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Thread: Animal Signs and Symbols

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    Animal Signs and Symbols

    Forgive me if this topic has been covered (I searched and saw no other thread).

    I have been looking into animal symbolism, and by that I mean seeing animals doing unusual things or seeing them at unusual times of the day and deciphering what that may mean for you, loved ones, etc. I have a few books that cover this topic, and it does seem to depend on the tribe you subscribe to as to what "spotting" them may mean.

    So I'd actually like to hear stories or input of others when it comes to the reading of animals. Have you ever had anything unusual happen to you (or see any unusual animal behavior) that seemed to directly correlate with an instance in your life? Was the spotting of said animal a good or bad omen? Or did you never find out exactly what it meant and hopefully someone wiser on here can read your story and give the right advice/input?

    I tend to have very up-close encounters with nature, and never can seem to figure out what it means.

    One of my stories centered around my parents house. They live in the country in a wooded area that tends to see a lot of deer, birds, etc. I was sitting on their deck sunning myself in a patio chair when a hummingbird flew directly at and in front of me. It sort of hovered in front of me for a few seconds, then circled around me a lot, zipping this way and that when. Then...it left! I felt it was so unusual considering the nature of that bird but never quite came to any definitive conclusions as to what it was trying to tell me.

    So...stories? Advice? Experiences? Belief system? Anything you can give at all would be appreciated.

    Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackestLily View Post
    Forgive me if this topic has been covered (I searched and saw no other thread).

    I have been looking into animal symbolism, and by that I mean seeing animals doing unusual things or seeing them at unusual times of the day and deciphering what that may mean for you, loved ones, etc. I have a few books that cover this topic, and it does seem to depend on the tribe you subscribe to as to what "spotting" them may mean.

    So I'd actually like to hear stories or input of others when it comes to the reading of animals. Have you ever had anything unusual happen to you (or see any unusual animal behavior) that seemed to directly correlate with an instance in your life? Was the spotting of said animal a good or bad omen? Or did you never find out exactly what it meant and hopefully someone wiser on here can read your story and give the right advice/input?

    I tend to have very up-close encounters with nature, and never can seem to figure out what it means.

    One of my stories centered around my parents house. They live in the country in a wooded area that tends to see a lot of deer, birds, etc. I was sitting on their deck sunning myself in a patio chair when a hummingbird flew directly at and in front of me. It sort of hovered in front of me for a few seconds, then circled around me a lot, zipping this way and that when. Then...it left! I felt it was so unusual considering the nature of that bird but never quite came to any definitive conclusions as to what it was trying to tell me.

    So...stories? Advice? Experiences? Belief system? Anything you can give at all would be appreciated.

    The very nature of what an animal means varied quite a bit between various nations, tribes, clans, etc. Even more so when you consider that what is common in one area is unknown or unlikely in another area. A Sea bird would mean one thing for instance to a coastal nation while an inland nation might only see them on occasion and think a big storm is coming in and the birds are fleeing before the storm. A fact that is well known even today when we see sea gulls for instance hundreds of miles inland. You have to understand the whole interaction that occurs between the people and the animals of the land, water and sky. Most native peoples are animist in practice and see each thing as a living, breathing individual and have quite a bit of difference in what a sieghting means and what an animal may be trying to tell them.

    And none of that even touches upon the greater spirit of an animal and what that means to most first nation and aboriginal peoples. Sorry Animal Speak by Ted Andrews is not a great source document for any of this regardless of how it is pushed by many new age callings. Nor are the many sites that proliferate on the net that copy and paste that same info or the cards that claim some special enseight by using them with their animal pictures.

    Additionally the seighting of an animal does not mean it means anything. It's when you see it over and over and its routine is such that it demands ones attention simply because of the strangeness of the sighting. It's like for a matter of days I kept seeing 3 blue herons and 3 egrets. Always a heron then an egret then a heron then an egret then a heron then the final egret, yet it was not the seighting of them that made it unusal as they are relatively common water fowl in this area, it was the unusual interlacing of them and that frequent interlacing that made it unusual.

    To use your humming bird scenario you didn't say what you were wearing for instance. Colors often attract them. You didn't say what you may have had out there with you, sweet waters or drinks also tend to attract them due to the sugar smell. You indicate you were laying prone which means you would be doing nothing to threaten them so they would not pay much attention to you. You didn't state what type of fauna or bushes may have been near you so you can't speak on that factor. Probability it was not trying to say anything and you jumped to conclusion as to it having a meaning.

    Unusual to me is for instance your driving up the mountain and come around a curve and there sits a large black bear looking at the road and eating the remains of a bag of McDonalds french fries. Yes that happened to me on Shenandaoh Mountain in Pendleton County West Virginia. Unusual is when you have to stop and walk up to a tree never noticing the bear that is standing there eating berries and simply turns to look at you and then sits down to finish eating the handful it holds. Yep that happened as well. Unusual is when a fawn steps away from its herd and comes up to you and stands there and allows you to touch it before it turns and runs off into the woods. Yep that one happened as well. Unusual is when you stop to watch a cougar (Mountain Lion) in a region where they say they are gone, that one happened as well. But none of them had a story or lesson to convey in the seighting of them, none of them indicated they were totems, power animals, guides, spirit animals, etc for all were doing what was natural to them even though some of it may seem strange. A fawn may come up because it has not learnt to fear man yet for instance.

    But a humming bird coming around a person laying upon the deck of a porch really is not unusal nor does it have to mean anything. And no what you describe is not unusual for a humming bird to do i've seen up to four at a time do that very thing and also play around the people sitting there.

    Today to many are buying into the notion that because they saw some animal and it was unusual to them it must mean something.

    This is not to say that strange and unusual things do not occur nor that an animal can not convey a message or lesson. Yet those things are never mistaken in that they are so unusual and often so repatitive that you can not ignore them and they are so in your face that it leaves no doubt.
    Last edited by MonSno_LeeDra; April 21st, 2012 at 07:44 PM.

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    I'm not sure if your post was meant to be educational, chastising, or both, but I'm more hoping for stories and experiences of others in terms of what they've learned from them and how they recognized them for what they were. Sort of a relating experience. I don't find myself scouring the net to take animal quizzes nor find copy paste answers as to what each thing means. I was there alone with what happened and in those moments, it felt quite unusual. I see wildlife often and do not presume to guess every sighting is an earth-shattering prediction or experience. While I appreciate your time, the response felt very condescending.
    Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

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    But in a way your promoting that same "I saw a butterfly on a flower so it must have been saying something to me!" mentatility that runs rampant in so much of plastic shamanism and neo-shamanism today its not funny. 99 percent of the time an animal is just an animal and nothing more, no matter how bad one wants it to be something else. That other one percent those who do get it are not going to go into detail about how it was observed or what it brought to the observor. At best you'll get a very wide generic answer that is only important to the one who knows the whole story. Sort of like the way one never speaks of a vision except in very vague and general terms.

    A feature that has run rampant in the neo universe of finding totems, power animals, spirit animals, spirit and physcial guides and all the other assortment of things that have been introduced into the 101 books that say you should or must find these things. Of course a significant amount of that drawn from Native American beliefs and practices usually based about either the Cherokee nation or the Sioux Nation, especially the Lakota.

    Even if they do speak on it the indicators are something that is meaningful to the observor and may not have done anything for anyone else who saw it. To try and describe what it was and the why of it would do nothing for anyone else. Mainly due to the fact no other will have the same sensations, feelings and outlook towards a given creature. that in itself not even truly touching upon the concept that most of this all derives from an animistic outlook which see's all things as living breathing people's of this planet. Touching upon the Winged ones, the Fined ones, the Standing Ones, the Two Legs and the Four Legs and all the other peoples of the planet such as the stone people.

    That you felt something special still doesn't mean it was anything more than an encounter with and in nature. That the only purpose it contained or held was that you were in the right place at the right time to see something. Not only see it but to move beyond and actually notice it as something more than just a bird flying by but to notice the norm in an everyday life of the creature observed.

    As far as condescending sorry but I do not tend to sugar coat things so people feel better about themselves. I'm from the old school where we speak frank and say what is upon our minds. Especially when so much is now assumed to be something special or containing some message or lesson when the realility is probably closer that for a given instant in time the observor actually saw the true nature of the creature not the psuedo one they created about them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
    But in a way your promoting that same "I saw a butterfly on a flower so it must have been saying something to me!" mentatility that runs rampant in so much of plastic shamanism and neo-shamanism today its not funny. 99 percent of the time an animal is just an animal and nothing more, no matter how bad one wants it to be something else. That other one percent those who do get it are not going to go into detail about how it was observed or what it brought to the observor. At best you'll get a very wide generic answer that is only important to the one who knows the whole story. Sort of like the way one never speaks of a vision except in very vague and general terms.
    A mistake you're making is assuming I'm asking for advice in what happened to me. I didn't ask for it, I asked for experiences of others and how they determine what something means. I reflected (and very verbally lightly) an experience of my own to show people what I'm looking for. An instance where they felt an animal was either communicating with them or telling them something, and then one step further what they got from it. I like to hear how people came to their conclusions, how their train of thought ran from A to B, and how their overall experience came to effect them. I enjoy not only learning from others, but also listening to their stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
    A feature that has run rampant in the neo universe of finding totems, power animals, spirit animals, spirit and physcial guides and all the other assortment of things that have been introduced into the 101 books that say you should or must find these things. Of course a significant amount of that drawn from Native American beliefs and practices usually based about either the Cherokee nation or the Sioux Nation, especially the Lakota.

    Even if they do speak on it the indicators are something that is meaningful to the observor and may not have done anything for anyone else who saw it. To try and describe what it was and the why of it would do nothing for anyone else. Mainly due to the fact no other will have the same sensations, feelings and outlook towards a given creature. that in itself not even truly touching upon the concept that most of this all derives from an animistic outlook which see's all things as living breathing people's of this planet. Touching upon the Winged ones, the Fined ones, the Standing Ones, the Two Legs and the Four Legs and all the other peoples of the planet such as the stone people.

    That you felt something special still doesn't mean it was anything more than an encounter with and in nature. That the only purpose it contained or held was that you were in the right place at the right time to see something. Not only see it but to move beyond and actually notice it as something more than just a bird flying by but to notice the norm in an everyday life of the creature observed.

    As far as condescending sorry but I do not tend to sugar coat things so people feel better about themselves. I'm from the old school where we speak frank and say what is upon our minds. Especially when so much is now assumed to be something special or containing some message or lesson when the realility is probably closer that for a given instant in time the observor actually saw the true nature of the creature not the psuedo one they created about them.
    I suppose then there's nothing more for me to say to you, and you to I. I've spoken my mind about what I'm looking for. You've spoken your mind about how you disagree with anything I've said. I'll respectfully ask that our conversation end here so others can weigh in instead in a less confrontational and barbed manner. If you are looking to teach me something, I believe approaching "the student" in a manner that doesn't scream 'preachy', brash, and callous is the best way to be given a good reception. And though I could be wrong, it simply seems to me that I've become a target for your vent because I apparently represent an aspect you dislike in this spiritual sector. I'm sorry we've gotten off on a bad foot, but it may be best if we steer clear of one another.
    Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

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    I'm not assuming anything but let me try approaching it in a different manner.

    I spent 23 years in the Navy. As such i've seen quite a few things while at sea that I could describe and expound upon but you'd never understand it without having experienced it as I have. So lets take a dolphin for instance. For me they are the creature's I saw race with the ship diving back and forth beneath the bow. Racing along with us for miles upon miles, suddenly appearing and suddenly disappearing as the desire took them. They are the creature's I saw jump in the air as the storm tossed the ocean / sea surface then watched as they tumbled and rolled down the crashing wave face. They are creatures I saw that broke the near glass surface of the ocean when horizion merged and sky and water had no break and there was nothing to tell you up or down except the deck you stood upon. They are part of the choris of creature's I heard cry and sing in the night as we wnet through the Straights of Gibralter or the sea's and coves in the Philliphine Islands. So trying to explain what about them or an individual would make it seem out of the norm to me is nothing that would appear the same to you without the same background and social ideals.

    You can never look upon a deer or stag the way I do as I am a devotee of and honor Artemis. I always see things in them that only another follower of Artemis will see and even then its very speculative for once again the difference in perspective influences what we see and they why of it. I look to a deer and see not only the White Tail from where I live but also the small deer that I saw in the Scotish highlands and am taken back to those times as well. I see them and am transported back to Japan where I lived for 6.5 years and see shadows of those places as well. Even to the many islands and lands I saw them from as the ships I was on sailed through out the various named sea's that surround Greece, Turkey, Italy.

    None of that even touching upon any social or cultural influence there is upon me that influences the way I see and view them. You may see a lady bug and think it strange all I see are the lady bug's that swarmed in the coastal city in Spain. You read or hear of the shark and think one thing, I recall the shark that travelled through the Straights of Hormuz into the Black sea with us and how it passed through Istanbul and what it filled me with as I watched that torepdo shaped shadow come upon us, ride along with us then pull away from us as it hide in the emerald green waters that day.

    That is the problem with anyone speaking upon what made a creature stand out to them. The one hearing it has not the similiar background to fully understand or relate to what is being said. THe best they can hope for it to maybe think they can and understand the why of it.

    You ask why it stands out and how but you can never relate to it nor truly understand it for you have not lived it.

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    I appreciate what you're trying to convey, that it's borderline useless to hear what others say because it won't mean anything to me in the way that it did them. But hearing stories alone means something to me.

    If you wanted, that rule could be applied to any life experience anyone has had. No one could know how it feels to be me because they haven't walked the exact path I have. Same with you. Same with anyone who reads this. I will tell you that it means something to be able to see the journey of others. Even if I couldn't ever fully appreciate their walk because it isn't me walking it, that doesn't mean there isn't anything I can't pull from it.

    So I thank you for your time and thought out responses, but it does not dissuade me from my original set of questions nor that I would love to hear from others.
    Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

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    Truthfully I'm not trying to persuade, dissuade or convence you of anything. I'm just pointing out a lesson I have seen over and over in my 53 years of life. That being people try to place themselves into another's social, ethnic, spiritual, religious reasoning to understand a thing but most often fail. They see the surface of a thing but never understand the full impact or influence upon them then make an assumption of what they are saying based upon that.

    Here were speaking of how people view animal signs and the symbology associated to them. Yet you can not trully know the how and the why without understanding the people and their way of looking at things. Even to semi-relating to their stories and concepts requires a great deal of foucs and discovery of the people you are hoping to compare and contrast against.

    I'm not saying its border line useless I'm just saying that without an equal frame of reference all you get is what you think you heard or understood, not necessarly what was being said or implied by it. Then factor in that a great majority are simply going to open a book and say this is what some author says huming bird means and go from there. Or worse, assume what some author said a thing means to some given people and go from there as to what it means to those people and their outlook upon their world.

    To put it another way I could go around all the time and call a certain nation the "Sioux" as that is what is in most if not all books written by none native Americans and most of the stories that people speak about. Yet fail horribly because I didn't realize that is the name their enemies give them not what they call themselves, heck even miss that they considered themselves to be Humans in thier understanding. So when I see Lakota, Dakota, Ug La La it's the same people but closer to what thier truth is. Then I might actually go further and discover they are also the Teton Dakota or Rose Bud reservation, etc and that their is still more that I don't know that the stories never convey.

    But I do agree each of us must walk our own path and draw from it what Spirit, the gods & goddess or God himself desires us to learn. Nor does it mean we can't learn something from it though most times in my experience its more about what we haven't learnt to understand it vice what we have learnt about it.

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