Rabbit Totem: Spirit Meaning of Rabbit

Rabbit Power Animal Despite its small size and apparent weakness, Rabbit can be an incredibly powerful spirit animal with an abundance of meanings. And, in fact, Abundance is one of them!

Rabbit: Power Animal of Fertility, Abundance, and Creativity

Rabbits, rabbits everywhere – that’s what it seems like in spring, anyway, when litters of young bunnies grow large enough to hop out of their nests and go bouncing like popcorn out of the hedges. Rabbits are legendary for their reproductive abilities. A Miami University staff member once estimated that at average rates of reproduction and without disease or predation, a single mother rabbit and her female babies could theoretically produce over 187 billion offspring in just seven years. This, of course, makes Rabbit an awesome ally when we are working towards improving Abundance in our lives. Bunnies also represent creative abundance and have much to offer as a power animal for creativity.

Rabbits have good reason to multiply, since in the real world nearly everything eats them. In Richard Adams’ epic tale about rabbits, Watership Down, the rabbits’ mythical hero El-Ahrairah was called “The Prince with a Thousand Enemies” for this very reason. This brings us to three more of Rabbit’s spiritual associations: Sensitivity, Fear, and the Trickster.

The Sensitive Rabbit

Because Rabbits must always be on the lookout for danger, they are highly sensitive. Their big ears are always swiveling around, picking up the slightest sounds. Their eyes, too, are large, and placed on the sides of their heads so they can see virtually all the way around without even turning their heads. And their little noses? Continually twitching to catch scents on the wind. Rabbits tolerate cold well, but are highly sensitive to heat, noise and commotion.

Rabbit people, too, tend to be highly sensitive. If you have Rabbit spirit animal energy, you may be especially perceptive, intuitive, and/or empathic. You may also be highly artistic or musical. If this is so, you will be most productive and creative in peaceful, quiet surroundings – or at least you should have access to a quiet place to retreat to when you do your work, just as the mother Rabbit digs herself a burrow to bear her young.

Sometimes being a sensitive person can get a bit overwhelming, leading to anxiety. It can also sometimes show up as physical or environmental sensitivity, or even allergies. If this happens to you, consider that your sensitive nature is actually a blessing. Like Rabbit, you have built-in warning systems that let you know when you’ve entered a situation that may not be in your best interests. When Rabbit feels endangered, she takes refuge in her burrow. Sensitive people often find solace in Mother Earth. Spending time in nature or doing activities like gardening or working with clay may bring you a sense of peace and help you feel more grounded.

Overcoming Fear: Rabbit as Trickster and Warrior

The shadow side of Rabbit energy is to be always living in fear, using avoidance as a protective mechanism by running scared or hiding oneself away. Yes, there are times when fear is justified, and running away from the situation or laying low can save our skins. But if you notice that this type of behavior has become a pattern in your life that is keeping you from your goals or from growing in a positive direction, it’s time to turn that energy around. One way is to call upon Rabbit’s Trickster side.

Wild rabbits, when chased, will run in a confusing, zig-zag pattern. They are also very good at losing their pursuers in the “briar patch.” No wonder so many stories from many parts of the world (including the Brer Rabbit stories of the American South, and even Bugs Bunny), feature Rabbit as Trickster. In these stories, Rabbit uses his wit rather than brute strength to win out against much more powerful antagonists. Note, though, that Rabbit’s wit usually has more to do with psychology than with mental calculations. So Rabbit people do well to use their intuitive understanding of people in their defensive strategies. (In other words, fight smart, not hard.) With Rabbits, strength is in numbers, and territory is important, so use your alliances and your knowledge of the territory to your advantage.

Note, too, that Rabbits can also be fierce fighters. They will kick out with their powerful hind feet, and may bite when cornered. So don’t underestimate a Rabbit person – they will tolerate a lot of crap, but once they’re pushed to their limit, watch out! Rabbit people can call upon this little known Warrior aspect of Rabbit if need be.

Also, see if one of Rabbit’s predators calls to you. Rabbit’s biggest predators include all the Canids (dogs, coyotes, foxes, wolves), the Cat family (including bobcats, lynxes and cougars – even domestic cats will prey on young rabbits), and larger birds of prey such as owls, hawks and eagles. Snakes, too, will often go for young rabbits. If you find yourself especially attracted to or scared by any of these animals, they may have good medicine for you to help you overcome your fears.

Intuitive Rabbit

Another very important thing to realize about Rabbits is just how strong their survival instincts are. My daughter once had a pet rabbit named Cuddles. Rather than keep her in a cage, we let Cuddles have the run of our enclosed front porch. One day, the mailman left the door ajar and Cuddles got out. She was on her own for months before we were able to catch her. I was amazed at her ability to fend for herself even through the harsh Wisconsin winter. Rabbit teaches us to trust our instincts and our intuition to guide us. This is another area where sensitive Rabbit people shine – they tend to be very intuitive and often connect readily with the spirit world.

The Practical Side of Rabbit Spirit

Finally, Rabbits have a very specialized digestive system. They eat primarily grasses and other high-fiber foods, including bark in the winter. This material actually gets sorted within the Rabbit’s digestive system.

The food that is more easily digested gets processed and turned into waste in the customary way. (If you have a garden you are probably familiar with Rabbit’s little, round hard droppings, which incidentally are one of the few manures that you can safely turn into the garden soil without composting first.) However, the more fibrous, hard-to-digest material makes a side trip into an organ called the cecum, which corresponds to our appendix but is much larger and better developed. Here, a multitude of friendly digestive organisms goes to work on it, and the material gets passed as a special soft type of dropping that the rabbit then eats and digests in the normal way.

Oh, and by the way, unlike some other grazing animals, Rabbits don’t need to eat continuously. They are active in the morning and evening so eat basically two meals a day, and spend the rest of the day relaxing and digesting.

So, Rabbit is thus a wonderful spirit animal for prioritizing and efficiency. And, if Rabbit is your totem, don’t feel you have to be on the go 100% of the time. You may do better by doing your work in highly productive spurts (and you may find you work best in the mornings and evenings), and spending the rest of your time digesting the experience and enjoying life!

Enjoy the video version of this post here:

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the "follow" tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

Finding Your Purpose: A Spirit Message from Fox

Red fox power animalA couple weeks ago I had a magical moment in the woods. I’d been rambling about with my dog, and after a while felt the call to go off trail a bit to pray.

Right in the middle, I hear this rustling in the leaves behind me. I look up and see this critter just booking towards us. Someone’s dog? No—as it comes closer I see it’s a beautiful Red Fox. It barrels past just a yard or two behind me, then disappears into the woods on the other side, its white-tipped tail like a signal flag behind it.

Fox  has been calling himself to my attention quite a lot lately. So I thought I’d feel into it and see what he’s wanting to say.

Fox Power Animal Guidance

What’s coming forward right now is the shapeshifting aspect of Fox. Unlike frogs and butterflies, Foxes don’t actually shapeshift (except in folklore, such as the Japanese kitsune, a fox that can shapeshift into human form.) But, they do move silently and are really good at disappearing and reappearing into the forest, giving the impression of being able to disappear at will.

In other words, they have a slippery, elusive quality that gives the Fox totem the energetic quality of shapeshifting.

Also, foxes are one of those wild animals that do quite well in an urban environment. I’ve come across foxes right in the middle of several small to medium towns I’ve lived in. A friend from Dublin once wrote me about a fox living in their garden, and I’ve heard quite a number of stories of foxes living quite happily in other larger urban centers as well.

So the fox energy that’s coming forward right now has to do with that elusive quality, and also with their adaptability. It’s about the ability to slip in and out of established conventions.

Sometimes we find ourselves moving about in social circles or work environments that “require” us to step outside of who we are and follow the conventions. Fox medicine allows us to appear to do that while still actually following our own compass.

One of the interesting things about foxes is that they’re able to “see” the Earth’s magnetic field. Scientists think they can actually see it as a shadow on their retina, and it gives them the inborn capacity to be aware of where North is. They use that ability in tandem with their sense of hearing to locate and capture small animals that may be hiding under the snow or under fallen leaves. It’s rather like a specialized intuition that’s very connected with Earth.

So here’s the power animal message from Fox:

  1. First, Fox is asking us to really tune in to what is our “true North.”

Not what you think you should or ought to do, or what others are trying to tell you to do, but what are YOU being called to do? 

Doing so will require you to tune into your intuition. Pay close attention to all your senses. Each sense is its own channel for divine guidance; when we get similar intuitive input through different ones it can work like lining things up in the crosshairs – just like the fox “lines up” the rustling sounds in the leaves with its magnetic vision to zero in on its prey.

Use your senses to follow your pleasure. Every animal knows that pleasure is a good thing. It’s the pursuit of pleasure just as much or more than the avoidance of pain that helps them survive and thrive. We humans often have a warped view of pleasure. Yes, there are false pleasures, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

What brings you joy? By joy I mean real fulfillment, not some false pleasure that is just a temporary fix for an empty spot in your life. Find what brings you joy, and allow yourself to pursue it! That’s what Joseph Campbell called “following your bliss,” and it is the road to Purpose.

2. Next, the encouragement is to connect with Earth, to ground ourselves.

There are many ways to do this, but the one that’s coming forward for me right now is to pay close attention to your body. Whatever frustrations or setbacks you might be experiencing, take a moment to tune in and ask: what is your body wanting to tell you?

Maybe you need more sleep, or more exercise, or a different kind of exercise, or to eat more or less of something. It’s amazing how many times when we get thrown off track it’s because we’re not aligned with our body’s needs. A little fix like an extra hour of sleep can work wonders.

3. Also, Fox is saying we don’t always have to disrupt our lives to follow our purpose. 

Sometimes we get the prompt from Spirit to make big leaps, to quit a job or to move out of state or start a business or something like that. That can be very legitimate, and for most of us there are times for that, but that’s not what this is about.

The message I’m getting from Fox is that you can follow that sense of true north, follow your purpose, in a way that doesn’t require you to make huge leaps,  disrupt your life, take on Herculean tasks, and/or call undue attention to yourself.

Bringing Purpose to Earth

With this Fox energy, it’s more like weaving your pursuit of joy through your existing life, keeping that true North in sight, but moving towards it in a way that’s almost inconspicuous and/or not overtly disruptive. So it’s the ability to follow your guidance, follow your bliss, follow your purpose within the life you already have. It’s a sort of flying under the radar.

For example, say you feel called to be a healer. You could go all out, quit your job and start a healing business, or go back to school and switch careers to something in the medical profession, the whole nine yards. And sometimes that’s the way to go.

But another path is to keep the life you have, and work your passion for healing into it. Maybe start a healing Meetup. Work on family and friends in your spare time. Take on a few clients on the side. Take some night classes. Quietly practice Reiki at work. That sort of thing.

It’s a “yes, and” approach. Yes, there are reasons for me to be where I’m at. And yes, I have dreams and desires for something more. I allow myself to experience and receive both!

That is not to say that big shifts will not happen at some point. In fact, if you’re truly following your purpose they most certainly will. You may eventually quit that job, make that move, start that business, or whatever it is. The point is that it can happen gently and naturally, growing organically from where you are at right now, without being forced or forcing you and those around you to cope with huge changes all at once, at least not at the moment.

In a sense, it has to do with a sort of truce, a “meeting half way” between the spiritual and the material planes of life, between our dreams and our daily reality. They really can come together in harmonious ways!

Looking for more insight on the Spiritual meaning of Fox?

Like all power animals, Fox has multiple spirit meanings. We are all connected, so even though this message is relevant to me personally, it will relate to the collective as well. If Fox has come into your life recently it may therefore feel spot on for you, too.

But, if you feel Fox may have a different message for you, or if you’d like additional insight into the spirit meaning of Fox, check out my YouTube video on Fox here:

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the "follow" tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

Butterfly Power Animal Meaning: Transformation & Spiritual Awakening

"Blue Morpho" Butterfly Power Animal art

A few weeks back I offered to relay some insights into the spiritual meaning of Butterfly, and a bunch my followers said, “yes, please!” It took longer to put together than I had anticipated. But as it happens, the timing (I posted to YouTube just before the Winter Solstice) feels perfect.

I have to admit, the holiday season is not my favorite time of year. It’s dark, and where I live in the UP of Michigan it can get brutally cold. (For instance, I just got back from walking my dog in -10° weather – brrr!)

But what I do LOVE about it is the promise it brings: More Light and more Life about to enter the world!

Butterflies have a number of symbolic meanings. Chief among them is that of transformation.

And specifically, spiritual transformation—just like the Winter Solstice season!

And that is the aspect of Butterfly I was guided to focus on in this video. I won’t give it all away, except to say I’m not surprised it took Butterfly a while to come forward: a big part of her message is to bring awareness to the PROCESS of awakening as a progression that unfolds over time.

Because if you’re like me, it’s easy to get impatient. You have a vision, and you want it to happen NOW. And it gets frustrating when it doesn’t—especially when you work so hard to bring your dreams into fruition only to find yourself again and again seemingly back on square one and feeling like your life is just a series of startings-over.

The Butterfly animal guide reminds us that transformation happens in stages, and these stages take time.

Each stage also has its own lessons to learn. But, each stage prepares us for the next one, until eventually we really are able to joyously take flight on those beautiful wings we’ve worked so hard to grow.

If the Butterfly power animal resonates with you, and especially if you or others you know are on the verge of or in the midst of a spiritual transformation, I encourage you to take a listen. Butterfly is as wise as she is beautiful; I gained a lot of insight into the process of awakening and how to move through it with grace by listening to what she has to teach. I hope you do, too.

Enjoy, and if you like what you hear, be sure to like the video, share, and subscribe to my channel!

Much love, many blessings, and have a happy and blessed Yule!

Christie

P.S. Just a heads up: Butterfly had so much to say that the video ended up a bit on the long side: a little over 30 minutes. Please don’t let that stop you, or feel time pressured. Your heart will tell you if you’re meant to hear the whole thing (and there is a LOT of juicy stuff in there!) If you are, just pull it up on your phone and listen in while you’re doing something else like your daily walk or doing the dishes. Even if you get distracted and have to run through it a few times, the parts you’re meant to hear will eventually sink in, effortlessly and without costing you any extra time.
P. P.S. The spiritual meaning of Butterfly also includes Vision, Freedom, and Joy. Just for fun, I’ll be doing a FREE teleseminar this Thursday called “Creating Your Butterfly Vision for Lasting Transformation in 2018.” You are totally invited! Just sign up to my newsletter before 1:00 PM on Dec. 28, 2017 and keep an eye out for login instructions.
butterfly spirit animal free workshop

Fall cleaning (Vulture spirit meaning)

turkey vulture feather Somebody handed me a feather the other day. A very long, dark brown flight feather. Neither of us knew what sort of bird had dropped it. But I took it home and looked it up on the Feather Atlas (one of the better things our taxpayer dollars have been spent on.)

Turns out it is from a turkey vulture. I had to chuckle, as for me it was a timely coincidence.

I’m in the midst of a big transition, and as part of the process I”m cleaning and organizing my entire house – closets, attic, the whole nine yards.

Vulture: Symbol of Purification

Despite Vulture’s sordid looks and its diet of decaying flesh, its symbolic meaning has to do with purification and transformation. One of the stories I love about Vulture came from the native people of Costa Rica, who believed that the Vulture is responsible for carrying the souls of the dead up to heaven.

Fall is nearly here – the season of decline and decay. But it is also a season of beauty when seeds are being sown for new growth and new life.

Cleaning house is lots of hard work – especially when you’re digging through 20 years of accumulated stuff. But I’m already feeling clearer and lighter, and look forward to renewed energy and time for exciting new projects once the process is complete.

Whatever is happening in your life right now, take some time today to give thanks for the cycle of life and honor the way it is manifesting for you right now. Give it time – whatever is happening, this too shall pass! 🙂

(I don’t think I’ve introduced my spirit animal affirmation posters here yet. I’ll do it more formally in the next post, but for now just have to include the Vulture one!):

Spirit Animal affirmation poster - vulture

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the "follow" tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

What is the spirit animal meaning of the Nighthawk?

Nighthawk

Animal Totem for Creative People

Flying Nighthawk watercolor paintingIn an international study conducted by Adobe, slightly over 50% of U.S. respondents, and 39% overall, considered themselves to be creative people. What’s more, the overwhelming majority viewed creativity as being valuable to society and a key driver of economic growth.

However, when the same people were asked if they thought they were living up to their creative potential, the story changed. Only one out of four felt that they were.

How about you? Do you feel your creative self could use a boost? Perhaps it’s time to pay a visit to Nighthawk.

Meet the Nighthawk

Nighthawk is a wonderful spirit animal for creatives of any type – healers, artists, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs, or anybody who uses their intuition. I’ll explain why in a moment. First, though, let me introduce you to this bird.

The Nighthawk is not actually a hawk. It’s a member of the nightjar family, which is related to the whippoorwill. With its long wings, stubby body and round head, it looks a bit like a bat. In fact, Nighthawks have a lot in common with bats. They, too, are a crepuscular animal, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Like bats (and unlike hawks), they feed primarily on small winged insects.

If you live in Nighthawk territory and spend much time outside, you’ve probably experienced them passing overhead on many occasions. They are more common than many people realize. Nighthawks are often mistaken for bats, because they swoop around in a very similar manner to those flying mammals.

Nighthawks spend a lot of time on the wing. They have big eyes and very small bills, but don’t let the small size of the beak fool you. A Nighthawk’s mouth is incredibly wide, and that is its secret to success. With its massive mouth open wide, it flies through the air and catches insects for its dinner.

At first, the Nighthawk may strike you as a drab-looking creature. With its unpretentious, mottled brown and gray coloration, it rarely gets chosen for posters and calendars. However, if you ever get the chance to see one up close you will appreciate the utilitarian beauty of its plumage. Because it nests on the ground, it has beautiful barred feathers which blend in perfectly with fallen leaves, dry grass and gravel. On its underside, though, it does sport white patches that show up when it takes wing. These include a white “V” on the throat and white bars across the tail and wings. The wing patches sometimes create a flashing effect as it flies.

Like many creative people, the Nighthawk is quite adaptable. It’s capable of thriving in many different habitats, although it prefers open areas. You’ll even find Nighthawks in the city, where flat urban rooftops provide safe places for them to lay and incubate their eggs.

Nighthawk as Spirit Animal

The Nighthawk is a spectacular spirit animal for creative people and anyone interested in accessing their intuition or searching for higher truth. That is because it represents a bridge between the spirit and the mundane.

This is reflected in the time of day when it is active –neither night nor day but both. It takes flight during those magical ‘between’ times when our intuition tends to be a little stronger. Most traditions align the darkness with more of a feminine energy, and the light with masculine energy. Crepuscular animals like the nighthawk combine both. That is a very powerful thing. (In fact, psychological testing has repeatedly shown that highly creative people tend towards being “psychologically androgynous” – incorporating more of the psychological characteristics of the opposite gender than average.)

Staying Grounded While on the Wing

Even though the Nighthawk spends a lot of time on the wing, it nests on the ground. Like all creatures that fly on the wing, it can be a helpful guide when we are undertaking in higher purpose, spiritual work. But because it is a ground-nesting bird, the Nighthawk offers that down-to-earth connection, too.

Sometimes it’s hard for people who are interested in expanding their spirituality to ground themselves and to relate to and function well in the physical world. If you are having a hard time feeling grounded, if you feel like you’re walking 2 feet above the ground, or if people accuse you of being spacy, the Nighthawk is a wonderful spirit animal to spend some time with. It can help you ground yourself without leaving that wonderful ‘upper realm’ kind of space.

On the other hand, this bird doesn’t actually build a nest on the ground; it just lays its eggs directly on the ground and sits on them. If Nighthawk appears to you, it may be a sign to pay attention to your ‘nest egg.’ Are you tending to your savings and your retirement plans the way you should?

Opening to Inspiration and Abundance

Another wonderful lesson Nighthawk offers to creative people can be learned by observing its feeding habits. The Nighthawk actively sights and chases down its prey, which represents clarity of vision and the willingness to take action. Its fluid swoops and dives as it moves through the dusk are heart-stoppingly beautiful; like a sort of aerial ballet. At the same time, this bird totally opens itself to receiving. With that big, wide-open mouth, it effortlessly opens up and lets the nourishment come in. It is very, very open to abundance.

Often very creative or spiritual people have a hard time learning to receive. That image of being totally open to taking what you need in order to do your calling in the world is a wonderful one to keep in mind if you struggle with abundance. It can relate to both material and creative abundance. Remember the white bars on the Nighthawk’s wings? You can think of those as the flashes of insight that come to you when you put yourself in motion in the practice of your art. In other words, if you find yourself struggling with creative blocks, imagine yourself as a Nighthawk. Relax into the physical process of doing your work. Enjoy the flight – the process of your creative work. Trust that Spirit will provide the insight you need. The outcome will take care of itself.

In short, the Nighthawk symbolizes remaining open to Spirit and being willing to receive what Spirit sends your way. That’s where your creative inspiration or healing work comes from, after all, isn’t it?

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the "follow" tab in the menu up top to subscribe.