Having just finished writing about Puck, the he-goat of Kerry fame, I was inspirited to choose an animal card from The Druid Animal Oracle deck by Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm for our August reading. The card is The Ram. (I am wondering if he is looking for equal time.)
The authors beautifully summary Druidic tradition and express the meaning it holds for us today:
Looking from the perspective of an earth religion such as Druidry, at the wasteland we have created through our search for profit and gain, we discover there is no separation between our external and internal worlds. As the wilderness is eradicated some wilderness disappears in us too. As an animal becomes extinct so something dies in us.
I first fell in love with Celtic wisdom and tradition because of the sense of Oneness with Nature it brought me-more so than any other teachings. While all indigenous people and all earth-based religions honor nature and the animal kingdom, the Celtic and Druidic traditions speak to me. I highly recommend this deck and its accompanying book to any of you who feel similarly drawn.
Sometimes we think of totem animals as fierce and warrior in nature. The Ram, of course, is not. One of the twelve signs of the Zodiac, it inhabits Aries and symbolizes authority, masculinity, courage and standing one’s ground. In this deck, it is said to represents sacrifice, breakthrough and achievement. While I tend to skip over talking about ancient traditions of animal sacrifice whether in the Old Testament or in Celtic lore, we all know that it was not only common practice but religiously sanctioned.
Today, we realize that there is no need to physically sacrifice animals, wear hair-shirts or walk on our knees on a marble floor to raise our consciousness. Instead, we can lift up the spirit of the animal and walk in gratitude to connect with Oneness. When we see a ram on a hillside, we can see a living, breathing example of the magnificence and majesty of Nature and be inspired.
Note in the picture of the illustrated ram of the Druid Animal Oracle, that plants named for the ram and a carving of a snake with a ram’s head lay at the ram’s feet. They exemplify the importance of this animal down through the ages. It is meant to remind us that power and healing go together and are achieved when we are grounded and connected with the earth.
May you have a month of achievement and feel this powerful connection as you address your own need to stand your ground as well as address ways we can heal the planet and save that piece of wilderness that gives us life.