Hello Squamish, keep your eyes open as soon there will be new banners flying in Squamish with a series of joyful spirit animals. I am grateful that the district selected my art for these banners and wanted to provide a little background into, how this ongoing series came about, why I chose these specific animals and the meaning behind them.
Through out my life as an artist I have always created art with animals. I have always had an intuitive attraction to certain animals. I used to take these great journeys into the city with my mom to Banyan Books and we would spend hours looking through all the metaphysical and spiritual books. I came across a beautiful book called Animal Speak by Ted Andrews and it was from there that I was able to validate the feelings I had about them and make deeper connections to these animals, to connect to the attributes of the animal totems while I was creating each new piece.
I truly believe we need to slow down and appreciate the signs we are given from the natural world around us. When selecting the animals to represent Squamish on the upcoming banners I connected with the lands on which I live and the attributes of each animal as well as it’s connection to our community.
The Otter represents Joyful, Playfulness and Sharing. Paired with the Blues of the sky and the reflection on the ocean.
The Dog represents Faithfulness and Protection. The Brown colour way was chosen as an ode the grounded connection dogs have as their four paws touch the earth, and how they ground the people around them.
The Eagle brings Illumination of Spirit, Healing and Creation to the community. These majestic birds soar over our heads, inviting us to pause and enjoy their magical energy. Yellow brings connection to the sun and the eagles strengths.
Momma Bear embodies the power of awakening the unconscious, she and her cub have been laid upon a salmon colour to connect them to the fish on which they thrive. If an animal keeps crossing your path, or it is an animal that you are attracted to you, have dreams about it or see in images, I encourage you to, first sit with your thoughts and write down how this animal makes you feel, does it make you feel strong? vulnerable? organized? Try not to over think this process but let it flow. Then you can google and look up the attributes of that animal and see how it connects to you and your life. Buy a piece of artwork for your home with that animal so you can appreciate it and honour yourself and your spirit animal connection. Or take a class and create your own piece of spirit animal art. Meditate and call upon the power of that animal to be with you.
We as humans have disconnected from our intuition for too long and we need to reconnect to the animals and the earth, we are all one energy and pure love and we need to embrace that. So as you see the new banners flying above your head see which one you’re most attracted to and take a moment, breathe and just appreciate that animal in your minds eye and connect, as that animal has great strengths that you may also have.
Ciarra Saylor Douglas is a professional artist, illustrator and graphic designer with a degree in Communication and Visual Design from Emily Carr University. She has been painting and creating two dimensional works for many years, exhibiting in Canada and Internationally.