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I like to take off into the Olympic Mountains in the summer time and hike along the long streambeds and valleys up the hills and small mountains. The tremendous amount of rainfall helps create one of the most magnificent temperate rainforests in the world. The Olympics create an incredible environment for a diverse array of animal life to grow and thrive. These animals teach me many lessons as I walk with them. The bear teaches me to be slower and more attentive. The eagle teaches me to be stronger and to see with clear vision. Each animal carries itself in a certain way that enlightens and heals me when I pay attention.

These animals can act as powerful allies and healers of our souls if we take the time to watch them and take their spirit into our hearts. Many indigenous tribal peoples view animals as powerful spiritual entities with much to teach. I once witnessed a Quichua Indian shaman from Ecuador taking on the attributes of a jaguar while doing healing work. Coastal Indians have had profound reverence for whales for thousands of years. The whale not only is a source of food and fuel, but also is a form of spiritual sustenance for the entire tribe.

Animals and Astrology

When I take the time to observe these animals’ habits, I notice their natural affinity to the various elements and planets we study in astrology. Birds have a strong connection to the air element, and seals and whales have an association with the water element. But when we study the animals a little more deeply, we can see how their characteristics attune to different planets as well. Though dolphins may have a basic affinity to the water element, their playfulness and communicative style link them to the planet Mercury. And though great blue herons are connected to air, their graceful majesty and large stature shows their Jupiterian nature.

Each environment produces its own diversity of animal life, and the climate will help attune animals to a certain disposition. A dry, sunny region, like the canyons of southern Utah, will naturally have more fiery animals like lizards and reptiles. Windswept plains and tall gusty crags will have creatures that are connected to the air element, such as ravens, hawks and eagles.

Animals as Medicine

When we learn about an animal through studying, watching and reading about it, we can discover what it has to teach. Perhaps the lesson is about steadfastness and perseverance (buffalo). Or perhaps the lesson they have to teach is about agility and speed (hummingbird). In each case, we can emulate their abilities so we may grow stronger and wiser ourselves.

Often it is helpful to work with an animal that connects with our astrological chart. If we have a predominance of fire planets, we may want to work with a fiery animal to learn how to better access our own innate energy. We may also want to work with an animal that balances our chart and strengthens an element we are missing. If we have a lot of fire we may want to work with a water creature like whale or otter.

Below is a partial list of fire and air animals and birds. There are many ways to connect to these beings and the best way is to watch them in their natural environment. If they have died naturally, we may want to ask for a feather, a bone or some of their fur to remind us of their power.

Fire

Lion, linked to the Sun. This powerful animal comes in many shapes and forms, from the domesticated house cat to the tigers of the Serengeti Plains. They all share skills of agility, gracefulness and ferocity if necessary. Mountain lions are strong and stealthy hunters and teach us to be quiet, elusive and noble.

Coyote, linked to Mercury and Uranus. Coyotes are known for their howling cry, and hunt by themselves or with one other. They have long been seen as a trickster totem by many traditions. Coyote teaches us to be wise by being the fool. They can test us as well as make us laugh and help open doors of realization in sudden brilliant flashes.

Snake, linked to Pluto. Snakes have a primal power and can induce tremendous fear due to their speed and sometimes venomous fangs. These reptiles can sense their environment through their tongue, eyes and the vibrations they feel in their bodies. They will shed their skin at least once a year. Snakes are powerful allies for healers and medicine people, as much of their work is transformational. One of the most famous symbols of healing is the caduceus, which depicts two snakes coiling around a staff. Snakes teach us to be powerful, intense and alert.

Bee, linked to the Sun and Neptune. Honeybees live in colonies of up to 60,000 workers, a queen and a few hundred male drones. They help pollinate plants and trees by gathering the nectar and pollen from flowers. Workers communicate where pollen is to be found by dancing. This powerful little creature teaches us to gather sweetness in our lives, to nourish the community through service and to buzz with love and sexuality.

Air Beings

Eagle, linked to Jupiter. This majestic raptor often sits in perches high above streams and the ground. With powerful vision, eagles are able to sight their prey and fly with lightning speed toward their kill. Eagles teach mature and solid strength, clear vision and leadership skills.

Mountain goat, linked to Saturn. Though these beings also have an affinity to the earth element, their natural terrain is up high in the clouds and mists of windswept mountains. Mountain goats have a steady and sure-footed gait, and can use their powerful strength to quickly bound over boulders and up crags. These beings help us to be direct and sure on our path, to be clear and grounded in our movements and in our relationships.

Swallow, linked to Mercury. Watch as they dance and swim in circles in the air, joyfully playing with each other as they dart by trees and brush. These birds teach us to be playful and to laugh, to be joyful in the moment.

Raven, linked to Pluto. This powerful bird is watchful and confident. With tremendous intelligence, they take in everything around them and strategize, make their decisions and then directly go after what they want and need. Ravens help us to act boldly and truthfully, to face what is dark or hidden in order to reveal the truth.

I will discuss water and earth creatures in Part Two.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Keyes, B.S., is an astrologer, herbalist and plant spirit medicine practitioner. His writing has appeared in The Mountain Astrologer and in numerous Llewellyn almanacs. Jon has written a book entitled 'Guide to Natural Health, The Horoscope as a key to Ancient Healing Practices'. Jon is available for readings and can be contacted at jon_keyes@msn.com. Go to Jon's web site at jonkeyes.com

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For more information about Jonathan Keyes, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Jonathan Keyes:

  • Your Health and Neptune: Part 1   12/12/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   3/13/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   2/27/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   1/26/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   11/14/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/31/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/15/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/1/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   9/14/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/31/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/16/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/2/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   7/18/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   7/4/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   6/17/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   6/4/2001
  • Pluto, Your Health and Herbs   4/30/2001
  • Pluto and Your Psyche   4/16/2001
  • Your Health and Neptune Part 2   3/12/2001
  • Your Health and Saturn Part 2   11/13/2000
  • Your Health and Saturn   10/30/2000
  • Michael Stipe Shuns the Spotlight   9/16/2000
  • Michael J. Fox   8/21/2000
  • Animals and Astrology Part Two   7/3/2000
  • The Astrology of Stones Part 2   5/15/2000
  • Astrology and Stones   5/1/2000

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