Axolotl – Remaining unscarred
Regeneration, healing and health, refusing to grow, change as a sign of weakness, remaining firm in your beliefs, remaining unscarred despite trauma, associations with Xolotl, warning against sacrificing your youth.
The axolotl, originating in Mexico City, is an amphibian, that is essentially a salamander larvae that (the majority of the time) refuses to evolve past its larval state and remains gilled and aquatic. They are solitary by nature. They possess long bodies, lidless eyes, a caudal fin, and have long, thin digits. They are brown and black (in the wild), and can be found in white and tan. They feed through suction, and will occasionally gulp oxygen from the surface. They eat worms, molluscs, small fish, insects and their larvae, and locate their food primarily by scent and electronic field.
Axolotls are neotenic, meaning that they reach sexual maturity despite never finishing metamorphosis. Those that do mature, have drastically shortened lifespans. Mating axolotls court each other by ‘waltzing,’ and females lay their eggs singly. Axolotls are common in scientific research due to their regenerative powers (and their ability to heal without scarring), breeding ease and the size of their embryos. Wild axolotls are critically endangered due to habitat destruction, predation by non-native fish and pollution. The axolotl is named after the Aztec god Xolotl, who was associated with death and lightning.
Lessons and Challenges:
Axolotl is an animal that represents great health and potential for healing. Its presence suggests that you are coming into a time where healing is possible, and you’re able to reach levels of physical, spiritual and emotional health that you haven’t been able to reach before (or at least for a long time). For those who are deliberately seeking out axolotl to work with, its energy is intensely healing.
The great thing about animals that regenerate, or have regenerative qualities, is that they teach us how to heal when all else has failed. One of the lessons of axolotl, is to show us that the true onus of healing is on us and our internal resources; and that – by just respecting our body – it will regenerate aspects of the self that we may have thought lost. Call upon axolotl when you encounter a block in your life and have just about given up moving past it or healing it. Just remember that the regeneration of health can be a time and energy-consuming process, and you might not have as much energy to devote to other areas of your life during this time.
Axolotl teaches us that sometimes the only way we can heal, is by refusing to grow in ways that others expect us to. Axolotl is neotenic – an animal that reaches sexual maturity despite always staying in its larval form. It may be necessary to refuse a promotion, not take a pay raise, or stick to a handful of friends instead of a large amount. Axolotl reminds us that growth in all areas can actually be toxic and not very productive. Change for change’s sake is unnecessary. Axolotl also represents those people who are unusually mature for their age; and shows us that even children and teenagers can possess greater wisdom than adults if they look for it.
Axolotl also suggests that at this time, change can be a sign of weakness. In order to heal, it might be necessary that you don’t go back to work yet, or that it is important not to bend to peer pressure and acquiesce on an issue. It is important to examine what areas in your life don’t need changing, and don’t change them! Many animals teach ‘change is good,’ but sometimes it’s necessary to just stop, take stop, and choose to stay in a certain place for a while. Axolotl reminds us that taking a break from change doesn’t always mean stagnancy.
It is sometimes important to remain firm in your beliefs, and the presence of axolotl as an animal guide or energy suggests that that time is at hand. People may be trying to change your mind, someone may be trying to convince you that a different job, partner, living environment, home is better for you. Or alternatively they may be challenging spiritual, political or ethical beliefs you might have. Axolotl tells you to remain firm (not necessarily that you’re right though!), and that – if you need to – to withdraw from the conversation or pressure if it gets too much.
Due to the connection that axolotl has with the Aztec god Xolotl, there are possible associations with the Aztec pantheon and culture at this time; and of course Xolotl. Considering doing research into this god and seeing if any of his mythologies appeal to you or speak to you on a deeper level.
Axolotl warns against sacrificing your youth or sense of youth in order to ‘grow up.’ And for people who have already felt like they have given away their youth, axolotl comes to remind you that giving up your youth is too high a price for anything, and it’s time to seek it out again.
One of the most interesting lessons or wisdoms of axolotl, is the idea that it is possible to remain unscarred with appropriate care and treatment, or to become unscarred despite trauma. Axolotl is one of the few animals out there who heals without scarring despite severe trauma that would potentially kill other amphibians and vertebrate animals. In a world where most people think that they are permanently scarred from their traumas, axolotl gently reminds us that with a bit of hard work, and the allowance of time and energy to heal, even those scars can fade with time.
The Shadow Aspects:
Those who dislike, hate or fear axolotl may find that they thought their youth was a valid thing to sacrifice in order to ‘grow up,’ only to find out that it wasn’t. Those who look with bitterness upon their youth, and view the concept of innocence with contempt or distaste may find themselves challenged by axolotl’s ‘stay youthful, it works,’ perspective. Axolotl will sometimes come into the lives of these people to remind them that youth is never an appropriate price to pay for growing up, and can even indicate a lack of wisdom.
Axolotl as a shadow energy can also challenge people who – for whatever reason – hang onto the false belief that they simply can’t heal from their trauma; or can’t heal from an emotional or spiritual wound. Axolotl challenges those people by reminding them that it is a choice to refuse to heal, and not necessarily a permanent fact.
Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Axolotl is, for the most part, a gentle and approachable guide, though it is shy and can require multiple visits to its habitat in order to have an encounter. Axolotl can be rarely snappish, but for the most part encounters emphasise a need for healing, and the sort of change which requires that one stays ‘still’ in ‘real life’ (i.e. in jobs, on the friend front, with partners) in order to heal and grow internally. On a trivial aside, axolotl can be a great animal energy to contact for people who are about to undergo surgery and do not wish to scar very much.