Donkey may seem unglamorous at first, but she is no less a shining star who guides men through the darkness. She is the ultimate symbol of true leadership: always at the front carrying the heavy burden for others, but also intelligent and gentle.
For centuries, she has been the symbol of the working class. Some breeds have a cross-like mark on their backs, and her self-less service to others is indeed christ-like: civilizations have been built and fed on her labor. Yet, many donkeys are also wild and have a strong sense of self-preservation. They are keen to sense danger, and will not give in to orders that threaten them or those in their charge. This is why leaders are wise to adopt Donkey as their power animal. This quality sometimes earns them the label “stubborn”, but it is necessary to stick to our instincts, even if that makes us less popular. When this quality of “digging ones’ hooves in” is shared in equal measure with active listening–something Donkey can do with its’ long ears–open mindedness and wisdom are steadfast.
The nativity story has it that when Mary was ready to give birth to baby Jesus, a donkey carried her to safety in the stable. We all need our own stables, our own inner stability, if we are going to give birth to the Holy. The ancient Jews, enslaved in Eqypt and treated like beasts of burden themselves, were aided by the strength of donkeys. This holiday season, invite Donkey into the barn of your imagination, and make her an offering. Because of Donkey’s labor, a star was born; Because of Donkey’s instinct, a billion lights will shine on Christmas trees and Menorah’s across the world in December.