THE PANTHER ON GLASTONBURY TOR

At least three people have recently seen a panther on Glastonbury Tor.Glastonbury_Tor_at_dawn_Somerset by Robert Harvey.jpg

‘Again!’ comes the usual sighing response. The issue is, while panthers have been popping up here for years, these sightings still lack the official stamp of reality. Some think it might be a shape-shifting creature from the spirit world. Perhaps it sparks ancestral memories of Grendel-type monsters lurking in the dark.

Personally, I think it’s both physical and otherworldly. First, the arguments for it being real:

  • ‘Credible’ people like farmers have reported seeing it. A few years ago, a farmer said something that left large feline footprints in the mud had taken one of his lambs.
  • Elusive doesn’t mean unreal. Wild animals habitually avoid us, so it’s a special treat ever to see any of them. Panthers are especially hard to spot because they are black.  
  • Cats are one of the most adaptable animals on earth. This is why there are more wild varieties of them than any other animal – they adjust to where they find themselves. It would make sense for a large cat to lurk around human settlements because of the greater chance of grub.
  • Unexpected anihippofotocloseupmals are now popping up in odd places all over the world. These are often ex-exotic pets, escapees from zoos and even stowaways from ships.
  • African hippos now live in Columbia. A drug baron once imported them to show off in his pool. When he was murdered, his estate fell into disrepair, and the hippos wandered off. They are now thriving, as Columbia’s lush greenery suits them better than the harsh African climate.
  • A South African man has recently decided to move a group of rhinos to Australia to save them from extinction by poachers for their horns.Raccoon1
  • American racoons escaped from a German zoo when it was bombed in World War Two. Prolific breeders, they have since spread through Europe. Sweden has decided to cull them because they threaten local wildlife. Interloping species that turn out to be destructive like this are now called Judas animals.
  • After all the rumours about pumas living near Los Angeles, they were eventually tracked down. Since 2012, they have been filmed and satellite tagged.  steve-winter-cougar-hollywood

The Glastonbury panther may one day go the same way – tagged, filmed and somehow reduced. I can understand why Australian Aborigines say that photographs steal the soul. While it’s still a mystery, our panther has a numinous quality, which would be a pity to lose.

Many years ago, at the start of my spiritual path, I had a dramatic dream. A panther was trying to come into the house. I was terrified. I tried to barricade the doors – but then it got in by the bathroom window. I gave up, and said ‘OK, let’s talk’. We went outside, where it turned into a jungle boy, and we shared a bag of crisps.

In this dream, the panther represented the power of the spirit world. I think this is likely to be a universal symbol, meaning much the same to most people.  panther spirit animal

When somebody finally tracks down the Glastonbury panther, it will feel like the conquest of a mystery – and a little candle of magic will go out. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. So much of life is both physical and symbolic at the same time. I hope that for many of us the panther on the Tor can be both real and magical – like a shamanic guide animal, and a true bridge between the worlds.

If you’ve ever seen an animal in an unexpected place, drop me a line – I’d love to hear from you!

First published in Glastonbury’s Oracle Magazine

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PSYCHIC ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

Now and then a story crops up that shows without any doubt that we have an important psychic connection with the animal kingdom.

When Lawrence Anthony, the famous ‘elephant whisperer’ of Zululand died, the elephants put on an unforgettable show. They made it clear how much they appreciated him; and that they psychically knew when he’d passed on.

For many years he’d been reslawrence-anthony-elephants-1cuing traumatised elephants. He calmed and rehabilitated them by talking to them in a heart-to-heart way. This saved the lives of many elephants that were due to be put down because of the trouble they were causing.

The day he died, two separate herds of elephants made a 12 hour pilgrimage to his home. Once there, they remained for two days. It was clear that they’d come as a tribute and farewell to the man who’d helped them so much.

Many people have experienced a psychic link with animals in ways that may be less dramatic, but are just as significant. Here are some of the fascinating accounts that people have shared with me: 

THE SOUL CAT by P.M.

“Timmy strolled into our lives late one evening when I was standing in the lane outside my home, cooling off after a humdinger of a domestic row. From then on there was nblue basto doubt that he had adopted us. His previous owners had a new baby, and were fine about him moving on if he wished to. I called him Timmy.

In a previous lifetime a ginger cat had changed the course of my life. It helped me to see the huge mistakes I had made and to make what reparation I could before my death.  I knew, without any doubt, that Timmy had been that cat in a previous incarnation.Timmy accepted all the love and attention he could get – but he gave far more in return. He knew whenever there was sadness, and always found ways to comfort us.  Showing love to his humans was more important to him than anything else – even food!

Then some years ago, my husband died. He was much older than me, and his health had been poor for a long time. Timmy and I mourned him greatly. Four months later Timmy suffered a sudden paralysis of his back legs.  There was nothing to be done apart from put him to sleep. Through a friend with mediumship abilities I learned that he’d gone because my late husband had needed him.

I now have another cat, Felix. At first I wondered if this was Timmy reincarnated. I’ve since learned that Timmy is Felix’s guide. So the link is still there, even though I may have to wait until another lifetime to meet up once more with my very special Soul Cat.”

BUTTERFLY MAGIC by L.K.
“It is nearly two months since I lost my big Love. She left a huge empty space behind and I think of her every day. Ever since she passed I have been waiting for a sign, to feel her presence to let me know that she is OK.

This morning it happened! I was just drying off after my morning shower when a beautiful butterfly came flying into my bathroom and started circling around me.  Just when I was wondering what this beautiful creature was doing here in the middle of December, it flew toward me and landed on my shoulder.

ButterflyWhen I looked into its tiny little eyes, it looked at me so curiously I suddenly felt her presence. My heart started to jump with joy. I was suddenly filled with love and a great feeling of peace.

I started to stroke the butterfly with my index finger – and it just kept looking at me. Ten magic minutes passed. I then carried her sitting on my index finger to the window. I opened it and let her fly off into the beautiful morning. Blessed Be, everything is perfect!” 

THE CAT AND THE STONE CIRCLE BY S.H.

“A friend of mine who is a geomancer helped me build a sacred stone circle in my garden. All the stones came from special places such as a demolished church and someone’s back garden in Avebury.

We dowsed to find where the circle wanted to go, and placed the stones to line up with the solstice and equinox sunrises and sunsets. We then performed a ceremony to ‘awaken’ the new circle. When we dowsed afterwards we discovered that new energy lines had formed.

All this time my cat, a rescue, had been watching from a distance. After it was complete, she spent most of her time either sitting in the circle, or on one of the main direction stones.

Stonehenge sunriseOne day I looked out of my kitchen window towards the circle, and matter of factly said, “Oh, there is a lion in the circle.” The lion was standing proudly on the stone marking the South. I carried on with what I was doing for a while, before the thought came to me that of course it wasn’t a lion, it was the cat! 

As I am writing this I realise that the South is the direction of fire, self-empowerment, inspiration and governs the astrological sign of Leo – the lion!”

In our e-mail discussions about this, S.H. said she felt the vision had been a timely message to her about having more confidence in her spiritual path, and the work she was being guided to do.

THE HUSKY GHOST by S.R.

“Years ago we had an Alaskan Husky female that we got at the humane society. I became very attached to this beautiful animal, and when she passed it was heart breaking.

After her passing I kept hearing her tick on the sliding door. This was something she did when she wanted to go out or come in. I knew she was gone, but continued to hear that ticking sound.

One day my husband asked me if I heard Nikki (our husky) ticking on the door.  I was pleased to know that he’d also heard it. I had wondered if I’d let my imagination run a little wild about that!

pet ghostI found myself going to the door every time I heard the sound and opened it enough for her to come in. In my heart I know she came back in her own way, and it gave me pleasure and strength. I had to share this story as I have always felt close to animals of all kinds.”

THE VISITOR

Animals can make psychic connections with us in light-hearted ways as well. A few years ago, I was digging in the back garden for soil to put into a plant pot. A neighbourhood cat strolled up and took a keen interest in this.

When I had enough soil, I began to walk back to my door. The cat stuck close to my heels. I suddenly knew what it wanted. With great finality, I said “You’re not coming inside.”

To my surprise I ‘heard’ its reply: “Yes I am!”

A short battle of wills then took place, with “No you’re not!” / “Yes I am!” flashing back and forth between us.

I was determined. But so was the cat. I opened the door a fraction, slipped in as fast as possible, and slammed it shut. When I turned round, there was the cat sitting in the hallway looking at me expectantly.

I sighed and gave in. “OK” I said. “You can look around. But don’t make a mess!”

At that, it gleefully scampered off to investigate every nook and cranny it could find. While it explored, I must have still been psychically connected to it because I had the pleasure of seeing my home from the cat’s point of view – like a magical place of wonder.cat in woodsWhen it was ready to leave, it went and sat quietly by the door again. We exchanged farewells and I let it out. If it had left me its card I couldn’t have been more surprised.

Our psychic connection to animals has been celebrated in many cultures. It was central to the Ancient Egyptians. All over the world, power animals have always been an important part of shamanic practices. Native American traditions honour their animal totems. We have the remnants of ancient Celtic ways in our tales about witches’ familiars.   

Despite all this, the materialistic western world has turned its back on our deeper kinship with animals. Maybe it’s no coincidence that we also have a steep rise in stress-related problems – both psychological and physical.

Reclaiming our ancient psychic link with the animal kingdom would probably help to heal a wide range of modern problems. It would also enrich our lives in so many ways. From elephants to butterflies, animals bring meaning and healing into our lives. One day our world may honour this again in ways that might seem new – but are as ancient as the animal kingdom itself.    

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