GIFTS: Patience. Timing. Stealth. Integration of dualities. Primal energy.
CHALLENGES: Hiding vulnerabilities. Desire for revenge. “Biting people’s heads off.”
When you think of Alligator, you probably picture it lying motionless in the water, eyes and nostrils just barely above the water line—appearing more like a fallen log than a fierce creature. Alligator waits silently, stealthily, and extremely patiently for prey to arrive in just the right place. Alligator does not make a single move until everything is just right—prey unaware and perfectly in reach. Then Alligator strikes with stunning accuracy and ferocity, dragging its prey from the water’s edge to underneath the water. There, Alligator stuns and drowns its prey by rolling over and over violently in the water. After making a kill, Alligator stores the carcass under a log in the water so that the meat becomes tender and easier to digest.
Some people consider Alligator too fierce and too primitive to be a power animal. In spite of (and because of) Alligator’s ruthlessness, it does have powers to teach you.
One lesson from Spirit Animal Alligator is to have patience in getting what you in life. Other spirit animals, such as Falcon, teach you to decide-and-take-action so quickly that it’s virtually a one-word event. But Spirit Animal Alligator reminds you that you may have to lie in wait before it is actually time to decide or to take action. Making a move too soon can scare off your quarry. For example, when you share an innovative idea too early, many people won’t understand it and will try to dissuade you from pursuing it. Alligator teaches you to let your ideas marinate as long as they need. Give yourself time to digest the options and possibilities before taking action.
Alligator (and Crocodile) also teaches integration. Integration comes from the juxtaposition of Alligator’s tough, bony exterior and its soft underbelly. Alligator successfully integrates impenetrability with vulnerability. It does not readily expose its vulnerabilities. Notice that it does expose its vulnerability while taking action on acquiring its prey—rolling over and over and over in the water.
Getting what you want means exposing your vulnerability. Hiding it restricts your movement, your options and your ultimate success.
Alligator is helpful energy for the fear of vulnerability. It’s okay to have a protective covering. It’s okay not to expose your vulnerabilities to the whole world willy-nilly. But you must eventually expose your vulnerability if you really want what you say you want. An intense fear of vulnerability can make “being soft” feel like dying. Alligator reminds you that NOT “being soft” is what will kill you as you stagnate in place, unable to get what you want or need in life.