The mole is an almost blind animal with a very long nose, which allows it to sense things to orient itself. It lives underground, hence its symbolism of unity with the earth and the ability to feel, a quality that has always been essential to First Nations. One of my mentors, Sun Bear of the Chippewa Nation, told me that when he was young he practised “feeling” with his brother. In order to sharpen their perceptive abilities, they used a very demanding method. One would take turns holding a log at arm’s length above his head, while the other would aim a .22 calibre rifle at it blindfolded. They could hit the log just by feeling where it was. Since her brother was underneath, there was no room for error. They embodied the essence of trusting your feelings.
As we can understand from this example, feeling is a very precise mode of perception that most people do not use as much as they could. Especially in this modern, Cartesian world, the majority rely more on logical and intellectual approach that is often just as blind. Most traditional natives, especially those who have grown older and wiser, almost never take into account the words of a man when they first meet him, but rather what they feel coming from them. The language of the heart does not need words.
The mole embodies the medicine of feeling. It can hardly see, but it does very well, it finds the food it needs, it nestles underground where it is really warm and comfortable, and it is doing quite well, despite its blindness.
The main message of the mole, when it appears as a sign, is that there are other modes of perception than those we commonly use. Those who have the medicine of the mole very often know medicinal plants and know how to communicate with smells and flavours. They make good perfumers, wonderful cooks and excellent lovers. When the solution to a problem seems to elude our inquiring minds, let us call on the medicine of the mole, close our eyes and look with the vision of the heart.