Category Archives: Archetypes

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.

 

 

 

The Lion RAWRS!

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I’m going through one of my spells – where little things really irritate me. Most – if not all – of all the internet really irritates me. The ignorance, stupidity, lack of common sense, and the round of “I think this way so you should think the same” makes me blow my gasket.

Usually I just make sure I get more alone time, but lately it seems I’m being shadowed by kids, pets or husband every step of the way and for someone who favors the life of a Hermit, it’s like fingernails down a chalkboard. I REALLY need some alone time or heads are going to start falling.

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Week 2 of the Journal Challenge has started. I will have to think over this and how I will approach it. I’m in a weird situation when it comes to this topic. I’ve done this work already and dug deep. I know my faults and what causes them. I know how to work around them or to kick them in the ass. Sometimes, I procrastinate on the ass-kicking like the exercise thing (which needs to be addressed this week) but generally, I’m very tuned in to myself because of decades of work.

I wasn’t raised to have low self esteem and lets’ face it I’m a classic Leo. So laying around self-pitying and mentally masturbating about my issues is not my style.  I know for a fact that over thinking what you do wrong can actually cause you to spiral deeper into a depression and prevents action. The only real antidote to in-action is action and action is movement not sitting on your butt over-analyzing why you are a fuck up.

I would rather RAWR it out, rip some poor gazelle’s throat out, and than go lay around (with some great hair) in the sun where everyone can admire my bad-ass ways.

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Don’t get me wrong, some people need to really examine their life and find out why they repeat the same patterns of behavior – choosing the same type of man who is an abuser – is the one everyone recognizes but few actually understand how to change that behavior. I’m not in that phase of my life right now.

I don’t want to piss on anyone’s parade and I’ve already discussed the Tiny Home issues (where it’s becoming unrealistic and just outright stupid), but I want to address some things for people who might actually listen:

Living in a small town is NOT for everyone. It sounds romantic but each small town has it’s own “flavor.” I have lived in MANY small towns. The smallest was a population of 100. So please do not tell me that I do not know what I’m talking about. Being a former journalist, I’ve also been a person who covered the city government, school boards and other issues. So yeah, I know a LOT about small town living.

Some can be welcoming to strangers – many are not. Some have a certain crime specialty (i.e. one town had higher robberies of guns; another had a blossoming drug trafficking trade). All of them have issues with offering a variety of work options, so if you and your partner work – you may not find employment or be stuck working for one employer because choice doesn’t exist.

All of them have sacrifices you will need to make. Here are some that I have found very irritating – lack of choice of doctors; lack of hospitals for emergency care; lack of grocery shopping choices (really Wal-mart?); lack of diversity of views (many small towns are populated by very conservative people); and lack of employment opportunities.

If you are wanting to cut back, hey, I agree wholeheartedly and I’m making plans to do so myself. But this is what I suggest (before you really screw up your finances, your career and possibly the relationship with your significant other and kids):

We choose Springfield MO due to a lot of different criteria – population size was one. Smaller than Tulsa, but bigger than the smaller towns I had lived in. It had bookstores, quaint downtown, college town, hospitals, live theater groups, a mall, several of my favorite stores, health food stores, farmers market and was located near a lot of beautiful scenic areas. What is important to you?

1.) What size town (population wise) would really make you happy?

2.) What type of economy do you want to move into? Graduated from college, has different needs than moving to retirement.

3.) What type of weather do you like?

4.) Do you and your partner agree on this lifestyle? What compromises do you need to make?

5.) School systems. Most small towns have really crappy schools. If homeschooling, make sure the state you plan on living at allows and realize you need room to keep homeschooling supplies.

6.) What do you consider necessary to your life’s enjoyment? For example, I strongly need a bookstore and I wanted to enjoy more live theater. Guess what? NO INTERNET was available in Chadwick. YES, NO INTERNET.

I loved my time in Chadwick but that rural community has a serious meth and drug trafficking problem. It is also 45 minutes from town which made the trip to the emergency room seem to take forever, despite me speeding. Wal-mart was the closest grocery store and that sucked. Springfield MO didn’t offer any employment diversity for Grenwinae to change employers.

So… I wouldn’t give up the time we had there – it was wonderful – but I wouldn’t retire there either. Bottom line – if you can move and try it out first without a full cannon-ball dive into the deep end, I highly recommend it. But changing your lifestyle that drastically without baby steps? I can guarantee you that you might find yourself way in over your head.

Eihwaz, the rune of transition

I don’t know much at all about Runes. I do know that Grenwinae was told by someone very experienced with Runes that you better be careful as it is a deep study that can really screw with your mind. However, I think I’ll be okay if I just examine one Rune and think upon it’s symbolic meaning for my journaling endeavor. 🙂

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Cauldrons and Cupcakes posted Eihwaz, the rune of transition as our Journal prompt this week. Eihawz is the 13th rune (and coincides with the 13th Tarot card which is Death). Both have the letting go, dying of something to give way, must let go of what is not needed to grow themes.

I really like the definition I found here:

EIHWAZ:  Defense, Striving
Although you are facing a trial, you are protected. The skill you most need lies in trusting that protection.  Unforeseeable power and wisdom await you if you avoid panic or precipitous overreactions. Be strong, and judiciously bold, and no harm should come to you. This is the Rune of TESTING.

The Labyrinth is a two way passage and in my case, I’ve done the death work for the transition to happen – I’m climbing out of the darkness but now I have to know how to live in the world.  Strangely enough, existing in the transition is proving to be emotionally challenging because it means taking what you learned from the Underworld (the center of the Labyrinths’ journey) and merging that knowledge into the secular world.

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The time in Missouri was the time for death and letting go — but now we have returned to our “real world” in Oklahoma and have to understand that we are not the same and life will not be the same even though it is easy to fall back into patterns and habits (being in the same home makes it too easy for this to happen).

Part of this has to not allowing life to be sucked into those old patterns and to allow new growth to happen, which is tremendously hard for me on so many levels.

1.) Holding onto old habits means existing in a safe rut. It’s the Devil You Know. I’ve become gun-shy over the last two decades waiting for the axe to fall as it has too many times with disastrous results – loss of money, financial instability, loss of job, loss of friendships, and even death in one instance.

2.) Holding onto old hurts allows me to nurse my anger and frustration – which is really about disavowing responsibility. If I grip that events out of my control hold me back, than I cannot be held responsible for not achieving what I want. It’s someone/thing else’s fault.

3.) Change in the past has often been disheartening, leading to frustrating dead ends (i.e. my last three paid jobs were dead ends for sure). It’s hard to keep putting yourself out there. The wheels have been spinning but with no progress. It’s hard to believe things will change – so the number one thing I need to do is CONVINCE MYSELF THAT CHANGE FOR THE GOOD WILL HAPPEN.

Here is my roadmap:

1.) Plan time just to have fun (1x a month) outside of town (I need to get out of Tulsa where too many old habits/energy still remains) or even just find a different place to go in Tulsa (i.e. different restaurant, store, neighborhood, art/craft festival, farmers market etc…).

This will be a challenge because of old patterns of behavior: “It’s too much trouble; let’s just stay home” mentality. Being exposed to new places though is one major key in stimulating a long term marriage. I’m not getting any younger – when am I going to have fun? When I’m dead?

2.) Plan time (1-2x a month) for road trips where we specifically go for business treasure hunts. This will be fun too – the purpose though is to go further afield than just our backyard. However, I have a ruttish problem of just driving by places because it’s too much trouble to stop.

3.) Plan a retreat/mini-vacation out of town about every 3-4 months. The last one was great – first vacation in about 5 or more years! The effects of peace have lasted longer than I thought. This is a huge priority!

4.) Make creative paper journals for A.) Finances (how are we going to make money to retire but approached in a positive way) and B.) New House. Should be a creative, planning book with lots of pictures, diagrams, fun colors, fantasy dream lists etc….

It’s a creative book – not a To-Do Goal list full of A-B-C on our finances. Also, I think putting this stuff in a 3 dimensional format will encourage the growth and change I want in my mental processes that just telling myself with self-talk is not really accomplishing at the level I want or need.

5.) Health – this weekend buy new shoes and start walking once a day for 20 minutes. Continue our nature walks on the weekends. Try to use my CPAP machine as much as I can tolerate.

6.) Immediate Environment – The mess of moving the two households back to one needs to be sorted and organized. Try to do in mini-installments; set some small goals as big ones become too overwhelming, though I got a huge amount of housework done yesterday so yay for me!

7.) House Repair – We are planning on investing 1/3rd of the Christmas bonus into making needed repairs on the house (exterior paint job, new kitchen faucet, new family room ceiling fan, molding). I’d like to work on a House Spell to take place at that time too. Need to revise our repairs list and prioritize.

NOTE: I will be doing a massive Tarot spread reading on Samhain so I’m holding off pulling cards until we get closer to that time period.

Air Dragon & Air Elementals

AreyoumymotherJust like I thought, I’ve been seeing animals everywhere and thinking: are you my next Guide? It’s as bad as that Are you my Mother? book.

I’ve gone through Peacocks – than the Phoenix as an off shoot from that. A Chipmunk, Cardinals, turtles, and butterflies. None of them seem quite right. It’s kinda driving me crazy.

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During our retreat, I was telling Grenwinae, that I felt Wind/Air was trying to communicate with me as an Elemental.

This feeling started up when we were still in Missouri. Whenever I would be doing a ceremony, the wind would kick up at key times (down at the river, when I was honoring the dead Owl, when I meditated in the backyard wondering if Grenwinae would return, and even during the retreat when I cast out the money herbs the wind kicked up).

Air Dragon has showed up several times during the Druid Oracle card layouts. It was the day after the above conversation with him, that I received the Someone Will Come message, and the Air Dragon appeared.

I really don’t know if I could handle an Air Elemental (eeek). OTOH my feeling during the message was that the helper would not be human or animal. I definitely do not want a God/Goddess – that would really give me a torn feeling between my conscious beliefs and my path – which is probably why that is what is going to happen.

Which is even more scary!

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One thing I do not like about this deck (Druid Animal Oracle) is the very little information that is provided on each card. Instead most of the material is about retelling Celtic myths and folklore. It leaves you hanging a bit as to interpretation – and like all the Oracle card decks I’ve dealt with – the more you use the deck and the more you open your intuition to the symbols, the better your track record on getting information you can use from the cards presented.

I also think it takes more time working with an Oracle deck to get a feel for how it interacts with you. This might be why my favorite reader in Springfield, exclusively uses a non-traditional deck to do her readings.

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Air Dragon as Messenger and Celtic info on this blog.

Celtic Dragon thoughts

Air Dragon as the Ace of Swords?

A beautiful website with thoughts on Air Elementals

More about Air and what it represents

Some interesting ideas about working with Elementals

Cleaning and preparing Vulture’s Gift

The Griffin I had bought yesterday is to honor my connection with Vulture. According to some these two are connected and that is how I view my relationship with Her: outwardly a Vulture; the shadow-self, a Griffin.

I am nearing the end of cleaning my Vulture feathers from the dead Vulture I found dead on the side of the road during our last day when cleaning out our rental house in Missouri.  They were stored in the freezer for 2 weeks; in the garage for 10 days; and now back in the freezer for 2 weeks (process here).

I have been thinking over what the final rinse to clean them will be. I have decided upon a mixture from the Cedar tree in our backyard, blended with Frankincense and Orange (similar to my Vultures Tears oil blend).

Cedar: While not Juniper, it is related in appearance and scent. This tree actually grew over the grave of one of our little hamsters. Alternatives would be Juniper, Cypress or Cedarwood. These are “cemetery” trees – often planted there because of their evergreen needles/leaves (memory of the deceased is evergreen etc…).

Orange to represent the Sun: Vulture worships the sun, spreading her wings out each morning to dry them. She is Solar and Wind.

Frankincense: cleansing, purification, and consecration. Meditation and prayer. In my mind Frankincense, as well as Cedar, is very tied to the dead.

I have been thinking of what direction these Animal Guides of mine could be associated with. Ma’at had wings that were thought to be those of a Vulture;  Nekhbet was a Vulture – though both are of Egypt though I think Nekhbet as Mother of All Mothers is more of how I see Vulture. Vulture is also a Psychopomp.

While I wondered if Vulture would be connected to the West (endings) or the North (mystery and death), if feels right that She would be connected to the East due to her sun greeting ways and ability as a windrider. While She rends your flesh to free your soul, its about new beginnings because they cannot come without the loss of something else.

For me Owl seems clearly connected to the North. Owl is about silence and mystery. The unknown and the feared.

Rabbit to the South – to summer, abundance, and fertility. Although Willow, which I connect to Rabbit, is affiliated with the West, which goes to show you that things are not tidy sometimes.

Hawk to the West. Because Hawk has no pretensions and acts as He is driven, without hesitation.

Or so I think at this moment.

PBP: Ancestors and me

My feelings exactly, and written so much better.

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As part of my practice, I don’t venerate my ancestors.  I know its a popular thing to do in various Pagan communities, but I’ve never felt compelled to do so myself.

Specifically, I do not “regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference” or “to honor (as an icon or a relic) with a ritual act of devotion” (source) the “person(s) from whom one is descended, especially if more remote than a grandparent; a forebear” (source).  I have a number of reasons for this, which I’ve found can be somewhat controversial, as people often take someone else’s rejection of something they find important to be personal (If you, fabulous reader, don’t agree with me, that is A-ok in my book!):

  • I know diddly-squat about most of them. I have a big family.  When it comes to my more recent ancestors, there’s quite a few I’ve never…

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Coming to grip with Cooper’s Hawk

Because Cooper’s Hawk seems to be very active in my life, I’ve been doing some online research and have come up with disappointment. Most of the online websites just copy information out of Ted Andrews Animal Speak or Animal-Wise books, or steals information from D.J. Conway or Steven Farmer’s books.

(Why I write steal is because these websites are quoting passages that far exceed the fair use policy of quoting a copyrighted work. Personally, if I was one of these authors I would be rather angry about it. Okay but that is neither here nor there on what I was going to write about.)

Ted Andrews provides information about common animals but he also states that you have to develop a relationship with that animal. At first, the tease in his book about this irritated me. I just wanted to know HOW and WHAT I should be doing!!

However, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize that it will be my personal viewpoint, and how I view the connection to my personal power animal that will shape the relationship. For example, how I approach my work with Owl and Hawk is very different than how Grenwinae does his work with Spider and Swallow.

When Cooper’s Hawk flew over Grenwinae’s head last weekend, at the time we just admired his beauty. The following Monday, Grenwinae had an “out of nowhere”, Blitzkrieg attack from a concealed foe upon his work. I got to thinking about Cooper’s Hawk camouflage which is counter shading: the bottom is light, the top is dark. This disguises his presence in the forest, as it fools the eye into not seeing the object as a shape (a “real” object would have light on the top from the sun and be dark on the bottom).

Were we being given a precognitive warning? Or, after the event, looking back, did Cooper’s Hawk give me insight into the prey and predator dynamic? Either could be valid. Cooper’s Hawk is not only about what I can become (disguising myself, striking the target, relentless win attitude) but what could happen to me (attacks from a well concealed foe). His essence is to connect me with the primal forces of nature that repeat themselves in my human life.

I’ve also had a mulling over about what I hope to achieve from my own spiritual quest. My interest does not lie in Wicca. Nor does it actually lie in Druidism. I have no interest in worshipping deities or praying to them; I actually find that very uncomfortable because I do not believe that the Universe was created by some conscious entity that directed the whole process.

For me, I am far more comfortable with the belief of natural forces, many too vast for our human comprehension, that (as humans) we have to put a face onto that speaks to our psychological and unconscious minds.

It doesn’t make them any less meaningful, mysterious or spiritual. Actually, I consider Nature to be the wellspring of All.