A few days ago, I went for a walk at dusk. As I was returning home, I heard a rustling in the grass next to where I was walking. It was an echidna nosing into the grass, in search of some ants for dinner. Whilst I do occasionally see echidnas, to be this close to one is incredibly rare.
As I crouched with one knee on the bitumen to take a photo, the echidna stopped its foraging and came straight up to me, and nuzzled my knee.
Of all the places and directions it could have taken, it chose me, and made a beeline for me.
That was not something random, or coincidental. It came up to me because it sensed or smelt something that it wanted to investigate, and because it felt safe.
But this isn’t the first time that an echidna has gone out of its way to say hello to me. A year ago, I saw an echidna on my lawn. I raced down to take a video, and as I crouched on the grass, the echidna walked 6 metres over to me and nuzzled my knee.
What’s the significance of this?
What Echidna Medicine has to teach us
What does it mean that an echidna came to visit me, in such an intimate way?
Of course, there is its Medicine…that beautiful wisdom that the Spirit of any animal brings into our life when it crosses our path. After all, we are all intertwined with one another on this amazing journey of life.
In addition to teaching us to sift through old thought patterns to find the gems, and how to utilise a healthy sense of stubbornness when it comes to sticking up for our boundaries, Echidna Medicine teaches us to remain grounded at all times….even when we are in our mind building our dreams and envisioning an amazing future.
That makes perfect sense to me. When I feel into the energy of different land-dwelling animals, the one thing that most strikes me is how grounded they are. It’s as if they have an invisible chord anchoring them into the Earth.
More and more, as I do my Earth meditations under the stars, I notice that I, too, am developing that sense of deep anchoring into the Earth.
Even though this is an energetic shift in me, it’s something that other people are noticing and experiencing when they are around me, and the word “grounded” is often being used as a description for me.
Yet in addition to the blessing of Echidna Medicine, there is also the awareness that this beautiful little creature felt protected and safe enough to come and visit with me….and I know that’s because I was also grounded and present, and my energy was soft.
I was connected to it as all animals are connected to Mother Earth.
Yet that was never me as a child, or even as a young adult. I was anything but grounded! I lived in my head, in my dreams, in my visions, in my novels….I lived everywhere except in my body. My mind was my escape from my body.
So what changed?
I put it down to two things – my regular Earth meditations that I do a few times a week, and the unfolding of my spiritual path.
As I walk towards that state of being fully awake, I am more and more at one with all creatures large and small. Even the spiders usually feel safe enough around me to allow me to gently pick them up in a small tub and carry them outside. I’ll pick a bee up that’s been caught in a wave as it sat on the beach, and carry it to higher land so it can dry its wings.
Excerpt from Chief Seattle's speech - December 1854
This excerpt from Chief Seattle’s speech from December 1854 says it all…and whether this is really his speech, or whether it’s a Hollywood adaption and embellishment (as many now believe), these words speak truth to me:
“Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.
“… We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man―all belong to the same family.
“…Our ways are different from your ways. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. But perhaps it is because the red man is a savage and does not understand.
“There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring or the rustle of insect’s wings…. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whipporwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? …
“The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family….Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
“… If we sell you our land, love it as we’ve loved it. Care for it as we’ve cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you take it. And with all your strength, with all your mind, with all your heart, preserve it for your children, and love it . . . as God loves us all.”