Crocodiles belong to an ancient reptilian order, originating at least 160 million years ago when dinosaurs still roamed the planet. No wonder crocs are said to have a long memory!

Only two species of crocodile are found in Australia, the fresh-water (or fish-eating crocodile) and the salt water (or estuarine, man-eating or ocean-going crocodile.) Salt water croc has been the cause of many deaths in northern Australia and adjacent islands. Because of their ability to injure and even kill, crocodiles have a fearsome reputation worldwide.

Needing warmer climates to maintain their metabolism, crocodiles are only found in the northern areas of Australia. To survive long periods under water, these reptiles regulate their breathing and heart-rate; in fact they can maintain the lowest heart-rate of any animal. Perhaps this is why they don’t seem to have much heart!

In the  Dreaming[1], since Crocodile was once a man, he can still come out of the water. Despite their large size, crocodiles are very fast on land. Popular advice regarding escaping an approaching croc on land is to run in ever widening circles; a straight run and the beast will run you down!

In water, Crocodile lies well hidden, just submerged and waiting to catch his unobservant prey. From this practice, Crocodile has long been linked with cunning. Are there any partly submerged problems about to make an appearance in your life? Or do you, perhaps, need to practise cunning? Or patience?

In ancient times, the crocodile was regarded as God-like, seeing all but not being seen.  With a similar life expectancy to that of humans, they are also believed to become quite wise as they age. In ancient Egypt, the dead became transformed into crocodiles of knowledge.  In many cultures, Crocodile is either revered or feared. Respect is a virtue linked to Crocodile.

Large-sized crocs have special significance to some Aboriginal people of Northern Australia, who believe they embody the spirits of important people. And the stones they carry in their stomachs (which are inadvertently swallowed with their food) can have great spiritual significance. Some Crocodile Dreamings as well as myths in other cultures are featured around male virility, and he is often a womaniser. The Chinese people dry the gall bladder and penis for use as an aphrodisiac.

As Crocodile uses cunning to lie hidden and in wait until his prey is seduced into a sense of safety, there may be an aspect in your life which is seducing you. With his sexual prowess (acknowledged in many Dreamings), or whether some issue in your life is like an aphrodisiac to your senses, caution is advised.

Crocodile can call for a closer examination of your life. Is it really safe to go in the water?  Crocodile tears may represent insincerity; is your situation genuine? This great reptile can appear to remind you that you could indeed be playing with danger.  It may also be relevant to explore your instinctive, primitive side. Inner knowledge and the ability to be clever or cunning may be necessary in your situation.  How are you like Crocodile?

[1]               Bozic, Sreten.  “Aboriginal Myths.”