There are over 1,240 species of bats. They are divided into two categories: Macro and Micro. One can imagine the Macro are large and Micro which are smaller. Straight forward I would say! Our Ancestors encountered these fabulous little mammals living in and around them. As a result, they have made their appearance in many myths and stories from all over the world. Gifted with flight, some teeth and squeaks his combination made them special and formidable game players in many folk tales where the agile bat won the day. My encounters with bats in shamanic journeys has led me to consider them a “liminal” being; they do not fit into the normal order of things and are somehow apart or in-between, almost an ambiguous species.
I have had the great pleasure to meet and travel with some very unusual characters over the years. I have met human/animal mixtures. Animals straight from our Ancestors stories, such as Cerebus, the three-headed hound from Greek Mythology and Fenrir the Wolf from Norse Mythology. They were both very formidable characters to encounter while journeying.
I have had many friends over the years recount their relationship with the Dragons. I had the good fortune of listening to their tales and adventures with them. The deep interest in Dragons began after I attended a lecture by a Jungian Analyst speaking on Jung’s thoughts and writings regarding the Archetype of the Dragon. I am still very interested in the divisions of characterization of dragons based on eastern and western mythology. There are many different stories, names, and elemental associations with Dragons in Eastern myths.
The main focus of this entry will be the jaguar, but it should be noted that the black panther is actually the same species as the jaguar. The black coat is simply a color variation. Jaguar is a Native American word meaning, “he who kills with one blow.” The jaguar actually originated in North America, though now it only lives in Central and parts of South America. The jaguar moved south when Central America formed into a land bridge. Jaguars prefer habitats like jungles and swamps, but also like semi-arid mountainous regions, so long as the area is forested. The jaguar is also one of the few cats to like water, and often can be seen playing in it.
As for the mythology and legends, the jaguar was seen as a god in Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala, in pre-Columbian America. The Mayans, Aztecs, and Inca all worshiped the jaguar in some form. In the pantheon, the jaguar god was second only to the snake god in religious importance. At the Temple of the Jaguar at Chichen Itza, the king had to walk beneath a frieze of a procession of jaguars during his coronation ceremony. [Read more…]
As a kid, on the farm, I had many occasions to spy the handiwork of a weasel, long gone. They are stealthy creatures. We had a rather large chicken coop, which, unfortunately, was not all that rodent proof. One of the ways I knew a weasel had been in the coop, was by the mounds, yes I said mounds, of chicken bodies piled up. Chickens, as a measure of self-protection, climb upon each other to stay safe… the bottom chickens usually died of suffocation, not a weasel. But, for all of its hard work terrifying the chickens, it would take two or three at one time, unless there was a pair, then we would lose a couple more, but generally, they are solitary creatures. Another weasel, somehow, got caught in the outdoor pump, for our old well. [Read more…]
The Otter is a wonderful creature. It has long been associated with Women’s medicine. It is the symbol of grace and empathy. Otter medicine takes great pleasure in the success and happiness of others, and will work untiringly to help others achieve that. There is no selfishness in otter. They could never be mean, or self-centered, or self-driven. You will not find an otter who gossips, or who “flames” others, or who is unnecessarily critical in a vengeful way, for the purpose of otter is to support and enhance OTHERS, not themselves.
Otter is also a signal that you need to take more time for yourself to just play and be silly. Lighten up! You must feed otter’s playful side so that she can continue to help balance your great concern for the welfare of others. We lose sight, sometimes, of our own spirit’s need to be lighthearted and to laugh and be childlike. That is a very important element in walking in balance. [Read more…]