A Shamanic Gaze At Trendy Animals


Last night I realized that certain animals must be trending for a reason. So I’ve consulted Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.

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When I say trendy animals… I’m thinking what animals are most likely to make it on a hipster T-shirt: foxes, cats, owls, deer and octopi. That far from the wild, and into the world of screen printing and artisan rubber stamps, lives a transplanted menagerie. Why? Is it random or highly indicative? What are the talismans of contemporary culture? Let’s remember that if we’re going to collectively focus on and adore certain species of animals, it could be anything. We could collectively have a penchant for alligators, but we don’t. (I am talking about the USA here & mostly the younger generations… people from other countries gotta weigh in and tell me about their culture’s animals of interest.)

While dinosaurs are not included in this text by Andrews, I think they are worth mentioning along this topic of animal fascination as dinosaur designs have made their way abundantly into design and commerce. The Pluto in Scorpio generation is a return to the most primordial of Plutonian orientations. We will see what kind of deep shift they (we, if I’m to be honest) bring into the world (plus those with the Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn) more as time goes on.


“The fox has a long history of magic and cunning associated with it. Because it is a creature of the night, it is often imbued with supernatural power. It is often most visible at the times of dawn and dusk, the “Between Times” when the magical world and the world in which we live intersect. It lives at the edges of forests and open land-the border areas.”

“The coat of the fox serves as camouflage, and most fox coats have variations of color within them. This facilitates their ability to stay camouflaged and remain relatively unseen. Practicing and using camouflage is something everyone with a fox totem should learn to do. Working to blend in with the surroundings, to come and go unnoticed, moving silently about without revealing your intentions is all part of what fox teaches.

Much of this is reflected in learning to control the aura, the energy field around your body. You can adjust its frequency and intensity so that you harmonize more with others. You can focus on changing its appearance so that you blend in. Practice by standing against a wall and see yourself (and your aura) becoming the color of the wall, just as if you were fading into it.


“Cats are at home after dark, and yet most humans want them to be traditional pets during the day. When they do not respond in this manner, they are accredited with independence and unsociability. Because the dark is the home of fears and those things humans do not want to see and can’t see, the cat has come to be associated with magic and mystery. The truth is that cats have more rods in the retinas of their eyes, which enhances light perception. It enables them to see effectively in the dark.”


“No bird has as much myth and mystery surrounding it than the owl. Most perceptions of it are confused. It is not unusual to get contrary opinions of the owl. It has an ancient aura of mystery about it. Part of this is because it is a nocturnal bird, and night time has always seemed mysterious to humans. The owl is a symbol of the feminine, the moon, and the night. It has been called a cat with wings. It has been worshiped as an idol and hated as the reincarnation of the devil. It has been believed to have great healing powers, both in North America and on other continents. Because of its association with the moon, it has ties to fertility and seduction, for the moon is the arouser of men and owl. The owl is the bird of magic and darkness, of prophecy and wisdom.”

“The owl is a bird of the night, and the night has long been a symbol of the darkness within-the place in which humans hide their secrets. The owl has great vision and hearing. They can adjust in an instant from a telescopic to a microscopic focus. The pupils respond in a fraction of a second to very minute changes in light intensity. The owl’s eyes are specially adapted to detect subtle movements. They also have extra light-sensitive cones and rods in the retina to help with this.”


“Antlers are symbols of antennae, connections to higher forms of attunement. Deer with antlers thus can be a signal to pay attention to your inner thoughts and perceptions, as they are probably more accurate than you think.

The antlers are shed every year, and each year they grow back larger and with more points, for five years. If a deer has entered your life, look for new perceptions and degrees of perceptions to grow and expand for as much as the next five years. It can indicate that there will be opportunities to stimulate gentle new growth increasingly over the next few years.

The antlers grow behind the eyes, again hinting at the symbolism of heightened perception.”

No entry for Octopus, though. Thoughts? We value being hidden? Or perhaps if we are to keep an animal image on us or around us, we prefer one that imbues us with a sense of power (Pluto) which also can correspond on the archetypal level to what is hidden. Sense, at any rate, the social commentary of the foxes on the ties at the top?


(Image: Scatterbrain Ties, and all quotes from Animal Speak by Ted Andrews)

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