When we step forward into the responsibility of consciously creating our lives, guidance can come to us in many forms and one of the forms I have consistently experienced since 2012 is the presence of spirit animals, in dreams, meditations, and crossing my path in real life. As I mentioned in my January 2nd post, Acknowledging the Guidance of Spirit Animals: The Robin for the New Year, if we are paying attention, there are many little signs in the course of our mundane lives that can bring us valuable information. I knew having three robins perch above me on a snow-covered branch in January was odd. For one thing there was not just one, but three, but I have always known robins to be a migratory bird and associated with the first sign of spring. Come to find out, in European mythology they are associated with the new year, and they do sometimes stay in an area and not migrate if there is a sufficient food source. The message of seeing a robin in the winter is a reminder to tap into your inner strength and remain courageous and trusting in order to thrive in less than ideal conditions, which happened to be a very timely message for me. Our everyday lives can indeed be magical.
I had my first encounter with spirit animals, or power animals, while meditating in the fall of 2012. This is when I was introduced to the elephants that still accompany me today. The elephants have always come to me either in meditation or during shamanic journeying and this particular time I had gotten into the hot tub, my favorite place to meditate, completely unexpecting of the experience that awaited me.
My slight body slipped effortlessly into the hot water. It felt safe and comforting, and as it enveloped and supported my body, I relaxed. The water was always like a portal to another world. I looked at the tall ponderosa pines standing guard around me and noticed the birds contentedly flitting through their protective branches. It was a beautiful day and I was so blessed to have this time to myself.
I took a deep breath in and let a long slow exhale escape as I closed my eyes. I focused on the space…on the nonexistence… there on the inside of my forehead between my eyebrows. I let all of the thoughts go…just slip away…until it was just my consciousness and that black void. And then something amazing happened. Something I had never experienced before. An image appeared right there in my mind’s eye. An elephant’s head appeared in profile. Its trunk was facing my left and I was looking into its huge carmel-colored left eye, and that eye contained the entire universe. All that ever was, is, or will be. The universe in an elephant’s eye! What kind of information was this I was receiving? What did it mean, to be shown the universe in an elephant’s eye? It was like experiencing dream imagery, but while being conscious. Over the following months, in my meditations, I was visited by more elephants. Sometimes there were many of them surrounding me in a circle and supporting me with their trunks, holding me. Sometimes there were two huge guardian-type elephants that would flank me and walk with me. They were amazing. As a spirit animal or totem, the symbolism of the elephant includes connection to ancient wisdom, but as I came to later find, elephants were representative of a much larger theme in my life.
The summer of 2013 I decided to get henna-style elephants tattooed onto my shoulders for my birthday, in honor of my spiritual affiliation with the animals. I had been collecting artwork from online searches of styles of elephants that I liked, and went in with a collage to show the artist. I knew I wanted them on my shoulders, facing each other, fairly large.
The artist drew the elephants to scale on the tracing paper in the few weeks before my appointment and I checked them over upon my return to the shop. The size was good. For me they were representing those giant protective guardian elephants that had shown up in my meditations. We had decided the tattoos would be line work, in the style of mendhi, or the henna tattoos of India. Each had a front foot lifted, giving the impression of movement, and their trunks were slightly lifted in such a way that framed the existing white lotus tattoo between them. A lifted trunk represents the overcoming of obstacles. These elephants were Asian rather than African and were drawn with the usual decorative trappings of the Asian elephant in service to man – a blanket on its back and cuffs around each foot. Upon seeing this, I stopped. “We need to change this to an all-over pattern. These elephants are FREE.”
I had unknowingly made a choice. A couple of years later, I would participate in a guided shamanic journey with local shaman Stacey Couch. I joined the her email list, and her emails regularly included information on animal symbolism. The very next email after the journey was on elephants. I knew already that elephants symbolically represent power, strength, royalty, connection to ancient wisdom, removal of obstacles and barriers, confidence, patience, using education opportunities, commitment, gentleness, communicating in relationships, discernment, intelligence, and compassion. But the shaman made an additional point that I had not yet considered. The African elephant specifically represents something untamed, wild and free. Although I have always been drawn to the African elephant, I ended up with Asian elephants as my tattoos. Asian elephants represent "a rich and tortured past of servitude, full of the paradox of intense reverence and great trial, similar to the plight of the horse. The Asian elephant has played a key role in the advancement of our civilization and has suffered immense atrocities as a result of domestication. The bond between an elephant and a human can run very, very deep both emotionally and archetypally.". I had subconsciously chosen to show the species known for servitude as free - not to choose to represent the one already wild, but to represent the process of becoming free.
The time I first started seeing the elephants in meditation marked the time I began a personal journey to freedom from limiting beliefs and patterns, trauma and fears. Their appearance marked the time when I began to learn that I could consciously create my life. The elephants serve as a symbol of my mission to now share everything I have learned and everything that I continue to learn so that others might be able to find that same personal freedom from all of the beliefs, ideas, habits, thought patterns and fears that hold us back from our truest self-expression and the joy that comes from being free to live our most authentic, consciously created life.
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As an ambassador for Consciously Creating Life, Kasey serves as an advocate of the magic that exists in this life and in each and every one of us. She is a champion of the journey to access our own powerful magic by returning home to ourselves and reclaiming the thrones of our hearts as sovereign rulers of our realms, through practicing the Art of Consciously Creating Life.
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