Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ia, Chthulhu! Look what just slithered into my medicine wheel this month!

Octopi live in dens, crevices on the sea floor, or holes they dig under large rocks. They are night predators and feed on crabs, sea snails, and other small fish. An adult female has a short life span approximately one to one and a half years. . There are over 100 species of these solitary eight armed animals that live on the ocean floor. They range in size from one inch up to 23 feet. Adults lay 1000’s of eggs at a time. They watch over the eggs for several months without ever leaving the den. Exhausted by breeding and starved by the vigil over her eggs the female octopus usually dies before or shortly after the eggs hatch.
[Reminds me, curiously, of the birth of the Taltos, in Anne Rice's Mayfair Chronicles... o O, Anne Rice DOES meet H.P.Lovecraft?!]
In the world of the octopus the cycle of life and death has no ending. The Greeks believe the octopus represents the sacred spiral of life, always evolving and ever changing. [They also call the octopus "the spider of the deep"!] Those with this totem often have near death and out of body experiences, giving them the skills necessary to help others transition into spirit. They make excellent hospice workers and death and dying therapists. No one surpasses the agility of the octopus. Since they don’t have bone attached to the muscles in their legs they can squeeze through openings no bigger than a penny. If the octopus loses an arm it will regrow another one. It teaches flexibility and regeneration, among other things. The study and practice of Yoga would seem an excellent therapy for those with this medicine. Most unusually, the octopus has 3 hearts. One heart pumps blood through the body and the other two-pump blood through the gills. This contributes to their constant high blood pressure. Octopi have blue blood which carries oxygen poorly, so we can also associate the rare condition known as a blue baby with octopus medicine. Because of these physiological oddities the octopus has poor stamina and an inability to struggle offensively or defensively for very long. Heart conditions seem common in those with this medicine so one must advise caution. These unique creatures of the sea have excellent eyesight but cannot hear. They seem the most intelligent of all invertebrates. Those with this medicine seem clairvoyant at birth but have difficulty hearing or responding to the voice within no matter how hard they try. When octopus swims into your life it is asking you to let go of your inefficiencies, stop trying so hard and focus on fine tuning the skills that naturally belong to you. Octopuses can expertly camouflage themselves and teach us how to utilize this skill for our own benefit. These fascinating creatures can change colors to mirror their surroundings and alter their skin texture to match the texture of sand, rocks or other surfaces. They also squirt black ink into the water clouding a predator’s visibility so they can escape unharmed. The octopus is a powerful totem to have. By following its lead we learn how to move through life safely, securely and without struggles.
[The squirting of black ink symbolizes a writer's defense mechanism in particular?
Funnily enough, Bjorn Erik suggested we incorporate this magnificent beast into our medicine animals... hmmm.... So I can look forward to an interesting Lovecraftian month, to say the very least?]

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