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A Dragonfly TattooPosted Wednesday, December 3, 2008, at 9:07 PM
I once stood in line in at Wal-Mart behind an attractive woman who had a tattoo of a dragonfly on the small of her back. I asked her if she knew the significance of the dragonfly whereupon she asked me if I knew the significance of minding my own business.
As relationships go, it was remarkably short.
Dragonflies, much like tattooed women, have their fair share of weirdness. They make themselves invisible to airborne prey by using a system called "motion camouflage." It tricks the victim's retina into perceiving the dragonfly as a stationary object blending into the background. Thus, the dragonfly becomes "invisible" even though it's moving forward. Often, the pursuing dragonfly will fly away from its target rather than toward it to maintain the disguise.
I had become familiar with the dragonfly years earlier when I lived in Arizona where a man who claimed to be a shaman gave me a reading using 44 Native American Indian medicine cards. He explained that as we come into the Earth Walk, there are seven directions, each aligned with a particular ability or challenge, surrounding our bodies: East, South, West, North, Above, Below, and Within.
Then I drew seven medicine cards representing the seven directions in my Earth Walk.
1) East -- Wolf. The wolf awakens the teacher within to understand the Great Mystery of life.
2) South -- Armadillo. The armadillo teaches us to define our boundaries or space.
3) West -- Dragonfly. The dragonfly reveals the illusionary facade of physical reality.
4) North -- Hummingbird. The hummingbird encourages us to enjoy the succulent nature of life.
5) Above -- Bat. Bat medicine teaches that to become your future, you must die and be reborn.
6) Below -- Whale. Whale medicine people have the psychic ability to tap into the universal mind.
7) Within -- Antelope. The antelope empowers us to honor the gifts sent from the Great Mystery.
The West medicine card reflects the internal solution to your present life challenges and reveals how to reach your desired goals. In my case, this is represented by the dragonfly.
According to the shaman, this world is full of nature spirits. Dragonfly medicine indicates knowledge received from the spirits of the four basic elements of air, earth, fire, and water. Dragonfly medicine is the essence of the winds of change. Messages of enlightenment were supposedly being communicated to me, especially during the dream-time, causing a transformation where illusion was being replaced by true wisdom.
I was indeed going through a transformation at the time.
The physical world seemed more like a robotic world of worker bees toiling in a giant rat race to maintain an economy that seemed more like a pyramid scheme than an intelligent way of life.
Humanity was being duped into a self-perpetuating system of servitude to a formation of governments and mega-corporations whose only purpose was to ensure their own growth.
For a government or mega-corporation, it meant survival.
To an individual human being seeking peace of mind, it was madness.
When I returned home from Wal-Mart, a dragonfly was perched on my mailbox, reminding me to always be aware of the world around me.
For example, a woman who wears a tattoo is a woman who wants to be noticed. And a woman who wants to be noticed is a woman who wants to be admired. But the moment you express a hint of admiration, the same woman will instinctively reject you.
Men may rule the world but women rule the men.
A dragonfly tattoo is a subtle form of camouflage -- you can admire it but must pretend you don't notice it.
Quote for the Day -- "Just what you want to be, you'll be in the end." Moody Blues (Knights in White Satin)
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.