What a perfect card for the last bit of Labour day and late summer holidays…
Animals have been surprising us for centuries by doing things we thought only human beings could do. Did you know that birds in the corvidae family (ravens, crows, jays, magpies, rooks, and others) are some of the most intelligent birds in the world and amongst the most intelligent animals? They are my favourite family of birds and include my totem animal, the Raven. Not only do some species have self-recognition in mirrors (once thought possible only in humans), they also have the ability to mimic human speech and to even implement simple tools. Their brain to body ratio is similar to humans and whales.
Perhaps one of the most amazing things they do is PLAY. Corvids will play together in groups and by themselves; stacking and object manipulation games, dropping objects from the air to watch them land over and over, chase games, “King of the Hill” type games and even will slide down snowy or dewy hills on their backs to enjoy ride. Scientists have been fascinated by these activities that seemingly don’t serve the usual purpose of survival, feeding and mating. Obviously, these games help develop something that DOES give advantage: intellect, co-operation and social bonding. The Corvids have the right idea!
Young or old, this week’s card “A Little Child” reminds us to play and have some fun. The little Japanese boy in the image is enthralled with his toys while a Corvid (crow) stands on the window railing ready to join the game.
It might not seem like something “Important” or serving a purpose to you, but fun is an important part of your growth and development. We’ve been taught to believe that having fun is a waste of time, something that is a diversion from necessary responsibilities. But, maybe as with the Corvids, playtime increases our creativity, our intellect, our connections with other people. Don’t dismiss the playful side of your nature as frivolous or unnecessary. Whether this is literally playing a game, or just seeking out something that is fun for you, get to it! Get out your “toys” and have some fun!!
If you have time to watch a video I highly recommend this TED TALK by Dr. Stuart Brown an expert and researcher in the field of playing. He examines the role of playing to boost intelligence and creativity no matter what your age.
About the deck: The Kipper cards or “Kipperkarten” are a German system of 36 oracle cards dating back to the 19th Century. They are very different from the tarot but are similar to, but unique from, the French “Lenormand” cards. Like them, they are designed to be read in groups and pairings or in a grand-tableaux using all the cards. (but, as I always tell my students, invent your OWN way to use them) This Deck is “Mystisches Kipperkarten/Mystical Kipper” by Regula Elizabeth Fiecher and as illustrated by the wonderful, whimsical Urban Trosch in beautiful egg-tempera paintings.