Thursday, January 05, 2012

Animals as good luck symbols

Her finest lessons are:

* Contentment
* Awareness
* Confidence
* Expectation
* Contemplation
* Appreciation
If iguanas or lizards are coming into your awareness, it could be a clear sign to bask in the art of appreciation.

It really is an art form too. Many of us are trained to work, slave, do, do, do - it can be a real effort to stop and smell the roses . Iguana energy beckons us to value the beauty around us, envelope ourselves in a good book, get lost in a good meal, revel in ecstasy over a few spare moments to just relax.

And speaking of relaxing, another symbolic meaning of iguana deals with contemplation. Spike is always observing. My human mind believes she's always suspending judgment about what she sees too.

Rather, she just observes and contemplates with youthful acceptance and peripheral curiosity. She seems to ruminate over every little thing for no other reason other than she can. From the birds that fly overhead, to the leaves that change color with the season - nothing is lost on her awareness. She drinks in her surroundings with an openness and marvels at the spectacles available for her contemplative pleasure.

Same holds true for us. The iguana encourages us to put ourselves in a mindset of utter wonder.

I'm not even going to touch the rabbit's foot thing. However, rabbits are lucky. They're considered extremely auspicious in matters of childbirth and fertility. Ever wondered about the Easter bunny? It's a throwback from fertility rites in which Eostre, a hare-headed goddess derived from ancient Saxon people would hail the blessed beginning of spring. If you'd just endured months of barren winter (maybe even facing starvation) the sign of the rabbit (and the coming of spring) was lucky indeed. I haven't written a page on the rabbit yet (but I'm sure I'll get around to it). However, our stargazing ancestors recognized faint silhouettes of hares hopping around in the moon, and I have written a page about lunar symbolism here.

I'm going to get derision about this one, I just know it. I realize not everybody is a fan of spiders (I happen to love them), but you can't deny spiders are good luck symbols to many cultures. In fact, spiders are attributed to saving the life of Christ as an infant. Apparently, the Holy Family needed a hideout to elude Herod. They hid in a cave, and spiders wove a thick web at the entrance of the cave making it appear abandoned (and icky) so Herod avoided looking for the Christ child in the cave altogether. Superstition insists it's unlucky to kill a spider.

In Chinese symbolism, dogs are also considered a harbinger of friendship. The legendary Fu Dog is also a guardian of sacred spaces and embodies concepts of protection too. Dogs are considered very auspicious. In Asian wisdom dogs are symbols of: Good Luck, Loyalty, Obedience and Prosperity.

A short-list of dog meaning includes symbolic attributes like:

* Fidelity
* Loyalty
* Assistance
* Intelligence
* Obedience
* Protection
* Community
* Cooperation
* Resourcefulness
* Communication
* Sensory Perception

The theme of communication becomes heightened when we peer into histories and discover dog meaning and symbolism is connected to the metaphysical realms. The dog has long been considered a liaison between the physical and non-physical dimensions. Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Celtic and beyond have all prescribed the dog as a sacred guardian of the Otherworlds - those realms outside our daily/mundane experience. If you hear of dogs being symbols of death - this is the connection: Dogs are the guardians of ephemeral domains, and can even serve as spirit guides in non-physical journeys.

Consider Anubis, the Egyptian god whose charge is to insure safe transitions from common reality (physical life on Earth) into the Afterlife experience. With the head of a jackal (of canine ilk), Anubis dons the super-powerful sensory perception of the dog. Further, that dog connection represents the epitome of protection, guidance, loyalty and adherence to the flow of unseen spiritual energy. To be sure, safe passage from "life" to Afterlife will be seen to success under the governance of the dog/jackal-headed Anubis. In this ancient light, we get distinct impressions of: Security, Guardianship, Protection.

Dogs are sacred to Hecate, the Greek-Roman overseer of lots of things - but surely a matron bound to protect that which is misunderstood. It seems (to me) where there is senseless lashing out against that which is misunderstood, Hecate comes ferociously in justification - her dogs baying with equal verve at her side. Death, darkness, wild wandering, lunar moodiness, midnight journeying...Hecate defends the soul's right to wander in these little-known, oft-misunderstood alleyways. With her highly perceptive hounds guiding the way (and protecting the body as the spirit wanders), astral travel becomes eons easier.

In Celtic animal symbolism, the dolphin as a highly honored creature as it was seen as the protector of sacred wells and sacred water. The dolphin, to the Celtic mind, is the watcher of the waters, and the guardians of all things water-associated.

A quick-list of symbolic dolphin meaning includes:

* Playfulness
* Transcendence
* Gentleness
* Harmony
* Intelligence
* Contentment
* Friendship
* Community
* Resurrection
* Generosity
* Power

Christian symbolism conveys the dolphin as an aspect of Christ. Dolphins seen in Christian art are symbolic of resurrection. Some artists utilize the protective, stabilizing, compassionate demeanor of the dolphin as a message of wellbeing to the pure of heart. Some artistic renditions speak of dolphins transporting the spirits of the faithful to Christ's side upon leaving their physical bodies.

This dolphin meaning is mimicked in ancient Greece where legend tells us the dolphin was responsible for carrying the souls of the dead to the Islands of the Blessed.

Also in Greece, the dolphin is a compatriot of both the god Apollo (sun) and the goddess Aphrodite (moon). Both lunar symbolism and solar symbolism are represented in the dolphin.

* Sun Dolphin meanings: Active, Life, Vibrant, Health, Renewal, Intelligence
* Moon Dolphin meaning: Hidden power, Intuition, Dreams, Conception, Feminine

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