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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Animal Signs: The Otter

The animal world seems to be making itself known to us lately in some unusual ways. Or at least this is happening in my part of the world. I'm not sure if it was the lunar eclipse, or solstice, or some pretty intense electrical storm activity that seemed to have the birds out of whack for awhile. Thankfully, they have stopped throwing themselves at the windows and seem to have calmed down. A few days ago a deer made headline news when he crashed through the window of a coffee shop in the city. Strange behavior that we seem to be seeing more of. The Heron is still hanging around but seems to be above any self-destructive or extreme behavior. He appears quite regal and content on his buoy or flying above. There are butterflies and dragonflies all around these days- a welcome sign of summer I guess. Now an otter is making his appearance known to me. He's been swimming around pretty contented but I think he wants to be talked about on the blog so here goes.

Daniel Mapel in, "Into the Heart of the Wild", describes the Otter as being a symbol of child-like playfulness. That certainly describes the Otter behavior. I'm sure he has concerns of basic survival but you wouldn't know it by looking. He swims around in no big hurry or pattern and just seems to be enjoying the splashes. Mapel explains the Otter is an animal that nurtures our ability to relax and not take life too seriously. Having Otters come into your life (and I believe this can happen through actual appearances, pictures, or just being drawn to the creature), may be a symbol that nature is encouraging you to keep a light outlook on the world and your situation, even when facing serious matters. The Otter encourages us to see life as a fun game and a joyful place to be no matter what might be brewing around us. The Otter is seen as a symbol of increased freedom, and light-hearted adventure. It is said that the Otter may come to those that are depressed or chronically worried in order to encourage them that life is not meant to be difficult.

If worry seems to be a constant in your life that takes you away from playing with the Otters, there are a couple of Bach flowers that might help. Both Red Chestnut and Heather can help soothe the worried mind.

If your worry seems focused on others, Red Chestnut may be indicated. Red Chestnut might be considered the "mother's essence" as it is indicated for those that are over-concerned for their children or family members. When out of balance, this concern becomes a pretty consuming fear and has a way of spiraling out of control. The remedy is helpful if you find yourself worried that minor complaints will turn into serious diseases, or everyday activities will end in tragedies such as plane trips into crashes. The parent who lives in fear their son or daughter will be in a car crash can be helped with Red Chestnut. It isn't just parents that hold these worries or fears. Children may be over-concerned they will loose a parent or loved one as well. Red Chestnut won't take away your love and concern for family members, but it can help you balance compassion without anxiety. It likely won't help you fall sleep before the car is back in the driveway, but it might enable you to read a good book until they get home, instead of staring out the window or pacing the hallways.

If your worry is more focused on yourself than on others, Heather may be the Bach Flower essence that is indicated for you. Heather is indicated for those that are preoccupied with their own situation, ailments or concerns. It is helpful for people that exaggerate their symptoms into full blown anxieties. The typical hypochondriac can benefit from a few drops of Heather. This is an essence that might be hard to self-diagnose, but often comes up in professional consultations. People that can benefit from Heather often exhaust their friends from constant talk and endless details about their own issues. They can drive people away because of such extreme neediness. The classic Heather personality is a fast talker that invades your personal space in order to explain what they are going through.

On the other hand, the Otter may make an appearance just to say- "Hey, it's summertime, chill-out in human land". We could take a lot of lessons from our animal friends. If only we would listen...

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