Around 55 million years ago Australia was part of Gondwanaland, covered in rainforest and inhabited by mega fauna.
Today, we are an island continent with a coastline extending almost 60,000 kilometres. Our continent is almost as long as it is wide and we are a nation of extremes. We regularly experience both droughts and floods; our climate ranges from snowfields in the south to the lush tropics of the north and the harsh deserts of the Centre balanced by the underwater marvels of Ningaloo Reef to the west and the famous Great Barrier Reef in the east. Our challenging climate creates Australia's unique landscape, its plants, creatures and humans.
For our deck, we carefully chose uniquely Australian creatures to focus on part of our beliefs. Then, when we started actually writing about and drawing the animals, we found that other animals had chosen to be part of this Oracle. To understand how this could happen, you will need to look at this from the animal’s point of view: for instance if you can accept that there is no such thing as a feral animal, you are coming close to understanding animal wisdom. Feral is just a label that humans apply to those animals that either won't be domesticated or that don't fit neatly into human economic structures, so feral really means untamed by humans.
Eleven creatures of the air, eleven of the water, and eleven of the earth eventually settled into our Oracle, with air meaning head (or the intellect), water meaning heart (or the emotions), and earth meaning hands (or the body). The type of cards you choose will have a meaning for you, apart from the actual message of each animal.
- If you choose a predominance of air cards, you may be living too much in the mind by intellectualising rather than experiencing. You may need to give more time to your emotions or to ground yourself.
- If you choose predominantly earth cards, you may be focusing on the physical in life and perhaps not paying enough attention to the intellectual and the emotional.
- If you choose mainly water cards, you may need to balance your emotions with the intellectual and the practical to ensure that your heart isn’t ruling your head and hands.
Believing in reincarnation means you choose to live more than one life. In the Celtic belief, you live as many lives as you need to learn the skills you need before you can become Master of all the crafts – and in the Celtic tradition there are 36 crafts so you can see how you would need more than one lifetime to master them all.
While you wait for your next incarnation, you review your past lives and map out a flight plan for your life so you may experience everything you need to experience while you are here, your griefs and joys, triumphs and tragedies, lessons and loves. Then you are born into this world and promptly lose the plot so you spend most of your life querying Why me? or Why this? No matter if you regularly declutter the house, or wish on the new moon, or write affirmations, you may still find that you are facing one of the major life challenges you chose before birth so your life is not the easy, quiet journey that some of us believe we deserve. So how do you know if you are currently experiencing one of the major life lessons you chose before birth?
One way to do a reality check on your current situation is to ask your friends the animals for their guidance.
Both the Aboriginals and the Celts were extremely practical peoples and asking the animals for guidance and being honest about what is needed in each situation is an extremely practical way of stepping lightly and with grace through life’s challenges. When you take time to look and to listen with an open heart, you are likely to find that animals are queuing to offer you messages to help you in your daily life. For example, if ants come into your home looking for high ground, it is likely to rain heavily within a short time. If curlew comes to you during the day, you are asked to look after your baby (or something equally valuable) to protect it from harm. Dolphins remind us not to worry, to enjoy the moment.
You can ask for guidance from the animal world in so many ways:
- Undertake a vision quest, which could entail a strict preparation including fasting and cleansing.
- Meditate, calling for an animal or animals to come to you to share their wisdom.
- Ask for a sign before you sleep at night, then take note of which animals come to you in your dreams.
- Open your eyes to notice which animals come to you during the day
- Use any of the animal oracles developed for the purpose of helping you to understand and to work with the animals.
This Circle of Life Animal Oracle uses the unique animals of Australia, with uniquely Aboriginal and Celtic animal wisdoms - and although we share our stories with you, please do not limit yourself to the meanings we attribute to our animals. Your own story is just as important as anyone else’s. If you have a particular animal that comes to you at certain times with a blessing or a warning, then that is the wisdom of that animal especially for you.
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