It was a fantastic moment. Outside, the heat forming beads on my brow in the slow but steady heat. The gentle breeze drifts by, the birds, insects, and even trees are quiet. A nice, sage-brush smell permeates the air.
Then the sky goes dark. The wind suddenly howls as if the Avian One opened the gates and let the Wild Ones loose; the trees bending, sand and dust flies in the air and stings your face with the speed it was thrown by the winds.
The trees sway and bend, the sound of cracking branches is muffled by the howl that encircles my workplace.
I took the moment to ask, simply – for an omen from the Bird God. There has been so much talk about ‘totems,’ lately, and I’ve been thinking. I may be a black bear sure, but I’m actually unhappy with what cards I’ve been dealt. I love birds. I adore my Bird God. I love the kinship I have with Him. I will not use the word ‘totems,’ for my own practice. I don’t view it that way, nor work with the spirits I know that way. My family line of Zimmerman has the Bee on it’s heraldry. I can’t even begin to count how many bears, but specifically wolves I’ve met in the past years. Scores. Romanticizing the animal isn’t helping anyone. In reality, the praying mantis is more poetic. That’s pretty much all I have to say on the topic. I insert my response to the blog (Shadows of the Sun):
“I agree there – my family’s ‘totem,’ if you want to use a Native American word – is the Bee. Nothing special there.
I am not familiar with some of the terminology there- but the animal I end up being is the black bear. I’m still struggling with it, and I too have been to combat, with enough
‘life’ added in that I’m still digesting all of it. It isn’t glamorous, at all. I can’t tell you how many ‘bears,’ I’ve met in the last five years. At least 80. Working to know who and what you are isn’t easy, fast, or what you expect. Am I a bad-ass Grizzly? Nope, I’m more liable to raid your cooler. Whew, takes my breath away. I think in part is the romanticizing of the animal – I’ve had dozens of bear encounters, and they are NOT what the new-age books write about. Same thing with the fox, raccoon, coyote, and yes, I think there is a griffin or two.
It has taken the meaning out of it for me at times, and keeps me questioning it. I’ve had this same issue with Pagans for so long I quit talking about it. I think maybe they want that ‘special,’ uh, I guess ‘special thing,’ to them – but the reality is vastly different. I’d rather be grouse. There, I said it.
Therein lies the rub – I did impose my own ‘totem,’ on myself – I love corvids, more specifically the crow. I have since I was young. I love their sounds, their flights, their folklore, their habits with people – all of it. I always will. There are parts of the crow I would LOVE to see in myself. I just would. I don’t work with any though I’d love to, though I’ve accepted that chances are good I never will. I can still admire them though, for their beauty, ingenuity, and intelligence.
No, I work with the wasp and mink. Ant to a good extent, turtle, and coyote only as a link to one of my Gods. Do I admit it to other Pagans? In the rare instances I meet one. I’m the only one out here for miles, and the closest one is, yes: A Dragon. Married to a Unicorn. No, I shit you not.
Thank you for posting this, I will chew on this for the rest of the evening.”
*** I left out spider. I’m sorry Spider, it was unintentional. And a final note, being a bear and working with the Bear Mother is not in any way better, or what you would think in any romantic sense whatsoever. Bears don’t typically get along well, and being the smaller bear I usually don’t win the argument. Think about that.
I understand now, why I viewed my Bird God as a raven. I love, absolutely love, corvids. I was trying to impose something that wasn’t there – and the deity to human meat-brain can’t do that. It won’t work. Small wonder I kept getting confused and off track. So, a Goose God is, well, different. It’s what He is. I just need to stop whining internally.
I got my omens. I asked for one, but now I don’t fight anything with Him, I got to be face to face with two wild female turkeys, and a barn-swallow skull fell onto my hat as I walked back inside. Just a gentle ‘plup,’ onto the soft of my cap. I will finish cleaning the skull, and I was shocked by the gentleness inherit within it. I am not sure what to make of the omens yet, I will divine after posting this.
So, with the winds still howling, I accept what I am. It isn’t as ‘cool,’ as many would like to think of it – but it is what it is. I allowed the twelve winds to take that away, and with the sandblasting I got I noticed something different.
The air is colder, stiffer, and ‘marching.’ Change, is in the air.