It's been a while since I've written about my work with Elephant, mainly because there's been nothing to write about. I've been busy reading and researching more about Elephants and their relationship with humans, per Elephant's request. What I've learned, particularly in reading The Astonishing Elephant by Shana Alexander has been really eye opening in terms of how intelligent Elephants are, the uneasy relationship they have with humans, the abuse and poaching, and the uncertain future for elephants. After reading up on Elephant, Monday night I was allowed to take my next step in working with Elephant. I put on a bracelet of elephant hair, given to me by a friend and then meditated with a statue of elephant, which had a similar bracelet place around its neck. The meditation lasted over an hour and involved a long conversation about what I had learned, how it made me feel about Elephant and what my relationship with elephant could possibly be. What I really remember from it was facing the full force of elephant as a being that could easily kill me as a human, and recognizing in that experience a certain awareness that I think many people never experience, namely the recognition that in the right circumstances I could easily be killed by an animal regardless of my "superior" reasoning, etc. In fact, Elephant pointed out that the image that humanity had cultivated for itself has lead to so many of the problems that humanity faces as a result.
I did a similar meditation today and Elephant asked me to wear the bracelet for part of the day. This time we focused on what we could offer to each other. Elephant pointed out that I could help out by looking into contributing in some form or another to efforts being made to help elephants. In turn Elephant told me that it could help me with some memory and spatial awareness concepts. Wearing the bracelet for a good part of the day was interesting...a distinctly different feeling and energy than my own.
Review of The Astonishing Elephant by Shana Alexander
This was an interesting exploration of the history of the elephant in America, from the circus days to the most recent times. The author also covers the history of the elephant in other cultures and then discusses at length the current fate of the elephant. What surprised me the most was just how violent elephants and humans have been to each other, as well as just how much we don't really know about Elephants. The method of communication that elephants have fror instance is much more sophisticated than many people would attribute to animals.
I found this book to be the most useful in my continued studies of Elephant as a spirit animal to work with. I definitely feel I know more about the issues surround Elephant survival and treatment, than I'd previously known about before I'd read this book.
five out five.