Know Thyself is a principle… but how do you get to know yourself?

Know thyself is what is one of the 147 maxims inscribed in Delphi... 1

In fact, it is a principle.

A principle is something to live by, something to get guidance from.

When we talk about principle driven life, any of those 147, and countless other principles will do your life justice.

When I look at people, when I observe them, their lives have no rhyme, no purpose...

Looking good is not a principle.
Wanting to be right is not a principle
I am pretty/smart/stupid is not a principle
I want to be rich is not a principle

All of those are desires. All keep you anchored on the horizontal plane, the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Principles, on the other hand, can take you all the way to the vertical.

Principles are also not rules.

You have enough rules that keep you stuck and miserable and powerless...

Know Thyself is a guidance, as all the principles.
All principles lead you to the strait and narrow, all rules keep you from it.

The trick is to know the rules that run you, that run your life.

You can't catch something that you cannot see... So the job is to see your rules, so you can catch them, and let them go... like a butterfly.

Almost all rules are in the Systemic Value range.

koi fish

  • I have to,
  • need to,
  • want to,
  • should... or else.
  • Republicans are the right party.
  • Christianity is
  • God is
  • Jesus is
  • The government is

Catch the "is" in those phrases? It shows a rule (also called myth)

  • I am
  • You are
  • We are
  • They are

are versions of "is"... rule, myth, misery maker.

You are stuck on the lowest level of value, and it is not even the whole horizontal plane!

Principles are in the highest level of value, the intrinsic value, the vertical plane.

Some people (myself included) gets returned to the vertical by just whispering one of those principles...

My favorite is "there is never any hurry on the creative plane".

It returns me to freedom, to sanity, to coherence, to wide cone of vision, to joy... no matter what was pulling me down. Amazing.

So how do you use a principle? Remember, it's a guidance, and you use guidance.

The first thing is: don't take it as a rule. It is a gentle guidance. Rule has a flip side to it: punishment if you don't keep the rule.

Guidance has no flip side... that is how you know it is NOT systemic value, like a rule. It is part of the billions of facets of a diamond, the intrinsic values.

Depending on where you are on the vibrational scale, you'll have to work on this: you'll want a rule... but you have to release its grip on you... and mellow it, allow it to guide you.

Not easy, but possible.

If you want, we could do some workshops where the participant tries on some principles, and I help them release that it's a rule. I can feel you inside... I can feel if you are obeying, or using, if you are grasping, or allowing. That's why you want an empath in this with you.

Know Thyself is one of the most difficult guidances, because you don't.

You don't know yourself.

This is why you do so many psychological tests, read so many articles, because you don't know yourself.

You don't know what is relevant, what isn't. You think it is good or bad... systemic values.

But it is a lot more interesting than that.

One tool I have found really invaluable is the Spirit Animal 2 book is the guidance.

3 My spirit animal is the skunk 4 . They are your "keep your distance bud, or I'll spray you" people... Gruff. Often an empath needs to be like a skunk... keep you at bay, because you are bad news. lol.

I am still a "skunk" but I am now conscious of it, and can play it like a musical instrument, not all blunt and hammer-like.

Here is an actual physical book. I am still hunting for a kindle book or pdf or a quiz...

And some links:


Please remember: the power is in the inquiry, the power is in the question... not the answer. The answer will become a rule... a limitation, and not a guidance.


  1. Follow God
    Obey the law
    Worship the Gods
    Respect your parents
    Be overcome by justice
    Know what you have learned
    Perceive what you have heard
    Be/Know yourself
    Intend to get married
    Know your opportunity
    Think as a mortal
    If you are a stranger act like one
    Honor the hearth (or Hestia)
    Control yourself
    Help your friends
    Control anger
    Exercise prudence
    Honor providence
    Do not use an oath
    Love friendship
    Cling to discipline
    Pursue honor
    Long for wisdom
    Praise the good
    Find fault with no one
    Praise virtue
    Practice what is just
    Be kind to friends
    Watch out for your enemies
    Exercise nobility of character
    Shun evil
    Be impartial
    Guard what is yours
    Shun what belongs to others
    Listen to everyone
    Be (religiously) silent
    Do a favor for a friend
    Nothing to excess
    Use time sparingly
    Foresee the future
    Despise insolence
    Have respect for suppliants
    Be accommodating in everything
    Educate your sons
    Give what you have
    Fear deceit
    Speak well of everyone
    Be a seeker of wisdom
    Choose what is divine
    Act when you know
    Shun murder
    Pray for things possible
    Consult the wise
    Test the character
    Give back what you have received
    Down-look no one
    Use your skill
    Do what you mean to do
    Honor a benefaction
    Be jealous of no one
    Be on your guard
    Praise hope
    Despise a slanderer
    Gain possessions justly
    Honor good men
    Know the judge
    Master wedding-feasts
    Recognize fortune
    Flee a pledge
    Speak plainly
    Associate with your peers
    Govern your expenses
    Be happy with what you have
    Revere a sense of shame
    Fulfill a favor
    Pray for happiness
    Be fond of fortune
    Observe what you have heard
    Work for what you can own
    Despise strife
    Detest disgrace
    Restrain the tongue
    Keep yourself from insolence
    Make just judgements
    Use what you have
    Judge incorruptibly
    Accuse one who is present
    Tell when you know
    Do not depend on strength
    Live without sorrow
    Live together meekly
    Finish the race without shrinking back
    Deal kindly with everyone
    Do not curse your sons
    Rule your wife
    Benefit yourself
    Be courteous
    Give a timely response
    Struggle with glory
    Act without repenting
    Repent of sins
    Control the eye
    Give a timely counsel
    Act quickly
    Guard friendship
    Be grateful
    Pursue harmony
    Keep deeply the top secret
    Fear ruling
    Pursue what is profitable
    Accept due measure
    Do away with enmities
    Accept old age
    Do not boast in might
    Exercise (religious) silence
    Flee enmity
    Acquire wealth justly
    Do not abandon honor
    Despise evil
    Venture into danger prudently
    Do not tire of learning
    Do not stop to be thrifty
    Admire oracles
    Love whom you rear
    Do not oppose someone absent
    Respect the elder
    Teach a youngster
    Do not trust wealth
    Respect yourself
    Do not begin to be insolent
    Crown your ancestors
    Die for your country
    Do not be discontented by life
    Do not make fun of the dead
    Share the load of the unfortunate
    Gratify without harming
    Grieve for no one
    Beget from noble routes
    Make promises to no one
    Do not wrong the dead
    Be well off as a mortal
    Do not trust fortune
    As a child be well-behaved
    As a youth be self-disciplined
    As of middle-age be just
    As an old man be sensible
    On reaching the end be without sorrow
  2. What is a spirit animal?
    For some, a Spirit Animal is an otherworldly guide who appears to offer love, healing, and support during difficult times. To others, a Spirit Animal is the same as a Totem Animal – it's who you really are.
  4. The skunk spirit animal may not have the best reputation because of the unpleasant odor that it emits. However, despite is smelly reputation, the skunk symbolism has magical and mystical associations.

    The adorable and feisty little skunk holds a message of great power. It commands respect and admiration, and you will seriously give it a second thought when you get to know the true skunk meaning.
    Common Skunk Spirit Animal Meanings

    The skunk meaning places the emphasis on being distinct. It symbolizes the importance of being who you are and living authentically without caring about other people’s opinions.

    When the skunk spirit animal appears to you, it’s to help you build up your self-confidence. It’s to help you develop your strength and sense of independence.

    It wants you to trust in yourself more and live on your own terms by setting your own boundaries. The skunk symbolism urges you to rely on yourself more.

    Focus on the signals that you are sending to people and what they feel or think about you. Learn to accept the good with the bad and use it to make yourself a better person.

    When you can accept all your strengths and weaknesses, you can then truly express yourself. You can be comfortable in your own skin.

    The skunk spirit animal prefers to do its own thing quietly, so you should do the same. Do not bring attention to yourself just for the sake of gaining popularity or just to get people’s approval.

    Either people like you or they don’t. They will see you and notice you every time, so make sure that you control how they notice you.

    The meaning of the skunk also symbolizes attraction. People are drawn to you for many reasons, even if you keep pushing them away.
    If Your Spirit Animal is the Skunk, read this carefully…

    Sometimes the skunk spirit animal appears in your life to remind you that you can get attention without being annoying, irritating, or arrogant. It also shows up when you no longer know how to deal with people who annoy the hell out of you.

    The meaning of the skunk holds great importance. It awakens you to recognize your abilities and be aware of the power of your sexuality and sensuality.

    Your skunk totem wants you to be prepared for disappointments, setbacks, and obstacles. But you don’t have anything to worry about because they are only temporary.

    You are made of strong stuff. You can easily get back on your feet.

    Just remember that whatever is keeping you from achieving your goals will be sorted sooner rather than later. Trust in the message of the skunk!
    Skunk spirit animals as messengers of change

    Unlike the Dove, the meaning of the skunk seeks to remind you to build up your self-esteem. It symbolizes the need to have more self-respect.

    If in the past you have allowed people to treat you unkindly, your skunk totem urges you to make that change and start respecting yourself. Now is the time to put yourself first and focus on what you need and what makes you happy.

    When there’s happiness within, everything else will follow. You will soon see the changes in your life, and you will be ready to take on the world.

    Positive Traits of the Skunk Spirit Animal

    The skunk totem teaches a thing or two about fearlessness and peace. It’s possible to be brave and aggressive without bringing discord and disharmony into your life.

    You are a beautiful, calm, and steady presence. But when you are provoked, or there’s a threat to your loved ones, you will not just sit down and do nothing.

    Like the skunk spirit animal, you are easily distinguishable because of your distinct characteristics. You are charming and self-confident, humble yet powerful.

    Like your skunk totem, you will only spray an enemy when you are truly left with no choice. You don’t easily blow up, and it takes quite a lot earn your ire.

    But once you do lose your temper, people will regret it. You give a fair amount of warning, but when you’ve had enough, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
    Negative Traits of the Skunk Spirit Animal

    The meaning of the skunk speaks about how you treat people you like and don’t like. You use your charm and personality to attract those you like, and use it to repel those you don’t.

    You don’t like it when people invade your privacy. You don’t take it particularly well when people cross the line and make you feel exposed or vulnerable.

    There’s also a tendency for you to be conceited and pompous because of all the special traits and talents that you possess. This turns off a lot of people, but if you don’t like them, it also doesn’t matter what they think of you.

    Call on your Skunk Spirit Animal when:

    You need to build your confidence.
    Be inspired by your skunk spirit animal. No matter how small you may be feeling right now, know that you can achieve anything that you set your mind on.
    You need to be your own person.
    At the end of the day, the only opinion that truly matters about yourself is your own! Don’t focus on the noise and just listen to what your inner voices are telling you.
    You need to move on.

    The skunk spirit animal is not sentimental and does not dwell on the past. You should be more concerned about what’s waiting for you in the future, and what you should be doing in the present.
    My final thoughts on the Skunk Spirit Animal and its Symbolism

    The skunk meaning is strong in you because you also love to be solitary. You know that there’s a time to be around people, and there’s a time to be by yourself.

    You know where to draw the balance, and that’s good. People who love you don’t end up feeling like you’re pushing them away because you make sure they are loved and well taken care of.

    The skunk meaning encourages you to take care of your reputation and your authentic self. Walk the talk, and this is how you will earn the respect of people.

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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