Several times a week I see a social media post from someone frightened about a dream, vision, or life experience involving an animal -- usually a crow, snake or spider. They are frightened because they think this is a bad omen. And this belief is often affirmed by others in the comments.
These sacred animal symbols are spiritual signs that raise our energetic frequency and help us awaken to our higher self. But when we have a fearful response, it has the opposite effect. Fear lowers our energetic frequency and blocks us from receiving the message. Let's take a look at why these symbols known as sacred to the ancients are now so frequently seen as negative.
Disconnected from Ancient Wisdom
For 2,000 years, humans have lived in a culture of domination. In this abusive culture, our sacred symbols were subverted to inject fear into the population. Because a population in fear is disempowered and easier to control and dominate. It's not just animal symbols that became negative under the influence of this culture of domination. The ancient divine feminine and divine masculine symbols were also changed to demonic in nature.
For example, Isis is an ancient Egyptian goddess symbolizing magic, fertility, motherhood, and rebirth. But the name ISIS has now been co-opted by a terrorist group. In another example, the ancients knew Medusa as the goddess of the sacred serpent. But her meaning was changed to a monster who had to be defeated by chopping her head off.
Manufacturing fear is a form of spiritual abuse that has disconnected us from our lineage of sacred symbols that communicate wisdom through the ages. We need to reconnect to receive the messages that empower us all.
Let's examine the three most commonly misunderstood sacred animal symbols that may appear in your nighttime dreams, your daytime visions, or in your life.
The Meaning of Crow
A client once requested a session with me to help her process a terrifying incident with a crow. As she got into her car in a shopping center parking lot, a crow landed on the hood of her car. Because she had a belief that crows are ominous and a "bad" sign, she became frightened. The crow flew alongside the car as she drove away, cawing loudly. He repeatedly attempted to land on her sideview mirror and flapped his wings in front of her windshield. This sent her into a panic. Rather than recognizing that crow was delivering a message, she interpreted it as an attack.
When crow sensed she was not getting the message, he persisted by following her car. He had an important message to deliver. And it's clear he took his mission seriously! Unfortunately this amazing experience was misinterpreted and experienced as terrifying. But perhaps that WAS the message. Crow may have been calling attention to her need to move beyond her fear of sacred animal symbolism.
Crows are one of the most intelligent species on Earth. They are thought to be as intelligent as a 7 year old human child. A crow can recognize faces and communicate information to other crows. They even use twigs as tools!
Fear of crows may originate in their ability to warn of danger. They will caw loudly to warn animals that a hunter is in the woods. And we may think that crow is warning us of death or danger if he appears in our dreams and visions. But crows are magical! Crow foretells of change and success coming regarding something that you have worked for. Crow caws to remind us to stay awake and aware so we can receive other signs that guide us. And crow signals us to let go of what no longer serves us.
Shortly after my daughter got married several years ago, I was watching the videotape of the outdoor ceremony when I noticed something unusual. During the exact moments that my husband was walking our daughter down the isle toward her groom, there were three distinct crow caws, with a pause after each one. The rest of the ceremony was silent. When I heard the crow caws in the recording, my eyes filled with tears. Crow had bestowed a blessing on my daughter's wedding day.
If crow shows up in your life or in your dreams or visions, know that a rebirth may be at hand. And whatever crow may be warning you about is something for your highest good!
The Meaning of Snake
Another commonly misunderstood animal symbol is snake. Humans have a natural fear of snakes. Likely even looking at the picture below may make you uneasy! We all have this self-protective instinct, because a snake can potentially kill you - if venomous. But many snakes are harmless. And a snake that appears in your dreams or visions is mystical!
In Native American spirituality, "snake medicine" is very powerful medicine. It is the medicine that comes through initiation. The difficult circumstances of our lives are like snake bites. But through these snake bites we learn to transmute the "poison" of our challenging life circumstances. We learn this through a succession of death and rebirth cycles. In Awaken Your Greater Health I wrote, "In these cycles we let go and let die the aspects of the small self as we outgrow and shed them, just as the snake sheds its skin as it grows. Then we are reborn into greater states of health and well-being."
The appearance of snake in your life, visions or dreams may indicate you are a person with snake medicine. According to authors Jamie Sams and David Carson in Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, "Snake medicine people are very rare. This is heavy magic, but remember, magic is no more than a change in consciousness."
Have you experienced a series of difficult and challenging life circumstances? These may have served as your spiritual initiation to higher levels of consciousness. And that higher level of consciousness may be required for you to fulfill your life purpose.
The Meaning of Spider
Another animal we humans naturally fear are spiders. Like some species of snake, some spiders can indeed kill you. Although most are poisonous, many are no more harmful to a human than an insect bite. When spider appears in your life, dreams, or visions... it is not to scare you, but to deliver a wonderful message!
Spider symbolizes infinite creativity. Her body looks like a figure eight... the infinity symbol. Through spider we learn that creativity comes through balancing masculine and feminine, the past and the future, and the physical and spiritual. Spider is also associated with language, and the primordial letters and symbols that first formed language. Those who have spider medicine are able to weave magic with the written word.
The spider web represents the illusion we can become caught in, the illusion of the lower self, also known as the small self, or ego. Once caught in this illusion, it can be difficult to wake up and see your way out. If spider webs appear in your dreams, visions, or in your life, spider may be drawing your attention to how you are entangled in the illusions of the material, physical world, which needs to be balanced with the spiritual world. It may be a signal to awaken your spirit and ascend to a higher level of consciousness.
For 20 years I practiced energy healing in a basement office. One year the basement spiders seemed out of control. Each morning when I prepared my work space for the day, I'd have to clear away the new spider webs that were spun overnight. Not only were these webs forming inside the basement, but they were forming outside the basement entrance as well, blocking client access with large webs! I finally realized that spider was delivering a message. That message, along with other messages I received led to writing two books and moving my practice online, decisions that represented a quantum leap in how I work with energy.
Healing Sacred Symbolism
The turmoil you see in the world and in your life are a sign of the great turning. We live in a time when the tide is beginning to turn from fear to love; from disempowered to empowered. More and more people are awakening to live from their higher self. And reclaiming our sacred symbols is part of this great awakening.
If an animal crosses your path, or appears in your visions or dreams -- regardless if it is a cute, furry mammal or a scaly, cold-blooded reptile -- investigate the meaning. Get the book Animal Spirit Guides, or Ted Andrews' Animal Speak and look it up. Or meditate on the symbol to find your own meaning.
Each one of us can play a role in the healing of sacred symbolism. Choose animal symbol meanings that empower you, not fearful meanings that disempower you. And share this information to enlighten those who may be frightened. Let's spread love, light and empowerment!
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