One of the most common animals in my area of the country seem to be gray squirrels. I realized years ago that squirrels are something I have taken for granted as they were so plentiful. I decided to sit down and watch them. I started learning things from them and saw how squirrels can be such a powerful animal spirit totem. The gray squirrels are the city and town dwellers. Gray squirrels do not hibernate. They build nests that are round with side entrances. Even though they are the biggest squirrel, they are also the most cowardly. If confronted, they will more than likely try to run away. Gray squirrels have two litters a year on average. The babies are self-sufficient after twelve weeks. Red squirrels are found more in forests and woods. Red squirrels are the guards of those woods and forests. If there is a stranger or danger afoot, the squirrels chatter loudly to sound an alarm. That alarm spreads quickly through the forest thanks to the squirrels. They also have two litters a year and are also self-sufficient after twelve weeks. We rarely see the lesser known black squirrel. The black squirrel is known for its aggressiveness. We also all know the flying squirrel, who isn’t really flying but stretching its skin and gliding on air. The gray, red and black squirrels run around in the day, whereas the flying squirrel is nocturnal.
All squirrels are playful. They wrestle and chase each other just for fun. They are also master imitators. That is how squirrels learn. They learn by observing and imitating what they see. If you have a squirrel as your animal spirit totem, you learn better by doing a task than by studying and reading books about it. Squirrels are fabulous communicators. If you listen to them, you can hear a large variety of sounds. Their bushy tails also help them get their point across. When they are on the defense, their tails get very bushy. Their tails also provide shade, heat and balance. Much like a cat, a squirrel will express emotions through its tail movements.
The one main thing that most people know about squirrels is that they stockpile nuts for the winter. Part of what makes that possible is their acute sense of smell. A lesser known trait of squirrels are that they have mastered the balance between work and play. Squirrels, as animal spirit totems, can teach us all about preparedness and working and playing in equal parts. One of the most valuable lessons for me personally is how they teach us not to get too hung up on accumulating. We also have to see the value in giving and sharing with our communities. They also are quite good at storing up energy in times of rest and non-movement. They also can switch directions on a dime. That is a valuable lesson for us to learn. When you notice a squirrel around you, stop and ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Are you over active?
- Are you under active?
- Are you worried about lack and not having enough?
- Does that fear turn into the fear that you are never going to have enough?
- Do you need to learn to save and properly expend money, energy or time?
- Are you spending too much time focused on collection and accumulation?
- Are you not sharing what you have received?
How many of these traits of squirrel animal spirit totem apply to you? Enjoy squirrel spotting and learning the lessons that squirrel has to teach you.