dr. steven farmer

Animals as Oracles: A Quest to Connect, Contemplate and Create

The animal world has much to teach us. Some animals are experts at survival and adaptation. Some are great nurturers and protectors. Some have great fertility and others have great gentleness. Some embody strength and courage, while others can teach us playfulness. The animal world shows us the potentials we can unfold. But to learn from them, we must first learn to speak with them.

When we learn to speak with the animals, to listen with animal ears and to see through animal eyes, we experience the phenomena, the power, and the potential of the human essence. They become our teachers, our friends, and our companions. They show us the true majesty of life itself. They restore our forgotten childlike wonder at the world, and they reawaken our lost belief in magic, dreams and possibilities. ~Ted Andrews, author of Animal Speak – The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small

I feel so blessed to have, and continue to, experience many beautiful teachings from animals – dogs I’ve shared (and share) my life with – and many of the creatures in the animal kingdom.

In my quest to deepen this journey I want to:

  • Continue to deepen my love and understanding of animals, connecting more often with their symbolic teachings and wisdom.
  • Devote more time to my writing and journaling to allow teachings from the animals to gently bubble to the surface.
  • Deepen my work with oracle cards as a tool for self-reflection and insight I may not otherwise have thought of as a way in which to see the world in a more insightful and meaningful way.
  • Honor my desire to express my creativity, and especially that of playing more with something I could honestly get lost in for hours, which is creating with digital programs such as Canva.

So every day I will draw a card from an animal oracle deck, percolate in its wisdom, consider how I can integrate that animals teaching into my life…and then I will share my insight via a graphic I will design in Canva!

I welcome you to join me on this quest as a partner and sharing how animals have served as oracles in your life, too! Just follow along on Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag #animalsasoracles

Today’s animal card from: Messages from Your Spirit Animal Guides by Dr. Steven Farmer

Red Moon Passage and Animal Medicine

Red Moon Passage and Animal Medicine
Photo credit: http://wordsofraven.blogspot.com/2010/10/when-moon-turned-red.html

Recently I came across a book by Bonnie J. Horrigan, published in 1997, called Red Moon Passage.  As someone who is a newborn of my post menopausal years, I was struck by the title and that it is about “The Power and Wisdom of Menopause.”

You may be wondering what this has to do with animal medicine, but hang tight as I will share that with you shortly.

Red Moon Passage is a term that the author came up with as a way to look at this time in a woman’s life “as a spiritual journey to a new way of being and celebrating menopause as a spiritual journey of transformation.”

red moonI love this because it is exactly how I am trying to embrace this transition I’m now in. It’s not to say it does not bring with it challenges, because I’m experiencing a few of those, too.

But as Frankie, my paralyzed dachshund taught me so many years ago, I want to always find ways in which to focus on the positive.

And there are many to this red moon passage time such as feeling freer to live from the inner light of who I really am and not getting caught up in what others may think of me and my choices.

While I’m not always positive about when a hot flash comes, I do remind myself to view it as the old self leaving and a more empowered self emerging.  And you know what? Most often, I really do like this new self that I’m witnessing in the reflection of my mirror.

Which brings me to animal medicine…

A friend suggested a homeopathic medicine called Lachesis Mutus by Boiron to help with the hot flashes. I was quite excited to give it a try because I want to move through this time as naturally as possible.

I went ahead and ordered the product. Afterwards, I came to find out it is made from the venom of the South American bushmaster’s snake. I researched further and read the venom is so dilute that only almost undetectable amounts of the poison remain.

But I couldn’t get over the fact it was snake venom. I thought I might die if I took the little white pellets which they instruct to put under your tongue when you feel a hot flash coming on. Which is silly because they couldn’t sell it if it did that!

But this led me to read more about snake medicine in Dr. Farmer’s Animal Spirit Guides book and to also consult author Dawn Brunke’s Animal Wisdom Tarot cards.

What did I need to learn from Snake?  I wondered. But more so, was I open to it?

As I consulted the two resources these are the passages that resonated with me:

From Animal Spirit Guides by Dr. Steven Farmer:

“You’re going through a major life or developmental transition, one so powerful that it requires you to shed a lot of attachments, especially to your old identity.”

“You’ve gone through a series of initiations, including death and rebirth experiences and as a result have gained compassion, wisdom, and a powerful capacity for healing.”

“You’ve gained a deeper interest in ancient and indigenous cultures and spiritual practices and feel quite at home with these.”

From The Animal Wisdom Tarot Cards by Dawn Brunke:

This is a card (Snake) of enthusiasm, adventure, excitement and adventure. Fueled with inner heat, we sense a challenge—and are ready.

As guardian of sacred places, Snake helps us to explore the far-reaches of our soul and learn to be fully alive.

Be bold, daring; let your inner light shine.

I appreciated how Snake reminded me of what was, what is, and what is yet to come…and to be open to all of it.

Animal Wisdom Tarot CardsI was still a little apprehensive about taking the tiny white pellets, though I was feeling a bit more confident. After a discussion with my friend a few days later, I finally found the courage to give it a try.

And guess what? They work for me… And I’m here to tell you about it!

And oh! how I’ve grown in expanding my awareness and embracing even more how animals can show us the parts of ourselves we are sometimes afraid to look at.

But when we do, how our world can open in even more magical ways helping us to heal and move forward.

Thank you for visiting!

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The Animals are Talking!

blue-jayI’ve made more of a conscious decision to pay attention to the messages from all the animals in our world. Though I really believe dog is one of my spirit animals, I also believe all animals have much to teach me.

As I’m opening myself more to this I think I should perhaps change my website/blog name from Joyful Paws to Joyful Paws wings, hooves, etc. GRIN.

The more I understand and read about how animals try to get messages to us, the more I smile in complete wonder. You don’t have to live in a place full of animals around you to pay attention to their messages for you. They can come to you in images you see on TV or in a magazine or book, something you’ve heard, or an animal that appears before you.

Yesterday I posted on my Facebook page an image of Owl and Butterfly together that touched me. In learning to understand all their messages, I  turn to “The Animal Wisdom Tarot” cards by Dawn Brunke and Dr. Steven Farmer’s book, “Animal Spirit Guides.”

When I read about each animal I read and listen carefully to what resonates with me and find my lesson in their offering.

So this morning as I was doing my yoga practice, a bluejay landed in the tree outside my window. I’ve not seen a bluejay in a long, long time. He flitted back and forth for a time being and then flew off.

I smiled and could hardly wait to get done with my practice to hear what message he had for me.

As I picked up Dr. Steven Farmer’s book and began to read, I got tears in my eyes from these thoughts from Bluejay that feel right for me right now:

Rather than just dabbling in the spiritual/metaphysical realm, choose a path to explore and go as far as you can with it.

Whatever the situation that has triggered some fear, attack it boldly and courageously.

You’re feeling threatened or intimidated by someone, particularly someone you see as stronger or more capable that you are.

You have an interest in a number of subjects and want to explore them all to a degree.

Bluejay had other thoughts to offer, but the above resonated with me at this time.

What really fascinates me about being more open to the teachings of all animals is how they really speak to us of where we are at in our lives and what we are working through.

I want to know more, and it’s why I welcome being as open as possible to hearing and understanding what they have to share with me.

We shall see who arrives next to share another teaching with me!