Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals
A blog encouraging deeper relations between people and animals.
Welcome to Animal Wisdom
What is “Animal Wisdom?” These are the teachings from the animals who help you with a problem, offer advice for a certain aspect of your life, or simply come to teach you. I call them “Animal Teachers.” For me, “Animals of the Heart” are your life companions, who have been a part of your life since your childhood. “Animals of the Way” help you with a particular part of your life such as being a parent. They are your traveling companions on your life’s journey.
Why not “animal totems,” “power animals” or “animal familiars?” For me, these are reserved terms for various concepts in Native American, Shamanistic, and Wiccan beliefs respectively. These terms have particular meanings in those practices. For me, “Animal Teachers” are the most descriptive since many animals are willing to share their wisdom with people.
I grew up close to nature, becoming an amateur naturalist, and deepened my knowledge of the green world, we live in. On my walks, I enjoyed talking to the squirrels and the birds, and hearing what they had to say. Since I could understand the voices of the animals, I often helped people with their pets.
Like many people, I became interested in the magical aspects of animals after reading “Medicine Cards” by David Carson and Jamie Sams. However, I was troubled by the lumping of the 19 families of snakes into a single entry of “Snake.” (The Snakes, Themselves, told me how upset They were also.) This led me to develop my own philosophy about animal “totem” dictionaries. Animal families have similar traits such as turtles have shells and snakes shed skin. However, the individuals, in these families, have different lives and teachings. For example, Black Mamba of Africa teaches about having a reputation whilst African Puff Adder teaches how to pay attention to things. Both are venomous snakes, but sluggish African Puff Adder has the fastest strike of the venomous snakes, meanwhile quick Black Mamba has the reputation of killing the most people, which is underserved. (She uses her speed for escaping.) Though the venom of Black Mamba is the deadliest in the world, African Puff Adder kills more people.
Another thing that troubled me about these dictionaries was their limited focus of animals. Although several authors, notably the late Ted Andrews, Stephen Farmer and Scott Alexander King, have been more inclusive, there are still animals being ignored. For example, I do not recall anyone writing about Aye Aye of Madagascar, a truly amazing primate.
As I was pondering this, Mother Echidna started appearing in my dreams. Since I had no idea of what an echidna was, I did an extensive search. Known as a “spiny anteater,” an echidna is an egg-laying mammal who lives in Australia and New Guinea. Mother Echidna was upset that her unique voice was not being heard. She then taught me about living with internal contradictions.
This started me on an adventure of writing the “ultimate animal ‘totem’” dictionary. Along the way, I was contacted by more animals who wanted their voices to be heard. I wrote about Hydraxes, who live in Africa, and Antbirds, who live in the Amazon. As I wrote on websites, blogs, and in self-published books, dragons and other mythic animals decided to add their voices as well. They too wanted people to understand who they were and what they have to say.
Since many people wanted to know more, I taught workshops and courses about animals. Then a wall fell on me, and I ended up a traumatic brain injury. However, what happened next was amazing even to me. Extinct Steller’s Sea Cow and prehistoric Dire Wolf came to help in my healing. Then Tyrannosaurus Rex decided it was time for me to learn about her kind, and other prehistoric animals. With their help, I expanded my writing and presented their teachings as well.
In this blog, I will explore many aspects of animal wisdom ranging from how they leave messages to the meaning of their colors. I will start with the basics of “how do you know if an animal is leaving you a message.” And, I will detail who are your Animal Teachers. Moreover, I will explore animals as diverse as dragons and dinosaurs as well as the usual popular ones of wolves and dolphins.
Come hear the voices of the animals, and delve into their magic.
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