My questions are these:
Should we ignore the more 'negative' aspects of an animal's medicine? Why or why not?
I'm not an adept, but I have thoughts.
No, I don't think so. If we ignore the more 'negative' side of anything you deny the 'wholeness' of it. I don't want to walk around broken, and wouldn't expect that an animal would be overly happy that one would deny them their wholeness by ignoring what it is that makes them whole.
What are the dangers of ignoring or accepting the more destructive aspects of an animal's medicine?
To ignore it, you run the risk of talking yourself into the fact that the animal kingdom has no 'darker' side. I guess, should an animal present an aspect of that darker side the person could be thrown for a loop.
It isn't just dolphin's gang-rape that can be considered 'darker', though it is a harder concept for people to allow into their worlds. We're all part of nature and while a gentle breeze is fulfilling, a tornado has it's own medicine (It clears land for new growth, etc.) and while we see that as destructive and threatening to human life, it is still there. Ignoring it can also take away from the severity of it.
Accepting does not mean you have to employ. Sometimes you can learn from the things that you only accept as truth. I suppose too though, that for some acceptance means that you are willing to employ - I don't see it that way. I accept that my Dad was an alcoholic, but that does not mean that I am going to follow in his footsteps.
I have a question now
Isn't acceptance a gateway for harnessing the darker side within? (not that all darkness is inherently bad!!!)'The first step is admitting that you have a problem', type thing? Could an animal's 'darker' medicine be used to put a stop to that tendency within a human being which most of humanity sees as inherently bad? (Or a tendency that the person themselves, wants to be rid of?)
Is it wise to reduce an animal's medicine to one or two themes only? For example, should dolphin be understood primarily as 'love', and should say the beaver be understood primarily as 'industriousness'?
Reducing an animal to anything or limiting them is in my mind, disrespectful. I don't know much about the animals I've never met, and really only know what's been written about those I have met. Personal spiritual experiences are limited. But Fox isn't just a stern teacher to me, he also likes to play and have a little fun. He's been a comforter in times when I felt I failed at a lesson, and in the same breath made me aware that my biggest failure was in my complacency and willingness to 'settle for less than the best'. Seeing him as only a teacher, I would have missed out on his sense of humor as well as the kick up the butt that I needed. I love Fox, and will embrace and accept him for who he is, if I couldn't, then why would he bother with me at all?
What are the positives and negatives of thinking this way?
Well, for one thing, you reduce the amount of medicine that the animal is capable of. You might even hurt the animal in doing so to the point where they are unwilling to work with you. I say this, because I would be hurt if someone were to reduce me to simply 'housewife' and not recognize that I am capable of more than cooking and cleaning! If I were TREATED that way, I would have to walk away from that person just to keep myself sane and feeling whole.
The only positive I can really think of is that it might serve to some as the easiest way to keep their animal medicines straight and in accordance with the animal. But still, that's not really positive to me - it limits them as well as the animal.