdness, and hasn’t been concerned with what’s best for the whole. As a result, those around him got frustrated, fet up, and decided it was in their own best interest to walk away from the situation.

This card reflects an “All about me!” syndrome.

It’s not a “fun” view of the Self, to realize you’ve slipped into a behavior pattern that has caused others to walk away hurt and frustrated with your actions – and as “sour” of a reflection as that can be, it can be a beautiful thing to see – because seeing it and being aware of it gives opportunity to correct and change the behaviors.

Here are the other sources:

From LearnTarot.com:

acting in your own self-interest
setting aside the concerns of others
looking out for number one
thinking of your own needs
knowing you must concentrate on yourself
encountering selfishness
indulging in power plays
gloating
going for the win-lose result

experiencing discord
being in a hostile environment
feeling people are set against each other
choosing to battle
having an “us-against-them” mentality
creating ill will
experiencing conflict

witnessing open dishonor
losing your moral compass
letting ends justify means
sacrificing integrity
losing sight of what is right
achieving a dubious victory
knowing of criminal activity

The Five of Swords is about self-interest. Society tells us to think of others, yet we resist. How we can ignore our own concerns and still survive? This dilemma comes from our definition of self. If we view our self as our personality/body, our interests become those that relate to that self. Do I have enough to eat? Am I happy? Do I have all I want?

We may expand our concern to those we love, but, then, how can we stop there? We are connected to everyone in the long run. In truth, our self is the world. What we do to that world, we do to ourselves. This understanding is so basic, but so infuriatingly easy to forget day-to-day.

In readings, the Five of Swords can mean that you or someone else is forgetting this larger view of self. You are defining your interests too narrowly. If you try to get ahead in isolation, your actions will come back to haunt you later, one way or the other.

Sometimes this card implies a need to put your own interests first. If you are being abused or taken advantage of, you must get free. If you are worn out by demands, take care of yourself. If it is your turn, step forward and claim your due. Just be aware that if you hurt others in the process, your victory will not feel complete.

The Five of Swords also represents hostility – from a cross word to warfare. When the cords that bind us are broken, we experience dis-cord. This card can signify dishonors that are fairly open. Cheats, lies, tricks, deceits, even crimes. You may be on the receiving end, or be the perpetrator. Either way, hold to a larger view of who you are. Find the solution that is best for everyone…including yourself.

And from Aeclectic Tarot:

FIVES
When trying to read the Fives, think of the Hierophant. The Hierophant represents a teacher, counselor, or priest, someone who advises people when they’re in trouble. Likewise, the Fives are unique cards in that each one seems to pose both a problem and an answer. After four fairly smooth cards of growth and development, the fives represent the fly in the ointment. Instability; the changes that make one humble and allow for growth.

Of the question asked of the Hierophant by a troubled supplicant, the problem is real world. The answer, however, appropriate to the Hierophant, is usually spiritual or at least pragmatic. Understand that all Fives temper the Querent – you go through the fire, the low points, the hard times, in order to come out stronger.

Five of Swords

A smirking young man gathers up swords won in battle from two losers. In arguments and battles of ideas there are going to be times when one just loses or has to surrender. The worst of these is when the winner is an awful person, a bully, braggart, a cheat, someone who used an unfair advantage to win. But it happens. The problem: “How can I win in an argument with this person?” The answer/prediction: “You can’t. All you can do is not argue.” This is the closest to a win one can come to in this situation. But if the Querent feels they must argue, then they need to be prepared to learn from it, not allow feelings of failure, anger or blame to overcome them.

*Notes: My own interpretation was pretty on target, although both sources indicate that the energy of this card could manifest in another person rather than Self, such as having someone else be dishonest or immoral against you, or finding another person argumentative and not being able to “win” against such an argument. I can see where that could come into play in these descriptions, but I have a natural resistance to those concepts. I’m more inclined to think the card reflects Self. Why? It’s one of the few cards that show more than one person in the image. Two of the people in the card are shown more in the distance with their backs turned. The third is up front, at a frontal view… you can see his face. Instinctively, that becomes the Quarrent to me. I’m not saying the other sources are wrong, and I might incorporate their “warnings” into future readings, but I’ve always learned that intuition should govern in Tarot, that there’s no right or wrong way to read the cards (as long as morals are in tact), and that if you “feel” a certain thing reflecting in a card, trust that feeling. For me, when I do readings, this card generally reflects the behavior of the quarrent, not an outside source.

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Written by:
Wendi Friend

Exotic creatures; domestic pets; finned, feathered, and four-legged critters of the wild: none of us debate their existence. What we do debate, however, is their value, their rights, their spiritual or intellectual status, and their “purpose” in life.

Are animals existent for the sole purpose of human fulfillment by providing food, clothing, leather automobile seats, and feather beds – or is there more to the mind and spirit of animals than we recognize? One needn’t look far to find the answer to this question. In fact, to determine the purpose, worth, value, rights, and spiritual status of animals, all we need to do is remember that we are not separate from them.

The human race, whether through creation, evolution, or divine design is still a species of animal. Each person is born with animal instinct, instinct we are often taught to ignore in light of our self-proclaimed intelligence. Looking at ourselves, we can clearly identify our own worth as a species: we are intelligent; we control fire; we clearly communicate with one another in agricultural and industrial environments. We are the top of the food chain. We, the human species of animal, have enough “magic” in our design that we have become creators. We have created the industrial world; we have invented farming, business, and economy; we have, in essence, become demigods. Yet, for all our intelligence and power, we have forgotten that we are still animals. We have separated ourselves from the essential truth.

Put another shrimp on the barbie; slap another steak on the grill; fry up some bacon to serve for breakfast before heading off to work in the industrialized human world. Granted, animals of the wild are separated into groups of hunter and prey, but we civilized people have learned to remove the hunt and raise animals for uninhibited and unnatural slaughter. In doing so, we have reduced our appreciation for their life essence. “It’s just a pig.” “It’s just a cow”. “It’s just a chicken”. Fortunately for us, there’s not a life form above us who follows that line of thought with, “It’s just a human”. It isn’t “just” a pig, “just” a cow, or “just” a chicken. There’s more to the animals than the sum of their parts. Oh, yes, there’s much more – there’s magick, miracles, and majesty in our fellow animals, regardless of how our race disregards this fact.

The Ainu people of Hokkaido believed in many gods, demons, and realms – but their highest god and creator of Earth was named Kamui, the Creator God. Kamui made his world of water, an immense ocean supported by the spine of a fish. The fish was responsible for the tides by the sucking in and spitting out of water, like a fountain, and was also responsible, through his movement, for earthquakes. When Kumui decided to make more of his water world, he sent down a wagtail to accomplish the task. The wagtail then created islands through the flapping of its wings and stomping of its feet. When the world had been created, all the animals begged Kumui to allow them to live on the Earth, which he allowed, and also created other life forms, including humans, to inhabit his creation. Thus, it is through fish and birds in the Ainu creation story that are responsible for fashioning Earth.

In the Apache story of creation, it was a tarantula that assisted in Earth’s creation. The sun, moon, and Earth were created, but the earth was small, like a bean. The gods then kicked the bean back and forth until it grew. The gods then told the Wind to enter the earth and fill it with air, blowing it up. Still, the planet was too small. It was then that the tarantula began to weave his webbing, creating chords of four different colors spanning the four directions: black for east, blue for south, yellow for west, and white for north. Once the chords were in place, the tarantula tugged on them with all his might, stretching and expanding the earth. This is what gave Earth her vast form, although that form was void of any life until the gods created trees, other insects and animals, and a human population.

In Cherokee creation stories, it’s strictly animals and insects creating the earth. Animals resided in the sky, but the sky was becoming over crowded and uncomfortable. A water beetle volunteered to explore the grounds below, which he found covered with water, so he explored deeper, beneath the water, and found only mud, which he gathered to take back to show the other animals. However, the mud he gathered began to grow and spread, creating land as we know it. As in the Apache story, the Cherokee also tell of four strings being created by another animal (unspecified) to tie the sky to the earth. Next, a buzzard came to the lands, but by the time he arrived he was tired. His wings dipped and touched the ground and wherever they did, a mountain or valley was created. It is also the animals, according to Cherokee legend, that created the sun after deciding the Earth was too dark.

In the Lakota legend, it is again the spider that is responsible for creating Earth – a trickster who had it in mind to cause a conflict between the sun god and his wife, the moon. In attempts to populate the earth, the spider, Inktomi, went to the underworld in the form of a wolf and convinced one man to explore the new creation. The man did so and returned telling the people of the underworld that the earth was a paradise. Once the people had populated the earth, the spider made it impossible for them return to the underworld. When the people discovered the Earth was full of hardship, they tried to return but found themselves trapped and had no choice but to set up homes with their families and live out their days on the planet created by the spider.

There are many other myths and legends of animals in creation. However, today’s thinkers are not necessarily confined to creation stories. Many believe in evolution, or a combination of creation and evolution commonly referred to as Intelligent Design.

In the evolution theory, all life stems from one original life form which, over time, mutated genetically to alter offspring and eventually create new species. In this theory, therefore, all life on earth is related. One form exists, progresses through evolution, and another life form is created. HowStuffWorks.com provides insight via “The Basic Process of Evolution”, in which it is stated: “Billions of years ago, according to the theory of evolution, chemicals randomly organized themselves into a self-replicating molecule. This spark of life was the seed of every living thing we see today (as well as those we no longer see, like dinosaurs). That simplest life form, through the processes of mutation and natural selection, has been shaped into every living species on the planet.”

There’s no doubt that animals existed prior to humans. This being the case, then in the most elementary of terms, evolution suggests that humans are descendants of chimps and gorillas.

Whether animals created the earth, were created as the first life forms on earth, or evolved from simple cell to a fish to a land animal, one fact remains true: Animals were first; they are our elders. Many animals have survived thousands and thousands of years before humans invaded the planet, and still exist among us today. If for no other reason than the fact that they were here first, humans should pay proper respect to animal life. Their mere tenacity is of a magickal, miraculous, majestic nature.

Animals are magickal in many ways. Such is the magick of animals that their stories reach far back in time, before humans, and in some legends and stories, animals themselves are responsible for the creation of Earth and of mankind. Animals have also been cherished by shamans, healers, and spiritualists who believe animals communicate messages, warnings, and guidance to us either by appearing to us in the physical realm, or by astral encounters or dreams. However, animals are magickal in an even more unique and mystical ways, such as when an untrained animal goes above and beyond what any human would expect in order to save a human life!

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.”
— George Eliot

Tegan is a nine-year-old Irish setter who, at the age of three, was diagnosed with a deadly form of bone cancer. Unlike an average house pet, Tegan was trained at an early age to work with therapy patients. According to AngelAnimals.net (http://www.angelanimals.net/nl001.html), “Tegan had earned his C.D. at the age of eighteen months, and was looking forward to a career in conformation, as well as continuing in obedience, field, and therapy work. He also had his C.G.C. and was certified both by Therapy Dogs International and the Delta Society. He had been making Animal Assisted Activity visits since the age of one year. Naturally, the diagnosis of osteosarcoma in such a young dog, with such a promising career was a shock and devastation…” After his diagnosis at age 3, Tegan had to have a leg and shoulder amputated, followed by chemotherapy. It didn’t take long, though, for him to recover and return to his much loved occupation of working with human patients, particularly amputees and cancer patients. Despite all he had been through, he still carried a playful, compassionate attitude and was able to enjoy life to the fullest through activities such as swimming and running. Tegan enjoyed his work and his positive attitude and loving spirit was able to assist humans going through physical or health-related challenges.

“A dog has the soul of a philosopher.”
–Plato

In Whangarei, New Zealand, dolphins are responsible for saving the lives of swimmers as a shark approached. The swimmers, unaware of the shark, found themselves being herded together by a group of dolphins. When one of the swimmers would try to break free from the heard, more dolphins would follow to round him up and lead them back to the herd. Only after the dolphins had herded the swimmers together did the swimmers see the shark, 3 meters in length, about 2 meters beneath the surface. The dolphins protected the swimmers for forty minutes! According to all-creatures.org (http://www.all-creatures.org/stories/a-dolphins.html), “Auckland University marine mammal research scientist Doctor Rochelle Constantine said dolphins were normally vigilant in the presence of sharks. The altruistic response of the dolphins was normal, she said. “They like to help the helpless.”

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
–Mohandas Gandhi

Also provided by all-creatures.org (http://www.all-creatures.org/stories/a-lions.html) is the story of a young kidnapped girl being rescued by lions. The twelve-year-old girl had been kidnapped and beaten in attempts to establish marriage, a custom in Ethiopia where 70% of marriages are established via abduction. The kidnappers held the child for seven days, repeatedly beating her. It is thought that the girl’s cries, able to be mistaken by a lion as meows and whimpers from a cub, are what attracted the lions to protect her. The lions, whose sex was not able to be determined, chased away the attackers and guarded the girl until police and her family could track her. Once the police and family arrived, the lions abandoned the scene, leaving the girl “like a gift” for human rescuers.

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.”
–Alfred A. Montapert

A Singapore student, Sarah, writes of a dog, Sirius, who saved her life when she’d been swimming. She entered the swimming pool alone without doing warm up exercises first, and having just eaten a meal. Once in the pool, the girl’s leg began to cramp and she found herself unable to swim. Her attentive dog, Sirius, recognized she was in trouble and jumped into the water to save her. Sirius grabbed Sarah by the scruff of her suit and pulled her to the edge of the pool, saving her from drowning. (http://www.tesan.vuurwerk.nl/diaries/t6/sirius.htm)

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.”
–Gilda Radner

There are hundreds of stories available about how we mistreat animals, how we destroy their environments, murder for fashion, or how humans are cruel to animals in other ways. Yet, the animals don’t seem to hold a grudge against us and are able to overcome the barriers in order to save human lives when there’s a need. Certain animals are trained to work with humans in therapy, others prove themselves heroes while working with police or the fire department, some animals who save lives are our every day pets who sense trouble and step in to protect, and yet other animals of the wild, untrained to human touch or contact, will go out of their way to help a human in need. If that’s not magickal, I don’t know what is!

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”
–Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

http://science.howstuffworks.com/evolution1.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_myth#Ainu

http://www.tesan.vuurwerk.nl/diaries/t6/sirius.htm

http://www.all-creatures.org
http://www.angel-animals.net
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art9572.asp

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