Image by Hutchinson + Hutchinson via FlickrBats and Spiders and Owls, oh my!
Thought I'd talk a bit about the animals that we associate with Halloween, and what they mean to us. Many find these creatures scary, but if we look at how they can help us in our lives, we might find that the fear of them wears off.
What animals do we associate with Halloween? Owls, Bats, Spiders, maybe Scorpions, Crows, and other creatures of the night may also fall into this category, like Black Panthers and Snakes. Let's look at the meanings of these interesting creatures, and try to rub some of that fear off before the night of the dead... mu-ah-ha-ha-ha-ha....
ADDED 10/31: I realize I missed a lot of different meanings for each creature listed, yet I have tried to provide for you here, what these animals mean to me, and what their messages were for me when they appeared. I am adding more info to some of them now, that relates directly to Halloween and/or death symbolism. All info added will be prefaced by ADDED in red, for your convenience.
Owls: The most important characteristic of the Owl for me is His ability to see in the dark. When we are looking deeply inside ourselves, whether seeking answers or trying to heal, we may find that we need a little help in finding those answers or problem areas. Owl, with His ability to see in the dark, can help us there. His keen night vision can also help us to find the smallest things hidden in the dark within ourselves.
Owl is also called Night Eagle, by the Pueblo Tribes of NM. This gives him some of the qualities of Eagle, such as seeing the overall perspective. Owl can find the smallest mouse without hardly any light. His perspective is high like Eagle, enabling Him to see these small details. With Owl in your corner, you, too, will see the smallest issues, from the proper perspective.
Call on Owl whenever you need help seeing in the dark. Because of this, Owl might be a good friend to have with you on Halloween night!
ADDED: Owls can also mean Deception, or you are being deceived about an important matter. Owl rarely comes up with this meaning, but it is always possible - especially when you are doing a reading.
It is also said that when one sees an Owl, death is in the air, or death is nearby. Many consider Owls as evil due to this. It depends on what Owl means to you, as to whether or not this will be true for you. For me, it never means this.
Owls are also portrayed as having wisdom. I believe this one! They just seem so wise... If you thought Owl appeared to you in this context, it would mean that the wisdom you seek would be shrouded in darkness, meaning, look within yourself for the answer. Or call on Owl for assistance in finding the wisdom needed.
Owl represents clairvoyant abilities, due to his advanced sense of sight. Those with Owl Medicine are often clairvoyant, or have other psychic abilities.
Bat: Bat is one of my favorite creatures. To me, he symbolizes Rebirth. The way that Bat hangs in a cave, is upside down, the same way a baby turns in it's mothers stomach before it is born. When we see Bat, we know that Rebirth is near at hand, that we have grown enough to move forward in our lives, to begin anew. In this way, Bat is a positive symbol.
An expression that refers to Bat is, "Blind as a Bat", yet Bat sees with His senses, and actually does quite well with His limited eyesight. It is also said that when one loses one sense, it increases the others. This is very much the case with Bat. His intuition is well developed, as is his Psychic Hearing. Those with this Medicine are usually gifted with psychic abilities. Call on Bat for assistance with these, or learning more about them.
On Halloween, we associate Bats with cemeteries, we see them flying around there. Are they drawn there because they sense the presence of spirits? Or are they just looking for uninhabited places, to escape the noisy demons and goblins trick or treating on Halloween night? Call on Bat to find out the answer for yourself!
Spiders: This misjudged creature is perhaps the most helpful being in the Universe. Spider Woman was said to create the alphabet, and give us the gift of writing, to record the events of history, so that those in the future could learn from them, of the Old Ways. This makes her the muse of writers, compelling us to be creative. Spider Woman is an advocate for those who are harmed by others, or the victims of this world. Her Web of Protection extends far beyond us, when we invite Her into our lives, to help us. The Web of Life is a popular Native symbol, reminding us that we are all connected, and what we do to any part of the Earth or Her Creatures, we also do to ourselves, according to the wisdom of Black Elk. The Web teaches of vibrations, and how any act we perform, any word we speak, any thought we have, can reverberate, and affect others on down the line. The Good Witch knows how Her actions will affect one and all, before She casts that spell. Spider can help us to learn this ourselves. Vibrations are a whole other subject, also associated with Spider, because of Her Web. We increase our vibrational level to stay in El Mundo Bueno, the good reality. When our vibration level lowers, we then enter El Mundo Malo, the Bad Reality, where anything can happen, and escape is treacherous. This is what happens when we surround ourselves with negativity. The best way to escape it is to think positive, and keep thinking positive.
As you can see, Spider teaches us many things, but yet there is still more. She is also a Healer. Spider Woman is associated with Coatlique, She who cuts the cord of life, causing death. However, She can also choose to spare that life, creating balance. Spider Woman is of a similar nature. She can cut the cord of Her Web, or She can bind it to other people who will help us, or harm us, or use it to help us move forward in our lives. It is said that we each have our own Web, and what we catch there, is a direct result of our actions - or our inaction. When we manage to catch something good in our Web, if we are not paying attention, we may get a reminder by Spider. Sometimes we get too caught up in our own Web to notice what is going on around us. This is again a time in which Spider will send us a reminder.
Spider is a wonderful ally to have, and to work with. She teaches us a myriad of lessons, and the gifts She brings, far outweigh the consequences. One of those would be Her bite, or the poison Her bite leaves behind. This, too, can be used to our advantage. Learning to transmute poisons in the body, while it is a teaching of Snake, can also be taught to us by Spider. If She bites you, it's generally to wake you up. Transmute that lesson, by fully digesting it, and you will grow.
The Web of Life holds many teachings, and Spider Woman can help us to begin that journey.
Snake: Teaches the art of Transmutation and Rebirth through the shedding of the skin. This is a process that humans go through when they release old habits, patterns, and behaviors.
Transmutation is also about transmuting poisons into useful substances, or the art of Alchemy. We transmute old behaviors into a new outlook on life. We transmute our lives, when we choose to heal. Thus, Snake is also about Healing.
Being cold blooded and always seeking heat, the Snake is drawn to warm places, such as a patch of sunlight, or a warm home, or burrow. Those with this Medicine prefer warmer climates, or perhaps, basking in the light of Grandfather Sun.
Snake also has enhanced senses. Snake travels close to the ground, and feels it's low vibrations. This connects Snake with these lower realms of the Underworld, and enables it to seek out its hidden secrets.
Snake is also about fertility. Slithery, sexy Snakes are associated with the zodiac sign of Scorpio, as their Totem Animal, and Scorpio's are the sex sign of the zodiac. Snakes also symbolize the Kundalini energy, that sexual energy we can tap into, and redirect through our Kundalini to assist us in astral travel, spiritual awakening, and enhancing our psychic abilities.
Snake has many lessons to offer, this information is only the tip of the iceberg. When one works with Snake, it can help one to heal and grow in their lives, to transmute bad experiences into useful lessons, to let go of the past and move forward, and to tap into one's power. While a sense of fear, in some instances, can be useful, when transmuted, the lessons learned can move your life into whole new areas. Snake holds powerful, transformative energy. Use it carefully.
Scorpion: These are another creature we all seem to fear. Scorpions are also creatures who hold poison, and therefore are also teachers of transmutation of poisons. Yet that transmutation becomes transformation in the Scorpion. It is about transforming our lives into our Higher Selves, becoming that which we are meant to be. Because Scorpion poison can kill, this teaches us the importance of letting things die that we no longer need, in order to transform. Scorpio's, the zodiac sign, are known for their Dark Side, as well as for their sexuality. The Medicine of the Scorpion is akin to that of a Scorpio, in these ways. Scorpions are about exploring your Dark Side, honoring it equally to create balance in one's life, realizing it's necessity, and using it to transform the Self. Sexuality is about passion, and we use our passion to create, and in creating, we transform our lives. That creative Universal energy is a transforming force of Nature. Once we open it, the energies spill out and fill our lives, helping us to transform ourselves.
The death the Scorpion can bring, also symbolizes the death that must occur in our lives before Rebirth. It is a period of letting go of the old, to become the new.
We see the image of the Scorpion, and how it's tail curves up over itself, the stinger pointed towards it's body. We Scorpions must watch how badly we poison our own lives, even more so than we would do to others. Too much passion can be poison to us, as can too much creativity. An excess of anything, creates an imbalance, and this is an important Scorpio lesson, finding and maintaining balance. We must balance the dark side with equal amounts of light, we must balance passion with equal amounts of stability. We must learn to control our poisonous tongues, and practice compassion. It's all about balance, and when that is obtained, transformation occurs.
Crow: Some believe that Crow symbolizes death. His black color links Him to the dark creatures of the world, and to the Void, where ideas are born. He is the bringer of Justice, however, and in this way is associated with the zodiac sign of Libra, the scales (of justice). Crow teaches us about Divine Law, and how it is higher than the Law of Man. Those with Crow Medicine must answer for their actions following Divine Law, for it is rarely a matter of only this world.
Crow can also be a messenger, to alert one of something significant about to happen in one's life, be it a lesson, an educational encounter with another, or pending danger. Crow sees these things and will come to us to alert us, if we but listen.
Crow is said to have singed his feathers, bringing us Fire, and this is what caused them to be soot black. Yet he lives in the Void, that place of ultimate creativity, and formless energy. He is a creature of both light and dark, holding the teachings of Divine Law, while wearing black, which symbolizes the magic and mystery of the world.
Crow can be an omen of change when He appears in one's life. Or, He can be calling on you to initiate that change yourself, in the Void. We are all capable of manifestation, and the Void is where this manifestation begins. This is the beginning of magick, and Crow can open our eyes to it, when He appears in our lives. But be strong and walk your talk, and speak your truth, or Crow will "Caw" you on it.
ADDED: Crow is said to be the one who carries souls to the Land of the Dead, and therefore dwells between the worlds of the living and that of the dead. Many fear Crow for this reason. Personally, I see Crow as a Messenger, and while I have seen him nearby when souls are crossing over, he is also nearby when any important message needs attention paid to it. It has been my experience that Crow appears AFTER someone has crossed over, not before. As Crow walks in both worlds, this also brings the lesson of balance, or of being able to walk in both worlds. Do you help souls cross over? Do you see the dead or souls of the dead? Are you like Crow and walk in both worlds? Make sure you give as much energy to the Light, as you do to the Dark side of life, is the message in this.
Crow has many, many lessons to teach us, and it begins by paying attention to what is going on immediately after seeing Crow, to determine what He would mean to your life.
Black Panther: Another creature of the darkness, Black Panther stalks the night. His Medicine is about walking in the dark without fear. This can help us to transform our lives, as well. Looking deeply inside oneself, we see that inner darkness. Panther can help us to see there, and to embrace what we find there, without fear.
Black Panther is a creature of the night, a lunar creature. The moon rules His roaming, he is in touch with His intuition, His abilities, and His inner guidance system. His sense of hearing is acute, and those with this Medicine are blessed with clairaudience, an otherworldly ability to hear, not just this realm, but others as well.
The mysteries of the Universe are cloaked in darkness. The Void lies in darkness, as does Panther. He is another creature that teaches about magick and mystery. Yet He heals as He transforms, as he teaches us how to embrace the darkness, and make it our friend.
Panther teaches us the power of silence, by the graceful way it moves through the darkness. Panther knows when to use noise, and when to use silence, to obtain it's ends, and teaches us to do the same. His invisibility in the night teaches us to blend in with our surroundings, and the power of doing so, when needed.
Panther has many lessons to bring to our lives. Walk the night with Him, to learn what He can teach.
Any other animals associated with the darkness that I might have missed here, that you'd like to know more about? Leave a comment, and I will add it to this blog. Which means, this blog is subject to being updated at any time :)
As you travel through the full moon night on Halloween, carry some Animal Medicine with you. Embrace the darkness, let it's magic help to transform your life. This is the time of year to embrace your dark side. May it help you to grow and become.
May you Walk in Beauty and Balance...