October 03, 2013
We are endowed with logic in an amount incomparable to other animals. Because of this, we have learned to develop and advance our ways of living to the point that we are able to observe, theorize and explain complex behavior of animals besides us. This way of thinking has led us to act with superiority over most species and gain power to dominate the planet. However, this is not a simple case. There are times when we have to look into the ways of other animals because, after all, as complex and as deep our thinking machine is, we do not know much at all.
A device that human beings from long ago turn to for connection with the self was the spirit animal. A spirit animal is a representation of a characteristic that is dominant in one’s individual temperament. It reminded them to see life as sacred and precious for they believe that they are grounded and connected with the species around them. It has provided them with self-reflection and spiritual nourishment in times of powerlessness. In turn, they regain strength by adapting the characteristics of their spirit animal. In today’s time, the religious aspect of the spirit animal subsided but people still seek of ways to harness the same strength and connection that it provides.
As for my case, I am in the search for my spirit animal. I do not know of the ancient rituals involved in assigning one’s spirit animal. I remember in the Harry Potter series that when a character casts his Patronus spell, he accesses his core and the form of his Patronus, somewhat similar to the spirit animal, emerges without difficulty. It’s just as easy as that. However, that is just fiction. Rather than researching about the real rituals, I often think about the animal that I can see myself in. The closest one to this is the common stray cat.
Cats are cunning, daring and bold. I admire how they climb trees, jump on rooftops, and walk on steep and narrow gutters. Some even say that once a cat’s head fits a hole, it can manage to pass its whole body through it. I sometimes imagine myself with my tiny cat body standing on the edge of a building top, overlooking the city scape with soft breeze on my fur and pale moonlight from above. I want to be as confident as cats when it comes to climbing steep inclines. In this way, I can feel the same view, soft breeze and moonlight once I reach the top of my challenges.
Cats hunt and prowl with stealth and speed. The common cats still have traces of their wild ancestors in them. They are natural hunters as most sources I have read say. I observe how they sometimes prefer to hide in bushes and behind garbage cans and electric poles. There are times when I can see them focusing their eyes on something inside mouse holes and drainage crevices. Only when the creature comes out of hiding does the cat attacks and finishes its pursuit. I am a person who often gets pressured under extreme stimuli. I often get my nerves dominate my state. One thing that I’d like to learn from them is how they manage to be patient and wait for the right timing and grab it once the chance comes.
Lastly, stray cats are mysterious and charming. They sometimes act on their own, individualistic. You can see them lie under cars looking at you. You can see them walk with a certain air or pride, even in their smallness. Cat experts even say that they are bossy. I think that I must adapt these feline qualities of manifestations of power. I must be confident in my own skin and be in control. I must be more assertive and command more of what I want. That way, people will respect me more. I will be more competent and the things that I receive will deserve.
There are times when we cannot see the strengths within ourselves. We often turn to different channels and don’t pay attention to the ones available to draw strength from. I did not really pay attention to the reasons I have a special affinity to stray cats. Only after enough self-reflection did I see stray cats as my spirit animal, an embodiment of the traits I want to posses. I want to adapt their focus and I-don’t-give-a-fudge attitude. I want to reign over rooftops to enjoy the view. I want to channel my individualistic attitude into good use. Maybe, if I follow my own animalistic instincts, I will be able to fully capture my sense of self.
*Special thanks to TalkShop for challenging me to write this essay.