What the Walrus Knows: A Field Guide to Working with Beastie Energies
I once fell in love with a taxidermied walrus. Absurd, I know. At first, I thought I needed it for my living room (I used to think that about a lot of things I loved), but the price tag said $4,500.00.
I was on sabbatical from my medical practice as a surgical pathologist. I was supposed to be figuring out my life’s mission, not spending money I wasn’t making on taxidermy.
Despite my confusion about my life, I remained curious enough about that imposing walrus head on the shop wall to keep visiting it. I’m glad I did, because the walrus had a message for me. It didn’t leap off the wall at me to get its message across, or speak past its tusks and say, “Hey, Sarah!” Its message came to me slowly.
The idea that wild animals can speak to us is ancient. According to many indigenous cultures around the world, in addition to giving us messages, wild animals are capable of conferring on us raw, unadulterated personal power.
At the time I heard about this I was exhausted, scared, and overwhelmed. I thought, “Shazam! I could sure use some raw unadulterated something.”
I learned that any Beastie that shows up as we go about our daily lives (I call them Guest Beasties) may have a helpful message for us, and that discovering and working with a Core Beastie is a unique way to be empowered and guided for a lifetime.
I define wild animals, or Beasties, as any insect, reptile, bird, mammal, or mythical creature that exists or has ever existed, from woolly mammoths to salmon to dragonflies.
The walrus’s message was that I have a unique set of skills and that, like imposing walruses with big tusks, I am powerful and will have no competition in my work, as there’s no one quite like me. That message – and many others I’ve received from many other Beasties – helped me immensely.
This ancient way of working with Beasties has to do with the concept of animal totems. A totem animal is a wild animal that has significance for an individual. Its energy or spirit vibration is in alignment with the person whose totem it is.
The more we align with, consult with, and listen to a totem animal’s message, the stronger and more successful we become in our own lives.
As I worked with these concepts, my life began to change, as did the lives of others I shared the ideas with. I was astonished and delighted. I longed to leave my microscope behind and spend more time being with humans and delving into the world of Beasties – inspiring people to live bold, exciting, joy-filled lives.
Eventually, I did leave my medical practice, to share the messages of the Beasties with people who, like me, need to hear them.
Beginning to work with Beasties requires almost no effort. In three simple steps you can begin tapping into their powerful wisdom:
1. Start by simply noticing what Beasties show up as you go about your day. Do you notice any Beasties as you read the newspaper, do your work, walk down the street, go for a run? Notice what the Beastie is doing. Is it flying, sleeping, hunting, snuggling?
2. Notice what’s on your mind when the Beastie enters your awareness. Are you thinking about an issue with a business associate? Mulling over a big step? Thinking about a relationship that needs healing?
3. Look in a book or online to find out more about the Beastie. Check out the Beastie’s biology, mythology, or symbology. Explore in a way that feels good. What insights does your exploration reveal or evoke regarding what was on your mind when you came across the Beastie? If nothing rises to the surface immediately, be patient. Often, a significant insight will occur to you later.
As I’ve gotten more and more engaged in working with Beasties, I’ve become enamored with elephants. They remind me of the best and most amazing things about humans. Like humans, elephants have extensive social networks.
Each elephant has a special place in the herd. Elephants know the power of banding together and lending support when challenges arise. They demonstrate enormous love and patience with those in the herd who are young, weak, ill, or in need of aid. They know how to swim gracefully, have a rollicking good time, and get what their hearts desire.
I invite you to treat the elephant as a Guest Beastie. After all, it’s just shown up in your life through this article. What might its message be for you today? See if any of the elephant qualities listed above or in this excerpt from the Elephant Manifesto in my book, What The Walrus Knows, resonate with what’s on your mind today:
From the Elephant Manifesto
SHOW YOUR HEART.
Cry easily. Lament. Forgive.
RELY ON YOUR POSSE.
Rally the troops. Get some buddy bravery.
GRACE IS AN ATTITUDE.
Size is immaterial. Lift your chin. Waltz.
To read more about how Beasties can guide and empower you, download the first chapter and three Beastie Manifestos from What the Walrus Knows.
The book covers Guest and Core Beasties and includes many Beastie Manifestos and practical ways to explore Beastie connections – all to help and inspire you to live the life you were born to live.
|Join the conversation: Have you had animals "show up" in your life recently? What meaning or message might they have for you? Do certain animals resonate with you more than others? Share your story in the comments section below and you will be included in our What the Walrus Knows book giveaway.|
Sarah Bamford Seidelmann is a fourth generation physician turned Shamanic healer and Life Coach and lives with her husband and four children near the shores of Lake Superior. Sarah is the author of What the Walrus Knows, a book that explores why certain animals show up in our lives, and what messages these animals may be trying to share with us in their teachings. She loves to inspire humans to connect with the messages of the Beasties so they can live courageously and enthusiastically. Look for her “What The Walrus Knows” app in the iTunes app store. Follow her on Facebook here.