Interpreting Animal Signs

I was just thinking the other day that Animal signs are much like Oracle cards. They provide a large encompassing wisdom but when read together with the events of the day, and what/when it happens is how that wider wisdom can be narrowed to have a personal meaning.

I’ve been meaning to put together a short hand list of what these Animal Guides mean personally to me in order to provide you some ideas on how they work and provide guidance and assistance. The following is just my personal experience. I am sure they will have different wisdom to impart to you.

OWL

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Owl definitely deserves top spot with me. He was the first to take me down the Path. The most important thing to know about Owl is that the different species of Owls impact the message. For example, the two that make themselves most known to me is Great Horned Owl and the Barred Owl.

Great Horned Owl is about seeing to the Heart of Things, Unmasking the Deceivers, but also keeping that wisdom to myself. Except for his mate, the Great Horned is a loner and he likes it that way. He is the direct opposite of another one of my Bird Guides, the Red Tail Hawk.

One of the most interesting actions I saw was two Red Tail Hawks sitting high in a very mature Oak tree, on the pasture fence below them was a huge Great Horned Owl. These are species that do not share territory, yet here they were in the early morning hours seen on my way to work. Hmmm!

The Great Horned Owl is often attacked by other birds, especially Crows or Ravens, but also by Hawks due to nesting behaviors. Appearance of attacking behavior may mean you will be under attack yourself, especially because of how others perceive you and definitely for any abilities you have to see past the obvious and behind their masks.

It’s you against the Mob Mind when you see a Great Horned Owl being attacked. Tread carefully but also have confidence in yourself and your knowledge.

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Barred Owl has a gentler message. Her large black eyes and beautiful song of “Who-Cooks-for-you” centers around the voice. Using wisdom and choosing the right time to speak your truth and also being heard. She has shared her death with me many times and all the Owl burials I’ve done has been Barred Owl.

Be sure to identify your Owl and learn about them! They may be there for you over the long term or just there to awaken your inner wisdom.

RABBIT

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This photo (above) is a wild Swamp Rabbit that came to our place in Missouri looking for assistance or perhaps dropping me a message. It arrived, stayed for a few days, and just as mysteriously vanished (I hope not in an Owl or Hawk’s beak).

My birth year is associated with the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. For awhile I thought Rabbit was an Animal Guide but I’ve come to realize that Rabbit is an Animal Sign (for me). To clarify, Rabbit doesn’t talk to me but does appear to give me notice of events.

Rabbit is about feast and famine, the revolving changing times between being up and down. Starting and Stopping. Fecundity. For me personally, Rabbit is closely tied to money: gaining it or suffering the consequences of not having it.

Sunday I saw two wild rabbits at the barn. I used to see them all the time but this last year not so much. I told Grenwinae that money was on its way, and sure enough I made $200 that weekend from my Etsy store and last month was almost as good financially as December. But with feast comes famine, because my appointment at the Oral Surgeon yesterday has brought the news I’ll need surgery on a previous root canal tooth.

VULTURE

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I’ve written about Vulture many times so I won’t go into a lot of depth here but to recap, She is about several primary things: 1.) Crone Wisdom; 2.) the Transition that must happen for you to achieve the next Spiritual Level; and 3.) seeing Beauty in the face of the Ugly.

In Egyptian lore, Vulture had to eat the body in order to release the Soul. If She is busy in your life, prepare for a great transition. You will suddenly release something that has been heavy on your spirit and move onward. She, though, is a gentle Midwife.

Like Owls, I’ve found different messages due to species. There is the Black Vulture which for me always denotes something about family; and the Turkey Vulture which is more Crone Wisdom and transitioning from one state to another.

HAWK

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Hawks are still the most constant of my Animal Guides. I see them practically every day. Not every day do they have a message and working with them has helped me understand when an Animal event is significant and when it’s just a “hey, hello” passer by appearance.

Hawk, like Wolves, is a very popular Animal Guide. One thing to be aware of when working with Hawk (out of all the Animals I’ve personally worked with) is that He doesn’t give a Fuck about you or your stupid problems. He gives the message and if you don’t follow it, He will just shrug and move on. He is not there to pamper or coddle you and absolutely refuses to do so. People who talk baby-talk to wild animals are not going to get far with Hawk.

For my geographical area, the most commonly spied Hawk, is the Red Tail Hawk. He has long lifted my spirits – When I was in my early 20’s and would drive home from Oklahoma City to Dallas, seeing the Red Tail always gave me soaring feelings of happiness and freedom.

Red Tail is about open space, freedom to see everything, the Big Picture. Go higher and look wider for answers. Red Tail is about Messages – communication. Usually whatever he is telling me about will happen within 10 days.

Because of his Red Tail, He is often connected to the Root/Base Chakra and Kundalini. He is life source and energy, tied to the Sun.

If you are lucky enough to see a Red Tail catch and feed upon prey, you will soon see success with something such as a project or speculation. If you see him being attacked by Crows or Ravens, be especially aware of police cars and speeding (haha that has been my personal experience!).

Red Tails’ message is usually very direct, no ambiguity, although I can’t say the same for another Hawk that I work with: Coopers Hawk.

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Cooper is a Woodland Hawk that is often mistaken with the Sharp Skinned Hawk, though the message is probably similar between these two because of likenesses in habitat, hunting and nesting.

Cooper works within the tight quarters of dense trees and the urban landscape. He is the Master of Guerilla attacks. I’ve seen him fly through my urban neighborhood like a jet plane, zooming over stockade fences and using them, as well as trees, to hide his approach to his favorite prey – smaller birds at urban bird feeders. He has appeared out of nowhere and threw himself into a dense hedge to emerge with his prey.

Fearless. Focused. Targeted. And sometimes Headstrong.

You either are being cautioned quite strongly or being urged quite strongly to use stealth. If you are thinking of telling someone about your job hunt and Cooper appears – thing again about blabbing!

For example, when we were in Missouri working on the yard, Cooper Hawk followed us around all day. The next day, Grenwinae was blindsided at work with a poor performance review that was all based upon office politics.

Whenever Cooper appears be on high alert and be very, very wary.

FALCON

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I’ve occasionally had some signs from Peregrine Falcon. This is a new bird to me so what I have to offer is little at this junction.

The biggest thing you need to remember? The Falcon kills it prey DUE TO IMPACT. It is the force of his momentum which actually kills when he hits, at 200 MPH!!, his victim. Like Cooper, he also uses stealth as he flies above (like fighter pilots in WWI) to mask his intent to those below.

Be extremely focused – extremely ready – and when the opportunity happens strike like lightening. Hold nothing back and go in with all guns blazing.

PS I’ll go into other animals another time, I’ve got to be heading off for my day.

 

 

 

Goodbye Sweet Prince

“Now cracks a noble heart.
Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

The week prior, Vulture had made Her presence known and I knew we were reaching the end of our time together.

Tuesday I had my senior horse (I won’t use him name as I try to keep this blog anonymous to a degree) humanely euthanized. With cooperation from the landowner and my vet, I was able to walk to the back of the property where he could quietly and with little drama, be allowed to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

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As we walked there, near the end of our journey, two hawks came down and circled us. Probably a mated pair, giving their support and reminding me to lean on Grenwinae. I was fortunate that Grenwinae took off from work because it was so, so very hard.

Grenwinae told me afterwards that when he was giving him Reiki, he replied he was tired of having to do his job (looking after the pony girls) and was ready for his well deserved rest.

He came to me half starved, probably about 600 pounds underweight the victim of a selfish teenager (shown below) with the dent on his nose where a halter had compressed his skin. This photo was from a few days after I fed him up. For those with experienced eyes, you can see the weight loss in the neck and legs; winter coat and the angle I took this photo conceals the backbone and ribs that were evident:

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He was a horse I needed that I didn’t know I needed. He stood by me, teaching me things, and telling me that I could do this. He was the only horse I have ever seen canter with using three legs, and the weight bearing hind leg was off the ground! He could levitate when he wanted but generally he just liked to poke around, heavy on the forehand and convince beginner riders he wasn’t capable of much more.

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Even when times were tough he was giving me his all with a huge shoulder to lean and cry on. He showed me how to tough it up and take it on the chin, even if that meant leaning on the ropes, waiting for the bell to ring.

Like most Thoroughbreds, his heart was bigger then his brain. He was stoic through a lot of pain. When he fractured his pelvis, I had doubts he would ever walk again and he proved me wrong. He would and could endure. The day he took his first step outside of the stall into his expanded recovery paddock, I literally wept tears of joy.

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However, these last five years the melanomas (which is common in gray horses) were causing him a lot of pain and had doubled in size. These were located under his tail and on his penis, as well as (an educated guess) they were inside and also growing.

Twice these had burst and required antibiotics and constant cleanings to drain the foul smelling oily tar, puss and blood they produced. I was glad to care for him, but the reality is there is no cure for Melanomas in horses and it was just something to endure, like his other injuries and failing immune system.

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This last year I could not keep weight on him and this last three months, ribs were showing and weight continued to be dropped. The dew poisoning around his hooves, which he had never been able to get rid of, had increased in size and in sensitivity.

Two weeks ago I was finding blood in his stools.

Although he looked alert and was still eating, I didn’t know if I would come out to find him dead or dying. I didn’t have competent help at the barn to call me; my vet is 45 minutes away. We were out of town more and more. It became a daily worry what state I would find when I arrived at the barn.

He ended up hurting himself on the fence so this last week I had kept him up at the barn and separated, though he could still see his pony girls. In hindsight, this gave me time and peace of mind to reconnect and say a long goodbye. To spoil him with extra care, treats and grooming.

But it also cemented the inner knowledge I would need to make the Adult Decision we all have to make as pet owners.

This picture (below) was taken a few days before the passing of my mare due to illness about 8 years ago.  He was her constant companion as you can see.

He can run with her now.

Swift speed to you my dear boy and may you find pastures full of plenty mares all needing their Hero. They are calling for you. Go my sweet, silly boy.

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Owl reminds me

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Little Owl, Athena noctua

Driving to the barn this weekend with Grenwinae and in our path was a dead raptor. Well, that message was pretty clear so we turned back and Grenwinae gathered up the body in a sack to take home for burial.

He dug a hole were I asked – inside our yard, front the back gate to the greenbelt area. When he opened the bag and removed our bird, I understood. I had been expecting a hawk but instead it was a Barred Owl. The Owl that had begun all this business back in Missouri.

We buried Owl in the dark with ceremony. A Tigers Eye was gifted along with herbs. He is near the other Owls and their Hoots.

That night I had a confusion of Dreams. The last image in my mind before waking, was of me, a small Athena Owl on my shoulder.

*~*~*~*~*

I have neglected the spiritual side of things. I’ve always been good at entering the labyrinth and fighting monsters but not so good at bringing back the hidden knowledge.

Deer

Over the weekend, we saw a group of deer on the trip back from the barn. They were a bachelor group, sporting small horn, they jostled each other to show off their manly ways. All of them survived deer hunting season probably because of their antlers were too small as trophies.

This morning, I saw a group of does. Flagging their tails as they made it up the hill.

Hawk states: mail is coming

About 10 days ago, I was pulling into my suburban neighbor and who should be sitting on my brick mailbox at the curb but my neighborhood Red Tail Hawk. I got a close up view during my turn into the drive before he took off, flying between the alley of my house and a neighbors (one of his favorite flight plans).

I had the feeling that yes, literally, a snail mail message was coming.

That could be good or bad. Hm…. Unlike the message about the bankruptcy ending, I don’t feel that it is that big. I don’t get a feeling that it is bad but if it is I’ll deal with it.

I did see a hawk a few days ago who sailed away with a faint message of: coming soon.

I did get some weird mail from the Missouri State University in Springfield yesterday. It was a bill – that seems to be a fuck up on their part (I think they have me confused with a student that skipped town and they are trying to locate) and I’ll know more Monday.

Or it could be good, like some money I would like from sources that could gift it to me if they were feeling especially kindly.

I was hesitate to post this because, after all, what if nothing happens? What if I’m just dreaming all these “animal messages?” I guess we shall see.

 

 

my life right now is complicated

I’ve been absent from the blog as I’ve been consumed with work, my children and my horses. I am living in the vortex of a huge amount of stress and this morning had this dream that woke me up at 4 a.m. (you might have seen my earlier post about my daughter – I deleted it because ranting here about my soon to be 18 year old offspring is not what I do and that was done in a fit of rage and frustration):

I was driving a car with husband as passenger in the front seat. Ahead of me on the horizon, I saw some stormy weather and was just starting to comment we might want to look at the news when the top of the car was ripped off by a tornado.

I was sucked upwards, as if I had gone completely weightless. I looked down and could see my husband who was looking up. I shouted down to him and felt a deep loss I wouldn’t see him again (because of course I was going to die).

The wind around me got faster and was starting to spin me more towards the heart of the action.

My thoughts became panicked and desperate. If I kept going up, I was going to die and I just didn’t really want to do that. I started swimming with my arms trying to rotate myself and “dive” back down.

About this time, I started coming awake, and my conscious will kicked in so I forced the dream to allow the wind to release me, and the last thing I remember from it was landing on my left shoulder and husband running towards me.

My daughter has issues. My son has issues. I’m rather worn out and tired o their issues. I have decided to let the cards fall where they may and back out of their lives as much as feasible. They will sink or swim. They can listen to my advice and let me help them, or they can go get full time jobs and learn the joy of minimum wage and flipping hamburgers.

I have a retired horse in his mid twenties that I have decided to euthanize. It was a long hard decision and many tears but his health is deteriorating and where I can afford to keep him has no one trustworthy or knowledgeable if disaster strikes while I am out of town.

It is a complicated situation because he has to be fed separately and now I no longer can keep him separated from his pasture mates due to changes in the way the barn operates. I also have no one that is willing to feed and he must be fed daily.

I have talked with my vet about it, and the possibility of him ending his life in terrible pain is highly likely (he has bowel issues). Right now I have the money to pay for a proper burial (and for those who have never dealt with horse related deaths, burying a 1,000 pound animal is not an easy situation like burying a dog or cat) and the weather hasn’t quite gone into the bone chilling, windy temps we get here.

Luckily, husband did get his bonus and we know the amount that will hit next payday. This gives us a jumpstart on getting more done on the house and allows us to target March 2017 as the date it goes on the market.

Things are spinning out of my control and I’ve got to just let it go and do what I can.

Trusting Intuition

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A couple of weekends back, Grenwinae and I went off to a nearby State Park that we had visited years ago but hadn’t been to recently. This was the weekend before fall break and it was deserted (the next weekend it was like a trip to the Mall at Christmas).  Gorgeous weather and some neat stuff happened but the next two weeks following has been a literal hell for me so I didn’t feel like posting this and even now it’s been broken into fragments….

At one point, Grenwinae and I had separated physically so he could work with his pendulum. Getting him outside so he could start working with nature and fey spirits had been our goal and mine was just to escape town and never look back. I turned away and there was an opening up in the woods with a path that climbed out of the river bed we were out and I heard a voice: go that way.

As I walked through the tree opening, I looked up and Vulture came flying close down over my head. For the next few minutes, Vultures continued circling me and then Grenwinae joined me and we moved on down the trail.

We had a discussion about the Elements: I identify with Fire (more of my youth though) and Air (because of my constant need for flight, movement and migration). He identifies with Earth (solidity, comfort, sameness) and Water (he’s more of a still waters run deep kinda guy, but not the overally emotional type despite being Water connected).

I will write more about Elements at a later date….

At one point, trying to make our way back to where we parked the car, we were trying to figure out if there was a switchback from our location. Vulture flew over head and dropped down Go That Way which was uphill and I really didn’t want to go up hill anymore.

He dropped down lower, right over me: I want to see this Spiritual person on her Spiritual Journey who won’t do what her Spirit Animal Guide tells her . While I was being looked at, I found a feather on the ground and said, “fine, fine, fine!”

Of course the path led us back to the car and after I merged from where the two trails joined, Vulture dropped down over me again and said Told you. Just a little smug. Vulture is too friendly; if it had been Hawk that would have been different.

Grenwinae went to finish up with his Pendulum while I stood by the car. With the wind, the Oak tree kept bending down to touch me. I don’t talk to trees; that is a Grenwinae thing but I touched the leaves and had a feeling of comfort and happiness.

When he got back, I told him that the tree wanted one of his rocks as a gift (he had been carrying some special things to give back as this was part of his own spiritual work). He held out four rocks, asking me which one.

I looked and thought “this tree will pick this one” but didn’t tell him which one and told him to let the tree choose. I thought I would see what my intuition gets me. When he got down, it turned out to be the rock I had thought-chosen.

Well it was a great weekend but then I hit a huge emotional skid which I will write about later.

 

Intuition, Dreams and Owl

I’m a practical person who, if you need advice on how to find a job, how to make money, and how to deal with people I can provide you the very best of advice. However, I am not a person who spends a lot of time in the Element of the Air, despite having a lot of spirit guides who frequent it, or with the Element of Water. I am, in appearance, an ordinary average person who thinks things that I seldom bring out to play in the daylight.

So I had some thoughts last week about how I could improve my spiritual journey. It was in regards to making time to really listen to my intuition. My thoughts at the time was to try break through the wall I build around me so I can better access the sides of me that I need in order to grow. Sides that I generally don’t use in my day to day life.

I asked if working more with my intuition was where I needed to turn my focus too and pulled the following three cards from the Druid Animal Oracle deck: Fire Dragon, Bear and Hind. Hm. So the answer is YES…  I had the cards out for awhile to think upon when this happened (Round Two)….

Two nights ago I had a intense dream. Now I often have terrifying, horrifying dreams so that I don’t mean your typical nasty dream about your husband being a serial killer or plunging your car off a bridge to drown in a river, but one that I wake up from and say THIS one is SIGNIFICANT…

I won’t go into all the dream details but in the dream, my daughter (who is approaching 18) was murdered as a small child (around 10?). I knew where she was approached by her killer (under a State tourist sculpture), where he dumped the body and who did it. I actually had found her body and had it with me. At one point, husband tells me he guarded the car from the bad guy so we could protect the evidence and bring it to the police station.

I woke knowing this was laden with information and heard THIS: GREAT HORNED OWL HOOTING

I slipped on my robe and went to meditate outside on the back porch but by the time I got there he was gone. I discussed this with Grenwinae when he got up; Owl and Intuition says two things:

1.) We will be hearing today from the person who did daughters intake assessment for learning disabilities. Don’t delay the meeting (despite the finances) and schedule it ASAP. There is information we need to know so we can help her.

Yes, he did call later that same day and I got an appointment for this coming Friday.

2.) I have some serious damage I need to deal with on my own about letting my child out.

The next day, another dream a bit more hopeful… honestly though I’m rather exhausted from it all so I’ll mull this over for a while before discussing further.

Cooper Hawk appears and chaos ensues

While I can admire the lessons that Coopers Hawk can teach me, when he shows up, up close and personal like he did Saturday, I brace myself. Pretty much Cooper Hawks message is Bette Davis’ famous line: ““Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

Looked out the backyard in the a.m. Saturday morning and saw a flash of bird tail that was a hawk going from one tree to the next in the greenbelt behind our house. Stepped out in the yard and found him sitting in a tree. He turned to look at me and then after a moment took off and flew low right over my head!

Ah… thanks… I guess… but I knew, while this was amazing to see him, it also meant something was coming. Sure enough the shit hit the fan with my son who is off to college. I don’t go into my kids history in this blog as its purpose is not to shame them or show off photos of them on my own social media. Strangely enough I give my kids privacy.

However, things came to a boil with him. He had a rough week and with all the changes that don’t work well with his Learning Disabilities or his inherited from my family, temper, he blew up at me and his dad.

This behavior of taking it out on me and his dad has always been around but intensified when we moved to Missouri and he was left in Oklahoma to work on college. I think he was left too much on his own and didn’t handle it as well as I thought he would have. At the time, I didn’t want a confrontation and dealt with it the best I could but now it was time for this roller coaster to stop and I put my foot down hard on his neck.

Remember, if you want to play with the big boys, face the Lions’ wrath.

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Then Grenwinae’s mom got involved and we had to put a stop to that. It was a very chaotic weekend full of disruption, poor sleep on our parts, and wondering if he was going to throw his future away over petty shit. I really expected him to say “fuck this” and walk away from college, his scholarships and the brass ring but Sunday he finally pulled himself together and apologized.

Okay, we can get along as long as you know the rules. But don’t ever think you can pull the lions tail and escape from that encounter without understanding who is in charge.

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Solar Birds

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I was about ready to pull out of my driveway when a black shadow passed over my car. This often happens to me where a bird immediately crosses my path when I get going for the day, so I pulled back into the driveway and looked up to locate the bird who had cast his shadow.

So one bird I saw, definitely was one of my hawks. He spiraled over the road that leads down to the park before disappearing. Than another bird, who I thought was his partner, was spiraling over my close neighbors house. He was joined by another that tried hard to gain altitude with a lot of bird flaps, while the other waited for him.

This puzzled me. I knew we had our hawk pair in the neighborhood. Was this one of their fledging’s? I squinted my eyes and tried to figure it out when they both flew closer to me.

Their wing color was puzzling me as it was black and while the sun can cast the bottom of a hawk body black, when they spiraled I should have seen the tan pattern of their wing tops, and instead I a saw black. Too large for crows and their flight pattern didn’t match a crow.

They came closer again, taking their sweet time in using the thermals. Both had white heads. What…!? You are kidding me! I looked again and no they both had white heads and black bodies.

Goodness. Animal Guides that come and visit me at my house are awesome but I never expected to see a pair of Bald Eagles in my little neighborhood. Powerful!

(Bald Eagles do migrate to Oklahoma in the winter but they generally chose areas where there is water and bluffs – my neighborhood has little of either – they are probably passing through on migration).