Today’s card is the Island of the Hound-footed Horse. This is an interesting card in light of what happened in the news recently – a woman got attacked and mauled by a cheetah because she was allowed into the cheetah compound. Apparently the keeper told the tourists it was ‘safe’ to go into their compound as the cheetahs had been ‘domesticated’. I don’t know what happened to the cheetah, it was most likely shot as a ‘rogue’ animal, which is a great pity. In my view it was the keeper who was at fault…wild animals, even if they have been ‘human-imprinted’ still remain wild and should always be respected. Here’s what Caitlin has to say about this card:
When domestic animals turn against humans, the natural order seems threatened.
Be more sensitive to those around you. It is possible that you are putting burdens and responsibilities upon others that you might better carry yourself. Are you upholding or betraying friendship?
Most, if not all, the problems between the natural world and ourselves are caused by humans not being sensitive to nature and not respecting it. As a highly evolved species of animal we seem to think that we have the right to bend nature to our will but when it fights back we are shocked and punish it. The news is full of stories of animals being euthanized because they didn’t fit into our idea of how they should behave. The truth is they act out of their own nature and we just don’t respect their own nature…we want them to fit into our nature. All of nature, whether wild or domesticated, has its own nature just as we have but as humans we have lost sight of this and expect everything to bend to our ego will.
Even in human relationships this can happen; when one person or a group of people become desensitized to another person, or group of people. We lose respect and become unfeeling to the nature of others. Then a burden is put on a relationship and it breaks down, sometimes irretrievably. This happens because of an out of control ego. Our egos are necessary to help us make sense of the material world but an out of control one makes us think we humans are gods! We end up putting our needs before others and only see the ‘I’ instead of the ‘we’. We forget about co-creation and go it alone. This is not how it’s meant to be. When nature works in harmony it co-creates according to each part’s nature. We sometimes say nature is cruel but only because it doesn’t fit into our own egotistical ideas of how it is supposed to behave. Nature is often harsh but it has a good reason to be and is usually tied up with survival. As humans we do not need to use harshness for our survival but we do it anyway, without reason and without respect.
We have lost sight of the nature of things; we keep animals as pets (there is nothing wrong with having pets – I have two of my own whom I love very much) but we bend our pets to our will and forget about their intrinsic nature. We neglect our responsibilities and then mayhem happens but we blame nature. In the situation I spoke of above – it wasn’t the cheetah’s fault it mauled the hapless woman, it was the keeper’s fault for allowing the woman to go into the compound, and it was the woman’s fault also for being irresponsible and thoughtless. Both are, unfortunately, to blame. But who got the blame? I suspect the poor cheetah did although I do not know how the story panned out in the end. My point is that we forgot about a wild animals nature and treated it with disrespect. The same goes with our domesticated animals too – we treat them as toys, status symbols etc. They are not! They have a nature all of their own which we need to be sensitive to. When my cats hiss at me for some reason, it’s not because they’re being vicious or plain nasty. No, it’s because I’m probably doing something that annoys them or makes them fearful and they react within their own nature. They cannot tell me to ‘sod off’, so they hiss at me instead. Of course I don’t go out of my way to annoy them but obviously in any relationship it happens. When your pet dog growls at you, ask yourself ‘what am I doing to make it growl?’ Is it frightened in some way? Does it just want to be left alone? Are you being sensitive to it?
If we, as humans, were more sensitive to nature there would be a lot more harmony and enjoyment in the world.