A few blogs back, I was looking up the meaning of “spiders” in dreams. I remembered reading about animal spirit guides of Native American cultures, and I thought, “Hmm… maybe the spider is my animal guide. Then again, maybe the penguin is my guide, because I’ve always loved penguins.” (Seriously, I own more penguin tchotchkes and memorabilia than you can shake a stick at. Even my son’s nursery was penguin themed.) Chuckling to myself, I did a Google search for “penguin animal spirit guide”.
What started as a lark turned out to be something much more interesting. According to Presley Love at http://www.universeofsymbolism.com, the penguin brings the gifts of elegance and epiphanies, shares the energies of duty, survival, and an epic journey, and teaches the magic of intuition and imagination. The penguin guides us to see things in new ways: They cannot fly in the air, so they fly in water. They leap from icebergs. They share the work of raising their young chick with their mate, surviving and thriving in extreme conditions.
Damn! Penguins kick ass! And every word seemed to speak to the very place I found myself in my life. The idea of my husband and I, leaping from icebergs into scary waters, raising our son in the “extreme conditions” of autism, and finding new ways to help him “fly” with his wings that worked a little differently from those of other children. It was weird. Weird, and really cool!
And unlike the spiders in my dreams that represent negative things – feelings of being trapped and unable to move, penguins represent positive and hopeful things. They symbolize endurance and resilience. They persevere through tough times. And they’re cute and silly, too.
Now some might think that all of this is, indeed, silly. But I have to disagree! The search for meaning in visions and dreams, in animals and nature, have been a part of what makes us human since our ancient ancestors first began telling stories. We, as humans, are always on a quest for deeper meaning. We look for shapes in the clouds and patterns of stars in the night sky. It’s comforting to recognize our interconnectedness with nature, the world, and the Universe.
So, yes, it may seem silly in these modern times to find magic in the mundane or look for truth in the trivial. But if enlightenment wants to present itself to me in the form of a penguin, I’m OK with that!
Now if I could only get penguins to visit me in my dreams instead of spiders…
* Copyright info: Presley Love, Universe of Symbolism, http://www.universeofsymbolism.com, 2013.