~Spirit of Tiger~
Role: ~The Trailblazer~
Wind: East ~Illumination~
Medicine: Lunar Magic
Yin/Yang Principle Passion Insight into Boundaries
Will & Power Sensuality Devotion Stealth
Strength Psychic Adventurous
Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water`d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Will & Power
The Siberian Tiger is the largest of all the big cats with their bodies growing up to twelve feet long and their tails adding another three feet to their overall length.. Watching these beautiful creatures, the strength and power they possess is very much in evidence in their rippling muscles.
Large paws carry impressive claws that are usually kept sheathed until either grasping a prey animal or delivering a lethal blow to an enemy. Such formidable power is contained within a musculature that has been designed to assure this cat’s ranking at the top of their food chain.
***For the two-legged beside whom Tiger stalks, the sheathed claws and defined muscles that can transform in the space of a heartbeat from fluid, casual movement to a powerful burst of energy, this is quite symbolic of the human counterpart’s same power that is most often kept in check. These individuals possess an amazing reservoir of energy that is frequently held in reserve for times when it is genuinely needed, yet when circumstances warrant the release of this wellspring, they can tackle a problem, crisis or challenge with a focused intensity that can only be equated to a Tiger’s leap.
When very young, the Tiger soul learns to contain such raw power. This contained energy can present itself as an intense gaze and quietly studious demeanor that may intimidate others, as though the eyes of the Tiger are capable of peering into one’s very soul.
Such intensity can drive others away as the one beside whom Tiger journeys can often appear as aloof or disinterested. Nothing can be further from the truth however, as although they may seem insensitive or detached, these are the souls that desire to experience all of life’s intricacies and adventures, yet it is only as they mature and gain confidence in themselves that their more exuberant side is let free to play and explore.
When operating from Lower Personality, such raw power can be utilized for extremely selfish ends with the Tiger individual seeking to further his/her own agenda regardless of the cost to both others around them, and to their soul’s own progress. In this scenario, the energy is then released in volcano blasts and whirlwinds, obliterating all who stand in the path of the tiger. Or the reverse may be true and the two-legged with this magnificent Animal Spirit may be intimidated by their own exceptionally powerful emotions and desires, stuffing or denying such feelings which results in many frustrations and denial of the true Self as an end result of such repression.
As the Tiger Soul grows, matures and evolves, a balance is found between releasing their indomitable energies and maintaining an awareness of the feelings of those around them. When the two-legged can embrace without fear their own Power, and utilize it for the benefit of both themselves and others, the Light Force of their Will shines forth to light the pathway for others who journey the pathway of Self-Knowledge and Discovery.***
The Tiger in the wild will only have a litter of cubs (kittens) once in every 3 to 4 years and her litter will vary anywhere from a single birth to six offspring. Once making their entrance onto the Earthwalk, the small tigers will remain with their mother for approximately two years as she guides them through maturation and teaches them how to hunt and to become self-sufficient.
Watching a female Tiger nurture, protect and teach her offspring, it becomes obvious to the observer that she is a devoted and loving mother. The gentleness that she exhibits toward her cubs can turn rapidly to ferocity when her young are threatened, but when it comes to providing care for her progeny, the Tiger seems to delight in her role of mother.
***For the two-legged with the soul of Tiger, there is an intrinsic undercurrent of fierce devotion that flows through their veins. When a Tiger individual loves another, be this in this as a friend or lover, the loyalty, intensity and devotion that they lavish upon their loved ones leaves an indelible imprint upon the hearts and minds of others. For some less passionate individuals who find themselves in love with the one beside whom Tiger pads, this red-hot intensity can be overwhelming and they will escape for “gentler waters,” while those who posses a similar fire and depth within their own hearts will find an eager and willing partner in the Tiger individual.
The challenges for the Tiger soul can be various when it comes to matters of the heart. Some Tigers may tend to burn with a blazing intensity that is exhilarating in its heat yet, as though such ferocious passion cannot be maintained indefinitely, the scorching heat of passion will quickly subside to barely flickering embers that threaten to die out at any moment and just when their partner has become completely enthralled with the Tiger’s intensity. While this first example of the Tiger love nature may be initially exciting, the Soul of Tiger is all too soon off in search of a fresh encounter to recapture the blistering bonfire that they find in each new relationship. The result is that the mate left behind suffers a broken heart and the less-
sensitive type of Tiger will be accumulating a negative karmic balance until he/she can identify this destructive behavior and learn to operate from a place of more compassion and Conscious Awareness.
The reverse of this will be the Tiger soul that is so ensconced in loving Others and pouring their entire Self into the chosen mate that they will subjugate their own wants, needs and desire to appease the partner. In this instance, the devotion is often either completely misplaced in a lover that is not willing to reciprocate such affection, or the Tiger Soul is so busy attending to the needs of the mate that there is nothing left over to nurture their own soul. In both this instance and the previous illustration, the Lesson for the Tiger individual becomes one of learning to balance between passion and steadfastness, love of Others and a healthy love of Self. Once this middle-ground is reached, the result is a healthy and giving soul that teaches all whom they encounter the beauty of true Devotion and love.***
One look at the magnificent coat of a Tiger reveals much as the black stripes that are overlaid against the backdrop of orange/rust coloring suggests a certain duality. In nature when there is such a significant contrast, this will often indicate a duplicity of meaning and/or purpose.
For the Tiger, this contrasting of patterns and colors suggests the Yin/Yang principle. Yin/Yang is the concept that all things in life are balanced via opposites and these opposites are equal halves of the ~whole. Female/Male, white/black, light/dark are all examples of this polarity that is the basic foundation of this concept. Therefore, when looking at the Tiger Totem and its beautiful coat of mixed patterns and colors, it becomes evident that this is a creature being that possesses the balance of energies we may understand best as Yin/Yang.
***As an animal totem Tiger will walk beside the two-legged who is one of extremes in nature, feelings and temperament. These are the individuals who run either hot or cold, full of passion or completely detached, there are very few periods of lukewarm for the Tiger Soul.
The challenge for these two-leggeds is in finding the balance between extremes and understanding that the two halves are not contradictions of one another, but parts of an integrate Whole. By experiencing first one facet of life, feeling and being then the “opposite, the Tiger learns the importance of Balance.
Often times, the two legged with Tiger as an Animal Totem will walk through the flames of hell and back several times during their lifetime. Many painful lessons will be encountered wherein he/she will expend themselves to the point of exhaustion and utter depletion, to then arise like the Phoenix out of their own ashes and begin a new cycle of growth and learning. Life for these souls is experienced whole heartedly and experiences
which may discourage other less motivated individuals are frequently perceived by the Tiger individual as a challenge to be met head on and conquered.
When the two-legged with this awesome Animal Spirit comes to recognize the necessity of balance and harmony, the result is a wonderfully integrated human being. In so merging with the higher octave of Yin/Yang energy, the Tiger Soul embraces his/her inheritance of true Power and Integration.***
Many myths and animal legends hold the Tiger as a Sister to the Moon, the contrast between her orange fur and black stripes once more reflecting the polarities of light and darkness which are symbolic representations of the two complete phases of the New and Full Moon. Such animals which are closely related to lunar cycles are recognized as possessing a particular form of magic including enchantments, summoning and assisting those souls who are departing from the physical plane across to the Blue Road of Spirit.
***When Tiger walks beside a two-legged, the human counterpart will often be imbued with a particularly strong intuition and sense of timing. This ~inner knowing~ is an unconscious alignment between the two-legged and the Moon’s cycles.
The Moon represents in esoterics represents the past, emotions and all that is “hidden.” Hidden aspects include our subconscious minds, past life memories which exist just below the surface of conscious thought, past programming, repressed thoughts and the realms and dimensions which are not visible to the physical eye.
As the Tiger Soul appears to have an uncanny sense of timing, in reality, he/she is closely in sync with the Full and New Moon. During the three day cycle (build-up, culmination and ebb) of the New Moon, the two-legged with Tiger as an Animal Totem instinctively recognizes that now is the time to begin new projects, to leap with full force out into the world in a self-actualizing manner that will produce positive results. During the three day cycle of the Full Moon, Tiger Soul recognizes that this is the time to gather, sift through the past to uncover those habits, ideas and thoughts which have outlived their purpose so that during the phase of the New Moon those outdated modes can be discarded in favor of new ideas and plans. Also, the Full Moon is the time in which the seeds planted during the cycle of the New Moon have germinated and are producing fruit.
When operating from Contrary Medicine (Shadow energy), Tiger is impulsive, rash and hurried, for he has not yet learned the value of appropriate timing or the gift of contemplation. Such actions will often lead the two-legged beside whom Tiger journeys down a pathway of painful lessons that are constructed to teach the Tiger Soul the importance of listening to the inner voice within which instructs them when to leap, and when to lie still.
In so recognizing the essential ebb and flow of cycles, phases and all life, the Tiger individual aligns him/her Self with the Hanwi (Moon) and inherits much of the magic and magic that is associated with the moon’s silver light. The more in tune with his/her intuitive, receptive and emotional side Tiger becomes, the more he/she listens to the subtle vibrations of the soul’s directive and responds accordingly, the more developed the abilities of mystical perception and transformative medicine which are part of the inheritance this beautiful and noble Animal Spirit carries. Then, two-legged and Tiger blend in perfect balance between passion and calm, pride and humility, action and contemplation in the splendid dance of a soul unfolding.***