ANTECHINUS on Wikipedia
The Antechinus is notorious for its short and intense single mating season. DEC Phascogales and their close relatives the antechinuses are well known for the early death of the males, worn out by the frenetic breeding season.
The Yellow-footed Antechinus is the most widespread of antechinuses and occurs from North-eastern Queensland to South-western Western Australia in habitats ranging from tropical forests to swamps and dry mulga country.
Antechinuses are small, carnivorous, shrew-like marsupials. They have a medium tail, long snout and brown or grey fur. They are usually insectivorous. They only live long enough (usually) to mate only once in their lifetime. During breeding season, males and females fight violently, copulation is energetic and can last for 12 hours. Afterwards males will die of stress-related injuries and the female will often live long enough to wean her babies before dying of immune or diet related deficiencies. Males and females both strip their body of proteins in order to speed up their metabolisms and so fuel the frenetic breeding seasons that often lead to their deaths. When threatened they will respond vocally; hissing, growling, shrieking and yapping. They will often bare their teeth and sometimes attack.
Lessons and Challenges:
Antechinus teaches harsh lessons, those of death, savagery and violence. Watch out for aggressive people, and if you are in a situation where you are being bullied or abused, get out fast. Your welfare and the welfare of those you care about at the moment is a priority.
Themes of death are important at this time. Parts of your life are being destroyed, or dying around you, and not in ways that are gentle or 'easy.' With death comes inevitable rebirth, a chance to begin again, but antechinus places emphasis on the death aspect and the journey of death itself. It is not time to focus on rebirth, it is time to look at what is dying. Antechinus offers us the choice to make peace with this process. Death is necessary and from it we can receive as many gifts as we can from life. Indeed, we cannot have one without the other.
Those with antechinus energy in their lives will sacrifice a great deal for their children (this includes brain childs and other 'creative births' and projects). You may find that you are sacrificing your health for these children, whether literally or metaphorically. Sometimes it is necessary to make sacrifices in order to give birth and life to something new. Watch out for suppressing your health too much at this time, it may be necessary, but it is something to be aware of.
Relationship troubles may be highlighted, particularly those which have themes of jealousy or envy at the root of them. Take time to work on dissolving these issues or reconciling them, otherwise you may find the side effects of such emotions allowed to run amok can be quite harmful.
Watch out for issues with general welfare. Do you have enough money coming in? Are you eating the right foods? Are you drinking enough? Are you surrounding yourself with people who really don't have your best interests at heart? For that matter, do you have your best interests at heart? Take care of yourself! When going through a period of decay or metaphorical death, it is important to nourish yourself as best you can. Even the antechinus, despite making overwhelming sacrifices in order to continue its lineage, will continue to nourish itself so that it is able to make such sacrifices in the first place.
There may be callousness in your life right now, you may be the source of the callous attitudes and behaviours, or it maybe someone else around you. Alternatively you may feel as though 'life' has become callous towards you, or that things haven't been going your way lately. Life and the greater earth spirits around us have no obligation to be nice to us, and sometimes we are beset by destruction.
On a side note, don't place too much importance on themes relating to sex and physical consummation of relations. At this time, making sex a priority could ultimately be detrimental or destructive to you and others who are connected to you in this manner.
There is an indication of abuse or assault. It may be past, present or future, and it may be on any level (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual etc.) Abuse is not gender specific, and whether male or female (or other) it is important to keep a sharp eye for what might be happening in your own life to you, or to those around you. The impacts of abuse are far-reaching, and create further cycles of destruction. Unlike the antechinus - who is bound to dying after violence in each generation due to evolution - we have the choice to remove ourselves from destructive or negative cycles of violence and aggression. Antechinus first draws our attention to such cycles, and then helps us access the tools necessary to fight our way out of them.
The Shadow Aspects:
The shadow energy of antechinus is as confrontational as the creature itself. It teaches us that death is a necessary part of our existence, and it's not always pretty. Antechinus can show its energy through bringing death into our lives, or drawing our attention to it. We might find it difficult to see any 'justice' in any form of murder, but antechinus challenges us to accept all forms of death, not just the ones that seem quiet, peaceful and painless. Death is messy and raw, but it is a part of who we all are. What's more, is it lets us become more aware of the gift that life is, and teaches us how not to take it for granted.
Antechinus also challenges us to accept that violence and assault happens in all communities, even our own. It's sometimes easy to turn a blind eye if we've never really seen or heard of abuse happening around us, but antechinus encourages us to never be complacent about what occurs in our society, amongst family members, friends, neighbours, or even to ourselves. In order to look after our own health and wellbeing, we must understand how a community's health and wellbeing impacts upon us, and take responsibility for our role to look after that community as well as ourselves.
Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Antechinus actually has a quite forthcoming energy, and unsurprisingly can present as aggressively in journeying as it can be in real life.
It can be a clear communicator, drawing immediate attention to problems and 'deaths' occurring in your life, and it can also be a very physical presence, in the sense that it will actually attack in visions or journeying in order to get someone's attention. Antechinus is not a shy creature, and if you are willing to confront some harsh truths about yourself or the people around you; antechinus will be willing to confront you in order to aid you in its own, fierce way.