By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – The Enchanting Stringray had graced me with its touch, its so very auspicious as to what I have been healing, the poisons in my own body. My half-student Brandi and I went on an adventure out to the ocean in Northern California for a few days and were given the greatest gift. It was the arrival and presence of a Smalleye Stingray. I also had an experience the day before at the beach at night that I will share as part of the wholeness of the story/teaching.
As a dreamer (shaman, no drugs, no plants), I only teach about Totems that I have had long-term relationships with, being taught by them from an in-depth relationship of experiences. Then there are those totems who appear on my path when a “new cycle” begins, and stingray is one who has appeared for my new 13 year cycle.
Wiki says the smalleye stingray is a large species of stingray in the family Dasyatidae, measuring up to 2.2 m or 7.2 ft across. They are rare but widely distributed, and found in the Indo-Pacific area which starts on the east side of Africa, from Mozambique over to India to northern Australia.
This species may be semi-pelagic in nature, inhabiting both deep waters and shallow coastal reefs and estuaries. It is characterized by a diamond-shaped pectoral fin disc much wider than long, a tail that is broad and flattened in front of the spine but whip-like behind, and large white spots over its back. The very wide shape of the smalleye stingray differs from that of most other members of its family, and may reflect a mode of swimming similar to the manta rays. This species is aplacental viviparous, with litter sizes perhaps as small as one pup.
When I work with totems, I define them as either helpers, messengers or shape-shifting animism souls of human beings. All totems have to connect with us directly, in order to be an actual totem. Helper totems tend to work with us for a long time, but messenger totems make one or two visits over a decade or two. Messengers are more rare because the messages are bigger.
A totem must make either direct eye contact with us, be in our personal space or even smash into our car if you have missed the totems attempts to connect. In other words, what makes them a viable totem is they are connected specifically to you for a short period time or even many years or decades and its that personal connect that defines their importance.
Just seeing an animal, bird, oceanid doesn’t mean they have a soul connection as messenger or helper, as its wise to be very discerning about totems to get the fullness of the message or help. Some animals and bird or oceanids are warnings and some mean new levels of your spiritual journey are going to start, and others mean a message is coming.
Stingrays as totems are commonly found in the shallow coastal waters of temperate seas in many places around the world but the smalleye stingray is located specifically in larger areas. The one that came to visit us had swam out of its natural home to make its visit be known. Rays spend the majority of their time inactive, partially buried in sand, and often moving only with the sway of the tides lowering and rising. Smalleye rays are not limited to this as they are deep ocean swimmers and shallow swimmers equally. This means pushing beyond your limits of your emotional or soul gifts will be required in order to enter even deeper layers of the mystical soul.
Breaking down totem symbolism – Environment of the Rays: Water.
Stingrays live in the water and this represents the living environment and the root symbolism of water itself. Water is the root symbol of our emotional life and our mysterious soul, which has a hidden soul life (wholeness of the chakra/astral body) all of its own. The levels of watery environments are:
A natural spring, symbol for purity or needing to become pure or the birthing of something emotional, a lake and pond represents containing your emotion, a river is a symbol for fluid emotion that sometimes touches or makes contact with the soul, and lastly, the ocean which represents our collective soul.
These water environment symbols are both for our waking life, actually seeing and experiencing a stingray or a stingray in your dreams at night and the symbolism can be applied to both realms. If a stingray is in our physical space or dreamers space, the message of the totem pertains to our emotional life, its nourishment and healing and specifically the ocean animals, like the stingray, it has to do with our collective soul and brings his or her message to us.
Protection Totem of the Collective Soul
When Rays are inclined to move, they swim by undulating their bodies like a wave; others flap their sides like wings. They truly are like Soul Birds of the Water. The tail may also be used to maneuver in the water, but its primary purpose is protection. Barb and Venom The stingray’s spine, or barb, can be ominously fashioned with serrated edges and a sharp point. The underside may produce venom, which can be fatal to humans, and which can remain deadly even after the stingray’s death.
The Stingray’s colors commonly reflects the seafloor’s shading, camouflaging it from predators. This next layer or second symbol of the Stingray then, is about protection of our Soul (the whole or unified chakra body which is the astral body system). Protection in the vastness of the realms of the soul is mostly unknown to people and its hidden. Soul work is nothing like mind-body work or that symbolism, although we apply only at the level of awareness we know. But awareness can be worked on for lifetimes.
Protection symbolism transferred to our life as spiritual beings and mundane humans, we usually connect with many people in our ordinary life, but connecting with one person with a defined shadow that is hidden, and we are unable to see from the surface physical, connects us to a thousand shadows through that person dream realms. Many times this occurs when we challenge a person with our truth or standing up for our health (either instinctively, with sass or anger that arises as emotional people, or with reasonable actions of our feelings that are more spiritually trained).
Camouflaging of a Ray means not to reveal all your gifts as a spiritual being but protecting it by accepting the more mundane quality of spiritual connections with others. This way your unseen soul which a part of it, lives within you, but the majority of it does not.
The Stingray’s eyes are on its dorsal side, the mouth, nostrils, and gill slits are situated on its underbelly. Its eyes are therefore doesn’t play a considerable role in its hunting (for nourishment). So it’s not a symbol of physical protection of our soul, an emotional protection. The stingray has electrical sensors called “Ampullae” which are located around the stingray’s mouth (communication and self-communication). These organs sense the natural electrical charges of potential nourishment or potential predators.
Electromagnetic Fields of our mental, emotional, soul energy (astral) body
The third layer of this symbol then, is the “electromagnetic” field that we have as human beings to sense the dangers and nourishment within our “souls larger environments.” Some people have deep gifts around this as very feeling or empathic people, be it in our dreams or our waking life. This symbolism covers both our mental body, which rules the electrical system and nervous system sensitivities of our mental body, and our mental astral body. It also covers our emotional sensitivity connected to our soul body.
In astrology we would call this symbiotic energy relationship or combination Uranus (electrical) and Neptune (the soul). The last Uranus Neptune conjunction belong to the people born from 1990 – 1996 and they have this major planetary aspect in their chart within a 5° orb of influence. Those who have this conjunction of Uranus/Neptune and should learn from elders like myself on how to control the imbalances of such powerful energies.
The spiritual and moral responsibilities around keeping the self safe in the future and the shadowy nature of spiritual groups is so important for the empathic and truth sayers. Misusing powerful energies from ego or co-dependency or even narcissistic behaviors, can cause great harm to the self. Slow and steady development of such gifts can seem like a curse but are required for long-term practices and healing, to master them eventually.
Whatever you do, if you are in this birth group, stay away from drugs, shamanic plant/drugs, medications and pot, so it doesn’t destroy and deplete and fragment your soul astral body, you may need it in the future.
When we were camping along the ocean in our tent, the day before we were gifted the Stingray, their were three late teen, early twenty something kids also at the beach all night camping. They were quiet but it was easy for me to tell they were doing hallucinogen drugs.
Around 3 am, one of them walked up to our tent and said hello, I was in a state of waking and sleep at the same time and Brandi woke from her sleep and reached over to unzip the tent. I sat up and said it ok and she laid back down and the tent stayed zipped.
I could see that his astral body of this young man (pure white astral body) was talking and walking in-between the dream world and this physical world. The drugs pushed him fully out of his physical body and if Brandi would have unzipped the tent, she would have seen nothing because he would have not been visible to the physical eyes.
As a seer and shaman, I could see his astral body standing there. Because he talked, his mental astral body was also out-of-body with his soul body. Then he was gone as quick as he came.
Right before dawn, still in my state of waking and dreaming, I began to remote view and saw the three kids who were camping, walking towards us in the waking state. I saw the one young man who visited us earlier. As I woke up fully and sat up in the tent, both Brandi and I were watching them walk towards us out the tent window. The one who was out-of-body, his white astral body still was not back in his body, it was walking about 10 feet behind him and his friends as they all headed home.
The drugs had pushed his soul out, the small part of the soul we get at incarnation (not the greater souls or animism souls). The drugs have fragmented this young persons soul self and leaves him very vulnerable to not only his own past life karmic shadow (astral body) as he enters his late 30s or 40s, but is now vulnerable to other people’s dark shadow (astral bodies). There is no natural protection other than his physical body and that doesn’t do much good with shadows who roam. This is how partial and semi-demonic possessions happen when the soul ends up “out of the body” even after drugs have worn off.
Very sad to see for me as a shaman, because I can see and know how the whole three body system works together and separately. He would have to commit to total sobriety for about ten years and do lots of healing work to even be able return that fragmented part of himself created this lifetime by his own drug use.
These two experiences of both the light (the stingrays visit) and the young mans addictions to hallucinogen plants or drugs, were the steps in life to become overtaken or be influenced by shadows. Stingray and the experience I witnessed with this young man have a connection.
Ampullae of the stingray as a symbol then, says it is very important, for us to take care of our physical health and its purity because it’s how we protect our soul at the base and most simple level. Ray has a network of electroreceptors (receiving qualities), and through the sensory organs that detects electric fields in water (detecting vibration that are fight or flight of our emotional and soul life). The Ampullae is found in sharks, rays, and chimaera and they conduct electrical impulses so small, that Chondrichthyes are likely to be more sensitive to electric fields than any other group of animals.
Because all muscle contractions produce a weak electrical field, these electroreceptors make sharks, rays, and chimaeras highly capable of detecting other organisms, such as prey, in nearby in water.
The stingray symbolizes the watery collective soul, how we in the mundane life must learn spiritually as a sense of restraint in our behaviors that hurt us or others, the protection and maneuverability that is required to keep clear and safe in this world for our souls sake. Having a heightened sense of touch and often shows up around empathic people or “feeling” beings, that pick up on the energy and emotions of others.
Rays can feel us and if we are clear or not. Since Brandi and I are both pure (sober) and committed to a devout healing and spiritual path, it wasn’t a surprise that Ray showed up and for specific reasons for each of us, her on a dedicated journey now, and me completed as elder of the dedicated healing and spiritual journey.
Stingrays blend into their surroundings on the ocean floor and are not aggressive unless provoked. That symbol is very important as a lesson for all of us who are attacked, even by spiritual masters. When Rays feel threatened; they use their poisonous barb to defend themselves that can be lethal. For me as a shaman, I do the same thing. For newbie spiritual people, they have a hard time learning this lesson of not being so innocent in their dealings with people, even people who are charismatic and have huge shadows unseen.
Stingrays go to great lengths to camouflage and avoid conflict, but will defend themselves when necessary and they maneuver themselves quite well despite their size and shape and they tell us to also carefully maneuver the complex emotional waters of the greater world (because the ocean creatures represent our collective soul). Balance and restraint are strong themes of this totem animal as a practice in our mundane human life.
The Moire are the only ones of New Zealand who have many myths and stories of the Stingray and this Stingray had traveled from those lands to come to great this shore in Northern California. Though not aggressive, the common stingray can inflict an excruciating wound with its serrated and venomous tail. The ancient Greeks and Romans greatly feared its venom, with authors such as Aelian (175–235 ce) stating that stingray wounds were absolutely incurable.
Piney the Elder, Roman (23-79 ce) asserted that its spine was capable of killing trees, piercing armor like an arrow and corroding iron. The Greek poet Oppian (172-210 ce) claimed that the touch of stingray venom could even dissolve stone. In Greek mythology, Hercules was said to have lost a finger and Circe was said to have armed her son Telegonus with a spear dipped with the stingray spine with which he killed his own father Odysseus accidentally. We know there are no accidents in life.
Also in Greek mythology, Odysseus, the great king of Ithaca, was killed when his son, Telegonus, struck him using a spear tipped with the spine of a stingray.
Here is what Ted Andrews in his Animal-Wise book says …
Stingrays are relatives of the sharks. They have flattened, flounder-like shapes with long whiplike tails that have a stinger or poisonous spine attached. Stingrays have electroreceptors on their snout by which they accurately detect buried food. Some generate and emit low-level electrical pulses that help them to guide and recognize food and danger. Often, when stingrays are totems or messengers, people get tingling sensations to alert them to the presence of danger, and treasures, etc.
A network of nerves informs the stingray of the position of each part of its body wherever it is swimming. For those to whom the stingray is a totem, there is a natural gracefulness, a sense of never being lost. This individual is usually confident in maneuvering and operating in whatever environment in which he or she is found. For those to whom stingray is just appearing, the ability to maneuver gracefully in new environments will need to be developed.
When the stingray appears, trust in your own inner guidance. Trust in your own ability to find what is beneath the surface. Do not be afraid to whip that tail around to protect your own dance in life. It will be much smoother and more graceful than you imagine.
Ask if you are hesitating to make the moves that are necessary?
Some species reach a large size, and some, especially on the American Pacific coast, are very destructive to oysters. *Mine: this would indicate that oysters are to be studied as prey, or what will feed the influence of stingray in your life and strengthen you. Sorry, that’s all I have on this topic.