Shedding the Old Life

Teri Uktena
9 min readJun 3

People have forgotten the wisdom embodied all around them and how to access it. In part I blame the ABC books we were given as children. Right away they taught us animals can only symbolize one thing. They only make one noise or they are only connected with one letter of the alphabet. We are taught each thing has only one meaning. A chair is only for sitting. “Don’t stand on it, you’ll fall and hurt yourself.” Well, one of the first things which happened when I arrived at college was a party where the roaring drunk seniors balanced all the chairs in the common room at odd angles so they became a 10ft tall art installation we called the “Chairway to Heaven.” I knew I was going to love undergrad right there and then. :) Meanwhile, our need for simple pat answers has only been reinforced by the internet and social media. We need answers now, don’t have time for ambiguity, just Google it and move on. Therefore when working with the Akashics people assume an animal guide can only represent one thing and the thing is very simple and easily reduced to one word. I’m sometimes startled when students tell me they’ve figured out what their animal guide represents. They tell me one word which seems simple and has magnitudes of meaning in it. Most times I can’t tell whether they do or do not understand things like love or compassion or empathy or devotion or loyalty are not simple concepts. Like a lake or a river they can seem like one thing on the surface but have deceptively rich and complex depths. Often part of the student’s journey is to discover those depths and working with their animal guide and the Akashics is a portion of the process if they are willing.

Spirituality in general has picked up on this simple answer trend, using tropes and memes and simple definitions for things which are rich and complex. “Transformation” is one of them. The go to image is caterpillar to butterfly. It’s a beautiful image full of hope and joy and happiness, however it’s been Disneyfied into a very sanitary, Cinderella image of the future. The transformation is assumed to be instantaneous, painless, and somewhat like a gift from a faery godmother. Also, once the transformation is complete life should be effortless and beautiful like the butterfly. It’s the meme version of Happily Ever After…The End. However, recently some people have begun mentioning the actual process is a bit scary. I mean the caterpillar…

Teri Uktena

Teri Uktena works to help people change their lives, to help them achieve their dreams, find divine purpose, and achieve happiness through Akashic Readings