Gophers~The Underdog of the Animal World
Even though there are over 100 types of gophers in the USA, they are rarely seen, and never heard. Yet the evidence of their pesky presence in torn up yards and golf courses is enough to make green-thumbed, grown men cry, and self-proclaimed pacifists turn into obsessed, blood thirsty rodent killers. Conversations in warmer climes at Easter or Passover dinner will likely include tales of fervent pursuit and (more rarely) capture of these furry and cute creatures that burrow so thoroughly into our vegetable gardens and bundles of nerves!
Yet while gophers under our lawns may spoil our sense of manicured aesthetics, they are the true gardeners of the Earth! They facilitate soil fertility by aerating and churning up dirt, mixing plant and waste material, and bringing important minerals up to the surface. While you might only notice their holes and burrows in your otherwise perfect lawn or garden, realize they are largely responsible for making it flourish in the first place.
Symbolically, Gopher is a Guide to the Underworld. They thrive in the dark and glean protection and hidden powers. Those who are exploring their shadow sides, undergoing deep transformation or dealing with grief or depression would do well to apprentice themselves to Gopher. Gophers know when and where to dig: they teach us about timing, and pursuing truth and wisdom even when it wrecks the carefully groomed plans of others. Gopher is more concerned with the heart of the matter than keeping up appearances. They are not afraid of hard work or solitude, if that’s what it takes to accomplish the task at hand.
Gopher show us how to serve bravely and subtly (or for some, boldly and rebelliously) as Stewards of the Earth. By maintaining awareness of the signs that show themselves on the surface, we can get a glimpse of the magic at the center of the Earth, and the persistent resilience of our own inner beings.