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Mystical Symbols

In many cultures the eagle carries a mystical purpose. Most significantly in the American Indian culture, eagle represents spiritual protection, carries prayers to God, and bright courage, wisdom and illumination of spirit.

The dictionary says the eagle is a “symbol of the holy spirit, which flies, as it were, through the mind (representing the air) from the higher nature (representing the heaven) to the lower nature (representing the earth) and soars aloft to the self (representing the sun).

This metaphor is also representative of Jesus, who came from the heavens, dwelt on the earth, died and entered into the belly of the earth, then rose again into the heavens.

The truth about the eagle, according to a message from Reverend Amy Mears at Glendale Baptist church in Nashville, is that it can be quite the pirate in nature. Its talons aren’t as sharp as other birds of prey. So, it is known to wait for a prime catch and fight its feathery friend for the kill. Eagles are also known for stealing nests, ostracizing their young if they stray too far from the nest, and not being the prime example of a nurturing parent.

A closely-related Greek tradition, says the eagle was the messenger to the Greek god Zeus. According to the folklore, Zeus actually took the form of an eagle when he carried his young lover Ganymede to Mt. Olympus.

If our traditions all lead us to believe that the mystical eagle is so powerful and spiritual, why then do these same traditions ignore the negative qualities of America’s symbol of freedom? Or do they?

When the folklore had been past down, I’m certain that most people were more aware of the nature of animals in their locality. Could it be that we tend to romanticize about the positive and ignore the negative attributes about almost anything? I can’t tell you how many times I have lingered in a bad relationship because I romanticized about a partners good attributes and completely ignored the negative ones, until they bit me in the behind.

The most authentic belief on the subject of mysticism would be to let the attribute that you need actually influence the moment. If it’s a snake that crosses your path, you may need the spiritual medicine of healing, as American Indian tradition bespeaks.

Who would consider the wolf a spiritual icon, when the first thought about this animal is its wily, conniving, and deadly ways? Even in the American Indian tradition the wolf represents danger and destruction. In the Christian tradition it often represents the devil.

Have you ever seen a wolf that had been bread to be a pet? The animal can be quite gentle and loving, like a dog. In fact, the domestication of the grey wolf is where dogs originated. Who would think of our loving puppies as evil or the devil?

I’m inclined to believe that signs and symbols are meant for those who wish to be led by the metaphors of nature in day-to-day life. We take with us the meaning they ascribe to the moment. If we try to read too much into them, then moment and meaning is lost.

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.

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