I lost track of the alphabet somewhere between last week and today.
Which means, obviously, that I'll be talking about Vervet Monkeys today.
Please, try to contain your excitement.
|Who said pastels aren't manly?|
Actually, I do have a point (and it has nothing to do with colorful genitalia).
A recent revelation about how to read my animal oracle cards (or any cards) for divination has led me - as I said then - to view aspects of my spirituality differently. I started really looking at the qualities of each animal, as opposed to trying to memorize the meaning of each card. Sounds like a "duh" moment, but it took me awhile to get there. Anyway, this morning I was thinking about Vervets, because I was trying to think of a "V" word for my Pagan Blog Project post, and "Vervets" is a much better word than "vicissitudes." Well, maybe it isn't, but it's better for my brain this morning. I need something a little lighter today.
A friend of mine took that picture (above) while we were in Rwanda this summer. It's an adult male Vervet Monkey. You can tell because it has baby-blue balls. True story.
So having decided to talk about Vervets, I began pondering what lessons a Vervet might confer, were I to draw it from my oracle deck. Not that I have a Vervet card, but if I did. Specifically, I started thinking about what makes Vervets different from other monkeys, and from other primates.
And then I thought, "well it's not like drawing a vervet monkey would give the same advice as drawing a baboon." But... that sentence might actually not make sense to anyone who isn't into primatology in some capacity, so I'll expand. You can tell a lot about a species by how they play, because juvenile play is a huge indicator of how the species will behave as adults.
Vervets have a relatively loose hierarchy in their social structures, and they engage in about as much solitary play as social play. Baboons, on the other hand, have a oft-contested and rigidly enforced social hierarchy - their play is almost always social play, because those skills are important for them to develop. ... That's just one difference in the character of the two species; there are many more. We don't even have to go into their physical differences, which are great enough.
If I were to draw a Baboon card, I would interpret it as a lesson in hierarchies, power, and family loyalties. A Vervet would be a lesson in flexibility, oneness with your environment, and being comfortable in your own skin - even if you have baby-blue balls. It's like comparing vikings with hippies. Two very different animals. Each species of primate - and there are many - is different from the others.
So I wonder, for those who have "monkey" totems, which one do you have? It pays to do the research on this.
And then I thought, maybe I should create a primate oracle deck. That would be interesting. That's a project for the winter holiday season, when I don't have to go to classes all week. I'll keep you posted.