Category Archives: Misc. Symbolic Meanings

Doggone Awesome Defining Moments

aviaveneficaandkip

Dogs and Defining Moments

(Kip Shown Above)

There are defining moments in every human’s life.  Moments when we decide we’re going to change our lifestyle.  Times when we realize there’s more to life than what we may have thought.  Moments in which our entire paradigm shifts.

Sometimes these defining moments are forced upon us.  Maybe we have to step up to take care of loved ones who need our help.  Perhaps a tragedy has struck and hence changed the landscape of our lives.  Faced with dire times, we have no choice but to change.

Other defining moments seem so random (but of course you know they’re not).  Little synchronicities that seem so out-of-the-blue can change our lives forever.

These are the kind of defining moments my dogs represent.  I have three now.  Each one has seemingly and randomly wandered into my life.  The choice to give them a better home has utterly transformed my entire life.

aviaveneficaandgusrev

Kissy Face Gus!

Gus (shown above) was my first defining moment.  I hadn’t had a dog in over 20 years.  I admit, I was a cat person.  It’s not that I have preference for cats – it’s just I never considered owning a dog.

Gussy came to me via a handyman and volunteer fireman who was doing maintenance around my house.  He knew I had 3 acres, and I guess he knew I was a sucker for hard-luck cases.  He called one day and told me he picked up a bone-thin, stray puppy.  He already had 7 dogs, so he couldn’t take this little guy.  When he said: “Avia, if you don’t take this pup, I’ll have to take him to the shelter – or else he’ll get hit by a car.  Well, he had me at ‘shelter’.  No way I would let Gus go there!

Then there was Kip (shown at top of post).  He’d been kept in a small area outside with access to a tiny portion of a barn.  Kippy had been in that confined space for about 9 years.  Can you imagine?  At least he had some shelter, but in 100+ degree days, that’s not saying much.  He was also being fed, but the lowest quality food ever.  Never able to bond with family, no friends, no interaction with anything or anyone.  It all broke my heart every time I passed his caged up area.  So, being the sucker I am, I asked his owners if I could take him.  They were thrilled, and Kip became mine.  He was a disaster.  Heartworm.  Massive inner ear infections.  Not even neutered!  Well, as you can see from the picture at top, Kip is a hot mess now!  Happy as a clam, and thriving!

Next up:  Penny.  I just got her day before yesterday.  She’s a 10 year old stray.  She has a heart condition.  X-rays at the vet revealed several broken bones (and she’s a gimpy thing – poor baby).  She also has major inner ear infections.  She’s got scars all over too.  Don’t even get me started on her teeth.  She’s only got 4 of ’em!! In truth, Penny looks the way I feel half the time.  Old, been-around-the-block, tough but tired.

aviaveneficaandpennyrev

Happy Penny!

So what’s a sucker of a soft-hearted gal to do?  Yep.  I’m taking care of her.  Surprisingly, Kip and Gus have warmed up to her.  Maybe they sense a kindred rescued soul.  I dunno.

My point to all this story-telling is this:  The discovery of dogs was (and still is) my most defining moment.  Sure – there have been a lot of delineating points in my life.  New births, death, illness, marriage, new jobs, financial disasters, etc., etc., etc.

But by far, bringing dogs in the fold of my life has been the most major turning point.  Sometimes I have no words for how transformative these babies have been for me.

What’s the symbolic meaning behind this post?  Gee.  I suppose it’s all about never underestimating the power of those defining moments in our lives.  Whether forced upon us through unpleasant circumstances, or random visitors in our lives – we never know what’s going to sculpt our souls. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d have three dogs.  But I tell you what….those three babies are the biggest blessings and so bountiful with lessons.

As always, thanks for reading.  And thanks also for indulging.  I realize I rambled a bit.  I feel a little like a mamma who brags on her children and whips out pictures of my kids to anybody who does (or doesn’t) want to see them.  Oh well – thanks for putting up with my excessive gushing over my canine BFFs.

If you’re into dogs, and feel the same as I do, you might like these other dog-related articles:

*Dog Meaning and Dog Symbolism

*Dog Brothers and Dog Sisters (written in collaboration with Dave Crotty)

*Dog Tattoo Meanings and Ideas

Nature Is Where You Find Her

CityAndCountryLiving

Nature is Symbolic. Thankfully, Nature is Everywhere!

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who lives in New York City.  She’s going through a hard time.  I encouraged her to tap into Nature for inspiration, renewal and symbolic insight.  She balked at me! She complained: “Avia! I live in NYC! I’m surrounded by cars, concrete and carbon monoxide! How do I commune with Nature in a space like this!?”

Easy.  Is NYC void of blue skies?  I don’t think so.  And when peering into those beautiful skies, aren’t they filled with feathered friends?  Birds are big messengers!

And what about those weeds that grow through the cracks in sidewalks.  I’m serious!  Even those determined greenies have lessons to offer.  They talk to us about willfulness and a fierce need to thrive and survive.

Heck -There are tons of bugs and beauties in NYC – I’ve been there!  I know!  Bugs are surprisingly forthcoming with powerful wisdom.  No jive!  And if nothing else, shove a few potted herbs or houseplants around the apartment! Green is good for the soul!

Granted, Nature crops up in different ways in the city than in the country.  Sometimes we’ve got to be extra-aware in the city to read the language of Nature.  But that usually makes our messages and meanings more profound!

NatureMeaningCityAndCountry

The country affords its own kind of messages.  Country living isn’t for everybody, I know.  Nature can be very intense living out in the sticks.  I’ve had toads living in my abode, lizards in my bed and scorpions snuggling in my shoes.  The bugs! Oy!  But Nature lets loose in less populated spaces.  As a result, symbolic meanings and messages abound.

Like many of you, I’ve lived in a lot of different places.  I’ve settled in big cities like Phoenix and Dallas.  I’ve also homesteaded in country backwoods.  Which is better?  Hmmm.  Not a simple answer.

Whether city or country, the Universe is bountiful in symbolic meanings and messages.   We can’t escape Nature.  She permeates every nook and cranny of our daily experience.  Thankfully, that means we can’t escape the signs, symbolism and messages Nature is always sending our way.

All we need to gain direction and insight is a little awareness.  No matter where you live, look around, ponder, approach Nature with curiosity and awe – the answers and epiphanies will come!

Wherever you live, I wish you all the delightful insight Nature so generously offers every day.

Thanks for reading!

Big and brightly,

Avia

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Symbolic Meanings in Nature

Earth Symbols

Symbolic Meaning of Trees

Getting Messages and Meanings from Nature

Praying Mantis Meaning and Move-In Madness

PrayingMantisMeaning

Praying Mantis Meaning and Move-In Madness


If you’ve tuned into recent blog posts, you’ll know I’ve moved.  There have been lots of signs of reassurance during this move.  It’s a good thing, because this move has been brutal.

Lemme tell ya, I’ve moved way too many times, even across the country a few times.  But this current relocation has been, by far, the most challenging.

Why?  There’s no short answer.  But a lot of challenge came from the fact I moved into a tiny house.  Yep.  I went from 1800 sq ft. to 399 sq ft.  It’s not the smallest placed I’ve lived, but my first tiny space took place when I was much younger.  I’ve accumulated a lot more stuff since then.  Paring down wasn’t too difficult.  The killer was the books.  And that means bookcases.  Ugh.  Thankfully, I crammed all my books in the tiny house.  Don’t ask me how I did it, but I got all my precious tomes in!

So what’s this all have to do with praying mantis meaning?  On surface, not much.  But the mantis has a deeper meaning for me.  It was a very hair-pulling day in the middle of tiny-house moving.  I was pretty much fit to be tied.  Up to my eyeballs in dirt, dogs, books, bowls and not much room to navigate it all.  What’s worse, the shower didn’t work, my windows wouldn’t open, the toilet wouldn’t flush…you get the idea.  Just nuts.

In the midst of all this chaos, I spied this little baby with my little eye: PrayingMantisMeaningAvias

She had been watching me the whole time I was fussing and fighting with fixing up the house.  I had to laugh at that.  She doesn’t have a care in the world (because believe me, there were plenty of bugs in the house for her to munch on, ugh).

My point is, she was calm as a cucumber while I was mad as a March hare.  That’s a lesson.

In fact, praying mantis meaning is all about staying calm and carrying on.  From Asia to Africa, the mantis is a consistent symbol of peace, tranquility and stillness.

Interestingly, the mantis is symbolic of dreams for African Bushmen. The mantis is thought to be a dream-bringer, a soothsayer – capable of predicting events in the future.  When one is seen, go deep in dream or meditation and cast yourself into the future.  The Bushmen say the mantis will guide your way so you can see your future path clearly.

So guess what I did?  I saw that mantis, calmed myself down, and got into meditation mode.  Where did Miss Mantis take me?  Well, she got me as far as unboxing all my books, lol.  And she did assure me all this move-in/tiny house madness will settle down in time.  That’s all I needed to move forward.

So was she right?  Yes.  Move-in magic was made when I got 11 bookcases in, plus my treadmill.  And it looks fabulous!  Not at all cramped or claustrophobic looking as I feared it might be.

As a thank-you to my praying mantis pal, I gently picked her up and placed her out on my front porch.  If you look real close, you might be able to see her among the plants!

TinyHome

I hope you enjoyed these thoughts about praying mantis meaning while moving into the tiny home.  Mostly, I hope this little story reminds you to observe these sweet little visitations from Mother Nature.  Why?  Because every event is symbolic.  Every visit is a gift.  It just takes a little pondering to gain great insight and deeper meaning.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

More About Praying Mantis Meaning

Symbolic Meaning of Insects

Crackers, Croaker, Crazy (Tiny House Move and Toady Visitation)

Tattoos and Tolerance

TattoosAndTolerance

Deeper Meaning and Symbolism of Tattoos

When I got my first tattoo I was 16.  Not legal these days, but back then, the tattoo circuit wasn’t as regulated.

I got it for myself.  It represented a lot of deep sentiment and symbolism.  But I never anticipated the backlash from society.  No joke.  I got a big awakening about social opinion after that first tattoo.

Consider a tiny little girl in Texas with this massive dragon tattoo sprawling across her arm and back.  Ladies in the grocery store would gawk and gag.  Old folks would hang their heads to express shame.  Rude comments were made.  It was not pretty.  But my tattoo was (is) pretty.  And it meant something.

That’s my point.  Sometimes we have to make statements.  I’m not promoting getting a tattoo to do so.  I’m just saying – sometimes making a stand for our beliefs can be painful.  Sometimes it means nasty consequences from society.  I guess if you make a stand, you’re going to have to determine the risk, and whether or not you’re willing to grind through those risks.

Needless to say, the nay-saying didn’t stop me from getting more tattoos.  It’s never stopped me from speaking my mind.  Public opinion has never stopped me from being fierce about my own opinions, expanding knowledge, and the freedom of sharing symbolic insights.

I’ve rocked a lot of boats.  You may have too.  How do you handle that?

These days, my tattoos and my views are far better accepted than they were decades ago, thankfully.  But if you’re a rebel with a cause – what do you do when you’re clearly on the other side of public opinion?

I’d like to think there is room in this lovely, diverse world to freely embrace lots of wisdom and opinions.  Of course, this is a naive view.  In truth – for such a vast world – there can be a lot of narrow minds.

All this to say, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about expressing opinions (and tattoos) over the years.  And I’ve come to a conclusion……

I think tolerance is the best tact.  If somebody doesn’t get where you’re coming from, I recommend turning a cheek and tolerating their narrow view.

Granted, there are some times when I’ve gone atomic – but not for my sake – always for the sake of whomever I’m defending.  In other words, don’t mess with my dogs, family or friends.  And sometimes I get nuclear over my views….but I take a more relaxed stance on that point.  Why?  Because symbolism and beliefs are personal and subjective.  I’m ok with conceding.  I’m ok to agree to disagree.

I don’t think we’re here to convert other people.  Whether it be tattoos, beliefs or politics – our job is not about winning folks on our side.  It’s about tolerance, patience, understanding and meeting folks in the middle.

Just sayin.

May all your rebel rousing be executed with peace and tolerance.

Big love,

Avia

Get More Inky Insights Here:

Symbolic and Meaningful Tattoo Ideas (on Whats-Your-Sign.com)

Ants, Agony and Answers (Symbolic Lessons from Ants)

SymbolicMeaningOfAnts

Symbolic Lessons and Meaning of Ants


Any of you sweet peeps who have followed me over the years know I’m all about having a positive attitude.

But sometimes poop happens.  It just does, and it blows.

Well folks, these last six months have been replete with messy, sloppy hip-high poop for me.  I suspect many of you may be in the same quagmire.

So what’s a human to do?  What do we do in those moments where we’ve pulled almost every hair out of our heads, wrung our hands and rendered our garments?  Those times when everything seems so overwhelming and utterly futile?

We look at the secret symbolic life of ants.

Huh?  Yeah!

In the middle of family crisis, negotiating a complicated relocation of my home/business AND experiencing a devastating blow to one of my websites….I just felt fully crushed.

Actually, I felt like that little blonde girl in pigtails in the movie E.T.  You remember the scene.  She’s up to her eyeballs in frogs, and she’s clearly lost her mind with the madness of the frog stampede Elliot let loose in science lab.  Aaaarrrgh!

But in that moment of tears, wailing and agony….I looked at the dirt.  Whoa?  Yeah, it’s a good practice.  If everything is unstable – get in the dirt.  When you’re all topsy-turvy, dig your feet in the dirt.  Press your hands into the Mother Earth.  It’s a very grounding thing.  Very therapeutic. No joke.

You see where I’m going with this.  Yep.  In my effort to find some stability within the dirt – I encountered ants.  Lots of ’em!  I’m talking swarms!  And they weren’t very happy with me.  They stung the bejeezus out of me!  Ouchie!  :o

At first I was infuriated.  That pain just added salt to my emotional wounds.  But then I started thinking…..

Yeah, yeah, I can hear the nay-saying….”Avia…how could you possibly find a silver lining in being consumed by a bunch of bitey, bitchy fire ants?!?  C’mon!”

Easy.  Those ants were bad-a*s’s! They reminded me they are not to be fooled with.  They said:  “Hey!  This is our turf!  Don’t mess with us!”  That helped me realize my feelings of helplessness are an illusion.  We all have tools to fight back and defend ourselves – even in our weakest moments.  It might be our intellect.  Maybe it’s our faith.  Perhaps we find strength in family or community.  When the going gets tough, take a bite back with what makes you feel strong and confident.

Those cranky ants taught me more than that.  After I tended to my ant bites, I went back to that spot in the dirt.  I’d messed up their home (total accident – sorry babies!).  Within 20 minutes, those ants had already reconstructed their mound.  Impressive.  That’s a lesson.  It speaks to us about teamwork.  It talks about rebuilding with ferocious determination.  That was a big lesson of which I needed reminding.

What’s more….did you know ants can lift THREE TIMES their own weight?  Yeppers.  Again – very impressive.  This smacks of big potential in the most unlikely tiny packages.  When we feel ineffectual or weak – I think we should remember what teeny weeny ants can do.  Often it’s the ‘dark horse’ that wins the race.  It’s hard to imagine the extraordinary feats of physics ants pull off – but they do – because they ban together, and they never give up.

And speaking of banning together….ants are a remarkable demonstration of teamwork and community.  If you watch them, you get the sense they work as a whole.  And they do.  They can’t build a village with a single member.  Nope.  They communicate and work together to meet their goals.  Big juju in that lesson.  At least for me.

Well, that’s my ant-insight.  I hope it brought you insight too.  Hopefully the next time you come across the deceptively small ant – you’ll realize they’re actually quite tremendous in strength, resources, defense and unity.

As always, thanks for indulging me – and thanks for reading!

May all your ant antics be inspiring!

Avia

More Articles of Interest:

Symbolic Meaning of Ants in Dreams

Symbolic Meaning of Insects

Crackers, Croakers, Crazy. Oh My!

MovingToadOmens

In the name of all things precious and divine, I swear I’ve finally lost my mind.  Seriously.  I’m writing this post in my skivvies because I can’t find my pants.  Honest Abe.

Why?  It might have something to do with whom I lovingly refer to as my “Croaker in the Crack.”  I call him “Crackers” for short.

Now before it becomes obvious that I’m certifiably crazy, let me explain.  You see, Crackers is a toad I made friends with at this house I’ve been renting (and am currently moving from).

Yep.  I’m moving.  AGAIN!  This is the 4th move in less than two years.  All this commotion is partly due to insanity, but necessity has played a big part too.  If you want to read my thoughts about the symbolic meaning of moving – click here.

So what’s this got to do with my Croaker in the Crack?  Well, as with all household moves, things get chaotic.  It’s nuts enough I can’t find my pants, or my toothbrush, or my coffee mug…because…guess what, Lil’ Miss Efficient has packed (apparently) EVERYTHING! Ugh.  But what dove me into the nut mix completely was Crackers the Toad.

The little guy comes out every night to serenade me.  He pokes his head out from a little crack in the back porch.  Like clockwork…POP! Hello!  Cutest little fella!

Well, I’m sleepless, and whacked out, and bonkers with moving on my mind.  So I wake up (as usual) at 3:00 a.m. this morning.  I stagger out the back door to let the dogs out.  To my surprise, I see Crackers!  But he’s not on the back porch.  He’s in my house!!!

This normally isn’t a big deal.  I’ve got no qualms or squeamishness when it comes to picking up toadies (and still put them in my pocket like I did when I was a kid).  But Crackers is a pistol!  That toad is the wiliest, slipperiest baby!  It took me forever to catch that sucker!

Finally captured and placed safely back in his crack outside, I had to think about the symbolism of all this.  You know me.  Ain’t nothing going on without a symbolic meaning!  ;)

Did you know in China, frogs and toads are good luck symbols?  Yep.  And, they’re specifically lucky in terms of safe travel.  That really speaks to me – especially during this current move and transition.

In my (somewhat wacky) mind, Crackers showed up inside the house to give me a blessing.  This little guy is a reminder that no matter the craziness of moving, I’ve gotten my sign that this is the right move to make.

So even though Crackers kept me up for hours chasing him around the house (without pants, no less), I’m happy for the shenanigans.  It’s just another sign the Universe is using to let me know everything is going to be okay.

Oh, and Crackers might also be a lesson that sometimes chaos is OK too.  Going crazy sometimes is OK too.

Who knew, my little Croaker in the Crack could pack such a whallup in symbolism and life-lessons!?

What’s the take-away point for you?  Hmmm.  Could be stuff like:

  • Creep out of your crack.  Poke your head out of your hole and explore!
  • Hop out of the conventional.  Move in directions you might not normally take.
  • Get cracking! Crack the codes the Universe is sending you ALL the time! Even when it seems all hell has broken loose, I assure you it hasn’t.  I can also assure you the Divine is always sending you vital signs and tons of inspiration.

In short, be still.  Get calm.  Relax.  Then catch that hoppy bit of hope that’s landed in your house you call life.  Just like I did with Crackers.  Sometimes the craziest moments hold the most sane insight (even without pants on, lol).

Toady blessings to you!

Avia

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Symbolic Meaning of Moving (yikes!)

Symbolic Meaning of Toads and Frogs (ribbit!)

Croaky Toad Messages (greenie got game!)