Goanna - Protection


Emotional problems. Desert wisdom. Journeying. Visualisation and visual dreamwork. Inner and outer strength. Fierceness. Pride. Confidence and arrogance. Knowing how to protect yourself. Teaching others to protect themselves. Protection.

General Description:

The goanna is the name of approximately 15 different species of large monitor lizard that reside in Australia (excepting Tasmania). They are carnivorous and predatory, and tend to have quite bulky frames. Most goannas have dark colouring, they can bring down prey as large as a young kangaroo. They - like other lizards - nest and lay eggs.

Goannas are quite aggressive lizards, though they will generally run away from humans. They have been known to rear and hiss at humans, and they have been known to knock down children and pets with their long tails, using it as a whip in a similar manner to crocodiles. Goannas have also mistaken humans for trees, which is usually stressful for both involved (goannas have sharp, long claws). The 'racehorse goanna' is known for its extreme speed when sprinting. The goanna is popular in the mythologies of Aboriginal Australia and are also a popular food source.

Lessons and Challenges:

One of the primary lessons of goanna is that of protection. It is important to know how to protect and defend yourself. The first thing you need in order to do this, is a strong locus of self worth. Then you believe you are worth protecting and have the confidence, and even the arrogance to defend yourself.

Knowing how to protect yourself is important. Do you know how to physically defend yourself from danger? Do you know the basics of self defense? If not, why not? Do you know how to verbally assert yourself if someone is bullying you or pushing you into a corner? Do you know how to protect your spirit and your psyche? Invest some time and research into learning new methods of self-protection.

It may be important at this time to teach others how to protect themselves. Are there people around you who could benefit from your skills? Is there someone who needs to learn how to fight for themselves? You have acquired abilities in self-protection that could benefit others.

Goanna highlights all lessons relating to strength, both inner and outer. Goanna reminds us that we are strong not only when we protect and defend ourselves, but also when we show the courage to face our own emotions and to share them with others in our community.

There is an element of pride to the energy of goanna. Pride is disparaged in some cultures, even identified as a sin. But at its simplest, pride is an inner strength and self-respect, joy in your accomplishments or the accomplishments of your culture and community, and finally it is a refusal to be humiliated. While the extreme of each of these traits is unhealthy, in moderation pride is a nourishing concept that goanna teaches us to embrace.

There is a strong sense of fierceness when it comes to goanna energy, and be careful of emotional problems because of it. Sometimes it is necessary to be fierce and/or aggressive, but beware of being too fierce around the people who care for you. Don't hide your vulnerability from yourself.

Goanna teaches the benefits of shamanic journeying, embracing altered states of consciousness (including visualisation and dreamwork). Goanna is a good guide animal or guide for those interested in mystical states and experiences.

The desert is a landscape where great learning can occur, and goanna helps one to access this. Desert wisdom is profound and sometimes hard to access, but goanna shows us the pathways to understanding desert mysteries which include, but aren't limited to, the mysteries of the weather and the dance between rain, heat and sand and the mystery of death and rebirth.

The Shadow Aspects:

When we are too proud of ourselves and our work, we develop a kind of fierceness that stops others from wanting to know us. We become so protective of the integrity of our work and ourselves that we are unable to take criticism, and too needful of the praise of others to sustain our excessive pride. Goanna comes into our lives as a shadow energy to challenge our pridefulness and egoism. It is time to take a step back and criticise ourselves and our work in an honest and rational manner. Pride must be balanced with a sense of humility and respect for all.

Goanna's shadow aspect suggests that we may be visualising, dreaming and imagining too much. The shadow aspect of goanna often cautions against excesses, and when we spend too much time journeying, dreaming, imagining and creating images in our head, we forget to see reality for what it really is, and experience life in all its visceral splendour. Take a step out of your visions and dreams for a moment, and ground yourself in the real world at this time in your life.


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. Goanna is a proud, strong energy that responds best to proud, strong approaches. Presenting yourself in times of full sunlight, announcing yourself with confidence, and waiting patiently will often reveal goanna - who sometimes appears much larger in visualisations and in the otherworlds!

Goanna tends to have a direct communication style which is particularly vivid, this might relate back to goanna's connection with dreams and visions. The presence of goanna can strengthen dreams and visions, and therefore using visualisation and lucid dreaming to contact goanna are other very successful ways of communing with this strong energy. Goanna also responds well to woodwind and rattle-type instruments.