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.
We have arrived at the last stone in the Centre of the Medicine Wheel – Butterfly. This stone is the Air Clan, with the Spiritual Face of the Butterfly. They rarely stay in one place for very long. Air is the element of change, transformation, illumination and beginnings. This stone in the Centre is a reminder to each of us, we shift through many layers of transformation and change, as we emerge from our womb, until our last transformation death and decay.
Not surprising Sun Bear chose the Butterfly Weed, in my world, I know it as Milkweed, for the Plant Totem. There are many varieties of Milkweed. Common milkweed is slightly toxic, but not to the Monarch butterfly! By feeding almost exclusively on milkweed leaves, they are able to accumulate enough of the poison in their bodies to make them distasteful to predators. [Read more…]
Jaguars and Leopards
I remember being fascinated and in love with Black Panthers, since being a very young girl. One of my secret dreams, was to find a baby jaguar who had fallen off a truck belonging to a travelling circus. Needless to say, my dream did not come to pass. I did learn the name jaguar comes from the Native American word yaguar, which means “he who kills with one leap.” These powerful hunters sometime climb trees to prepare ambushes and jump down on their prey. One reason for this is that despite jaguars being rapid runners they tire quickly, so rely on proximity rather than sustained speed while hunting. They also have the strongest jaw of all the big cats. Unlike their genetic family, the Jaguar kills by crushing its huge incisors through the skull of their prey. Other Big Cats kill by suffocating their prey, by crushing the wind pipe.
In our present day lexicon, we have used the term Black Panther to refer to any big cat with a condition of melanism. Technically, Black Panthers generally refer to Black Leopards, and Black Jaguars, are referred to as what they are. The discoloration of panthers from the typical spotted or striped fur is [Read more…]