Camel – Hold On
* This article focuses on the feral dromedary camel in Australia, though some of the messages will apply to camels everywhere.
Reservoirs of energy. Internal fuel. Making it through the tough times. Sparseness and aridity in all areas of life. Holding on. Making it through each day. Desert energy and magic.
There are thought to be between 500,000 and 1,000,000 camels in Australia today. They are herbivorous and feed on grasses, shrubs and trees, wandering up to 70 km a day for food. Camels consume a lot of salt and do not require drinking water when there is plenty of green herbage. In drought they do require water. Their hump stores fat as a spare energy reserve.
Camels have complex social habits, and will often live in sex-segregated herds for some part of the year and mixed herds for the rest. Camels are thought to be a potential problem in Australia, but at this stage they do not do as much damage as hooved animals, due to their softer feet. Australia has the largest feral camel population in the world.
Lessons and Challenges:
Perhaps one of the most obvious lessons of camel is learning how to create reservoirs of energy within your body and life so that you are able to hold on and keep going when times get tough. Camel teaches us how to stay strong, and not burn ourselves out. Unlike animals like the hummingbird or shrew, which need vast quantities of food just to maintain their ferocious metabolisms; camel teaches us that we can afford to slow down!
We create reservoirs of energy in varying ways. It is possible to store energy in the body through learning meditation and learning energy work. However it can also refer to storing energy as body weight and storing mental energy by not over-taxing yourself. In each of these ways we create an internal fuel source, and instead of burning it out, it can be maintained and contributed to.
There may be sparseness and aridity in your life at a time when camel wanders into it. One of the reasons camel teaches us to maintain reservoirs of energy is precisely so that when things are difficult, we survive and continue on. When life doesn’t present us with material wealth, it is up to us to pull from the resources within instead.
There is a saying that goes ‘make it through each day at a time,’ when things are tough. When things are really tough, it’s just important to make it through the next minute, and the minute after that. Sometimes life throws us an obstacle that hits us hard, physically, emotionally or spiritually (or all three). When this happens, it’s time to grit our teeth and just get through it as best as we can. Camel teaches this strength. The ‘one day at a time’ mantra is a good one to remember when you need to make it through the tough times in life.
Camel acts as a connection to desert energy and magic. Deserts often have pools of energy, or oases of energy located across them. Finding these places in the desert can take time and skill, but camel has a natural dowsing instinct for finding such energy places in the ground. They may be literal oases or waterholes, or they may be indistinguishable from the environment around us. Camel also teaches us how to contact desert spirits and wisdom, and can also provide a method of spiritually journeying across desert landscapes.
The Shadow Aspects:
Those who dislike or fear camel may give up as soon as they are confronted by a tough time or challenge. They may fall apart, burn themselves out early, or simply refuse to give their all to holding on and maintaining a form of stability. They may even think making it through each day is ‘too hard.’ Camel confronts these people and tells them to get their act together, making it through the tough times is a part of life and one that must be accepted if we are ever to truly find our way to nourishment and health.
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. Camel responds well to journeying techniques that include drumming or rattling, and can be a very practical spirit helper, often carrying practical animists across great stretches of land in return for very little in exchange. I’ve only ever met one other person who has journeyed with camel (aside from myself) and we both noticed that camel seemed to have a rather dry sense of humour and wit, and a fairly gentle disposition. I got the sense that camel was an animal I didn’t want to anger though!
Camel possesses a great deal of knowledge and wisdom, and also connections to other spirits and sources of wisdom, but tends to require students who have a lot of time and patience. You may find in interactions with camel energy that the communication is slow, or in bits and pieces, or that there is a lot at once and then nothing for a long time, so you are forced to be resourceful and find the wisdom and energy in what has been given to you, during the times when camel is absent.