Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals

A blog encouraging deeper relations between people and animals.

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Virginia Carper

Virginia Carper

Virginia Carper, a Roman Polytheist, lives in the Washington D.C. area with her family. She navigates life with a traumatic brain injury which gives her a different view on life. An avid naturalist since childhood, she has a blog called “Nature’s Observations.” Having experienced the animals directly, she teaches on-line classes about the spiritual and natural aspect of animals. She has published articles on her brain injury, Roman polytheism, and working with extinct animals. In addition her writings on animals (including dragons and other mythic creatures) can be purchased her book site, Animal Teachers.  
“The Archangel Guide to the Animal World” by Diana Cooper

In my reviews, I like to feature books that are often overlooked by people interested in animal wisdom. Diana Cooper, a New Age Practitioner, has written about animals from her perspective.

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“All Hands on Pet!” By Susan Davis, PT.

From time to time, I will be doing book reviews of various books concerning animals, not just books about "finding your totem animal."

One way to foster human-animal relations is by caring for pets. As pet “owners,” people want the best for their animals. Physical Therapist Susan Davis tells people how in “All Hands on Pet!,”(a companion to her “Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Animals: A Guide for the Consumer.”) Her philosophy in writing this book is to help pets enjoy their lives as much as possible. Her aim is to offer practical insights for the pet owner on how to do that.

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Water Ones: Moving through fluid realms, with intuition

About five hundred million years ago, fish were the first vertebrates to appear on earth. Since that time, they have evolved into one of the most diverse and successful of animal groups. The "lobe-finned" fish, such as the lungfish, can live for brief periods on land. Sharks and rays have no bones, only cartilage, while the bony fish range from sturgeon to trout to seahorses. Eels, the snakes of the water, can slip in and out of small spaces.

The other animals, who live in water, are the anemones, cephalopods, clams, crustaceans, echinoderms (starfish), and jellyfish. Crustaceans live in freshwater, deep oceans, and tidal pools. Their claws and hard shells serve to protect them from predators. The cephalopods, with their tentacles, are known for their inky defenses. Jellyfish float from North Pole to South Pole, seeking food. Anemones have tentacles traps to prey on unsuspecting shrimp. Clams will quickly burrow in the tidal flats with their tube feet. Sea cucumbers put out sticky tentacles to catch food particles that drift by.

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Jackalope: Barbed Humor

One of the symbols of the American West, the jackrabbit lives in open areas such as grasslands and deserts. With his strange ears, this hare is one of the animals of the American West that people will often remember.  The biggest, fastest, and flashiest of this Family of Hares is the antelope jackrabbit, who can outrun run everything except the antelope (i.e. pronghorn).

The antelope jackrabbit is the source of jackalope (horned rabbit) legends. One joke that Westerners play on new people is to tell them about the jackalope (a large jackrabbit with deer horns). This legendary animal is often seen by people who have had too much to drink.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE: Defense of Home

Although, they share a common name, the Australian magpie is NOT a relative of the magpie of the Crow Family. The Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) is a relative of the currawong. Found only in Australia, this bird is among one of the most common of local birds there. The Australian magpie tends to live in one place in a large group.

The Australian magpie has a complex social structure. He lives either in a tribe of about two to ten birds or in a flock of many birds. The difference between the two is that a tribe has a breeding territory. Members of his tribe defend their territory from all other magpies. Australian magpies who are members of flocks are usually birds who were unable to join a tribe. These birds do not breed until they join a tribe. When an Australian magpie is about two years old, He is forced out of the territory of his birth tribe and must look for another tribe to join. The only way that an Australian magpie can join a tribe is when another bird leaves.

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THE DOMESTIC CAT: Equanimity

Bred from the more social African wildcat, the domestic cat has been a part of people’s lives since before the time of the ancient Egyptians. Remains of the domestic cats were found, on the island of Cyprus, dating from 8000 B.C.E. Unlike her elusive cat cousins, African Wildcat liked living close to towns and villages. The domestic cat, like her ancestor, is tamer and less secretive than most wildcats. She socializes with people, however like a true cat, only on her terms.

Living in a social hierarchy, the domestic cat forms close friendships. In her family group (kindle), the domestic cat sits with and nose-bumps her friends. By rubbing her body against other cats, She reinforces the bonds of her Kindle. (A cat that is rubbed the most is the highest-ranking cat.) 

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Cold-Blooded Ones: Sensitivity to One’s Environment

The Cold-Blooded Ones are called that because they lack the ability to keep warm by using their bodies. Since these animals need to regulate their body temperatures, the Cold-Blooded Ones use their environment to help them do this. A turtle will find a sunny spot to bask in. A salamander will move under a rock for warmth. Toads will bury themselves in the dirt. Snakes prefer living in rocky dens for warmth and under leafy bushes for coolness.

Reptiles are one of the most ancient forms of life, and also one of the most adaptable. Both the turtles and crocodiles have survived the dinosaurs, while remaining the nearly same today as they were in the past. In addition, crocodiles are distant relatives to birds and dinosaurs. Snakes and lizards have expanded the ways that reptiles adapt to their environment. Snakes lost their legs, while lizards adapted to life in the ocean. Meanwhile, worm-lizards (ringed lizards) have evolved to burrow underground by using their heads.

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Lovely and informative, thank you.

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