Uncovering Wild Unknown Animal Spirits: Air
Unfortunately I did not purchase the guide book that goes with this lovely deck. So, I'm diving into these cards and exploring all their rich symbolism. These are just my own interpretations, based on my personal thoughts and feelings the imagery evoked, what Kim Krans (the creator) included in the LWB, and traditional spiritual perspectives on these animals. I will continue to edit this post as I work with the deck, bringing in personal experience.
Please feel free to comment with your impressions of the Air Creatures!
I'm starting with the Air Creatures. Here's what the creator has to say about the "creatures of the sky": "The creatures of the Air element move quickly and decisively. They are known to "see" more than others and this can lead to powerful and discerning qualities. However, the speed at which they move often leaves them ungrounded."
The animals below are in no particular order, the short description Kim wrote for the card in the LWB is put in quotations. After my initial reactions to the card, I looked up spiritual meanings of X creature to integrate into the interpretations below.
Sidenote: I'm really intrigued by how she decides to depict the element symbols- sometimes they are colored in with white or black, sometimes the background shows through them. What does this mean?! Maybe something like passive vs active? Receptive vs full/independent? What about when she puts in scrapbook like corners? I could totally be over-thinking it, but I feel like she is a very intentional artist that felt compelled to create these details. If y'all have any ideas, let me know.
The stuff you were probably looking for:
Hummingbird- "positive, spiritually vibrant"
You can definitely feel this little guy's energy. It is like the darkness around him is held at bay by his positive, radiating energy. The use of red on this neck and throat area, paired with the darting nature of hummingbirds evokes a message of cheekiness and the use of humor in the face of challenges. Rainbow colors around the flash of light he creates suggests a vibrant personality. Hummingbirds are fleeting and skittish- so this could symbolize a surge of energy to grasp hold of, a "carpe diem" sort of message. Enjoy life's sweetness, react quickly, be light and joyful.
Crow- "spiritually strong, watchful"
This crow feels very calm, and as Kim suggests, watchful. He is harboring his shiny object- maybe a little wary of any threats to his possession. Crows are very ominous- often associated with darkness and magick - familiars of magical creatures. As a familiar, the crow can symbolize personal transformation and a source of protection. The crow is clutching his shiny colorful prize- one that is radiating dark energy. To me this means the crow can bring out the light, the power, of our own inner darkness or our true selves. I feel like it is therefore a message to make strengths out of our weakness or past struggles, and to love those parts of ourselves we want to run away from.
Crows are incredibly clever- they know how to use tools, other living things, and the environment around them, in order to make up for what they can't do on their own.
Additionally, they can obsess over shiny things which in this case might warn against being hooked on an illusion of fantasy.
Nightingale- "healing with speech, sound, or song"
The nightingale is surrounded by darkness, which it dispels with its song. There are still specks of darkness in the light its song generates, suggesting that its comforting- but not altogether the solution. However her song also creates specks of light in the darkness, suggesting the power of comfort, inspiration, and peacefulness. She is sitting on top of a blue orb thingy. Blue is associated with the throat chakra, honesty, peacefulness, and calmness. She looks so small in that sea of black- it makes me think of time when you should stand your ground despite obstacles, or provide some hope and comfort through a storm. Nightingales can symbolize harbingers of dawn or personal inspiration.
Hawk- "watchful, all seeing, fate's messenger"
This is a very powerful image- the hawk is kinda blasting out of some fiery colors. He's on the prowl-maybe even ready to swoop in for the kill. He's flying into the light, but the oppressive dark lines and fiery colors are nipping on the tips of his feathers- is he bringing in that energy? I feel like he's about to tear something a new one...give them a whole new perspective in a very unpleasant way. I guess I'm giving this guy a negative spin, but I think you could also see it very positively: a powerful new vision that, although changing your perspective, is heightening your enlightenment, calling you to your true purpose. Go ahead and surrender, cause this is an apex predator. If you're a tarot reader, I get a kind of hanged man or tower energy from this card.
Vulture - "purifier, essential for rebalance"
Eeeyikees, this guy is not a happy camper. He's kind of stewing in, or even conjuring up, purpley shadowy darkness. This guy gives no fucks. Vultures do some dirty work, but like the LWB says, it is an essential part of the cycle of life. Purple is associated with the crown chakra- intuition, mysteriousness, heightened spirituality, and sacred wisdom- maybe it is time to take some time to get real and get in touch with this energy. Vultures are harbingers of death, but like in tarot, this is ultimately positive, transformative, and purifying - shedding some much needed light on some dark truths. It is time to dig deep, maybe go get a Brene Brown book and do some shadow work. For the tarot readers out there this is like the death, moon, and high priestess cards combined.
Eagle - "truth seeker, transforms karma"
This card reminds me of a brilliant dawn- it is full of energy and light. I feel like the eagle is dropping it off, "here ya go." Or maybe you are the eagle and you are seizing it! I feel like this is the strength and wisdom one finds after some harrowing times, after a spirit quest. This is what you get to transform into if you really dig deep and take on challenges with courage. They are thought to fly higher than any other bird (I have no clue if that is actually true) so definitely I'd associate this card with some major insight and all the positive aspects of the king of swords. This is the rebirth after death and has strong ties to the Sun card.
Peacock - "inner beauty, compassion, assimilator"
This guy is on fleeeeeeeeek. Confident AF. I hate to bring it up...but remember peacocking from the pick up artist? This card kinda reminds me of that. Peacocks are all about being bold, confident, and enjoying beauty...in whatever form that takes. Therefore, there is definitely some romantic, baby making vibes associated with peacocks. They are also considered to be good omens and birds of the divine, with their many all-seeing eyes. Are you being a pick up artist: hitting on a bunch of folks and exuding shallowness and vanity, or are you making real connections by being in tune with others and confident in your true self?
Dragonfly -"master of light, illusion, and the mind"
Kim's gotta pretty strong impression of dragonflies I guess. We've got a blue upside down triangle- suggesting being receptive to, and internally in tune with, peaceful, calm and honest energy. Upside down triangles are also the elemental symbol for water, dragonflies come from water and that's where they like to hang out- the spirit of this animal is telling us to get comfy with the emotional and subconscious realm. I feel like a kid whenever they come around that still believes they're magical creatures from another world- this card is calling us to be wondered by the magic of nature. They're also pretty chill. I can just see this little guy perched on top of some swampy frond, telling us to slow down and be calm.
Dragonflies are born in water and transform into creatures of the air suggesting metamorphosis and adaptability.
They're shimmery and illusive, reminding me of subtle peacock energy and manipulative tendencies. Dragonflies got a lot going on.
Owl - "abundance, clairvoyance, treasures"
Owls are nocturnal mysterious predators - with all kinds of unique and powerful adaptations to excel. Camouflage, being able to see in all directions, facial feathers designed to heighten their senses - they succeed by clearing through deceptions, being patient, seeing what is hidden, and exploring the unknown. Awake during the night, they need to use different tools to succeed. I feel like the message of this card is that when you are in dark times, you need to adapt and turn to other skills- like using your intuition. Sit patiently with any darkness, it is to your advantage right now. Look out for subtle signs and don't be fooled, discover and reveal your hidden talents, get in touch with your intuition. This little metaphor came to my mind, and I decided to go full cheese: find the flecks of color during this dark time and turn them into truth treasures!
Moth- "impulsive, foolish, wishful"
Aw, Kim does not have a good impression of this insect, poor guy. I guess that's what you get for following light without questions. They're kinda not even trying to protect themselves a lot of times- flashing around in the light- this colorful guy might be particularly vulnerable. Many of them have fleeting lives where they just feed and fuck and die...OK, I get it now Kim, poor moths. There's some positive stuff here though - finding light in the darkness, for one. They're also good camouflagers, confusing their enemies. The energy is like the fool and moon cards combined. Follow instincts, intuition, and take optimistic leaps of faith, even if they leave you vulnerable.
Bat- "letting go, death leading to rebirth"
This bat is coming at ya! There's a lot of fast movement captured here powered by passionate, intense red energy- in this I get a sense of tower energy, or swift changes. Bats are another great predator- adapting excellent hearing, more accurate than sight. This makes me think it is a time to listen very carefully, what is obvious or on the surface is leading you astray. The moon is incredibly powerful in this card. Another call to get in touch with intuition and follow your instincts, and face some inner demons. Bats are communal creatures, and I'm getting kind of a party animal vibe- bats <3 the nightlife. I'd also see this as a time to be very careful with this socialization, communication is very important.
So bats as rebirth... there are so many animals in this deck that I feel better represent that, I'm just not feeling it personally except in a tower like sense. To integrate the LWB flavor text, I can see this being a card calling you to surrender to passion, instincts, inner demons.
Butterfly - "growing pains, transformation"
This reminds me of the eagle, symbolizing that you went through a struggle that made you stronger. This has a softer, gentler energy though. Maybe it is less of a reckoning or test of your mettle, maybe a challenge that you didn't take on but one that was just part of life and now you are coming into your own. I feel like this card is suggesting a lot of personal growth and maturity. All the color is in the butterfly, none in the background. I feel like this speaks to a very personal experience. I feel such a sense of relief in this card as the shadows pull away from the butterfly - like a warm embrace from a loved one- you did it!