Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bear, Owl and Condor

I thought I would write a little more about my Power Animals, as I did in the post Totem Animal. The characteristics and meanings of these animals resonate deeply within me. When they appear, I know to be extra aware and vigilant.

I have always known about Bear. I was given a stuffed teddy when I was born, and my dreams reflected the animal in my arms. Before I went to sleep at night, I would imagine being warm and snuggly in my cave. Thus caves, consequently, also engender a great fascination, both fearful and comforting, in me.

Not long ago,I experienced a hot springs cave.When I walked through the silken, warm water that swirled around my knees, I let my fingers touch the walls of the tunnel I was in. Sensual and slick, they felt like the imagined walls of a womb, and I could feel the vibrations enter all of me. Much dialogue passed between the walls and I, wandering alone, lost in awe. It was Bear that showed me such beauty and peace in the womb of Mother Earth.

Bear is the creature of dreams. I am a dreamer, and I can get caught up in the dreaming, as Bear people are wont to do, making small progress in waking reality. Bear gives me the confident courage to face change and transformation in a firm manner, standing and facing my fear. His gift to me is astral travel, and visionary dreaming, where he is my protector. Bear tells me when it is time to withdraw, go deep into meditation into the beyond, and grasp the answers that are mine, if I dig deep enough with Bear’s clawed paws. When Bear appears, in any new phase in my life, it is written that the new endeavor will take two years to mature, during which time Bear will teach and give me strength to endure.

Owl, too, appears at the beginning of new paths. Owl gives me the courage to follow my instincts, my intuition. He gives me silent wisdom, vision, hearing, the ability to pinpoint subtleties of motives in people. Owl is the link between the dark, unseen world where I sometimes travel, and the world of light. He helps me understand my shadow self. Shortly after Gray and I moved in together, Owl appeared in the back garden, not fifteen feet from where we were sitting. We have two large dogs, and Owl knew this…he bided his time until the dogs went in and we stayed out…not something that happened very often. He sat and communed with us for a long time…and then he flew right towards us, right towards the house, and over the gate.

Now he reminds me of his presence when I sit on the stoop during a sleepless night…his call is a welcome one for me. It tells me Owl is watching out for me with more awareness than I alone could ever muster, especially in the shadowy fields of the dark night.

Bear and Owl are two animals I have always known. Just a few days ago, however, during a deep trance induced by a Reiki treatment, to my complete surprise, Condor appeared. I had absolutely no knowledge of Condor…it is not a bird that lives in my area, or a bird that I ever evinced any interest in. In my dreaming, he was sitting on a ledge, a precipice. Far below, I could see a valley and trees, with a creek burbling over small stones. Fish were teeming in the stream. It must have been a spawning period, for there were carcasses everywhere on the bank of the creek. Bear appeared, grunting his gratitude with the bounty that was swirling around his belly. Condor, with his keen eyes, helped me see a great distance, made the scene crystal clear.

In my research, I find this poem...

To A Buzzard Swinging in Silence

I never knew how fair a thing
was freedom, till i saw you swing,
Ragged, exultant, black and high,
Against a hollow, windy sky.
You that with such a horrid gait
Lumbers and flops with red, raw pate.
I never knew how beauty grew
from ugliness, until you flew
With soaring, somber, steady beat
Of wings rough-edged to grip the fleet
Far coursing horses of the sky--
To ride, to ride them gloriously.
Oh, brother buzzard, you whose sin
On earth is to be shackled in
To horror, teach me how to go
Like you, to beauty, sure and slow.
Like you, to slip some carrion ties
And lift and lift to high, clean skies,
Where winds and sun and silence ride,
Like you, oh Buzzard, glorified.

~Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Condor, or vulture, cleans up messes, the detritus left behind from animals, or humans, usually after the primary killer of the animal has eaten his fill. Condor is telling me I have created a physical and psychic mess, one I don’t want to deal with. By not facing and remedying the situation, my mess has actually wreaked havoc on my system. Condor will help me to eliminate old patterns and character aspects that no longer serve me.

Condor will make me conscious of my transformation, giving me balance and harmony. He purifies the soul, showing me divine, deep love. He gives me the gift of auric vision, so that I may see with full awareness. And he will introduce me, clear the path for me, towards conversations with my guides. Condor has given me permission to use his power, surprising as this may be to me, and I will ask to speak with him further. Perhaps Condor will help me clean up my psychic “mess”, will help change permanently any beliefs I have that are hindering me.

Already, Condor has taught me that answers to our inner questions come in the most surprising of ways, and he has taught me keen awareness of the work required to truly change my beliefs.

All of these animals deal with transformation, Shamanism, death and rebirth. I realized the other day that I was fighting terrifically hard to not “know” this side of myself, not utilizing my writing to its fullest potential, and not using my healing knowledge, all gifts which when not used, spurns spirit and God. And I asked myself why. Why was I trying so hard to deny the spiritual side of myself, when this was the only way that made me happy and at peace? How had I created this mess? It was fear of being different, of having to defend my way. It was my fear that I was not good enough to be in the company of the wise, my belief that I was too odd to be part of the ordinary people. It was my fear that I may not ever fit in anywhere. So I never tried.

Bear, Owl and Condor truly give me power and understanding to change this belief, and consequently my reality.

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