Echidna crossed my path – actually the road on the way to the retreat on Saturday after a challenging Friday evening that saw me getting home around 3am. We stopped to take a photo, but after scurrying into the scrub on the side of the road the Echidna did what it does best….. it curled up into a rather large and spiky ball. I took a photo, jumped back into the car and we continued on.
Thoughts of the Echidna stayed throughout the afternoon and I decided to research more about it. I found that it is closely related to the platypus and lays an egg in its pouch. After hatching, the young one stays in the pouch for some time. I love to discover the metaphysical or spiritual messages that come from random encounters like this one.
Scott Alexander King says Echidna is a symbol for Rebirth and Personal Protection. He goes on to say that Echidna warns us not to be overprotective to the extent that you shut everyone out. Be aware if you are closed to the possibility of change and the distinction between denial and determination.
Ann Williams-Fitzgerald and Karen Osborn in Wisdom of the Australian Animals entry for Echidna gives the following information. Echidna is about Personal Boundaries and Comfort Zone with Echidna urging us not to be like him. The shadow side is suggesting that we have become unapproachable and do not welcome change into our lives. Time to move out of the comfort zone perhaps to learn something new, join a new group and become more involved in life. Tear down the brick walls that keep people out, but use the boundaries for your own protection.
I also spent some time looking up Dreamtime stories for how Echidna got his spikes which you can also do if you are so inclined. The stories are quite varied and different regions of Australia have different stories. All of them are worth a read!