10 Jan Squirrel Medicine
Today has been full of squirrel medicine and I was finally able to capture one eating a nut that didn’t scamper away.
In some traditions, the squirrel has been linked to Hermes and Mercury because of its fleet-footed nature and ability to traverse difficult terrain, and to climb trees. Perhaps the most famous squirrel in this context is Ratatoskr, sometimes translated as Drill-Tooth, from Norse mythology.
Ratatoskr carries messages from the bottom of the world tree, Ygdrassil, to its summit, where he acts as a liaison between the serpent-dragon, Niohoggr, and the eagle, Veorfolnir. There is very obvious shamanic symbolism in this act as Ratatoskr is moving from the underworld, through the middle world, and high into the heavens, while carrying out his tasks.
There is also a tantalizing hint of a lost knowledge of deeper physiology here, and perhaps even brain chemistry, in Ratatoskr’s role, as he seems to fulfill the same function as a neurotransmitter. He carries messages from one place to another, with the world tree, Ygdrassil, acting as an allegory for both the mind and the entire universe. Again, this reminds us of the shamanic maxim, “As above, so below.”
The squirrel always reminds me of my Dad. When I was little, he had a squirrel run up his leg like a tree and then scrambled over his chest and back and finally seemed content on his head. I remember my dad laughing about it and later that night woke up the house from laughing in his sleep.
My Dad has been on my mind so much lately and in my heart. Losing both of my parents in a 2 year span has stayed with me. I lost my Momma in 2014 (a year and a day after losing my baby) and my Father in 2016. It once felt like a gaping hole in my heart that might never mend. The last 2 years have been kind as I’ve allowed myself healing to surrender fully to my grief. I’m still not sure if the missing will ever go away but I do know loss gets easier over time…
📸 Today’s Wanderings