I woke up to a gloomy, rainy day and it’s been raining since yesterday. What can I say, I do love the rain and if I turned the TV on, you would hear people talking about how much we need the rain in comparison to recent years of drought. I can hear their voices speaking the words even though the TV is off and I seldom even watch it at all. Something else to evaluate when it comes to money not so wisely spent each month. It’s still kind of dark in the house but it looks like I found my own little sunshine this morning through all the wonderful comments you left for me overnight. And again, I’m reminded of the small world we live in and how many of us share similar experiences and thoughts.
Yesterday I wrote about my year of travel to Canada and my introduction to what I now consider signs from spirit animals. It was the year of the bear for me and who knows, maybe there have been other sightings before, maybe I missed signs and messages simply because I wasn’t aware and in tune with my spiritual world. And I know that I wasn’t aware in 2010 as I merely felt lucky and blessed to have seen these majestic and powerful animals. The thought of it being more and it potentially being a sign of some sort never crossed my mind.
It was also the year of buying the most useless souvenir ever. How could I leave Canada without some material momentum, something that would always remind me of this amazing trip. In reality, I wonder what really happens to all the souvenirs we gather over the years! Mine is tucked away in a box and it’s been there for years. Maybe if I think about it at the right time, given that I’m in the right place (near by the box), I might pull it out to look at it and reminisce. Is that the duty of a souvenir and it’s purpose? Well, if you read my prior post, you know that my favorite animal is the bear and that every trip into nature secretly holds the wish of being allowed to observe another bear in the wild. So what do I buy as a souvenir? A bear bell….????? The purpose of a bear bell is to attach it to your backpack, announcing your approach and allowing the bear to bail out in a hurry. And they do most of the time in the presence of humans. Why would I want that? I rather smear honey all over my backpack to attract, then to deter an opportunity to see a bear. Needless to say, I do like the bear bell (I hope that was reason enough as to why I bought it), but I never ever attached it to my backpack, nor do I have any plans in the near future to do so.
It was the end of 2011 and night time was casting it’s dark shadows across my little village, as I heard something peculiar outside. “Whoot, whoot” and silence, and then again I heard it as I paused in my tracks, holding my breath to identify the the noise. After hearing it for three times and each time getting closer to the source of the noise, I knew it came from the backyard. I opened the sliding door and stared into the silent darkness. Nothing, but I have to admit that it felt a little eerie. My eyes were trying to adjust to the darkness but without the moon and any source of light, it was just too dark to make out anything. Still nothing and I stood there what seemed like forever. It was quiet and I was beginning to give up on discovering the source of the strange sound. I started to turn to get back into the house and then I heard it again. “Whoot, whoot” and much closer as if it was right upon me. A initial startle came over me as I felt my heart pounding. Gripping the flashlight, I turned it to shine into the direction of the noise and then I saw it. Two eyes, like those of a monster shining back at me from the beam of the flashlight. Sitting on a telephone post running along the fence side of my property, only a few feet away from me, there it was. A huge owl had come to visit me and I found myself frozen in that very spot on my porch. I watched it observe me, bat it’s eyes and turn its head in a 360 motion which appeared to have come full circle. I still have mixed feelings when I think about that night and for a moment I wondered if it could be a predator for my two dogs.
Still not in tune with spirit animals, their significance, as well as their signs and meaning, I had heard about the owl being a messenger from the underworld, a messenger of death. Two days later it was that it happened and Sparky, my dog didn’t return home with me from the vet visit. I had to say goodbye and it was a life shattering experience that affected me to the core.Immediately I thought of the owl and it’s visit being a sign. A message of death. Perhaps it was the first time I associated animal sightings with messages and you can imagine that I didn’t like owls all that much, for a long time. I associated them with bad omens, a message of loss.
After the ugly beauty store experience and a trip to Hawaii that followed right after, I remember walking through a meadow along oceanside. It was lined with shrubs and trees native to the area and it was at dusk as a huge white owl took off in flight and flew right over me. It was only a few feet above me as it passed and our eyes met. I looked up and the giant raptor while it looked down at me in passing. It was giving me panic and I worried about everything and anything. Mostly about my mom in Germany who was not doing good at all and who I would visit the same year. No matter how much I tried to ignore it, it did over shadowed my vacation and left me with an unrestful feeling. My fear about the meaning of the owl had become my reality and while it’s symbol holds many other great attributes, it was the one of death that I associated it with. Luckily nothing happened, nobody died and I started to research more about the owl at a later point. I needed to find something else than death to cling on to and I had to shift my perception.
Further I learned that the owl as a spirit animal is emblematic of a deep connection with wisdom and intuition. That if guided by this spirit, you have the intuition and ability to see what is hidden to others and what they can’t see. The presence of the owl announces change and boy, was I going through some changes at that time. It also signaled the capacity to see beyond deceit (the ugly beauty store) and the many ugly masks of it. It meant wisdom and as far as it being a messenger of death, I changed the traditional meaning a little to the symbolic meaning of a life transition, a change. This change and transition of thinking did not come overnight however and it was a personal choice to find something more positive to hold on to. I often felt that I had the very intuition to see things others couldn’t see, which in itself can be a blessing or a curse. It might even make more sense to you now and you understand what I was trying to say in the mentioning of such through previous posts. The experience itself when you are lets just say being blessed with such intuition, causes you to stand alone a great many of times. If you choose the vocal route, others may look at you strange while they assume that you are trying to stir things up. Unfortunately because of it, I often found myself opting for the silence path, as the ones that I wished to protect, had to go through their own painful experiences and couldn’t see my wisdom just yet. And in a way it’s the only that way we learn our significant lessons. If it’s not life altering, hard and gut wrenching, it simply does not define and grow us into the person we are meant to become.
Since that initial experience in my backyard with the owl and seeing it in Hawaii, I had a few more visits from the owl. Always sitting on the telephone post in my backyard, “whooting” into the night sky before spreading its wings like a giant velociraptor. A sight to behold when watching the small dinosaur with its huge wingspan lift itself into the darkness. I also learned about the great honor that is bestowed upon you when a owl comes to visit (much better than the death vision, wouldn’t you agree?) and it is said that they pick up on your energy of wisdom and intuition. A compliment in itself and in my search of learning more about spirit animals and totems, I learned that we each have our own spirit animal. It was at a later point that I came across a test to determine which one was mine. This test would ultimately prompt the research on the subject to change my views. I didn’t like the initial results but it is also a prime example of how we have the power to view things and interpret them based on the choice we choose to see.
After the initial scare of the results and moving past previous preconceived notions, I’m at peace now to know that my spirit animal is the Owl.