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Description: Animals as metaphors for heroism

Animals are used to represent clusters of skills in The Ring of Valor program for three reasons. First, they are familiar to children. Each animal is logically associated with the skill module it represents. Studying the animal could actually serve as a form for associated learning. For example, what can we learn about ourselves by studying the incredible perceptive skills of a owl? Second, animals are easy to remember. When faced with a scary situation, a child might tell himself, "think like a fox" or "find strength like a bear." Third, they can be inspirational. Each animal has traits that are worthy of admiration. For more information about each animal and the skill set it represents, click on the pictures below.
Go to the owl explanation Go to the lion explanation Go to the bear explanation
Go to the dog explanation Go to the ram explanation
  Go to the fox explanation  

Bibliography on Animals as Metaphors
Ted Andrews, Animal-Wise: The Spirit Language and Signs of Nature (Jackson, TN: Dragonhawk Publishing, 1999).
Ted Andrews, Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1997).
Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, The Druid Animal Oracle (New York: A Fireside Book, 1994).
Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant, The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols (New York: Penguin Books, 1994).
Jamie Sams and David Carson, Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals. (Sante Fe, NM: Bear & Company, 1988.)

Both of the Andrews books are written for the layman and include excellent summaries of animal characteristics and symbolic meaning. Many of the descriptions of the six animals in The Ring of Valor are drawn from his work. The Penguin book is more technical and provides excellent insights into the mythological significance of the animals.


maphttp://www.ksu.edu/wwparent/programs/hero/hero-des-animals.htm--Revised June 15, 2005
Copyright © 1996-2005 Charles A. Smith. All rights reserved.