Goats Are My Spiritual Totem

For as long as I can recall, I’ve loved dogs and have been drawn to them. Everywhere I went I would find meaningful connections with dogs in my life; I have no clue why that might be, only that it is true to my experience.

And I love the idea that in his infinite humor, God decided to embody on earth as selflessness and devotion, and conceal it by reversing the letters … Dog.

Yet I have found meaningful connections with other animals as well, some that even rival my love of dogs. None more so than with goats.

When I first came nose to nose with a goat in a petting zoo, I was smitten. I knew the goat wanted the feed pellets I had in my hand, but those eyes simply floored me. I plopped down on my ass right in the middle of the pen and was soon surrounded by curious creatures, seemingly wondering what I was doing. Then when a small goat pressed closely to my shoulder and would not budge, I just leaned into the experience, and became a fan of goats for ever more.

Of course, being curious myself, I went to do some research. Goats and humans have a long and storied relationship, perhaps some of the earliest of creatures to be domesticated. They provided hair for garments, milk for sustenance and meat for protein. In fact, a good friend and long-time rancher told me that if you only had one food to eat to survive, goat’s milk would provide all of the necessary nutrients.

Goats from a dairy in Kauai

Goats from a dairy in Kauai

Setting aside the practical aspects, I looked to what spiritualists might say. As a totem, Goats can mean adventure, persistence, and abundance. All of which are invigorating ideas for me, and in fact define much of my life’s journey.

Then of course there is goat cheese! Because we would not want to leave cheese out of the equation. A good, creamy chevre is magical.

Over the years I sought out petting zoos, goat dairies, and sanctuaries. Once a year or so I find my way to Carl Sandburg’s home in North Carolina to hang out with the goats.  And in my first-time visit to Hawai’i this year, my son-in-law found a wonderful goat dairy and organic farm in Kaua’i, a veritable sanctuary where all of the goats had names (and knew them) and we got to sample all of the cheese we could eat.

Is it any surprise that a decade ago on a vacation to Victoria, British Columbia I would stumble across one more petting zoo with goats in the middle of a large urban park

The real surprise came when a murder of crows descended into the midst of my communion with goats, and set up a riotous and raucous banter, that when combined with the goat energy propelled me into a spiritual reverie. Shortly thereafter as I walked through the city, the storyline of My Name is Wonder fell upon me. When it was published in 2016, I was thrilled to share the story of a goat named Wonder on a spiritual quest with his spirit guide, Mac Craack Crow

If you asked me what all this means, I must honestly say I do not know. But the Jungian psychologists would say that to ignore the callings of the Soul as shown in our lives is to risk peril.

So now I must tell you about Crow in a future blog.

Seeing True in Action

I rarely can see what is unfolding in my life in any given moment. Yet I have learned that willingness is a great thing, something with which Spirit can work.

So the most powerful prayer in my spiritual arsenal is this:

            I do not know what this means, nor where it leads.

            Please, show me whatever I need to see, feel, and learn, so it can manifest.

            Please, take away my closed-mindedness.

            Help me to be willing.

            Thank you.