Frilled Neck Lizard

Frilled-Neck LizardFaçade

Frilled Neck Lizard illustrated by Ravenari


Hiding who you are. Knowing who you are. Pride. Pretence. Deception. Display. Showing off and showiness. Using façade as a mechanism for growth. Doubt and self-confidence. Preserving the hidden self.

General Description:

The frill-necked lizard is the lizard emblem of Australia, and has a distinctive neck frill which it raises when threatened to make itself seem bigger and presumably more frightening. It will also use this prey to display itself during courtship. They’re known for the distinctive run they perform on their hind legs when escaping predators which has earned them the name ‘bicycle lizard.’

They are very territorial and will defend their territory via hissing (displaying a white gape), neck frill displays and rising on their hind legs. The frilled-neck lizard is quite arboreal, spending most of its time in trees. They are quite large, and can sometimes grow up to one metre in length. They consume arthropods, insects and other small vertebrates. It is thought that the frill can also be used as a ‘parachute’ when jumping off burning trees during a bushfire, and for thermoregulation.

Lessons and Challenges:

Frilled-neck lizard says it’s necessary to hide who you are. This sometimes goes against the grain, especially if you may be accustomed to being an ‘open book’ around people! In this instance, frilled-neck lizard reminds you that you don’t need to hide who you are for any shameful reason; but because its necessary to care for yourself, and sometimes that involves putting vulnerability aside and showing your strengths and gifts to others, instead of your weaknesses.

There is an element of pretence and deception to frilled-neck lizard. The types of deception that frilled-neck lizard asks you to consider as being okay, involves those kinds of façade that need you to completely change what you look like and how you act around certain groups of people, in order to ensure your safety.

Façades can be used as a mechanism for growth. When the frilled-neck lizard pretends to be bigger than what it is, it does so to survive. Likewise, when you learn or employ techniques to hide aspects of yourself, or

When you are able to know what parts of yourself can be hidden safely, and what parts can be displayed safely, you are in an advantageous position. In one sense, it means you know how to display yourself to your best advantage. Frilled-neck lizard can indicate the need for pride. It is proud enough of its own ability to façade and defend itself that it will stay when threatened and display, even swipe the airs with its claws. Pride can be a very positive force when not employed to excess. It teaches us how to acknowledge and be satisfied in who we are and what we are able to achieve and show to others. There is no shame in showing off, when you have gifts and abilities to show.

When you are able to know what parts of yourself need hiding for your own safety or privacy, you begin to know who you are as a person. There is great potential for self-knowledge with frilled-neck lizard, who says that rather than facading because of fear, we façade because we know how to protect ourselves, because we have ways to display ourselves in ways that incite pride and admiration, because we wish to preserve our inner selves.

Frilled-neck lizard teaches a level of fierce pride that comes from knowing the land around you. It is the pride that comes in knowing that it is land that can nourish your spirit, both physically and spiritually. A pride in knowing your place, and knowing that you are connected to the spirits.

The Shadow Aspects:

The shadow aspect of frilled-neck lizard cautions against too many facades. While some facades and masks are necessary when operating in the everyday, too many can be harmful to others and yourself. Deceiving yourself by never turning off your showiness or pretence is essentially a form of living a lie. Frilled-neck lizard tells you to tone it down, and drop the facades in front of people who genuinely care for you. Trust in yourself and others, you do not always need the mask, you do not always need to hide who you are.


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. Frilled-neck lizard is an extremely powerful animal teacher, but also very rare, and not very accessible while journeying.

Frilled-neck lizard, being an animal associated with pride, often has no interest in teaching those who it has not called specifically to it. It is also an animal that – accustomed with showing different aspects of itself as necessary – will sometimes take some time to get to the heart of what it wants to teach. For those it chooses to work with, it is a life-changing and often long-term guide, delivering a great amount of power to workings and energy work.