Ancient wisdom pronounces man’s relationship to all things as being equal. What we may primarily perceive as being lifeless in form, the ancient teachings recognise as having life-force. Everything of Nature was ultimately created from the One Source, and as such, is said to warrant the same level of honour and respect that we demand for ourselves. Many indigenous cultures encompass Nature as a whole and encourage us to do the same, with the stance that Spirit subsists in all things of Nature forming the hub of their belief systems.
In accordance with these ancient teachings, we are reminded that the Earth is our Mother – that from her we came and to her we shall ultimately return. When we view the Earth Mother in this light, it seems logical to see ourselves as her children. The Earth Mother supplies us with everything we need and, just as any mother will do, she embraces us when we feel lost, nurtures us when we are hungry and shelters us in times of need. She loves unconditionally as mother’s should, and inspires us to reach our potential whenever the chance is given. She symbolically guides us to greatness, warns us of danger and reminds us of our commitments. She disciplines, too, when we show contempt: with storms, hurricanes, rough seas, fire and drought. The Earth Mother knows well the laws of Karma, charging her record keepers (the stones, plants and animals) with the responsibility of remembering every event that has ever been instigated for or against her within every act of creation, devastation and exploration.
Her lessons are taught metaphorically, each one marking the transition of the seasons, the conversion of day into night and night into day, the evolution of the Moon’s phases and the rise and fall of the tides. She offers her life giving blood as the silt of our rivers and streams, her bones as the boulders that support the earth under our feet and her lush hair as the golden fields of hay, wheat and barley that nourish our families. She gifts us with healing herbs, medicine stones and vibrational wisdom stored deep within her heart and made available to us as needed. The Earth Mother is always alert, always watching, forever readying herself to reach out and cradle us. As any mother should, she offers her wisdom even if we are oblivious to its presence. The animals are her ambassadors, her messengers and our direct line of communication with Creation and Spirit. Whenever we are lost, confused or in need of confirmation, the animals are there, offering Mother Earth’s guidance. They share her wisdom unconditionally, even though many of us remain ignorant to their call.
For every aspect of life, the Earth Mother has provided a specialised messenger; a ‘creature-teacher’ imbued with the particular wisdom to help us harness the lesson hidden within. Animals never take more than they need, rarely kill for sport and never have ‘accidents’ or ‘make mistakes’. Within this observation lies the powerful gift of understanding that we have all been provided with adequate tools and knowledge enough to bring about profound shifts in personal awareness, as well as the ability to initiate healing on all levels for ourselves and for others. The animals are always there, on a practical, tangible level, reminding us to take responsibility for ourselves by demonstrating how to live whole, impeccable, interrelated lives. All we have to do is look to them for affirmation by contemplating what was haunting our mind whenever we experience an animal in an exceptional setting. In doing so, the wisdom of that animal will help clarify the situation or issue at hand; the answer being immediate, concise and faultless. Remember, the animals never make mistakes and never write things off as ‘accidents’. They cannot afford to, and neither can we. Life is too precious.
There is a bumper sticker in circulation that asks the million dollar question: ‘Imagine what you would do if you knew you could never fail’. The fact is, the moment we realise the potential of the wisdom imparted by the animals, failure is no longer an option. Success is almost guaranteed. They remind us that we each represent a vital strand in the Universal Web of Life and that we each offer an individual and unique gift to the world in the form of personal power, purpose and medicine. To dishonour this sacred fact is to render the Web of Life incomplete or, at the very least, vulnerable. The animals find themselves intuitively guided to instil within us a deeper respect for our responsibility to live abundant lives, to reach our potential and to work in harmony with the Earth Mother and Spirit. They do this by simply being in our lives. In accordance with the ancient teachings, all things of nature are measured similarly, with one being related to the next. The animals, plants and stones are our ‘relatives’; our brothers and sisters, with each worthy of the same respect. To call upon the wisdom of the animals is to accept this realisation and to honour the responsibility it demands.
With this attitude in mind, the Dingo, for example, is said to represent each of us symbolically as we begin our journey of life as a newborn; being repeatedly blind to the perils that are often right in front of his face and the hardships he will face as he ventures out to learn the lessons of the world. Echidna offers personal protection. She is powerfully defensive of our sacred space, allowing only those we trust and want near us to venture within. Her soft, unprotected underside is always exposed to Mother Earth, allowing the loving, nurturing, protective energy to be absorbed by her heart. The Koala acts as our guide as we partake in spiritual journeys. He nurtures within us the knowledge that we hold all the answers to our own questions and that all the wisdom we seek is stored within our consciousness. Platypus is the keeper of the inherent wisdom of all women. Platypus represents the true essence of women’s sacred wisdom: to trust blindingly in one’s inner direction and to move as one with the creative ebbs and flows of Mother Earth. Kangaroo is the bringer of true abundance. So long as the Kangaroo is present, abundance will flourish for the self, the family and, indeed, for the people as a whole, particularly when we are grateful for what we have and when we live in harmony with all other things. Wombat teaches gentle aggression. He encourages us to speak up and to confront wrongs aimed at us with confidence and a sense of assuredness without being forceful, violent or rude. White Cockatoo offers illumination. She can be seen as a messenger of light at the end of the tunnel for anyone who is lost in their own personal darkness. Eagle is Spirit personified. Eagle offers strength, bravery and discipline to reach ever-greater heights, while reminding us to remain humble and to never be over-confident to the point where we become blind to our original intent. Emu demonstrates responsible fathering skills (on the physical level) and the earthy skills needed to guide and raise a child when the nurturing and protective energies of the mother are absent or restricted. Kookaburra shows us how to effectively heal ourselves. A symbol of new beginnings, Laughing Kookaburra tells us to take responsibility for our own healing and to cease all pretence. Silent Kookaburra guarantees that our desire to heal has been initiated and is set to be effective. Lyrebird brings to the people the concept of genetic memory. The Lyrebird’s ability to pass on taught sounds its ancestors once heard could be likened to the theory of genetic memory – memories often confused with the concept of past lives Dolphin affords us the gift of breath. She helps us to walk in rhythm with the beat of the Earth Mother’s heartbeat so that we may learn to communicate through meditation with Spirit. Frog brings cleansing by teaching us to welcome our tears, to honour them and to see them as a healthy way to cleanse the soul by ridding ourselves of emotional, physical and spiritual burdens that rob us of unity and serenity. Whale is one of the Earth Mother’s Record Keepers. She carries all the history of Mother Earth and teaches us to interpret sound frequencies that nurture memories of ancient knowledge by showing us how to reconnect with universal consciousness. With eyes on the top of its head (symbolic of its ability to teach us to see above the physical and to trust ourselves intuitively), Crocodile speaks of the feminine creative force and the art of intuition. Lizard is a master dreamer. Through our dreams Lizard teaches us the importance of respecting and remembering the messages of Spirit. Snake offers the gift of transmutation: just as a Snake must shed its old skin, it suggests we too shed those unwanted burdens and outmoded ways of thinking that restrict our growth and development. In doing so, we may finally realise our own fruitfulness, thus advancing ourselves to higher levels, while healing ourselves simultaneously.
The animals remind us that we are never alone, that no matter where we go, we are constantly being cradled in the protective arms of the Earth Mother. If we learn to progress at a constant pace and acknowledge the animals in a sacred way, we will be assured that all our needs are met, our hard work compensated and all our dreams brought to fruition. The understanding that the animals can be spiritually called upon to assist us in almost every aspect of our livers is a realisation that opens a floodgate of knowledge and power to those who seek their counsel. Remember, though, to always give thanks and make a return offer whenever you receive. Visit a piece of Nature, whisper a prayer of thanks and push a small offering into the soil, out of sight. Offering thanks completes the cycle and ensures the animal’s assistance in the future.
Scott Alexander King is a teacher, animal spirit intuitive and author of ‘Animal Dreaming’, a shamanic ‘field guide’ that offers insight into the wisdom of over 200 indigenous and introduced Australian animals. Based in the beautiful Yarra Valley Victoria, Australia, Scott is available for interviews, workshops, seminars and individual consultations. To contact Scott, or to enquire about his book, ‘Animal Dreaming’ , visit http://www.animaldreaming.com telephone him on (03) 9740 9667 or email him at [email protected]