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This post is being made in honor of Pat who is seeking information on Lizard and Hawk.

Here’s from Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals by Jamie Sams & David Carson:

H A W K
-Messenger-

Hawk…
Messenger of the sky,
Circle my dreams and teach me
The message as we fly.

Hawk is akin to Mercury, the messenger of the gods. Hawk medicine teaches you to be observant, to look at your surroundings. Observe the obvious in everything that you do. Life is sending you signals.

Life is the initiation. If you have pulled the Hawk card, then right now a clue about the magic of life is being brought to you. This magic can imbue you with the power to overcome a currently stressful or difficult situation. The test is your ability to observe the nuances of power lurking nearby. Is power the talent you have and are not using? Are solutions always hard to find because you have lost the broader vision of Hawk? Or is the Great Spirit displaying a gift that you need only to receive? Have the colors of the morning inspired you to create? Or has the gloominess of a present situation left you earthbound, unable to hear the voice within the raindrops splashing on your window? Pay attention! You are only as powerful as your capacity to perceive, receive, and use your abilities.

What is called for here is an intuitive ability to discern the message carried within the cry of Hawk. The shrillness of Hawk’s call pierces the state of unawareness, and asks you to seek the truth.

The Ancients recognized this magnificent bird of prey as a messenger bringing tidings to their Earth Walk, the Good Red Road, from the world of the grandfathers and grandmothers who lived before them. If Hawk were to magically cry, it was a sign to beware or be aware. This could mark the coming of a waring tribe, the birth of a child, or the celbration of counting coup. Hawk’s cry signalled the need for the beholder to heighten awareness and receive a message.

Hawk medicine is a totem that is filled with responsibility, because Hawk people see the overall view. Hawk is not like Mouse, who sees everything through a magnifying glass. Hawk medicine people are aware of omens, messages from the spirit, and the color of the caling card you gave them three months ago. No detail slips by them unnoticed.

If Hawk has circled and landed in your card spread, you are to be aware of signals in your life – so notice and receive them. Hawk may be teaching you to grab an opportunity which is coming your way. On the other hand, Hawk may be brining you the message that you should circle over your life, and examine it from a higher perspective. From this vantage point you may be able to discern the hazards which bar you from freedom of flight. Remember: Hawk has a keen eye and a bold heart, for Hawk flies close to the light of Grandfather Sun.

Here’s from Animal Magick by D.J. Conway:

The hawk is related to the falcon and combined in the family Accipitridae. They are subdivided into such groups as perns, kites, buzzards, eagles, Old World vultures, and harriers. However, the name hawk usually refers to the sparrow hawks of the Old World, goshawks, sharpshinned American hawks, and Cooper’s hawks. They are found throughout the world except for antarctic regions.

A bird of prey, the hawk has very sharp eyesight, can use air currents to its advantage, and can strike swiftly. This bird has a sharp, hooked bill and strong talons. Many hawks have a variety of plumage colors which change from year to year during their early lives. Some species mate for life.

The symbolism of the hawk is much the same as that of the eagle and the falcon. As a solar bird, in Egypt it was associated with Horus, Ptah, Rehu, and Seker. When in his aspect as conductor of souls, Horus was shown with a hawk’s head on a human body; this askpect was called Heru-merti. However, the hawk was also connected with Amenti in her aspect of Underworld Great Mother.

According to the Greek writer Homer, this bird was one of the messengers of Apollo because of its swiftness. Both the hawk and falcon were also associated with the goddess Circe. Although the hawk was usually associated with the Sun, a very early statue from the temple of the Moon goddess Artemis shows a priestess with a hawk on her head.

In one of the legends of India, the hawk Gayatri brought soma from heaven for the gods. In the Rig Veda, the Sun is often compared to a hawk. Indra sometimes rode on a hawk. In Persian Zoroastrianism, the hawk was connected with Ahura Mazda, god of light, and Mithras, the Sun God.

In Celtic oral tradition, the Hawk of Achill is listed as the oldest creature in the world. The Celts considered the hawk to be a messenger between the otherworlds and this existence. In magick, they said it had greater skill and strength than any of the other birds.

Superstitions: In most of Euprope the hawk is still looked upon as a symbol of good luck.

The hawk throws itsyoung out of the nest and won’t feed them any longer when they can fly.

Magickal Attributes: Clear-sightedness; being observant. Far-memory or recalling past lives. A message from spirit; omens and dreams. Overcoming problems. Taking advantage of an opportunity. The cry of a hawk in a meditation is a warning of upcoming situations that will require boldness and decisiveness. Courage, defense, wisdom, illumination, new life, creativity, truth, experience. Getting a larger over-view so you can make better decisions.

Chant: 

Soaring, gliding, wind current riding,
Hawk of wisdom, creativity.
Seeking, hover, bright Sun-Lover,
Bring inspiration now to me.

And from Animal Speak by Ted Andrews:

Keynote: Visionary Power and Guardianship
Cycle of Power: Spring and Fall Equinoxes — New Moon (incidentally, we just had the fall equinox!)

Hawks are one of the most intriguing and mystical of the birds of prey. They are the messengers, the protectors, and the visionaries of the air. Hawks and owls have the keenest eyes of all raptors.

Hawks vary in size, appearance, and environments. There are so many different species that it is sometimes difficult to tell them apart. There are marsh hawks, forest hawks, sea hawks, and prarie hawks. The environment in which your hawk is found will tell you much about how its energies are likely to manifest within your life.

Even when people cannot tell one hawk from another, they can recognize it is a member of the hawk family. All hawks are impressive and stir the imagination. Their hunting ability, their eyesight, and their powerful flights and other behaviors are dynamic symbols.

In most raptors, the colors of the male and female of the same species are very similar. It’s almost always the female who is larger, though. This has much to do with the fact that the mother guards the next. Many hawks mate for life, the red-tailed hawk being one example. The length of time that mated birds stay together is often determined by the number of seasons they spend rasing the young.

An examination of the specific species of hawk and its behaviors will reveal much. For example, an osprey is sometimes referred to as a “fish hawk,” based upon its primary diet. This magnificent bird is often mistaken for an eagle because of its nearly all white head, but it is the only large hawk that is clear white underneath. It is most numerous in coastal regions, as if its white breast reflects the white foam of the waters in which it hunts. Other examples are the cooper’shawk, the goshawk and the sharp-shinned hawk who feed frequently on other birds. Although they eat rodents and such, most of their food is feathered. This reflects the old idea that what you eat, you become.

We do not have the space to explore all the characteristics of every hawk, but we will examine one species more closely. That species is the most numerous member of the hawk family, the red-tailed. It is named for the distinctive coloring on its tail feathers. Only the mature red-tails have this coloring. The immature also have lighter colored eyes, distinguishing them from their more mature relatives.

The red tail is very symbolic. It has ties to the kundalini, the seat of the primal life force. In the human body, it is associated with the base chakra, located at the base of the spine the coccyx or tail bone. Those who have red-tailed hawk as a totem will be working with the kundalini. It can also reflect that this bird becomes a totem in your life only after the kundalini has been activated. It can also reflect that the childhood visions are becoming empowered and fulfilled. It may pop up as a totem at that point in your life where you begin to move toward your soul purpose more dynamically.

The red-tailed hawk is a member of the buteo family or the group of soaring hawks. The ability to soar and glide upon the currents is part of what hawk can teach. Although it is a part of this species, it is most often seen perched on treetops and utility posts, using its phenomenal eyesight to locate prey. It teaches how to fly to great heights while still keeping your feet on the ground.

Hawks are occasionally harassed and attacked by smaller birds. This is very significant for those of you who have hawk as a totem. It indicates that there are likely to be attacks by people who won’t understand you or the varied and different uses of your creative energy. They may attack your ability to soar.

The red-tailed hawk is usually a permanent resident in an area, although occasionally it may migrate. This permanency reflects that as a totem, this hawk will be with you permanently once it shows up.

Although incorrectly called a “chicken hawk,” the red-tail feeds mostly on rabbits, rodents, and snakes. It has an adaptable diet which has helped it to survive. The red-tail was often accused of and shot for killing chickens when in reality, it was one of the bird hawks, such as a cooper’s hawk.

It is generally accepted that red-tails mate for life. Both the male and female help care for the young. Two to three eggs are laid in the spring. They vigorously defend their nexts against any intruders. They cling to their home territories for years. And they can live up to 14 years in the wild.

This “14” is significant. The 14th card in the tarot deck is the card for Temperance. This is the card that represents the teaching of highre expressions of psychism and vision. It can be used in the development of astral projection – new flights out of the body. It has ties to the activation of your vital energies (kundalini), and the bold expression of it. It is tied to the archetypal forces that teach beauty and harmony in moderation. It holds the keys to higher levels of consciousness.

Rising to a higher level can bring a rapid development of the psychic energies. The red-tailed hawk helps us in balancing and using those senses appropriately. It teaches the balance necessary to discover our true purpose in life. If you have a red-tailed hawk as a totem, meditation on the 14th Tarot card will help you to see how this hawk will lead you to use your creative energy in manifesting your soul purpose.

The red of the red-tail reflects a greater intensity of energy at play within your life. It reflects an intensity of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual forces. This bird is the catalyst, stimulating hope and new ideas. It reflects a need to be open to the new or shows you ways thatyou may help teach others to be open to the new.

To the Pueblo, the red-tailed hawk was known as red eagle. Its feathers and energies were used in healing ceremonies and for bringing the rains and waters necessary for life. To the Ojibwa, the red-tailed hawk represented leadership, deliberation, and foresight. “Hawk is akin to Mercury, the messenger of the gods. Hawk medicine teaches you to be observant… Life is sending you signals.” The red-tail can spread its wings to a great width, and it can teach you to use your creative energies in the same way. It can extend the vision of your life.

The beak and the talons are always commented upon by observers. They are the most striking features of any hawk, especially the red-tail. It is a fearless bird. It will even take on poisonous snakes. It has a scaled leg to help protect it against poisonous bites, and immediately upon graspoing its snake prey, it tears off the head. On one of my trips to Colorado, while traveling through Kansas, I was fortunate enough to see a red-tail swoop down upon a snake. Within seconds it had taken flight again, cutting across my path. I could see the head of the snake dangling by just a few threads of skin. It happened so quickly, that by the time I realized exactly what I had observed, the red-tail had disappeared.

Because of the strong energy (the intensified life-force) activated by this totem, an induvidual with it must be careful in how they express themselves. There will unfold within you the ability to tear off the heads of any snakes in your life, or anyone or anything seen as an enemy. Your comments and actions will be like the hawk’s beak and talons – strong and powerful, but with a capability to tear and/or kill.

The feathering of the red-tail actually has two phases. both of these are significant to anyone with this totem. Its feathering is a little lighter during the summer and darker during the winter. The lighter is often symbolic of more joyful and sociable kinds of energies. The darker phases can reflect a time to be alone or to withdraw a little. The red-tail and its color phases also help us to guard against blazing so brightly and intensely that we get burnt out.

The sky is the realm of the hawk. Through its fight it communicates with humans and with the great creator spirit. It awakens our vision and inspires us to a creative life purpose.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, this information is being presented for Pat, a reader of this blog who has inquired about Hawk. 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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This card strikes me as odd today – except, perhaps, in relation to my dreams.  Actually, though, on first instinct, I “heard” her tell me to choose the location of my shop wisely because the environment I set up in will have much of an impact on how the energy flows in the building itself.  While I was typing the messages for the King of Pentacles, I started daydreaming about the decor of the shop – of having murals painted on the walls and celings.  I was seeing the Zodiac on the ceiling.  Somehow, that daydream, the location and decor of my physical business, seems connected to this card.  I’m not sure how or why, I’m just stating my gut reaction to it.

I generally guide people to pay attention to their surroundings when this card surfaces – to be attuned to the messages of animals, to be aware of their treatment of the environment, or to notice things in their environment that have changed or might feel unsettling.

The last time I drew this card was when I was looking into buying a house, and I haven’t drawn her since.  When I was looking into buying the house, I paid close attention to environmental issues.  The house I was looking at actually had a gas line running between it and the house next door – with huge pipes and valves protruding from the ground.  It was an eye-sore that someone had attempted to shield with strategically placed fences and vining plants.  The house I was also looking at was located near a dog food plant, so there was the constant “aroma” of dog food in preparation.  Those two factors alone probably would have made me very unhappy (if not unhealthy!) in the long run, so it doesn’t surprise me that the house I was choosing did NOT become my house.

Here’s what the guidebook says:

Environmental Awareness

Card Meaning: The Fairy kingdom is very concerned with the health of Mother Earth. By drawing this card, the fairies are recruiting you to become involved in environmental matters.

Definition: You have the power to make a huge impact on our planet. Earth is a living, breathing being, and the fairies are calling upon you to help her. Your contributions could include recycling, picking up trash while on your nature walk, switching to environmentally friendly cleaning products, becoming a vegetarian, or educating your children about the fragility of nature.

When you spend time outdors, mentally ask the fairies for guidance on how to make your special contributions to Mother Earth’s well-being. The fairies will give you answers in the form of thoughts or feelings, by arranging a synchronistic opportunity, or by helping you use your unique talents to help educate others about environmental concerns.

Affirmation: It feels good to nurture my planet with loving care.

Source: Healing with the Fairies Oracle Cards by Doren Virtue, Ph. D.

Afterthought: Naturally, I was thinking T when I was daydreaming about the murals on the wall.  That’s what he does.  As a general contractor, he does lots of things – but his gift with visual art is absolutely amazing and raises goosebumps on my arms.  I’ve seen his work – he’s incredible, and if I were to choose someone to bring to life the visions in my head in the form of visual art in my shop, he’d be the one I choose, without question.

The other night, I did a reading for a new client, one who has since become a weekly standing appointment, and with whom I’ll be working closely long term. One of his greatest gifts is interior design, and it was discovered in his reading that his greatest attribute might be in “going green”.  Incorporating environmental awareness into his designs, and his forte is bringing the elements of the outdoors in.  I noticed when visiting his house that each room was an expression of nature.  His living room was safari, with fabrics, textures, and prints that reflected the animal kingdom.  His kitchen, however, was designed in florals.  Each room had a different theme, but each theme was tied together by the common thread of nature.  This is a concept I’d love to have applied to Enchanted Elements.  I don’t want it to be a store or an office, I want it to be an experience – and if I could apply T’s gift with visual arts and E’s gift of environmentally friendly interior design with the elements, I’d have the perfect environment for doing my work.

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I dreamed of Pharaoh last night, and I know, at least in part, why.  Pharaoh was my black lab/goden retriever who is now buried in the back yard beneath a Sacred Heart rose bush and a weeping willow sprout.

Back in 2001, when I was getting divorced from husband number two who couldn’t stand animals, the kids and I decided that when we moved into our own apartment, we’d get one cat and one dog.  Their names came to us before they did.  We knew we’d name the cat Isis, the dog Pharaoh.  We knew they’d be rescues.

As soon as we’d settled into our new apartment, we went down to the animal shelter and asked for a list of all the animals that were due to be put down that day.  We went from cage to cage asking, “Are you Pharaoh?” Naturally, some of the dogs barked and yelped and panted… it’s like animals know when their time at the shelter is over and what’s coming.  Some of the dogs were terminally ill, some were badly wounded (as in missing an eye).  We wouldn’t have minded taking a “handicapped” dog, but the ones we saw weren’t “Pharaoh”.  We just knew.  I left the boys looking for dogs while Stinkerbelle and I went to visit the cats, following the same procedure, cage to cage: “Are you Isis?”

The boys came running to me in full-on excitement.  “We found him, Mom! We found him!”

I walked with the boys back to the dog kennel as they led me to Pharaoh’s cage.  On the cage, a sign written on a red, cut-out heart that said, “Huge heart.”  I looked into the cage, the dog looked back at me, and I asked, “Are you Pharaoh?”  The dog barked a “Yes”.  He was already an old guy, but had so much love left in him to give.  As we left the shelter with him, I said, “Pharaoh, come…” and he did.  I said, “Pharaoh, sit…” And he did.  He obediently answered every command I issued and did not require a leash.

Pharaoh lived with us in our apartment for seven months, during which time we’d suffered a major car accident.  My eldest son was badly wounded and was forced to home-school for the remainder of that school year (this was before we started homeschooling permanently).  Pharaoh stayed by that boy’s side and looked after him with vigilence.  He was our guardian, our guide, and our friend.

He loved car rides, which was wonderful, because we soon decided to move to Tulsa and took him along for the journey.  He loved Tulsa, with the exception of the abundant fleas and tick’s Tulsa offered.  However, in Tulsa, he had a major incident.  I woke one morning and found him convulsing, foaming at the mouth.  We rushed him to the emergency room to find out he’d had a spinal condition where his back bone was literally growing straight, fusing the vertabret together.  We were told to put him down.  We refused.  I looked up all sorts of holistic care for him, practiced massage on him, played him special music, used specific colored blankets for healing.  He never had another episode of convulsions, although his condition did worsen over time.

He moved back to Vegas with us when Tulsa turned out to be a nightmare, and from Vegas he moved with us to Kentucky.  Here is where he developed cancer and grew a tumor the size of a grapefruit on his tailbone. I nurtured him the best I could, cared for him with all my might, nursed him to the best of my ability… but when it was time, he told me.  We had to have him put down in December of 06.  As a family unit, we buried him in the back yard with his favorite chew toy, his favorite blanky, and a lil’ something from each of us to stay with him.

I’m sure that my mowing the lawn yesterday and visiting his grave had everything to do with me dreaming him last night.

Every once in a while, we “see” him, or we hear his bark.  We can feel the familiar way he nuzzled our knees when he wanted attention.  No doubt he remains with us.

Last night, while surfing through old blogs, I read the tales of his last days.  I blogged regularly then and recorded every detail of life.  It doesn’t surprise me, then, that I’d dream of him.  Usually, when I dream of him, he has messages for me.  In this dream, it was as if he knew a move was pending and was encouraging me to seek care for the other dogs.  I’d planned to anyway, but it’s nice to know Pharaoh is looking out for his k-9 buddies.  I also think he knows that his being buried here is one of the reasons I hesitate in moving, and he was letting me know he’d be with us no matter where we go.  But, knowing that the ex is buying the house makes leaving a little easier…

In my wallet, I still carry a lock of Pharaoh’s fur, his dog tag, and his photo.

Thanks for the visit, “Fair-Bear”.  It’s always good to see you, Buddy.

*

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I’m feeling much better mentally today than I have over the past few days. Taking the advice of the Daily Dose and detaching from certain emotional conditions is serving me well. I was energized by yesterday’s cards… the Magician and the Problems Resolved. After work, I went over to T’s for a while. He knows I like to draw a card from his Medicine Wheel Animal Oracle deck and had the deck sitting on the coffee table for me when I walked in. Smiling, I shuffled, cut the deck, stacked the cards, flipped the top card, then laughed out loud. Raven… symbol of magick! Messenger of the Universe.

I dreamed I was going to Canada.

Work was a drain yesterday, and non-productive, financially speaking. Eight hours of serving produced a whoppin’ $37. People just aren’t tipping the way they used to. I understand it, to a degree, because gas prices and cost of living have skyrocketed out of control… but I don’t know if the general public knows, or cares, that our tips are our living. We only make $2.28 per hour… without our tips, we don’t survive. People… treat your servers well!

There’s a Crow cawing. Right now, as I type this, it’s on the back hill… cawing, cawing, cawing away. Crow is related to Raven, and is one of my animal totems. Let’s reflect since it’s clearly calling for my attention:

Crow

This is from the Medicine Wheel Animal Oracles from which I drew cards indicating my animal totems:

Below: The Below animal teaches you about the inner Earth, and how to stay grounded and on path.

Crow (Law): There is a medicine story that tells of Crow’s fascination with her own shadow. She kept looking at it, scratching it, pecking at it, until her shadow woke up and became alive. Then Crow’s shadow ate her. Crow is Dead Crow now.

Dead Crow is the Left-Handed Guardian. If you look deeply into Crow’s eye, you will have found the gateway to the supernatural. Crow knows the unknowable mysteries of creation and is the keeper of all sacred law.

Since Crow is the keeper of sacred law, Crow can bend the laws of the physical universe and “shape shift.” This ability is rare and unique. Few adepts exist in today’s world, and fewer still have mastered Crow’s art of shape shifting. This art includes doubling, or being in two places at once time consciously; taking on another physical form, and becoming the “fly on the wall” to observe what is happening far away.

The Europeans that came to Turtle Island were named the “boat people” by Slow Turtle. Even with the knowledge of alchemy possessed by certain boat people, none had ever seen the powerful shape shifting of shamans who utilized Crow medicine. Many boat people were frightened by what appeared to be animals coming into their camps or dwellings to discern their medicine. Crow medicine people are masters of illusion.

All sacred texts are under the protection of Crow. Creator’s Book of Laws or Book of Seals is bound in Crow feathers. Crow feathers tell of spirit made flesh. Crow is also the protector of the “ogallah” or ancient records.

The Sacred Law Belts, or Wampum Belts, beaded by native women long before the boat people or Europeans came to this continent, contain knowledge of the Great Sprit’s laws, and are kept in the Black Lodges, the lodges of women. The law which states that “all things are born of women” is signified by Crow.

Children are taught to behave according tothe rules of a particular culture. Most orthodox religious systems create a mandate concerning acceptable behavior within the context of worldly affairs. Do this and so, and you will go to heaven. Do thus and so, and you will go to hell. Different formulas for salvation are demanded by each “true faith.”

Human law is not the same as Sacred Law. More so than any other medicine, Crow sees that the physical world and even the spiritual world, as humanity interprets them, are an illusion. There are billions of worlds. There are an infinitude of creatures. Great Sprit is within all. If an individual obeys Crow’s perfect laws as given by the Creator, then at death he or she dies a Good Medicine death — going on to the next incarnation with a clear memory of his or her past.

Crow is an omen of change. Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time. The Ancient Chiefs tell us that Crow sees simultaneously the three fates – past, present, and future. Crow merges light and darkness, seeing both inner and outer reality.

If Crow medicine appears in your card spread, you must pause and reflect on how you see the laws of the Great Spirit in relation to the laws of humanity. Crow medicine signifies a firsthand knowledge of a higher order of right and wrong than indicated by the laws created in human culture. With Crow medicine, you speak in a powerful voice when addressing issues that for you seem out of harmony, out of balance, out of whack, or unjust.

Remember that Crow looks at the world with first one eye, then the other – cross-eyed. In the Mayan culture, cross-eyeds had the privilege and duty of looking into the future. You must put aside your fear of being a voice in the wilderness and “caw” the shots as you see them.

As you learn to allow your personal integrity to be your guide, your sense of feeling alone will vanish. Your personal will can then emerge so that you will stand in your truth. The prime path of true Crow people says to be mindful of your opinions and actions. Be willing to walk your talk, speak your truth, know your life’s mission, and balance past, present, and future in the now. Shape shift that old reality and become your future self. Allow the bending of physical laws to aid in creating the shape-shifted world of peace.

– And the moment I sought out that information inspired by the crow’s demanding caw this morning, the caw was silenced. In no uncertain terms, that bird just spoke to me.

For good measure, I’m also going to record, in part, what’s in my Animal Magick book (by D.J. Conway) about Crow Magick and messages:

Magickal Attributes: Thief, trickery, boldness, skill, cunning, single-mindedness; a bringer of knowledge. Prophecy. Learn from the past but don’t hold onto it. Swiftness, eloquence. Shape-shifting. Letting go of past hurts. Learning to mentally shape-shift. Divination.

Chant:
Prince of thieves, cunning and swift,
Your black wings glide among the trees.
Your harsh laughter breaks the silence
As you perform your stealthy magick.
I would learn your cunning and swift magickal ways.

I love it when the Animals speak to me in such a clear, undeniable fashion… and I will hold these messages with me throughout the day. I understand them perfectly.

I am content within my own skin today. Magick is in the air.

T wants me to do another reading for him, and I think I’ll be much more attuned to it this time ’round since I’ve learned to detach. I’ve never had a problem reading anyone before, but the first time I tried to read his cards, I got caught up in my own reflections, desires, and emotions. Clearly, I was appearing in his reading and because of that, I had trouble interpreting for him what I was seeing. Now that I’m learning to enjoy what there is to enjoy without the emotional pressures of what might or might not someday be, I think it’ll be a much easier path for me to walk, particularly in performing a reading for him. So, I’ll take my cards to work with me and stop by his place on my way home.

I’m excited over the move… should have word back from the lender tomorrow. He’d said the first part of the week, specifically before Thursday, but intuition says it’ll be tomorrow when Mercury rules the day.

I’m tired, but I feel wonderful. I’m in a financial vice, but I refuse to stress over it at the moment. Stressing isn’t going to pay the power bill, it’ll only make me miserable.

Lessons, messages, synchronicity (*winks*), and all… LIFE IS GOOD!

Time for a Daily Dose.

W

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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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