Deer Spirit Meaning and Finding Your Purpose

Deer painting in watercolor

Deer has been coming forward for me a lot lately so I thought I’d share a bit about the spirit meaning of this magnificent animal. Perhaps it will speak to you, too!

Like all animal guides, Deer has multiple meanings and I could go on for pages about it. For now, though, let’s explore Deer spirit meaning as it relates to soul’s purpose.

Connecting head and heart

This animal relates very strongly to two chakras in particular: Heart and Crown. Gentleness, innocence, nurturing, giving of oneself, and Love are some of the symbolic meanings of Deer in many traditions. All of these resonate very strongly with heart energy. And the antlers of the male deer symbolize the crown’s connection with Spirit. While pursuit of purpose involves all the chakras, this connection of heart and crown is especially significant. Deer can therefore be a powerful guide in the process of seeking one’s purpose.

It’s interesting to note that in English, another word for “stag” is “hart,” don’t you think? There are many examples in folklore of a hunter or prince being led deep into the dark forest by a mysterious stag, becoming lost and embarking upon a great adventure that eventually leads to love, wealth and happiness.

And that is what often happens when we begin to follow our h(e)art’s purpose.

Often we feel alone in the wilderness, at least at first. And we face many challenges and even demons and monsters along the way. Every hero of story and myth experiences their dark night of the soul, and it can truly be a place of woe and despair.

3 whitetail deer illustration

So as innocent as the Deer animal guide may appear to be (and innocence is indeed one of its symbolic meanings), taking it on as a totem is not for the faint of heart.

But there is immense wisdom to be found in myth. Inevitably, our hero meets up with helpers and guides along the way, and is given tools and wisdom to vanquish the forces of the dark and accomplish his task (the first step of which is often to realize that he has a task in the first place, and to find out where and what he needs to do!)

Letting go of attachments

On another note, purification is another huge symbolic meaning of Deer totem. And in fact, a large part of finding and pursuing Purpose often entails letting go of that which does not support it.

Here we want to take a close look at one of the shadow aspects of Deer: jealousy.

Male deer can be extremely jealous, which if you think about it makes sense, since during rutting season it’s a buck deer’s goal to gather together a harem of does and to mate with as many of them as possible. If he is successful at this, of course, his genes get to rule the next generation. But he has to not only fight with powerful rivals, but also guard against rogue bucks who will sneak into his harem and mate with the does while his back is turned.

So like nearly all shadow energies this one is here for a reason. When jealousy shows up in human relationships the underlying reason is typically fear of loss.

I’m not talking just love relationships here. I’m talking about any kind of attachment energy, where you cling to and/or defend a person or behavior or idea of how something should be. And what happens is that we fixate on that thing, we keep giving our energy to that instead of focusing on our connection with Light.

So one thing to consider if Deer keeps showing up for you, especially if you are experiencing some sort of dark night of the soul, or relationship issue, is what fixations might be present in your consciousness? Are you relating to the person as he or she really is, or some sort of projected belief about that person? Are you focusing on what you really want in your heart, or on what some part of you thinks you should want? Are you clinging to things that no longer serve you? Recognizing and releasing these fixations and attachments will help free you to get back on the path you seek.

Watch my new video for more about the spiritual symbolism of Deer

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Deer spirit meaning. If you’d like to hear more Deer spirit wisdom (including Deer’s connection with Christ energy), check out my newest animal spirit video 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.

Spider Totem: Spirit Animal Meaning of Spider

Spider spirit animal image
For more about Spider spirit animal meaning, watch my video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unpDsV9ORVg

Spiders. They evoke our wondering admiration, and our horror, both.

On the one hand, we have the miraculous, ethereal beauty of a spider web, like a garment woven for angels. On the other, a horrifying entity creeping into our nightmares, or emerging from the darkest imaginations of a Tolkien or a J.K. Rowling.

Why do Spiders, more than any other animal, elicit such a spectrum of emotion?

I believe it’s because, more than any animal I am aware of, they embody the power of the Deep Feminine—an energy that is deeply misunderstood in our culture.

The thing to remember is that feminine energy is all about connection. This is what makes it so super powerful. On the one hand (in its Light aspect) it’s the driving force behind Oneness. On the other (in its dark aspect) it can be horrifically manipulating and subversive.

Here are just a few of Spider’s powers:

Spider web

Positive (Light) Spider Energy:
  • Creativity
  • Patience
  • Persistence
  • Emotional Awareness
  • Magnetic Allure
  • Networking/Connectedness
  • Wealth attraction
SpiderNegative Spider Energy (dark side):
  • Ensnarement
  • Calculating manipulation
  • Venomous thought
  • Vampirism

Whew – that’s quite the list! So if Spider appears to you, be aware that she may be pointing out tendencies towards any of the above in you or someone you’re dealing with.

I’m not going to go super deep into Spider symbolism here (if I did it might take all night). And I am definitely not in the mood right now to delve into its dark aspects. (Although I just released a Spider video that touches on the topic.)

For now, I want to focus on one of Spider’s strongest and most positive aspects: Creativity. The act of Bringing Forth.

Spider is an absolutely fantastic power animal for anyone wishing to expand their creative abilities, and especially for creative people wanting to make a living from their skills. A few thoughts:

spiderweb

  • Watch a spider spinning her web. It will just about put you in a trance. Spider demonstrates complete attunement to a pattern that comes not from intellect but from her own inner knowing, manifesting it precisely and deliberately in the physical world.
  • Notice all the different types of spider webs in the world – the variety is breathtaking. Besides the beautiful orb type web, there are cobwebs; funnel-shaped webs; the little gossamer webs you find in the lawn; even trap-door-like webs that aren’t meant to ensnare but to hide a spider so that it can ambush its passing prey. And check it out – they’re ALL awesome. You won’t find a Spider comparing her web unfavorably to her neighbor’s!
  • To continue that thought, some webs are notable for their beauty, some as amazing feats of engineering. Creativity is not just the realm of artists! How does your own creative self want to express him- or herself?
  • Patience is another of Spider’s virtues. And Faith. Most spiders have to wait to be discovered. Sometimes a while!
  • Persistence, too. Despite being crafted out of one of the strongest materials in existence, spider webs are fragile and sometimes have to be rebuilt again and again. Spider just doesn’t give up. (If you’re an aspiring author trying to get published, take note. Some of the world’s most successful authors only got published after they got rejected again, and again, and again.)
  • Notice that the web is both a beautiful creation and a source of livelihood for Spider. No reason the two have to be mutually exclusive. “Starving artist” myth be damned! (Including the healing arts!)

Well, like I said I could sit here riffing on Spider all night. But I’d like to get some sleep. So if you want to know more about Spider, check out my latest YouTube video here. (And discover a simple exercise you can do to open yourself up to a more feminine, creative style of vision.)

(P.S. Next time you find a Spider in your house, please don’t smash her. Find yourself a yogurt tub with a lid and gently remove the little artist outside where she can spin her dreams in peace.)

Do you feel a connection with Spider? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

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.

Are you living your Purpose? A spirit animal’s perspective

“The purpose of life is Life.” – Joseph Campbell

circle sm

I channeled this painting for a client recently. The image came first, but it felt like something was missing. So I took a break and started cleaning out a shelf in the studio. And as luck would have it a piece of paper fell out with these words printed on it:

The Sun is a Circle/The Moon is a Circle/The Earth is a Circle/We are a Circle

Everything that is, is alive/And everything has a place on the Circle.

I remembered someone handing that sheet of paper to me at an event I attended last fall, but I don’t know who the author is (or if it even has an author.) Regardless, it seemed to provide the missing element.

The message that comes through to me here is all about grounding, and balancing, and relaxing into the art of being.

Being, in terms of feeling oneself a part of all that is.

Knowing that simply being is enough.

We often spend such time and energy worrying about “Purpose.” And indeed some of us do have a burning mission in life. 

That’s beautiful when it happens, but what if your purpose isn’t clear to you? 

I think the bird in this painting has something to say about that.

You might think at first that it is a Crow. I did, when I first saw it in my mind’s eye. But once I got it down on paper it was quite clear that this spirit animal was not a Crow, but a Grackle.

A Common Grackle, to be precise.

Grackles are indeed common birds. If you live in the eastern half of North America you’ve probably seen these black birds gathering in noisy flocks in treetops, or strutting across your lawn. They are boisterous, opportunistic birds that eat nearly anything and are actually much more likely than crows to steal corn.

At first glance you might not think there was much about a Grackle to write home about, with its somber dress and creaky voice. But if you look more closely at the Common Grackle you will see that it is really quite a striking bird. Its head and neck are not actually black but are covered in iridescent feathers ranging from purple to green to bronze. It has a distinctive white eye that contrasts sharply with its body. And its elongated, v-shaped tail lends a graceful touch to its figure.

To me the Grackle’s message is to appreciate the beauty, magic and majesty of ordinary, everyday life. To honor one’s physical being and delight in the strength and power of the body as a divine vehicle for Spirit. 

It also connotes the night, a time of feminine power. In fact, the grackle
with its white eye resembles the feminine “yin” of the famous Chinese yin-yang symbol.

We are all a part of the body of Mother Earth. Our bodies, our blood: her soil and water sparked to life. Our breath and her air are one. Her fire burns in our souls.

Is it not enough to simply be? Were we not born into the world as sacred beings? Can not our most simple, everyday actions become so infused with love that they are in themselves a prayer that is felt, seen, heard and understood without need for words or explanation?

That is the power of the divine feminine – a power that is felt, wordless, in the body and expressed naturally when we share the joy of living with others.

Just as a gorgeous iridescent rainbow lies hidden in the Grackle’s “black” feathers, so there is hidden treasure in the commonness of our lives.  A treasure we often miss in our pursuit of Purpose.

But sometimes, when we allow ourselves to quiet down, to ground ourselves and simply be, Purpose has a way of revealing itself after all.


This artwork is available as an 11″ x 14″ fine art print.  Click here to purchase.  

 

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.

Spirit Animals: 4 birds that symbolize Vision – what’s the difference?

snowy owl
Photo by English

HAPPY SPRING! Someone was telling me recently about going up to Brockway Mountain for the spring raptor migration. Apparently they won’t migrate across Lake Superior, and instead go around the land way, with the result that sometimes you can see dozens of eagles and other birds of prey in one day at this spot. Wow!

I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to get up that way this spring. If I do I’ll certainly share the experience with you. But just hearing about it got me thinking about vision.

Raptors (birds of prey) all have amazingly sharp eyesight to help them locate and catch their prey. As spirit animals, they all represent Vision – the kind of energy that can help us gain focus and clarity in our lives. However, each one channels this energy in a slightly different way.

Here is my interpretation of the different flavors of Vision as represented by a few of the most popular raptors:

eagle-detailEagle:  Eagle is the consummate crown chakra animal. Its energy is all about spiritual vision, and connection with the sacred. Don’t be surprised if Eagle shows up for you as a confirmation that you are on the right spiritual path.

red-tailed-hawk-947416_640
Photo by skeeze

Hawk: To me, Hawk feels more aligned with the third eye chakra. Its vision is more about observation and intuition, and developing those powers within you so that you can gain clarity on your path and goals in the world. This spirit animal may show up to help you gain more clarity around your life purpose or self-realization.

peregrine falconFalcon: Falcons are amazing fliers and hunt on the wing, barreling into their prey (typically smaller birds but also ducks) at a couple hundred miles per hour. Falcon vision is about keeping your goals in sight and taking swift decisive action to achieve them.

horned owl
Photo by Chräcker Heller

Owl: The most mysterious of the raptors, Owl is nocturnal and has incredible night vision. It can also turn its head 270 degrees around! Spiritually, this translates into deep intuition and full awareness of what is going on at all levels of being. Owl also has a strong connection to the deep feminine.

Hopefully this will help you to sort out what kind of “vision” is being referred to if one of these “vision birds” flies into your awareness!

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 does Ferret mean as a Spirit Animal?

Ferret sm
Black Footed Ferret illustration by Anne Christie Michelsen. This painting is copyrighted. Want a copy? Contact me for purchase information!

People who receive my spirit animal readings are sometimes surprised at what animal comes up for them. It’s sometimes an animal they never would have thought of.

No disrespect to spirit animal oracle cards (I’m working on creating a deck myself), but that’s the beauty of doing it on pure intuition. It can literally be ANYTHING.  For instance, I had a 5-lined skink come up for someone once – and it turned out she had a previous connection with the animal! (She actually has a skink skin she once picked up and the reading brought attention to some relationship healing that needed to happen in relation to that incident.)

Anyway, Ferret came forward in a reading I did recently, and since it’s an animal that doesn’t get featured very often, I thought I’d give him a chance to sit in the spotlight today. Please feel free to share this post with anyone you know who is fond of Ferrets! 🙂

Ferret Spirit Animal Meaning

The common name “ferret” includes any of a group of animals in the Weasel family, including the Black Footed Ferret of North America, and the European Polecat. (Domestic ferrets are thought to be descendants of the Polecat.)

Ferrets are carnivorous, and ferocious hunters. As such, they definitely speak to the Warrior within us – and they have lessons to offer both for when our Warrior energy needs some encouragement, and for times when it might be coming on a bit too strong.

In English, to “ferret something out” means to track down something hidden and bring it to light. A ferret’s long, low body allows it to go down into the burrows of its prey (such as rabbits or prairie dogs), where it often takes its sleeping prey by surprise. Ferret can help you uncover hidden blocks and energies in your own psyche – sometimes ones that have been buried for a long time. It takes courage to work with Ferret energy, though, because it will ask you to hold yourself to your own truth.

Ferrets and weasels sometimes have a negative connotation in English, as being sneaky or sly, and even thieving. That can indeed be the shadow side of this power animal, and a ferret person may find themselves tempted on occasion to hide the truth from themselves or others. The little bandit mask on many ferrets is a visual symbol of this type of energy.  However, this aspect of Ferret has its positive side, too. When a Ferret person is aligned with her higher self she can put that tenacious, let’s-bring-it-to-the-light-and-get-it-done kind of energy to use in a way that contributes to the highest good.

Like many weasel-family animals, ferrets will sometimes engage in what is known as the “Weasel War Dance”: a ferocious-looking, frenzied display that is supposed to disorient its prey. What can Ferret people learn from this? The value of posturing! Attitude is everything, and putting on a mask of confidence when you have to negotiate or are in a shaky situation can make all the difference. (Keep in mind here, too, another characteristic of the Ferret: like most weasel – family animals, they have musky – smelling scent glands under the tail. Translation? Don’t be afraid to make a stink if you have to!)

If you find that you attract a lot of conflict, though, remember that a Ferret’s little war dance can also be an invitation to play. Keep the competition friendly and open yourself to creatively “ferreting out” solutions that allow everyone to walk away with their dignity and livelihoods intact – if not actually finding win-win ways to do things.

Finally, a word about our native ferret, the Black Footed Ferret.

One of the benefits the Black Footed Ferret brings to people is to keep the prairie dog population in check – and in the process, reducing outbreaks of bubonic plague, which those animals can carry. Once thought extinct, this feisty little guy is making a comeback with the help of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other organizations.  That makes him an awesome power animal for Survivor energy! 🙂

To find out more about the Black Footed Ferret, and/or to donate any amount to help this beautiful animal stay here on the planet with us, visit the nonprofit Prairie Wildlife Research website: http://www.prairiewildlife.org/support.html

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.