I have a couple New Year’s Day rituals that have served me well the past few years, but one that consistently hits the mark is pulling one card from a deck of Native American animal medicine cards. The pasts few years have turned up the spider, dolphin and antelope. In retrospect, all quite appropriate for what the years brought to me.
Today, Jan. 1, 2013, I pulled the Badger. Well la-de-da. The meanest, baddest little animal around. I read the history, the symbolism, the lessons to be learned and tried to see how this might fit into the life situations facing me in the new year.
- The white stripe is symbolic of how open it is, providing knowledge and enlightenment to other animals and the earth.
- The strong jaws tie the badger to the mysteries of the “word” – in particular the magic of storytelling. Badger reminds us to remember stories and give them away to people when they are needed.
- The remarkable digger hints at the ability to see beneath the surface of all things and people. Also, the closeness to herbs and roots make badger dynamic healers.
- Loners and solitary, badgers teach us to be self-reliant and comfortable with ourselves.
- Bold and ferocious when cornered, badger reminds us to never surrender.
- Connected to the earth, so a grounding totem.
- The symbolism of the badger also includes individuality. The badger is a unique creature, well equipped to meet all the challenges it faces. It lives its life quite effectively. And although its methods might seem unorthodox, the badger doesn’t care what the rest of the animal kingdom thinks about them. This is perhaps the greatest lesson the badger imparts to us. In short, the badger tell us to “walk your own path at your own pace.” Nevermind what others may say. Have faith in your own abilities and know that you are well-equipped to take on whatever challenge faces you.
And then the irreverent (don’t watch if you are easily offended) “Honey Badger” viral video came to mind. Is 2013 my “Honey Badger Don’t Care” year? You never can tell. There’s something to be said for boldly going for it. Mixed with a healthy dose of compassionate action, the badger attitude might just make 2013 a break-out year.