Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Posts Tagged ‘spirit animal

Bird of Paradise – the Animal that chooses you

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Part 1. The Bestowed Spirit Animal

Someone said to me once that we choose our spirit animal and she chose the spirit of the kookaburra. Sometimes though our spirit animal choses us. It follows us, connects to us, or is even inherited.

My mother said that the Bird of Paradise is what we take care of because it is the totem we have been given by our village. Yet I think of the vain male Bird of Paradise and nothing speaks to my spirit. When I think of the plainer females who are watching the display of these male birds I reflect on cultures where the women serve in the background and their men do not appear to give them freedom. I don’t want this bird to be my spirit animal.

But then I think of the glorious feathers, the way another species of it is on the flag a yellow emblem placed on black and red, and how they are hunted down for their beauty and need to be protected I am sure there is a connection I have a responsibility to remember. More I think of women who say that even though on the surface it looks like the men have all the power it is not actually the case. They are changing the future. They are running their villages more and more.

I am sure that we can choose the animals we love regardless of what we have been given to take care of, but we need to remember those that choose us. Perhaps this is how some great conservationists feel drawn to lions or to gorillas. For my part I have never seen the Bird of Paradise that is my inherited totem. Yet I acknowledge it as a part of my identity- something that chooses me.

Part 2. The Embraced Spirit Animal- coming later.

Written by June

June 9, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Quietly She Sleeps

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quietly she sleeps
in the high mountain of dreams
winter in her soul

The Snow leopard is found in high mountains in Central Asia. Its eyes are green. The snow leopard has a greyish white coat with rosetts. Of all the leopard family, snow leopard is the least aggressive and is very agile and excellent leapers. Snow leopard legends and myths are far and few between, giving an elusive and tantalizing quality to them.

Snow leopards prefer to inhabit steep cliff areas, rocky outcrops and ravines. Such habitats provide them with the camouflage they need to ambush unsuspecting prey. They stalk their prey and usually spring from a distance of 20-50 feet. Their long and powerful hind limbs help the snow leopard leap up to 30 feet, which is 6 times its body length. Mostly active at dawn and dusk, snow leopards are rarely seen in the wild. Unlike other big cats, snow leopards are unable to roar. Solitary in nature, they pair only during the breeding season.

The Snow Leopard as a Spirit Animal, it usually means having strong intuitive faculties and heightened sensibilities. Snow leopard teaches how to make great leaps over new obstacles in life. It gives strength to clear out the haunts and demons within the mind and holds promise of new life, new perception and a renewed perspective on life.

There is also an old story of Milarepa, Tibet’s poet-saint, who was stranded for six months in the Great Cave of Conquering Demons. When his followers went to find him, they found he had been transformed into a snow leopard. The snow leopard is a totem that can reflect a renewed energy, ability, opportunity to conquer one’s own great demons.

“Conquer one’s own great demons” has been and continues to be a life long challenge.

— genece hamby, contemporary digital artist & poet