I like to take off into the Olympic Mountains in the summer time and
hike along the long streambeds and valleys up the hills and small
mountains. The tremendous amount of rainfall helps create one of
the most magnificent temperate rainforests in the world. The Olympics
create an incredible environment for a diverse array of animal life
to grow and thrive. These animals teach me many lessons as I walk
with them. The bear teaches me to be slower and more attentive.
The eagle teaches me to be stronger and to see with clear vision.
Each animal carries itself in a certain way that enlightens and
heals me when I pay attention.
animals can act as powerful allies and healers of our souls if we
take the time to watch them and take their spirit into our hearts.
Many indigenous tribal peoples view animals as powerful spiritual
entities with much to teach. I once witnessed a Quichua Indian shaman
from Ecuador taking on the attributes of a jaguar while doing healing
work. Coastal Indians have had profound reverence for whales for
thousands of years. The whale not only is a source of food and fuel,
but also is a form of spiritual sustenance for the entire tribe.
I take the time to observe these animals’ habits, I notice their
natural affinity to the various elements and planets we study in
astrology. Birds have a strong connection to the air element, and
seals and whales have an association with the water element. But
when we study the animals a little more deeply, we can see how their
characteristics attune to different planets as well. Though dolphins
may have a basic affinity to the water element, their playfulness
and communicative style link them to the planet Mercury. And though
great blue herons are connected to air, their graceful majesty and
large stature shows their Jupiterian nature.
environment produces its own diversity of animal life, and the climate
will help attune animals to a certain disposition. A dry, sunny
region, like the canyons of southern Utah, will naturally have more
fiery animals like lizards and reptiles. Windswept plains and tall
gusty crags will have creatures that are connected to the air element,
such as ravens, hawks and eagles.
we learn about an animal through studying, watching and reading
about it, we can discover what it has to teach. Perhaps the lesson
is about steadfastness and perseverance (buffalo). Or perhaps the
lesson they have to teach is about agility and speed (hummingbird).
In each case, we can emulate their abilities so we may grow stronger
and wiser ourselves.
it is helpful to work with an animal that connects with our astrological
chart. If we have a predominance of fire planets, we may want to
work with a fiery animal to learn how to better access our own innate
energy. We may also want to work with an animal that balances our
chart and strengthens an element we are missing. If we have a lot
of fire we may want to work with a water creature like whale or
is a partial list of fire and air animals and birds. There are many
ways to connect to these beings and the best way is to watch them
in their natural environment. If they have died naturally, we may
want to ask for a feather, a bone or some of their fur to remind
us of their power.
linked to the Sun. This powerful animal comes in many shapes
and forms, from the domesticated house cat to the tigers of the
Serengeti Plains. They all share skills of agility, gracefulness
and ferocity if necessary. Mountain lions are strong and stealthy
hunters and teach us to be quiet, elusive and noble.
linked to Mercury and Uranus. Coyotes are known for their howling
cry, and hunt by themselves or with one other. They have long been
seen as a trickster totem by many traditions. Coyote teaches us
to be wise by being the fool. They can test us as well as make us
laugh and help open doors of realization in sudden brilliant flashes.
linked to Pluto. Snakes have a primal power and can induce tremendous
fear due to their speed and sometimes venomous fangs. These reptiles
can sense their environment through their tongue, eyes and the vibrations
they feel in their bodies. They will shed their skin at least once
a year. Snakes are powerful allies for healers and medicine people,
as much of their work is transformational. One of the most famous
symbols of healing is the caduceus, which depicts two snakes coiling
around a staff. Snakes teach us to be powerful, intense and alert.
linked to the Sun and Neptune. Honeybees live in colonies of
up to 60,000 workers, a queen and a few hundred male drones. They
help pollinate plants and trees by gathering the nectar and pollen
from flowers. Workers communicate where pollen is to be found by
dancing. This powerful little creature teaches us to gather sweetness
in our lives, to nourish the community through service and to buzz
with love and sexuality.
linked to Jupiter. This majestic raptor often sits in perches
high above streams and the ground. With powerful vision, eagles
are able to sight their prey and fly with lightning speed toward
their kill. Eagles teach mature and solid strength, clear vision
and leadership skills.
Mountain goat, linked to Saturn. Though
these beings also have an affinity to the earth element, their natural
terrain is up high in the clouds and mists of windswept mountains.
Mountain goats have a steady and sure-footed gait, and can use their
powerful strength to quickly bound over boulders and up crags. These
beings help us to be direct and sure on
our path, to be clear and grounded in our movements and in our relationships.
linked to Mercury. Watch as they dance and swim in circles in
the air, joyfully playing with each other as they dart by trees
and brush. These birds teach us to be playful and to laugh, to be
joyful in the moment.
linked to Pluto. This powerful bird is watchful and confident.
With tremendous intelligence, they take in everything around them
and strategize, make their decisions and then directly go after
what they want and need. Ravens help us to act boldly and truthfully,
to face what is dark or hidden in order to reveal the truth.
will discuss water and earth creatures in Part Two.