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Archive for the ‘Animal art’ Category

Usually when spirit animals come in for me, they are ones that are native to North America where I live. Or at least domestic animals I’m familiar with. However, the other day I did a spirit animal art reading for a person living in another country. I found it interesting that the animal that came through for her was not one I was even very familiar with.

I thought I’d share the reading as it will apply to anyone who is drawn to Red Panda energy.

 

About Red Pandas:

Red Pandas are native to the Himalayas. About the size of a large house cat, they are much smaller than the better-known Giant Panda, and are probably not closely related to them. However, just like Giant Pandas, they base their diet on bamboo. (They also eat other things including acorns, flowers, eggs, insects, and small animals.) They have a special adaptation on their thumb that helps them grip bamboo, but it also makes their front paws nearly as useful as hands. A Red Panda’s beautiful red coat and striking facial and tail markings make it an exceptionally beautiful creature.

Red Pandas also resemble the North American raccoon with their ringed tails and their habit of washing their paws in water before eating. In fact, they are quite clean animals and spend a lot of time grooming themselves all over like a cat.

Female Red Pandas are only fertile one or two days in a year. Once mating has occurred, the fertilized eggs don’t implant right away. Scientists think this helps to ensure the cubs are born at the time that will be best for their survival. Males don’t help raise the cubs, so the female must take care to hide her young safely in a den – usually in a hollow tree or rock crevice.

Red Pandas are nocturnal and mostly solitary. They are great climbers and spend much of their time in trees. Unfortunately they have become endangered because of habitat loss.

Red Panda spirit animal meaning:

Gentle Red Panda carries the message that you don’t need to be aggressive or loud to succeed or make a difference.

You are most likely a very sensitive person and although you may have one primary talent, you are most likely able to learn quickly and pick up easily on new ideas and new tasks. You are probably an independent thinker and self-directed worker, but able to also get along with and work well with others. You can enjoy being part of a team – as long as you are respected for your contributions and can retreat from the crowd when you need to.

It is important for you to find a place for yourself to connect with your inner world. Like the Red Panda, you may find that the outer world and modern society encroaches so much on your life that it limits your ability to thrive. You will need to insist on protecting the time and space you need in order to nourish your soul through whatever activities you are drawn to – perhaps yoga, meditation, quiet reading, walking in nature, or just plain sitting and daydreaming. These activities are important not just for recreation but in order to “fill your cup” so you can be highly productive when you need to.

This is especially true for your creative projects (whether it’s creative expression through the arts or through a business or social endeavor). You may find that once you get an idea for a project you may need to let it “gestate” for a while in your mind before the time is right to bring it out into the world. Be careful who you speak to about it during this time. You will need to protect your ideas from negative people while they are developing.

Early morning and/or nighttime are power times for you. These times are likely to be very productive times for you- either for your work or for spiritual activities.

Finally, Red Panda signifies the ability to develop your spirituality to a high level while remaining grounded in practical life. If you find yourself feeling ungrounded, head for the trees. Remember how a tree reaches for the light at the same time as it clings to and receives nourishment from the earth. If you are feeling stressed, going and spending some time in a wooded area or even just hugging a single tree will help you feel better and come back to center.

Yes, I do custom Spirit Animal and Angel art readings. 

They include an original painting or drawing based on your personal energy, as well as a written and/or recorded interpretation of its message for you. Great for personal growth or as a gift for an adult or child. Message me for details! 

 

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Tiger miniature painting

“Tiger,” miniature watercolor. This painting is available for sale – contact me below for details.

Did you know that on average, a Tiger only succeeds in bringing down prey once every 10 to 20 hunting attempts?

A 5 to 10 percent success rate may seem like a pretty poor track record. But for all that, the Tiger owns the jungle.

Being a winner doesn’t mean you never lose. It simply means you don’t let it stop you. Actually, there’s gold in your mistakes. They can definitely show you what NOT to do next! 🙂

Anyway, whenever it feels like the odds are against you, think about Tiger and be glad you don’t have to take down a water buffalo any time you want a meal. Chances are your odds of success are a bit better than that. So go for it!

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Wolf miniature watercolor

“Lone Wolf,” miniature watercolor. This painting is for sale – contact me below for details.

An Affirmation for Today:
“I open all my senses to everything going on around me.”

Here’s something fun to try. Go out in the woods if you can. Or your backyard if you can’t. Or even in your own home.

Without thinking of anything in particular, just spend 5 minutes observing. What do you notice that you don’t usually see?

Try it first with your eyes open. Then try it with your eyes closed. What do you hear? Smell? Feel?

(In my case, I’m afraid I can still smell skunk.) 😦

So often we’re so in our heads that we miss out on half of what’s going on around us!

Have fun with your senses today!

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turkey vulture feather Somebody handed me a feather the other day. A very long, dark brown flight feather. Neither of us knew what sort of bird had dropped it. But I took it home and looked it up on the Feather Atlas (one of the better things our taxpayer dollars have been spent on.)

Turns out it is from a turkey vulture. I had to chuckle, as for me it was a timely coincidence.

I’m in the midst of a big transition, and as part of the process I”m cleaning and organizing my entire house – closets, attic, the whole nine yards.

Despite Vulture’s sordid looks and its diet of decaying flesh, its symbolic meaning has to do with purification and transformation. One of the stories I love about Vulture came from the native people of Costa Rica, who believed that the Vulture is responsible for carrying the souls of the dead up to heaven.

Fall is nearly here – the season of decline and decay. But it is also a season of beauty when seeds are being sown for new growth and new life.

Cleaning house is lots of hard work – especially when you’re digging through 20 years of accumulated stuff. But I’m already feeling clearer and lighter, and look forward to renewed energy and time for exciting new projects once the process is complete.

Whatever is happening in your life right now, take some time today to give thanks for the cycle of life and honor the way it is manifesting for you right now. Give it time – whatever is happening, this too shall pass! 🙂

(I don’t think I’ve introduced my spirit animal affirmation posters here yet. I’ll do it more formally in the next post, but for now just have to include the Vulture one!):

Spirit Animal affirmation poster - vulture

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New painting: Skunk!

Skunk watercolor painting by Christie MichelsenSpiritual significance of Skunk: Self-confidence, protection, non-combative power, sex appeal, social authority
Shadow side: Malodorous, repulsive, obnoxious, passive aggressive

A Sunday Evening Skunk Story

“According to that online article,” my daughter Aster said matter-of-factly, “our house could smell like this for weeks.”

It all started when we ran out of dental floss.

Or rather, my husband went out of town taking the last roll with him. So my son Isaac ran up to Buck’s, the corner store, for an emergency floss run.

Now, we live in an upper apartment and have not one but three doors between us and the street. One at the top of the stairs, and two at the bottom, making a kind of airlock. Which is a very good thing, because we recently adopted a young coonhound named Melvin. If you know hounds you know why I appreciate this door arrangement. It usually keeps him in.

However, Isaac had only been gone about 45 seconds when here comes Melvin belting down the hallway, snorting and coughing like he’d eaten a ghost pepper.

And then I caught a whiff.

Now, I’ve smelled skunk before, plenty of times, but never like this.

“What the…?”

I started towards the stairs. The door at the top was open. I ventured through. So were the ones at the bottom. Both of them.

And there was something funny about the air. It looked…hazy.

All of a sudden it struck. A great chemical cloud rolled up the stairs and punched me in the nose. It smelled like the resulting explosion when a skunk-bearing guided missile hits a petrochemical plant.

Feeling a bit light headed, I ran up the stairs – too late. The cloud had become a choking olfactory tsunami, mercilessly invading the house. You could practically see it rolling through the hallway, crashing into the bedrooms, and lazily lapping into the living room.

Quickly, Aster and I sprang into action. Eyes watering, we got Melvin crated and sprinted through the building, throwing open doors and wrestling with windows. I ran up to the attic and opened the roof hatch. Then it was Melvin’s turn.

Ever give a skunky 70-pound coonhound a baking soda bath? It was lots of fun. Especially when I looked down to see my brand new cell phone that I had forgotten to take out of my pocket lying face down in the bottom of the tub. We fished it out, and dried Melvin off.

He still smells terrible.

My phone turned itself on and proceeded to go into electronic convulsions.

Then Isaac appeared, looking nonplussed.

“Buck’s is out of floss,” he said. “By the way, what’s that awful smell?”

Happy Monday. When a week starts like this, you know it can only get better! :-)

Love & blessings,

Christie (Anne)

P.S. I’ve been doing a LOT of housecleaning lately – both literally and figuratively. We’re talking attic, closets, junk drawers, the works. It often happens when doing any kind of healing work that things get worse for a time before they get radically better. Those negative energies like to put up a fight! In the spirit animal sense, Skunk can actually have some pretty positive meanings. I’ll write about them sometime. But in this case, it feels to me like that ‘ol skunk is just symbolic of releasing all sorts of old stinky stuff. If something like this happens to you, just smile and keep letting the fresh air in!

P.S. Got any good skunk stories? I’d love to hear them!

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Tiger Swallowtail copyright 2015 by Christie (Anne) Michelsen

Tiger Swallowtail

Tiger, tiger in the sky

Flashing gold, you soar and fly

Sudden flutter softly by

Sweet and fleeting butterfly!

Butterfly symbolic meanings: Inspiration, intuition, higher consciousness, transformation, resurrection, flashes of insight, power of beauty, strength in vulnerability.

Specific butterfly species may carry additional meanings. Here are my thoughts on the Tiger Swallowtail:

Tiger Swallowtail Totem: Integrating One’s Power

Did you know that the Tiger Swallowtail has two color morphs, black and yellow? I didn’t know until recently that all males are yellow – only the females sometimes appear in black form. Also, only the females (of both color morphs) sport the beautiful silvery blue crescents on the bottom edge of their back wings.

It speaks to me of the special connection women have with the moon. And whether you’re a man or a woman, the ability to balance and honor both the solar (masculine, proactive) and lunar (feminine, intuitive) aspects of your inner being.

Yellow. The color of the sun. Warmth, light, vitality, action! Yellow is also the color most associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra, the power center of the body.

Black. The color of night. Rest, dreams, that which is hidden. This is the realm of intuition, and regeneration.

With its vivid black and yellow stripes and dots, the Tiger Swallowtail speaks to us of integrating these two aspects of our selves. Black on yellow, yellow on black, rhythmically interspersed with each other.

This is the rhythm of the universe. Day, night. Inbreath, outbreath. Wake and sleep.

Traditional cultures honor this rhythm. They set aside time to rest, time to pray, time to heal.

Our society tends to put a premium on action, at the expense of rest. It’s a 24/7 world now, and many of us push ourselves ruthlessly to keep up.

Do you find yourself running on caffiene-laced fumes? Routinely pushing through to find your second wind?

It’s good to test our limits once in a while, but we weren’t made to do it day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. We think it’s a sign of strength. But sooner or later people who do this hit the wall. Burnout. Adrenal exhaustion.

Tiger Swallowtail reminds us to honor our natural rhythms.

Feeling blue, or in a black mood, is often just our body telling us to take it easy for a bit. If you find yourself feeling tired, cranky or sad, give yourself permission to let down for a while. Schedule “down time” into your calendar. Take an hour or a day or a week off if you need it.

No offense to men, but I think women have to be especially aware of our body’s need for rest at certain times. By honoring it, we honor ourselves.Yes, it means acknowledging that we are vulnerable.

But when we embrace that vulnerable side of ourselves, love it, and give it what it needs…

Wow! That’s allowing ourselves to tap deeply into our power to revitalize our lives…so we can take wing as the beautiful souls we truly are.

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Watercolor painting "Sun Panther" All life is energy. We are one with universal energy. The spinning of the Earth, the turning and burning of the Sun, the wind in the trees, the slinking panther in the grass, and the grass, how it grows…All one. Breathe, and become transparent to it, for you, too, encompass it all…

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Another new painting in the Chakra Power Animal series:

Root chakra meditation painting

This Root Chakra Meditation Painting is next in the Power Animal Chakra Meditation Series after my Bee Power Center painting. (No, I’m not doing them in order.) It’s intended to help balance and open up your root chakra. Root chakra issues include anxiety, fear, & lack of confidence; feeling ungrounded, spacey or disconnected; and feeling insecure in your wealth/prosperity space.

The root, in its position at the base of the body, supports all the other chakras. When they are all in balance, there is a direct open line of energy from your Root all the way up to your Crown chakra (connection to the Divine) and even further, to your Higher Self. So you can see how important it is to nurture your root!

This connection is symbolized in this painting by the snake’s reaching upwards and by the white stripe running from the tip of the badger’s nose all the way down his back to his tail. Both animals hug the ground and are wonderful carriers of Root/Grounding energy. Badger especially is very secure and confident in his being. If you are unsure of yourself, it is good medicine to imagine yourself as a Badger!

Badger is also a good totem for those who live a nomadic life or who have moved a lot. Badgers keep many burrows, and unless they are raising a litter they typically spend only a night or two in any one before moving on to the next. Moving can be very ungrounding, so look to Badger to learn how to stay in your grounded space no matter where life takes you.

You might try using this image as a meditation aid along with African or Native American drumming or drum music. Imagine yourself sending your roots deep into the ground, and drawing the nourishing energy of Mother Earth back up through them. Lift your arms and let that energy flow up and through your fingertips and the crown of your head. THen imagine it falling again as rain, seeping back into the earth for you to soak up some more. Doesn’t that feel grounding and refreshing?

(Be sure to nosh on something red afterwards – beet chips or pomegranate juice would be perfect!) 🙂

What have you done to ground yourself today?

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New painting…

Bee Heart Honeycomb Because our  new hound dog, Melvin, has not come howling up with a stinger in his nose, I am guessing that my recent bee visitor is gone for good.  However, she did bring an invigorating infusion of Bee energy into the studio. It’s quite the buzz!

I’ve been playing with the idea of the Bee as symbol for the Power Center, or solar plexus chakra, and have been wanting to get it down as a painting. Today seemed like the day to do it.

So I grabbed a little watercolor board and got to work. (This painting is quite small – just 4″x4″. It seemed about right for a bee.)

The Power Center grooves on yellow and gold – fitting, because gold also represents money, power in its abstract. This is probably why so many spiritually conscious people have issues with their Power Center. It’s easy to look at the way power is abused in the world and not want a thing to do with it.

But really, that’s kind of a backwards way to look at it. Abuse of power – whether you are the abuser or the abused – is simply a symptom of imbalance of personal power. NOT claiming your true inner power will not fix it.

Of course, money is optional where true power is concerned. It’s just one way in which power expresses itself. It also happens to be extremely convenient, so why not be open to manifesting it when appropriate? Being well funded can certainly help you live your dreams.

Which, if your Power Center is well-balanced, shouldn’t lead to abuse. And, if your heart is in the right place, it will likely bring good fortune to others as well.

Speaking of hearts…

Somewhere in the middle of painting this piece I began to feel something else was needed. The bee was taking form nicely atop the cells of golden honeycomb, but it just seemed…ungrounded. It seemed like it needed something to tie it together.

Perhaps an oval shape framing the bee? No, that wasn’t quite it. Then I held my hands in a heart shape over the bee. Ahhh. That felt right. And a bit of pinky purple was just right to balance out all that yellow.

Once the heart was in place the meaning was clear…

True power is centered in the heart!

 

For more information about Bee in your Heart, click here.

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