Divine Animals Oracle guidebooks
Divine Animals Oracle
Deep wisdom from the most sacred beings in existence
Edited by Lisa Macken
Designed by Jessica Le, Rockpool Publishing
Printed and bound in China 10 987654321
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
- 1. Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla, Peace) 12
2.................. Lynx (Felidae, Secrets) 16
- 3. Red fox (Vulpes vulpes, Strategy) 19
4... Owl (Athene noctua, Wisdom) 23
- 5. Wolverine (Gulo gulo, Fierceness) 27
- 6. Honey bee (Apis melifera, Reciprocity) 30
- 7. Armadillo (Cingulata, Groundedness) 34
- 8. Sea turtle (Chelonioidea, Stability) 38
- 9. Jaguar (Panthera onca, Release) 42
- 1 Elephant (Elephantidae, Leadership) 45
11.............. Deer (Cervidae, Power) 49
- 1 Fruit bat/flying fox (Pteropus samoensis,
- 1 Tarantula (Theraphosidae, Connection) 56
14................................................... Seahorse (Hippocampus spp., Equality) 60
15.................................................... Snow leopard (Panthera uncia, The watcher) ............................................. 63
16................................................... Meerkat (Suricata suricatta, Responsibility)................................... 66
- 1 Wolf (Canis lupus, Authenticity) 69
- 1 Sea otter (Enhydra lutris, Transformation) 73
19.... Goat (Capra spp., Reliability) 77
20..... Swan (Cygnus spp., Beauty) 81
- 2 Lioness (Panthera leo, Protection) 84
- 2 Sacred ibis
(Threskiornis aethiopicus, Learning) 87
- 2 Raven (Corvus corax, News) 90
- 2 Horse (Equus ferus caballus, Freedom) 93
- 2 Peregrine falcon
(Falco peregrinus, Observation) 99
- 2 Polar bear (Ursus maritimus. Ancestors) 102
- 2 Beaver (Castor spp., Work) 106
- 2 Butterfly (Lepidoptera, The soul) 110
- 2 Red-crowned crane
(Grus japonensis, Loyalty). 116
- 3 Orca (Orcinus orca, Songlines) 120
- 3 Hare (Lepus spp., Cycles).... 125
- 3 Rhinoceros (Rhinocerotidae, Moderation) 128
- 3 Chameleon (Chamaeleonidae, Change) 131
- 3 Tiger (Panthera tigris, Will). 134
- 3 Bison (Bison spp., Ritual) . 137
- 3 Shark (Selachimorpha, Purpose) 141
- 3 Cat (Fells catus, Intuition).. 145
- 3 Hyena (Crocuta crocuta, Fear) 149
- 3 Peacock (Phasianidae, Prosperity) 154
- 4 Bull (Bos taurus. Sacrifice) 158
- 4 Dog (Canis familiaris. Companionship) 162
- 4 Dolphin (Cetacea/Delphinidae, Happiness) 165
- 4 Snake (Serpentes, Creation) 170
- 4 Jackal (Canidae, Truth) .... 174
I have spent my whole life in the close company of animals. I consider myself a lucky child to have had, from my earliest memories, deep relationships with non-human beings.
For me as a young girl, it wasn’t just the animals I had around me that affected me. Yes, the dogs, cats, guinea pigs, birds and small reptiles I was able to share our home or garden with were amazing, but then I discovered the even wider world of animals in stories and mythos.
I remember very distinctly wondering what it would be like to be the goddess Artemis, who lived perfectly happily with her hounds and deer. I wondered about the hare that lived on the moon that my grandma pointed out to me. There was that cool Viking lady Freyja, who had a golden chariot pulled by cats; she must be very powerful, I thought, because how hard would it be to control a bunch of cats on leads!
And as 1 grew up, my love of animals grew too and so did my realisation that there was a spiritual energy to them. So it was that I learned about the
nature of gods and goddesses through their stories and through their animal natures before understanding more completely about their spiritual aspects.
It is hard to think about certain gods and goddesses without their animal component. The Egyptian pantheon is an obvious place to start: Ra, the eagle-headed sun god, the cat-headed Bast and the lion-headed Sekhmet. Other traditions also feature Ganesh the elephant-headed god, Durga riding her tiger, Sedna with her whales. Then we have the gracious deities that are always in the company of animals: the Greek goddess Artemis with her deer and dogs, the Celtic goddess Rhiannon and her horses and Eostre with her hare.
So many wonderful divine animals to share!
I had originally wanted to do an animal-based deck that only spoke of the animal scientifically, looking at its behaviour and thus drawing carefully what its wisdom and magic might be. However, to create a deck of an oracular nature and for it to be as powerful energetically as I could make it, I came to see that this single stream of process was only part of the story. Instead, I thought back to what made certain animals so powerful for me, and it was often the mythos or god or goddess that was woven with it, around it and through it.
I say this also because what one animal means to one culture can be very different to another, and thus the teachings of a story can be different. For example, the hyena can be seen as an honourable animal by one culture and as a snivelling evil animal by another. Hyena magic, however, is recognised as being very powerful no matter what the labelling, and the stories and deities can help us work through this mystery.
Thus I created a work that melds the great divine mythos with animals and deity and science - a kind of modern meld! I hope you enjoy working with such ancient power in a modern way.
Finally, I want to express something very important. As an author obviously I became very involved in what I was writing. I felt extremely excited about creating this deck and researching so many animals deeply. I knew the mythos very well, but maybe not the science so much.
So when I was researching the animals from a variety of scientific sources I fell in love with the incredible evolutionary powers and adaptations of every single creature. Sometimes I had to stop and reread some of the research to really learn about how amazing some animals are and what they can do. And then, as I really started to write about 44 animals in a row, 1 was struck by just how many were hanging on by a thread in our world.
One beautiful and sacred animal after another was listed as threatened, endangered or critically endangered. Some had already been wiped out in certain regions in which they had once been endemic, and almost all have had their precious habitat reduced to just a fraction of what it was.
It is the destruction by and incursion of human beings on habitat that has made life for a huge amount of animals difficult or near impossible. Add to this the very real pressures of illegal poaching, trapping for fur, deforestation for grazing land and now global warming, and it is quite possible some of the animals I write about here may soon actually become mythical.
I urge you, you who have found this deck and who is in all probability someone who regards animals as an important part of the connectedness of the world, to reach out practically and do what you can to protect these animals and their habitat.
How to use the cards
Each card has the following structural elements:
- The name of the animal, its Latin family/genus name and the message of the card.
- Mythos: traditional stories with a truth attached to the animal and the deity, if there is a deity attached.
- The animal: scientific and behavioural information about the animal itself that is useful to know.
- The magic: Way to use the energy of the animal in your workings. This can be in meditation, rituals and ceremony for example.
- Symbology: useful for rituals, magical workings and further research.
- Status: the official United Nations red list status of the animal at the time of writing. This is a reminder to us of just how important it is to value our animal allies and to protect their habitat; we are here to share the planet, after all.
If this deck is to be used for divination, I suggest you first dedicate or bless your cards, and I have included a small ritual on page 10 if you do not already have your own in mind. This will enliven the cards and connect you with the energy of the earth, the elements and the intention of the deck itself.
Second, spread the whole deck out on a table or the floor or, better still, the earth! Breathe deeply and relax. Allow your gaze to soften and see which cards seem more attractive to you: which ones jump out at you or call to you in some way?
I call this the pantheon technique. These may well be the animals or aspects of the deck that you need to integrate into your life right now, or the themes that can most assist your growth at this time. You will be attracted to them and the cards may almost jump into your hand.
Pay attention to those cards and take action if it is indicated.
One card divination
This is inspiration and divination in its simplest form. Take a breath, ask for guidance as you shuffle the cards and simply choose a card. You may even choose to do this daily, as some of the ancients did.
Meditate upon this image; let it speak to you.
Use this god as a guide for the day; both his light and shadow aspects may well be useful to you at this time.
Full moon three-card draw
The full moon has always been linked with divination, and it’s a great time to do this three- card spread:
- First card: the heart of the issue or question
- Second card: the challenge
- Third card: the solution
The four elements spread
I like to conduct this four-card spread, which is linked to the four elements:
- 1. Earth: what is the true issue?
- 2. Air: how can 1 solve it via intellect/ communication?
- 3. Fire: what emotions can I bring to this or release?
- 4. Water: how do I move on flowfully from this issue?
Traditional seven-card spread
Shuffle and place seven cards in a circular shape:
- Card 1: the situation as it is
- Card 2: what caused the situation
- Card 3: what are the obstacles in the way to resolution
- Card 4: what will happen upon resolution
- Cards 5, 6 and 7: actions to resolve
Change does not happen merely by chance.
Taking even a small action towards your resolution or intended outcome signals to the divine that you have agreed to this co-creative process and, as such, that you are serious about this desire.
This is a great spread to use when you want to know the timing of something. For example, in answers to questions such as: When will I find a new partner? When is the right time to move? Will it take a long time for me to complete this project?
Take a breath and hold your question in your mind; try not to be anxious or concerned. Shuffle the cards and ask your question.
- Pull a card from the deck: this card represents the positive aspect of your issue.
- Pull a second card from the deck: this card represents the difficulty or barrier inherent in the request.
- Pull a third card from the deck: this card gives you an indication of timing.
Dedication for your cards
If you can, get outdoors. This can be by the sea, upon the earth or up in the sky! Invite your animal friend if you have one to be with you.
Burn some bay leaves, sage or frankincense.
Allow these to burn and smoke fragrantly.
Throw some salt upon the pack (sea salt is best).
Say: ‘I cleanse, 1 renew, I protect’.
Then, light a golden candle and say:
7 ask that the universal power of the gods and goddesses, the divine animals, moon, the earth and the seasons bless me and these cards.
These honour you, I honour you.
I ask for guidance and truth Awakening and clarity
And the strength and courage
To make changes should I need to.’
Pass the pack through the smoke of the herbs, saying:
7 dedicate these cards to my and the greater good. May only good enter here. And so it is!’
If you like you can make your first divination knowing the higher energies have heard your dedication and will respond in kind.
- 1. Gorilla
Gorilla gorilla gorilla
To seek or negotiate for peace is a position of strength, not weakness. Choose peace rather than war. Strong leaders lead by example. The greatest kind of strength involves restraint.
Don't judge a book by its cover.
Ngi is one of the four sons of Zamba, the creator god of the Yaounde people of Cameroon in Africa.
All of nature, including the sky and stars, was made by Zamba, all things except human beings. He decided to give that job of creation to his four sons, with the instruction that they make man into their own image. His four sons were: N’Kokon, the mantis who was wise; Wo, the chimpanzee who was curious; Otukut, the lizard who played the fool; and of course Ngi, the gorilla who was strong.
It is said that Ngi was in the thick forest with his family of wives and children. A man decided that he wanted to see Ngi for himself, as he thought he and his people may be stronger, so he followed Ngi
to watch him. He watched him rule over his realm in nature with fairness and peace. He watched him share food. He watched Ngi settle arguments and watched him gently play with the young ones. The man watched but he didn’t see Ngi display any great strength.
One day the man came into the clearing and threatened Ngi. Ngi did not react to the man’s threats other than to ask him go back to his own place if this was how he wished to act. Finally, Ngi stood up to leave, and as he did he picked up a huge stone boulder. He did not even face the man; he simply picked up the boulder and then set it down. He then returned to the forest.
The man realised he has just witnessed true strength - the kind that has, at its heart, restraint.
Wild gorillas, of which there are four species, are only found in Africa. They are the largest living primates and share between 95 to 99 per cent of their DNA with humans.
Mountain gorillas are found in the highlands of Rwanda, Uganda and the Republic of Congo. They are listed as endangered, which has decreased from being listed as critically endangered prior to 2018.
Western lowland gorillas have two subspecies
and are found in central West African nations such as Cameroon. Eastern lowland gorillas are found in Congo. Cross River gorillas are only found at the Cameroon/Nigerian border area on the Cross River.
Gorillas live in social groups called troops, with a lead male and normally groups of females and their offspring. They have a deep emotional life, both laughing and crying being among other emotions they express. Despite their size and incredible strength, gorillas are peaceful creatures that rarely fight or injure each other. In the very rare cases where a male silverback has to defend his troop against other gorillas or a leopard, it can be a fight to the death.
Like us, gorillas have individual fingerprints and use tools. They are intelligent and even mediate between each other to sort out their differences. The mature, dark-coated male with a saddle of silver on his back - the silverback - also happily plays with and shields the very small and dependent infants from any harm.
Everyone has heard of King Kong, so perhaps the idea of gorilla magic inciting peace and sociability may be shocking. We know of the huge physical strength of gorillas, yet this power is used with
incredible restraint. When you need to exercise the same restraint or you need to be the peacemaker in a situation, call in gorilla magic to assist.
Silverback, gorilla hand, gorilla on summit of mountain.
Cross River gorillas are critically endangered.
Mountain gorillas are now listed as endangered. Both Western and eastern lowland gorillas are critically endangered. The greatest threats are disease, hunting and huge habitat loss.
- 2. Lynx
Your word is your bond.
Do not gossip or entertain gossip, as all may not be as it seems. Be shrewd about who you share your confidential information with. A little
mystery can be a good thing, but keeping secrets that are detrimental to others may not be. There is some news worth sharing, but be discerning.
After man had suffered many famines, the goddess Demeter decided to share the secrets of agriculture with humans. There was a sacred field of wheat grain in Eleusis that when it grew was golden. As it was enchanted it would grow and prosper, always providing enough to eat.
One of Demeter’s favourites and devotee, the son of the good king Celeus, was Triptolemus. Demeter thought this man would be the ideal person to spread the seeds of the special grain and impart the wisdom of how to grow it. so she shared the secrets with him and lent him her own chariot pulled by two mighty
serpents and instructed him to teach men how to work the fields properly.
Triptolemus was a fine man and did what the goddess had instructed. He worked his way through Europe up into Asia, and ended up far away in the land of Scythia where he met the king Lynkos.
Lynkos realised the incredible value of the secrets that Triptolemus held and wanted this power and status for himself. He snuck into Triptolemus’ bedchamber and raised a sharp dagger over his heart to kill him in his sleep. But the mighty Demeter saw this. She stopped Lynkos and transformed him into a lynx, a secretive animal, so he would hold Triptolemus’ secret to himself forever.
Lynx are beautiful and intelligent wild cats, of which there are four species: Canada lynx, Iberian lynx, Eurasian lynx and bobcat. Lynx are quite secretive animals, very athletic and well camouflaged. Their name comes from the Indo-European word leak, which refers to brightness, because the only thing most people would see clearly about this elusive creature were its eyes reflectively glowing in the dark.
Lynx have fur and feet specially adapted to their habitat. The species that exist in the colder areas have thick fur and tails and large padded feet that enable
them to travel more comfortably over snow. The lynx that dwell in warmer arid areas have no such adaptations, but all tend to have coats that change colours with the seasons.
They are opportunistic feeders, using the strategy of stalking and surprise to hunt their prey. Depending on the size of the lynx, they can bring down roe deer as well as smaller animals.
Lynx magic can be utilised when you need to keep a secret or stop gossip. It is the perfect magic to weave when you are making a vow to yourself or another, a magic that is wild in its nature but focused in its intent. Ensure you are clear, with your intentions up front.
Pointed ears, lynx paw, eyes glowing in the dark, the goddess Demeter, wheat.
The status of lynx species ranges from of least concern to endangered. Sadly, mainly due to habitat loss, the Iberian lynx is the most endangered cat in the world, with less than 350 left at the time of writing. This number did get as low as 100 in the early 2000s.
opportunity will come.
- 3. Red fox
Work through a strategy to get what you want. This is a time of transformation, so do not hide what you really are. Be a part of nature, not apart from nature. Be patient; your
Kami, the spirits worshipped by the Shinto religion, can be rocks, trees, animals and even phenomena such as lightning or noted ancestors who have passed. They are manifestations of a concept called musubi, which is the interconnecting and powerful life force weaving eveiything together. Kami are manifestations of the energy of nature or nature itself, not apart from nature.
In Japan, Inari are the spirits of prosperity, good harvests of rice, the making of saki, fertility and the fox, while kitsune (fox) is both messenger and avatar. Inari temples often have red-bibbed kitsune at the gates as they are protectors of the sacred gateways. The worship of Inari probably is older than the birth of Christ, but the oldest temple found dates from
around 700 AD. The fox, rice sheaf and a magical wish-fulfilling jewel are the symbols of the Inari and the kitsune, and those red votive bibs are given out of respect. Offerings are made of saki, rice and fried tofu at temples in exchange for the fox messengers to help devotees win favour with the gods.
Inari Okami as kitsune are quite mysterious, in that they are said to be female, male or androgynous and can embody both good and evil. Their mythos often involves shape-shifting as a way of teaching someone a lesson, and they must have strategies so they are not found out as kitsune. This is because, while the kitsune can look very much like their target form, for instance a female human, they are still physically vulnerable and certain beings can detect them. It is said that a kitsune as a woman must not pass mirrors because the mirror will pick up the tail of the fox; also, all dogs can see the true form and break the spell, so no transformed kitsune must go anywhere near a canine.
As they have had a long association with human beings, foxes feature in mythos and storytelling in western cultures, China, Russia, in First Nations cultures of America and Canada and through the Arctic regions.
There are 12 species of the Vulpes genus, and they are found on every continent except for Antarctica. They
belong to the same family, Canidae, as wolves and jackals, although many cultures view them as having a feline quality.
Foxes have thick, soft, long fur that generally gets thicker as the climate gets colder. Humans have prized fox fur since ancient times, and have hunted and bred foxes for this purpose. Their dominant senses are hearing and smell, although their eyesight is very good.
Foxes are intelligent and are able to find their way around traps and nets. They are considered to be patient hunters, observing the comings and goings of their prey. It is possibly this sense of these animals being secretive and strategic that has fostered the idea of them being shape-shifters; after all, one may see a fox come or go but rarely both.
Foxes have adapted to urban life in some parts of the world as their habitat has shrunk, some being quite successful at this although they are considered to be a pest. Sadly, fox hunting is legal in many countries such as the United Kingdom, America, France and Italy.
If you need some prosperity in your life or you are wishing for a more connected relationship to the world on any level, Inari Okami may be able to give you a strategy to assist. As the Inari and their kitsune is a living tradition you can use modern Shinto ways
to honour them, and if you are lucky enough you can visit one of the kitsune temples in Japan.
Fox magic is transformative, and foxes can help you find the best way to get through any puzzling or difficult situation.
Bushy tail, nine tails, red bib, almond-shaped eyes, woman with a tail.
Some fox species are endangered or critically endangered, such as Darwin's fox. The red fox is listed as of least concern.
- 4. Owl
Open your eyes and see what is really there. Look for the whole truth, as you may only be seeing a part of the whole. Through experience we can gain the wisdom to not make
the same mistakes again. Develop your learning and intelligence, as education is never wasted. Negotiation is better than attack.
The Greek goddess Athena was a virgin daughter of Zeus, and it is her name that the Greeks gave to their harbour city. Beautiful, strong, refined and very rational, Athena thoughtfully encouraged and led her human subjects and mentored her favourite heroes.
The ancient Greeks loved Athena, and many complex temples were built in her honour. Her mythos states that she was born from Zeus’ brow and later sat by his side in Olympus for all decision-making. A goddess with many attributes including weaving, scholastic attainment, intelligence, philosophy and olive oil production,
there was very little that Athena could not influence.
Her avatar, an owl, symbolises her reputation for wisdom. It was said that this very modern goddess had a cool beauty and that her eyes were ‘bright’ and observed everything - just as an owl would - giving her a reputation for total watchfulness. In her early form she was also a goddess of the night, so having a nocturnal bird as her avatar makes rational sense.
It was said that even as a younger goddess Athena sought out the whole truth, and so wanted to ensure that she saw all sides of a situation before she made a decision. She knew owls had incredible vision and did not miss much, so she decided to always have an owl with her if she could to keep an eye out on her blind side. This way she would miss nothing and see everything, especially anything that was dark and hidden.
Owls are found on every continent except for the polar caps and are normally one of the apex predators of a region. They famously have big eyes situated in the front of their heads and are mainly nocturnal.
As hunters the ability to perceive prey in low light or darkness is of vital importance, and these birds have evolved to do this very well. The eyes are
placed within a feathered facial disc that acts as a kind of capture shape to direct sound into the ears. The eyes do not move much, so the head can swivel almost 360 degrees in some species. Interestingly, a large proportion of owls have an asymmetrical placement of ears, which helps them exactly pinpoint their prey.
Owls are also incredibly silent, both sitting and in flight. They have neck ruffles that muffle the sound of their head turning, and their wing feathers have serrated ends that enable them to swoop down on their prey with virtually no sound whatsoever.
The owl best associated with Athena is the little owl, Athene noctua, which was often depicted with her in artworks. These birds have quite distinctive big, yellow eyes framed in startling white eyebrows.
The use of owl magic is an ancient practice; the energy is used in cultures as diverse as Ancient Greek and Roman to Northern European and First Nations of the Americas. Use owl magic when you seek wisdom in a situation and perhaps you are not seeing the whole truth and wish to do so. Owl magic is helpful when you cannot make a decision or when you need to take a rational view of an emotionally charged situation.
Frontal-shaped large eyes with discs around them, Athena holding an owl, talons, the colours silver and yellow.
Athene noctua is of least concern, but some owls are on the endangered list.
We should develop a sense of healthy fierceness. Right now do not shy away from things that confront you but choose carefully how you act. You can be fierce but not angry.
Loyalty is important right now.
Vidar was a younger son of Odin and the giantess Gridr. Vidar’s half-brothers were Thor and Loki. His land is described in the Edda as a high place of brushwood and tall grasses, and it is said that his companion animal was the wolverine, which was fierce, strong and secretive. Vidar was considered to be a god of silence and was called upon to uphold vows, especially vows of secrecy. He had magical shoes that made him strong and could take him anywhere.
Vidar showed his determination and fierceness at the time of Ragnarok, the end of the world. Vidar is one of only a few gods who survive Ragnarok.
It had been prophesied that the world would end with wolves eating the sun. The mighty wolf
Fenrir had battled Odin, and the All Father had fallen. Vidar saw his father fall, screamed for vengeance and set upon the wolf. He took off one of his shoes and placed it in the open jaws of Fenrir, keeping the wolf’s jaws open and wide, then plunged his sword again and again into the wolf’s mouth, eventually killing him.
Many of the mythos of the First Nations of the United States also feature the wolverine, mainly as a trickster figure.
Wolverines live in remote arctic, forest and mountain environments, as isolated from humans as possible. They are an elusive creature found in Russia, Canada, the United States, Baltic countries, China and Mongolia.
Female wolverines have snow dens and give birth to two or three kits. Their reproductive cycle is such that they can keep in suspended growth fertilised blastocysts if conditions are not supportive.
Their natural enemy is the wolf, although they are much smaller than the average wolf. They are fierce hunters, and will defend kills against raiding wolves and bears by relying on their sharp teeth and long claws.
As they have large home ranges, they rely on the conservation of their habitats. They can range hundreds of kilometres in one season.
Wolverines are so secretive that scientists do not know presently how many there may be, but because their habitats are being destroyed or encroached upon and because of global warming pressures they may be threatened.
Wolverine magic is to be utilised when you need real will and determination. When you are against the odds and you need a bit of healthy fierceness to get things done, call on this animal’s energy. Also, if you wish to have an energy witness to keep a vow or secret safely for you, wolverine would be a great choice.
Shoe, long claws, shoe in mouth of wolf, tracks in snow, wolverine claws, striped back, a man with big shoes with a wolverine.
- 6. Honey bee
We must give and take, and if we make a mistake we must make amends. The earth revolves around reciprocity to remain balanced and to grow and, as humans are
a part of the earth, so this applies to them as well.
Learn to work happily with others. It is important to learn to communicate effectively, as there may be a breakdown in communication.
Aristaeus was the son of Cyrene the huntress and the god Apollo. It was said that Cyrene was not interested in the traditional womanly things and instead wanted to hunt in the forests and conquer cities. When Aristaeus was born Apollo gave him to the god Hermes for education, and what an education it was!
The boy got to learn from all of the great gods and goddesses he was related to, one of whom was Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. Demeter introduced Aristaeus to the bee maidens, who taught him the art of working with bees. As he grew out of
childhood and into a young man the bees rested in his beard, such was the love for and trust they had in him.
As an adult, Aristaeus accidentally caused the death of the nymph Eurydice. In their rage and sorrow, her sisters killed every bee that Aristaeus worked with. He was devastated. He wanted to work with bees again and also make amends so he consulted the wise Proteus, who suggested he could honour Eurydice by making sacrifices of four bulls and four cows. As the bodies lay upon the altar, eight great swarms of bees took flight from them. It is said all bees come from these eight swarms.
Bees are a social insect that are vital to the world’s ecosystem and food production. It is estimated that over 70 per cent of the top 100 food crops that provide 90 per cent of the world’s food are bee pollinated. No bees? No food, for humans or animals.
There are about 20,000 species of bee, but the one highlighted here is the western honey bee. In the wild, these bees usually create a hive out of a hollow log or tree, and there would be 10,000 to 20,000 bees in an average colony. The bees build comb from wax they secrete; the comb is used to protect the bees and as chambers for eggs and bee larvae, but also as a communication medium.
Bee colonies have one queen that lays all the eggs and determines what lavae will be what and so what role they will play in the hive. A queenless colony may perish if they cannot replace their queen.
Honey is produced by bees ingesting the nectar of plants or flowers and combining it with special enzymes; they regurgitate the substance into chambers in the honeycomb. This is sealed and transforms into honey, which feeds the colony in times of scarcity or bad weather.
Honey bees have a sting as their defence; by injecting the stinger, which contains a toxin, the bee perishes. The detachment of the stinger sends a pheromone that signals to other bees there is trouble, and they are likely to attack further.
Bees are one of a very small group of animals that demonstrate displacement in communication - they are able to tell a story or communicate a happening outside what is actually there. For example, a bee may see a good source of food and be able to communicate this back at the hive by a detailed dance to other bees that includes compass direction and the distance to the target.
How I love bee magic! As a beekeeper I am privileged to experience the magic of bees every day, from the
way they literally turn sunshine into honey, the way they dance and communicate and the way the bring life to my garden. Call upon bee magic when you want to improve communication and connection. It is wonderful energy to use when you are attempting to find balance and a proper level of give and take in a relationship or work situation. Bee magic can also be used to stimulate your garden and your creativity.
Bee dance, hive, a man with bees in his beard, bee maidens, honeycomb.
Honey bees are endangered. Please become a beekeeper or plant bee-friendly plants and do not use systemic pesticides.
- 7. Armadillo
Without grounding ourselves we can become disconnected and flighty, so it is an important aspect to develop. Go to the basics first: plug into the power of the earth.
Avoid drama in situations. Sometimes we need to
look at the flowers at our feet before looking to the stars. Humility is a positive trait; false humility is not.
The god walks slowly but surely upon the earth. He is of high age, and leans a little on his walking stick but moves smoothly. His shoes are heavy, and they feel the earth with every step. This grandfather, Mam, is wise and eternal.
But make no mistake: age does not mean weakness, for he is powerful. He wears a hat of the bird of the night, for he walks from the underworld. He has the ears of a jaguar, for he is one who powerfully walks through the darkest of nights. He wears the cape of an armadillo shell, for he is
protected and grounded and carries all he needs with him. A man of magic, he smokes the herbs of vision, yet he can weave the worlds together while being sure upon his feet.
This, according to the classification of codical gods, is one of the major pre-Spanish Mayan deities, God L. God L is featured in many Mayan art works, but specifically the most famous has him walking around the door of the sanctuary at Palenque.
The Mayans put special consideration into the depictions of their gods, with every single piece of clothing signifying the character and qualities of the deity. The armadillo with its shell indicated not only an animal of the ground, but the protection of a shield. It is thought, then, that God L was related to war. His special shoes and walking stick indicate a trader and someone who has to move over distances in a safe and steady way. God L may have had a role in the building of prosperity through trade.
Armadillos also feature in the mythos of the Aztecs, who called them turtle rabbits, and in some of the First Nations stories of the peoples of the southern United States.
Armadillos are distinctive animals because of their leathery armoured shell, an incredible adaptation
that has enabled them to hold on through a lengthy evolution. The armour is actually overlapping plates of bone covered with horn, called ‘scutes’. The scutes are rigid, particularly over the front half of the animal, and typically become more flexible over the back legs and tail. The underneath of the animal is furry and unarmoured.
Contrary to popular belief, only a few armadillo species actually roll up in a ball if threatened by a predator. Most will attempt to run and find some thick ground plant or stone cover where they will be very hard to get at.
Armadillos get their food from the earth and so their claws are perfectly adapted to effective digging; grubs, ants and termites are favoured. They also use the claws to dig their dens or burrows, where they spend their time while not looking for food. Babies are born in the dens, which helps them thermoregulate as their base body temperatures are low.
There are around 21 species of armadillo. The largest is the giant armadillo, at around 1.5 m long and 54 kg in weight; the smallest armadillos cnly measure 13-15 cm.
Armadillo magic is profoundly earth based and grounded. It is ancient and profound, and can be used
when you are feeling off-kilter and unsure. If you aren’t clear on what to do next, or have had a trauma or a shock, use armadillo magic to bring you stability and power.
Old man with a cape of armadillo, shield, armour, claws in the earth.
Some species are listed as vulnerable, most are threatened.
- 8. Sea turtle
Operating from a stable base is advantageous. If you need help and guidance ask for it, as you are loved and supported. Delve deeply into the study of something rather
than just skimming the surface. Do not push hard for what you want all the time; instead, set an intention
or direction and steadily flow towards this. Not every journey needs to be a difficult one full of drama.
There was a beautiful and magical sea turtle called Honupo'okea, who lived on the waters of the big island of Hawaii. She was happy, but it was time for her to meet a husband. She met a strong, kind sea turtle called Honu’ea, who was also magical.
Soon it was time for Honupo'okea to lay her eggs and this she did, a large, single, black egg patterned like the dark wood of the kauila tree. While the turtle parents waited for the baby to hatch they dug a hole nearby, and they dug it so deeply that a freshwater spring came forth and a beautiful pool was formed.
Soon the baby was hatched and rose up out of the sand, a young female turtle just as magical as her parents. They named her Kauila, after the tree. She had a very pretty pale head and yet her shell was strong, dark and domed, powerfully protective even in someone so young.
Kauila saw the cool clear spring pond and headed straight for it, happy that she had a home for herself. She swam down deeply and made silvery bubbles that burst upon the surface. Soon young human children discovered the pond. Kauila allowed them to ride upon her back if they were fatigued, and sometimes she would transform herself into a young girl so she could play with them.
When the children visited and they noticed the bubbles popping up from below they knew that Kauila was there in the pool with them, making sure that they were safe.
One of the highlights of my life so far is being lucky enough to witness tens of little sea turtles hatch on a moonlit night on a beach in eastern Africa. Out they came, tumbling down the dune, heading towards the bright lunar light and struggling valiantly towards the safety of the ocean. Some became confused about what light to follow and some were found scrambling along the hallways of a brightly lit beachfront hotel.
Gently cradling one of these wanderers in my hand
and taking a closer look, I was so moved to see that this little green wonder had a tiny bloody mark on its belly.
I picked up another: this one did too. As I released them into the dark ocean 1 thought: Yes, baby turtles also have a navel at birth.
On average, of 100 eggs laid and hatched only one will live to maturity, such is the life of a sea turtle. However, that one sea turtle will live for over 50 years. Females mate while at sea and then return to their hatching place, quietly and solitarily laying a clutch of eggs on the same beach at night. The exception to this are Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, which arrive en masse (called the arribada’) during the day.
Turtles are one of the only creatures to eat sea grasses, an important cyclic action for the health and stability of the ecosystem. Other common foods are jellyfish, snails, sponges and crabs. Eggs that are laid and not hatched eventually degrade and nourish the dune plants.
Migrating long distances of 1,200 km or more to breeding territories is a hallmark of many turtle species. And, yes, like the sea turtles featured in a famous animated movie, they do ride the currents!
Sea turtle magic flows to us with stability and resilience. When you want something to come to fruition but do
not want to have to push very hard for it, as you perhaps have habitually done, ride the wave of sea turtle magic with its ease and surety. Sea turtles travel long distances yet they follow the currents and hitch a ride. You, too, can do this energetically, and refuse to be pressured. Sometimes you need to accept someone else’s more stable helping hand so you can rest a little, a healthy part of the lesson of the turtles.
Bubbles, the turtle shell, the unique eye shape, shells.
Of the seven species of sea turtles, all are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of endangered species as being either endangered or critically endangered. It is arguably loggerhead turtles that are most endangered. How can you help protect sea turtles? Be aware of where turtles nest, and if you are in a nesting area turn off any ambient light. You want the hatchlings to go towards the moon in the water, not your home. Keep the sea clean by doing beach clean ups, and reduce plastic use. Report stores that sell illegal turtle shells and products and support conservation efforts and laws that prohibit long-line fishing, especially without turtle excluders.
embrace the new.
- 9. Jaguar
Release what you no longer need. Take action to move something from the ideas world into the physical world. Let go of the old and stale and choose renewal. Wash away
the negative aspects of the past; surrender it all, and
lx Chel, the fierce jaguar goddess of the ancient Mayan culture, was the goddess of midwifery, fertility, earth, rain and the sacred sweat bath. Widely honoured, her cult extended at one time as far as the islands off the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It was she who women turned to at the time of birthing.
At birthing time, the woman was oiled and flowers put into her hair. The sweat bath, solid and womb shaped, was prepared and the rainwater barrels gathered ready for the purging steam. Prayers to lx Chel in her jaguar form were offered.
The woman would enter the sweat bath for some days until her labour began. She heard songs of her
ancestors, of the tribe, of the gods and especially of lx Chel as she who granted and would aid the birth. Stories were told to fill the spirit of the woman’s baby and make it strong and healthy.
She would begin her labour and sweat for the release. She would then leave the sweat bath and give birth outside. Offerings were made to the jaguar goddess to celebrate the birth, then the mother would re-enter the steam bath to purge herself of the afterbirth and of any toxins in her body.
She would leave the sweat bath a mother, no longer a maiden, one day to become a grandmother.
If there is one word you can use to describe this particular member of the genus Panthera, it is ‘powerful’.
Jaguars are built powerfully, emphasising their strength right down to their bones. They are stocky and low slung, with robust legs that can leap on and crush their prey. They are adept at swimming, and can crawl silently through thick jungle. Their jaws are particularly well developed, and a comparative bite force study shows they possess the greatest force above clouded leopards, tigers and lions. This enables them to literally pulverise the biggest bones of their prey.
Jaguars are typically spotted but come in a melanistic variation of black (panthers). These particular panthers are only found in South America, whereas the pattern-coated jaguars are found right across central North America, Mexico and South America, including the Amazon. (African and Asian panthers are leopards.)
The jaguar is the apex predator in most of its habitat yet is threatened by habitat loss and killing by humans.
Call upon the releasing powers of the jaguar woman lx Chel when you are ready to let go of something. Whether it is an excess of something, a bad habit, a disease or old patterns, lx Chel is a powerful discharging force. For those who are getting ready for birth, she is a wise guide and will assist you to have an easier birth.
Sweat bath, upturned water jug, woman with jaguar ears, steam.
The status of jaguars is threatened.
- 1 Elephant
There is a time to step forward and lead and it is now. Be the leader in your own life. If you want something achieved, take the lead yourself, Be the example
that others will follow, Do not lead by force but instead by inspiration.
The Hindu god Ganesha was shaped from the earth by the goddess Pavarti. When her husband Shiva returned after a long time away from home, the first thing he saw was a handsome young man with Pavarti. In his anger he attacked the young man, severing his head.
Pavarti then revealed who Ganesha was, and
Shiva sent his soldiers to return with the head of any sleeping being that was facing the north. An elephant was found, and its head was attached to the body of Ganesha.
The life of Ganesha was restored, and Shiva declared that from then on this elephant-headed young man
would always be loved by the community and his name invoked as a joyful blessing prior to the beginning of major undertakings such as businesses, developments and projects of all kinds. It would be Ganesha who made sure no obstacles would be placed in the way of righteous actions, but it was also he who placed obstacles to encourage people to take different directions.
Today, Ganesha is one of the most loved of all Hindu gods. Everywhere you turn in modern India there is the joyful elephant-headed deity balancing on one leg, often riding a mouse, pushing away your worries and negativity and leading you towards the best path possible.
Elephants are richly represented in mythos in Africa and Asia. Most tales speak of their wisdom and strength and their ability to guide through difficult circumstances.
There are three species of elephant living on earth at present: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant and the Asian elephant.
All species of elephants have long prehensile trunks they use for breathing, food gathering and communicating, and to collect water for drinking and washing. The trunk is also is used in combination with the body for pushing objects out of the animal’s path.
Elephants have amazing padded feet that are designed to spread their weight over a wide area and enable them to move very silently considering their size. They vocalise both sonically and infrasonically (low frequency). Scientists have measured infrasonic communications of African elephants from 15 to 35 Hz with sound pressure levels as high as 118 dB, allowing communication for up to 10 km through the ground. While humans may not be able to understand what these calls mean, they can certainly perceive the vibrations.
Elephants live in family groups and often join with other family groups to form large herds. These are matriarchal and are led by an experienced older matriarch. She holds the landscape memory for the group, often being able to lead them to water in times of scarcity, and will be the organiser of defence if the group is threatened.
Elephants are highly intelligent and demonstrate a rich emotional life. They openly mourn their dead and revisit the skeletons of those they once knew who have died.
Elephant magic is powerful yet calm. It can be used when you wish to have obstacles removed or to move out of a limbo situation. Elephants are wise and take
leadership, which is where their magic is so effective. If you wish to become a better leader or at least a wiser one, or you would like to attract such a person into your life, ask for the elephant to lend her energy to you.
Elephant with a raised trunk, elephant-headed boy, warrior with an elephant head, elephant with a mouse.
African elephants are vulnerable, mainly due to poaching. Asian elephants are endangered due to habitat destruction.
- 1 Deer
You are enough: you are worthy. Ethics are a part of building genuine personal power. Stand strong in front of bullies, and hold your boundaries tenaciously. Be
proud of what you have achieved, but humble in your outlook.
Actaeon, the son of Aristaeus and Autonoe and student of Chiron, was hunting with his friends and with his famous pack of hounds through the forests near Mount Olympus.
He prided himself on his hunting prowess and almost never returned home without game. He had boasted to friends over cups of wine that he was the goddess Artemis’ equal in his mastery, and loved nothing more than to exercise what he was good at.
One day he became separated from his friends deep in the forest. He entered a thick grove of trees, and as he passed through he saw a reed-ringed pond of water. As his view cleared he realised there was a
woman bathing in the pond, and that it was Artemis herself.
So beautiful was she! It occurred to Actaeon that in all propriety he should quickly turn away. But such was her beauty that he wanted to stay and see her even just for a few more seconds.
The goddess turned. She saw Actaeon and was outraged at his transgression of her mysteries; she would have no man see her and tell of it. She told Actaeon that if he tried to speak to anyone ever about her he would be transformed into a male deer, a stag.
Actaeon ran away in fear from Artemis. He was very frightened but knew the rest of his hunting party must be near. He heard them calling for him, and without thinking answered them back. Instantly, he was transformed into a great stag. His well- trained dogs smelt the stag and begin to chase it. Actaeon ran as fast as he could go, his great antlers whistling in the wind. However, the dogs cornered him against some large stones; he tried calling their names but all that came out was a stag’s bellows, and he was ripped apart by his own hunting dogs. The hunter had become the hunted.
Artemis is often depicted with deer by her side. For the huntress who abhors cruelty and is a protectress of the forest, the deer are a symbol of both aspects. Deer or the stag have been symbols of power
in many cultures, and symbols in royal heraldry in Europe and Norseland countries.
Deer are magnificent creatures that have long been part of the life of humans. The hunting of deer is one of the most ancient and continual of all animal hunting, which is confirmed by Paleolithic drawings. Deer offer meat, leather, skins and antlers. Our ancestors used the whole animal, and those traditional cultures that still hunt deer as part of a traditional way of life tend to do the same.
Deer occur in a wide variety of habitats, mainly forest and tundra with some species able to survive at altitude. Every continent bar Antarctica and Australia has endemic deer. They are able to jump and swim very well, and are fast runners, and fast movers, swift to react to threat.
Deer are herd animals, the herds usually having a dominant male and many females and young. Most species of deer grow antlers that are shed once a year and are used by males as weapons in contests for breeding rights. Large symmetrical antlers can signal good genetic quality, and are part of the sexual attractiveness of males to females. The antlers are also used as defence against predators such as wolves. The weight and power of a stag combined with a
sharp set of antlers can be more than a match for predators.
Deer magic is all about personal power. When you feel powerless or small, imagine a stag with a crown of antlers standing by you, lending you its presence and strength. Deer energy is also great for healing a weak body and for going on astral journeys, as the Norse did in seidr magic.
Antler, woman with a deer and bow and arrow, hood prints.
There are 23 species of deer that are now listed as endangered.
- 1 Fruit bat / Flying fox
Choose kindness, which isn’t always the easy way. Kindnesses will always be repaid. Consider others in your decisions, especially those with
less power than you. Repay your debts. Spread the seeds of goodwill, and your fortunes will grow.
Princess Leutogi was royalty from the Samoan islands. She was sent to Tonga to become the second wife of the king of Samoa at the time. This was not a love match, as she was sent as part of a peace treaty through marriage between the kingdoms. Although sealing alliances through marriage was a common practice, often those wives that were part of this kind of union were treated badly and looked down upon by the community.
One day as she walked through the gardens, Leutogi discovered a baby bat that was sick and wounded. She was a kind and gentle woman, and in her mercy looked after the little bat until it was well again. She then released it back into its colony.
This act didn’t remain a secret, as the royal court watched everything Leutogi did. The court laughed at her kindness and thought her weak and stupid, which made her an easy target when the king’s fortunes declined. The royal court suggested that it was Leutogi who caused the king’s problems, and they decided to kill her by burning her on a pyre.
The flames were lit and the flames rose to engulf Leutogi when suddenly the sky darkened. The baby bat and his family had not forgotten the kindness of the princess and had come to help her. Thousands upon thousands of bats flew above the fire, urinating down on the flames to extinguish them. Leutogi was saved, but her trials were not yet over.
Frustrated, the Tongan kings exiled her to a very small island with nothing to eat. The island was completely barren, so the king and his court were sure that Leutogi would soon starve. Again, the fruit bats assisted her. They brought her food, including fruits and seeds, and they kept her happy with their smiling company.
Soon the island became one of fertility and plenty as many of the bats made it their new home. The kind princess was very happy, and she became a goddess of plenty and fertility and the patroness protector of all bats.
The Samoan flying fox, Pteropus samoensis, is a protected animal in Tonga and Samoa because of this beautiful mythos. A mammal, it is the largest flying fox in the Pacific, with a wing span of up to 1 m. Unusually, this species does not form large colonies but exists as monogamous pairs with children.
Fruit bats, which are also known as flying foxes, play a key role in pollination and seed dispersal throughout their habitat. Rather than using sonar they have keen eyesight and hearing, and they are also very intelligent. They suckle their young and are caring parents.
Fruit bats are a vital part of the ecosystem, ensuring seeds are spread and fertility of the land is secured. The energy here is one of fertility and plentifulness. Invite flying fox energy into your workings when you wish to invoke more kindness or fertility.
Fruit bat, seeds, baby bat.
Of least concern but declining due to habitat loss.
- 1 Tarantula
It is time to bring together disparate aspects of your life: everything is connected. When you are afraid or unsure, it is important to know that you are never
alone. You can do magic - we all can!
The daughter of the great goddess Diana, Aradia, stepped upon the earth charged with the sacred duty of reconnecting the people with their birthrights of balance and love. Such was the environment Aradia was born into that the old ways were being forced underground, the feminine divine disrespected and the earth’s never-ending cycles of the moon and seasons ignored and forgotten.
Aradia travelled the lands, walking thousands of miles in the service of her mother, delivering her teachings to more and more women and bringing hope and healing where there was little.
One day as she was waiting for the moon to rise so she could meet with other women under the
cover of night for devotionals, Aradia quietly sat in the forest. There in front of her she saw a huge spider, hairy and as big as her hand, weaving a great web. She watched as the shining silk wove back and around, creating a shimmering circle.
Aradia saw the spider’s web grow wider and bigger and glow in the reflection of the moon. She was reminded that everything was connected: from the moon to the earth, all beings, all people, the rocks, the trees and the flowers were connected by the web of life. This was what was being forgotten and what was vital to remember.
The other famous mythos worth mentioning is the turning of the mortal Arachne into a spider by the goddess Athena. Arachne, a weaver of some note, challenged Athena to a weaving contest. Her hubris ended up being her downfall, and she was transformed into a spider. The name Arachne became the Latin prefix of arachnae, which means ‘spider’ and is used in terms such as arachnophobia (fear of spiders).
There are over 900 members of the Theraphosidae family, most of which are large and hairy although many are beautifully marked and coloured. The word ‘tarantula’ hails from a city in Italy. Tarantulas are
found across the Americas, in almost all of Asia, Australia and some European countries.
Different species of tarantula range from a leg span of 30 cm to a tiny 2 cm. The largest tarantula, the Goliath birdeater, can grow beyond 30 cm and can have fangs of 3.8 cm. It is generally only Old World tarantulas (from Africa, Asia, Europe and so on), which do not use their bristly urticating hairs as a weapon, that have significant toxicity in their venom. New World tarantulas (from North and South America) have bristles on their bellies that they eject in a projectile manner. The bristles are sharp and cause great itchiness in and irritation to humans and can cause death in smaller animals.
Tarantulas moult as they grow and will shed their exo-skeleton to do so. Males only moult once in their lives, and it will most likely cause their death.
Tarantula webs are special in that they are spun using two to four spinnerets, the openings where spiders exude the clear and very strong web substance. Most spiders have only one spinneret. The top connecting area of the spinnerets is called the spinning field, and in tarantulas there may be up to 100 tiny tubes feeding the web silk, which is still liquid when exuded. The powerful rate of force of release of the silk hardens it almost immediately, creating a malleable but supremely strong building material.
Spider magic and specifically tarantula magic is protective and connective. Webs don’t just trap prey; they support and protect the spider as well. It is a mistake to think that spider magic is evil or dangerous, as very few cultures see the spider in this fashion. When you feel you need greater connection to life or you need support, particularly in creative matters, ask the spider for help.
Webs, moonlit webs, fangs, a woman with spider’s legs.
There are some species of tarantulas that are listed as endangered, including species endemic to Sri Lanka, the United States and Mexico.
- 1 Seahorse
Seek equality in relationships, in particular intimate ones. You will attract what you resonate. You can decide your future. Hiding from our fears is rarely a good strategy. It
is time to ensure that the domestic and emotional
labour in your world is shared equally.
It is said that the beautiful sea nymph Salacia was happy and content and that she kept a sea garden of beautiful corals and seahorses. The king of all the seas, the great Neptune, saw her one day and set his heart upon her, wanting her for his wife.
Salacia was chaste and inexperienced and feared Neptune. She was afraid that he would take her away from all she loved or worse, so she hid from him in one of the furthest oceans.
Neptune meant no harm or disrespect to Salacia and searched for her, sending his favourite dolphin to look. The dolphin found Salacia and her seahorses, and they explained her fears to him. The dolphin
assured them that they would be happy with Neptune and Salacia would not lose the things she most loved.
Salacia consented to marriage, and Neptune loved and honoured her. She wore pearls in her hair and rode in a pearl shell chariot drawn by both seahorses and dolphins to signify the equal union.
If you have ever seen a seahorse in the flesh you will attest to how wondrous these animals are. Swimming upright, this bony fish without scales has a distinctive horse-shaped head and a tail they wrap around sea vegetation. They are very beautiful and can appear in a variety of colours.
They range in size from a tiny 1.5 cm to a more robust 14 cm, but all move in supremely delicate ways. Most have a propulsion system made up of rapidly oscillating fins, including the dorsal fin, and they often float with the current to get from place to place. They have no teeth and suck up their food.
One of the most famous things about seahorses is their reproductive cycle and the high involvement of the male in rearing their young. Seahorses have elaborate courtship rituals that can last for many days prior to the actual mating. When they are ready the male opens his brood pouch, which contains the sperm. The female deposits her unfertilised eggs
into the pouch and the pouch closes. The eggs are fertilised and the baby seahorses grow within the male’s brood pouch, protected by him. His pouch makes him look quite pregnant! When they are at a sustainable age, between 5 and 2,500 little seahorses are ejected from the pouch.
Like most ocean-based elemental magic, the keys here are flow and fluidity. However, seahorse magic can be best utilised around issues of equality. If you want to be seen as an equal or you are being discriminated against in sex, race or status, you can ask for the help of seahorse energy and receive balance and justice.
Seahorse head, seahorse pulling a chariot, beautiful sea goddess with seahorses.
There are 43 species of seahorses, the majority of which are vulnerable or endangered.
- 1 Snow leopard
Take the high road; do not sink to the level of low vibration. Observe the situation closely before acting; being silent is an option. Ethics is the number
one concern. It is best not to continually draw attention to yourself just for the sake of filling up your ego. A little mystery is a good thing.
In the valley surrounded by high, rocky mountains lived the people. In the high passes within the rocks, between the sky and the land, above the flapping of the prayer flags, lived the spirits of the mountains.
Some of these spirits were bodhisattvas, the compassionate energies that helped people take the more right and ethical path. These spirits took the form of the most elusive and beautiful creature that lived among the high places, the snow leopard.
The snow leopards watched the people yet were very rarely seen themselves. Their paw prints might have been occasionally found on a ridge
overlooking the valley, but they were not spotted. These watchers of the skies rewarded those who helped others. It was said, too, that the snow leopards, ever observing, would place obstacles in the path of those who did evil in order for them to realise their mistakes and change, and if something was not right the leopards would wail mournfully for all to hear.
To say spotting a snow leopard is difficult is an understatement. These mysterious animals live high in the most remote mountainous areas of the Himalayas, Russia, Mongolia and western China, and it is only recently with the advent of sophisticated motion sensor cameras that we have been able to see decent photographs of these animals in the wild.
A member of the Panthera genus, snow leopards are uniquely adapted to a cold harsh environment through having small, rounded ears to keep the heat in, lustrous multilayered fur and a thick tail filled with fat that they wrap around their face and body when they sleep to keep the wind out. They have incredibly large paws for their size, covered in thick fur, which allow them to walk more easily on soft snow without sinking.
Snow leopards do not roar like lions but instead vocalise in mews, chuffs and most notably a wailing sound that echoes for long distances.
Snow leopard magic is all about the power of being the silent watcher. Western society is an extroverted one with the emphasis on the individual and on being seen, yet there is much advantage to examining things quietly and observing before making decisions. Taking your time and observing a situation before you decide the next steps is wise.
Snow leopard magic is mysterious and ethical and can be used when you need assistance in taking the righteous path.
Eyes on prayer flags, cat in snow, leopard footprints in snow.
- 1 Meerkat
Do you take responsibility seriously, or is it easier to blame others or outside influences? There should be a balance between responsibility for others and
yourself. Someone may not be honouring their word. Developing altruism is important. Teaching others the skills you have mastered is a highly honourable act.
The Bantu tribe of Africa tell of how the meerkats were responsible for assigning colour to the animals around them.
The meerkats had the power to give colour and camouflage to all creatures that wanted it, but to get a coat of colour the animal had to kill a buck eland and bring it whole to the meerkat community.
The hyena thought he would love a coat of colour and killed a buck. As he was dragging it to the meerkats, he was overcome by the delicious smell of the meat and couldn’t resist eating all but the bones. The hyena gave the meerkats the bones and expected to receive his new
coat. The meerkats painted his body but in ugly shapes and colours, punishing the hyena for his disrespect. The chief meerkat told him: ‘If anyone does not keep his word with me, I will do the same for him.’
The leopard also wanted a coloured coat and went out to kill an eland. The buck was a fine one, and the leopard bought it to the meerkats unskinned and untouched. ‘Lay down,’ said the chief meerkat, and he and the other meerkats painted the leopard beautifully. ‘He who keeps his word with me, I will do the same for him.’
There are very few people who aren’t enraptured by the cuteness of a community of meerkats and their antics, for they are one of the most entertaining of animals to observe.
Meerkats belong to the mongoose family and various species are found in the desert areas of Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Angola. They have binocular or front-facing vision, which is extremely beneficial, and they have highly mobile hands with claws for digging for prey and burrows. They have a striped coat on the backside and a unique section of hairlessness on their undersides that reveals their black skin. They stand up on their muscular hind legs to expose this patch to the sun to warm them when it becomes cold.
Meerkats live in highly social colonies in which they demonstrate altruistic behaviours such as minding each other’s babies, teaching young meerkats hunting and survival skills and of course the very famous upright sentry behaviour of a meerkat acting as a guard or watcher to warn others of danger. The sentry often finds the highest position to oversee their environment, such as rocks or termite mounds, but this can also include humans! There are meerkat communities that are habituated to people and who do climb humans occasionally for a better vantage point.
Meerkat magic is all about altruism and responsibility. Such small but fierce creatures watch out for each other and work as a community to educate and protect. Call upon the energy and magic of meerkats when you need help with yourself or someone else to hold their word or to fulfil their responsibilities. Meerkat energy is also valuable in facilitating teams in difficult conditions.
Standing on top of rocks, altruism, teaching.
Of least concern.
- 1 Wolf
Discover who you really are by revealing your authenticity; this is always the best way. We all resonate a frequency, so if you are pretending to be someone you
are not you will keep attracting people with whom you do not resonate. It is necessary to negotiate a position with others sometimes, and there should be no anxiety about differences in opinion.
Skadi, the plain-speaking Norse goddess of the mountains, wildness and the unknown, was a powerful huntress, a lover of snow and a keeper of wolves. She lived in the profound silence of nature on the high plains, surrounded by her pack of wolves which helped her hunt and protect the realm.
Although independent and beautiful, she decided it was time to be married. She demanded from the other gods a husband as recompense for the unlawful death of her beloved father, t»jazi.
She chose the god Njbrdr as her new husband
and, as was customary, she moved to live in her new husband’s house. Njbrdr, however, was a sea god who lived on an island that was always noisy with the mighty crashing of waves and the screeching of sea birds. All this constant and incessant noise was too much for Skadi, who was used to the soft silence of the snow and the howling of her wolves. When she spoke of missing her true home and her desire to be more independent, she and Njbrdr negotiated and agreed to try alternating homes every nine days.
Njbrdr came to Skadi’s mountain home but found it to be cold and desolate of life: so white; so quiet and depressing! He felt isolated and missed his home too.
When dividing their time between Noatun and in brymheimr didn’t work out they decided to live apart but stay married. Skadi then returned to her beloved mountains, where she hunted from her skis and lived with her cherished wolf packs. She would visit Njbrdr, and he her, when they most desired each other.
Wolves feature in the mythos of almost all human societies that encounter them, which highlight their charisma and importance. For example, Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus who were cared for suckled by a She-wolf, Fenrir the great norse wolf heralded Ragnarok (the end of the world) and the Celtic Morrigan kept wolves.
Wolves are powerful animals. Although wolves are also very social, mated pairs or solo hunters have more success than larger groups when hunting. They are found throughout Eurasia and North America and have been linked to humans - both as a subject of fear and of love - for many thousands of years. Whilst wolves were often seen as a predator and pest amongst human communities that relied on livestock, those that were more agrarian in nature, saw them as helpers, killing off animals who fed upon their crops.
Wolves are larger than you think. We often think of wolves as large dogs, but should you ever see one loping over the land or in a forest in the wild, you would understand just how different they are and how much they avoid or dislike humans. Male wolves weigh on average around 45 kg and are built for endurance with long legs and a long loping gait when one foot is placed directly in front of the other. At this gait they can travel at speeds of around 10 km an hour for many hours. If they choose pursuit speed - around 50-60 km an hour - this has been observed to be held for up to 20 minutes.
They are social and expressive animals, with a variety of distinct physical behaviours that enable other wolves to read intent and status. Growling, head tilts, teeth baring and posturing are just a few of
those non-verbal communication cues.
Perhaps one of the most distinctive features of the wolf is their famous haunting howl which is used as a vital communication tool amongst the pack and to other packs. As wolves are highly territorial the howl can be used to identify the whereabouts of other packs and of individual pack members wherever they are.
Call upon the wolf when you wish to be all you can be in the fullness of your authenticity. While you do not have to be alone, being confident to live your life on your own terms very much embodies the energy of wolves. Wolf energy is also highly protective and you can call upon it in workings where you may feel fearful or wish for a protective ally.
Pack of wolves, woman on a mountain.
Population is stable, although wolves in certain traditional endemic areas have become extinct. For example, due to hunting and habitat loss the wolves in the Yellowstone area in the USA became extinct. They were reintroduced in 1995 to great ecological success.
- 1 Sea otter
Transformation is a true constant if we allow it. We can change our future, and learn from our past. We should only try to transform ourselves, not someone else,
as this is against free will. Do not judge others too quickly or harshly; relax a little and rise!
The Welsh goddess Ceridwen was a master potions maker and a queen of transformation. She was often busy over a huge cauldron that contained great bubbling potions to heal, change or create.
Ceridwen had a son, Morfran, who was very ugly. Although she could not change this, she decided to magically grant him deep wisdom as a kind of recompense. To do this, though, took much time and expertise, and the potion was complex and had to be boiled and stirred non-stop for a year and a cay. Should the potion grow cool or stodgy it would fail. The potion was also very dangerous - only the first three drops imbibed would work and the rest, would kill instantly.
To help, Ceridwen she found a young boy, Gwion, who had to stir and keep the fire burning when she could not. On the last day of brewing, in the early morning when Gwion was stirring the pot, the cauldron bubbled some three drops of the hot potion onto his thumb. Without thinking he licked the potion from his thumb and instantly became wise: all of the wisdom meant for Morfran flowed into Gwion. Frightened and knowing that Ceridwen would be angry, Gwion ran away.
But Ceridwen saw what had happened and chased the boy. The potion made Gwion magical and he was able to transform into a hare, but Ceridwen turned into a racing greyhound to catch him. Reaching the sea, Gwion turned into a fish, but Ceridwen transformed into a sea otter. Gwion leaped up into the air and turned into a swallow so Ceridwen became a hunting hawk, and finally Gwion turned himself into a single grain of corn and Ceridwen transformed herself into a hen and ate him.
Ceridwen went home but soon found she was pregnant; she just knew it had been fathered by Gwion, and decided that once born she would kill the child. A boychild was born, but he was so fair of face she could not master the resolve to end his life. Instead she sewed him inside a leather bag and floated him off into the ocean. The child did not die,
for it was saved by sea otters that nursed the child upon their bellies and took him to shore. A human prince found the child and raised him in his royal household, and he became the famous poet Taliesin.
The first sea otter I ever saw was happily breaking a crab open on his belly with a small stone just off shore on the coast of the eastern Pacific Ocean. He was in the part of the ocean that was calm, the sun was setting and for all intents and purposes he looked like a human being having a last swim before it got dark while enjoying the colours of the fiery sunset.
Sea otters are mammals that live in close offshore habitats. Although they live in cold waters they do not store much fat. staying warm with a thick pelt of fur that resists water. Their back feet are fully webbed to propel them through the water.
They are one of the few animals to use tools.
They lever rocks off the shoreline and use them to open shells of prey and to smash crabs to get at the meat. Some otters have a favourite rock they take with them and use over and over.
They quite delightfully carry their babies on their chests and bellies while floating face up in the water, and they link arms with other sea otters for stability while sleeping.
In almost every culture that has mythos around otters they are seen as highly magical, intelligent and certainly transformational creatures. When you are doing magical workings to transform yourself from one state to another their energy will be welcome. Otter magic also encourages you to let go of your burdens and be lighter. Remember what it is like to float on our back? Tense up and you sink. The more you relax the higher you rise.
Otter bubbles, baby with otters, otters under the moon.
Due to extensive, unsustainable hunting during a 200 year period the sea otter population dropped to around 1,000 individuals. Conservation has bought this up to an estimated 3,000, but they are still endangered since their range is now so small.
- 1 Goat
Is your word reliable; can you be counted upon? Make your way successfully step by step, steady as she goes. Nourish yourself. We should climb mountains, not carry mountains.
We learn about Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr, the goats who pulled the god Thor's chariot in the stories of the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century. Following is but one story of the goats and the thunder god.
Thor and Loki were once travelling together for the purpose of troll hunting. They were travelling upon the chariot pulled by Thor’s two ferocious goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr.
The day drew to a close and the two gods sought shelter at a farmhouse. The peasant family who lived there was shocked to see the two gods but obviously welcomed them to their humble abode. Thor's goats were magical and were able to be killed for food by
Thor’s hammer Mjolnir and then at dawn the next day would return to living by the blessing of the same hammer, so Thor always had a reliable food source with him. He told the peasants they could share the meal of the magical goats but they were not to split the bones in any way, as the bones were needed to be unharmed so the goats could successfully regenerate at first light. The humans agreed to this and enjoyed the meal provided by Thor.
But Thialfi, the son of the farmer, could not resist secretly cracking one of the leg bones open to suck out some of the delicious marrow, some of the best eating of the goat that could be had.
Dawn came and Thor laid all the bones upon the skins so they could re-assemble magically into the living Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr. However, Thor noticed one of the goats had a lame leg. Thor became very angry, knowing that someone had cracked one of the leg bones when they had given their word to the contrary.
Frightened by the god’s anger, Thialfi admitted his guilt and offered himself and his sister to the god as his servants. Thor quietened his anger and agreed, and this is how one of Thor’s goats became lame but still remained powerful and steady.
While we cannot be sure what kind of goats pulled Thor’s chariot, many of the symbols and descriptions are reminiscent of either the endemic mountain goat or the hardy domesticated mountain goat. The mountain goats in the traditional Norse lands are magnificent creatures, well furred, sure-footed and mightily horned.
Goats have been providers of skins, milk, cheese, meat, drinking horns and building materials and they were one of the first animals to be domesticated by man. As such, they were and are well loved by humans as domestic animals and now there are over 200 species of goats.
Goat magic, and specifically the magic of Thor’s mountain goats, is one of reliability and surefootedness. Goats are remarkably athletic and agile on mountainsides and difficult terrain. They are robust creatures able to withstand the cold or rough environments and are available to all people, rich or poor.
Call upon goat energy when you need stability and balance in a precarious situation or when you need nourishment after a period of scarcity.
Horns, bones, sure-footedness, thunder, a chariot pulled by goats.
Of least concern.
- 2 Swan
Beauty is all around us; if we care to observe it, the natural world provides so much of it. However, remember beauty is highly subjective. Love yourself first and know
yourself. Look for the beauty in the situation. Ask, and your questions will be answered.
It is the Greek god of light, music, healing and prophecy, Apollo, who is most closely linked with the swan.
Apollo’s mother Leto caught the eye of the king of the gods, Zeus. She refused him, so he turned his form into a swan and seduced her. Leto gave birth under duress on the island of Delos to twins, both archers: the formidable Artemis and the beautiful Apollo.
As the god of music, Apollo loved to hear great musicians play and would often come down to earth to hear and bless great music. One of his favourites was a human called Cygnus. For many years Apollo
listened to Cygnus’ sublime music, until one day Cygnus died. Sad that he would never hear such music again, Apollo turned Cygnus into a swan and elevated him into the night sky among the stars. This is how the constellation Cygnus came to appear in the sky.
As a healer (referred to by the word ‘paean’), Apollo had a chariot pulled by swans, and where possible his temples had swans that had made their home there. Swans are associated with love and beauty in the Greek culture and were sacred, protected animals. It was also believed that swans would be mute until they were close to death, then they would sing a stunningly haunting and beautiful song to the gods. This is the origin of the term ‘swan song'.
There are seven living species of swan, all having similar physical characteristics including the long elegant neck. Five species are found in the northern hemisphere and two in the southern. All swans at one time were thought to be white, but then the Australian black swan was discovered.
Swans do normally mate for life, but if a mate dies or is unable to breed the other swan will find a new mate. Once constructed, nests are vigorously
defended. There has even been an episode recorded of a human drowning when attacked by a swan defending its nest.
Swan magic is pure and graceful. It is perfect to use for love workings, and also when you wish to find more beauty in our world. Everyone could do with a bit more beauty in their lives!
The lyre, the Cygnus constellation, Apollo’s chariot, Apollo riding a swan, Leto with a swan.
Their status ranges from of least concern to threatened.
- 2 Lioness
You are strongly protected right now. You are invited to embrace your authenticity and to be unafraid to v/isely express your emotions. To protect others, we must learn
to develop strength in ourselves and to know the power of restraint, which is what real power involves.
In many temple artworks, the lion-headed Egyptian goddess Sekhmet strides powerfully towards the pharaoh. Her protection is extended to him and around him, effectively providing security and physically safeguarding him, particularly in times of war.
After winning a terrible battle Sekhmet maintained her battle rage and blood lust. She looked around her and wished to still kill and spill blood. The people trembled and the gods noticed. The god Ra turned the Nile red so that it looked like blood, and invited Sekhmet to quench her thirst there. She drank and drank, but the river was not blood but beer. Her
blood lust was curbed by her intoxication and she became peaceful again.
In ritual, the priestesses of Sekhmet would intoxicate themselves and encourage worshippers to do the same in order to both connect themselves to the goddess and reduce her destructive energy.
Lions have been referred to as the king of beasts because of their sheer power and proud roar. While the lion’s mane is probably the most recognisable thing about these big cats, the lioness is the powerhouse of the two.
Lionesses are hypercarnivores and do all the hunting, communicating to their pride members by complex verbalisations. Lionesses hunt in teams, teaching younger males and females of their pride how to hunt at the same time. Females are more than capable of bringing down large prey such as buffalo or giraffe that weigh over a tonne. In teams, lionesses have even been able to bring down elephants.
Females are social animals and live in groups of relatives. There is a dominant male that provides protection and mating opportunities, although the females will get involved in defence, particularly if they have cubs.
If you have ever seen a lioness in the wild you will immediately understand the nature of the magic of this magnificent feline. Lionesses are hugely powerful and work as teams to bring down prey and to protect the young. This contrast of lethal power and tender protectiveness is the key to lioness magic.
Plug into lioness magic in situations when you need responsible power and when you may need some help in restraining a destructive energy such as rage.
Lion-headed woman, fire, lion claws, blood, beer.
- 2 Sacred ibis
The getting of wisdom takes time, so be patient with your learning and delve deeper. Continual learning is a keystone to growth. You will succeed in your exams
or study. While everyone has a source of wisdom
within them, not everyone chooses to exercise it.
If you cast magic, do it with full knowledge of the
The ibis-headed god Thoth was the most powerful god of magic in all worlds. It is said that he told the goddess Isis what powerful spell to use to resurrect her dead husband Osiris, and it was he who assisted her again in knowing the words to remove the poison from her son Horus.
All books on magic and invocation were to be authored by Thoth, and those who were writers channelled his energy. He authored one book that was so powerful no human could read it without dying. Thoth was also the god of learning and knowledge,
and ibises were encouraged to be present around places of learning and libraries.
The Ancient Egyptians felt that the ibis was the living representation of the god on earth. They took thousands of ibises from their captive flocks, mummified them and placed them as offerings within Thoth’s temple.
Like all ibises, the sacred ibis is most distinctive because of its head shape and long curved beak. They are also unusually quiet when compared to other ibis species.
Ibises have bald heads, long necks and fine long beaks that are adapted for use in mud and water. They are migratory birds that breed in sub-Saharan Africa and Iran, and have a wing span of around 1.2 m.
Ibises thrive in marshy environments and eat frogs, fish, crabs and insects. They use their long beaks to stir up the mud and capture prey. Fairly social birds, they tend to forage for food in groups of a few dozen or more. This is probably for safety reasons and to help stir up the prey from the mud.
Ibises have adapted quite well to urban environments, and in some countries are viewed as being pest birds. They live for around 20 years in the wild.
The sacred ibis was a revered creature in Ancient Egypt, representing Thoth, the god of wisdom and learning. So honoured as a gift to Thoth, they were given full mummification and bred especially for this purpose. According to historical accounts from figures such as Aristotle and Strabo, ibises could be found in the streets of the cities including Alexandria.
Ibis magic inspires us to be curious and to learn more about the world. If we are students of any kind or wish to know a subject more deeply, we can call upon this energy. Thoth teaches us that while we can seek counselling from others, often our best and first port of call is actually ourselves.
Man with an ibis head, lunar disc, book of knowledge, Egyptian alphabet.
Of least concern.
- 2 Raven
Keep your senses about you; news or a significant announcement is coming. Do not believe everything you hear unless it is from reputable sources. Gather
information and guidance before making decisions.
We can stride through other worlds, not just this one, in order to understand our nature.
Huginn and Muninn are the two ravens of the All-Father Odin. Huginn is Norse for 'thought’, and Muginn means ‘memory’.
Every morning, Huginn and Muninn leave the broad shoulders of Odin and fly out to observe and gather the news of the worlds. If there is anything very urgent they fly back early to tell Odin so he can take action. Otherwise, they come back to Odin at the end of the day to tell him of what they have been witness to. Through these discussions and the gathering of knowledge Odin became the wisest of gods, knowing much lore and the ways of the worlds.
Ravens are the stars of mythos that crosses many cultures, including that of the First Nations of America, Celtic, Welsh, Siberian and Mexican. Ravens are often characterised as being tricksters or information gatherers.
The members of the Corvus genus are smart. Their brain size is large for their size, and they display complex problem-solving abilities including working with tools.
Ravens belong to a tiny percentage of animals that display displacement in their communication, which is the ability to disseminate about things that are not immediately present in the here and now. For example, they could transmit to other ravens about something out of sight that happened earlier. A single raven has been observed watching a wolf kill a deer. The raven then went back to his home and communicated this to the other ravens and without that particular raven going back to the kill, the other ravens fly directly to the kill site.
Ravens also observe animals that bury food for later consumption and steal from these hordes. Furthermore, they have an awareness that this same thing could happen to them and will go to a lot of time and trouble to find places in which their own cache will be safe. They are very vigilant in case they themselves are being observed.
Ravens are incredibly fine mimics and very vocal with other ravens and animals. Domesticated ravens are able to mimic the speech of humans and understand human words.
They are known for their jet black feathers, which have a glossy, iridescent blue sheen, and are one of the heaviest birds for their size. The common raven is one of the most long lived of birds, living often in the wild for over 21 years.
Raven magic, and in this case Norse Seidr raven magic, is trance-like and news gathering. Ravens here are used as magical messengers going between the worlds gathering guidance and information. If we think about Odin’s process of sending his thoughts and memory out into the worlds, then we can see the essence of the shamanic act of sending oneself out to other realms for guidance or healing. Raven energy is useful in divination of all kinds and shamanic astral travel.
Two ravens with Odin, raven feathers, raven beaks, black birds.
Of least concern.
- 2 Horse
Equus ferus caballus
To be truly free, we must learn true independence. Trust yourself, as listening to people who may have other agendas is not the way to make good clear decisions. Individuation from
our parents is a natural process, although it is often fraught with difficulty on both sides. Your true power resides in your ability to always know you have a choice and it is yours to make.
There was once a young king who lived in a castle upon a great hill who had just been newly crowned, so he began looking for a queen. He was out riding one day and saw a woman who was riding her huge white stallion as well if not better than he rode. Her horse flew across the fields, and the woman’s hair streamed long and wild behind her. The king kicked on his horse, and after some time caught up with her. Her face was flushed, her smile bright and her words joyful. Their eyes met and they fell deeply in love. After a time, the young king realised Rhiannon,
for that was her name, who was loving, loyal, gentle, wise and fair, was all he wanted in a queen.
He asked her to marry him and she accepted with grace. Rhiannon’s responsibilities as queen would now be taken over from the queen regent, and while it would be natural for the mother of the king to be pleased for her son, secretly she was vastly jealous of her usurper and resented her loss of personal power.
Soon, a beautiful blue-eyed son with a star- like birthmark on his leg was born. To protect him. Rhiannon kept her baby with her as she slept in her chambers. One morning when Rhiannon awoke, her baby was gone from her and in his stead was a great deal of blood. She screamed in horror.
The queen regent yelled: ‘Look, she has killed her baby! I knew she wasn’t to be trusted.’ Rhiannon insisted the baby had been taken, but the queen regent was not to be convinced. The king asked Rhiannon where the baby was, but she confessed she didn’t know.
Rhiannon’s son had been kidnapped by the queen regent in the night. She had killed a chicken and used its blood to make the scene against Rhiannon. The queen regent had decided to raise the son as her own, and he was safe but hidden.
Rhiannon was put on trial and she made no defence and so was found guilty of her son’s murder.
The king, still so in love with her, could not kill her but instead sentenced her to a job that would bring huge shame to her every day.
As the castle was up on a high hill, visitors were given a horse to travel to the top. Rhiannon’s new job was to take the place of one of the hard-working horses and carry people to the top of the castle on her back. Every day she struggled with her guilt, never raising her head. She slept in the stables with the horses, curled up and crying.
Rhiannon gradually became aware of the importance of the work that the horses did beside her. People couldn’t get to the castle without them, and they bore the work with strength and focus. She also realised the horses were set free at night and they ran, played, loved and foraged, mindful of that moment. She decided that she, too, would follow their example, bearing the guests with strength and focus and enjoying her freedom at the end of the day instead of hiding in shame.
On one of these evening walks she saw the queen regent playing with a little boy in a lower courtyard of a farm. He was on a small pony. She thought the king must have remarried quickly.
The small boy lost his balance and fell. The queen regent checked him over for cuts and, as she did so, the little boy’s trouser leg was lifted and
there on his leg was a birthmark in the shape of a star.
Rhiannon realised this was her own son and that she had been tricked. She called the local people together to witness the boy and confirm the mark on his leg. Happily, the king had not stopped loving Rhiannon and reinstated her as queen, banishing his mother into exile.
Rhiannon never forgot the lessons of the horses who had worked beside her, and from then on no horse was a beast of burden in their kingdom but instead a symbol of power and freedom.
Mythos about horses or featuring horse deities encircle the world, wherever horses were found or heard of. Dieties linked to horses include Epona, Etain, Apollo, Poseidon, Resheph, Sunna, Odin, Neptune and Equester.
Besides the dog, there is perhaps no other animal that has shared such a close and integral relationship with humans. Horses have been a partner for humans in their discovery of the world, in wars, in the production and hunting of food and as a riding companion. Without horses being domesticated, huge numbers of cultures would have found it impossible to trade, roam, discover and conquer vast territories.
The human race owes horses a debt it is impossible to repay.
Horses in their current form evolved years ago and were domesticated. They come in all shapes and sizes, from giant shire horse breeds to the dish-faced Arabians and the tiny miniature horses used as pets.
Horses are herd animals and are highly social. They have eyes in the sides of their heads that can almost see behind them, although they do have a small blind spot in their front field of vision.
Horses are used as therapy for humans who have mental and physical trauma. Horse therapy programs commonly assist veterans with PTSD and children with autism, and they visit hospitals and hospices to bring comfort. Their loving spirit, pure presence and healing attributes make them perfect for this work.
Horse magic is profoundly free and powerful. To ride a horse at full gallop is to experience a sacred bolt of the most primal liberty. When you are feeling trapped or small, expand your field by calling for their energy. There is also a long history in physical and mental healing with horse energy, and this can be used when you are ill or unstable. Horse energy invokes a calm and solid presence, and can be used to quiet your spirit if you are feeling disturbed.
Horse magic is also an expression of trust: a powerful horse could go anywhere it wants, yet it is willing to be led. A person trusts the horse to be surefooted, leap and run away from danger, while the horse trusts the human to be its partner, to not hinder, to take care of it, to guide it. It can be a very deep bond if you allow it to be.
If you are ever doubting yourself or feeling trapped, engage some horse power, expand your field by calling for their energy.
Woman on a horse, woman carrying a burden, women holding a child with a star upon his leg, white horses, silver and white.
Of least concern; however, wastage and cruelty in the horse-racing industry are issues as is the habitat destruction of some populations of wild horses.
- 2 Peregrine falcon
Take a step back and simply observe a situation. Listen and watch before you decide on a course of action, as acting rashly will not serve you in your current situation.
You are being supported by powerful forces. Do not fear; you are protected.
The Eye of Horus is shaped exactly as that of the falcon, even down to the drooped teardrop shape at one end. A sign of all-seeing royalty, benevolent protection and supreme power and unity, this magical symbol is still used today in spells for home and personal protection.
Horus himself, who had a magical birth, was the child of the goddess Isis and the god Osiris. When Osiris was killed and dismembered out of jealousy by his brother, the storm god Set, Osiris' loyal and loving wife Isis searched the world for the pieces of his body. With the help of magical incantations supplied by Thoth, Isis healed Osiris and produced an heir, Horus. Horus united
the family and became not just the god of the sky but a protective influence over all of Egypt.
Such was his importance, that it was believed the pharaohs were Horus incarnated on earth, and the temples that were dedicated to him were superb. Horus is often depicted with a falcon’s head, carrying the ankh of eternal life and accompanying the pharaoh of the time.
I have the privilege of living very close to the perching place of a pair of peregrine falcons. These magnificent birds of prey, the fastest animals on earth with diving speeds of up to 350 km/h, survey all, watchful for movements and meals. When they see what they want they take off, silent and compact, and their flight path is as sharp as a blade.
Their prey is mainly other birds, usually from above by striking the bird with a punch-like action from closed talons. They then catch the prey in midair as it drops. These high-speed strikes are often the result of free-fall dives called ‘stoops’; the way the birds are designed, the faster they go the more manoeuvrability they have. The structure of stealth bombers was modelled on the peregrine’s wing shape.
Hunting normally takes place at dawn or dusk, although urban falcons are known to also hunt
nocturnally. Falcons nest in high places, scraping areas away on cliffs and natural spaces on the edges of high mountains. Having access to a view that enables them to use that incredible eyesight is vital; these birds are able to spot prey from a kilometre away quite clearly.
The primary magic of the peregrine is one of protection. The energy is one of an all-seeing observer and protector on high. Work with peregrine magic when you need some powerful safeguarding or support. The other element I love about working with peregrine energy is the wise observational quality it provides. When you need to make a decision about a situation and need to have more information to do so. this animal will help you see the full view and to be patient about the gathering of intelligence.
Eye of Horus, yellow talons, profile view of the head.
Endangered in most territories, due to poison buildup in prey animals and egg/habitat loss.
- 2 Polar bear
You are the carrier of a bloodline that stretches back for millennia, yet you are uniquely your own self. Take the positive from your ancestry, and observe and
note the negative. Family dysfunction stops here; honour those in your family who honour you. It is a positive and natural action to individuate from our family on our own terms.
Nanuk, which means ‘polar bear’ in Inuktitut of the Inuit nation, was the king of the white bears. He held the rules and the taboos of humans’ relationship with the bears. As with humans, bears stand on their hind legs and walk, play with their cubs and hunt and navigate through the ice, so perhaps the ancestors of those who have passed live on within the bears.
Hunters looked to Nanuk for guidance and honoured him because they believed that the great bear king’s power was to observe which hunters deserved success. If Nanuk saw that a hunted polar
bear was killed quickly and honourably by the hunter in fairness and treated well in death, then the spirit of that bear would tell Nanuk and other living bears that this man was a fair man, and if it was their time they would be willing to be killed by him.
As bears could indeed be human’s ancestors reincarnated and transformed, gifts were offered to the bear after death and no wastage of the precious gift of the bear’s life would be tolerated. Every part of the bear would be used well: the skin for clothing and coverings, the meat for nourishment and the bones for structures and for sled dogs. The skin and fur held special significance, and would be displayed in a sacred area of the habitat and given offerings suitable to whether it was male or female. Songs would be sung of gratitude and of the bear’s great spirit.
If Nanuk heard that a bear was mistreated or dishonoured by a hunter then this could mean death for the hunter. Death could come via mauling by a bear and killing in revenge, or through starvation from a lack of hunting success.
The polar bear is considered to be a marine mammal and weighs up to 700 kg. They have a distinctive thick coat that in fact is not white at all; their skin is black and the hairs are hollow.
Beautifully adapted for frigid conditions, polar bears have a thick body with thick layers of fat underneath and comparatively short legs and small ears and tail to minimise heat loss. Their feet are outsized and padded so they can travel over soft snow and ice over great distances. The skin on the feet pads have papillae (like the roughness of a cat’s tongue) to help with traction on slippery ice and shifting snow. The huge size of the paws and the webbing between the toes assists with ocean swimming.
Most bears live solitary lives, although they come together for mating. Recent research indicates that some male bears have regular friendships with other bears; they show no aggression towards each other and have been observed playing and sleeping together.
Unfortunately, the polar bear has become a symbol of the increase of global warming. As the ice caps melt and recede, the bears have less ice to feed from and have to swim great distances to find pack ice and food. Consequently, many are drowning or starving.
Polar bear magic is ancient, powerful and profound. Should you wish to heal trauma of any kind, call upon this bear’s energy to assist you. Workings to address ancestral pain or shame passed down from
one generation to the next can benefit from polar bear energy.
Bear prints in snow, black eyes in white snow, a standing bear who could be a man.
- 2 Beaver
To love your work is a gift. Find a balance between work and rest; it is worth aligning your work with your purpose if you can. Being positively mindfully engaged
in your work, no matter what it might be, is healthy. Someone may be attempting to micromanage you at your job and this is not an optimum way to work. Perhaps it is time to be your own boss.
The Ojibwe First Nations people tell a story about the beaver.
A beaver was speaking with the other animals and was telling them how happy he was about his tail.
‘Look, bird, how fluffy my tail is. It’s so fluffy, is it not?’ asked the beaver. The bird looked at the beaver’s very fluffy tail and said: 'Sure, it’s very nice,’ but seemed dismissive to the beaver.
The beaver then went to a muskrat. ‘Do you like my tail, muskrat? Is it not beautiful and thick with fur?’
Muskrat said: ‘Yes, but is it a strong tail?' The beaver was puzzled. ‘I asked if you thought my tail was beautiful, not strong.’ The muskrat just shook his head and walked away, saying: ‘Who cares if your tail is beautiful or not?’
The beaver was upset with the animals he had spoken to and went back to cutting trees for his dam. As he was thinking about how rude the other animals had been to him he misplaced a cut and a tree fell on his tail. The beaver wiggled his tail out from under the tree and saw that the weight of the tree had flattened it and removed the fur: it was black and leathery now.
The beaver sat on the sandy shore and cried heartily. He cried so loudly that the Creator himself came to comfort him. The beaver said to the Creator: ‘Oh, Creator, look what has happened to my tail. It is flat and ugly now!’ And the Creator said: ‘No. it is not ugly and now it is more useful. Now you will be able to swim so much more strongly!’
And Beaver considered this and realised this was true, but thought that his friends would not care for him any more. The Creator smiled and said: ‘No, Beaver, your tail is not why your friends love you. They love you for your hard work and industry and for your kindness and goodness. Your tail has nothing to do with it.’
And with that, the beaver was satisfied.
Beavers feature in many mythos of the First Nations of the Americas and Canada, the Inuit and the ancient Norse.
The beaver is an incredible transformational force upon the landscape. They can divert rivers and waterways, and construct dams that create flooded areas, pools and ponds that enable fish to breed and certain plants to flourish. Besides humans, they are most probably the most powerful architects of a landscape on earth.
To do all this changing of the landscape beavers need to be industrious and work hard. They seem always to be active and busy, literally cutting down trees with their powerfully sharp front teeth, which continually grow, and using their hands to move heavy objects and shape mud. They do this to dam areas so they can build their lodges, working through the night and day. The interior of their lodges do not freeze hard in winter because of the nature of their construction, with air pockets above the pile of branches and sticks, and the insulating effect of snow.
Beavers share their lodges as monogamous pairs with their kits. They are territorial and will defend their territories. They are strongly built and weigh
an average of 25 kg, and are the second largest rodent on earth after the capybara. Their tails in particular are a great asset, the rounded, flat shape being able to propel them very quickly in the water but also giving them good balance on land. Beavers are very agile underwater and are able to stay there for up to 15 minutes if threatened, although they usually spend only for a few minutes at a time as there is always work to do!
When you find it hard to motivate yourself or when things are not working out with your career or work situation, beaver energy can help. When you need help finishing a physical project or attracting good craftspeople, call upon beaver magic to assist.
Lodge, paddle-like tail, beaver teeth.
Of least concern.
- 2 Butterfly
To experience our full selves we often go through a difficult period of transformation and growth. Trust what you feel. We all have stages to pass through
in life, and not all are easy. Look ahead to where you wish to be, not where you have been. Self-trust and the trust of your partner are necessary for a positive
Butterflies feature in many cultures as part of their mythos, and usually reflect the idea of change and transformation of the deepest part of us. Celtic, Native American and Mayan cultures all have stories of the divine and butterflies. Probably the most well-known mythos is the Greek story of the archetypal lovers Psyche and Eros, the word psyche meaning both ‘soul’ and ‘butterfly’ in Ancient Greek.
Psyche was a mortal girl who was so beautiful that people came from all around to gaze and bask in her beauty. She was so appealing that people no
longer went to the shrines of the goddess Aphrodite, instead forsaking her to look at Psyche. Aphrodite was angry and decided to punish Psyche, and sent her son Eros, who shot arrows into people to make them fall in love, to shoot an arrow into Psyche and make her fall in love with the most vile creature on earth.
However, when Eros saw Psyche he was shocked by her beauty and accidentally pierced himself with his own magical arrow, thus falling in love with the mortal girl. He could not tell his mother because she hated Psyche so much, and he cast magic upon Psyche so that no mortal could marry her.
Psyche’s father was amazed that he had no offers for her hand even though she was the most admired girl in the kingdom. He went to the oracle at Delphi and asked Apollo what to do. The oracle said that Psyche must marry the man she would meet on top of the nearby dark mountain. Psyche’s father took her to the top of the crag and left her there, telling her that a husband would come for her.
Psyche was terrified. She thought she had been left to die there alone and unwanted. Then a wind stirred her hair and a melodious voice said to her: 'Come with me, my love, and I will take you to our home. You will be happy always but you may not see me.’ Psyche was swept away and soon found herself in a huge royal palace with beautiful food and her
husband, whom she could not see but felt as pure love, and all this was hers forever. She made love to her husband; she had never experienced such joyous ecstasy. She was happy, and she sent word to her father and sisters that she was married to a fine man.
Her sisters soon came to visit, full of curiosity. When they saw the huge home and all the servants they were jealous of their sister. They asked about the new husband and what he looked like, and Psyche innocently admitted she could not tell them. The sisters savagely told Psyche she must be married to an ugly monster not a man, and laughed at her. Psyche defended her husband, but the idea of the monster was now planted in her mind.
That night after they had sweetly made love in the darkness and she could hear her husband’s rhythmic breaths of sleep, Psyche could not resist taking a candle and sneaking a look at her husband’s form. There, by her side, was not a monster but the exquisite form of the god of love himself, Eros. So delighted was she that she tipped a little of the hot wax upon his arm and he awoke. Bitterly disappointed that she had broken his trust, he left her.
Psyche was devastated and could only turn to the goddess of love herself, Aphrodite, for help, not knowing that the goddess was so against her. She prayed to Aphrodite, and the goddess told her that
only if she successfully completed three tasks to prove her love for her son would she convince him to take her back.
The tasks were seemingly impossible, even confronting death himself, but Psyche prevailed in all of them. This angered Aphrodite even more, and she became set on making Psyche her slave. Other gods saw this wrongdoing and intervened, alerting Eros to everything that his wife was enduring to win back his love. Eros flew back to Psyche; they were reunited and each forgave the other, and they were happy in their realm together.
Butterflies are an ancient species of insect with fossil records dating back in excess of 56 million years. They are found everywhere but Antarctica and come in a huge variety of sizes, colours and shapes, although the four wings are typical. Many butterflies are migratory, and it is now understood that they use a navigatory system based on polarised light from the sun. This means that even in cloudy conditions they can know where they are.
They are extremely important as pollinators and are also known for their beauty. Of particular note are the butterflies with iridescent wings for camouflage and almost neon-like colours, which are known the
world over. These include the stunning blue giant blue morpho and the pearl morpho, which shimmers in rainbow colours.
Butterflies have a varied stage of transformation into their end adult stage, which is why they are so symbolic of transformation. Larvae grow from eggs and are often referred to as caterpillars; this larval stage can be very short or lengthy depending on the species. The larvae cocoon inside a chrysalis to undergo a huge metamorphosis in form that involves physical structures being built and broken down. When the new butterfly is ready it breaks free of the cocoon, dries its wings and flies away, a small but profound miracle that we all can witness.
Butterfly magic is key to growth and transformation of the soul. Going through trauma or difficulty helps reveal our true self and to grow into the full magnificence of the soul itself. Ease doesn’t always mean growth.
When you need help moving from one life stage to another then butterfly magic can be useful, although patience is often needed to embody change fully. When you require a dose of beauty, hope and lightness of spirit and a reminder to live your life to the full then butterfly energy can be just the thing.
Woman with butterfly wings, caterpillar to butterfly, butterfly wings.
The status ranges from of least concern to endangered.
- 2 Red-crowned
The time has come to reexamine your loyalties. Are you able to be trusted? Keep your word if you give it. Take relationships slowly,
and make sure to build strong connections. What promises have you made and must keep?
From the ancient Japanese story ‘Tsuru no Ongaeshi’:
On a very cold snowy day in winter, an elderly man was going to town. He had firewood to sell and was walking slowly with a large load upon his back. As he walked he found a crane that was caught in a hunter’s trap. He felt he had to help the beautiful bird and released it from the trap.
That night there was a blizzard, and the old man and his wife were settled in with a meagre meal and a small fire when there was a knock at the door. There stood a beautiful girl dressed in white.
'I am sorry, dear father, to disturb you, but 1 am an orphan travelling through this area to meet my
new relatives and I am lost. Would you mind if I took shelter from this storm?’ she said.
The elderly couple accepted her into their home and allowed her to stay the night, sharing what little they had. The next morning the snow had not let up so the girl stayed in the house, in return for their hospitality cleaning the house and looking after the old couple. She cooked, she cut wood and she sang them songs. One day as she was in the kitchen cooking, the girl asked whether she could stay with them as their daughter rather than go off to the relatives she had never met. The couple readily agreed and were very happy to have such a daughter.
Upon their acceptance, the girl asked if they would buy her some yarn, as she wanted to weave some cloth for them. They bought the yarn, and as they handed it to her the young girl said in a serious way: T will be working on this cloth for a few days but I should not be disturbed. Promise me you will not come into the room when I weave.' They promised, and the girl worked in the room for three days without coming out. When the door opened again, she showed the couple the most wondrous fabric the couple had ever seen.
‘Please sell it in the village,’ she requested. 'It will get a good price for us.’ And so it did.
With the money they got from the cloth the couple were able to buy more yarns with more colours, and their daughter again wove a truly magical cloth made with much care. This went on for a short time, with the couple becoming quite well off.
The red-crowned crane is a very rare and elegant bird of East Asia. It is migratory, and is found in Japan, Korea, Russia, Mongolia and China. The red patch on its head appears during mating season.
The red-crowned crane is almost a mythological bird to the Japanese, such is its sacredness, and it is widely and formally depicted in art and especially paintings and ink drawings.
Once a mate is found the pair bonds through graceful dances and haunting fluting calls, and these highly ritualised movements continue to strengthen the connection as life goes on. Once hatched, babies are looked after by the parents for over 9 months. They are one of the world’s longest living birds: a healthy adult in the wild could live for an average of 30 to 40 years, with those in captivity regularly living for over 50 years. The oldest cranes have lived for 70 years.
Cranes are referred to as tanchozuru in
Japanese and are said to live for 1,000 years and
lovingly mate for life, thus making them a profound symbol of fidelity, loyalty and longevity.
Crane magic is about loyalty and steadfastness. In this world of instant gratification and short attention spans, perhaps the idea of loyalty is beginning to be a lost ideal.
The graceful crane teaches us that remaining steadfast to those who deserve it is a positive ideal and something to treasure. Thinking carefully about our promises and keeping our word means that we become people to be trusted by others and ourselves.
The colour red, dancing, feathers, weaving.
Endangered mainly due to habitat destruction.
- 3 Orca
You are walking in the bloodlines of your ancestors, but you are an individual who makes your own destiny. Seek better communication with family;
nourish yourself; and exercise extreme self-care. Share your skills with others.
In Inuit mythos, Sedna was a beautiful maiden who refused marriages arranged by her father, instead preferring to commune with nature. Her father had enough of this disobedience and married her off to the very next hunter who came along, a man who offered much fish to the family. Knowing his daughter would resist, Sedna’s father gave her a sleeping potion to drink and she awoke far from her home in the company of her new husband. The trouble was, this man was not a man at all but a great petrel spirit bird that had disguised his true form.
Sedna found herself sitting in a giant nest surrounded by thousands of screeching birds with no
way home. She cried out so loudly in fear and anger that her father heard her. He sailed his canoe over the vast icy sea to rescue her from the nest. Sedna and her father were pecked by angry birds as they began to paddle away, and the spirit bird whipped up a fierce storm that threatened to capsize their small vessel.
In his fear Sedna’s father pushed her overboard, hoping this would placate the bird husband and save his own life. Sedna managed to grasp the side of the canoe to stop herself from sinking, but in his panic her father cut off her fingers and she sank to the underworld of the ocean. There she grew a fish’s tail and became the mistress of all. Her cut fingers transformed into beautiful sea mammals such as seals and whales, which are integral to the survival of all Inuit. Her guardians, the orcas, were her messengers and told of her to others.
Sedna grants hunters upon the ocean a successful hunt, without which they would be in extreme hardship and die. She provides nourishment in this unforgiving environment if a hunt is unsuccessful; after all, there are no rich pastures or supermarkets to fall back on in the Arctic. Sedna is seen in her shadow aspect as vengeful, so hunters give gifts and songs to her as they set out on their boats. In Sedna’s myths, good stewardship of the ocean’s finite resources is
necessary and taboos are upheld to underline this, a lesson we could do well to maintain.
The orca is an iconic sea creature that has fired our human imagination for millennia. Written about by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, the orca is part of the mythos and spirituality of a number of cultures: Siberian, Pacific Northwest and Newfoundland indigenous peoples all depict the orca as being integral to their spiritual beliefs and art. They honour the killer whale, especially in family or clan worship, and it is still part of their culture today.
Orcas look very distinctive: their black and white skin is immediately recognisable. Their 50 interlocking, inward-leaning teeth are perfectly designed for both hunting and echolocation, and it’s estimated that a fully grown orca will consume about 200 kg of food per day. They are highly effective hunters, thus the term killer whale, and they hunt in highly organised pods.
While these members of the dolphin family are incredible physically, it is what scientists are just beginning to learn about their culture that is so interesting. Orcas live in matrilineages, meaning they stay in matriarchal lines: great-grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers and daughters, all with calves,
travel in one very stable matriline that is usually around five generations deep. A number of matrilines may make up a pod that comes and goes freely. All members of the pod use the same set of sounds and songs; it is their own dialect. This language is an important part of the bonding of these families and in finding each other in difficult conditions.
The final grouping is a number of pods coming together in what scientists call a clan'. When clans come together loosely it is called a community’. While clans share similar language and ancestry, communities don’t share language but do share territories.
For all their savage reputation, there has never been a fatal attack by an orca in the wild. In fact, the only recorded fatalities have occurred with captive orcas, and it is not known whether these deaths were accidental or deliberate attempts by the whales to cause harm. Wild orcas have actually been recorded as being very friendly and cooperative with humans, assisting them to hunt.
Orca magic can be raised by singing your own song by the sea. It is a feminine magic that can be used to help heal breaches in family relationships. Orca magic is also one that asks for self-care and nourishment. If
you are feeling weak in your physical body or mind, especially with issues of vitality or endurance, the power of the orca can be called upon as an ally.
Woman underwater with a fish’s tail, woman with a spirit bird, woman and orca, black-curved dorsal fin.
- 3 Hare
Follow the cycles of nature and you will be rarely disappointed, as energy travels in cycles. Seek balance. There is a time and season for everything. Plants
cannot blossom all the time, so be patient.
Eostre, the goddess of spring, and her hare were walking at dawn on a crisp morning at the beginning of the season. The morning was very beautiful yet still cold, as the winter snows had begun to melt.
As they walked they came upon a small bird dying in the freezing but melting snow. Distressed at its condition, Eostre picked up the tiny soul and tried to revive and warm it, but its life was too far gone to save. Feeling love and pity for the creature, Eostre transformed the bird back into an egg, giving it a chance to be born again. She placed the egg upon the earth and it hatched. Out came another hare, a mate for her companion, and the three of them continued their journey.
The hare has been part of the mythos of every culture in whose countries they have made their home. Hares are very commonly linked with the lunar cycle (if you look up you’ll see the shape of a hare on the moon), and in stories of fertility and love. The constellation Lepus is a hare.
Hares and jackrabbits are part of the genus Lepus. They are found in Africa, Eurasia, Japan and North America. Hares, in particular the European hare, are incredibly athletic animals and are able to move very quickly; they have been timed at over 65 km/h, with leaps up to 1 m at a time. Their speed is part of their defence against predators.
Hares are well known for their pre-mating and mating behaviours, which is why they are often seen as being symbols of fertility and fecundity. In spring hares can be seen wrestling and punching each other, rising up on their hind legs and acting aggressively. This radical behaviour has been demonstrated not just in males but also in breeding females. The saying 'mad as a March hare’ relates to this somewhat frenzied time (spring in the northern hemisphere).
The European hare has a very long breeding cycle of eight months, from January to August, with continual cycles of reproduction until the hiatus in
breeding. The male’s genitals reduce in size and no mating occurs from September to December. By the peak reproductive period, March, some females may be pregnant with up to three foetuses.
Contrary to popular belief, hares generally do not give birth to or raise their young in burrows, instead creating a nest of grasses called a ‘form’. The young are born with eyes open so they are as ready as they can be to hide from predators.
Hare magic has always been linked to the lunar cycle and the fertility cycle of women. For those who wish to achieve a pregnancy, call in hare magic to help you conceive or balance your cycle. For those who are not interested in reproduction, hare magic can be used to quicken up the pace of an outcome or to increase your connection with other cycles.
Hare on the moon, dancing hares, running hares.
Of least concern.
- 3 Rhinoceros
Seek moderation in all things.
Find the middle path. Not everything is an extreme choice of black versus white.
Being passionate about something is positive, but to
be obessessed may not be. Leave behind what you no longer need.
The Hindu Vedic god of fire, Akkanee, rides a rhinoceros with a horn so large it clears the path for all.
It is said that he is the source of all passion and fire in the world, and that this fire can either burn for good or be out of control. Akkanee gives the fires to purify blessings; he gives the fire that a marrying couple walk around to signify the home; and he gives the fire that cooks food for nourishment. He can also give the kind of fire that causes a rise in jealousies and rage, and destroys relationships until they are ash. This kind of fire can burn the countryside or your own home down.
Akkanee challenges all to be moderate, to find the middle path and to see balance.
There are five species of rhino left in the world, and all are in danger of becoming extinct. This is mainly because of the trade in rhino horns for so-called medicinal purposes and habitat loss. Asia, specifically Vietnam, is the largest market for rhino horn.
Although the killing of rhinos for the horns is illegal, poaching has become so prevalent that rhino numbers have sunk. The last male white rhino died in Kenya in 2018. In the wild adult rhinos have no natural predators other than man, although baby rhinos do get taken by wild dogs, crocodiles and big cats.
Rhinos are distinct for their shape - they look like they are wearing boxy armour - and for their horns, which are primarily made of keratin, a protein found in hair and nails. They are a big, heavy animal averaging about 700 kg, yet they are mostly gentle and quite methodical in the way they visit the same places each day, making it easy to kill them.
Rhinos have poor eyesight but a wonderful sense of smell. They also have a very sensitive prehensile lip that enables them to feel which plant is which when they feed.
The magic of the rhino is a beautiful dance between strength, power and moderation. This is an incredibly powerful animal, and yet this is balanced with calm and restraint.
Horn, fiery god riding a rhino, fire.
- 3 Chameleon
Change is a natural part of life, so resistance is futile. Ride the energies of change and know where you are going, then fear will lessen.
It is not always wise to just
blend in with everyone else; flexibility in mind and body is advantageous. Do not take too long to make your decision.
The Bantu people of South Africa speak of the way the chameleon was sent by God.
The oldest of ancestors, the father of all gods, decided to send the people a message about death. He had created man and had decided that eternal life
for humans was a good idea. He sent the chameleon to spread the word. The chameleon, though, was a cautious and careful animal that liked to take its
time. He was also a hungry creature who needed to stop for food quite often. With all the stopping and changing colour to be careful and eating, progress was slow. In the meantime God took a closer look at man;
He saw him overly interfering with nature and saw too much fire and smoke, and so became displeased.
He decided to send a lizard this time to spread the word that men would die instead of living forever. God thought that he would see who won this race of messages, and if it was the lizard then men would die. The speedy lizard won.
Chameleons are endemic to Africa, South-east Asia and southern Europe, with almost half of all species found in Madagascar. They range in size and shape, with some having facial ornamentation and horns. Their feet and toes are highly specialised to be able to hold securely to small branches and twigs, and they have large, long claws on each toe to facilitate climbing. Because of this foot shape, they have a distinct way of walking.
Very noticeably, they have eyes that are unlike those of any other reptile. Their top and bottom eyelids are fused, with only a small space for the pupil. The eye itself can pivot and flex in all directions and independently of the other eye, giving the chameleon stereoscopic vision of a full 360 degrees, which is great for finding prey and for detecting predators.
They have a muscular tongue that is able to be extended and be explosively released to capture prey.
Perhaps the most famous adaptation of particular chameleon species is the ability to change skin colour, which they do to blend into their background and also to thermoregulate their temperature (dark colours absorb more heat; light colours reflect heat). Recent research indicates that some species have bones that glow under ultraviolet light, which is believed to be a signalling device between potential partners for sexual selection.
Chameleon magic is one of flexibility and coping with change. Call upon the magic of this creature when you wish to have successful change in challenging circumstances, and when you wish to know everything you can about a situation prior to moving forward.
Curled tail, specialised eye, lizard and chameleon side by side, rainbow colours.
This is dependent on species, but ranges from least concern to endangered. Problems are due to habitat loss.
- 3 Tiger
Exercise your will and determination in ethical ways. Do not place your will over another's: you do not have control over anyone but yourself. Do not be afraid
to be fierce, especially as a woman. We can ride our healthy anger but we must eventually transform it into something more useful.
Durga came riding into people’s lives on the back of a snarling tiger. She was a warrior and carried weapons to subdue and destroy, yet her face was serene and calm. It was the evils of life she was after: the false illusions, the damaging rage, the petty jealousies, greed and anything that the will may choose to harm.
The Hindu Goddess Durga is the embodiment of the powerful feminine energy of Shakti, and she wields it mightily to make the way clear. She protects the natural order of nature and the nature of the self. She rides her tiger to preserve the will we have towards what good we can do. and towards subduing the negative parts of our
will that we may wish to place upon others so we are not controlled by these impulses.
She swings her eight arms and destroys what is evil. Not only does Durga grab the tiger by the tail, she rides it!
One of the most recognisable animals on earth due to their markings, the tiger is part of the Panthera genus. Tigers are the largest of the big cats, and even tigresses are capable of taking down prey in excess of their own body weight.
Tigers are found in Russia. Asia and India, with the largest populations in the latter. They are diurnal, carnivorous hunters, eating small to medium prey such as antelope, pigs, monkeys and deer and sometimes birds and fish. They tend to be binge eaters and consume huge amounts of flesh - up to 30 kg - in one sitting. They are good swimmers.
Tigers are territorial and range over very big territories, enjoying a variety of habitats. This has become a problem as most tigers now live in countries where the populations of humans is dense and their habitat has been much reduced.
Tigers have been known to kill and eat humans, but this usually occurs when they are being hunted by humans.
Tiger magic is wild and mysterious. It is the energy we can use to counter jealousy, threat and rage. It is highly protective, and helps us find a more resourceful way to deal with difficult situations and people. Tiger magic is feminine in aspect, and women can use it to help them gain confidence and to find their healthy fierceness.
Stripes, glowing eyes in the dark, woman riding a tiger.
There are currently less than 4.000 tigers in the world; they are critically endangered.
Live with authenticity and peace. Do not live how other people wish you to live; your life is yours. Bringing the peace of ritual into our lives can heal us. Nourish yourself,
and develop habits that are beneficial and useful for you and your family.
The chief of the Lakota tribe was trying to lead his people through a time of great famine. The buffalo had deserted them, and no rain had fallen. He decided to send out two strong scouts to look for food. As they travelled through difficult country they found little, but they kept going. As they walked, they saw a lovely woman dressed in shining white upon the horizon.
One of the scouts immediately lusted after the woman and shared with his companion that if she was as beautiful close up as she looked from afar, he would seize her as his wife. The other scout saw
beyond any desire, and thought the woman looked otherwordly and perhaps was a sacred being. He shared his opinion with his friend and warned him against offending the young woman.
It was soon clear that the first scout would take nothing of the second scout’s advice. The first scout tried to hug and kiss the woman, and quickly a thick white fog enfolded the two of them. Soon, the cloud dispersed and only the woman remained.
The second scout became terrified and drew his bow in defence. However, the young woman soothed him in his own language and told him there was nothing to fear. As she allowed him to step closer, he saw the dry bones of his more impertinent companion.
Again the scout became afraid and drew his bow, and again the woman calmed him and explained that she was divine, wakan, and that she could not be harmed by his bow. She introduced herself as Ptesan Wi, White Buffalo Calf, and assured him that if the Lakota did all that she asked they would have a better, more prosperous and more peaceful life.
White Buffalo Calf taught the Lakotas the right way to live and worship. She was also responsible for introducing the sacred pipe, the charjnutjpa, and the profound ritual that accompanied it.
There are two kinds of bison (also known as buffalo) left on earth the American bison (Bison bison) and the European bison (Bison bonasus). They are all herd animals.
The American bison is native to North America. With a huge range that once extended right across America and into Mexico, they were a plentiful and key animal for the indigenous peoples, gifting them fur, pelt, horn, bones and meat. These indigenous societies, particularly the Great Plains First Nations, moved seasonally according to where the bison would roam so meat would be readily available even in extreme conditions.
Bison were hunted close to extinction during the 19th and 20th centuries by white settlers. This massive slaughter was most often for pelts, since the bodies were simply left on the plains to rot rather than being used honourably. There is also solid evidence that indicates there was a colonial strategy to kill as many bison as possible to inflict ongoing damage to the Indian people who relied so heavily upon these animals.
Happily, the bison is making a comeback both in Europe and in the United States, and herds are protected in places such as Yellowstone National Park.
Bison are very stoic animals able to withstand extreme cold and heat. They have thick fur and huge heads, which they swing from side to side to clear snow so they can get at the grass underneath. American bison range from about 2 m to 3.5 m in height. Although they look slow and ungainly they are not. and they are capable of running at 65 km an hour and jumping 1 m. Their babies are born with a distinctive red hue in spring and are referred to as red dogs.
The magic of the bison is an ancient one that asks us to put aside the everyday and connect in with the natural world and that of the spirits. Having everyday rituals is an important touchstone for mental and spiritual help. Keeping to good and positive ritual and habits for ourselves is something with which the bison can help us.
Horns, milk, humped back, woman dressed in white buffalo skins.
Near threatened; vulnerable.
- 3 Shark
You are perfectly formed to be who you were born to be. There is great power in keeping your focus. Procrastination is just another kind of fear, so keep
moving forward. You are protected in a difficult task.
The people of Polynesia had a very different relationship to sharks than most other cultures. Rather than being the object of horror and fear, sharks were honoured for their power and purpose and were seen as gods, or aumakua, who could be protective.
The shark god Keali'ikau 'o Ka'u was the cousin of Kamohoali'i and the great fire goddess Pele. He was a powerful god but quite a lonely one. He used to swim close to the shore and became friendly with the human people there, the Ka'u.
Keali’ikau 'o Ka'u would watch the people swim and fish and watch the sun set with its many colours, and it was during one such time that he saw a human
woman whom he felt was very beautiful. He got her attention and her trust, and they both fell in love. She fell pregnant to Keali’ikau'o Ka'u, and when her time came she birthed a magic green shark.
The son joined Keali’ikau’o Ka’u in the sea. and would help his mother and her people whenever they went fishing or as protection when they travelled.
In Hawaiian culture, animals can be a family's aumakua. a kind of protective spiritual guardian. This is a form of reincarnation of a family member after death, as they could transform into an aumakua animal. Some families had sharks as their aumakua. and these families would never fear sharks knowing that their ancestor was still alive but in shark form.
The Hawaiian gods associated with sharks include: Kua, Kuhaimoana. Kamohoali’i. Kawelo- mahamahai'a. Kane’apua, Kaehuikimano o Pu’ulo, Kaholia-Kane and Ka’ahupahau.
Sharks are highly specialised fish that have evolved to be the apex predator in their habitats.
Shark teeth are embedded in the flesh around the jaw. not within the jaw itself, and the teeth are constantly re-grown as needed. Their sense of smell is incredible: they can sniff out one part of blood in a million parts of seawater. Their sense of hearing
is also acute, being able to detect sounds emanating from many kilometres away.
Sharks have special lateral lines down the sides of their bodies that are tuned to tiny vibrations and movements in the water, which helps them recognise prey that might be slow or struggling in the water. They also have a special organ - the ampullae of Lorenzini - that picks up electrical signals and makes them the most electricity sensitivity of all animals. This is key for catching prey and in navigation, the latter because the earth gives off electromagnetic impulses that are dependent upon the position on the planet.
Some sharks are even more specialised in their evolution, for example, the hammerhead shark. The silhouette is unmistakable: there is nothing that looks quite like a hammerhead! The eyes of a hammerhead are placed on the edges of the head wings, which gives them extensive visual width, very handy as the hammerhead scans the sea and sandy bottom for food.
Hammerhead sharks are viviparous and do not lay eggs; pups grow inside the female shark. This is as for land-based mammals and is quite unusual. However, the mother gives birth to around 25 to 50 live pups at the one time, and they are born with their eye wings folded back (weird, but kind of cute!). Other species of sharks lay eggs.
Sharks are magnificent creatures, built for purpose. They are focused on their job as a predator and are exquisitely fine-tuned to do this. Every sense is supercharged; every move is purposeful. Use shark magic when you want to find your purpose and your focus again. Perhaps you are procrastinating or simply think you cannot finish a project, so call in the energy of the shark to keep your eyes on the prize.
Dorsal fin out of water, shark tail, shark teeth and jaws.
Their status ranges from critically endangered to threatened. The practice of shark finning and sharks as a by-catch are huge issues. We actually do not know enough about some species of shark to be able to guess at their numbers.
- 3 Cat
Use and develop your intuition; your gut feeling is correct. You are not your mind. Develop your magical skills further. Introduce more play into your life.
The Egyptian goddess Bast is the embodiment of cat energy. A very ancient deity, she was originally a lion goddess somewhat like Sekhmet but her leonine nature diminished in favour of the cat energy.
A very ancient goddess, Bast is featured in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Statues of Bast usually depict either a woman with a cat’s head or a regal, beautifully formed cat, with royal symbology and sometimes a lion mask signifying a hidden fierce nature.
Bast offered protection to her worshippers in everyday life rather than in battle, as this was Sekhmet’s role, and she was the goddess who helped bring messages and guidance through intuition.
Bast also demonstrated a loving, playful energy. The
historian Herodotus travelled to Egypt in the fifth century BC and told of his experiences at the festival of Bast, at the riverside town of Bubastis. He spoke of people travelling down the river by small boat and playing and jesting with the people on the shore as they passed. Once they reached the temple.'... they make a festival with great sacrifices, and more wine is drunk at this feast than in the whole year'. Sounds like a lot of fun!
In ancient Egypt, domestic cats were very much a part of city and family life. In a time when plague and disease could not easily be halted and could easily spread, the services of a fine feline hunter were appreciated. Cats became symbols of protection and royalty, and were even mummified as companions and protectors of the dead in the afterlife.
In Norse mythos, cats famously pulled the goddess Freyja's chariot: surely an activity not for beginners. Cats have always been associated with the witchcraft of many traditions, especially in Europe. It was said that a black cat could give you good or bad luck dependent upon your culture, and that cats are able to see spirits and travel between the world of the dead and living at will. It is this association that made cats a target for burning and killing in the middle ages and encouraged the plague that was spread by fleas carried on rats.
Next to dogs, cats are the most popular domesticated companion animal. I say domesticated lightly because scientists believe they haven't quite completed the domestication cycle as yet. since they tend to survive well on their own in colonies and still retain a very independent nature.
Humans have been a part of cat life for in excess of 10.000 years according to the latest archaeological information. They were invited in not just because of their appearance, but because of their abilities as mousers. The Egyptians loved their house cats so much that if they died, there would be an official period of mourning that included eyebrow shaving and their cat would be mummified and taken to Bubastis.
Cats come in all shapes and sizes, and humans have spent a lot of time honing and creating specific breeds. However, from a Siamese to a Maine coon, they are all feline and all are scientifically known as Felis cams.
Cats are small but athletic and are able to jump great distances. They are hypercarnivores and use a variety of vocal sounds and purring, to the delight of humans and other cats. Scientists are still debating about the evolution of the purr, but I think most cat owners would understand that it encourages us to
give them more of the treatment that makes them purr in the first place. In the main it is a sign of contentment and happiness.
Cat magic can be used in a variety of ways including to increase happiness, curiosity, a sense of play and lightness and. somewhat paradoxically, when we may be wanting to connect with someone who has passed. Cats are considered guides to the underworld and can help with mediumship. If you have a cat yourself, it is said that you have the blessing of any goddess who loves cats and so this can only enhance your life!
Almond-shaped eyes, woman with a cat's head, chariot pulled by cats, vertical pupil, black cat.
Of least concern.
- 3 Hyena
Examine your fears, especially the fear of difference, of the unknown and of death. There may be an abandonment of something: a belief, a person, a place. Remember that
because something is strange it doesn’t mean that it cannot be beautiful or good. We all have a job to do; we all have our own genius. Be sure you have the correct information to have a truthful understanding.
The hyena, and particularly the spotted hyena, has a rich tapestry of mythos across many countries and cultures.
This is from West Africa. At first there was darkness and a long night. It was very cold. There were no stars and the moon was just being born. A long way away and up very high was the sun. Many animals thought they might reach the sun and bring it closer. Many tried, especially the birds. The hyena watched the sun and thought: I will wait until the cycle brings it closer and then I will grab it. He
waited, looking as though he was not interested; he just got on with things. The sun ignored the hyena and circled lower. All at once the hyena, with his huge jaws and strong teeth and rippling muscles, launched himself into the air and pulled the sun down to the earth, bringing light and warmth where there was none. He laughed happily and ate the hot bones of his prey.
This mythos is from the Meru of Kenya. The supreme god Murungu wanted to tell the people that they would be reborn after they died. He decided to send Mole to the people to tell them. As Mole began his travels he met hyena, who asked him: 'Where are you going, friend Mole, and what are you doing?'
Mole explained the message from Murungu.
Hyena was shocked: ‘Well, this cannot happen! If people are not to die then hyenas will have nothing to eat!' Narrowing his eyes and bearing his great teeth, he told Mole: 'If you tell the people this thing, I will eat you. 1 will find you and I will eat you!'
Mole was so afraid, that when he came across humans he told them that after they die they will not be reborn. Mole then went back and told Murungu what he had done. The god punished Mole by making him spend his life away from all. under the ground and only coming out at night.
The hyena still has plenty to eat.
It is easy to look at the strange and somewhat brutal shape of a hyena and feel that this isn’t a pretty animal that doesn’t have much to offer. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Contrary to popular belief, the spotted hyena is more likely to be a predator carnivore than a scavenger. The big frontal cortex in their brain indicates an extremely intelligent animal with highly advance problem-solving abilities. They hunt in teams and scientists have observed them making future preparations for hunts, which indicates they understand time, strategy and hunting cooperation.
Hyena society is a matriarchal one, with females being larger and more dominant than males. Females are competitive with one another and only provide for their own pups. Prey is normally chased down over longer distances rather than surprised. The hyena has powerful endurance to do this, so it is not surprising that it possesses an extra large heart compared to its total body weight.
Spotted hyenas have an unmistakable shape and gait, with a powerful set of jaws and shoulders and smaller, rounded hindquarters. Their front-heavy design makes it almost impossible for them to be pulled off prey from behind. Their skull is one of the heaviest and most robustly built of carnivores, and
their bite power is greater than that of a grizzly bear. The perfection of their design for what they do - bone crushing - is incredible.
The long-held and incorrect observation that hyenas are hermaphrodites came from the difficulty of telling the sexes apart. The females have genitalia that looks very much like a penis, but it is not.
The spotted hyena is one of the oldest subjects of cave art, from the Upper Paleolithic era, and is featured clearly in the Lascaux and Chauvet caves in France. They once ranged throughout Europe.
Hyena magic is complex and is a living tradition. The hyena is its own sacred deity, much like the coyote is in Native American tradition although it is perhaps darker in nature. Hyenas are tricksters, boundary riders and the bringers of mystery, and are important in funerary rituals.
They may be harbingers of death, but they also clear away what is no longer needed. In Nigerian traditions hyena masks are worn to signal the end of rituals, which reflects how hyenas clear up dead things, bones and all, and everything is finished. Some societies take this literally, with the Maasai of Africa leaving their dead out to be consumed by hyenas. If a corpse is rejected by a hyena pack it
means social and spiritual disgrace.
For some, hyena magic also extends to the integration and balance of masculine and feminine energies. The Bambara people of Africa employ the imagery of the hermaphodite hyena to signify the transformation of a neophyte into a fully initiated man, a powerful symbol of the unification of masculine and feminine.
Colours of white and red. bones, sun, death, sun. magic.
Of least concern but decreasing in numbers due to hunting and habitat destruction.
- 3 Peacock
Prosperity is coming to you: a flow of abundance is on its way. Expect a new income stream. Clear the energy in your home or office. Do not be afraid of success. You can
rise from difficult circumstances.
The Indian peafowl is India’s national bird and features in many stories within the Hindu pantheon. According to Hindu beliefs, the peacock was created from one of the feathers of the mythological bird Garuda. The god Shiva rides a peacock into battle; Krishna wears a peacock father in his headband; and Indra sheltered from his enemies under the wing of a great peacock and rewarded it by creating 1.000 eyes upon its feathers so it would not have to worry about snakes ever again.
It is the belief that peacock feathers bring prosperity to a house that links it with the benevolent Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, light and genera] prosperity. Beautiful,
long-haired, golden skinned and dressed in red, she is commonly depicted surrounded by two royal elephants showering her with a flow of abundant water, along with a river of gold coins pouring from her hands. She is sitting on a lotus, a flower that symbolises an arising from difficult circumstances. Lakshmi is sometimes pictured with her son. the god Ganesha, who is the god of removing and placing obstacles. Her expression is invariably calm, graceful and benevolent, which is sometimes the opposite of how we feel around money and our own finances.
If you keep peacock feathers in your home a flow of wealth will come to it, blessed by Lakshmi herself. This is especially important at Diwali. her biggest festival, which is also called the festival of lights. Oil lamps and candles are lit in every home, particularly inside and outside every shop and business. These lights are not only to honour the goddess, but also to draw her to the place for her blessing of prosperity. The feathers are also said to keep flies and other bad insects from the home and to invite in vibrant health.
Peacocks are endemic to India and Sri Lanka and other countries in south Asia. They are an introduced species widely across the world.
The females, peahens, are smaller than the males and are a brown colour. The males, the peacocks, have spectacular colouring and the famous many-eyed, fan-shaped tail. Although there is some debate about the evolutionary function of the tail, it has been suggested that it indicates a male is vital and healthy and a good mate. When we see a peacock in a park or zoo we may not understand what a heavy burden this tail is. but if you get a chance to see a wild peacock you understand that dragging such a weight around has to make the peacock more susceptible to predators and more ungainly in flight. The tail gets caught in brush, and it is conspicuous.
Peacocks have a loud call and can be heard over long distances. The males have a sharp spur on the back of their lower legs that they use to battle each other over a female or territory. It is such a beautiful bird but it is also a tough one.
Peacock magic is shimmering and rich. It is the energy you call upon when you need more abundance in all areas of your life. Like the goddess Lakshmi the peacock represents beauty and pure light, so when you need to clear your space call upon this iridescent power.
Eyes, tail feather, Siva riding a battle peacock, peacock feather over the third eye.
Of least concern.
- 4 Bull
All worthwhile things mean we must sacrifice something. Martyrdom rarely is a good choice. It is good to trust your tribe. Have faith that all will be well. Reciprocity and offering
to something bigger than you is a powerful act.
There is little agreement upon the true origins of the cult of Mithras, partially due to its inherently hidden and mysterious nature and the way that its rites and rituals were communicated through a tightly held hierarchical structure.
What we know from the dark holy caverns called 'mithraeums' is that men only met in the deepest wombs of the earth, numbering no more than 40 at a time, and conducted worship and rituals to enliven the god Mithras as he killed a sacrificial bull, the Tauroctony. This blood sacrifice was not just a symbol of a laying down of life for a higher purpose, but a scene literally reflected in the night sky in the shape of the constellation Perseus and the goddess Luna.
The snake eating its tail, ouroboros, also featured around Mithras, indicating a never-ending cycle of creation, death and rebirth. It is said that the handshake, a signal of a bond between men of peace and agreement, had its origins in Mithraic ritual and that this was how the cult members found each other.
It is no wonder, then, that Mithras became popular with the Roman soldier. War in those times was a bloody and serious business. A god who promoted honour between men of action, represented sacrifice for the greater good and reflected a cycle of rebirth was particularly relevant for these legions of fighting men who risked their lives for long periods for the glory of Rome.
In ancient civilisations the sacrificing of a bull was part of important ritual. Bulls were sacrificed as a valuable and important gift or offering to the gods and sometimes to seal important pacts and vows. Time and time again in ancient texts we learn of how important bull sacrifice was.
In Ancient Egypt, the Apis bull was probably one of the best examples of this. Apis was a god of fertility and was related to the god Ptah. To honour the god a real bull was affirmed as the Apis bull, a specially bred bull that represented the Apis on earth. These bulls were marked vey distinctively
and were carefully looked after. When a sacred Apis bull died it was a time of great mourning, and a series of huge rituals and festivals was undertaken. The new successor was observed very carefully for omens and signs for oracle interpretation.
Officially, a bull is an intact male of the cattle family. Dependent upon the breed, they can be incredibly large and weigh up to 1.000 kg. They are magnificent animals, muscular and extremely strong and most often with large curved horns. They represent fertility and power to even the most casual observer.
Bulls have a reputation for having a short temper and a nasty temperament, but this is only true of those dairy breeds that have that predisposition. They will often put up a threat display that includes charging and pawing the ground. While this aggression is common, bulls have been recorded defending humans against other threats such as wolves.
Most societies no longer sacrifice bulls like our ancestors did, but the concept of sacrifice remains. Bull energy can help you make the sacrifices you may need to make in order to support your work or
something you desire. Bull magic can also be used to move yourself out of the sacrificial or martyrdom position you may have fallen into. Many of us continually sacrifice our own needs over and over and become unhealthily selfless as a result. This only breeds resentment and extreme neediness, which is very damaging to our own growth.
Bull with horned sun disk, horns, handshake, man sacrificing a bull.
The status of most breeds is of least concern.
- 4 Dog
Be a firm and ethical friend. Seek loyalty and honesty in your friendships. Our friendships should be supportive not competitive. There is a difference between
solitude and loneliness. Something hidden will be illuminated. We all have aspects of our selves that we do not appreciate or like - learn to change these things if they do not benefit us or lovingly accept them.
The great Greek goddess Hekate was a goddess of the underworld and paradoxically a torch bearer who brought the light to this same darkness. Illuminating the darkest pathways, this magnetic goddess invited people to travel the shadows with her. but under her wise guidance.
Hekate is often depicted standing at the crossroads, with a three-headed dog representing past, present and future.
Hekate was referred to as Skylakitin, the lady of the dogs, and as Philoskylax. dog loving. It was said that you could hear the howls of the dogs of the goddess before she appeared to you, and all dogs that passed away went to her
to be cared for. Some say she was a lonely goddess passing through the underworld as she did, while others say that with her dogs for company she could never be lonely.
The goddess Artemis also had hunting dogs by her side everywhere she went. Cerberus was the great hound that guarded the gates of the underworld for his master. Hades, and dogs are one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac.
Human association with dogs is perhaps the most ancient story of companionship and interspecies friendship that exists. The oldest archaeological record of a dog being buried with a human is almost 15.000 years old. in fact, the long relationship with dogs has shaped not just their character but their genes.
Current thinking is that all dogs started out as wolves. The friendly wolves, those willing to get close to human settlements for food, became increasingly more tolerant and friendly, then evolved over thousands of years and domesticated into the dogs we know and love today. The wolves that were unfriendly and least tolerant of humans remained wolves. If you have ever seen the look a wild wolf gives you - a look of utter disregard - you'll understand there is no comparison between a wolf and the loyal and doting dog you have in your home.
Dogs assist us in so many ways. They are a part of the family as a friendly companion, but we also use them for protection in the military, as assistance and service dogs and to guide our way if we are blind. Because of their incredible sense of smell, dogs have been used to assist in hunting, to find lost people and to detect drugs. There are dogs that can smell the chemical changes in the blood of people who are diabetic, dogs that warn their owners of epileptic seizures and dogs that can smell cancer in urine.
There is very little that dogs do not help us with and we owe them our respect and our loving companionship.
Dog magic is loving and warm and protective. If you are feeling lonely or you wish to attract good loyal friends you can call upon dog energy to help. If you have been betrayed by someone or you feel mistrusted, call upon this energy to heal you.
Three-headed dog. black dog. dog running alongside a person.
Of least concern.
Happiness is not a continuous state, although it is a worthy
feeling to seek. Know what makes you happy and do
more of this. Happiness has everything to do with your
reaction to life rather than what happens to you from outside sources. If you place your happiness solely in the hands of other people, then you will be disappointed.
The goddess Yemaya began as an orisha, a spirit of rivers and watery places in Africa. When her waters broke all the waters of the world were released, so her realm is the water whether that be sea or river. Yemaya slips between the waves, fish-tailed like a mermaid, playing between the waves with moonlight woven within her hair. She is the mother of all, and the nourishing and life-giving power of water.
As her people were taken upon the slave boats to far-away lands, they still honoured Yemaya in the bellies of these dark, dank and death-stalked vessels.
She heard their desperate pleas, for she was a goddess of hope, and she came with her dolphins and swam alongside the ships, keeping track of where the people were.
When there were storms or high seas and boats were shipwrecked it was Yemaya who saved the people by reducing the waves or showing them where land or other boats were. Many saw her in the moonlight waving to them and showing them where to swim. Sometimes she sent her dolphins to swim by and support those who could no longer swim, bringing them close to shore or to some floating object from which they could get support. The people thanked her and told their children of her. and today Yemaya and her dolphins still look after the people by granting them hope, happiness and wishes.
Wherever dolphins have been seen, a story has been crafted about them. The Ancient Greeks with their mythos around boys riding dolphins and Poseidon, the sea god. being able to transform or control them are probably the best known. Other seafaring nations such as those in Polynesia have stories mentioning the magic of dolphins.
In ancient times the spotting of a dolphin at sea was considered to be good luck, and sea-faring peoples
saw dolphins as allies and bearers of goodwill. Today, millennia later, seeing a wild dolphin hurtle itself out of the sea. breaching through the water at the side of your craft or surfing down the face of a glassy green wave alongside you is still an experience that moves us to joy.
There are more than 40 members of the dolphin family, from the large killer whale to the tiny Maui's dolphin, and new species are still being discovered. For example, the spinner dolphin was confirmed late 2012 in Western Australia. Dolphins are extremely streamlined and are very fast in the water. They are not fish but are mammals, giving birth to live young. They breathe through the blowhole in the top of their head only and not through their mouths.
Dolphins have strong social bonds, and live in social groups called pods. They communicate with a vast variety of clicks and sounds to each other, and cooperate together to hunt and care for their young. Dolphins have been observed staying with and assisting sick and injured members of their pod. They have also been observed assisting struggling humans in the sea by keeping them afloat or protecting them from sharks.
Dolphins are highly intelligent and have large, complex brains with two hemispheres that work independently of each other. For example, they sleep
with one side of the brain in slow wave, which enables them to be conscious enough to breathe and to scan for threats at the same time. Their brains are also powerful interpreters of the echolocation they use. which is sounded through that smiling lower jaw. Their teeth are shaped to receive incoming sound signals so they can quickly perceive with amazing accuracy where objects are. If you ever swim with wild dolphins you can hear the many clicks they send towards you to check you out!
Dolphins are one of the few animals that use tools, utilising sponges and sticks to find food, which is a characteristic once only thought to be attributed to primates and humans. Some scientists have called for special rights to be given to dolphins as non-human persons because of the high level of their intelligence, and want it made illegal to kill or make them captive in any way. Dolphins have few wild enemies, however, humans are inflicting great damage.
See that curved smile on the dolphin’s face? That will give you a hint about their magic. When you feel tired and world weary, when you have forgotten what it is like to play with friends in an easy way or to just run free, call in some dolphin magic to remind you.
The joyful magic has been used since ancient times, and dolphins have always been seen as being an exceptional creature with happy intelligence that has been benevolent for humankind.
Poseidon's trident, two leaping dolphins, woman or boys riding dolphins, dolphins and ships, shells with dolphins painted upon them.
Their status ranges from of least concern to critically endangered dependent upon the species.
It is time to shed your skin and try something new. Creation is your birthright. You must understand
that to remain stagnant means atrophy, so do not fear your own creative flow. If you have a physical ailment, healing will occur. You are capable of big transformation; if you haven't begun, begin!
The Australian Aboriginal culture is the longest continually existing culture on the planet and so. in turn, the rainbow serpent mythos is one of the oldest creation stories in existence.
The serpent mythos is a rich one. with many variants and features in art and oral storytelling that are widespread across the continent. The mythos always strongly centres on the element of water. Some believe the rainbow serpent brought water from heaven when the world was created, while others believe that in the beginning, when there was nothing on earth, the rainbow serpent cracked through the crust of the
earth and began her journey of waking up all life. As she moved and travelled, stopped and slept, with her body the rainbow serpent created gullies and gorges, mountains and valleys and of the water lines that joined them all. Once water appeared, life on earth began to flourish: all the animals, reptiles and birds awoke and began their life cycles.
The rainbow serpent created humans and gave the tribes animal totems. Each tribe could eat what they wished except for their totem, which meant balance in hunting and nature and that all had food to eat. In reality, this indicated an instruction for a balanced coexistence between tribes and a need for deep connection and synergy with the land.
Australia is one of most environmentally sensitive places on the planet, our lack of water being but one reason for that. The rainbow serpent asks us to recognise the preciousness of water and how we rely upon it for the continuation of life itself.
Snakes are one of the most powerful symbolic animals throughout the cultures of the world. Some of the most famous mythos featuring serpents include the ancient Norse, whose Midgard Serpent Jbrmungandr battles Thor at Ragnarok, and Nidhogg Naga, the dragon that sits at the base of the world tree. There is also the Greek Gnostic ouroboros, the snake eating its tail as a sign of the cycles of life and death always continuing.
the representation of evil and temptation in the bible in the story of Adam and Eve, the snake dance of the Hopi people and the snake-headed Medusa of the Ancient Greeks. As protective divine animals they were honoured by the ancient Egyptians - the cobra especially - Hindus and the Buddhists with the Naga.
Snakes are found on every continent except for Antarctica and more isolated islands such as New Zealand and some Hawaiian islands. They are ectothermic, needing to regulate their body temperature by exposure to the environment.
Snakes have scales and dry, cool skin, and they shed their skin when growing. This transformative process enables the old skin to be renewed and replaced and enables the snake to be free of any parasites or harmful moulds. The moult itself even includes the snake's eyes, and is normally achieved by rubbing against a log or other hard, rough object.
While a proportion of snakes are venomous, this complex venom is to subdue prey and certainly not to harm humans as we are not prey. Some venom is used in medicine for humans and is actually a kind of modified saliva injected from fangs.
Other ways snakes obtain prey is by strangulation and the crushing of prey by the muscular coils of the
snakes body - the boa constrictors are good examples of this.
It would be possible to write a very thick book simply on snake magic alone, such is its variety and power. For our purposes here, use snake magic for two main intentions: first, for creation, and second for protection. Snake energy is almost unmatched in its ability to stimulate the flow of creative forces and enable those ideas and concepts to be successfully transformed into reality.
If you are stuck for ideas, lack in the flow to get things happening or literally lack fertility in any area, call upon the snake. As for protection, in so many cultures snakes are the protectors of the truth and of all that is good. If you are worried about being robbed, about others stepping over your boundaries or you need an energy to keep you safe, coiling snake magic is the perfect one to invoke.
Snake eating its tail, Midgard Serpent, cobra headpieces in Egyptian spirituality. Naga, apple and snake, feathered serpents, dragons.
The status ranges from critically endangered to of least concern, depending on the species.
Authenticity is important; live your truth fearlessly.
Someone around you is not telling you the truth. Do not fear what you cannot control. We will all leave a legacy.
so you should consider what this might be for you. Death is a part of life.
The majestic jackal-headed god Anubis stands next to the embalmer. He guides the embalmer's hands so they perform the correct actions, and listens in satisfaction as the proper incantations are made.
Infinitely gentle. Anubis takes great care of the tender new souls who have passed on to the next world, the afterlife. He travels with them, reassuring them, making them comfortable upon this surprising journey and taking them to the goddess Maat, she who is law. It is she who will weigh their souls against the lightness of a feather, and it is she who will determine whether these souls will live forever. Anubis will record this in the great Book of the Dead.
To our eyes Anubis looks fearsome, but this is not the truth. Jackals did move among the graveyards and clear the dead, but this jackal hopes that the person has lived a truthful and good life so they get to experience the afterlife. The alternative is that they get eaten by Ammut, the devourer of souls.
When the cult of the god Osiris grew stronger in the later Middle Kingdom. Osiris took over many of Anubis' jobs as caretaker and protector of the dead. Thereafter. Anubis' myths became more focused on specific embalming methods and mummification processes. The care and effectiveness in which the mummification process was enacted is still a marvel today. The priests of the funerary rites would place a sacred mask of Anubis upon their faces when conducting the mummification, and thus the dead person became the god himself.
There are three species of jackal, all of which are members of the canine family: the golden jackal, the side-striped jackal and the black-backed jackal. They are omnivores that are opportunistic both in hunting and scavenging, which is where the reputation for being around graveyards or sites of war comes from as jackals will come for the dead and consume them.
Jackals have large territories and are endurance animals, quite able to travel over long distances in hot temperatures without breaks. They do not form large packs and are most often solitary, although hunting pairs are common. Mortality for jackal pups is high and to protect her babies a jackal mother will often move her pups to a new den every few weeks.
Sometimes we need a big dose of truth in our lives, which is where jackal energy is a positive force. Even when finding out the truth of a situation means pain, it is better to know the truth and jackal energy can be a comfort. Also, call upon this energy when you or others are affected by death. Allow yourself to know that the person who has died has a soul that is being carefully protected and watched over.
Jackal-headed man. flail, pointed ears.
All jackals are listed as of least concern.