Penguin – The Great Sacrifices

Gentoo Penguin illustrated by Ravenari


Fasting. Sacrifice. Self-discipline. Self-maintenance. Territory. Aesthetic Appearance. Water Mastery. Air Mastery. Uncommon Grace. Primal Heartbeat. Specialisation. Dreams. Slipping Between Worlds. Purpose. Determination. Etiquette. Black and White.

General Description:

The penguin – mostly found in the southern hemisphere – is one of the most highly specialised birds/animals alive today, they have completely sacrificed the ability to fly, developed flippers and their feathers have evolved into flattened feather shafts. They are a streamlined bird with a thick layer of blubber. They are generally coastal, nesting on the ground in flat surfaces, burrows or crevices,

Penguins are awkward on land and brilliant swimmers underwater. They are adapted to deep-diving (their heartbeat slows to 1/5 of its normal rate), and can stay underwater for long periods of time. The penguin’s dense plumage is waterproofed with an oil gland at the base of the tail. Penguins – regardless of species – leave the sea to molt their feathers. During this time, they abstain entirely from food. Some penguins will also completely fast when feeding their chicks, compromising their own health to ensure the health of their progeny.


Please remember that if this animal is contacting you, it will often be the best resource for teaching you what its lessons are. What I write is only intended to be a guide, it is not absolute, nor is it infallible.

– When penguin comes into your life as a guide, it is generally time to consider issues of self-discipline and self-mastery. Penguin asks us to really look at how we move, act and navigate our way through our lives. Penguin asks us to refine and hone our brain, to leash our wayward emotions, and promote inner health and balance.

– Self-maintenance tends to be an issue for many with problems with their self-esteem. They might not understand the need to look good, or they might not feel that they need to maintain personal hygiene or living space. Aesthetic appearance is important, and penguin teaches us that it should be important to us, not just for the benefit of others, but for our own well-being.

– The penguin teaches us that we have an uncommon grace. So what if we can be clumsy in some areas of our life? So what if we don’t look the way we should? You can bet your life that penguin will show you where your grace lies. Penguin comes into your life to also suggest that it’s time for others to see where it lies.

– The penguin is the animal of great sacrifices. Penguin teaches the values of fasting, sacrifice and abdication. Sometimes we need to do it for others, but mostly we need to sacrifice many great things in our lives to make ourselves better people. Penguin cannot stress this enough, it is its primary lesson, we MUST sacrifice in order to become better people – and these sacrifices are hard. Penguin says ‘it is not a sacrifice if it is easy.’

– The penguin understands underwater currents, and spends a lot of its life in the water, or diving deeper in the water to find food. It can slow its heartbeat in order to survive, and can represent the primal heartbeat. The heartbeat inside of us all which corresponds to the world around us. Penguins teach awareness of this heartbeat, in ourselves and in others.

– The penguin is one of the most specialised birds alive today. It comes into our lives to teach us that specialisation is an important feature in whatever we do, particularly when it comes to career and lifestyle.

– Penguin gives us self-confidence. It is a creature which is both ungainly and graceful, it can appear imperial and has a very strong sense of territory. The penguin knows what belongs to it and what doesn’t. Finding your place in the world, knowing what your specific habits as a human are and using them to your advantage, will add to one’s confidence and give one a sense of boundary. Sometimes simply knowing where our grace lies, gives us the ability to be proud of ourselves.

– Many people tend to feel that penguins are the emblem of good manners, they bow to one another in courtship, they have processions in neat little lines to the water (some species do) and seem to hold themselves with dignity. I tend to feel that there is a lesson here in understanding etiquette in our everyday lives. Penguin doesn’t teach you how to eat in a 5-star restaurant, but penguin will teach you how to behave politely and sensibly around others.

– Penguin people, and penguin energy, tends to have a lot to do with dreams and slipping between worlds. Lucid dreaming, astral projection, out of body experiences, and near death experiences are all related back to penguin energy.

If you have Penguin as your guide:

People with this animal as a guide will often manifest traits similar to the animal itself. I work on the philosophy that we only have one guide, and it teaches us lessons as well as representing the core aspects of our personality. Therefore –

– People with penguin as a guide, or penguin medicine, know an awful lot about sacrifice. It may be a physical ‘disability’, a sacrifice made when they were born in order to learn great benefits from the limitations, or it might be self-imposed sacrifice. Penguin people sacrifice all sorts in order to make their lives better, and are sometimes painfully aware that they have given much, sometimes too much, away. Under-developed penguin medicine people need to be careful of emotions like bitterness, or self-pity or martyrdom. This medicine on a sophisticated level teaches us the need for sacrifice, and what ways it can improve quality of life.

There will be other ways your guide manifests, and you will recognise them with awareness and communion.

As shadow guide/guide:

The shadow guide is the animal we often fear irrationally, that teaches us things about ourselves that are profound and difficult to confront. Often the traits we fear most within the shadow guide, are the traits that we dislike in ourselves. We must scrutinise why this is, and learn how to work with them.

– Many people who fear or dislike penguin, tend to be frightened of being graceful, or of accepting themselves.

– Some people dislike penguin because of its push for self-discipline and self-mastery. Often people with penguin fear or dislike will be drawn time and time again to the issue of their own laziness or procrastination, and forced to confront the fact that their brains and bodies, and their skills might need refinement and discipline to yield results.

Contacting Penguin:

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. There are many ways to contact penguin, but to really connect with the energy of the creature before making contact with it, you can try varying methods.

One specific one is that of fasting, going on a controlled dietary fast (make sure you clear it with your doctor first, and use your common sense) not only makes it easier to slip between energy planes in the first place, but also puts one on the level with penguin as it goes through this sacrificial process. Additionally, penguin can be contacted (or contacts you) via dreams and lucid dreams, as well as any rhythmic exercise which emulates a heartbeat. Also consider breathing exercises, visualisations and meditating in water, or near the ocean, in order to connect with this energy.