Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hearth Spread – Druid Animal Oracle

Many of the thoughts I’ve had this past weekend are not ready to be expressed here. It will take time to percolate them and honestly, some of them are probably never going to be posted. It is stuff for me to learn and internalize and than see how I can move it forward into my life.

At the end of our ceremony, I did a spread using my Druid Oracle Cards. The Hearth Spread is recommended in the book that came with the cards and it was the first time I’ve used this particular layout.

I had just done a ceremony marking our farewell of the country house rental and moving, finances, debt and going back to Oklahoma was on my mind.

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Cards 1 and 2 our perception: Wolf Reversed, Salmon Reversed.

Wolf Reversed, I think speaks of how we feel we are moving to a place of loneliness and isolation from our dreams (living in the country, not living in Oklahoma, being able to be closer to nature) and instead returning to where we’ve lived most of our adult lives. Although the family is moving back together and I don’t feel alone in the way of being without my partner – however, both of us are feeling cut off from emotional and spiritual food and abundance due to the relocation.

Salmon also speaks of the return to home waters. Reversed Salmon reminds me that we need to stop pushing so hard. We have resources that will allow our goals to happen if we can relax and trust in that power as well as learn how to use it. This is a very Taoist card meaning:  Wu Wei.

These cards reflect our isolation, loneliness and sadness in leaving, while also reminding us to trust to the current to help us – even if we feel we are going backwards we can use that power to move us the right way.

Wolf has shown up before and seems to represent family or specific family members. If you’ve been following along you know Salmon has appeared several times when connected to the move back.

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Cards 3 and 4 is outside perception: blank card and the Stag. One of the cards was the blank “extra” that came with the deck! I had forgotten to take it out but I let it remain – ambiguous.

Outsiders would see us as independent, perhaps loners, with dignity. I generally don’t think of what others think of me – so this card sequence rather leaves me blank in itself. Or perhaps, like several of the other cards we hold ourselves aloof with dignity – and even a blankness presented to the world…?

The Stag is also a male aspect. I may have been reading too much into this card – we have moved back – on the surface as interpreted by others – because of the needs of the male leader of the family. Grenwinae needed to be closer to his family while his father was ill and he did not enjoy his work in Missouri.

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Cards 5 and 6 our desires for what would be: Cat and Cow Reversed.

These two I think need to be read together. Cow reversed is the limited resources we feel we have – we are not in a land of milk and honey – we do not have abundance we want. Amidst this Cat shows we are independent and aloof. We can make decisions in our own time.

Like several of the cards, I am seeing a pattern of standing alone – aloof – maybe distanced from the world.

After thinking on it, I believe this can be summed up by the saying “wanting a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget.” We both feel deprived and not living the life we want because of the necessity of responsibilities we are currently holding.

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Cards 7 and 8 the way it could be: Water Dragon Reversed and Air Dragon

These are the Yin and the Yang – Water Dragon Reversed cautions us to take it slow. Humans are frail and revelations should be dealt with in small dosages. Emotion and reaction can be overwhelming and dangerous currents. Meanwhile, Air Dragon is lightning striking! Insight, clarity, inspiration and illumination can also be powerful and overwhelming.

These are powerful cards to end the reading. Dragons have shown up many times in readings I’ve done – not always welcome. Looking back Reversed Water Dragon has indicated emotional turbulence at work (both myself and Grenwinae). Water and Air are not particularly compatible – like Water and Earth, or Air and Fire.

I really do like keeping a history of the readings – going back meanings become clear. If you are looking to read cards, I encourage you to keep a diary, journal, blog or some sort of entry about what layout you did, when, and your thoughts.

The Cycle Completes – Vultures Work

Friday morning I woke with the memory of a dream where I shapeshifted into a huge, black griffin.

We were heading to Missouri to close out the rental house. The six month process of grieving and letting go that had been slowly unwinding, since Grenwinae found a new job in Tulsa and left the house full-time, would be completed. We would have come full circle – emerging from a Labyrinth time of deep spiritual learning, rendering and cleansings.

Vulture took our Flesh and transformed it to Spirit.

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Before we left town I felt we needed to visit and check on my horses. As we drove through the countryside, Vulture started to circle. One dropped down and flew parallel to the car – so close you could make out the wrinkles on her face and the roundness of her eye.

I acknowledged Her and knew She would be with us the entire trip up to Springfield. As I thought this the Turkey Vulture banked upwards and flew over the car, and looped back over us again.

We’ve had many encounters with Vultures at the Missouri property. Routinely they have flown over on their flight plan and appeared on the property during auspicious times. It was in the Mark Twain National Forest located across the road from our house that I was gifted my Vulture feathers.

When I returned from dropping off items at storage, Grenwinae was mowing and didn’t see me drive up.  I watched him for a bit but he couldn’t hear me with his ear plugs. A Vulture flew over him (and as he related later), he thought maybe I was home and looked up to see me waving.

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The entire year (two years for Grenwinae) were times of huge, emotional sheds:

Grenwinae left the comfort of home and moved, due to work, to a city where he knew no one and had no family support. This was HUGE for him as he has always played it safe and clung to stability, much to the detriment of our relationship. A few weeks before Grenwinae was given his new job (August 27th) he came home to find Vulture sitting on the handle of the watering pump at our herb garden (August 2nd).

I had to take responsibility for not working and how that has landed us in a financial pickle; that I couldn’t continue to use the kids or Grenwinae as excuses for not chipping in and doing my part to keep the family financially solvent. I had to face some unpleasant, whiny aspects of my personality that I would rather disavow.

I had brought my cedar box made from my Grandmothers blanket chest, my Druid Oracle Card deck and my Vulture’s Tears Anointing Oil (this is a custom blend of Cypress, Juniper Berry, Lime and Frankincense).

Across from our house, there was a dead Vulture – most likely hit by a car when it was on the road eating. I knew this was a gift – and She was sent into fire and smoke as we gave thanks for all that the land had given these last two years of enlightenment.

The time spent in Missouri sometimes feels like an unreal adventure – not quite real – maybe a dream. Now that we are back to Tulsa, holding onto what we learned, while living the mundane life of suburban worker bees, will be a challenge.

Even now we are still suffering from the exhaustion of the three days of cleaning and moving – and letting go emotionally of hopes, dreams, and losses. I shall write more as I continue to recover and move onward through the week.

Being obtuse

When I was at the gas station two days ago, I would have sworn that I heard a Hawk (you can visit the National Audubon Society website to hear their calls). As I drove the rest of the way home, I saw a mated pair – probably my Coopers – take off from the woods bordering my housing development. They sailed east off to the direction of my house.

I think I’ve been a fool.

Going back through the blog there seems to be a long standing connection with Coopers Hawk. I need to honor that, specifically. Each hawk has its own biology and to lump them all together or not to recognize the special abilities of one is being obtuse.

Like several predating birds, such as Owl, Cooper does not “announce” its presence – it is a stealth predator. Where Owl uses a ragged feathered edge on its wing to prevent notice, the Coopers Hawk has a physical camouflage of being darker on top and lighter underneath. When attacking above its prey, the victim cannot discern from shadows that something is above it.

Not to write the obvious, but when relating to this, be aware that loudly proclaiming that you are going to do something, especially if it is something you should keep quite about (i.e. quitting a job), should be done suddenly and without warning to those who you may need to vanquish, disarm, thwart, or attack. This could be a person or just a goal you want to achieve.

Coopers kill their prey by squeezing the life out of the smaller bird – or they may even take it to water to drown it. Some of their favorite prey is Jays, Robins, Doves, Pigeons, chickens and some mammals such as chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, mice and bats.  If a bird is the victim, the Cooper will often pluck it prior to eating and they also cache food near their nest when feeding young.

Two days before the Cooper showed up in the backyard, our bird feeder had grown empty of visitors. I think they knew someone was grocery shopping in the area! City Coopers have discovered that bird feeders are an easy hunting ground. If this happens, take down your bird feeders for a few days and the Cooper will move on.

The Coopers Hawk body shape is broader, with the wings set in a manner that one of their identifiers is that the bend of the wing can reach past their head in flight. The rounder shape of its wings and tail allow it to maneuver the woods; like the rudder of a boat, these features allow it to change direction quickly around the tight obstacles of tree and brush found in the underforest where it hunts.

Not all Cooper Hawks are as adept as others. Recovered bodies of Coopers Hawk has shown skeletal damage that collusions have occurred.

A favorite hunting tactic of Cooper is to fly fast and low across the ground, and then suddenly swoop upwards over a barrier to surprise the prey on the other side. When you think about it solid privacy fences common in suburban neighborhoods provide plenty of opportunity for Coopers to enact this blitzkrieg attack.

This was related to one of the messages I had received during meditation on adapting my environment to one that would benefit me in obtaining what I needed. Moving from rural Missouri back to the city, I will need to be faster, quicker and deadlier in my pursuit. I need to remember what to keep to myself and when to show my hand. I need to maneuver around obstacles and use them to my advantage. Don’t bang my head against something I can’t move – work around it.

An adult Coopers coloring, which is a slate blue on top, with his small and compact body, makes him a bit hard to find in the forest (wild or suburban) – his favorite hunting ground. I’ve found him hard to locate even with binoculars and knowing where he was sitting. He relies upon this to obtain his prey and also to avoid his own predators – such as Owls.

The male Cooper is smaller than the female (who is about 1/3 larger) and his size makes him prey to bigger birds. He is the primary food gatherer for the couples young, with the female the primary caregiver to the young and nest defender (the nest is often prey to Owls and Raccoons). However, he does not directly feed the young; if the female is not at the nest, he just drops food off for the nestlings.

When it comes to animal behavior on gender differences and comparing those to human, I think you need to be very careful. Humans don’t breed because of biologically driven impulses; we select mates due to a wide variety of reasons and have the intellectual ability to overcome biology.

However, with drawing from the Cooper, it can be written that physically each gender is designed to achieve its purpose – the male is to hunt so he is smaller to increase his maneuvering skills; the female is larger, in order to brood her chicks and to defend.

When working with Cooper as an Animal Guide, I would draw upon what I needed from either gender, regardless of my own sex, as I am connecting with the Cooper Hawk as a representative of all Coopers. Don’t get too tied into gender differences – humans have an amazing blend of male and female dynamics no matter who they may be physically.

This weekend I will be mixing an herbal blend for Cooper Hawk. This would be a custom blend that I would use as offerings during meditation. It has to invoke Air and Forests. Force and Drive. Cunning and Keen Sight.

 

Old feeds the New

Friday night I had a significant dream. By morning, I could only remember remnants of it.

I was walking a path. On the right were some dead animals. As I passed the area, I turned back to look. There were five (sometimes it seemed to be as many as six, other times as few as four) dead animals, Dodo’s, with each carcass having its own raptor (a hawk of some sort) rending it.

This was odd considering the night before I had read a book where a Vulture featured in it predominately and hawks aren’t known as carrion eaters. Dreaming of a Vulture would have been more apropos.

The Dodo closest to me was still aware and it looked at me with huge sad eyes as it died. I told it that I was sorry but it had to die in order to feed the new.

The next day I observed the Coopers Hawk in the backyard.

Yesterday evening I spent some time in meditation. As I sat down, I realized that Hawk was right – I didn’t have much on my altar for Hawk except one small silver medallion. It’s been hard to find Hawks, though easy to find Eagles. That would need to be rectified – I will work on honoring Hawk.

Looking over my gemstone collection I picked up Howlite. It’s a white stone with grey veining, that is often dyed to resemble other stones. Metaphysical properties: calming the mind from turbulent emotions, reducing anger and agitation, and calming the over active mind.

I like intuitively picking out a gemstone and than just being receptive to how it responds to the situation. I don’t usually run to a list of what the stone is good for – I just hold it in the palm of my left hand and ask if wants to work on this with me. Does it warm up? Does it feel tingly or prickly? Does it not respond?

I thought of the sleek dark blue gray of the Hawk’ back. His compact head as he (though I think it was a she due to her size) looked from side to side, seeking movement. The camouflaged coloring (countershading) – the dark upper body and the light under shading which allows it to hunt its prey without being detected.

The response of Good Hunting and that it heard there were Rabbits here (Rabbit being my Chinese birth year and one of my Animal Guides), I believe there was significance to me in her appearance.

I thought about when we first moved to this house and how surrounded by fields it was. This provided perfect hunting ground for the Red Tailed Hawks that remained in the area. As more houses and stores were built, the road got wider and busier, and the trees got larger and more diverse, the habitat area changed.

The Red Tailed Hawk, who hunts from tall vantage points, was supplanted by the urban forest hunter, the Coopers Hawk. With the bitter, licorice smell, clear as a bell:

Move to what is needed

Coopers Hawk visits Rabbit

I was working at the kitchen table and saw a flurry of movement out the left bay window. A hawk had come up from the ground and had landed on the privacy fence. I was able to watch him for a good amount of time and was able to see that he was not a Red Tail, but most likely a Coopers’ Hawk.

This has me re-thinking who I have been observing around the house these last few years. I think the two hawks I saw yesterday were Coopers – I thought at the time that their body build seemed closer to an Accipiter than a Buteo. I should have paid more attention to their tails.

Coopers Hawk has a very distinctive wing pattern that I got to see very close up when I was still in Missouri, and his wings can extend past his head during his flight which can’t be done with Red Tailed Hawk. The head sits down lower with a more bulky thickness between where the wings and the neck meet. The head sits lower. The tail is distinctively different than the Red Tail.

The hawk that attacked the bird in the hedge, was more likely to be a Coopers Hawk than a Red Tailed Hawk, as they commonly attack small birds and maneuver through tight areas to do so.

We also have honored Coopers Hawk with ceremony and Cooper has shown up many times sometimes before significant events, other times nothing seemed connected to my own life.

When I asked Grenwinae to talk to Cooper, Coopers response was about Good Hunting and an impression some one was looking for rabbits (which is the dichotomy I have to deal with when Rabbit and Raptors our Animal Guides). I had been working on the business website at the time. I’ll be meditating upon Coopers appearance tonight.

Twin Hawks Dancing

Yesterday, as I was leaving the parking lot, I saw two hawks, slowly – lazily, circling. As I continued to watch, their large circle tightened. One hawk gave a few wing flaps, ascended to the same level as his mate.

They circled again and again the circle grew smaller. The paced their speed, one following the other, and the second following the other. I felt they wanted to touch. That in flying, they were touching. Each knew where the other was in the flight. Each knew what the other was thinking. They were in synch.

I believe this the pair of hawks I’ve seen several times in my area.

I gained a sense of peace and fellowship. Together they were enjoying their day. It was a reminder to enjoy the companionship of my own mate.

 

Rabbit Connects

This morning I was outside early trying to clean out my car. A bunny appeared about five feet away, frozen, watching me. I closed my eyes for a sec, grounded and thanked Rabbit. When I opened my eyes, Rabbit was gone – but not mysteriously, he was in the neighbors yard, standing in silhouette like an chocolate bunny.