Thursday, March 10, 2011

Duck, Duck, Goose (and Destiny): Animal Wisdom

Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & SmallDo you ever see an unusual animal, or see an animal at an unusual time or place, and think to yourself, "This is significant"? That is the heart of interpreting the spiritual wisdom of the natural world. One of the most well-known books on the topic is Animal Speak by Ted Andrews (photo left). Sometimes it even seems like the Universe is trying desperately to communicate with us, such as when we see the same animal over and over in unusual circumstances.

A handy online resource for interpreting a variety of animals is Animal Totems on Lin's Domain. If you scroll to the bottom of the page you find a list of over 100 animals with links to individual pages explaining their spiritual significance. Since they were featured in the blog post title aren't you curious about the energies of duck and goose?
Emotional Comfort and Protection
Ducks are connected to feminine energies, the astral plane and emotions through their connection with water. Ducks remind us to drink deeply from the waters of life. Find comfort in your element and with those of like mind and spirit. Ducks teach you how to maneuver through the waters of life with grace and comfort. Psychologist and therapists often have Ducks as a totem, assisting them to help others move through emotional tangles.

Communication and Imprinting Your Life Path
A Goose totem reflects a stimulation of childhood thrills and the belief in stories and legends. The stories we loved as children often reflect our life quest. Think about the stories that affected you the most and see what in them you took into your adult life. The Goose also helps in communication, especially with the written word. It is also a symbol of fertility and marital fidelity. Goose people have an innate belief that there is just one special person for each one.... Their honking call speaks of the fulfilled promises that great quests bring.
How do you discover *your* animal totem? Ted Andrews has some exercises in Animal Speak to coach you through the process. You can try meditation or opening yourself up to being observant. Sometimes you only need to realize that you are drawn to a particular animal and have been collecting, doodling, or otherwise expressing an interest in it. Some animals are with us forever, for instance my husband has a steady relationship to both Wolf and Hawk, while others show up just long enough to help us out, such as my temporary interests in Flamingo and Squirrel (technically Scrat).

Because of my ebb and flow of interest in specific animals I can vouch for their healing and inspirational qualities. A few years ago my life was out of control - I was angry all the time, exhausted, and feeling desperate. I noticed that my interest in otters had been growing. Thanks to the Virginia Living Museum logo I had both a hat and a jacket with the otter prominently displayed so it kept that interest at the forefront of my mind. Who can resist a cute hot-pink hat with a playful otter on it? Not me. Fortunately I put two and two together, looked up the message of otter, and promptly embraced it as my (at least for now) totem. Recovery wasn't immediate but over the last two years I have gently and steadily improved. What was otter's message?
Joy, Primal Feminine Energy
Otters awaken curiosity. They remind us that everything is interesting if we look at it from the right angle. The Otter totem is connected to the primal feminine energies of life: the elements of both Earth and Water are present in Otter medicine. With an Otter totem, you must remember the beauty of a balanced female side, creating a space for others to enter our lives without preconceptions or suspicions. Otter teaches that balanced female energy is not catty or jealous, but it is sisterhood and sharing with others. Otter expresses joy for others. Remember that all of us, both men and women, have a feminine side. If an Otter has entered your life, it may be time to find some play time in your life, to awaken your inner child. Allow events to unfold naturally in your life. Be careful not to hang on the material things in your life that bind you or become a burden. Become Otter and move gently into the river of life.
 What animal speaks to you?


  1. Where I live, it's the rattlesnake that most often speaks to me. The way I interpret it, he seems to be telling me, "Please kill me."

    Okay, that was mean, now the skunk that lives in our yard will probably get mad and spray me. Animals are really scary!

    And otters are awesome. He was my favorite character in "Animal House."

  2. I am unsure whether my animal is a goose or otter. I feel I know the personality of the duck, but I cannot be sure whether I am just imagining this personality or not. The otter, however, describes what I feel I need more than the duck. I, like you, am experiancing trouble in my life and I wish to look to my animal to find a way around it - permenantly.

  3. Thanks for stopping by! I love the otter energy but have a hard time keeping in touch with it. Have started posting pictures of otters around to remind me. :)