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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Animal Signs: Beaver

Today is "back to work and school day" in my part of the world. It was kind of a gentle re-entry with a few business and work sites open yesterday, and a few that were opened in between Christmas and New Years. For many people, because of the way the holidays fell on weekend days, this was a nice long break. So today comes as a bit of a "crashing blow" and a bit of a relief, both at the same time.

I guess for the most part we are "creatures of habit". A lot of people find it comforting to have some kind of structure and routine in their lives. We seem to need that bit of direction if only so that we can appreciate the lack of routine and the true relaxation of a good vacation.

It can be hard to switch back to the "real world" though. At first it's not so bad.  You have a chance to get re-connected with friends and co-workers.  Kids get to see those friends they might not have been in contact with over the vacation.  We have new topics of conversation. Maybe you feel good because you something new on- a new outfit, a new piece of jewelry or new shoes.  You pick up your routine morning coffee or tea and that feels soothing in itself. Ahh...

And then you sit at your desk. You're ready to do something fresh and new.  You've been thinking about this.  You clean off your desk, sharpen your pencil, line up your pens.  If you're a Rock Water Bach flower type you didn't have to do this- that's how you left your desk before the vacation. In fact, that's how you leave it every day! If you're an Impatiens Bach Flower type, thought about that, started sharpening some pencils,  threw out a leaky pen, and then you decided you were wasting time so you moved on to something else. If you're a Scleranthus Bach Flower type, you spent some time trying to decide if you should clean your desk or your filing cabinet. In the end you just got up and refilled your coffee instead.

If you're a Clematis type, while sharpening your pencils, your thoughts strayed to dreaming about what it might be like to be beaver. You considered how fun it would be to chop down a tree with your teeth- no electric pencil sharpeners for you!  You could just hone them down to a fine point and make a dam while you're at it!  Right about now you've got a nice little beaver dam pile of pencils created on your desk and you're thinking you might go for a swim at lunch time!

Perhaps on this first day back to work and school in January of a new year, we could all use some of the beaver's energy. We all have great ideas of things we want to do and accomplish in the momentous year of 2012, but perhaps we could use some help to bring them to reality.

Daniel Mapel in, Into The Heart Of The Wild, writes that the beaver is the master architect and builder. As a totem or spirit animal, the beaver provides support for creating new projects, turning ideas into action and problem solving with structure.

Beavers don't just chop down those trees and leave them lying there, or throw them around haphazardly. They don't start one dam and then move on downstream.  They build with an obvious design in mind.  This is not a solitary project, they work together in groups to accomplish the goal. They build structures for the group or family and they all work together to achieve the goal. They seem to accept the fact that first they have to pick a good spot. They lay down a few initial support beams and then they work hard to "fill in the blanks". If you've ever watched a beaver swim around it looks like they truly have fun doing it. They seems to strike a nice balance between industrious work and play.

Beavers start out with one twig, branch or tree but they can change the entire course of a river. If this animal spirit has entered your life it might be time to think about how you might change the course of your life by putting some structural pieces in place. With a goal in mind and a bit of structure your dreams can be shaped into reality.

The presence of beavers as an animal sign are a call to action.  They can signify the opportunity to consider whether you are lost in your dream or neglecting your dream and if so, move towards the goal. Put a plan in place and start moving forward. Consider whether or not it might be easier to reach your goals if you had a team effort.

There are some Bach Flowers that support the beaver "call to action" energy.  Clematis can help you ground your dreams into reality. Hornbeam can help you get started, and remain focused on the goal. Oat might help you sort through what your goals really are and what dreams you really want to pursue. Water Violet might help you expand your dreaming from a solitary project to a group effort. If all you envision when you think of the beaver is those dangerously sharp teeth or the way they slap their tail on the water to signify danger, Mimulus might be helpful to release the fear around your dreams and ultimate goals.

In my part of the world, there are lots of opportunities to spot this totem animal.  As Canadians we consider the beaver as a bit of an icon. I guess we like the hard working yet playful symbolism of this creature that is pretty prevalent in most areas. Perhaps we like the idea of creating new flow and changing courses.

A nickle won't get you a lot of material goods these days, but perhaps today is a good day to place that 5 cent piece on your desk or in those new shoes your wearing.  Maybe having that beaver picture will help you draw the energy of the beaver to you and you'll find yourself bringing your dreams into reality- one stick at a time.

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