Animal Connection, Lesson 3

I am the wind that blows across the sea;
I am the wave of the deep;
I am the roar of the ocean;
I am the stag of seven battles;
I am the hawk on the cliff;
I am a ray of sunlight;
I am the greenest of plants;
I am a wild boar;
I am a salmon in the river;
I am a lake on the plain;
I am the word of knowledge;
I am the point of a spear;
I am the lure beyond the ends of the earth;
I can shift my shape like a god.

 

     ~~ Amergin ~~

WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM OF BIRDS

Most of the time the birds we see in the sky or in the trees are taken for granted.  We don't really see them.  They've become commonplace.  I'm not sure many people would notice if they were gone.  However birds were very important in ancient societies.  Because they flew between heaven and earth, birds were considered divine messengers.  In Norse mythology, the god Odin had two ravens Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory) as his messengers.  Quetzlecoatl, the Central American god of air, was depicted as a feathered serpent.  Native Americans had the Thunder Bird as a spirit creature of great power and might.  Horus (Egyptian) was depicted  with a hawk's head.  Maat, (Egyptian Goddess of Truth, carries a vulture feather.

Many mythological tales contained winged animals such as Pegasus, a Greek winged-horse; the Harpies which were winged women; and the Griffin which was a winged combination of animals with a bird's head.

One of the most well-known "birds" was the Phoenix which was burned as a sacrifice and then rose from the ashes.

Question:  Can you think of any other bird representations?

                What do you think is meant by the rising of the Phoenix?

 

 

On The Wings Of An Eagle (Unknown)

Oh, my home is in the mountains, I am free, I am free.
I am one with wind and eagles, I am free. Given wings to sail in gracefulness, the sky, the sky.
Given a voice to sing in breathlessness, I find that I can fly, fly away.

I致e been a long time on the highway, I致e been a long time on the run.
And it gets to be like chaos when I知 so long away from home.
And sometimes it痴 just to much to bare and I hide behind my eyes.
I can picture friendly faces and I can dream of friendly skies.
And I guess that I知 a lucky one for the truth of what I know.
For my heart had not denied me and I have somewhere to go.
I shall never be a prisoner of steel and glass and stone.
If I leave, I will return again to my Rocky Mountain home.

Oh, my home is in the mountains, I am free, I am free.
I am one with wind and eagles, I am free. Given wings to sail in gracefulness, the sky, the sky.
Given a voice to sing in breathlessness, I find that I can fly, fly away.

In the hands of my father, in the light of the sunshine. On the wings of an eagle, I知 flying again.
I知 flying again, I知 flying again, I知 flying again, I知 flying again.
Birds are symbols of transcendence - rising about lower natures.  They reflect a union of the conscious mind with the unconscious and the achievement of full realization.  They are associated with aspiration, flights of intuition, beauty and levitation, creative imagination, and have the ability to awaken our own flights of magic.

Having excellent vision, they teach us to see what is ahead and through their migration, how to make changes through movement.  Using their instinct, they respond quickly and appropriately to outside stimuli.  

Birds have a very high metabolic rate which is necessary to accommodate flying.  Through proper breathing techniques etc., we are taught by them to increase our own metabolism.

And - of course, birds are associated with the element of air. "With the air as their domain, all birds are the air's representatives.  Since they move between the earth and sky, between one realm and the next, and overcome gravity, birds can teach us how to life ourselves up, how to rise above struggles.  Through them we learn to make our wishes reality and learn to empower our thoughts." (Animal-Wise  by Ted Andrews).

If there are a lot of birds in our lives, we may need more mental stimulation.  Birds can show us how to obtain wisdom through our life struggles and obtain intellectual freedom.  

Question:  Are there any other ways that birds influence our lives?

Calypso

To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean, to ride on the crest of the wild raging storm.
To work in the service of life and the living, in search of the answers to questions unknown.
To be part of the movement and part of the growing, part of beginning to understand.
Aye, Calypso, the place's you've been to, the things that you've shown us, the stories you tell.
Aye, Calypso, I sing to your spirit, the men who have served you so long and so well.

Like the dolphin who guides you, you bring us beside you
to light up the darkness and show us the way.
For though we are strangers in your silent world, to live on the land we must learn from the sea.
To be true as the tide and free as a wind swell, joyful and loving in letting it be.
Aye, Calypso, the place's you've been to, the things that you've shown us, the stories you tell.
Aye, Calypso, I sing to your spirit, the men who have served you so long and so well.
Aye, Calypso, the place's you've been to, the things that you've shown us, the stories you tell.
Aye, Calypso, I sing to your spirit, the men who have served you so long and so well.

~~~~~John Denver ~~~

FEATHER MAGIC

Aren't feathers neat?  Don't you just want to stroke one and imagine the gift of flight that it enables? Children especially love feathers.  They will hold them up and fly with the wind......ah, the imagination of the young! Maybe we should do the same!

Feathers, associated with flight, can be a form of communication with the Divine.  They are a symbol of accomplishment, of balance, and of the wind. 

Every feather can become a sacred object - a fetish - believed to have mystical or magical powers.  Often used as a tool, a feather can help us connect with the more ethereal energies of life. Think of one as being an antenna to the spirit world.  They can be a physical expression of reverence and prayer, or they can be a tool for protection and healing.

Native Americans were especially known for feather magic.  Did you ever wonder why they wore them braided in their hair?  It was an easy way to activate and align with the energies of their bird totem.   It was a way of honoring it and a constant reminder of its influence in their lives.

There are several ways to protect and enhance the power of your feather: (1) If not being used, wrap it in silk or cloth, (2) Store with sage to keep them more vibrant and stop deterioration, (3) Occasionally take them out and "energize" them, (4) Occasionally smudge them with sage, (5) Feathers love sound (part of the power of air). So sing or chant to them.

Question:  What does a feather mean to you?  How would you use it? Wear it?

 

There are children raised in sorrow
on a scorched and barren plain
there are children raised beneath the golden sun
There are children of the water,
children of the sand
and they cry out through the universe
their voices raised as one

I want to live, I want to grow
I want to see, I want to know
I want to share what I can give
I want to be, I want to live

Have you gazed out on the ocean
seen the breaching of a whale?
Have you watched the dolphins frolic in the foam?
Have you heard the song the humpback hears
five hundred miles away
Telling tales of ancient history
of passages and home

I want to live, I want to grow
I want to see, I want to know
I want to share what I can give
I want to be, I want to live

For the worker and warrior, the lover and the liar
For the native and the wanderer in kind
For the maker and the user and the mother and her son

We are standing all together
face to face and arm in arm
We are standing on the treshold of a dream
No more hunger, no more killing
no more wasting like a way
It is simply an idea
and I know its time has come

I want to live, I want to grow
I want to see, I want to know
I want to share what I can give
I want to be,
I want to live, I want to grow
I want to see, I want to know
I want to share what I can give
I want to be, I want to live
I want to live, I want to grow
I want to see, I want to know
I want to share what I can give
I want to be, I want to live
I want to live, I want to live
             ~~~John Denver ~~
When you start to work with bird totems, ask yourself these questions:

1.  What color is it?  Remember that colors are symbolic.

2.  What size is it?  Caution: Bigger does not mean greater power.

3.  What shape is it? Such characteristics as a long neck can be very symbolic.

4.  How does it act?  Behavior is unique for each type of bird.

5.  How does it fly? and does it migrate? Where?  Remember that directions are very symbolic.

6.  Where is it from?  Was it brought into your area or is it actually native?

7.  When is it usually seen?

8.  What does it sound like?

9.  What does it eat?

10.  When does it procreate?

11.  What kind of environment does it live in?

Can you think of any other questions you should consider?

 

WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM OF THE SEA!

We are just briefly going to go over the kingdom of the sea - aquatic life!

There's a lot of symbolism surrounding the sea and its creatures.  Ancient mythology included tales of life springing from the primal waters.  The sea has always been full of mystery, power and magic.  One of the least explored habitats of the earth, we know little about its environment and the live in it.

Many traditions include marine life in their beliefs.  The Hindus consider Vishnu the savior to be fish.  It was as a fish that he saved humanity during the Great Flood.  The Goldfish is Varuna.  The Buddhists consider Buddha to be the Fisher of Men as is Jesus in Christianity.  Christianity also used the fish to symbolize baptism, immortality and resurrection. The Chinese consider fish to represent wealth, regeneration, and harmony.  Their goddess Kuan Yin has the fish as an emblem. In Scandinavia, fish was eaten on the Feast of the Great Mother which was celebrated on Friday (named for the goddess Freya).

Early pagans in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, France and Celtic countries used the "three fish with one head" symbol to represent divinity.  It was later adapted by early Christians.

Can you think of any other fish symbols that were used in the past or are used today?

Of course, the kingdom of the sea represents the element water - symbol for birth, death, creativity.  Being formless, it has rhythm and movement, time and change.  Associated with dreams and the astral world, water affects our emotions, intuition, and inspiration.  With water, we find healing, heightened powers and increased psychic ability.  Ever-changing and yet always the same, the great seas have no beginning and no end.  Their waters are purifying sources of great mystery, each with their own unique spirits and energies.  Even lakes, rivers, ponds, streams have their own spirits and energies.

Sea life symbolizes independence, potential, and possibilities.  Having developed the ability to adapt to all aquatic environments, sea life teaches us how to adapt.  They show us our currents of life and how to swim in them.  

Water is the creative element of life.  It is also destructive.  This makes it both a source of life and of death.  Water adjusts to its environment.  Consider how it has no shape of its own but adapts to its "container".  It flows over or around obstacles.  It is a natural shapeshifter. 

Water teaches us to creatively express ourselves, to use our psychic gifts, and to become more emotionally involved in life.  Water balances our energy and heals us.  How does going to the seashore make you feel?

Water is the home of dreams and has a life of its own.  It is the most traveled path into the dream world, into the Faerie Realm, and into new life.  

Anything connected with water connects us to fluidness, emotions, and the feminine side of life.  It teaches us to use emotions creatively and productively, to develop our intuition and imagination, to open ourselves to healing.

As the womb of life, we emerge more empowered and strong.

"All creatures of the waters have certain amazing characteristics.  These  characteristics reflect the creative opportunities that exist within the waters of our own life.  Each has had to adapt to part of the watery environment that is very different from our own.  Thus all fish and sea life teach us how to be ever more creative in adapting to our life circumstances - for our health, our growth, and our spirituality.  Through them we lean creative and beneficial ways to express and use our emotions - no matter how different our life environments have have been from other people. " 

~Ted Andrews~ 

Salmon

Just for the fun of it......let's look at the salmon.

Considered by the Celts to be a sign of sacred wells and healing waters, it symbolized foreknowledge of events.  The Haida had tales of Salmon Boy who was a healer teaching about life and death, giving and receiving, and transformation.

Salmon (sockeye) begin life in the headwaters of a river.  From there they travel to the ocean where they commence a six-year journey only to travel at the end back to their place of birth.  The journey back takes place over approximately 1500 miles of obstacles especially waterfalls.  They return to spawn and then die.

The salmon have a sixth sense that alerts them to other animals in the area through the detection of pressure changes. If the salmon appears in your life, you will also have this sixth sense which is especially useful if you are a healer.  It allows you to sense changes in the bodies of those being healed.  We also need to see if we need to take a pilgrimage of our own or if we have just concluded one.  Either way, our life will never be the same.

Salmon keywords: persistence, maturity, homeward, trust in feelings, spiritual journey

What does the salmon mean to you?

ANIMAL SPIRIT GUIDE MEDITATION

(Another meditation to connect with your animal spirit guide)

1. If at all possible, get out into the open countryside or a quiet corner of a large park.  Though your guide can find you anywhere you will be more accessible when you are open to the sky and nature.

2.  Wear comfortable clothing.  The surface you rest on is up to you, but be prepared to sit for as long as you need.  Avoid using distracting incense or music.

3.  Look around with your eyes, listen with your ears, smell with your nose, and feel with your skin until you are in touch with the rhythms of this part of the world.  Think of these rhythms playing out year after year, century after century.

4.  Close your eyes.  You'll continue to hear and smell, but your mind will supply your vision without the distractions of the outside world.

5.  Unless you're an experienced meditator, your mind will wander, and various creatures will appear.  The first one you see is not necessarily yours.  Talk to each one that comes along and try to feel what its message might be.

6.  Your true guide has something more important to say to you than just flattery or condemnation.  Guides don't want to take over - they have lives of their own - but they can show you ways in which you can take charge.

7.  Don't be discouraged if at first you don't feel that you've contacted your true animal spirit guide.  Consider what you learned from the experience.  Would you be more comfortable in different surroundings?  At a different time of the day? Try again another day and you might be surprised by your success.

8.  Once you've found your guide, you'll see him time and time again.  He may be in your dreams, or in the glance of a stranger.  But forevermore, he will be your personal guide.

 ~Body, Mind, Spirit~

   

 Please send your answers to me: nimue@spiralmagick.com

 

                                                                   CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE FINISHED LESSON THREE!

                       Animal Connection, Lesson 4