turkey vulture spirit animal

Spirit Animals: TURKEY VULTURE

Turkey Vulture Spirit Animal

Turkey vulture spirit animal relates to the raptor’s excellent sense of smell. She rides spiral thermals of wind and has the miraculous ability to neutralize lethal diseases. Native to the Americas, turkey vulture is a New World vulture who is connected with the power of the exorcist archetype. This article focuses primarily on the turkey vulture, and includes the symbolism of all vultures at the end.

Turkey Vulture’s Discernment

There is an old wive’s tale that if you find a baby bird outside of its nest that you shouldn’t handle it to put it back in the nest. Supposedly the mother bird will smell your scent on the chick and reject it. This is a myth! Most birds have barely any sense of smell. Putting a chick back in the nest is the first course of action in helping a baby bird. If the parents are alive and around, they will get right back to caring for their little one.

Turkey vultures, on the other hand, have an excellent sense of smell. A turkey vulture can smell the scent of dead and rotting flesh from miles away. I can’t say for sure that a turkey vulture parent would care or not about human scent on her young – turkey vultures are notoriously bold – , but the vulture is unique in her ability to pick up scents.

In spiritual terms, the sense of smell is synonymous with the gift of discernment. Discernment is the ability to sniff out the truth. It is knowing right from wrong. In a mystical sense, discernment is sitting with guidance to attain understanding. To discern something is to look into it and to truly know the nature of it.

The Spiral of Air & Turkey Vulture Spirit Animal

Turkey vulture spirit animal, with her ability to smell the wind, helps you sort through your thoughts. Air is symbolic of the mind. Your thoughts can be confusing whirlwinds at times. It can be hard to tell if your mind making something up or if it is true intuition. Turkey vulture rides the currents of the mind and helps you connect to the ground of knowing.

Summer is the season of turkey vulture. She rides with wings extended in a v-shape on thermals of hot air. Hot air rises off the sun-soaked earth in a spiral pattern, and turkey vulture is an expert at catching a ride on this invisible elevator. She circles upwards, teetering and relaxed. She rarely flaps her wings, but stays aloft for hours. Her migration between North and South America is spent casually riding these warm breezes.

The symbolism of turkey vulture reminds you to ride the currents of warmth in your own life. Allow yourself to benefit from what life has to offer and let go of the need to work so hard. Let life bring you warmth and sustenance. The currents will carry you where you need to go. Exercise a little patience and relax a bit.

 

 

Find your spirit animal workshop. Painting of red-tailed hawk.

Another Man’s Treasure

You know what they say about “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” As a scavenger, turkey vulture spirit animal is able to sniff out the nourishing gifts laid out like a banquet. We think of carcasses as waste left to rot. But, turkey spirit animal turns the tragedy of a life lost into the miracle of flight. She lets nothing on the carcass go to waste, and no matter how old the flesh is she will still eat it. She will not turn her nose away from any meal presented.

Turkey vulture spirit animal reminds you to of your own ability to reuse and recycle. She has a kinship with the dumpster diver who resurrects old clothes and the artist who repurposes bottle caps for mosaics. We speak of scavengers like they are the lowest of the low, but it is scavengers like turkey vulture that stem the blight of excess consumerism. Humanity and the planet benefit from practicing scavenging more often.

The Vultures are Circling

The vultures are circlingis a figure of speech that indicates there are people hovering, waiting to pounce and take advantage of a dire situation. When someone is called a “vulture” they are considered a greedy person that exploits others in a crisis. To put it bluntly, vultures get a bad wrap and it is not deserved.

Vultures are common birds of the battlefield and are associated with Ares the Greek god of war. As Jessica Dawn puts it in her book Animal Wisdom, “the bird’s function was to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of battle. By extrapolation, then, vulture can be raised after the struggles are over, to help clean up the mess.”

The turkey vulture has an important role in cleaning up ecosystems. Turkey vulture is a scavenger and she can eat carcasses of animals that are infected with botulism, anthrax, salmonella, and cholera. Her stomach acids kill the bacteria and transmutes the toxins she ingests. Turkey vulture effectively eliminates bacteria and toxins from the environment. This ties her closely to the exorcist archetype.

Nature’s Exorcist – Turkey Vulture Spirit Animal

Demons are described as causing a disease or even seen as the illness themselves. Here we have a bird that is known for literally killing off extremely deadly diseases. Turkey vulture spirit animal most definitely is an exorcist. The demons she neutralizes aren’t visible to the human eye, but they are extremely leathal.

The scientific name of the turkey vulture is Cathartes Aura. This can be translated as “golden purifier” or “cleansing breeze” (see https://www.sjpl.org/blog/home-defender-high-sierra). Both names are appropriate honorifics for the service turkey vulture provides.

Another synchronicity between the turkey vulture and the exorcist archetype is that the turkey vulture uses light to cleanse. You can find turkey vulture perched, her back saluting the sun, and wings held outstretched. She bathes in the ultraviolet, cleansing rays of the sun to bake off harmful bacteria. Turkey vulture’s black shiny feathers increase the efficiency of this process.

The acidity of the turkey vulture’s urine has the power to kill bacteria. She pees on her own legs to clear the dangerous microbes she picks up when walking on carcasses. Sounds gross I know, but when we are talking about decontamination, it is very efficient.

Whenever you are in need of a clean up crew to decontaminate your own energy field, call on turkey vulture spirit animal. She naturally has the ability to transmute the harmful emotions and thoughts that can infect your system. She can clear out the refuse and neutralize negativity leaving a cleansing breeze in her wake.

Vulture Spirit Animal

There are 23 species of vulture worldwide including the magnificent California and Andean condors. Many civilizations have worshipped vulture spirit animal. The Inca built enormous monuments to the Andean condor. A sacred bird in Incan cosmology, the condor is symbolic of death and rebirth.

Egyptian mythology associates multiple gods and goddesses with vulture spirit animal, most notably, Ma’at. The goddess Ma’at weighs the hearts of the dead to determine their fate in the afterlife.

Vulture is literally and symbolically associated with death, the afterlife, and resurrection. An awesome ally to call on when you are going through a metaphorical death of your way of life, vulture spirit animal can help you digest the experience and come out stronger and more clear on the other side.

 

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with purification and cleansing…

purifiers exorcist liberator destroyer archetype

The “Purifier Archetypes” Online Class

All three archetypes clear out the status quo to make way for an expansive, naked awareness. They purify us along the spiritual path and address the fears we encounter. The exorcist transmutes demons into allies and separation into union. The destroyer embraces the cycle of destruction to unlock hidden potential. The liberator uses wisdom to free us from attachment and suffering.

 

 

crow symbolism

Spirit Animals: CROW SYMBOLISM

Crow Symbolism

Just as crows proliferate in the company of humans, so too do stories of crow symbolism. Associations with crow spirit animal can vary from mischief to benevolence, from creation to death. Crow is the carrier of light and the embodiment of darkness. Crow is known worldwide and nearly every culture has myths about him. The symbology of crow is vast and contradictory and there is a lot of information out there about crow symbolism.

Rather than go into a whirlwind of the spiritual meaning of crow by sharing an unrelenting laundry list of characteristics, I’m going to focus on one very meaningful aspect of crow symbolism.

Keeper of Sacred Law

As a child I studied the book Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson religiously. I’ve known for a long time that crow is the keeper of sacred law, but I lived most of my life not knowing what sacred law really was. All I knew was that it was not the same as human law.

Eventually, the picture came together for me when I discovered the mystical laws. One day it dawned on me: sacred law = mystical law. Now you ask, “What is a mystical law?”

What is a Mystical Law?

A mystical law is a truth about how the cosmos works. Much like a law of physics, a mystical law helps us predict how things will turn out as well as why things happen as they do. Physical and mystical laws are law because they are repeatable, occurring every time and everywhere without fail. They are universal. They are a certainty that automatically orders the cosmos.

Mystical laws are similar to physical laws in that they have nothing to do with the civil laws of humans. Civil laws are the laws we write as a way to impose order on society. Civil laws require our enforcement and intervention to hold in place. Mystical and physical laws run regardless of our efforts. In fact, our impulse to resist, change or assist universal laws has no bearing on how or if the laws act. The laws of the universe are outside of our control. We are subject to them.

 

Find your spirit animal workshop. Painting of red-tailed hawk.

 

Laws of Physics & Mystical Laws

Some laws of physics are also mystical laws, like the law of conservation of energy. According to the law of conservation of energy, energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change form. The mystical law of the conservation of energy teaches us that when we feel drained of energy, that the energy has to go somewhere. We learn from this mystical law how to become conscious of the movement of energy. We also discover that death is not a disappearance, but a change of form.

Other laws of physics are interpreted symbolically rather than literally when seen as mystical laws. A wonderful example is the law of gravity. In the world of physics, the law of gravity is what holds our feet on the earth. From a mystical perspective, the law of gravity speaks to our attachments, the things that we revolve around that hold us back from moving forward. The more entrenched you are in your own history, the more gravity, or weight, you carry and the slower you progress.

Other physical laws that are also mystical laws include:

  • The law of cause and effect which is known as karma
  • The law of magnetic attraction
  • For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction which equals the law of the Tao

The Mystical Laws of the Cosmos

In addition there are mystical laws that stand on their own and relate to metaphysical discoveries. For example we have:

  • Thought comes before form
  • What is in one is in the whole
  • All nature is paradoxical
  • All of life is interconnected

Why Crow Spirit Animal?

Now here begs the interesting question – Why is crow symbolism associated with sacred (mystical) laws? There are a number of answers.

As an entirely black bird, crow is associated with the void. The void is the place of pure potential, also known as the collective unconscious, from which all things emerge. Familiarity with the void allows spirit animal crow the chance to know the unknowable, to have a deep awareness of the order of things.

Crow is a very social creature able to reach the heavens through flight. He understands the complex interactions that occur between individuals. He can transcend the ground-level politics of civil law and find the greater truth in sacred law.

Crow symbolism is associated with death. Throughout history he and his comrades flocked to battlefields to feast on fallen bodies. Death is a perfect example of the unyielding nature of sacred law.

The meaning of crow has to do with his clever nature. Crow is known for his ability to solve complex puzzles, use tools, and understand a vast vocabulary. Like his cousins raven and magpie, crow is a member of the corvid family, a group of birds known for their human-like intellect. Of all the corvids, crow is most often in contact with humans.

This watchfulness allows crow spirit animal to understand the habits and actions of people, to know civil law. He carries this knowledge up and applies the same observational skills the workings of the cosmos. Thus, he becomes the keeper of sacred law.

How Sacred Law Applies to You

When you find yourself in the midst of crow symbolism, it is time to step out of societal norms. Where in your life do you feel like things aren’t fair?

The mystical laws don’t apply to what you think is fair. The concept of fairness will only keep you grounded.

It is time to release your attempt to restore balance and instead to watch the cosmos to find it’s own equilibrium. Things may not end up how you’d like. However, you’ll learn something powerful about the way the world actually works instead of trying to unsuccessfully force it to work how you’d like it.

Who are you trying to bring to justice? You are not God. It is not your job to punish others or seek retribution. You have no idea what someone else deserves, what karma they carry, or what actions they’ve already set in motion.

Turn your attention with crow spirit animal to glimpsing the mystical laws and find yourself in a larger cosmology. Let the magic of crow teach you how to see life impersonally and better understand the nature of existence.

Crow symbolism overlaps to a good degree with raven symbolism, so you may also want to read my article on Raven Spirit Animal for additional insight. In my article on raven, I share the difference between raven and crow medicine.

 

Find your spirit animal workshop. Painting of red-tailed hawk.

 

peacock symbolism

Spirit Animals: WATCHFUL PEACOCK

Peacock Symbolism

The myths and legends of countless deities are soaked in peacock symbolism and adorned in the peacock’s iridescent tail feathers. Let me start with the short list of gods and goddesses that are associated with peacock meaning: Jesus, the Greek goddess Hera, the Hindu gods Shiva and Indra, the Greek god Argus, and the Hindu Lord Krishna. Not only are all of the friends of peacocks often deities, most of them are also the royalty of the heavens, the supreme of the sublime. In addition, peacock was considered the empress’s bird in Byzantine and Roman imperial courts.

Now does this mean that if you have peacock spirit animal that you are destined to be king or queen? Likely not. Metaphorically, royalty represents respect, mastery and authority. How are you ruling over your own kingdom these days? Are you an angry despot or a benevolent monarch? If you were your own subject, would you be pleased with the rules you are told to live by? Peacock symbolism helps you develop respect for the self, mastery over your actions, and the authority to carry out virtuous living.

Symbolism of Peacock Eyes

The most notable and common mythology about the peacock has to do with the one-hundred eyed Greek god Argus. He was employed by the goddess Hera to prevent her husband Zeus from philandering with the goddess Io. Zeus promptly had Hermes kill Argus, and Hera commemorated Argus by placing his one hundred eyes in the tail of the peacock.

Peacock has more than one hundred eyes in, as author David Carson calls it, his “trembling fan of dazzling colors.” [1] Regardless of the exact number, there are a lot of eyes animately watching us from the intimidatingly tall display that follows the peacock wherever he goes. With peacock symbolism, we learn about watchfulness and being the witness in our lives.

Being a Witness

Being a witness is often equated with the Buddhist quality of detachment. Detachment is not callousness or uncaring, but a trust in the divine design of things. When you are detached you don’t have an agenda or a judgement in the situation. You are able to just show up for the moment simply how it is.

Wolf spirit animal also models qualities of the witness, but he does it unnoticed and at a distance. Peacock spirit animal, in contrast, is in your face and can’t be missed. With wolf, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and you feel like someone might be watching. With peacock symbolism, there is no way to deny that all eyes are on you. Since the eyes are on his tail, there also can be the sense that you are being followed.

Are you the one watching others closely or do you feel a higher power watching you? You may not be able to take your eyes off of other people for fear of learning who is watching you. Peacock meaning may have you feeling more self-aware and motivated to clean up your actions.

Notice too how those eyes draw you in. It is exactly the feeling that the gods are watching you that cause you to feel closer to the Divine. It is a hypnotizing, mesmerizing display that captures you in the sacred net of worship.

Peacocks, Snakes & the Throat Chakra

Peacock is renowned for hunting and killing snakes. It is said in Hindu tradition that peacock transmuted snake venom into the radiant blue color on his throat. “[Hindu god] Shiva’s throat had turned peacock blue when he swallowed and purified the poison of the primordial ocean.” [2]

The fifth chakra, known as the throat chakra, is a power center represented by the color blue. This chakra represents our power of choice and the ability to express who we are and what we feel. We often think of what we send out of the throat chakra, but not what we put in. Think of the poisonous words you swallow before they come out of your mouth. With peacock spirit animal, you can learn how to transmute those words towards a greater end. Choose your words carefully and your understanding of peacock spiritual meaning will grow.

Masculine and Feminine Power

Peacock is only the male name for the entire species of peafowl. The female peafowl are called peahens and young are called peachicks. The peahens are much less brightly colored than the males and they don’t have the elaborate tail with the eye spots. This strong difference between genders is called sexual dimorphism.

Sexual dimorphism represents a sizable imbalance between the masculine and feminine sides of your being. The masculine side has to do with logic, strategy, and action. The feminine side encompasses the powers of intuition, sensing and receptivity. Of course these are large generalizations, but hopefully to get the idea. Those of you that know right brain versus left brain qualities will understand me when I say that the right brain is associated with feminine power and left brain with masculine.

Due to the fact that male peafowl are bigger and flashier, the name of peacock has dominated the image of the species. This shows that the more drab brown peahens take a back seat and largely go unnoticed. Working with peacock symbolism may bring a time of stronger, more visible masculine power with your intuition working in the background. For more insight into this dichotomy, read my article on turkey spirit animal as the same pattern applies with turkeys.

Going All In

There are many theories as to why the peacock has such an ostentatious tail. The tail is clearly a cumbersome train to drag along when fleeing a predator. It makes flying more difficult and takes an inordinate amount of energy to produce. Scientists have not yet agreed as to why peahens prefer larger tails with more eyes, but they do. So peacocks push harder to survive and go big.

In your own life, how can you shoot for the fence? Now is the time to follow peacock’s example and go all in. What you accomplish may be immensely bigger than you ever imagined possible. And, this will gain you a lot of attention. Just remember that with all eyes on you, impeccability in your behavior will be key.

Furthermore, the displays don’t last forever. Every fall, peacock molts (drops) his entire tail in a matter of days or weeks. He grows an entirely new tail over the course of the winter and focuses his efforts on building up his reserves versus attracting the attention of the ladies. By paying attention to the timing of your efforts, you can come to a peak at just the right time.

[1] How to Find Your Spirit Animal by David Carson

[2] The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images by The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism
what is my spirit animal?

About Author, Stacey L. L. Couch

Stacey Couch shamanic practitionerStacey L. L. Couch, Certified Shamanic Practitioner, works as a publicist and journalist for Mother Nature and is the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. She empowers people with the ability to explore life’s big questions by calling on nature, story and synchronicity as a source for guidance and healing. With her deeply rooted experience in the field of shamanism and passion for working with wildlife and rescue animals, Stacey has a unique blend of rational and mystical perspective that makes the world of shamanism easily accessible to others. She values mindfulness, wonder, and compassion in her daily spiritual practice. Learn More about Stacey.

duck symbolism

Spirit Animals: DUCK SYMBOLISM

Duck Symbolism

Often when I write these articles on spirit animals I like to take a systematic approach, but with duck symbolism there are forces at work that are drawing me a different direction. For the last week or so, I’ve contemplated duck spirit animal and what the meaning of these sweet, sweet souls is. As always, it is technically challenging to write about a group of animals that has over 100 different species with widely varied characteristics. However, I never expected this inquiry to take the route it did.

Why Did the Ducks Cross the Road?

Today, I was driving down the highway with gorgeous mountain views reflected off the lake to my left. Traffic was heavy with tourists zooming to get somewhere and relax. I was half listening to a class on my stereo and my mind was wandering off probably thinking of what other errands I had to run. There was a long gap before the vehicle ahead of me. I was looking at a clear lane.

What seemed abruptly, I spotted at a busy scene on the other side of the road. A mother duck leading her long line of seven ducklings across the highway. They spanned wider than half the road. I had plenty of time to come to a rolling stop. There was no time to feel a sense of relief. None of the cuteness of the gangly half-grown brood was mine to savor. Instead I watched in horror as an oncoming white sedan bared down on the family.

The mother kept diligently leading. The ducklings, one by one, followed the instinct to stay in line. The space between each was perfectly equidistant. They were probably too young to fly. Ducks can’t get off the ground that fast anyway. I wanted to honk my horn, but it was already too late. By now the family was covering the entire lane. Four ducklings were in the direct path of the car. I honestly lifted my hand up to cover my eyes. I ducked. I don’t know when the last time is I’ve done that. I couldn’t watch.

The car whizzed by as if the ducks had never been. One duckling was floundering. The traffic in the other lane stopped. We watched the mother, six healthy ducklings, and one half-paralyzed duckling finish crossing the road. That little guy’s instinct to follow his mom overcame everything. He drug himself off the shoulder. He was the last to disappear into the grass. I kept my vehicle at a standstill long past, insisting on making the drivers behind me notice this one life. I pulled over. I sat in my car on the side of the road as everyone else got moving again. It was is as if we’d been sitting at a red light. It was the end of his life. Everyone else went on about theirs. I prayed for his safe passage to the spirit world. His tragedy broke my heart open in an instant to the global attacks we are experiencing. I so wished he could have gotten out of harm’s way. One duckling did that.

Sitting Ducks

How much lately have we thought about being a sitting duck? I barely have to mention the terrorist attacks in recent history (Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando) to conjure images of being trapped in a room with a crazed gunman. The phrase “sitting duck” originated in the context of World War II to indicate a poorly defended or unsuspecting military target that was easy to take down. Dabbling ducks, such as mallards, sit on the top of the water and dabble with their beaks below the surface. They are easy targets for hunters.

Why would I bring up such macabre conversation? This language is in all of our psyches. Regardless of if we want it to or not, we associate vulnerability and danger with duck symbolism. Even before the term sitting duck came into use, the word “duck” has always had the alternative meaning of avoiding a blow, hiding from sight, and departing quickly. Think “duck and cover” and “duck out”. I ducked my eyes from watching the car hit the duckling.

What are you ducking in your life right now? Are you bracing for some unforeseen tragedy you have yet to discover? The instinct to duck is a strong, survival impulse that has saved countless lives. There is a time to duck down and evade the either literal or symbolic blow. If you know your pocketbook is about to get hit, bracing yourself and preparing mentally for the blow may be what gets you through it.

The trouble is when we duck from our illusory fears, you know, the kind that haunt you. Fears like “What will other people think?”, “Will I end up homeless?”, and “Will he leave me?” – those kind of fears. Soon we are paralyzed with fear and cannot move. That is when we become true sitting ducks.

Duck Spirit Animal Helps Us Evade

Duck spirit animal reminds us that we have webbed feet and, even better, we have wings. We have the power to lift out of the watery emotions that threaten to drown us. We can swim into the depths and find inner silence.

We may be rendered physically powerless to do anything in a situation and feel like the victim. Nevertheless, we always have power in our interior. We can always lift off in our view. Duck symbolism teaches that we can always dive down into the truth of the beauty that we are. Some diving ducks swim rushing torrents of class five river rapids with ease.

what is my spirit animal?

Meaning of Duck Molting

With all of this talk about flying out of danger, I am obligated to mention that in the late summer / early fall all ducks are rendered flightless. They drop and replace their entire coat of feathers (called “molting”) in a matter of weeks, which means they are grounded. During this time, ducks hunker down in the reeds in the marshes or they band together in the middle of a large, deep lake.

Preparing for times in your life to be grounded and tend to matters at home will help you take advantage of this aspect of the meaning of duck. It is no use ignoring the fact that the to-do list needs doing and the laundry needs to be washed. By choosing the correct environment to do these tasks, you take less risk of things going awry.

Insulation and Safety

Duck symbolizes spring and summer in the guidebooks, but there is little scientific evidence to back this correlation. Ducks do extremely well in bitterly cold climates. I would associate them with winter for their incredible hardiness. In my mountain town, they swim in the little bit of open water in frozen lakes. Sea ducks brave frigid winter conditions amidst arctic ice flows.

Ever wonder how ducks can paddle around in icy water without their feet freezing? Ducks have a counter-current circulation system in their feet that allows their feet to stay just above freezing with very minimal heat loss. You can learn the mechanics of this ingenious system here: http://askanaturalist.com/why-don’t-ducks’-feet-freeze/ When asking “What does duck mean?” it is important to remember that conservation of your own resources can help you survive lean times.

Ducks also have incredibly warm coats of waterproof feathers filled with an insulating layer of down. If you’ve benefited from the warmth of a down jacket, you know what I’m talking about. These birds are no ninnies. Duck symbolism brings the power of insulation from the outside world helping us brave the hazardous weather in our own lives.

 

falcon symbolism

Spirit Animals: FALCON FURY

CalThe current information about falcon symbolism fails to encompass many of the amazing adaptations of the entire family of falcons. When most people think of a falcon they think there is just one species, but “falcon” refers to a family of birds of prey. There 37 species of falcon subdivided into four groups – kestrels, hobbies, traditional falcons (such as peregrine falcon and prairie falcon), and hierofalcons (such as gyrfalcon and lanner falcon).

Reaping the Power of Falcon Symbolism

The falcon is a raptor. Raptor, otherwise known as “bird of prey”, is a name for predatory birds that means to “seize or take by force”. Other raptors are eagles, hawks and owls. The falcon has especially long toes that are proficient at seizing prey in midair. He also uses the increased surface area of his big feet to club his prey and knock them out of the air.

Falcon is the fighter jet of the raptor world. Built for speed he takes no prisoners. His name comes from the Latin word “falco” which means sickle-shaped and which refers to the shape of his wings. These streamlined, long wings create fast flight and allow for sharp maneuvers. He slashes through the air. Air is symbolic of thoughts. A sickle harvests a crop. Falcon symbolism brings the ability to chop down the field of thoughts. Leave behind the chaff. Bringing home the harvest.

Falcon Spirit Animal Pursuing at Speed

Falcons typically use two distinct hunting strategies. The first, most well known, is the dive. Peregrine falcons are known for their record breaking stoops that reach up to 238 mph. They are the fastest animal on earth. The stoops start from a high perch or a high hovering position upwards of 3,000 ft. elevation. Falcon folds in his wings and free-falls like a skydiver with arms tucked to his sides jettisoning towards earth. Falcon spirit animal is not just about speed, he is about harnessing the power of gravity.

Have you set something in motion that you cannot stop? Are you going into a free fall? Do you believe it is controlled? Can you handle the force that is about to take over your whole being? Call on falcon to help you pull out of the dive in time.

Falcon medicine can help you manage an acceleration of life events beyond what most people think is humanly possible.

Falcons also pursue birds on the wing or mammals or insects on the ground. This is where the fighter jet quick turns come in handy. These direct flights are not for sissies either. They reach top flying speeds of 67 mph. Falcon symbolism teaches us about intensity. When you are moving that fast you can’t take in the environment around you. Focus is key.

 

Find your spirit animal workshop. Painting of red-tailed hawk.

 

Murmurations & Falcon Medicine

Have you ever seen a giant flock of thousands of birds twirling about in the air like a cloud of black dust? These flocks are made up of smaller birds such as European starlings or some species of shorebird. The flocks are in a tight ball that morph and dance in the sky. It is one of the most amazing sights of nature. These flock dances are called murmurations, a lovely name if you ask me.

Murmurations look to be a joyous dance by a chorus of birds, but scientists have found that they are really a predator evasion strategy. These flocks of thousands of birds are typically scurrying to get out of the path of a single peregrine falcon. This is the whirlwind in which falcon reaps his prey. Yes, reap the whirlwind.

The murmuration is coordinated. The birds become part of a group mind that moves together much like a school of fish is thought to. So what may look like a chaotic, haphazard dance is spontaneously choreographed.

Falcon symbolism teaches us about the nature of chaos and whirlwinds in our lives. Be it a free fall or whirlwind, where in your life are you feeling out of control? How much do you contribute to this chaos like falcon at the center of the murmuration? We say we like control, but we like chaos just as much because it is a form of control. Coming into awareness of your relationship with chaos can change everything in your life. Call on falcon spirit animal to help with this navigation.

Falcon Animal Totem of War & Hunting

Falcon symbolism is closely linked with the Egyptian God Horus who is the God of sky, war and hunting. Depicted as a man with the head of a falcon, but also in his entire form as a falcon. It is said that when he takes wing and flies across the sky he is the sun and the moon. His right eye is the sun and left eye the moon. He fought many battles against his father’s killer, Set. Some stories say he eventually won and unified the kingdom of Egypt.

The sport of falconry is named after the falcons who were among the first birds of prey trained to live and hunt with humans. This sport is thousands of years old and predominated in royal courts as a pass time. It was practiced by nobility throughout the Middle East, medieval Europe and the Mongolian Empire. More recently it has experienced a resurgence as a hobby for laypeople. Falcons are prized falconry birds because of their collected disposition and trainability.

Falcon has a shrill, blaring shriek that travels for miles. His war cry carry on and on for what seems like way too long. The characteristic helmet shaped coloring on falcon’s head is reminiscent of a gladiator’s cap. Falcon is one of a few types of raptors that has a characteristic “tominal tooth” on his beak that is a specially evolved notch. This notch aids in a swift severing of prey spinal cords.

Peregrine Falcon Symbolism

Falcon spiritual meaning calls you to the wars you wage within yourself. Are you spending too much time at war with yourself in your thoughts? Do you talk too much about what makes you mad? We like to say that war happens “out there”, but we have the opportunity everyday in our own thoughts to win the war over darkness and be on the side of the light.

The name peregrine means “wanderer” or “pilgrim”. This falcon is known for its very long migration from northern tundras of Canada all the way to wintering grounds in South America. Found on every continent except Antarctica. The peregrine falcon spirit animal causes us to look at our own wandering spirit.

 

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what does dove mean dove spirit animal

Spirit Animals: DIVINE DOVE

What does dove mean?

The term “dove” actually refers to a whole family of birds that includes both doves and pigeons. There are many species of doves of a variety shades of brown, gray, rose and slate blue. Dove species include mourning doves, rock pigeons, Eurasian collared doves, white winged doves, and band-tailed pigeons. One of the well known species extinctions caused by man was that of the passenger pigeon. Hunting and habitat destruction by European settlers wiped out some 3 to 5 billion birds around the turn of the 20th Century.

The white doves we frequently associate with the name of dove are rare in the wild and are white varieties of normally pigmented rock pigeons or ringneck doves. There is no actual species of white dove or pigeon. White doves are mostly bred and raised in captivity to serve as pets, release doves or racing pigeons.

What does dove mean? Dove spirit animal is most often associated with love, purity, nurturing, spirituality, and peace.

Dove Medicine is Love Medicine

The phrase “lovey-dovey” explains well the unabashed way that dove nibbles at her mate’s neck and erupts into a synchronized dance of beak grasping and head bobbing with him. We have borrowed a lot from dove, saying that lovers “coo” over each other. Male mourning doves are the ones that do the cooing to attract mates.

The Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite (Venus in Roman mythology) is often depicted holding a dove in her hand or surrounded by a flock of white doves. Aphrodite’s seven daughters were called a “flock of doves”. Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love is known to ride a dove.

Dove chooses one mate for life and forms strong pair bonds which contributes to her associations with romantic love.

We tend to downplay the importance of the honeymoon period of relationships, calling the lovey-dovey mood an infatuation that will not last, but dove teaches us that this outward sign of affection strengthens bonds and is critical for a successful relationship. If you find yourself swept up gazing into your lover’s eyes, dove totem animal is in your corner. Dove spirit animal is a great companion as we abandon ourselves to romance.

Dove Nurturing

The love of the doves extends beyond that of romantic love into the excellent care doves give their young. One example is that both mother doves and their mates produce “crop milk” for their young. The milk is secreted from the lining of the dove’s crop (organ in the throat), regurgitated and fed by mouth to the chicks. This is a relatively rare ability in the bird world with only flamingos and a few penguins able to do the same. Dove parents are also very attentive and often raise multiple broods in a year.

When considering what does dove mean, ask what you are nurturing right now? How can you partner with others to be more successful?

 

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Purity & Dove Spirit Animal

The color white is symbolic of purity, so it follows that white doves are too. This link between doves and purity goes back to biblical times: “Even while you sleep among the sheep pens, the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver, its feathers with shining gold,” – Psalms 68:10. In this passage, we are “my dove”.

St. Teresa of Avila affectionately called the soul a “little dove”. A person who is called a dove, is often seen as innocent, sweet and pure of intention. It is a compliment.

This is an interesting paradox to consider given that white doves are typically a strain of rock pigeon. Rock pigeons are the exact same species of pigeon that lives in cities. These are the pigeons that people call flying rats. It never ceases to amaze me how much power is in a name. Change the color and name and the exact same bird with the exact same habits turns from clean to filthy.

Consider your reputation right now. Are you trying to portray the image of purity? Do you want people to think you are honest and impeccable? Are you having issues with others seeing you as disgraced or dishonorable? Or do you know of your own baseness and you’re trying to hide it? When dove spirit animal comes on the scene, it is time to consider your struggle between beauty and ugliness and realize that we all both. The potential for either good or bad is within us no matter what color we wear.

Dove Spiritual Meaning

In the same way that butterflies are seen by human souls in Japanese mythology, doves are seen as symbols of the spirit in Christian theology. Even further, the dove is representative of the Holy Spirit as seen when a dove descended from heaven during Jesus’s baptism.

The love and strong pair bonding of dove is often used as a metaphor for spiritual devotion and union.

Do you feel the presence of the sacred in your own life? Are you waiting for a visit from your Creator? Dove spirit animal reminds us that communications from Spirit can come in very obvious forms. Do not dismiss a sign just because it is clear as day. If a sign does not come, know that blatant divine favors are not given out like candy. Some of us will only receive an unmistakeable sign once in a lifetime. Dove spirit animal is here to help us maintain our faith no matter how few or far between gifts from God are.

Peace and Pacifism

Dove brought Noah an olive branch to show that the great flood had ended. Since then, images of dove holding an olive branch demonstrate the peace that comes when the flood waters of emotion subside. Water is symbolic of emotion and wars are sparked by an excess of emotion. Where can you extend an olive branch in your life?

Remember that what is in one is in the whole. Whatever feelings of vengeance you harbor are contributing energetically to the larger conflicts between nations. Your forgiveness is needed.

Mourning Dove Symbolism

In the United States, the main species of dove we have is the mourning dove. Mourning doves are also known as “turtle doves,” which we hear about a pair of in the famous “Twelve Days of Christmas” song every holiday season. The morning dove’s slow and melodic song eases the pace of the otherwise chaotic and fast-paced birdsong that fills our world. To us the song may seem sorrowful, but for the male bird singing the song it is full of the excitement and anticipation of another year with his beloved. It is a song filled with longing and love.

 

great horned owl symbolism

Spirit Animals: GREAT HORNED OWL

The great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) is a large owl native to both North and South America. The wingspan of the larger female great horned owl is as much as 5 feet. The presence of this owl is often made apparent by her characteristic hooting that sounds like the phrase Who’s awake? Me too! Despite her excellent camouflage, the great horned owl is often spotted flying at dusk heading out to hunt for the evening.

Horns and Connection with the Heavens

The great horned owl doesn’t have actual horns, but instead has a tuft of feathers on each side of the top of her head that look like horns. Horns have long been associated with the ability to connect with the heavens and access psychic abilities. In this owl’s case the horns are symbolic rather than literal, made of fluff rather than bone.

Great horned owl symbolism is about trusting that you are connected to Source even if you don’t have physical proof. With great horned owl spirit animal, don’t expect to see material world results to your wishes and prayers. The communications, the answers to your prayers, will come as a feeling or a knowing, much in the same way that wind rustles through the “horn” feathers of the owl.

Connection to the spirit realms will feel like a whisper rather than a bolt of lightening. Luckily, great horned owl symbolism also encompasses the talent of all owls for acute hearing. You will find the remarkable ability to hear the faintest whisper of inspiration. The feathers of a great horned owl carry the power of the ability to connect to the quietude of the Divine. In the silence, you will find the support and solace you seek.

Like all owls, the great horned owl makes almost no sound when flying. This is due to special soft barbs on the edges of her flight feathers that gently push through the air. Hawks and falcons have stiff, sharp edges on their feathers that slice through the air and make much noise. Owls are designed for silence. Great horned owl meaning is about both moving with stealth and hearing what others cannot.

What Big Eyes You Have

The eyes of the great horned owl are nearly as large as ours but she is less than 2 feet tall. Her eyes, when compared to her head and body size, rank among the largest eyes of all terrestrial vertebrates.

These large eyes take in additional light, allowing the great horned owl to see well in near darkness. It then follows that great horned owl symbolism is not only about seeing in the dark, but having your eyes open wide. Great horned owl hunts at night and sleeps during the day, showing a talent for seeing into and being active in the unconscious. Great horned owl meaning lends enormous support for seeing into the shadow of our own unconscious and finding the fears and secret desires that motivate us. If you are trying to clear those skeletons out of your closet, now is a fitting time to do so.

 

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Early Starter

Great horned owl meaning is about getting an early start. The great horned owl is the earliest of nesters in North America, laying eggs from November through March depending on the climate. Obviously, she lays eggs later in the season in colder climates such as the Rocky Mountains. This gives the great horned owl a serious advantage over competitors. She is able to hunt and raise chicks when predation pressure by other hunters is low. Her chicks are also well grown by the time migratory predators, such as hawks and eagles return on their migrations from wintering grounds.

To get such an early start, the great horned owl does not leave her home. She lives with her single mate in the same territory year round. It is significant that great horned owls are most active in the winter. We typically think of the winter, and nighttime, as the times for rest and retreat.

Great horned owl medicine brings a time of contradictions. You may be active when others are quiet, and resting when the world is active. This may result in an increased dream activity or a change in your natural rhythms. Rather than be alarmed, go with the flow. The wisdom and schedule of great horned owl will help you get ahead of the game.

Ferocity of the Warrior

The male great horned owl fiercely protects his territory not only from others of his kind, but from other raptors of his size or larger. With as much as 300 psi (pounds per square inch) crushing power in his talons, his grip equals that of the much larger golden eagle. (For reference, golden eagles are three or more times the size of great horned owls.) It takes 29 lbs of force to open the talons of a great horned owl compared to a mere 6.6 lbs. for the barn owl.

Throughout the range of the great horned owl, over 500 different species of prey have been identified. The diversity of prey speaks to the ferocity of the great horned owl symbolism. She can take down prey that weigh more than she does and she easily takes down and eats most other species of hawks and owls.

Her main competition is with that of her daytime counterpart, the red-tailed hawk. These two species rarely nest close to each other because great horned owls may quickly devour the chicks in a red-tailed hawk nest. The red-tailed hawk and great horned owl inhabit the same ecological niche, eating the same prey. The great horned owl does not build her own nest. She instead takes those of other birds, including red-tailed hawks.

The way that red-tailed hawks and great horned owls are able to overlap in territory is that one rules the day and the other the night. Fierce fights still may break out between the two when they happen to cross each other’s paths.

Wise Action

The strength and courage of the great horned owl relates directly to the warrior archetype and the gift of wise action. The warrior archetype is not only known for ferocity, but loyalty. Great horned owl symbolism relates to fiercely defending what you believe in as well as staying strictly loyal to where you are most at home. You’ll be able to avoid conflicts by avoiding the busyness of the tribe and retreating into the quiet and less active areas of your life.

Do not fear the medicine of great horned owl, she will not lead you into mindlessly injuring others. Instead, she will teach you about the wise use of warrior power and the amazing gifts of strength and courage. When you turn these gifts to focus on facing your own fears, you’ll reap the most reward.

 

Spirit Animals: EAGLE, YOUR GRACE

Eagle Spirit Animal

The meaning of eagle spirit animal remains the same no matter where we look. Eagle spirit animal is the messenger of the gods and the lord of the birds. There are sixty species of eagles around the world and copious legends in every culture to match. Eagles are synonymous with the freedom, vision and enlightenment.

Eagle Eye

Eagle has a number of adaptations to his vision that allow him to see anywhere from 4 to 8 times better than humans. There are five times more light-sensitive cells in eagle’s eyes, one million cells to be exact, than in a human’s. He sees five basic colors when we see only three. He has two or three deep fovea at the back of each eye that act as telephoto lenses, which enable him to judge the distance to an object (stereoscopic vision) as well as discern details at great distances. We only have one shallow fovea per eye. Studies have shown that eagle can see a rabbit up to two miles away. Eagle also has a well-developed supraorbital ridge that shades his eyes from sunlight, reducing glare.

Eagle spirit animal offers you an opportunity to practice seeing your life differently. We all have our own perspective on things which, in relation to eagle, is short-sighted. Perspective is personal and limited by what we experience and the knowledge we gain.

Eagle symbolism teaches us how to catch a strong breeze, surrender to the will of the Divine and gain the gift of perception. As eagle soars high in the sky, he can see for miles around taking in the landscape through his senses, perceiving all. When we tap into, or merge, with The One, we no longer are limited by our own story and we see the interconnectivity of all things. This is what it means to perceive and to embody eagle medicine.

A Godly Bird

As a messenger of the Divine, eagle spirit animal has taken many forms, including those of the gods themselves. The Greek god Zeus turns into a golden eagle to wield thunder and lightening. Both Zeus and the Roman God Jupiter employ golden eagle as their emissary. In Hinduism, the great Lord Vishnu has for his favored mount the divinity “Garuda” who has the body of a human and the head and wings of an eagle. Garuda is the enemy of evil which are represented by snakes.

In the Egyptian alphabet, eagle represents the sound A, or aleph, which shows his predominance over all other birds. Garuda is also known as the king of the birds. Eagle even has his own constellation called “Aquila”.

When an animal shows up playing the same role in countless cultures, we know we’ve come upon an archetype. There is no mistaking that eagle is representative of divinity itself and harkens a time of communion with Source for those who come into conscious relationship with the eagle animal totem. Eagle spirit animal teaches us how to trust in the currents of grace to hold us aloft and how to carry lofty values with dignity. Remember not to get too caught up in the path of enlightenment.

Eagle must come to Earth to feed and rest. Dependence on the mundane existence will keep you humble and is necessary for the spiritual path. Care for the body in your soul and the soul in your body. Eagle will help show the way, uniting in you heaven and Earth.

 

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Eagle Spirit Animal & the First Shaman

The first shaman was said to be an eagle and eagles play a pivotal role in the cosmology in shamanic traditions around the world. According to the author Mircea Eliade in Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, the Buryat people of Siberia tell this story:

“The gods created man, and he lived happily until the time when the evil spirits spread sickness and death over the earth. The gods decided to give mankind a shaman to combat disease and death, and they sent the eagle. But men did not understand its language… The eagle returned to the gods and asked them to give him the gift of speech, or else to send a Buryat shaman to men. The gods sent him back with an order to grant the gift of shamanizing to the first person he should meet on earth. Returned to earth, the eagle saw a woman asleep under a tree, and had intercourse with her. Some time later the woman gave birth to a son, who became the ‘first shaman.’ According to another variant, the woman, after her connection with the eagle, saw spirits and herself became a shamaness.”

The message that eagle spirit animal brings is more than a mere edict stated in words. It should mean something to us that eagle doesn’t have a complex vocal language. The “message” eagle brings is more akin to what the story of the first shaman indicates. The eagle bestows spiritual gifts that allow us to come into service of others, the heavens, and the world. Eagle, like Garuda, helps us dispel evil first within ourselves and then in the world.

Possibility

The meaning of eagle reminds us of possibility, the kind of possibility that opens up when we rise above earthly concerns and open our minds to Source. The eagle is a symbol of freedom and courage because you need both to find God.

The reality is that, by its very nature, existence cannot have any boundary, because what will be beyond the boundary? – Again another sky… Skies upon skies are available for your flight.” – Osho Zen Tarot

Astronomers know this truth. As we develop stronger and stronger telescopes we continue to see that beyond each universe is another. Now is the time to take flight and break free from the imaginary boundaries that hold you back. There is nothing on Earth that eagle cannot soar above. Join him and know the same is true for you.

 

 

Spirit Animals: SERENE SWAN

She glides gracefully along the water, neck arched with her stately head held high. Her feathers couldn’t be any more white. They gleam and look so soft and so smooth to the touch. She’s often seen in this way, gliding on the mirror-like surface of a lake, but she takes to the wing too. Her enormous wingspan reaches out as if it may touch the ends of the sky. Her elegant neck stretches out, long and forward venturing into the vastness of the universe.

Swan Symbolism and Purity

The connection between the snow white swan and purity is obvious since the color white is synonymous with cleanliness and perfection. As we know from the story of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Ugly Duckling, swans mature into their white coats showing that even this divine beast isn’t born perfect. Those exploring swan symbolism have the opportunity to realize a purity of spirit and heart given a good dose of patience. Swans don’t reach full maturity until as late as 7 years old. A long-lived waterbird, they can live to be as old as 24.

Swan is staunchly loyal as well as fiercely protective. She mates for life and guards her mate, nest and young diligently. The long pairings and the shared care taking of the young are lovely examples of the swan symbolism and the virtue of unity.

The parents carry the young on their backs in the water to safeguard them from predatory fish. This points to a need to shelter new ideas from doubts or fears that may bubble up from under the surface of your subconscious. Her nests are sometimes built atop beaver lodges which demonstrates that the swan spirit animal is able to appreciate and prosper from the ingenuity of others. The top of the lodge is akin to the roof of a building which corresponds to higher thinking.

The Swan Song

The swan is linked to the God Apollo who is the God of music. A “swan song” is a beautiful song swan is said to sing before she dies. She is a totem for poets and singers alike. The goddess Saraswati rode a swan down a tributary of the Ganges playing her lute while holding a rosary and book. She’s known as the goddess of music, song and poetry as well as spiritual purity. It is easy to see how swans have become a symbol of romanticism, love and devotion, but there is much more to this iconic bird.

Swans and Divinity

In many cultures, Gods are known to turn into swans. The Hindu God Brahma turned to a swan to take of the challenge of flying up to find the end of the lingam of the God Shiva. He couldn’t find the top end and Vishnu couldn’t find the bottom. Both learned that they end and begin in each other.

Wohpe, otherwise known as White Buffalo Calf woman, came to earth in the form of a swan to deliver instruction on how to pray. Zeus came down and seduced Leda, wife of the king of Sparta, in the form of a swan. Their children were Castor and Pollux who make up the twins in the constellation of Gemini.

If a swan spirit animal has flown into your life, now is a good time to look for forms of the Divine disguised as gorgeous messengers.

 

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Forgetting the Sacred

There is a lake nestled in the Himalayan mountain range called Lake Manasarovar that sits at the base of the sacred Mount Kailish. In this lake is said to live a beautiful white swan that eats lotus fruit and nectar and who is visited by the Gods that come to bathe there. There are legends of the swan leaving the lake for various reasons. Some say she is cold and others say she is curious. She flies over the peaks to the plains and comes to land in muddy waters. Some say she finds it unsavory and returns home; others say she forgets the way back. In this way she is like man. She has come from the sacred, pure and without fault, but she falls into fault and in her muddiness she forgets her perfect nature.

This is the path of the mystic who finds herself in a state of despair once she discovers the imperfection of envy, greed, pride and malice that dwells within her. She feels unworthy of the love or even company of the Divine and forgets that she has wings with which to carry her back home.

Swan spirit animal can reassure us that despite the impure thoughts and emotions that plague our days, that ultimately we’ve come from God and we will return to him. The process may not be easy, especially given what we see in the story of the black swan.

 

black swan spirit animal

Story About the Black Swan

In aboriginal folklore, there is the story of a group of women who are the only people who know the secret to making boomerangs. They refuse to share the secret, so a band of men decide to steal the boomerangs from them. Two of the men turn to white swans and land on a nearby lake. The women rush to shore to view the beautiful birds and the rest of the men slip into the camp to attain the goods.

Discovering they’ve been duped, the women grow furious and chase the swans off the lake. The swans go to a neighboring lake where a pair of eagles live. The eagles attack the swans and pluck every last white feather off their body leaving them to die. A flock of crows, wanting to spite their enemies the eagles, offer their black feathers for the swan’s new coats and the swans are saved. Meanwhile, the women continue on bickering for eternity over who’s to blame for the incident. (from Oracle of the Dreamtime: Aboriginal Dreaming offers guidance for today).

Symbolism of the Black Swan

This story tells us much about the journey of the spiritual seeker who looks to attain purity and perfection in the image of God. The path to enlightenment is not paved with gold, but often suffering instead. The seeker may not even start out looking for God, but for power (the boomerang). The trial she encounters turns her toward the Divine. But the meaning of swan shows that it is not the suffering that causes the transformation, rather the faith to move on from greed, thievery, resentment, blame and vengeance.

As Thomas Merton says in No Man Is An Island, “To believe in suffering is pride, but to suffer, believing in God, is humility.” All around them, the black swans are surrounded by the evil of the world and they are laid bare because of their own treachery. They are not even saved in an act of kindness, but vengeance. All around them is dark. Still they are able to accept help without judgment and to touch the Divine with the white tips of their new wings.

Swan Spirit Animal’s Undying Faith

The constellation Cygnus (the latin word for swan) is made of the same stars as the Northern Cross. It is an interesting synchronicity that the cross, long a symbol of spiritual suffering and undying faith, is paired with swan symbolism.

To endure suffering and imperfection with a fierce faith in the One Who Moves Through All Things turns wretchedness into a gift. Swan symbolism is about learning at the core of your being your ultimate radiance and perfection. There will likely be trials along the way to remind you of the grace and virtue of maintaining a humble soul. For even pride in your perfection renders it imperfect.

If you are currently courting swan spirit animal ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do I view my own imperfection? and my own perfection?
  • What suffering has come to me to teach me about keeping my faith and releasing my faults?
  • How do I appreciate the virtue of loyalty? Who or what am I loyal to?
  • How can the swan guide me on the path to enlightenment?

 

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Spirit Animals: BARN OWL

A ghost in the shadows, he comes from behind scooping up the quiet mouse no one ever saw and only he heard. On white wings he travels off silently caring death in his talons. There is no remorse, only absolute recognition of the cleverness in him that reflects the genius of the Divine. He finds a fence post on which to perch and brings his claw adeptly up to his beak. This is his sixth meal of the night and he is no rush to fill his belly. Instead, he snaps the neck of the mouse and sits stoically with it in his talons. He owns the night, the night without moon or stars, the night that sends most creatures into hiding. With his white, heart-shaped face and pitch black eyes he is both a light in the darkness and an invitation to it.

Navigating in the Dark

Owl symbolism across all species of owls is spoken of as hearing and seeing in the dark, but no owl embodies this talent like the barn owl. Barn owls are so incredibly successful at what they do that they are found throughout the world and “are arguably the most widespread bird species on earth” [1]. There are 46 races of barn owl with the race in North America being the largest. No other owl or animal is able to outcompete them at hunting in the dark. In addition, the barn owl has adapted to human intrusion into natural habitats. He is just as comfortable nesting and hunting in a barn, hence the name, as his is in the open prairie or box canyons. Still, despite his conspicuous pale coloring,  the barn owl is rarely seen by humans. If you have had the opportunity to encounter one of these mythic beasts especially during the day, there is a significant message about fear of the unknown and the courage to navigate it that you must heed.

Do you feel like you’re groping around in the dark? Time to call on barn owl symbolism to receive help understanding what you haven’t been able to know before and making your way to the dawn.

Power of Listening

It is the excellent hearing of the barn owl that enables him to hunt in absolute darkness using sound alone. No other animal on earth has this ability. Other owls can hunt in near darkness, but they still need some measure of light to see. Being able to sense in absolute darkness speaks of the talent in ourselves to locate resources while blind. By listening deeply and intently like the barn owl spirit animal you can tap into the ability to find what you need where others may see nothing. The barn owl is able to create a “neural map” of auditory space.  Not only will barn owl symbolism help you pinpoint what you need, but he will also grant you a picture of the unknown with more detail and accuracy than any other animal.

Barn owls and eight other species have asymmetrical ear openings. One ear is higher on the barn owl’s head  than the other. This speaks of the power to listen at all levels. By integrating what we hear from above and below , we are blessed with the gift of receiving guidance from the heavens and the earth. The guidance can relate to mundane matters of the every day as well as the most profound spiritual truths. Barn owl symbolism is about being able to discern where the intuition you receive applies to and from where it comes. This could be why owls are associated with wisdom because they can hear and know what others may not.

 

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Abundant Productivity

Not only is barn owl symbolism about finding the resources we need, but an astonishing amount. Barn owl catches 3-6 mice a night for himself and just as many for each chick he helps rear. This is no small feat as barn owl clutches range from 2 to 18 eggs! He brings food to the female while she incubates the eggs and then for all of those chicks for the first two weeks of their life. Then his mate joins him for the hunt to help keep up with the voracious eaters. The amazing feat of potentially catching 50 or more mice in a night is compounded by the fact that the barn owl and his mate may raise up to three broods in a given year.

Strong signatures of barn owl symbolism are abundant creativity as well as fantastic capacity to produce well beyond what others may do. This productivity will not always be visible either since the barn owl hunts primarily at night when others are sleeping. The barn owl is monogamous which speaks of a steady commitment to what you are producing in the world.

When are you producing the most? What is your relationship to productivity? Do you wish you could produce more? Call on the barn owl spirit animal to help. Are you worried about others seeing what you’re doing? If so, now is not the time to pine for recognition. Now is the time to take advantage of the energy you have and to harness it.

Facing Fears

The barn owl has a terrifying blood curdling scream and his white underside causes him to look like a ghost. He has a calculated and solitary way about him that is different from the outgoing, hooting nature of other owls like great-horned owls. Sightings of barn owls in the wild are relatively rare. All of this combines to make his visits chilling. He have a coldness or callousness about him that reminds us of the other side of the veil and not in a friendly way. At the same time, he is a light in the darkness and can light the way for us through our own fears, nightmares, and shadows if we are brave enough to follow.

I work extensively with a barn owl in my soul retrieval work. His ability to hear and see in the dark helps me search through the unconscious and find what has been missing. Thus, for you, barn owl symbolism can help with seeking out parts of yourself that you have long neglected or forgotten. The barn owl can also help you work through fears to find the “mouse” or gift that is waiting in the darkness.

He mostly swallows his prey whole after breaking the prey’s neck to kill it, but he can also dissect and eat the mice piece by piece with surgical precision. So much about these creatures is detached and distant. When he looks at us with his black eyes he appears to see straight through us. Is there a person or circumstance you need to distance yourself from? Have you seen the dark side of the situation and find a need to think analytically about it without getting your emotions involved?

This may be one of the most productive times in your life if you get the timing right and open your senses beyond the ordinary. The fruits of what you do may not “show” in the world for a long time or to many people, but that is not the point. The point is to join the barn owl in mapping the unknown and allowing the gifts to flow in as a result.

 

I recommend you check out the “Barn Owl Cam” at Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website for an opportunity to see video footage of barn owls in their nest. There is nothing happening live outside of the breeding season but you can page through the video clips under the live stream to see highlights from the previous breeding season. Very fun! http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/42/Barn_Owls/

[1] The Birder’s Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds by Paul R. Ehrlick, David S. Dobkin, and Darryle Wheye.