My Feathered Seer is Apparently Asleep in my Playroom #dreams

Photo Credit: Pixabay

It was dark in the room, as it often is during the daytime. My children, lapsed back into younger years, opened the seldom used front door to let the wild bird inside. It flew, or rather seemed to stumble, bumping along the floor for awhile until it settled under the couch into sleep. There it stayed for quite some time. I can’t tell you exactly how long, as dream time stretches and bends in funny ways. And soon enough the dream shifted, and my feathered seer disappeared.

I left the pileated woodpecker behind in the room we once referred to as our children’s playroom, but is now a library/game room, and found myself inside a museum. Well, that’s not entirely correct. If memory serves me, I was first outside. Once again, the light was muted as you often see in movies to build dramatic effect. Here the old blended with the new, again, and I found my eyes pulled to the stones. No surprise, really. That’s where the seer resides and reads the secrets held within.

I was excited. Sure that there had once been a circle in a place now built up by more modern hands. “See that one,” I pointed, “and that one!” The position, size, and alignment could not be accidental. And then it all began to fall apart. Suddenly I was inside the museum in need of a restroom. Here I found myself literally exposed. The bathroom was more an office than a cell, open to windowed rooms with people inside, and a wide open door where others walked by. And there I sat in the center with my pants down, exposed and worried about what others were seeing and perceiving. My sight pulled in angst to the world constructed around me while the inner spirit struggled to break free and wander back outside with the stones.

I am not surprised by the dream. When one ignores the first sign, another one will inevitably appear. About a week ago, I dreamt of another “play room.” This one was hidden inside my sister’s house. When I stepped inside this unexpected wonder, a child’s dream unfolded. Gradually I was draw to the vast windows where I stood in awe peering into the vast wilderness beyond. As in the dream last night, there were feathered beings. More than one. Young and downy, their colors muted into balls of fluff. Fledglings impossibly large, and birthed forth in autumn instead of spring. No, I thought, it could not be. They were so healthy and vibrant. Filled with the promise of life.

Before I woke completely into morning, I had another dream experience that has lingered with me. It is a brief recall. This time I found myself inside a vehicle with the radio turned on against my will, playing a recording of my voice. The first sounds were those of coughing, as though I was clearing my lungs of congestion. Then the coughing turned into a humming of sorts. “No,” I said embarrassed, “Don’t listen to that.” My voice on display, to my ears, echoed back to me dissonance as I resisted. Then strength grew into a sound that sung of freedom. It felt powerful and clear, now that all the gunk had cleared. “Take care,” the voice urged before it stopped. “Take care of you.”

I find myself now wondering, in the sometimes harsh light of day, how many of us are feeling the same way. This long year that has held fear and constriction for so many of us has, no doubt, left imprints on us. Perhaps, like me, you have used the pandemic and political turmoil as an excuse not to wander outside the confines of containment, and by containment I don’t mean those imposed to preserve health. Rather, I am referring to the free spirit that is a winged thing always yearning to fly. Always yearning to sing to the tune of inner truth. I must remind myself to play. To wander into magic, even if it involves outer restrictions. To let the feathered seer awaken once again and commune with the mysteries of life that return the wonder of the inner child.

Neglecting the soul is never a good thing, as I was reminded before I woke to this day. If we ignore its yearnings, a restlessness sets in. And sometimes, that restless turns to malaise.

Chocorua Part 4: Meeting the Chief in the Clouds

As my husband and I continued our journey up the quiet mountain, I stopped now and then to place my offering of tobacco leaves in the nooks of trees and rocks. Noting, as I did, how sometimes others had made their own offerings. Small and large stones nestled into crevices of wood and stone, along with the more permanent and not so mindful markings of names carved into the skin of trees. I saw the carvings as a sad reflection of the ego’s need for permanence, forgetting that the mark that lingers is a mere shadow of the true self that never dies. How we yearn for something that is false, so often forgetting the harmony that beats around us. I found the buzz of the mosquitos oddly comforting, in its reminder of the cycles of life. The sacred spring below having given birth to the insects that followed my footsteps along a path older than the trees surrounding me.

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There are several large and impressive boulders near the summit of Mt. Chocorua, but they hold their stories in a quiet, watchful manner.

The mountain remained, to me, quiet and reserved. Welcoming, yet not offering too much. Not yet. This was my first visit, after all, and as the miles slowly rose, I realized that I would likely return someday. Perhaps not to the same trail. Perhaps not with the same companion. I didn’t yet know, and that was okay.

Life cycles as it will, and it behooves us to allow it to play its rhythm without resistance. When we push, we are often met with a counter-push. A simple law of physics. Perhaps this is why the snake appeared. Not once, but twice, as we hiked the long, winding trail, slowly losing the mosquitos as we gained elevation.

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One of two snake messengers we encountered during our journey. This one reared its head toward me as though reading for an attack as I ventured near to photograph it.

I have found the snake to be a frequent messenger that appears at points in the cycle of life that call for a surrendering. A letting go of the old “skin” I choose to wear to make way for the new, lighter sheath. They remind one of the wheel, ever-turning. Endings moving into beginnings, endlessly repeating.

I had thought that the mountain might harbor hurt. A long held wound from the legend of the chief who fell from its summit. Cursing, as he met death, the white man who had poisoned his son. As I walked the first half of the mountain, I found that I was also, in essence, curing the “white man” who had felled all the trees, and placed the wall of stone beside the path of the sacred waters. Yet, as the snake reminded me (twice), time moves on, whether we allow it to or not, without judgement. The cycle weaves its circle of life and death, over and over again, and we can be a part of it, or we can use defiance to try to resist its flow.

I could not forget that I had breathed acceptance into my body before I had left my hometown that morning. There are no true accidents to life. I realized, as I walked, that it mattered little, if at all, that I was not seeing the faces of the long passed in the rocks, or feeling the pull of the familiar through my cells. Instead, there was that quiet harmony of belonging. Of being present with my beloved in human form, and the sacred landscape around us.

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A guardian along the path

There was no denying the many gifts that had been offered. The crow who had welcomed us, the “ghosts” beside the stream, the white feather in the path before the call of my feathered seer, the snakes of renewal, and even the mosquitos buzzing life. There were also berries, full and ripened to the deepest blue of truth as we approached the final mile. Tempering greed, we reached, now and then, to pick small handfuls of the fruit and felt the renewal of life in each magnificent bite. Agreeing that there was never a better blueberry than those grown on the nearly soilless top of this mountain. A grateful gift that was even more welcomed when we discovered how little water we had left and how warm it had become during our journey, as well as how unsatisfying the apples were that we had brought. Mealy and soft, whereas our mouths hungered for a cool, crisp bite. I thanked the land for the blueberries as I offered it more tobacco in return.

As we sat on the granite ledges and took in the views of the landscape around us, my husband and I noted the time and how far we had come. We felt the ache of the climb in our bodies and the hunger in our bellies. Ahead of us was the head of Chocorua, perhaps another half mile away, we could not be sure. Its side looked steep and a bit dangerous as we realized we would either have to make our way around it to find a more gentle side, or allow ourselves to finish our journey below its peak. I was surprised that I did not feel disappointment. That there was no resentment bubbling up inside at the possibility of not “completing” our journey. Instead, I felt acceptance. It was enough, all of it.

We did not turn around then, though, but decided to walk a little further. I was grateful, as we continued on for this small final leg of our journey forward, for the soft presence of the land and it’s hallowed feel. For the berries that continued along our way, and for the knowing that we had just enough daylight ahead of us to get back down, and just enough water to quench our thirst if we needed it. I thought of that sacred stream and the yearning of my body to feel its cool release. And, as I turned my gaze one last time to follow the path of a vulture around the neck of the mountain, the mighty bird moved toward a cloud that hovered beside the rock face. Perhaps it was my imagination, but to me it looked like the head of a chief in profile. Its face pointing away from the summit that would need to wait for another day.

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Where we stopped to rest with the cloud formation of the legendary chief in profile. It was a bit more clear in person.

 

 

 

Chocorua Part 3: The Feathered Seer Returns

I had brought one more thing for my journey, which was not mentioned in Part 2. In the pocket of my shorts was a small bag stuffed with tobacco, the procuring of which is a small story by itself. When I asked my friend Darlene what I should bring for an offering, her definitive answer was “tobacco.” There was no budging her, but I tried. The thought of buying a tin of tobacco, or a packet of cigarettes, filled me with mild terror. Irrational perhaps, but a childhood that involved the illegal growing and smoking of “pot” by my parental figures turned me against all manner of smoking. The only cigarette I’ve smoked was in one very vivid dream. That was enough for me.

So, here I was faced with one of many tests during this journey, before it even started. How to procure some tobacco. And, as I was thinking about how best to find some, a little voice inside my head came to the rescue with one word, “Etsy.” You can find just about anything on Etsy and sure enough a quick search led me to a source of natural tobacco. Perfect. I could handle buying tobacco safely through the internet with the happy knowing that it would be packaged as pure, unadulterated leaves. My little bag of tobacco arrived within a couple days of ordering, accompanied by a lovely handmade floral magnet. I had my offering.

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Although all of the trees were “young,” no doubt from the logging of the settles, there were those that held the presence of the past, and I left my offering with them. 

Which, as I walked along the wooded trail filled with mosquitos, kept creeping out of my shallow pocket until it finally dropped somewhere not too far away from the white feather. Like the crow, the feather seemed perfectly placed before me, another sign often found during my journeys. And, although I had yet to feel the familiar nudging of spirit through my left hand, which may be because it was too busy grasping a walking pole, I took it as another positive omen that I was on the “right path.”

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The white feather on my path, which appeared freshly fallen. When I passed it hours later on the way down it looked worn and tired. Its fibers matted together.

It is sometimes said that true signs come in sets of three, and number three that day came in the form of a song. Sharp and sudden the voice of the pileated woodpecker pierced the silence surrounding us. Once again I found my breath stop inside my throat. My “feathered seer had appeared. I should not have been surprised, but somehow I had forgotten the dream of this sacred messenger seven months before when it flew before me atop a “Native American hill.” Looking into my eyes with the message, “Don’t be afraid to see.” Weeks later, I had met Chocorua capped in snow. And now, here I was upon its oldest trail.

Funny how the mind works, only now I am recalling the dream through my old blog post. Putting the pieces together as I write. “Do not be afraid to see.” I had been thinking, as I walked, how much I was trying to see with my outer sight. The bent trees to give me clues to the sacred places. The faces in stone. “Are the bugs flying into your eyes?” I eventually asked my husband through frustration as I every time I brought my sunglass to rest atop my head, my eyes became magnets to the swarming insects.

No doubt another messenger, but not a wholly welcome one. Sometimes we try too hard to “see” outside of us. I am thinking of the “ghosts” I glimpsed while walking beside stream that felt sacred at the base of the mountain. I had felt the impulse to pause. To look back as the outer eyes blurred to the inner. And there they were, a small group of people from the time before white men, gathered at the waters, their heads turned slightly sideways towards me. “We see you,” they seemed to be offering in a welcome without judgement.

I did not linger, but took the gift of their presence and tucked it inside. It would be a mostly quiet walk. The other hikers not making their presence known until 2/3 of our way to our destination. Instead, we had one more messenger waiting to greet us as we worked our way uphill through the heat and bugs.

To be continued…

The (dead) crow, the red fox & the turkey (feather)

I used to keep a journal just for animal encounters. Not just animals, insects too, and birds, and all manner of non-human life forms I met up with each day. I was interested in their symbolism and what it might mean to me. Synchronicities and patterns. The universe talking in code. I used to do a lot of things I no longer do, and these days I am acutely aware of how much I am allowing myself to be wrapped up in the mundane, favoring it over the magic of life. Not because I want to, but because I have somehow convinced myself that I must. I must search not for encounters, but for artificial messages. Messages that I must send to get readers for my new book. It is a task I do not like, but that in itself is a lesson and, therefore, a gift. How do I make magic out of the mundane? Somedays it’s easier than others.

When the jobs we feel we must do become a chore, should we continue on in toil, or should we pause and breathe into the depth of being to find the magic contained within the moment that is always offered to us? The moment upon which we trail our breath and our thoughts, whether they be rapid, or peaceful? Today there were many encounters throughout my day which felt forced, labored, without fruit. Yet, there were also pauses when I stopped to be present.

I watched the squirrel, boldly wearing red fur as it masqueraded as an acrobat climbing up, then down my apple tree stealing apples in its mouth and leaping through limbs as though gravity was a ruse. I could almost believe anything was possible until I returned to the drudgery of musts. “You must do this to sell books.” “You must do that.”

The voice inside my heart forever whispering against the pull of musts, “just let it be.” “They’ll find the words you wrote for them, somehow.” I don’t always believe in somehows, but the voice inside me tells me I should.

The crow that stopped my feet today was dead. Its head pointed downhill. Black feathers tucked above the vibrant green of grass on this sunless day. I couldn’t help but think of magic extinguished. It had fallen beneath wires. Was it electrocuted by too much force? Energy coursing outside its bounds? The owl had been found in nearly the same place, also dead, one month before. I cannot help but think of the two bird messengers in my book. Grandmother Crow. The owl who haunts the last pages with a warning…

Yet death, I am reminded by yesterday’s snake, is not an end, but a beginning. Decayed life breeds new life in that ever-lasting cycle. How can I forget the wisdom of Shesha? Did I not write his story upon the pages too?

Briefly, today, I thought about fairies. Sue had reblogged a post about the fey and for some wonderful moments, I was transported into the realm of magic not often seen. Perhaps that was why I was lead by the turkey feather, which floated up from the blackened road as though wanting to be seen. To be caught, as I drove home. So I took the ever-willing dog for a walk, and there it was still. In the middle of the road. Large, curved and perfect. Banded in brown. A solitary turkey feather waiting for my hand to receive its gift.

So I twirled it in my fingers, feeling the life still present. Blessed life. A reminder of abundance. Down the road, a red fox wandered from the twilight woods and stopped to fix my gaze. We stared as though each daring movement, until a car passed by. Some say foxes hold the secrets of the fey. Cunning, bold, stealthy. Red, like the squirrel. Have I lost touch with the red blood of Earth? I wrote the words in this book, in part, to save her. Created six warriors with a mission to repair her broken veins, forgetting, after I had finished, that one must care for the inner body, always, while caring for the outer. And so I look back upon today. To the red squirrel taking with ease the fruit of the apple back to its nest. The dead crow charged with too much power. The lone turkey feather in the middle of the road. One perfect blessing waiting to be held. And the red fox, who had ventured, for a moment, out of the hidden realm to say hello.

 

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Grandmother Crow speaking her ancient wisdom from the pages of The Labyrinth

 

 

Multiple Messengers

Sometime Spirit likes to hammer the point home until we get it.  I find this happens when I am really being called to shift and get rid of old energies and systems of belief that are not serving my highest good. Since my mind likes to work with symbols and metaphors, I often get these messages in the form of animals and vividly detailed dreams. When I put all the pieces together the puzzle becomes complete and I really “get it.”

I’ll share my most recent series of messages as an example. It’s rather amusing when one lets go of self-frustration. Two nights ago I had a series of vivid dreams, of which I would now recall in more detail had I written them right down after waking. But, I think what I retained was enough to get Spirit’s point across, especially when combined with the other messengers that ensued.

In the dreams I found myself in a landscape of water (the element of emotion). The water was an ocean, and it was rising. As I made my way though the water I encountered a large (too large) seal. It was alive, but unmoving, floating like a buoy with its bloated belly turned toward me.

The seal as an animal messenger beckons us to awaken our imaginations and creativity. In his book Animal Speak, Ted Andrews writes, “If a seal or seal lion has shown up as a totem, it is time to do some questioning. Are you getting out of balance.” (pg. 311). Considering that my seal was bloated and unmoving, I would have to say yes.  Since I am a writer and my soul needs this form of creative nurturing, the seal was a “gentle” reminder to find space to feed this part of my soul.

What of the bloated belly though? One mind say that the seal in my dream was over-fed. Now, let me tell you about the other vivid image that stayed with me from that night. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say I was on a toilet and a lot of waste was moving through me. Our physical bodies are responsible for storing, processing and getting rid of the energy we take in. Sometimes, when we harbor fears, these energies find a home within us and grow – they quite literally bloat our bellies, or cause dis-ease of some kind. As a former sufferer of IBS, I know too well this type of energy retention and the body’s struggle for release and balance. Although, two nights ago, I was not literally having an episode of IBS, spirit was showing me that it was time for a release of fears.

The following day, I went for a walk with the dogs and my eyes were pulled to the side of the road where a black snake lay curled in the sand. Again, my animal messenger was unmoving, although alive. The snake as a messenger seems to make an appearance in my life when I am in the process of, or am about to undergo, a big shift. As a totem/messenger, the snake awakens the dormant energies inside of us (it’s associated with the awaking of the kundalini energy at the base of our spine), and, through its ability to shed its entire skin, calls us to release our old self and rebirth.

The snake energy is associated with the 2nd chakra, where we house our sexual and creative energies. A chakra area that has been calling for attention and healing in my body.  The point of Spirit was really starting to hit home, but there were still two more messengers to consider.

Over the past few days I have, much to my dismay, encountered more than a few ants in my house. Through much investigation and cleaning, I discovered the lure – a jar of honey with a loose lid. Now I must confess that the ant is not one of the animals I tend to spare when I encounter them in my house, so I did my best to thank the universe while I sent the messengers down the drain with a good dose of that element water.

It’s likely the message here was multifaceted. The ants were lured to honey – a sweet substance of life (and there may be an indirect message from bee here too, see below). Ants, as most people are aware, are quite industrious. They work in a complex social unit of cooperation and order. Andrews writes in his book: “The ant is the teacher of how to build, how to become the architect of your own life. It can show you how to construct your dreams into reality. It will show you that the greatest success comes occurs with persistence.” (pg. 336). I can safely say I have a few dreams I’d like to manifest into reality, some of which are directly related to writing.

Now let’s side-track a little and look at the bee, because we really should consider the lure of honey. Andrews states that “Bees are long-time symbols for accomplishing the impossible.” (pg. 337). Of course one might say that the impossible is only impossible inside the confines of our minds. Could it be that I am being called to actually enjoy, and find the sweetness inside, the process of manifesting my creative endeavors into reality (yes, there is a tone of irony here)?  Sometimes we do forget that life is supposed to be fun and filled with light and joy.

There’s just one more messenger I want to consider before I end this blog. The catbird. I seem to have a resident catbird outside my home that likes to make itself seen in my presence at the most telling of times. The catbird, with its talent for a wide range of songs, is a messenger of communication. This morning, when my friend the catbird appeared before me, I was quite literally thinking about my own communication blockages (related to the throat chakra in particular).

And so, it seems, spirit is calling me to the two chakras in most need of my attention – the 2nd and, and also the 5th. Two chakras I feel are intimately connected. For when we manifest our creative gifts, we want to be sure we sing them in the clear, beautiful and enduring voice of our truth.

The Great Blue Heron: Wader of Elements

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Often, when I look to the sky these days I see the majestic form of a great blue heron flying silently over me in a solitary flight towards the next body of water. In the sky, the great blue heron evokes the image of a prehistoric bird from a time when dinosaurs ruled the land and sky.

The great blue heron is often seen alone. We are lucky to glimpse this shy bird who walks and flies soundlessly through the elements of air, water and earth. It is a bird of great grace and beauty, with its long appendages and beautiful gray-blue feathers.

The heron, when its presence graces our lives, reminds us of our inner strength and ability to adapt and survive on our own. That when we live a life of quiet grace, our inner beauty radiates and affects those around us.
flying great blue heron

Although it is not a water bird, the heron is a wader of shallow depths, the areas where land and water mingle. Here, the heron walks with stealth and grace on long legs, bending with ease to find sustenance in the form of fish, frogs or other small animals living in or near the water.

The heron not only moves between the elements of land, water and air with effortless ease, it is literally a master of balance, able to support its large, slender form on one long leg. Balance comes to the individual through wisdom and the ability to go within to find harmony. The heron, with its gray plumage and majestic form evokes ancient wisdom. It is a sage for the soul who seeks balance, and the harmony of inner truth, as well as a guide for the individual who finds peace in solitary endeavors.

The photographs in this post were taken by a good friend of mine who dances with heron. Much love and gratitude to you, Rachel, a woman who embodies the grace and beauty of inner strength. The journey of the heron can be lonely at times, but offers great rewards.

Clearing Energy with Dragonfly

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This morning, when I went outside to look at the flower garden, I found this dragonfly on the stem of an iris. Later, during my noon-time walk with the dogs, I walked along a forest path and called in the energy of AA Michael to help me release lingering energetic cords that may be inhibiting the publication of my memoir manuscript. As I was working with this energy, a large dragonfly, like the one I saw in my garden earlier in the day, flew beside my right ear.

As I continued my walk, I thought about the energy of the dragonfly and what it symbolizes as an animal messenger. The dragonfly that flew beside my ear was likely after a mosquito, as they were out in force despite the breeze. Dragonfly energy can work with us to help us clear the air around us, as the dragonfly on my walk was literally doing by removing biting mosquitos (who, when attacking us, drain our red, life-force energy), as well as helping me on a more metaphysical level to clear my aura.

The dragonfly, which emerges from the water from its nymph form (the female lays her eggs in fresh water), reminds us of our own connection to water and that we are, at any time, capable of rebirthing ourselves. The dragonfly also reminds us of the healing and balancing powers of water, and how essential the element is for our well-being.

The name, dragonfly, as well as its prehistoric appearance, remind us of dragons, and the energy of magic that has the ability to transform us, and shift us into new places of enlightenment and understanding. Dragonflies have been around for more than 180 million years.

Ted Andrews, in his book Animal Speak, associates the dragonfly with the number two (it takes a nymph two years to transform into an adult). Interestingly, my eyes were drawn to the oven clock today at 2:22. Doreen Virtue states that the number 222, when it appears to us, serves to remind us to have faith and release worry; that what we may be worrying about is actually manifesting itself peacefully for all involved.

Dragonflies, with their wonderfully large, orb-like eyes, bring our attention to the importance of sight and opening up to new visions, as well as to the energy of light. As Andrews states, they connect us to the fairy realm, and our ability to see beyond the ordinary if we are willing to work with their energy.

Like butterflies, the dragonfly loves to dance in the light, reminding us that joy is always attainable, and that sometimes we need to release the energetic weight that is holding us back (with the help of water) and learn to fly in the light.

Crow – A Trickster Totem?

Frequently, during healing sessions with my clients, animal energies will appear as messengers or totems. Recently, a crow made its presence known by appearing on a woman’s left shoulder. I felt a chuckle escape from my mouth, clearly this one was a bit of a trickster.

Often, our bird totems will perch themselves on our shoulders, and travel with us throughout our days. They offer us guidance and wisdom, even when we don’t know they are there, much like our spirit guides do. In fact, I view them as spirit guides specialized in the energetic characteristics of the particular animal they represent. As I told my client, sometimes they come and go as needed, sometimes they are with us for the span of our life-time. I think crow, in her case, was what you might call a primary totem animal. Her shoulder was even fatigued from its weight.

Although she could not “feel” the fatigue and muscle strain they way I could, it was significant that it was there. Crow as a totem animal guide can be a bit complex and mischievous, much like its counter-part appears in nature. They are clever survivors, and will go through any means of trickery needed to get to their desired goal.

Watch for crows in nature, and you will often find them perched on the top of trees as sentinels, looking for opportunities. Their black, feathered bodies evoke the energy of mystery and magic. Their piercing eyes mirror wisdom. They are adaptable birds, and find the means to survive in any situation they encounter. When needed, they work together to find food sources, even if it means stealing from another animal. Their diet is not limited, they’ll eat pretty much anything at hand. They’ll even turn on each other, if the circumstance threatens their individual survival.

At other times, crows act together, using sentinels and messengers to relay information regarding food sources and danger. Listen to the crow’s voice and you cannot help but feel its power. It is not usually a pleasant sound, like a song bird, but it holds an undeniable strength. When a crow passes overhead, even if it is silent, one may feel the impulse to shiver. Yes, there is mystery in the crow, which often pulls us to the place of magic and secrets.

Black is considered the color of creation, and the feminine energies of the universe. As Ted Andrews points out in Animal Speak, black represents the womb where new birth occurs. The crow, as a totem animal, can help us with this aspect of ourselves, showing us how to go within to find our inner magic and to pull out hidden gifts.

In the case of my client, the crow on her shoulder had been with her for some time, helping her to survive, but not always ethically. It was time to shift the crow’s energy, and I urged her to shake the crow off its perch from time to time, and let if fly around, switch shoulders, etc. Since she has already done much healing, I have no doubt my client will start working with crow in a new way, using its energetic gifts to delve into the truths of her soul, and use her intellect in ways that will bring light to not only herself, but to others.

Crow can draw us into the mysteries of the womb and stir it to life, but we must take care to ensure that we bring those gifts into the light in a means that will bring more than personal gain.