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Friday, June 22, 2012

Animal Signs: Chipmunk

I was startled by something running around in the hay pile this morning. As soon as I discovered it was a Chipmunk, my pulse rate came down about 50% and I completely happy to have a conversation with my new rodent friend. And it really did feel like we had a bit of a conversation. Well, I guess he did most of the talking and I listened. He feels like a buddy to me.  I'm pretty sure it can't really be the same one, but it seems like I see him in my potato patch sometimes, I see him run under the deck, I watch him play in the woodpile sometimes, and I think  he has a house somewhere around the big tree with the planter. He seems to make a circular path around all these places of interest.

It struck me to wonder why I was perfectly okay with my visitor being a Chipmunk.  I was immediately relieved that it was a Chipmunk and not a mouse or some other creature.  There doesn't really seem to be a logical reason why a Chipmunk is quite okay by me, and a mouse just isn't. In fact, lots of people see chipmunks as more of an "issue" than mice in terms of potential damage. Sometimes I think creature reputations and our perceptions of them come from folk lore, stories and movies. For instances, snakes are often the villains,sort of sneaky and evil, while monkeys are happy and friendly, while in the wild I don't think that's quite the case. But there are  probably an equal number of cute little mice as there are chipmunks in stories and movies so that doesn't quite explain the difference in my mind either.

So then I considered the idea of power animals or animal spirit guides.  Maybe the Chipmunk has a certain energy that I just feel rather drawn to, or okay with, that explains my attraction and calmness. I guess I feel that way about certain people, so why wouldn't that extend to the animal kingdom as well. Hmm...

Steven Farmer in "Animal Spirit Guides", writes that the Chipmunk signifies trust that you are well protected and there is no real danger you have to face. Violet, at also describes Chipmunk energy as having a quality of trust and an absence of fear.

It seems that Chipmunk energy embodies the positive aspects of the Bach Flower essence Aspen. Chipmunks have a sense of assurance and inner security that allows them to move with confidence. It doesn't seem to me to be the quiet self-assured nature of a balanced Cerato type, it's a chatty, seeking adventure, fearless attitude that resonates more with Aspen.

Farmer, Violet and others all agree that the energy of the Chipmunk indicates a curious nature and a willingness to investigate anything that comes along. Chipmunks circle around and expand their circle finding all kinds of things along the way. In my opinion, this type of love of discovery, seems to resonate with the positive aspects of the Bach Flower essence Clematis. Chipmunks take lively interest in the world and their surroundings and just find pure enjoyment in that grounded interaction.  It doesn't seem like you can ever catch a Chipmunk daydreaming.  They are grounded in the moment, an active participant in their environment.

"My" Chipmunk seems to be equal parts worker and goof. I know he's busy storing food and creating things.  He runs back and forth between that potato patch and his multiple condos carrying things and filling his cheeks. It would seem he has a pretty long "to do list". I don't seem him sitting around fretting about where to start, ever. He's busy, decisive, and directed.  But sometimes, he really seems to be just busy having fun. It would seem he really enjoys his work and he engages in some lively conversations while doing it.  That would seem to be a fit for the positive aspects of the Bach Flower essence Hornbeam.  He finds that balance between work and play that speaks to pure enjoyment of the moment.

I think "my" Chipmunk is pretty balanced. I believe most animals in the wild are exactly who and what they are meant to be and likely enjoy emotional balance because of that.  But every once in awhile, it would seem as though this guy gets a bit crazy. He moves quickly whatever he's doing and he has a bit of that fidgety, hasty nature that resonates with the Bach Flower Impatiens. I once watched this guy try to pull a piece of cloth off the wood pile. It was stuck there pretty good and he really wanted it.  I think it started out as a game and then became a project for him.  I'm pretty sure he started cursing when he couldn't get it loose after awhile.  He got a bit absorbed in the whole thing and just "couldn't let it go". That kind of quick action can lead to accidents and when the cloth finally let go quite suddenly he fell pretty far pretty fast and had to shake his head a bit before getting back at it. He has also been known to make the dash across the driveway right in  front of cars when it seems he really should have waited. Maybe that's just his trust that I'll slow down, but all that sounds like just a wee bit of Impatiens to me.

All the animal energy sources I found, suggest that when a Chipmunk shows up you should consider protecting a project for a period of time. At they suggest you keep new projects out of sight for the first 6 week period. They compare this to the complex burrow system that a Chipmunk creates to offer protection for their new projects (their young). Farmer also writes that the appearance of a Chipmunk is a sign to keep a completed creative project to yourself for a few weeks before revealing it to others. Farmer also writes that if Chipmunk is your Power Animal, "noticeable and sometimes dramatic shifts and changes occur for you in either three-month or one-year cycles".  Hmm..

Maybe that cycle of changes and shifts is a cautionary note on a global sense.  Perhaps we are all feeling shifts and changes that require some reflection before bringing new ideas forward. Taking that time to allow actions to fully form or waiting till the timing is right also resonates with the calming, relax and allow, balance of the Bach Flower Impatiens.

There is no question that "my" Chipmunk wants to be heard today. Shortly after our morning conversation I received an email from a friend that included a picture of a Chipmunk.  Perhaps that's just pure coincidence, but I took that as a sign that Chipmunk energy is "out there today" and deserves to be listened to.

Happy scampering!

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