What Pagans Need to Know About Spiritual Creatures and Human-Animal Relations
by R.J. Stewart
The dugong is a large marine mammal that spends its life in the sea. It inhabits shallow coastal waters from the Red Sea and Eastern Africa to the Philippines, New Guinea and Northern Australia. Although aquatic, it breathes air through lungs and gives birth underwater. Birthing a human child underwater has been investigated in our present society with good results. Because water symbolizes the emotions in man a human child born underwater has the opportunity to connect with their deepest emotions immediately upon birth. Scientists are finding that babies born underwater grow up to be healthier with a more balanced temperament.
Dugongs are slow moving giving them little protection from predators which include sharks, salt water crocodiles and killer whales. Those with this totem should study each predator to gain a deeper understanding of this medicine. Dugongs graze on green algae and marine grasses. A diet rich in chlorophyl will benefit those with this medicine.
The dugong lives in pairs or groups of up to 6 individuals. The number two in numerology represents conscious emotional interrelationships. The number six understands the energies of compromise which serve a broader interest. Both numbers symbolize the characteristics of the dugong. The study of even numbers can awaken deeper insights about this totem.
The dugong has a large tapered body. Its forelimbs are rounded flippers. It has no hind limbs. It moves in a forward motion and asks those with this totem to do the same. When it appears in a persons life it serves as a reminder to let go of procrastination and swim into the waters of new beginnings.
Ancient myths surround this creature. When resting, the dugong may “tail stand” in water of proper depth, keeping their heads out of the water. Sightings of dugongs by early seafarers are believed to have given rise to the extensive mythology of mermaids.
The dugong holds great symbolism and is a complex totem to understand completely. Because of this the dugong nudges us forward into a wide range of possibilities. It asks us to study symbols of different origins, compile the information acquired then grow into expanded consciousness. If your goal is to achieve wisdom the dugong will be happy to accommodate you.
The duck is a short necked large billed waterfowl. The legs are placed rearward resulting in a waddling gait. They are swift fliers leaping upward on noisy wings before attaining level flight, usually in compact flocks. Ducks are hatched with a complete covering of down and can take to the water as soon as they leave the nest, usually within 24 to 48 hours.
Ducks are at home on the water. Since water is linked to the emotional rivers of mankind it reminds us to honor our deepest emotions and nourish ourselves adequately. Those with this totem have a tendency to look for emotional solace in others. Although emotional support from another is comforting, true emotional strength must be acquired within. Those with this medicine often have specific lessons to learn about balancing emotional discord. They, like the duckling, plunge into the waters depth at an early age to gain understanding about their inner chaos.
Past lives associated with low self esteem is often reflected in present day life for those with this medicine. They are highly emotional and sensitive to everything around them. Sensitivity can be an attribute if it is balanced with logic and reason. Otherwise it can cause chaos and confusion in our lives. Developing a stronger sense of self is part of the teaching duck holds.
Most ducks pair only for a season. Those with this totem often find that long term relationships are difficult to maintain and restlessness within the relationship is common. Learning how to take flight and spread ones wings without destroying the foundation of that relationship is one of their greatest challenges.
Ducks come in a variety of shades from iridescent to bold colors. It is important to understand the significance of this. Iridescent colors represent a fine line between reality and imagination. Bold colors are solid and hold the qualities of strength and perseverance. If your personal duck has iridescent colors examine your emotions carefully. Are you getting lost in the imaginative side of self and creating more chaos than necessary? If strong and bold it is time to take charge of your life and become the master of your emotions.
Affectionate and community oriented duck medicine people love and are loved deeply. They often feel a great need to be of service and make excellent healers. Because the coloring of ones personal duck is symbolic, healing with color can be beneficial.
Ducks are graceful as they glide through the water reminding us to be gentle with ourselves as we heal, learn and grow into our perfected self.
The dove is a member of the pigeon family and both hold the qualities of home, security and maternal instincts. Many with this totem will experience unsettling childhood’s and will be challenged continually to acquire a solid secure foundation in all areas of their lives.
The legends and lore surrounding the dove associates it with many goddesses and it is considered the embodiment of the maternal instinct. The brood of dove consists of two eggs. Two represents the creative and feminine energies. Home and family are important to those with this totem and life lessons will be most predominant in these areas.
Since the dove is a ground feeder and eats mostly seeds those with this totem would benefit from a diet rich in wholesome seeds, nuts and grains. They would also do well in any health profession relating to nutrition.
The dove’s song is its most distinctive feature. It can be heard throughout the day. The mourning coo of the Dove reflects hidden emotions stored within those who carry this medicine. How you perceive its sound often reflects the energies that are playing out in your life.
When dove appears it is asking us to go within and release our emotional discord, be it of the past or the present. It assists us in releasing trauma stored within our cellular memory. Humming can aid in this release.
Doves hold the energy of promise. When inner turmoil is cleared from our thoughts, words and feelings, the possibility of good fortune awaits us. In order to receive the gifts the doves bestows on us healing on all levels is paramount.
The donkey is an unsung hero that has often been misrepresented and misunderstood. They were first domesticated approximately 4,500 years ago and were considered to be a status symbol for there owners. Versatile and willing workers with a gentle intelligence donkeys have been known to live for 40 plus years.
Donkeys come in a variety of colors from gray to brown. Most have white muzzles, eye rings and light bellies. Some donkeys have a marking on their back that appears to be a cross, leg stripes are also seen. There are various myths and fables of how the donkey obtained the cross on his back. Some cultures believe that the donkey carried the Lord on his back and received its leg stripes from walking through the palm branches that were laid in his path in honor of the burden he was carrying. Other stories suggest the donkey was God sent and the Prophet was carried to the heavens on its back. The donkey embodies the qualities of perseverance and servitude. They are tireless workers with a strong dedication to spirit.
The characteristics of donkey are noted in those with this totem, spiritual dedication, undying faith in the creative force and a willingness to take on the responsibilities and burdens of others. Helping others is a wonderful trait although taking on more than one can comfortably carry can lead to physical and emotional problems. Learning how to say no and being responsible for ones own well being is a life lesson.
Donkeys are not fond of change and often appear stubborn. If they deem something as dangerous, they simply won’t do it. Its not because they are stubborn its because they respect their own intuitive senses. They are smart enough to know when they can or cant handle something and teach us how to honor and abide by our own personal knowing.
The donkey evolved in the desert. The rugged terrain in which they lived taught them how to move with caution.. When frightened the donkey would simply freeze or run a little way out of danger then stop and look at what startled them. They learned how to navigate their way out of difficult situations and as a result developed cunning and crafty survival skills. When donkey appears in our life it asks us to stop and look at what is challenging us and find a way to move forward safely.
The ears of the donkey are big and funnel like and can detect sounds from a far distance. Donkeys understand the messages each sound carries and teach us how to listen and awaken our clairaudient skills. This amazing animal is a master teacher. When it appears in your life it is asking you to awaken, develop or apply your own inherent gifts in one or more areas of your life.
Dolphins live in groups of up to 100 individuals. Females give birth to a single young. Several Dolphins surround her to assist with the birth. They will pull the newborn out by its tail and protect it from harm. Injured and sick Dolphins are cared for by others who will lift them to the surface to breathe.
Dolphins spend large portions of their day playing. They live their life in joyful harmony with each other and their world. They seem to have learned the lesson that love is the most important part of life and can teach those with this totem how to love themselves and their world more. The power of Dolphin is community in balance.
Dolphins use a variety of clicks, whistles, grunts and body postures with which they communicate. Each Dolphin has an individual whistle that it calls itself, and it uses other Dolphin’s personal whistles to call their attention. Those with this totem would benefit from some form of work or activity that uses the voice as a healing or communicative tool.
Some people believe that Dolphins are more intelligent than humans. They have a large brain and a great intelligence and are often associated in mythical lore with higher forms of consciousness.
Dolphins have been known to inexplicably beach themselves in large numbers. Perhaps they are following a sick or injured Dolphin to try to aid it. There was a story told to me about a man who singled out a dolphin from its group and killed it. The remaining dolphins beached themselves over and over and eventually died.
Dolphins have a purity of being which touches our inner nature. If Dolphin swims into your life, follow its lead and open yourself to the energy of love, harmony and balance. Express your inner truth and follow your inner joy. Dolphin asks you to return to the depths of your being and rediscover the love that you truly are.
Many authorities regard the dingo as a sub species of the domestic dog. Because the dingo is similar to the dog in structure and habits the dog should also be studied. The dingo was introduced from Asia during the later immigrations of the Aborigines about five thousand to eight thousand years ago.
The dingo is stout with short, soft fur, a bushy tail and erect pointed ears. Clairaudient gifts have long been associated with the dingo because of their ability to detect subtle energy frequencies moving through the earth. This gift can be fully developed by those with this medicine by spending time in nature and learning from the elements.
Dingo’s hunt alone or in small groups. They are independent animals bold and suspicious in their habits. The Aborigines sometimes capture and tame them. Those raised from puppies may become affectionate pets.
Dingo’s normally yelp and howl, but when domesticated they can also imitate the bark of a dog. The dingo can teach us how to use various forms of sound to enhance our lifestyle. Different pitches and tones convey subtle messages. The dingo is a master at knowing what these subtle messages mean and can teach us how to respond to them for our benefit.
Those who hold this medicine often have an uncanny ability to know things without having a logical reason of why they know it. They can excel while speaking or have difficulty expressing themselves depending on how developed the medicine is in the person.
The dingo represents duality. Domesticated or wild it adapts to any situation and can teach us how to live in balance and harmony within all realms of existence. They are extremely intelligent and can change their behavior patterns to accommodate any situation. This trait reminds us to be flexible in our undertakings.
When the dingo appears it serves as a reminder to lighten up. The dingo is a master at shape shifting their behavior to accommodate the reality in which they live. They see life as a game and invite you to play. The choice is yours.
Throughout history the butterfly has been admired for their delicate beauty. Most adult butterflies live just one or two weeks except for the monarch and angel wing which can live for six months or more. This is very symbolic. It suggests that a person with this medicine will experience tremendous soul growth in their earlier years. A difficult childhood is common. Life lessons are revealed to the consciousness while in the womb of the mother – the cocoon stage – and are completed when the caterpillar emerges into the butterfly and takes flight. Butterflies are symbols of freedom and creativity. They hold the gift of transformation and soul evolution.
Butterflies have a pair of large compound oval eyes made up of thousands of individual lenses. They can see a single image clearly and are able to perceive ultraviolet wavelengths of light. This suggests clairvoyant abilities for those that hold this totem.
The antennae of the butterfly has small knobs on each end which is said to play a role in orientation. When one antennae is missing the butterfly will fly in circles unable to find its way. Those with this medicine need to stay consciously connected to spirit at all times in order to arrive at their desired destination.
The butterfly represents the process of transformation and shape shifting. When butterfly shows up, make note of the most important issues confronting you at the moment. What state of change are you at in regard to them?
To the Native Americans the butterfly is a symbol of joy. They remind us not to take life so seriously. They feed on flowers that they help pollinate, thereby further spreading beauty. They represent the element of air, quickly changing and ever moving, so gracefully. Butterflies are messengers of the moment. They come in a variety of colors. To understand the message that the butterfly holds for you a study of its colors can be helpful.
Whenever an eco system is damaged, butterfly is usually the first to leave. They are especially sensitive to the harmony of earth. If butterfly comes to you in a hurt, trapped or ill way, you are being asked to stop disturbing the natural design of life and to flow with events in a more gentle, natural way.
Wed Jul 25, 8:39 PM ET
REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Though the surfers, skaters and beachgoers might not notice the butterflies fluttering by, conservationists are celebrating the return of the endangered El Segundo blue to its native habitat along Santa Monica Bay.
The insects, with a wingspan of about an inch, are thriving in plain sight at beaches in Redondo Beach and Torrance after scientists nurtured their dwindling population in three fenced-in nature reserves for years. It had been decades since the critters had been seen in their native habitat.
But thanks to an effort to restore native vegetation to the area, buckwheat, source of the butterflies’ preferred nectar, now blankets bluffs that had been overgrown with invasive nonnative ice plant.
Still, scientists were surprised the El Segundo blues, thought to be too lazy to travel long distances, returned home without the help of human hands.
They have been on the nation’s endangered species list since 1976.
“No one figured that they would just do it on their own,” said Ann Dalkey, co-chairwoman of the Beach Bluffs Restoration Project. “You can see them like crazy. They’re everywhere.”