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Posts Tagged ‘spirit animal’

guardian angel painting

Today’s Affirmation:
“Laughing makes me strong!”

Got back in touch recently with an old friend. She wanted to get together for coffee, so I picked a day at random and it turned out to be her birthday! 🙂

When I found this out shortly before our rendezvous, I quickly did a little guardian angel painting for her as a birthday gift. I thought at first that the second figure was another angel, but to my surprise it morphed into this amused lion-faced spirit guide.

It seems to me they are reading the book of my friend’s life (and she has had a heck of a life!) The angel seems loving and gently compassionate. But the lion dude(ette) (I’m getting masculine energy from it even though it has feminine features) told me to tell her, “Laugh. Just laugh! It will make you strong!”

As it will all of us! No matter what happens today, go ahead and laugh! 🙂

The holidays are not as far off as they seem. I’m taking orders now for custom guardian angel paintings to be delivered by or before mid December. Reply for details! 

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Just had to share something that came through the other day during the Spirit Animal class I just finished teaching.

We were doing an exercise on shapeshifting and one of my students experienced herself as a butterfly. She found herself noticing that butterflies don’t see the way we do.
Butterflies are insects, so of course they have compound eyes. That means, in effect, that they see in all directions at once – indeed an animal super power!
You are probably already familiar with the Butterfly as a symbol of transformation. But if you resonate with Butterfly energy, you might also want to explore this animal totem as it relates to vision.
Butterfly can remind us to look at things from multiple angles to get a higher perspective. Or it can be a symbol of the unity of life – how all things, and all experiences – past, present and future (represented by the butterfly being able to see forwards, backwards and sideways all at the same time) – are ultimately one.
I’ve never seen this Butterfly spirit insight written anywhere, but it feels right. Just one example of how working with your spirit animal directly can deepen your understanding of your totem.
I’m gearing up to start another session of my online class sometime in early to mid October. Details forthcoming! If you’re interested in learning more about how to work with spirit animals, shoot me a reply, and I’ll be sure to notify you directly.

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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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