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Monday, October 3, 2011

Animal Signs: Skunk

A skunk crossed my path the other day. Luckily for me, he was in an hurry. Apparently he had places to go and things to do. He didn't have time to stay and chat. I respect that.

As a totem animal or animal sign, the skunk is all about respect. They both demand respect and give respect in return. They are considered to be very powerful totems with mystical and magical associations.

Despite it's smaller size, and fairly slow movement, the skunk is respected throughout the animal kingdom. If it encounters danger, it turns it's back, lifts it's tail and  releases a chemical spray up to 10 or 14 feet with accuracy. The skunk aims to hit you in the eyes. Once the eyes are irritated with this spray, the attacker turned victim, is temporarily blinded and the skunk safely goes on his way. For this reason, skunks are respected. If you've ever had the misfortune of being sprayed by one, it's unlikely you would take it on again!

As an animal sign, seeing a skunk might cause you to consider whether you have a healthy dose of self respect. Consider the signals you are sending to others and think about whether or not the people around you respect you. You might need to affirm who you are without overpowering or bullying others. Skunks do not tolerate abuse in any form.  They know they have power and they aren't afraid to use it!

But skunks don't abuse this power. They respect others.  If they sense danger, they stamp their front paws and hiss at you first. They give you fair warning that you are in their personal space!  If you don't back off, they turn on you and release the spray. As an animal sign, the skunk may also appear to provide you with some warning signals. Ina Woolcott, at  writes that the skunk could be sending you a signal of imminent danger or caution. The skunk may appear to encourage you to listen to your intuition and act accordingly. The skunk is a signal to listen to your inner wisdom instead of your mind or ego.

Skunks tend to be pretty solitary creatures. They spend most of the day underground. They dig their own dens but they aren't above taking over the homes of rabbits, foxes, or other creatures that have gone into foreclosure.  They are confident like that.  The skunk doesn't have to prove anything by building a fine home all on it's own. It's happy to take over the work that someone else has done. The skunk has nothing to prove I guess.

This secure confident nature allows the skunk to be happy on it's own.  Skunks know the value of balancing time with others and time alone. That balanced approach to interpersonal interactions is another lesson the skunk may be presenting to you. Again, it's about trusting your intuition and knowing when it's right to seek the counsel and company of others, and when it's a better idea to just "hole up in your den".

There are a few Bach flower essences that match the signals the skunk presents.  Crab Apple, Centaury, Water Violet and Cerato could all be considered.

If you are lacking some self-respect, Crab Apple may be the essence for you. Crab Apple can help you feel good about yourself and your environment. It can help restore confidence in your mind and body.

If you feel that others aren't respecting you, and you're being bullied or manipulated, Centaury may be helpful for you. Centaury encourages people to express and defend their opinions.  It may help you mix well in the company of others without loosing touch with who you are.

Water Violet is the essence that speaks to that "hole up in your den" sign from the skunk. Violet types often need to find the balance between too much time alone, and spending time with others. Water Violet is usually recommended when you prefer being alone and need a bit of encouragement to seek relationships with others. But Bach Flowers are all about finding the balance, so it may also work if you are seeking the company of others, when you might benefit more from taking some time to yourself to sort things out.

Cerato is probably the best Bach Flower match for the personality of the skunk and the lessons that can be learned from it. Cerato is indicated when you can use some help to trust your inner wisdom. If you find yourself seeking advice or counsel from others, or confirmation from others that you are doing the right thing, Cerato is the essence for you. The skunk, like Cerato encourages you to trust your own judgement, decision-making and warning signs. Cerato can help you pay attention to that inner self, secure in the knowledge that you know what is best for you and you alone.

In the Walt Disney Classic, "Bambi", Thumper the rabbit  is pretty "large and in charge", and is good at organizing and bossing people around. Bambi, at least in the beginning is really looking for this direction and takes advice where ever he can get it. But the skunk is quiet, calm and very self-knowing. She encourages Bambi to follow his heart and choose his own path.  Perhaps it's no coincidence that the skunk is named Flower.  Maybe it's short for Bach Flower?

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