Goose Power Animal Meaning

This time of year, it’s common to see geese flying overhead, returning wild goose animal totemnorth to their summer breeding grounds. There are a couple of slightly uncomplimentary sayings related to geese: “being on a wild goose chase,” and “silly goose.” But actually Geese are very respect-worthy creatures.

For one, Geese are extremely loyal. They mate for life and if a goose is injured while migrating, its mate or a family member will go down with it and guard it until it either recovers or dies. (I witnessed this a couple years ago by the river in Wausau, WI. A goose with a severely injured leg had made its way there, its companion at its side. I never found out what happened to them.)

Canada gooseCanada Geese are amazing parents and work together as a team to raise the young. The female does most of the incubating, while the male stands guard a little ways away. If you wander anywhere near a goose nest you will know it. First, the male will honk the alarm – and it is LOUD! If that doesn’t keep you away he will then hiss and flap his wings in an unmistakably threatening manner. If you are too stupid to pay attention, prepare to be attacked. Don’t laugh – geese may not look dangerous but they can bite hard and they mean business!

During incubation the male will drive away all other birds but once the goose quiltbrood of 2-9 goslings is hatched they relax their vigilance and may band together with other goose families to share the gosling care. If a goose couple is neglectful of their young a more experienced pair may kidnap the youngsters and raise them with their own brood.

Wild geese are of course best known for their migration habits. They are strong fliers and also very cooperative, drafting each other and taking turns in the lead.

So, Goose is a fabulous symbol of marital fidelity, strong family values, protectiveness, and cooperation. They also can represent teamwork and the willingness to work hard towards a common goal.

Geese are also very vocal. The Canada Goose, our most common North American native wild goose, has a distinctive white chin strap, highlighting the throat area. (In healing circles, the throat is the communication center.) Goose people are likely to be vocal, and to use their communication skills in ways that benefit society.

Has Goose flown into your life? Share your experiences in the comments box below!

 

photo credit: Lone goose via photopin (license)

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What is the spirit meaning of Falcon?

peregrine falconThere are 37 species of falcon throughout the world. They all share the same basic meaning, but each one will differ a little bit. If Falcon has flown into your life, you’ll want to find out what species it is and research that species’ unique features.

Vision and Focus: Spirit of Higher Purpose

For now I’m going to concentrate on the Peregrine Falcon, since it is probably the most well-known. This is largely because it has an incredibly large range – one of the largest distributions of any bird. The name “peregrine” means “Wanderer.” This small raptor is found on every continent of the world except Antarctica. As the name implies, it will often migrate for incredibly long distances.

The Peregrine Falcon is quite possibly the fastest creature on record. Like all falcons, it has long, tapered wings for superior agility in flight. It uses its keen eyesight to locate its prey – typically songbirds, pigeons and even ducks. Once it spots its target it acts swiftly and decisively. The Falcon swoops and dives for its prey, which it slams into beak-first (unlike most raptors which grasp their prey with their feet.)

So, some of the important Falcon keywords are Vision (especially Higher Vision) and Focus. This makes Falcon an excellent life’s purpose totem. If Falcon appears to you, take note of any shift you may be experiencing in your life. Its appearance may be pointing the way for you towards following your dharma (harmonizing your life with your higher self.) Respect your deepest intuitions regarding which way Falcon is pointing you to go.

The Wisdom of EconomyBlogging from A to Z Challenge

It takes a lot of energy for a Falcon to pursue and catch its prey. As a result, it doesn’t waste its efforts. First, it has to make the executive decision whether a particular target is worth pursuing. Once it decides on its target, it doesn’t waste energy in indecision. Nor does it work harder than it has to. Instead, it aligns itself with the force of gravity to attain speeds of over 200 mph – faster than a bullet train at top operating speed.

Even when the hunt is over, the Peregrine Falcon reserves its power and energy for where it’s most needed. Rather than spend time and resources building nests, it lays its eggs in abandoned nests of other birds or in simple scrapes dug into the sides of cliff ledges. Peregrines are very adaptable and will also nest on skyscrapers in urban areas.

Falcon teaches us to choose our life’s goals wisely, to go with the flow in pursuing them, and to avoid distractions that may keep us from pursuing them effectively.

Symbol of Resilience and Hope

One last note about the Falcon: like all raptors, it is at the top of the food chain, which means that toxins in the prey can easily build up to dangerous levels in its system. In the 1970’s, DDT and other pesticides in the environment posed a serious threat to Peregrine Falcons. The toxin weakened their eggshells to the point where the birds had trouble reproducing. They even went locally extinct in many areas, including most of the U.S.

Fortunately, Peregrine Falcon populations are now rebounding due to recovery efforts including pesticide bans and breeding and reintroduction programs. This magnificent bird is once again a common sight. I believe that its comeback mirrors a major shift in planetary consciousness, in which humanity is beginning to recognize and honor its higher spiritual purpose.

What do you think?

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

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Earthworm alchemy

earthwormsWhen most people think of power animals, they tend to gravitate towards the sexy ones. Wolf, Eagle, Lion, Horse, Cat. Gentler souls will sometimes go for sweet ones like Rabbit or Deer. But I’ve never, ever, heard anyone mention worms.

Which is a shame. Because despite its humble appearance and habits (after all, it eats dirt!) Earthworm is an incredibly powerful totem animal.

The original alchemist

The biggest reason I love Earthworms so much is their feeding habits. They are basically living composting machines. They eat through all the icky, unwanted stuff no one else wants and transform it into sweet-smelling castings. Worm droppings are truly magical in the garden. They are incredibly nourishing to the soil and help plants grow like gangbusters! What a profound spiritual lesson: turning negatives into positives!

One worm, and one worm

Another interesting thing about Earthworms is that they are hermaphrodites. Each individual worm has both male and female parts (although a single one can’t produce offspring on its own.) When two worms mate, they both produce egg cocoons! Earthworms are thus a wonderful symbol of creative abundance and of harmonious integration of the masculine and feminine elements of one’s being.

If you feel ungrounded…

…there is no better animal to contemplate than Earthworm. You can’t get much closer to the earth than this little fellow! Try one or all of these exercises to help connect with Worm’s earthy vitality.

1) Worm watching I: Spend a few minutes (or a few hours) in the garden, inhaling the aroma of moist soil, digging in the dirt, and watching worms wriggle through the earth. Do it barefoot if you can. It will help you feel much more settled and peaceful.

2) Worm watching II: Start a vermicomposting bin (like mine at worm binright.) (Most people use redworms, like the ones in the picture above.) Spend time with your worms when you check up on them and feed them. Move slowly and keep the lights dim – they don’t like abrupt movements or harsh light. Watch how gracefully they move through the bedding. Enjoy the rustling sounds they make as they move through the bin. Watching the worms can be relaxing, meditative and surprisingly addictive. (Yes, I’m a geek.)

3) Earthworm visualization: If you have no access to actual worms, then close your eyes and imagine that you are a worm, sliding smoothly through a tunnel of cool, moist earth. Feel how the aura of the planet embraces you, and how everything you need is right there surrounding you – shelter, nourishment, oxygen, water. You feel safe and calm, just tunneling along at a pace that feels comfortable to you… Come out of your earthworm reverie when you are ready, shake off the soil, and slowly open your eyes. Don’t you feel more grounded now? 🙂

The dark side of Earthworms

When I was a kid no one ever had a bad word to say about earthworms. (Unless the conversation happened over school lunch.) Worms were hailed as heros. We were told that lots of earthworms were a sign of a healthy soil, and that they were great for gardens, fields and forests alike.

Now, though, we know that this is not always true. Many forested regions of North America have no native populations of earthworms. When worms get introduced, they alter the natural balance of the forest. The invasive earthworms can make it difficult for many native plant species, including young trees, ferns, and wildflowers, to survive.

The lesson here? Dig deep, and observe what is really happening (including second and third degree connections), before you accept ‘common knowledge’ as truth. And realize, too, that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ often depend on context.
photo credit: Worm Bin via photopin (license)

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The Importance of Dogs

Girl hugging dog

You might be wondering if your pet can be a spirit guide. And is Fido really interested in helping you along on your spiritual journey – or does he just want a bite of your sandwich?

The answer is yes, and yes! (Well, OK, and yes to the sandwich bit, too. Dogs are such positive, optimistic souls!)

Seriously, though, why grudge our dogs the occasional stolen hot dog when you consider what they do for us (when they’re not barfing on the rug)?

According to Brian Hare, author of the bestselling book The Genius of Dogs, archaeological evidence strongly suggests that we didn’t really domesticate dogs. Rather, they seem to have domesticated themselves.

They Chose Us. Jasmine dog laughing

Yes, the aroma of roasting meat around a campfire doubtless helped. But I think there is more to why dogs have chosen to cast their lot in with us than food alone. Here are just a few of the ways I have observed dogs helping people on the spiritual level:

  • Dogs are our spiritual guardians. A protective dog will put itself between its person and danger. They do this on the spirit level, too. Research shows that people who keep dogs are far less likely to fall prey to depression. I have also witnessed dogs absorbing negative, stressful energy in a household into their own bodies in order to protect the children.
  • Dogs teach us unconditional love.  Your dog doesn’t care what you look like or how much money you have in the bank. It loves you because it loves you. It will probably also love you even if you abuse it. This can be heartbreaking, and hopefully there will come a day when animal abuse is a thing of the past, but it is a testament to the incredible heart that Dog as a spirit guide possesses.

 

  • Melvin dog funny noseDogs guide us along our spiritual paths. Every dog I’ve ever had has managed to help me on my way and teach me a spiritual lesson. My first two dogs helped me raise my kids. (The picture up top is my daughter with Pavlov, a rascally little fellow with the biggest heart I’ve ever met. He still visits me in dreams.) My Jasmine (the black Lab mix pictured up there on the right) came along at a time when I was ready to open up spiritually. She had been abused and can’t stand even the slightest negative energy. She is teaching me to center myself and not let the negative stuff throw me off course. And our newest boy, Melvin (left) – he’s trying to teach me to chill out and have more fun. 🙂

What spirit lessons have your dogs taught you? Please share below!

 

 Tomorrow: Earthworms!

 

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.

Bats!

Bat upside downBats! Most people find them at least a little scary. If nothing else, it can be a bit disconcerting when one swoops close to your head from above.

But unless you go out of your way to bother them, bats are typically completely harmless.  Not only that, but they bless us with amazing gifts. Nectar-eating species are wonderful pollinators. Other species eat huge numbers of flying insects and are awesome natural mosquito control.

As a Spirit Animal, Bat carries numerous and profound messages. In fact, too many to list them all here! So I’m just going to mention a few today, but if you find Bat calling to you, know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. (You might want to try to find out about the specific Bat that has come into your life, because different ones may have different messages for you.)

Sensitivity & IntuitionBlogging from A to Z April Challenge

You probably know about the Bat’s ability to navigate by echolocation. It’s so good at this that it can actually fly through the blades of a slow-moving fan. But don’t worry – it’s also astute enough to avoid doing so when the fan is going to fast for safety. (And don’t worry about bats getting caught in your hair – they’re smart enough to avoid that, too.)

This incredible ability to find their way in the dark makes Bat a powerful totem for Intuition. Bat teaches us to trust that still, small voice within to lead us safely through, even when the way seems treacherous.

Night, Rebirth, & the Sacred Feminine

Bats are, of course, nocturnal.  As a general rule, you can count on animals of the night having a strong connection to feminine energy. Bats in particular are a great symbol for this, since they tend to roost in caves and emerge en masse into the dusk. This makes them a wonderful symbol for rebirth and regeneration.  Bat is an especially appropriate ally for women coming into their power in the second half of life. This is why they are traditionally associated with witchcraft. (It is no coincidence that both bats and women have been sadly misunderstood over the ages, leading to the terrible persecution of both.)

By the way, Bats are almost always highly social, and mother bats often help raise each other’s offspring. A symbol for how important and nurturing the deep connections women have with other women really are!

Rising above Fear

Bat in flightThere is a great deal of fear surrounding Bats. But if we listen close, Bat can help us to face and rise above our fear. And when we do, we enter a higher dimension where we can truly soar!

The Bat is the only mammal that has truly learned to fly. That in itself is an expression of faith. Bat teaches us to trust in our ability to soar above the dark obstacles in our path.

Wings, Hands, Flight of Spirit

Take a look at the wings of a bat. You will see that they are made up of thin, membranous skin stretched across fingerlike bones. Yes, the wings of the Bat are really hands, adapted to flight!

Spiritually, this is super significant. Wings indicate a connection to higher self, to Spirit. Hands as wings show us that we can connect with Spirit through our daily actions. Think of everything you do as prayer, and you will be heeding the message of Bat.

Power Animal of the Arts

Bats are an excellent power animal for artists of all kinds, who intuitively translate impulses from Spirit into the physical world through their hands and bodies.

isabella pendant by Julia LowtherMy cousin Julia Lowther, a Seattle artist who raised 2 orphan flying foxes while in the Peace Corps in Western Samoa, made this observation, which I love:

“Bats, like art, are often considered useless and expendable. Though we finally understand that the survival of South Pacific island forests depend heavily on the fruit bats, we are still trying to get a similar grip on the value of art.”

Has Bat flown into your life? Post your experiences and observations below!

Upside down bat photo credit: IMG_3718 via photopin (license)
Bat in Flight photo credit: Short-tailed Fruit Bat via photopin (license)

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.