“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.”
~ Terry Tempest Williams, from “When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice”
For some, bird allies, guides or messengers carry a spiritual or religious message. For some, they symbolize freedom and higher vision or higher knowledge. And, of course, each bird carries its own wisdom or medicine, and – as a messenger — at times a unique message or lesson just for our Self, such as my first encounter with a huge snowy owl many years ago that foretold the passing of a dear friend. In the Kwakwaka’wakw (aka Kwakiutl) Nation of BC, tradition says that if one hears the owl call your name, death is imminent. And that was true for for me, as I heard the owl call my friend Roger’s name.
Lately it seems my messengers have all been winged. Every day, my awareness is drawn to the birds around me: crows, eagles, cranes, hummingbirds, bushtits, chickadees, robins, starlings, flickers, stellar jays and more. Sometimes their Medicine is revealed quickly. At other times, it is given quickly but understood slowly, revealing itself like a mosaic or jigsaw puzzle, each separate fragment a glimpse into the whole.
Perhaps the birds are reminding me that my voice is changing…. perhaps they are reminding me that there is greater healing when we embrace joy… perhaps they are reminding me to sing my song.
Have you created a relationship with a specific bird ally, guide or messenger?
Let me tell you a story …
One of my most precious moments — and message from a bird ally — happened about 24 years ago. My father and I climbed Huayna Picchu, the peak overlooking Machu Picchu in Peru. We sat at the top, sipping coca tea, savouring the moment and the stillness that wrapped us like s blanket… so pleased that we had achieved this, despite my bad knees and my father’s bad back!
We sat there, looking at the high Andes all around us, and looking down at the beautiful remains of the Inca city Machu Picchu far below. The air was incredibly fresh and crisp and clean. Everything around us seemed to vibrate at a higher energy. And then we felt a slight breeze… a disruption in the flow of air around. We looked up to see a magnificent condor floating above us… effortless… wings spread. Breathtaking.
And in that magical moment, neither of us even thought of taking a picture. Somehow, it would have spoiled that moment of connection with the Condor. So the condor pic above was downloaded from Pixabay (credit in caption), and the pic above of my father and I was taken at the summit, after we saw the condor!
It is said that Condor reminds us to connect with Spirit and our visions… to see our Self… to soar above our limitations (real or not) and to look squarely at what is possible, rather than what is not. And on that day, Condor reminded us that we had done just that… we believed in our selves, we climbed that mountain, we reached that summit and we breathed in that ancient Inca knowledge all around us.
What wisdom (medicine) have your bird allies and messengers brought to you?
What is it that birds want you to remember about your voice that you might have forgotten?