Thursday, October 14, 2004

I am the badger, goo goo g’joob
Keynote: Bold self expression and reliance, keeper of stories

The badger is a giant of the weasel family. Those with this totem should study the weasel as well. The badger is grey, black and buff, with a white stripe from the nose to the back of its head. This in itself is very symbolic of how open it is, the keeper of much light and knowledge of other animals and the Earth.
The badger may look fat, but it is muscular and powerful. Its outer skin is loose, so it is difficult for bites from other animals to injure it. Its own jaws are exceedingly strong. The jaws are symbols of powerful self expression. This ties the badger to the mysteries of the ‘word’ – particularly the magic of storytelling.
I would ask you to remember only this one thing,” said Badger. “The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other’s memory. This is how people care for themselves.”
The badger is a remarkable digger. Fast and quick, it can dig beneath surfaces rapidly…This ties badgers to all earth spirits and gnomes of lore. It also hints at the ability tosee beneath the surface of all things and people. It lives in an underground complex of burrows called “earths” [UK: setts]. It has several living chambers, along with latrine and storage chambers. These earths hint at the stories beneath the outer, the inner places and homes of the outer world.
The badger is active both day and night. It is a carnivorous animal, living primarily on rodents such as rabbits…and squirrels and other underground dwellers…because of this it can be thought of as the keeper of the stories of other animals.
It is basically an unsociable animal. It does not “relate” well to others – even its own kind. This might be why stories are its symbolic means of communication. It is often easier for those with badger medicine to relate through stories than have to do it directly.
The young badgers, usually two or three, are born in May or June. The family always separates in the fall, when the young and the father move to find their own homes. Sometimes the father will help with raising the young, but as a whole badgers are loners and solitary. They are comfortable within themselves and very self-reliant. They can teach this or help those with this totem to teach it to others.
[...]
Because the badger is such a powerful digger it has knowledge of things beneath the earth. This includes minerals, roots and other plants and herbs. This also makes the badger a dynamic healer. Sometimes the badger is overly aggressive, but the technique is usually effective. Badger can teach the long-forgotten knowledge of roots and their mystical and healing powers.
The badger is bold and ferocious, and it never surrenders. If a badger has come into your life you should do some examination. Are you or those around you digging deep enough? It may indicate a need to get beneath the surface. It may reflect a time of great connection to the earth and its animal spirits. It may be telling you to draw upon the stories that intrigued you and held you fast during childhood. They may be symbolic of things going on or about to go on in your current life. Whenever badger shows up, there will be opportunities to develop self-expression and reliance. It speaks of a time to begin a new story about your life.
Crow and Weasel by Barry Lopez

See what happens when I tell my mother about finding a badger?

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