Animal Spirituality: The Dark Side of Squirrel

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People will usually associate Squirrel with whimsical qualities, that old funny back and forth erratic dash, the nut saving and resourcefulness, that uncanny way they run across those electrical wires like a bouncy electro-immuno-jester prancing above, like an at-will crown chakra party. But, all of nature has, as they say, a “dark side.” What are the dangers of beautiful, daring Squirrel?

The English word “squirrel” actually comes from the Greek skiouros, meaning “shadow tailed.” Of course, the tails of squirrels boast that beautiful, feathery fluffy orb of fur that moves and shifts with a grace only mimicked by the most elusive and ghostly shadows. Fox has a similar tail movement, but only Squirrel (and Skunk, who we’ll explore in a later post) has that beautiful curl in the tail that can’t help but look just like a Question Mark. What is Squirrel trying to tell us, we ask? Squirrel is full of questions, and leads us to ask many questions as well. For instance, how do they climb on those telephone wires without being electrocuted? Of course, the known answer to this is that electrocution requires touching the ground, but we ask it anyway, we are so intrigued by this creature.

As quickly in one beautiful curve before shifting to another, the Squirrel’s shadowy tail leave us continually asking, “where are you from? Where are you going? How do you jump and climb the way you do? Where do you keep your stash? What are we doing next? How can I see what I want to see?”

Squirrel is so inquisitive. She is a fine investigator, like Mouse, but much prouder. If, of the rodents, Mouse is Capricorn (we have to assign Mouse to Saturn, due to her association with all that is gross and hidden, and the resourcefulness, determination, and earth-dwelling gives her to Capricorn, not Aquarius), then mercurial but stunningly beautiful Squirrel must be Gemini with a Leo Ascendant, and Flying Squirrel, well, perhaps she can claim Aquarius if she wants to. Squirrel wants to be seen, and look great doing it, and that hair… Squirrel’s tail seems to take up as much space as the body. In essence, this is an illusion. The bones of the tail are just as thin, proportionally, as any other being’s tail bones. It’s the feathery hair, filled with life, that creates the beautiful flourish. Deception, perhaps? Distraction? Or a magickal wisp that, like a witch’s wand or a well-timed throw of Faerie Dust or a vampyre’s mind-erasure, ensures that Squirrel can space-time-portal herself in and out of pretty much anywhere?

The intrigue of Squirrel is not totally safe, however. One must be aware. Squirrel may in fact become too hyper-aware, leading to anxiety and even panic. There is certainly a threshold here – not enough awareness, and you can be blindsided. Too much awareness, and you can get distracted. Be responsive, but retreat when necessary. Just because you can squirrel yourself pretty much anywhere doesn’t mean you should. Yes, it can be a great asset in being able to access high and low areas, but once Squirrel is seen, they are prime prey, and, even worse, often collateral damage that many consider useless. During some parts of the year and in some areas, we may see the roadways littered with dead squirrels. Most of them are able to dodge the dangers of cars, but when we see the many that were not, we are warned against dashing ahead too quickly without inspecting the arena for coming dangers. Similar to Deer: the bounding optimism of Squirrel can be inherently dangerous. Bound ahead with optimism and joy, yes. But, beware. Make sure the way is clear before you dash. Timing is important. Don’t let hesitation make you lose your opportunity to grab those acorns or your momentum to scale that jump, but be wary of predators. Use those quick reflexes to sense what’s out there! Trust your instincts but pay attention!

Squirrel’s tendency toward anxiety and panic is marked. Who else is known for going left, then right, then left again, in a frenzy as through they have no direction at all? It is easy for a Squirrel person to become overwhelmed with their level of high-speed, turn-on-a-dime kinetic energy that is truly astounding. Allow yourself to rest and be still. You can remain poised and pretty and move about on your path without freaking out. It is difficult, but worth it to be aware of this tendency, so that you can mitigate the anxious feelings in your heart and mind.

Finally, the hoarding! Like Fox, squirrels create caches, or storages of food to get them through lean times. This is a great strength, and requires lots of energy and planning. However, be careful to not hoard too much. Don’t hold on to that which is too much or not useful to you. With those huge cheeks that can hold so much food, don’t choke yourself! But, don’t allow yourself to sacrifice your stash. If you don’t save enough for yourself, you may not have enough left when you need it. Of course, we aren’t actual squirrels. We are a whole different species! And when we hoard too much, we become psychologically overwhelmed. It is a delicate balance. Too much in our storage, and we may become frantic just trying to keep up and maintain it. Have faith that Nature will supply, and be dedicated to your natural seasons fluctuations. Store enough to share if someone else is in need, but don’t give away your entire supply. Don’t let others have access to your storage unless you trust them for good reason. But, do your best to release worry. Trust yourself and the Spirits that guide and protect you.

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