I have a rather naturalistic view of astrology and the animistic perspective is something I always enjoy providing for clients when they are open to exploring this angle of interpretation. There is so much interconnectedness between zodiac symbolism and the natural world – Heavenly archetypes have their Earthly counterparts and there is much we can gain by exploring their resonance with each other.
To this end, I find myself musing about spiders and their connection to Pluto energy. Plutonic people are sensitive to the intangible matrix that surrounds everyone/everything; the etheric “web” of invisible energy currents that envelops us all. In a figurative sense, Plutonic peeps have the same kind of radar for vibration that arachnids do; not necessarily for the purposes of pouncing on prey (although lower life form variants of this species certainly do use it this way), but for reading the subtle signs that allow them to size people and situations up accurately and get an overall impression. Plutonic individuals read into things like body language, mannerisms, intonation, and even what’s *not* being spoken to “see” your energy signature on a deeper level and know what you’re really about.
They also have a fabulous “sixth sense” for danger – if you’ve ever seen a kid poke a stick into a spider’s web, you’ll note the spider always knows the difference between this vs. a meal arriving at its doorstep. Whereas an ant or fly’s thrashings will trigger it to pounce, bigger objects exerting their force upon its gossamer net elicit a “flight” response where it will actually run away; perhaps sensing the amount of power being used is vastly greater than anything it has encountered before. If you’re a Scorpio (or have a concentration of celestial bodies in this sign), have a plethora of 8th House planets, and/or have Pluto wired to many personal planets/pinned to the angles of your chart (say, contacting your Sun, Moon, Ascendant, and/or Chart Ruler), embrace the gifts of Spider Medicine as it has much to offer you.
My shaman friend Deana once told me that my line of work and hers weren’t all that different; astrology deals with the energy of heavenly archetypes (i.e. the sun/moon/planets/stars) while shamanism works with the earthly manifestations of these archetypes via animal symbolism. I have always been an animal lover, but my relationship to the animal kingdom experienced a huge shift after that conversation, as now I saw them more as living, breathing symbols in their own right and finally understood that all those dreams I’d been having of various critters almost nightly all my life weren’t simply neat oddities spawned by my abiding love for fauna. No, the critters themselves actually carried messages, so I started pondering and/or researching their symbolism whenever I would come upon them in my dreams or in real life.
Why the preface, you ask? Because yesterday when I was in the garden harvesting some stray heirloom tomatoes and preparing to pull up a few beets to roast in this chilly autumn weather, I had quite an interesting encounter in the carrot row. Gathering the small pile of tomatoes into my arms, I turned to bring them inside before focusing my attention on the selection of beets when I heard something rustling in the leaves below. My gaze fell toward my feet and the black landscape fabric beneath that was radiating heat garnered from the absorption of afternoon rays, when I suddenly spied a small snake – he must have been trying to warm himself up when my movements startled him and sent him into hiding beneath the tangled mass of carrot fronds nearby!
Naturally, I quickly placed my bounty on the ground and moved closer to inspect – he darted from my grasp and even tried to strike at me a few times before I was finally able to pick him up and have a good look at him. I told him aloud that I wasn’t going to hurt him – he responded by repeatedly flicking a red and black forked tongue over in my direction, as if suspicious of my stated intent. He was a juvenile Eastern Brown Snake about a foot long and no wider than my pinky, and by the look of his milky eyes it seemed he was getting ready to molt.
Now you may recall from a previous post how snakes are linked to Pluto energy – would it surprise you then to know I caught this little fella basking in the Sun just as the Sun and Pluto were approaching a square to one another? I always love it when life/nature imitates astrology…! So as not to cause the snake further distress, I placed him back where I had found him and he wasted absolutely no time in slithering deep into the carrots to make himself invisible. But this story is an excellent example of the old “As Above, So Below” axiom in action – if you see it in the sky, look closer because you’ll see it on the ground, too. There is no real division between Heaven and Earth – it’s just an illusion if the spiritual and material worlds seem separate because the reality is it’s all intertwined…
Ever since this Pluto transit kicked in, I have experienced some pretty wild encounters on the Vulture Medicine front. One of the most memorable was the time I came upon a flock of about 20-25 ominously large Turkey Vultures perched upon the lower boughs of a decaying old sugar maple one evening during a run. They were probably only about 30 feet away from me and didn’t even startle as I passed…it was surreal and made the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up in a combination of awe and also a vague sense of foreboding – I knew that life wasn’t likely to be the same after an encounter like that, as that’s some Big Medicine!
Vultures are an earthly manifestation of Plutonic energy, you see, and may appear to us at times when an old way of life is passing as harbingers of this transition. They are carrion feeders, so there is an element of learning how to spiritually sustain ourselves from the decay that surrounds us. Fortunately (LOL, that’s my gallows humor, folks!) I am well-versed in the practice of finding gold in the shadow…
Just this morning I had a little visitor outside my window – much to my delight, a lovely Cedar Waxwing was sitting in my Rhododendron, gathering the bush’s flowers with its beak! Yes, it was quite the sight to behold….I was wondering why on earth it would be picking flowers…? Was this some weird nest-festooning thing it liked to do, like the bowerbirds of Australia? Were there bees or other insects inside the flower gathering pollen/nectar, and the bird was using the blossom like a net in order to catch its prey? What exactly was the deal with this?
Referencing my handy Audubon Society field guide on birds (yes, I *am* a nature nerd if you haven’t figured that out by this point in the story, LOL), I found out some cool facts about my little buddy:
Waxwings are apparently super-social creatures, usually hanging out in large flocks. They have a habit of lining up in a tree or bush and passing berries to one another in a chain, so they seem to enjoy sharing and are “polite” enough to feed their friends before stuffing their own beaks with berry goodness.
Hmmmm..interesting behavior for a bird – loves companionship, seems to have a penchant for flowers, and likes to share? I’d say this bird has some very Venusian energy going on! It was pretty cool to see an animal’s energy resonate so strongly with a planet’s. My shamanic healer friend, Deana, once told me that she and I both do similar work as we both deal with archetypes – mine are the heavenly kind (the planets), hers are the earthly manifestations (animals/totems). Something clicked when she told me that – I’ve never looked at animals the same way since. Now I pay attention whenever I have an interesting animal encounter and look at the “energy” (read: message) the critter in question carries, much in the same way I see the planets expressing their energies in everyday life and decode the memos they send out. It’s all symbolic & the signs are there – whether we read them through the planets or the animals, it’s all the same. It’s all energy.