Well, the first thing to say about lizards is that there is huge variance between different species. And whilst there are particular characteristics of lizards, on the whole there are also exceptions. When I was learning about them, I ended up abbreviating “most but not all” because I was repeating it over and over again. So for everything I am about to say, there is likely to be an exception to the rule.
So, what general features can we say about most but not all of the lizard family… Well, they have overlapping scales which act like a form of armour… Most but not all eat meat, most but not all lay eggs, most but not all are harmless to humans. Some are venomous. Some are active during the day, some are active at night.
Many lizard species are capable of shedding part of their tails through a process called autotomy. This is an example of the pars pro toto principle, sacrificing “a part for the whole”, and is used to allow the lizard to escape predators. The lizard may be asking us to look at what we are sacrificing, or what we are holding on to too tightly. This ability to regrow a limb also links the lizard with rebirth, renewal and growth.
Lizards are often seen basking in the sun, earning them a reputation as a daydreamer. They do this to warm themselves up before they can launch into the days activities. They also conserve their energy until the time is right to strike. Do you need time to rest and build up your strength or is it time to move forward?
When they get too hot, they must find shade to cool themselves down again. I think this is a good metaphor for managing our own tempers, learning how to recognise when we’re getting angry and learning how to handle that.
Some lizards have a “third eye” which tunes them into the sun. This parietal eye helps them to understand what point in the day it is and works sort of like a compass to help with navigation. In humans, a third eye is associated with intuition and insight and is generally depicted as sitting between the eyebrows. Like any sense, you need to use it to hone it. Think about a sense other that sight, you probably feel it’s probably not providing as much feedback as your eyes but that is because we’re a visual culture and essentially our other senses have got lazy. Explore ways of tuning in and listening to your intuition. Tarot cards are one of the ways I use but meditation and prayer are just some of the other ways.
These ancient creatures are often linked with witches, in particular for use in spells. Given the strength of the snake in mythology and religion, we don’t seem to see that many lizards. It is possible that some of the snake associations were also lizards given the similarities with the species, ditto for dragons. It is also hard to find information about lizards without searching each type… If you feel drawn to a particular kind of lizard then perhaps have a look into them more closely.
Later in the deck we will find ourselves looking at dragons and I think that will provide further thinking points for the lizard card.
PS, does anyone know what kind of lizard is pictured in the card???