Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Welcome the Winter Power Animals

by Lorraine May

Winter is a time for resting, dreaming and awakening to inspiration. When we are prepared, we can luxuriate in this fertile darkness accompanied by our best ideas, our purest insights and our deepest spiritual understandings. As we draw near to our winter reverie, we can harvest what has value during autumn, while allowing that which is useless and outdated to wither and die, and pass away from us.

Echo aka Hank - my favorite power animal no matter what the weather!

Are you anticipating winter with its hush of snow, its dark serenity, and its frosty cleanse? Are you eagerly awaiting the opportunity to blast your way through deep snow banks like Misha, my black Labrador Retriever mix, used to do?

Or, are you dreading the inevitable decline of your immune system, the uncomfortable depression of your mood, and the impassable conditions of our highways? Do you, like Oscar, the Miniature Poodle, try to convince everyone that going outside is senseless, and that instead, you will wait for them, nestled in your robe by the fire?

Whether you are anticipating or dreading winter, the wisdom of the Winter Power Animals is available to guide and direct you. Preparation is key. Acceptance is crucial. Self-care is critical. Gifts abound. As winter approaches, the animals prioritize this sometimes-difficult transition. Following their lead, we humans can take cues, and copy strategies, from the animals near and dear to us.

Begin by observing the animals in your household for their cold weather adaptations. Has their appearance, appetite, or energy level changed? Have you found them sleeping in a patch of sunlight?

Next, notice any differences in the appearance and habits of our blessed wild animals. Perhaps you don’t catch sight of them as often, or maybe not at all. Some may even have become more daring in order to gather what they will need for the cold, barren months ahead.

As fall ends, Moose comes into power, having survived hunting season and completed the mating rituals. Moose is a solitary animal and can be called upon to help us tolerate the isolation that winter weather can impose. Moose, who is almost totally fearless, can also share his ability to navigate great depths of snow.

As winter approaches, look to Mountain Goat to learn how to receive and offer support for what lies ahead. Don’t rush into the season, but prepare with certainty. If you need to regain balance, employ flexibility or expand your perspective for the winter months, mountain goat energy can aid you here as well.

Raven and Goose are spiritually linked to the sacred time around Winter Solstice. Solstice is the shortest, darkest day of the year, during which the sun shines the least. Raven is particularly important regarding this darkness, as her magic helps us learn to bring more and more light into our lives. Raven helps us to maintain a sense of playfulness, and to develop resourcefulness. Raven is not easily intimidated and awakens our courage. Through Raven, we have a path to understanding all other animals more completely.

Goose improves our ability to communicate. Perhaps this winter you will begin to write, or make more time to read. Goose encourages a healthy diet including fresh vegetables, and makes a vegetarian diet more attainable. Just thinking of Mother Goose can enable us to transform any remaining negative childhood memories into bright adult opportunities.

During the winter, call upon Swan and Groundhog for their abilities as teachers. The large and graceful swan, who prefers colder climates, helps awaken you to your inner beauty, which you will be able to share with the world in the spring. Parents are guided to enrich their children’s winter journey with the mysteries of song and poetry.

Groundhog, the only true hibernator in our group of Winter Power Animals, falls into a deep unconscious sleep for approximately 4-6 months in his underground burrow. This state is conducive to lucid dreaming, facilitates healing and initiates out of body experiences. Groundhog enlivens interest in new areas of study for our rebirth in the spring.

As winter ends, Lynx energy is profoundly significant. At this time, Lynx kittens are mature enough to separate from the family and create independent lives. Mother Lynx taught hunting skills to the kittens in autumn, and kept watch as they achieved competency in winter. At winter’s end she sends them off with skills that will ensure their survival. Lynx energy can aid us as well, in a spring launch of newfound independence. Those connected to Lynx energy have an uncanny ability to fathom deception, to intuit the deepest truths, and to keep silent when appropriate.

With winter rapidly approaching us now, it is time to meditate upon, and welcome in, the Winter Power Animals. Establishing a reliable connection will trigger a daily reminder to thrive, not just survive.

Rufus, another example of my favorite animal!

Even now, there is still time to prepare. There is still time to release physical toxins and begin a healthier way of eating. There is still time to let go of crippling emotional patterns. There is still time to say farewell to thoughts that will poison our dreams. Let’s plan to awaken in spring to plant our seed ideas, having tenderly nourished them and ourselves, during the winter respite.

Many Blessings. Blessed Dreams.

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