by Victoria Hunt
Have you ever seen an animal and felt there was something more to the sighting than just a critter going about its daily (or nightly) business? Did you learn a lesson from an interaction with an animal? That’s the premise of Animal Omens. While most of our encounters are everyday occurrences, occasionally one stands out as something special. This book is a guide to interpreting these occurrences.
Hunt provides a variety of her own stories, as well as those of others, detailing experiences with animals ranging from hawks to starfish to squirrels. After each story is a dictionary-style entry explaining the author’s interpretation of what each animal means if it shows up in your life. The stories are heartfelt, and it’s easy to see where each person who went through them found them to be amazing and even life-changing. There’s a good variety of animals, too, including various invertebrates as well as some of the usual suspects large North American mammals and birds.
I do wish there were more information beyond the dictionary, such as how to tell when an experience is something more spiritual, and when it’s just the everyday blessing and appreciation of the living beings around us. I also found some of the interpretations of the animals to be a bit “Bambi-fied.” Deer is a good example; Hunt’s interpretation of deer revolves solely around gentleness and harmlessness. Yet anyone who has ever seen bucks fighting, or a doe defending her fawn, or been at the business end of sharp hooves or antlers knows that there’s a lot that’s not gentle about deer.
It’s a nice book if you want to see someone else’s experiences and learn how to take lessons from Nature, but don’t take it as your only source material.
RATING: 3½ Broomsticks
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