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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in animal totem

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mole: Fearless Explorer

After I found a mole near the common dumpster, I learned that moles live underground in many urban areas. This particular mole was trying to find his way home amid the concrete. With my handkerchief, I carefully picked him up and deposited him on the grass.

Nearly forty kinds of moles live in the woodlands and fields of Eurasia and North America. Moles spend most of their lives underground. In the darkness of their burrows, moles eat, sleep, mate, and raise their young. These insectivores, with their small eyes and ears, eat many insects and other invertebrates. As underground tunnellers, moles have taken advantage of where they live.

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  • Cascadia Grove
    Cascadia Grove says #
    Love the article! Great picture I will relate to moles in a whole different way from now on. Debbie Olhoeft, Cascadia Grove

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Giganotosaurus: Be Spectacular

Discovered in 1993, Giganotosaurus gave notice to the world of the huge South American dinosaurs. Because of this continent’s isolation, the dinosaurs there grew to tremendous sizes. At 45 feet (14 meters), Giganotosaurus displaced Tyrannosaurus rex as the largest meat-eater of the dinosaurs. (Later Spinosaurus supplanted them both.) At 9 tons, Giganotosaurus had to be big for She hunted 90 ton Argentinosaurus, the largest land animal ever found (so far).

As one of the Shark-teeth Dinosaurs (Carcharodontosauridae), Giganotosaurus had serrated teeth. They were thin, sharp with jagged edges similar to shark teeth. (In contrast, T. rex had blunt rounded teeth.) With her jaws, Giganotosaurus could manipulate her mouth to act like a pair of scissors. Instead of chomping through bones, She would slice through muscles and flesh. By doing that, She would weaken Argentinosaurus until He collapsed from blood loss.

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Winged-Ones: Living in the Moment

Birds fascinate people. Many people set out feeders to attract birds to their gardens. Others travel long distances to spot a particular bird. People watch birds fly, perch in trees, and sing to each other. What is it about birds that draw humans to them? Many will tell you they love birds for the joy they bring.

Birds teach living in the moment. A flash of brightly colored feathers, then they are gone. The sight of a condor soaring in the sky makes people pause and watch. Crows amuse on-lookers with their antics. A lonely call of the loon fills those who hear with longing. Constantly in motion, birds teach humans to live in the moment.

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Types of Animal Teachers: Introduction

A part of working with animals is learning as much about them as you can. Since common names are confusing, scientists will use taxonomic names for each animal. In taxonomy, animals are separated into various groupings according to their DNA and biological characteristics. Therefore, every animal has a scientific name based on where they fit in the Web of Life. Taxonomy (this scientific classification system) is essentially the animal’s name, rand, and serial number.

Taxonomy aids in understanding how animals are alike and how they differ. Take badgers for example. Honey badger (Mellivora capensis) of Africa, North American badger (Taxidea taxus), and Eurasian badger (Mele mele) are called “badgers” because of their distinctive badger stripe. However, each of the these animals are not directly related to each other except as members of the larger Mustelidae (weasel, badger, and otter) family. From the taxonomic first name, you can see that these various badgers are not closely related. Instead, they are in their own sub-groupings of Meles, Taxideae, and Mellivorae within the Mustelidae. Therefore when consulting “animal totem” dictionaries, check to see which “badger” they are discussing since each have different teachings. Eurasian badgers live in ancient setts (homes) developed by their ancestors, while American badgers, who live alone, dig a hole to stay the night in.

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AYE-AYE: Self-Determination and Magic

Consider how strong Aye-aye's connection is to magic, I am surprised that more Pagans do not know about this amazing mammal.

One of the most bizarre mammals, Aye-aye of Madagascar can frighten people by pointing her spectral middle finger at them. With her large pointed ears, blood red eyes and large bushy tail, She is a figure from a nightmare. Aye-aye looks so supernatural that people on Madagascar believe Her to be capable of great magic.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
WREN FAMILY: The Mysteries of Happiness

Wrens, a family of little brown Birds, are well-known for their high energy and trilling songs. Friendly and active, House Wren is often called “Jenny Wren” in children’s storybooks. Meanwhile Carolina Wren, one of the largest Wrens, flits from perch to perch looking for tasty bugs, delighting gardeners.

Voracious in their nesting endevours, Wrens build nests in boots, mailboxes, and even car radiators. Quick and agile Cactus Wren builds his nest amongst the sharp spines of a cactus. To impress the Female Wrens, Marsh Wren frantically builds as many dummy nests that He can in the wetlands. The scientific name for Wrens is “Troglodytidae,” which means “cave dwellers.” This comes from the elaborate enclosed nests that many Wrens build. Besides housing eggs, these roofed nests also act as their communal roosts.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Shadow Animals (Part 1)

People fear snakes, and run from spiders. When we see these particular animals, we shrink in fear. Certain types of animals make our skin crawl. These animals are the “creepy crawly” ones or the ones we only see at night like owls. The ones that we feel the queasiest about are the animals that are the most alien or radically different from us.

Animals that elicit such a strong response from us are our Shadow Animals. These animals represent the part of our inner landscape that we want to keep in perpetual darkness. Shadow Animals are the manifestations of the unacceptable aspects of ourselves. They hold the aspects of ourselves that we dislike. Since many people feel uncomfortable in embracing their dark side, fear of certain animals is one way to keep it at bay. Hence, we invest our dark qualities in spiders and snakes.

What do Shadow Animals do? They give us permission to love the unacceptable parts of ourselves. When we work with Them, we take back our lost power to forgive ourselves. Once we embrace our Shadow Animals, we will be reunited with these missing parts of our being. They show us that our most hated, feared, and shameful qualities are actually our keys to living the life of our dreams. Shadow Animals call you to make peace with yourself.

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