Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2/8/11—Finding Your Place in the Animal Kingdom

Today's Draw: Strength from the Legacy of the Divine. What is your relationship with the animal within? What do you think we've lost or gained as a result of domestication? Do you feel we're higher or greater beings because of it?
This is, I think, the third time we've had the Strength card. In the Legacy of the Divine, the card shows a woman with a lion, tiger and cheetah. Traditionally, she'd be shown wrestling or somehow physically controlling a lion to symbolize ...our control over "the lion within". But in Ciro Marchetti's version, there is no physical will involved. Instead she has tamed them with energetic or divine will. By overcoming their animal instincts, they are somehow enlightened.

But are they? We could argue that domestication enables us to live more peaceably in society, but does it really make us better beings? In gaining our domestic nature, humans have also lost much of their connection to the earth. For those with pagan or earth-centered sensibilities, I'd argue that's a bad thing. I think that the more we separate from our animal nature, the more we separate from certain parts of our Selves that may very well be critical to our survival. And if not our survival, they could be key to our spiritual evolution.

This is something I think of often. I'm a peace loving animal myself. And most animals are just that, showing force only when necessary. I still remember a squabble I saw among geese once. It was a territorial thing. And one brash goose tried to invade another goose's space. There was a loud argument, even a chase in the air. But when the offending goose was gone, the other geese went on about their business as if nothing ever happened. Because we suppress these instinctual squabbles, for example, we become animals who hold grudges instead. Is that evolution?

So today, think about your animal nature. Consider yourself as an animal. And ask yourself why we consider ourselves to be higher beings. Is it because we truly are. Or is it because we're the only animal that judges and ranks things that way? What do you think of all this?

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