While reading Game of Thrones the other day I realized that many of the more “heroic” characters are ultimately destroyed by their code of “honor”. Knights charge recklessly into battle regardless of whether their cause is just or if innocent lives will be destroyed. Young girls carry romanticized perceptions of good knights protecting ladies fair and good triumphing over evil. The reality is often quite different.
One of the characters, Arya Stark, sees herself as a young warrior, a wolf cub eager to fight for justice and honor. She slowly comes to realize that sometimes being a warrior wolf can be deadly and that being as unremarkable and unobtrusive as a mouse is much safer and likely to prolong one’s life. We may tell tales of heroic figures but how often do they die in pursuit of that immortality?
I once took a two day introductory workshop to Harner shamanic techniques. During the course of the workshop I learned that one of my power animals is Cougar. I found this thrilling – I can embrace and identify with cougar energy. Another power animal is Mouse I have to say that I was not as pleased with this. Mouse has always seemed weak, insignificant and unimportant. The more I thought about it the more I realized how important it would be for me to embrace Mouse energy. I remembered the tale of the mouse who pulled a thorn from a lion’s paw. I watched mice scurrying around in fields (and even rats in the NYC subway system – different energy but similar concept to the point I’m making). These tiny, “insignificant” creatures manage to survive by staying under the radar. They bravely scurry on the edges of our world and our consciousness. As long as they don’t draw attention to themselves, we ignore their existence and they continue to thrive. How often could that lesson have helped me in life?
Looking back I can find many examples of times when my aggressive Cougar nature and energy caused unnecessary problems. It created tensions and confrontations which could have been avoided. If my ego had allowed me to sit in a corner, unnoticed and unremarkable rather than shouting “look at me, look at me”, I might have found numerous situations to be less confrontational. There have been times when I’ll channel aggressive energy (I often envision myself as manifesting The Morrigan) while walking alone down dark NYC streets. I hope to project such a fearsome vibe that no one would dark mess with me. Then I realized that sometimes that kind of vibe challenges other to prove themselves more aggressive. So I decided to try projecting more Mouse energy – “I’m invisible. I can pass through crowds without being seen.” I was careful not to project fear but instead focused on being unnoticed. Regardless of which energy I projected, I say that I was never bothered.
Readings the Song of Ice and Fire series and seeing the various personas projected by the different characters made me realize that sometimes acting fierce and aggressive can attract very confrontational energy to you. Choosing to be more circumspect and unobtrusive can help avoid unwanted attention and be more peaceful. I’m not saying that one should always embody Mouse energy. There are times when being confident, aggressive and even boisterously Cougar is more sensible and natural. I’m simply suggesting that is room in this world for Mouse energy too and being able to determine which energy is appropriate to the situation can help avoid unnecessary aggravation, confrontation and stress. There is a lot of strength and bravery in living a Mouse existence. Their unobtrusiveness is their survival mechanism. In a world filled with claws and teeth and traps, the fact that Mouse survives at all is something of a miracle. This realization has helped me appreciate, honor and embrace Mouse energy. It is as powerful and necessary as Cougar energy but much easier to keep under the radar.