How to Oomph the Magic in Your Life with the Symbolism of Animals

Marylene Smeets
5 min readFeb 23, 2022


Three Examples from my Experience

The below-described encounter with a parrot in Trinidad and Tobago

Three decades ago, I read Book 1 of Neale Donald Walsch’s bestselling series, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue. The book is said to be an account of what the writer heard God tell him in response to a desperate letter he wrote to the heavens. Conversations with God presents a higher power that greatly appealed to me. It (this is how the God in the book refers to itself) has a sense of humor and a purely positive attitude toward sex. God characterizes the universe as a version of itself. This was in line with how I’d been using the word “universe.” Among the ways in which this God communicates: “The words to the next song you hear. The information in the next article you read. The story line of the next movie you watch.” That to me promised a magical life. I’ve found that promise to be fulfilled.

The magic in my life was oomphed around five years ago. Then, a friend told me about the symbolism of animals. If I looked up the symbolic meaning of animals that appeared on my path in a striking way, this might give me divine messages. I’ve been following her advice, with Internet searches. And wow. Am I grateful for the messages I’ve received this way! If you don’t already see animals as possible messengers, I hope that these examples will persuade you to give it a chance.

Deliciously Free with the Dragon Fly

In the summer of 2018, while sitting at an outdoor cafe in Manhattan, I did an exercise suggested in Katherine Woodward Thomas’ bestseller, Calling in “The One.” It involved addressing my biggest fear: hurting a loved one. The exercise was profoundly liberating. It left me so emotional, that I canceled the yoga class I’d signed up for. I walked over to the High Line for some fresh air. As I was approaching that park, a dragon fly crossed my path. When I looked up its symbolic meaning, I found: “liberation.” A magical exclamation point after my liberating exercise!

Later that day, I made it to my yoga school for another class. Toward the end of the class, the teacher said, “Now we’re going to do one of my least favorite poses.” That was… the dragon fly! I was unable to even try that pose. I collapsed on my yoga mat in a child’s pose, quietly sobbing. I’d been floored by the magic in my life.

The Present of the Parrot

In July 2019, as I was getting ready to publish my memoir on how I healed from a serious chronic disease, I was in Trinidad and Tobago for work. On my way out of the hotel one morning, I saw a gorgeous parrot. I took to telling the parrot how gorgeous it was. The parrot looked at me piercingly. Then, it lowered its beak, plucked a yellow feather from its chest, and cast it in my direction. (I’d have loved for the parrot to give all passers-by that treatment. But the next person who approached it was bitten in the arm.)

Enchanted by the gift of the feather, I looked up the symbolic meaning of parrots. “Beauty, celebration.” I saved the feather as a good omen for my book launch. The week of that launch was one of the most beautiful weeks I’ve ever experienced. There were fantastic celebrations. A book party full of love, a launch followed by a dinner with lots of laughter, and a well-attended talk. I felt as if I’d lived three weddings in one week. To this day, I keep the feather in a cover made by my youngest niece. It’s a reminder of that beautiful, celebratory week.

The Tale of the Tick

One year into the pandemic, after a quiet winter, friends and I got the idea of celebrating spring in Jamaica. That was a crazy idea. We weren’t yet vaccinated and there was community spread on the island. But we felt the need for sun and fun. Reggae beckoned. I discussed the idea with another friend, who lives in the Hudson Valley. While we were having tea in her backyard, I took off my shoes. (As a Manhattanite, I like to get the most out of every bit of nature I come across.) When I took a shower the next morning, I found a tick under my arm. I looked up the symbolic meaning. “Do what you want to do, take sensible precautions, and do not let your fears cripple your enjoyment of life.” Off to Jamaica we went! With sensible precautions: masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing. None of us got COVID during that trip. And we had tons of fun in the sun. Thanks for the tip, tick!

You might of course say that these are sheer coincidences. They might well be! But thanks to the dragon fly, I saw underlined that my liberation had been profound. Indeed, I’m still free from the fear I addressed. Thanks to the parrot’s feather ahead of my book launch, I felt extra good about that sometimes nerve-racking project. And thanks to the tick before our trip to Jamaica, I was confident that my friends and I were doing the right thing.

Also, I prefer seeing getting a tick as a thumbs-up from the universe rather than a nuisance. So even to skeptics, I recommend giving this a try.

Double Fun with the Dragon Fly

How skeptics might also have a symbolically striking encounter with an animal was illustrated to me in the summer of 2018. I’d been telling a friend over the phone about the appearances of a dragon fly. My friend is a skeptic. She liked hearing my account of what I saw as magic. But she didn’t necessarily believe the symbolism I saw. The day after our phone call, however, she sent me a picture. It showed her legs stretched out on a chaise lounge. On one of her sneakers there was… a dragon fly! “In my 50-year existence, no dragon fly has ever landed on me,” she wrote. She added, “Is this a wink of that universe of yours??” You know what my answer was!

Merciless Gift

At, you can register to be notified when the English version of my Dutch-language memoir, Merciless Gift — Opened in New York, is released. Conversations with God — An Uncommon Dialogue plays an essential role in my innovative holistic healing from a serious chronic disease.



Marylene Smeets

Wrote a memoir on how I healed from a serious disease in an innovative holistic way while on leave from my job at UNHQ. For more information: