Tuesday, March 25, 2008

on another note entirely - bird totems

I'm keenly aware of the close encounters I have with birds, and often consult Ted Andrews' wonderful book Animal Speak to read up on what these encounters might have to say to me.

Today I had three separate sightings. This morning two ravens were right by the barn when I went out, and they flew up into a nearby tree where they stayed while I fed breakfast. Ravens have to do with omens and magic, shapeshifting and creation.

A little later I walked outside and a red-tailed hawk flew out of the butterfly bush right by the door. It circled the house and barn 7 times before flying away. These are messenger birds, catalysts, with ties to the kundalini, primal life force. It portends extending the vision of one's life.

This evening a heron flew overhead. Herons symbolize balance and the ability to progress and evolve. It speaks to following one's own path.

Keil Bay was surrounded by blackbirds today, right up by the barn while I groomed him. Blackbirds are symbols of omens and mysticism. They flew away when I approached and returned each time I left to get another brush.

Lots to simmer as the week unfolds.


the7msn said...

Thanks for your avian insights, Billie. "Animal Speak" sounds like a book I'd better add to my shelf. I've had two ravens hanging out in the barn for most of the winter. If I forget to turn on the lights before going to feed the boys their bedtime snack, I manage to wake up the ravens and they fly down from the trusses and scare the beejeezus out of me. It's not pretty. There are a bazillion other places to sleep out here, but no....they've got to sleep in my barn. Can't imagine what they're trying to say to me.

billie said...

Oh my gosh, Linda - this is the most exciting thing I've read in awhile!

One of my long-time fantasies is to have a barn-owl - but a pair of ravens is even better.

A bit more from Ted Andrews:

The Norse god Odin had a pair of ravens who were his messengers. Their names were Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory). Odin was known to shapeshift as a raven himself. This reflects the idea of raven being a messenger of the great spiritual realm.


If raven has come into your life, expect magic. Somewhere in your life magic is at play. Raven activates the energy of magic, linking it with your will and intention.

I highly recommend this book if you're in the least interested in mythology, symbols, archetypes, etc. He also has other books that are equally fascinating.

Thanks so much for sharing this - between your herd photos today and the ravens in your barn, you've made my entire week! :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

That's very interesting, I have heard that red cardinals are bad luck, have you any information on them. Also this probably means nothing but a few years ago we had a racing pigeon land at our barn for a winter rest and he never left but proceeded to find a wild pigeon wife who later had little baby pigeons."Homer" and the family were still there when we left for our new place. I'm sure having a pigeon means nothing except that he was too lazy to fly home and found an easier life with us.

billie said...

Arlene, for cardinal:

The cardinal's presence reflects a time to renew our vitality. It reflects lessons in developing and accepting a new sense of our own true self-importance.

For pigeon (and this is fascinating given your story):

The pigeon is an unusual bird. Although most people think of it as a city bird, it is also tied to very gentle and loving archetypal energies. It has an extraordinary homing sense - symbol for a time or need to return to the security of love and home.

It sounds like your pigeon retired from his job and found a lovely home in the country to raise his family!

I'm just typing in the briefest quotes - each bird and animal and insect has pages of info in Andrews' book.

Thanks for sharing - I love the story of Homer and that he stayed with you!

billie said...

Meant to say - my personal message from a close encounter with a cardinal is that I need to go buy that very nice pair of riding breeches I'm drooling over. :)

Now I just need to have the encounter with the cardinal!

Janet Roper said...

You have been blessed in two ways: first, with these magnificent messengers from the heavens. Second, the numbers 3 and 7 are auspicious numbers: 3, a reflection of the trinity and self expression in many ways, and 7, an intelligent seeker of knowledge. I'm not up on sacred geometry, but you have the triangle and the square, the sides equaling 7. It would be interesting to explore the message behind the sacred geometry.

It's fascinating that hawk came out of the butterfly bush.

Ted Andrews is amazing. I've signed up twice to take a workshop with him, and they were both canceled due to lack of interest. Darn. Dr. Steven Farmer (Doreen Virtue's husband) has written 'Animal Spirit Guides' a guide to the significance of approximately 200 animals. Between those two books, one can gain a comprehensive knowledge of the animals. Ted Andrews also has the animal cards, which are fun to work with.

By the way, there's a deck of cards based on the wisdom of the horse. It's called Touched by a Horse, Whispers from a Horse's Heart 52 cards for daily inspiration. The artwork is beautiful and the messages are thought provoking. They can be ordered at www.touchedbyahorse.com.

Thanks for sharing such a spiritual moment in your life.


billie said...

Janet, I'm eager to get the book you suggested as well as the cards. I know Linda Kohanov has some cards out now, but I haven't gotten them yet.

Funny about numbers - 7 is and has always been a prominent number in my life. For many years my telephone numbers and street addresses all had lots of 7's. There was a brief couple of years where 8 figured prominently. When we moved here, we got issued a phone number that had lots of 7's, and I was not surprised. But the day it was turned on, they sent someone out to say they had to change the number. 1's and 3's! And suddenly I'm in the 1 and 3 period. :)

Since about 2003 I have had 3 ravens following me pretty much everywhere. They came to our old house, to my old office, to my new office, here, on vacations, etc. Finally now there are entire flocks of ravens, but I still see groups of 3 a lot of the time.

I can't imagine being able to take a workshop with Ted Andrews! But even more, I can't imagine there being a lack of interest! I hope you get to do that sometime. I imagine it would be a lovely experience.

Janet Roper said...

Hi Billie,
Numbers have an incredible influence on our lives - I work with the number 6 ~ the total sums of my phone numbers, address and other important numbers add up to 6 - even the membership number on my card for my community center! Whenever possible, I consciously use the number 6, for instance my license plate is 'Harmoni' adding up to 6, and the auction I'm hosting to benefit animals at my Humane Society is called Circle of 6 Auction (if you want details, check out http://talk2theanimals.net/?cat=3).

Thanks for saying Linda has some cards available - I'll check those out.

Here's wishing you a 7 day ;-)

billie said...

Janet, this is interesting - I just added up my phone number and address (separately) and each one adds to 7.

I don't know much about numerology or sacred geometry but both are very intriguing to me.

A funny quirk - if I break a piece of writing with asterisks, etc. I always do either 3 or 7.

And the spacing in all my novels, spacing down from top for the chapter titles, down from those for the beginning of the text, etc. are always 7 spaces.

I seem to think in sevens.

Janet Roper said...

Check out this book: Numerology by Hans Decoz, available at Amazon.com.

More number stuff - are you familiar with the enneagram? A study of personalities based on the numbers 1 - 9. Check out http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/

What novels?

billie said...

I'll check that book out as well. I am familiar with enneagrams but not knowledgeable at all. I went to the website and reminded myself about them. Very interesting.

Novels - three that are unpublished as of now. The first one has been agented 2x and shopped at a number of big houses. Great responses but no sale. I have just now put that one aside and will focus on novels two and three, both complete but still being edited. I also have a YA novel in very early progress.

Believe me, when something sells, I will take great pleasure in very loudly announcing it here and starting the month-long celebration that will ensue. :)

Victoria Cummings said...

Bilie- I'm a couple of days behind on my blog-reading, so it amused me, but didn't surprise me that I blogged about birds in my barn today (Thurs.) and now, I'm reading that you were also having bird encounters this week. Ted Andrews is very astute. Linda Kohanov's horse cards, Way of the Horse, are excellent. I'll have to check out Janet's other recommendations. By the way, barn owls prefer to live in pairs and mate for life. They are really fascinating to watch. Their babies are adorable.

billie said...

V, the idea of a barn owl couple and the prospect of baby barn owls just makes me want them more!

Funny that we are both writing about birds so close in time. Our seasons have finally synched up!

Victoria Cummings said...

Check out this site - it tells you how to attract barn owls - barnowlvideo.com/attract.html. If my barn was more than a falling down shed, I'd try to entice a couple. Once my dream barn is built, they will come....

billie said...

Wow! Thanks for that great link. What a great project for us - I hope it works.