Animal Wisdom, Goddess Ways

By Renée Starr, CHT

The way of our natural world is about cycles, surrender and harmony. We have always yearned to know the mysteries behind the ways of nature and so have studied the ways of the animals to learn. This longing to know has inspired us to hide behind jaguar’s humid mask and slip under bear’s heavy cloak and to dance in smoky circles around the fire, dizzy and thrilled to be in an animals’ skin making animal sounds. We recognize deep in our own animal souls that we can fly and slither and crawl, and we long to do so. Somehow, playing the animal takes us back to our beginnings. Perhaps it is that animals do not dwell on the past nor do they live in the future. They are entirely in the present and that fascinates us.

In Goddess teachings the animal has always walked alongside Her; Isis spreads her impressive golden vulture wings wide on the dusty tomb walls of the pyramids, Yemayah gently picks the starfish from her damp, sea salty hair and Freya walks quietly through the night forest with her lithe cats mewling hungrily at her feet. And oldest one called Neith weaves her fateful fabric silently with she-cobra at her sandaled feet. The Goddess was there at the beginning when God blew the world into existence with a fiery wind. She was there to witness and to sing soft, cool, moist breezes onto the embers of our earliest days, healing our earliest wounds. She was there and the animals were there with her swimming in the cooling ooze.

While many animals speak the knowledge of beginnings, Snakemother is long-standing and she offers her wisdom words from the shadows of the tall parched grasses. She waits for us in the desert dawn and is patient with us as she warms her bones on a rock in the hot sun. Her laughter is papery when she spies us with her ancient eyes and she rattles her tail in greeting. She is old and dry and she has seen the first days, when the world was young and the rainbows were plentiful. How we long for her mysteries and to hear the tales of our past. For snake knew Lillith’s sultry anger in the cool of a desert night, and she knew Eve’s open joy when the sun shined on her bare body and she assisted great Isis in her desperate, deceptive lie with Ra. Snake is risk and rhythm, earth and sky and her undulations murmur permission when we want to move our hips and dance. Her words whisper, her words hiss. Her words rustle like the fallen leaves she writhes in.

You may feel her energies when you are about to start new things, for she is the totem symbol of the beginning, the ouroborus. She unites within herself, swallowing her own tail thus embracing her duality; the feminine and the masculine. She is born over and over again and acting as psychic midwife she teaches us this process.

Hypnotically she speaks a message for our creation times:

Look how your skin no longer fits you. Come and rest with me in the shade of this splendid world tree whose golden apples will refresh you. Stay with me while you shed your former, rigid skin, release what is no longer necessary and fashion yourself anew. This rebirthing struggle will be fruitful and it will soon pass, for all things do. Beginning is a difficult cord to hold as you must first let go of the end.

And just before the spell is broken we stare into her golden, strange eyes as she coils herself away from us, leaving us alone on the road but facing in the right direction.

Above is an excerpt from the forthcoming book Animal Wisdom, Goddess Ways © 2008 by Renée Starr, CHT. Former proprietress of ALKIMI, she is a certified hypnotherapist and past life regression counselor, healer & clairvoyant offering her services, classes & retreats in Los Angeles, throughout the US & the world. She can be reached at 323-632-0947 or visit