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*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Lizard connotes a lack of scruples.
*Jamie Sams/David Carson Medicine Cards:
Lizard sat lolling in the shadow of a big rock, shading himself
from the desert sun. Snake
crawled by, looking for some shadow to coil up in and rest.
Snake watched Lizard for awhile as
Lizard's eyeballs went side to side behind his enormous closed
lids. Snake hissed to get Lizard's
attention. Slowly Lizard's dreaming eyes opened and he saw Snake.
"Snake! You scared me! What do you want? " Lizard
Snake spit his answer from his forked tongue. "Lizard,
you are always getting the best shadow
spots in the heat of the day. This is the only big rock for
miles. Why don't you share your shade
Lizard thought for a moment, then agreed. "Snake, you can
share my shade spot, but you have to
go to the other side of the rock and you must promise not to
Snake was getting annoyed. He hissed, "How could I bother
you Lizard? All you are doing is
Lizard smiled knowingly. "Oh Snake, you are such a silly
serpent. I'm not sleeping. I'm
Snake wanted to know what the difference was, so Lizard explained.
"Dreaming is going into the
future, Snake. I go to where the future lives. You see, that
is why I know you won't eat me today.
I dreamed you and I know you are full of Mouse."
Snake was taken aback. "Why Lizard, you're exactly right.
I wondered why you said you would
share your rock."
Lizard laughed to himself. "Snake," he said, "you
are looking for shade and I am looking for
shadow. Shadow is where the dreams live."
Lizard Medicine is the shadow side of reality where your dreams
are reviewed before you decide
to manifest them physically. Lizard could have created getting
eaten by Snake if he had so
desired. Lizard is the Medicine of Dreamers. Whether dreamers
smoke you or dream you,
dreamers can always help you see the shadow. This shadow can
be your fears, your hopes, or the
very thing you are resisting, but it is always following you
around like an obedient dog.
If Lizard dreamed a space in your cards today, it may be time
to look and see what is following
along behind you. Is it your fears, your future trying to catch
up to you, or is it the part of you
that wants to ignore your weaknesses and humanness? Lizard may
be telling you to pay attention
to your dreams and their symbols. Make a dream log and record
all that you remember. Be sure
to pay attention to each individual symbol or recurring pattern.
If you do not remember your
dreams you could try setting a music alarm for 2am or 3am. Or
you could try drinking a lot of
water before bedtime and allow your bladder to wake you up.
Dreams are very important. Pay
attention to them.
Contrary Lizard: If Lizard turned up in the contrary position,
you may be having a nightmare.
This is a sign of inner conflict. Look to the nightmare for
a clue to the nature of this conflict.
What are the feelings your nightmare causes. Breathe through
these feelings and let the
sensations flow out of your body. See the truth in what your
nightmare is suggesting. It could be
the simple message that you are confronting your fears and therefore
do not need to experience
the nightmarish events in your day-to-day life.
Another message of Lizard reversed is that you may need more
sleep or dreamtime. It could also
imply that you have a lack of dreams for your future. Imagination
is the door to all new ideas and
creations. As you examine the dreaming process, you will find
that the subconscious is
processing all of the recorded messages it holds concerning
the events you experienced during
the day. These messages can be suppressed feelings bringing
inner conflict, or they can be new
ideas or goals, other dimensions of awareness, future events,
warning signals, or desires and hopes.
In one sense, contrary Lizard is insisting that you look to
your imagination for new experience.
This is necessary when life becomes dull or full of boredom.
On the other hand, contrary Lizard
may also apply to those who dream too much, refusing to use
the dreams as tools to manifest that
same vision in their lives. All levels of awareness are accessible
through dreams. Remember, life
is not always as it seems. Are you the dreamer? Or are you the
*D.J. Conway/Animal Magic
Related to crocodiles and snakes, the lizard family is found
in various parts of the world, except
in extremely cold regions. In the western hemisphere they range
from Canada to Tierra del
Fuego in South America, including the West Indies. In the eastern
hemisphere, they are found
from Siberia to Africa and Australia. There are more than 3,100
species of these reptiles.
Generally, lizards have a slender body covered by loose skin
and fine scales. They shed their
skin in patches, at regular intervals. Most of them have four
legs with five toes on each foot; an
exception is the family of legless lizards--the worm lizards.
Unlike a snake, the lower jaw is
fused and cannot be opened wide. They are basically terrestrial
animals, but many are very good swimmers.
Although most lizards are less than a foot in length, the monitor
lizards (the largest of the
species) can be over 9' long. The frilled lizards expand a fringe
of skin around their necks to
frighten away attackers. The horned toad has spiny scales and
will squirt blood from its eyes
when frightened. The Gila monster and the beaded lizard are
the only poisonous members of this
species; they are found in the desert areas of Utah, Nevada,
New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico.
No lizard is truly a water-living creature, although they may
enter the water and can swim. They
like to bask in the Sun as they are reptiles and are cold-blooded.
All lizards are able to grow a
new tail if they lose it in an accident. They hear reasonably
well and see as well as many mammals.
The myths of Egypt and Greece portrayed the lizard as signifying
wisdom and good fortune. This
creature was an emblem of both Hermes and Sarapis. The Zoroastrians
classified it as an animal
of the evil Ahriman. Lizard appeared in Roman art as a symbol
of death and rebirth. Sometimes
it took the place of snakes as the genii of a house. If lizards
lived under a house, they were fed on
milk and crumbs. Their appearance was greeted with happiness,
for it meant that good luck was
coming. Among the Polynesians, Moko (King of the Lizards) was
worshiped as a god and the
protector of fishing, the prime source of food for these people.
Superstitions: This creature had a dual symbolism in Europe.
Although it was believed to be a
sinister being, it was used in certain love charms. However,
many Europeans believe that if a
lizard crosses the bride's path on the way to get married she
will never be happy.
Magickal attributes: Dreams, mental creations. Stop running
from your fears and face them.
Asking for guidance in facing difficult situations that make
you afraid. Understanding dreams.
*Bobby Lake-Thom/Spirits of the Earth:
Most Lizards are harmless but serve as omens. They can talk
to you in dreams and bring you
messages, be sent against you to spy on you and let someone
else know what you are saying or
doing, or warn you about weather changes. Small Lizards protect
children and babies. They warn
adults if the baby is sick or in danger. So the elders say that
if you see a Lizard in the house near
the baby, don't kill it. It's there to protect the baby from
snakes, spiders, bugs, animals, and
sickness, and even from bad spirits that may try to steal the
The blue-tailed *Money Lizard* is good luck, a sign that money
or a gift is coming. The Gila
Monster Lizard is a good protector, and Chameleons are messengers
that try to forewarn of a
possible sudden change in someone's health, or even in one's
lifestyle or home.
A story told by a Karuk elder named Lottie Beck:
It was Lizard and Coyote who helped make the first babies in
the world. They were talking and
meditating in the sacred sweat lodge, thinking like they usually
do, and this time they were
discussing the problem humans had in giving birth to babies.
Lizard said, "Perhaps they should cut a woman open with
this white quartz flint to help make the
childbirth a little less painful and difficult." Coyote
said no, because he thought it would be too
dangerous. "Suppose the woman should die," he said.
"Then the man would lose a good woman,
plus all the regalia he paid for her."
So they prayed, meditated, and thought some more in the sweat
lodge. "Then let the baby come
out from behind, instead of her mouth," said Lizard, "and
this way I will try to help her."
Coyote responded: "Yeah, that's a better idea, but let's
make sure that the first baby is a female,
because we need more good women in the world."
"OK," said Lizard, "but I'm going to help make
the boy's hands, feet, and penis while it's still in
the woman's stomach. And since he will then look like me, I
will always make sure he is
protected and grows up to be a warrior."
"OK, OK," hollered Coyote. "If you are going
to help the children, then I will help the woman. I
will put this medicine in the sweat lodge so the woman in childbirth
can chew it and have easy
labor while her husband prays and sweats for her in the sweat
Now ever since, the people instruct boys that they must never
kill a Lizard or their skin might get
spotted like a Lizard's and bring the people bad luck. And they
also say that if a baby laughs
when nobody can be seen, it is because Lizard is tickling and
playing with the baby. They also
say that if the baby is sick and crying, Lizard, who lives around
the sacred sweat lodge, will
come running and bring his medicine to help the baby. That is
why Lizard has good medicine
and power. He comes from the sweat lodge, and he fasts a lot
and rarely drinks water, which is
also why he has power. Although sometimes you can see him hunting
around the rocks, he really
prefers lying around on top of the sweat lodge.
This ancient myth may seem a little confusing to modern educated
and Western thinkers because
it has been translated from the Karuk Indian language into English.
There are certain symbols
and forms of knowledge in the myth that tell the Indian people
what kind of powers and spirit
allies they can call upon from Nature to use in childbirth and
for protection of mothers in labor,
and for children. In the old way of childbirth, for example,
some women would chew Coyote's
medicine and/or drink tea made from wild ginger and/or pennyroyal
herb. They would then ask
Coyote to help them have an easy delivery. The woman squatted,
sometimes got on her hands
and knees, and delivered the baby from behind, instead of lying
on her back, as is done in
modern times. The umbilical cord was cut with a piece of a white
quartz flint type of rock
instead of a steel knife. The quartz was thought to be safer,
sharper, and less contaminated than
steel tools; hence a lesson in health and medicine-making approaches.
Also, boys were taught that Lizards are good protectors. The
symbol, power, and song from the
Lizard is used in our Karuk Indian War Dance. in order to use
this medicine (knowledge and
power), a person must fast, abstain from water for a few days,
sweat in the lodge, pray, and call
upon the spirit of the Lizard as a protector.
For many Native American tribes, the lizard is the gatekeeper
to the dream world. In the South
Pacific, the little reptile is considered a messenger of the
gods or even a minor deity. Numerous
tales in folklore depict lizards as the ancestors of humans.
The lizard's practice of shedding its
skin makes it an almost universal symbol for regeneration.
If you have accepted the lizard as your totem animal, you have
undoubtedly already discovered
an enriched dream-life. If you and Lizard have been connected
for many years, you have learned
the value of this spirit helper as a messenger from the Great
Mystery and as a very reliable
prophet of major events in your life. You should not become
so dependent upon Lizard that you
neglect your own time in the Silence. If you come to rely too
strongly on your spirit helper for all
your spiritual insights, it will withdraw from you until you
have once again set your feet firmly
on the path of regular meditation and spiritual exercises. This
totem guide has truly entered your
life to help you to help yourself, and if you develop a balanced
partnership, you may expect
miracles and wonders to be yours.
*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
The lizard stays in the shadows during the heat of the day and
is thus considered the keeper of
the shadowlands and the dreamtime, as well as the keeper of
dreams. If this sign appears for you,
pay particular attention to your dream. They will contain some
very important messages. This
sign can also signify your subconscious mind and your inner
shadowlands. Identify your
recurrent fears and concerns, confront them, and bring them
into the light.
*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams:
Because of its primitive origins, many psychologists view this
as an emblem of the Collective
Unconsciousness or wild nature within. In Egypt and Greece,
an omen of luck. African:
Transformation and the ability to adapt to your surroundings.
Here the lizard is regarded as a
shape-shifter. Lizards are very sensitive to land vibrations,
and have very good hearing and keen
eyesight, making them symbolic of awareness, especially psychically.
Impartiality and the ability
to break away from various situations. When a predator pounces
on a lizard's tail, it is surprised
to discover that the tail breaks off, leaving the lizard free
and alive to grow a new one!
*Zolar/Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions:
According to those who know about such things, there are some
2100 species of lizards, varying
in size from a few inches to the so-called komodo dragon, which
is ten feet in length. As many
species actively warm themselves in the sun and some possess
the ability to replace a lost tail,
they have long been held an object of awe and curiosity.
In Egypt, they were associated with fecundity, since their activity
increased when the Nile
flooded. A Dahomey tradition holds that the lizard fetched fire
from the sun. In Europe it was
long believed that, during hibernation, the lizard becomes blind.
The belief was that, in spring,
the creature would climb an eastward-facing wall, look to the
east, and, when the sun rose, its
sight would be restored.
Pliny said that a lizard talisman would restore sight to the
blind. In medieval times, Christians
regarded the lizard as a symbol of rebirth and resurrection,
possibly due to the pagan Roman
influence. (The Romans had often depicted the lizard on grave
monuments as a symbol of hope
and life beyond the grave.)
Generally held is the idea that the lizard is either a god,
a kin to the god, or his messenger. For
instance, in Samoa, several gods exist in lizard form. For the
Maoris, Tangaloa, the Heaven God,
is believed to incarnate as a green lizard. Tongaiti, the Night
Heaven God of the Hervery
Islanders of Polynesia, was believed to be a nocturnal spotted
lizard. In Australia, the Aranda
believe that the sky will fall if they kill a lizard. (This
is probably connected with their sky and
In Italy, some believe fairies can appear as lizards. In Germany,
folktales speak of a lizard who
was really a bewitched princess.
Among Jewish folklore, the lizard was held unclean and was believed
born of sexual intercourse
between Satan and a witch. In fact, in some areas of France,
lizards were buried alive under the
threshold as a protection against witchcraft. In Shakespeare's
Macbeth, lizard is one of the
ingredients of the witches' brew. For the Slavs and some French
and English peasants, the lizard
was held as protection against snakes and was often fixed on
the roof of a stable to ward them
off. For a lizard to cross the path of a bride was believed
to produce an unhappy marriage. In
some parts of the United Kingdom it is believed that, if a lizard
sees a snake approaching a
sleeping man, it will awaken him.
Since some lizards have the ability to regenerate their own
tail, sometimes an abnormal twotailed
lizard may appear. Italians regard such a two-tailed lizard
as being unusually lucky. In
Samoa, the lizard is believed to be the sun and is said to possess
the ability to ask the Weather
God for good weather. One Christian tradition in Germany holds
that the lizard licked away
Christ's drops of blood, and therefore, should never be killed.
In Sicily, small lizards, called "San
Giovanni," are never killed, since they are believed to
be in the presence of the Lord in Heaven
and to light the Lord's lamp.
Finding a lizard's tail is said to be gaining a highly prized
talisman. The tail of a green lizard,
kept in the right shoe, guarantees wealth and happiness. Girls
desiring to become good
seamstresses should allow lizards to run across their hands.
In the Alsace, there is a belief that,
should one kill a lizard, rain will come the next day. A Languedoc
tradition holds that, should a
lizard bite a woman's breast, she will quickly lose weight.
In Provence, it is said that when a
lizard bites a cow on the nose, the cow soon dies.
Eating green lizards was thought to cure skin diseases. Other
diseases allegedly cured by lizard
ingredients include running eyes, syphilis, warts, and various
liver complaints. In Arabia, lizard
medicine was thought a cure for impotence. In Madagascar, lizards
buried alive were said to cure
fever. In medieval England, tradition held that, by licking
a lizard, one could acquire the ability
to heal wounds and sores in the same manner. One tradition holds
that fruit trees can be
prevented from bearing bad fruit by smearing them with the bile
of a green lizard. Pliny
reportedly advocated this procedure and it was practiced into
the twentieth century in Silesia.
*Lady Stearn Robinson & Tom Gorbett/The Dreamer's Dictionary:
This reptile in a dream is warning that you have false friends
in your close circle. A dead lizard
signifies a successful battle to protect your reputation. Shoes,
bags, or other items made of lizard
skin predict an increase in income.
Keynote: Subtlety of Perception
Lizard is an animal of great subtlety. Its movements are quick.
It has four legs and can run with
great speed. Some lizards can live in the house, and they help
to control the insect populations.
The gecko lizard os one of the few reptiles that has a voice,
and this should be meditated upon by
anyone that has it a a totem. The Komodo dragon of Indonesia
is a monitor lizard, and it is the
largest of all lizards. If at all possible, try to identify
the kind of lizard and study it individually.
Most lizards have long tails which help them maintain balance
and can also serve as a defense
mechanism, as you will learn later. Most also have a crested
back, ruffs, or spines. These serve as
protection but they are also very symbolic. Some have ruffs
about the neck. The neck is an area
that bridges the higher and lower, and lizards with them are
those that can teach you how to
bridge the subconscious with the conscious--dreaming with waking.
They can stimulate lucid
Those with spines and crests along the spine usually reflect
that the sensitivities of the chakras
are heightened or about to be. Are you being too sensitive or
not sensitive enough? Are you
being too picky or are you missing the obvious? It can also
reflect that the kundalini or life force
is active and flowing strongly, which will heighten all sensitivities--physical,
psychic, and spiritual.
The lizard is the expert at subtle perception. It can sense
vibrations through the ground. Its eyes
can detect the subtlest of movements, and it has extremely acute
hearing. All of these are
symbolic of specific forms of clairvoyance practiced in many
A lizard has an ability to recognize the subtlest insect movements,
and can remain still or
relatively so to mislead its prey or protect itself. This indicates
that your intuition and psychic
perceptions are either already active or about to be activated
more strongly. Pay attention.
There are a number of characteristics that distinguish a lizard
from other reptiles. They too, have
a dry skin, and like many, they also have claws. They are also
sensitive to vibrations in the
ground. They feel it with their feet, tail, and body. Their
eyes are sharp with an ability to detect
the slightest movement around them. They also have acute hearing.
All of these characteristics give it a symbolism associated
with the psychic and the intuitive. The
ability to perceive subtle movement--physical and ethereal,
waking or sleeping--is what lizard
medicine teaches. To some within the Native American tradition,
the lizard is associated with
dreamtime. Dreams contain some of the subtlest perceptions of
the mind of which we may not be
conscious. They are translated to us through dreams to make
us more conscious. These can be
fears or foreshadowings, but almost always they are the things
to which we do not pay attention.
Individuals with a lizard totem should listen to their own intuition
over anyone else's. Lizard
usually reflects heightened sensitivity. You feel what others
may not. You will see things that
others may miss. You will hear things that are not being said.
No matter how strange it may
seem, learning to follow those perceptions is what will enable
you to succeed most frequently.
One of the most significant characteristics of some lizards
and their claim to fame is the ability
of the tail to come off. A predator may grab for it, its paw
upon the tail, only to be surprised as
the tail breaks off and the lizard scampers to freedom. The
lizard then begins the process of
growing another in its place.
This detachment is also part of what lizard can teach. They
can help us to become more detached
in life to survive. Sometimes it is necessary to separate ourselves
or part of ourselves from others
to be able to do the things we must desire to do. The lizard
helps us to awaken that ability for
objective detachment so that it can occur with the least amount
of difficulty. Lizard can show up
to help us break from the past. It may even indicate a need
to explore new realms and follow
your own impulses before you get swallowed up in what is not
beneficial for you.
Like most reptiles, the lizard will often bask in the sun. It
is cold-blooded, and it needs the
warmth of the sun to stay warm. This basing is often a feigned
sleep, and it serves a secondary
purpose of fooling insects that may mistakenly come too close.
This ability of feigning sleep
while basking in the sun is sometimes related to controlling
the sleep state--especially dreams.
Lizard, as mentioned earlier, is the totem that can help us
understand and use this state more effectively.
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