four of autumn

Squirrel - Be cautious about living a life of extremes or seeing things in black-and-white terms. Consider, for example, whether you are spending too much versus hoarding your wealth, or giving too much emotionally versus buidling walls that keep people out.

The squirrel has many lessons to teach us, the primary one through this card is to remind us not to live in the extremes. Everything isn't black and white, you should find a happy balance.

So, for example, the presence of the squirrel may mean that you hoard your money. Or, on the flip side, it could mean that you can't hold onto your money, you spend it as quickly as you receive it. It could mean that you have a tendency to give too much of yourself away, emotionally. Again, on the flip side, you may have built up walls all around you keeping people out.

Whatever the situation, the squirrel is encouraging us to find a happy medium, a balance and equilibrium.

In his habit of either hiding nuts and food or searching for his hidden nuts and food, the squirrel teaches us the lesson of devoting energy to our goals. At the same time his actions warn us of being over-prepared as a squirrel is said to find only 1 out of every 10 nuts he hides.

In addition, the way the squirrel faces the daunting task of burying and later finding nuts and food, teaches us that we should face our problems head-on rather than sitting on them. The squirrel doesn't have to hide his food in preparation for winter, he always has the choice of sitting around and waiting for winter to arrive and, then, go scurrying for his food, hoping to find some. The latter option, however, is the more risky option and that's why, by nature, the squirrel chooses to be prepared.

In his activity, a squirrel seems to capture the balance between preparedness and fun; preparedness in hiding nuts for winter and fun in running and jumping from tree to tree. And, through his presence here, we are being encouraged to strike the same balance. To move away from extreme living and to find a balance that brings with it a sense of joy. It's important to enjoy your work, to work and also remember to play.

Finally, squirrels are very socialable animals. Their communities can be very close-knit. Their presence here, therefore, reminds us to build harmony through respect and mindfulness of words and actions.

In essence, the message we can gain here, thanks to the presence of the squirrel is to live a balanced life, face your problems head-on, be prepared for what may be coming but not overly prepared, build a community and support around you where you both give and receive, and enjoy life, have fun.

Although squirrels eat a variety of nuts, fruits, insects, flowers and fungi, we most often associate them with acorns, the fruit of the mighty oak tree. The picture on the card is strewn with acorns so, alongside the squirrel, the acorn is also significant.

Being the seed of the mighty oak tree, the acorn symbolises potential and strength: "For every Mighty Oak there was a nut that stood it's ground". Finding a happy balance in every aspect of life, not living in the extremes, brings with it strength because you're better prepared, more grounded, and more level-headed to face any challenges that may come your way.

The colours that stand out to me on the card are greens, oranges and browns. Green is the colour of healing, orange the colour of spiritual growth, and brown the colour of nature. In line with the message of balance that comes through this card, these colours tell me that when you find balance, you find healing, the ability to grow spiritually, and your life is one that is more in harmony with Mother Nature.

Reference: This beautiful card is from Animal Tarot Deck by Doreen Virtue & Radleigh Valentine, illustrated by Dan Craig

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