The Mystery of Fox

The fox that came in the mail
The fox that came in the mail

How could I not write about the fox after reading Sue Vincent’s post last night, “Foxed.” Her words held the promise of magic I could not resist. Of course there was also the obvious tug from Spirit, who has shown me the fox in 3 different forms over the last 24 hrs.

Yesterday, after playing in the woods behind our home with a friend and our rather fox-like dog, Rosy, my daughter came in proclaiming she had found the remains of a fox half-exposed by the slowly melting snow. She had the pictures to prove it.

IMG_1485
The remains of a fox?

Later, I followed her outside, the entire family in tow as we studied the evidence. The small, strong jaw seemed about right to our untrained eyes, as well as the unmistakable red-orange fur found nearby. The cause of death, unknown, but we all made guesses. My children were willingly to bet it was a coyote (a common predator of the fox), my husband, in an attempt to temper any fears, suggested it may have died of old age.

We had a mystery on our hands that got me thinking not so much about how the remains of a fox ended up in our backyard, but about what the fox as a messenger really means. In his book Animal Speak, Ted Andrews observes that there are 21 species of fox. 21, as he notes, is the last card in the journey of Tarot. It is often referred to as “The World” card, a card of creation and all possibilities, which makes me think of the color orange that the fox wears both as camouflage and as a symbol of gifts held inside the second chakra.

The fox reminds us to go inside to that place where we create our life’s passions. It is an animal of mystery, rarely seen in the daylight hours, preferring the in-between times that are associated with magic and the fairy realms, when the veil between our worlds is thin. It awakens our passions and our extrasensory perceptions. The fox is a silent predator, able to move quickly with a stealth that is often unnoticed. It hears, sees and smells what most do not.

For those of us hoping to birth new creative energies, the fox can be our guide, helping us grow the magic safely tucked inside our “wombs.” It can guide us into other realms and help us see, hear and smell the more subtle, yet powerful energies around us as we discern with whom and in what to place our trust. When we are ready for “magic,” fox may appear to guide us.

Orange

orange

When you look at the color orange, what do you see? Years ago, before I started working with the chakra centers in the body, I wrote a poem about an orange and compared it to love. Here is the poem, in revised format, with the essence still intact:

Orange

Love should be
like a ripe orange
before it is peeled. Thick,
heavy, sweet

When you turn
its bumpy surface
in your palm, there is
no beginning
no end

Love is the color of the sacred “womb” that resides inside all of us. It is the place where we grow our creative and sensual selves into being with the fire of our soul. The color of passion and love manifested in the form of our unique gifts, it is always present, yet sometimes hides.

I have been thinking and writing a lot about orange these days, as I rebirth dormant gifts held inside the second, or sacral chakra that vibrates in this hue. Rarely do I wear this bold color that tends to overwhelm my complexion, but there I was in a lovely boutique last Friday, buying a dress adorned with orange flowers.

orange flowers on dressOn Saturday I peeled sweet potatoes, carrots and gingers and cooked them into an orange soup. We are drawn to the colors that want to bloom inside of us. There is a reason why our bodies and senses crave certain palettes. I cook with orange to kindle the fire that hides in my belly. Today, my eye is drawn to the flames that warms my house as I nibble the flesh of mango and write, my orange dog staring me down, waiting for her walk.

Rosy, the orange dog

Robin: The Bird of (Re)birth #robins #robinsymbolism #robintotem #rebirth #sacralchakra #throatchakra

Robin

The American Robin is considered by many to be a harbinger of spring. When the robin returns to its summer home in the spring, it gets to work building a nest with its mate and laying a brood of beautiful, sky-blue eggs. It is also one of the first birds to sing at dawn, harkening the new day with its melodious voice.

The robin, in many respects, is a bird of beginnings, of birth, and of the rebirth of the true, creative self. Upon its proud chest, robin shamelessly displays the color orange. Although robins are considered to have a “red-breast,” the color is really a deep orange, the vibration of the second, or sacral chakra. Orange and the second chakra are symbolic of our creative and sexual drives. This wheel of energy stirs us into action, and when balanced and healthy,  enables us to live our creative truths without worry of how we will be received by the world.

When I see robin, the bird always inspires a sense of awe and reverence. Standing erect and confident on the ground, where it digs through the body of Earth for sustenance, robin appears a master of the self. The robin has no doubt who s/he is, unafraid to sing in full-throated beauty the first song of the morning.

The robin births eggs in the spring in the color of the cloudless sky, making the robin a creator of truth and a teacher for a healthy throat chakra. The throat chakra is the fifth chakra in the set of seven primary chakras in the body. It is closely tied to the second chakra. When we are able to create freely from that seat of orange energy, we need to be able to bring it up through our throats, where we express our truths with compassion and confidence.

Near the end of last summer, on the first day of returning to school for my children, I experienced a day of magical peace and communion with nature. It had been a difficult summer for me, not because the kids were home, although that presents its own set of challenges and gifts, last summer was a time of transition for me. I was emerging into the field of energy healing, and was getting ready to finish up my memoir and start sending it out to the world. I was feeling called to release old fears and habits that were no longer serving me. Part of this releasing was letting go of relationships that were no longer in alignment with who I was, and my upper back, neck and shoulders were suffering the struggle to unburdan an old, heavy load.

feather

That day at the end of August, after I sent my children off on the bus, I was able to decompress and live in the moment in a way I had not been able to for a long time. I spent the beautiful sun-filled day with my dogs walking in the woods and sitting outside. Many birds appeared to me, including a hummingbird, flicker, and robin. For a long time I watched these individual birds and took in the lessons they had to offer. Robin sat in a maple tree in my front yard, toward the middle of the afternoon shortly before the kids were due off the bus. I had my camera with me all day, and I captured the bird on the branch, then watched as it released a single feather, which swirled with gravity toward the earth beside where I sat. A gift, it seemed.

Spirit sometimes speaks to us with feathers, offering them to us as a gesture of hope and reassurance that we are a part of a great, universal love that is so vast and infinite we can hardly comprehend it in our human form. I am often reluctant to take feathers from the Earth when I see them, for there is also the belief that one should not take from Earth what one does not need, or belongs to someone else. Sometimes, though, the gifts are so overt one is pulled to accept them. That day, as I gently lifted the fallen feather, feeling the vibration of the robin’s energy still humming inside, I knew I had been given a precious gift. A gift of new birth and beginnings. It’s been quite a journey.

Animal Messengers: Cardinal #cardinals #birdsymbolism #animalmessengers

cardinalI am sitting here on my porch, listening to and watching birds. It’s what I would call a perfect May day, although we could use some rain. The sky is robin egg blue, the temperature hovering around 70 degrees, and a gentle breeze is keeping the black flies at bay. The air is infused with the song of birds.

Lately, I have been marveling at the capacity of the songbird to produce such a full-bodied, melodious sound. Did you know that the voice of the songbird enables plants to achieve more optimum growth and produce more food? One only has to sit outside on a spring day to believe that this must be true. There is something truly magical and peaceful about the song of birds.

The purpose of this post, though, is not to laude the lyrical gifts of the class of birds we call “songbirds,” but to explore their gifts as messengers from the spirit world. As I have written in previous posts, when we pay attention, spirit often speaks to us through nature.

Today, while I took the dogs for their early morning walk, a male cardinal flew across my path and stopped in a hemlock on the side of the road, waiting to be noticed. Yesterday, while I drove my daughter to a sporting event, first a male, and then a female cardinal flew in front of the windshield, bisecting my path in a dangerously close encounter that I could not fail to notice.

When we encounter animals and birds in such a manner, it behooves us pay attention, as it is likely that spirit is trying hard to get a message across to us. Cardinal certainly seemed to be trying to tell me something, so I took careful note. First, I took inventory of my thoughts – the ones that were passing through my head at the moment the male cardinal decided to fly across my path.

I had, I quickly realized, been thinking, or rather, fretting over my desire to manifest more clients and grow my healing business – a subject that has been consuming me of late. As my daughter told me the other day, “Well, you told the universe you didn’t want a lot of clients before you have the space for them.” Yes, she was right, and I have been trying to “correct” that intention over the past several weeks, as I realize I am ready and able to handle more clients while I wait for my new healing space to be created.

Those were my thoughts when the cardinal passed over, which led me to my dreams. Last night, while I slept, I was telling a woman who was in emotional distress that I could help her, but as I searched through my wallet for my business cards I realized they were missing. The previous night, I dreamt of sitting on the top of a very tall and long slide. It was red, rimmed in orange (symbolic of the first and second chakras, where we house our grounding energies, basic needs, and also our creative energies). The slide was steep, and had at least one “bump.” In the dream I was holding onto the hand rails at the side, reluctant and fearful of descending. A woman at the bottom was urging me to let go and slide to my destination. The first chakra, I might also note, houses a lot of our most primal, deeply rooted fears. The second chakra is also our sexual chakra. The slide, I realized the next morning, was like a birth canal, and I was being asked to let go and “rebirth” a new, fearless self.

Back to the cardinals I’ve encountered of late. Today, when the male cardinal flew into the hemlock, I stopped briefly to ask its message for me. Do try this for yourself, if you don’t already, when you encounter an animal, insect, or bird that feels like a messenger. You’ll likely get a response inside your mind. The words that entered my own mind spoke of insecurities and self-confidence. They spoke of the symbolism of the colors red and orange, as well of that beautiful, fearless, full-bodied song housed inside that small bird.

Being a natural “doubter,” I like to check my sources. So, I went home and read though the section on cardinals in Ted Andrew’s book Animal Speak, my personal, go-to-guide for animal symbolism. And there it was, right at the top of the page, “Renewed Vitality through Recognizing Self-Importance.” In other-words, don’t give up on your dreams and keep walking your path, leaving fear behind. As Andrews also notes, cardinals with their loud, clear song, urge us to listen and heed the messages around us. Their colors remind us to breathe new life into our ambitions, and assert our creative selves.

Pay attention to the birds who cross your path, drink in the healing energy of their songs, and ask them what messages they hold for you.