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This article first appeared in the Angels And Ancestors Newsletter April 2009. See the newsletter at www.angelsandancestors.com.
When we talk about going into the desert, the first animal that springs to mind is the Camel. The desert means that the climate is hot and dry, and perhaps with out food or water for several days. How is it that Camel survived her fifty million years without going the way of extinction? Why do the Bedouins call her “Allah’s Gift”?
Camel has some physical properties that human kind would love to have. She is able to eat anything – even thorns. Excess food is stored in the humps as fat, and, as she requires water, she metabolizes the fat into water. The longest Camel has been known to go without water is two months. Her dry dung gives the Bedouins their fuel for fires. Her milk and meat and hair provide food and clothing. She carries great burdens for the nomadic tribes, and even provides entertainment in the form of camel racing. She is truly a gift!
Many spiritual leaders – prophets and shaman – pilgrimage in the desert because it is believed to be a magical place that can shift out of time to different worlds and dimensions. Camel then, is one who can walk between worlds, or walk out of time. Some believe that she can go so long without water because she slips between dimensions and never changes.
Camel’s great, large, two toed feet keep her firmly grounded on the top of the sand and in contact with Mother Earth. She “hears” from the Earth where water is available. Her colour is great camouflage for blending into the shifting dunes, or even into the dry mountain tops where she may make her home. The white shading, sometimes on the muzzle and above the feet indicate that Camel is enlightened.
When Camel looks at you directly in dream time or in the physical, know that she is telling you that a journey is in store. The journey may be physical travel as well as a quest or pilgrimage of the spiritual kind. Know too that Camel, who travels out of the ordinary, is preparing you for a time where you leave behind all that you know. The constant is the great Unknown. Camel says – do not fear. Great Spirit always provides, and if called upon, Camel will show you how bountiful Great Spirit is in the unknown times.
May you carry all that you need with you, and may you travel lightly!