I didn’t always know about Totems and Power Animals, I didn’t always know about Animal Magick and how we are guarded, guided, and gifted by the animals that walk this amazing Earth we live on.
From the time I was a very young child I have always seen Owls. Yes, I know, people see owls, as they are real, but I have always seen them, any time of day, whenever I am experiencing extreme emotion- good or bad. I have noticed them during drives to work when things were lousy, I caught a glimpse of one each of the days I found out I was pregnant for my daughters. There was an owl in the woods, where I went to hide after the passing of my grandfather. They have never scared me, I have always had a deep love of owls and disagreed with those who claim they are a negative omen. I’ve joked I’d love to have a pet owl. I have been connected to and in love with owls long before the cutesy folk art owls became the “in thing” and decades before I knew that Owl is main totem of my soul.
My sister C has been Wiccan since she was 16 years old. When I came out of the Broom closet to her, I didn’t know this, and it was amazing to have her to learn from. When she came to visit me (she lives about 1000 miles away) for the first time after knowing she helped me do a cleansing of my house. It was the middle of the day, about 1pm when we finished and as we sealed the final door and completed the cleansing an owl hooted from my backyard. She looked at me and said “did you hear that?”… I was like “oh yea, Owls are always with me”… she was the one who gave that connection and bond a name, she said “owl is your totem”. I didn’t know what she meant but I started learning and looking into it and finally I had a name for what had been going on my entire life. Some time later I wrote a meditation, as part of a challenge to write a meditation revolving around a Spirit Guide. I’d like to share this mediation here:
From January 2013
Light a white candle and focus your eyes on the flame. Begin breathing slowly and deeply. Inhale to a count of 4 hold for a count of 4 and then slowly release the breath to a count of 4. Continue this pattern while gazing into the flame until the world around you melts away, your hearing is dulled and there remains only your breathing, the flickering fire, and you are relaxed.
Looking in the flame you see a woman. She has long platinum hair blowing in the wind, she wears a long white robe and a silver colored hooded cloak. She is walking through the forest…. You follow her.
She has a warm smile on her face, and speaks not a word, she looks up into the trees and you can’t help but look up to find what she is looking at. You don’t see anything other than the tall trees around you, strong and sturdy, with large, wide trunks and beautiful strong branches.
You continue to follow her through the woods down a meandering path until she leaves the path behind. She moves fluidly through the forest, and you carefully push away branches and keep from tripping over roots and rocks.
There is a noise coming from above in one of the trees. She stops beneath it, a solid pine tree with many branches and to you they almost look like a staircase going into the canopy. Your beautiful guide looks at you, then looks up into the tree and you realize that you need to climb the pine branch staircase.
You feel young and limber as you begin your journey up the tree, the branches are perfectly spaced and the climb is not hard. Higher and higher you climb, the forest floor no longer visible to you, and yet you go higher and higher….. the sound you heard on the forest floor becomes louder and louder with your ascent and you finally put together that it is the hooting of an owl.
Up and up into the canopy you climb until you reach a platform. When you were a child you dreamed of a tree house such as this, a sanctuary where the sounds of the world fade away and nothing could possibly harm you. You look out from the platform and realize you are hundreds of feet above the tallest of the forest trees, and the sight is breathtaking. You are at the top of the world and the visibility is endless, beyond the forest you can see the village where you are from and everything looks so small.
You turn around to face the tree again and on the platform, across from you, is the largest owl you have ever seen, and its eyes seem to be looking deep into your soul. You fall to your knees, you have never seen such an animal before. Standing 5 feet high, with the purest white feathers, speckled with shimmering gold and silver feathers at the tips of its wings. Eyes of brown and gold with blue seeming to swirl throughout.
The owl hoots, a loud almost hideous sound, but all you hear is beauty and glance up as the owl stretches out its wings and a singular silver feather falls from the mighty owl and lands on the platform just in front of you. The owl hoots again and you know deep within you that this feather is meant for you.
The feather shimmers and sparkles and you touch it ever so gently before picking it up into your hands. Is that? No, it can’t be… but it is…. Your name is written on the tube of the feather, and after your name is the word wisdom. You tuck the feather behind your ear, not knowing why you are compelled to do so.
The great owl turns its head away from you then looks back toward you and another hoot escapes its lips, only it sounds like a song, a lullabye you’ve heard before, and you join in the song. When the singing is over the great owl tells you to take flight…. You understand what she is saying, and before you know you are doing it you turn your head full around to look behind you where the owl is telling you to fly… then you remember that you shouldn’t be able to do that so you try to reach for the feather behind your ear, and instead of a hand your wings spread.
The great owl seems to be laughing at your bewilderment as you turn and walk to the edge of the platform before opening your wings and leaping off the edge. The wind catches in your wings and not knowing you are flying over the forest. You make great circles and daring dives and come back up toward the moon. The wind carries you some of the way, your wings carry you too.
You don’t know how long you’ve flown but you make your back to the platform and the great owl. The Great Owl asks you why you jumped so easily from the platform, and you answer because you just knew it would be okay. Owl tells you that this is true in life as well, you must take great risks to enjoy great rewards. That people die and things go wrong but that all things work out as they are meant to in the end. The Owl tells you that you shouldn’t be afraid of the unknown but to embrace it and welcome it so it can stop being a stranger. That change can be exhilarating and that only through great change can we grow and become all that we are meant to be.
You promise the Great Owl that you won’t forget the lessons you have learned this night, and you will never forget that she let you taste true freedom. The Great Owl spreads her wings and you walk toward her and press against her chest. She brings her wings down around you close your eyes and thank her. When your eyes open you are back on the path in the forest, with the platinum haired woman, you can see your village from here and realize you’ve been transported back to where you started. You look closely at the woman’s eyes and realize they are brown and gold with blue swirling through them. You smile back at her and walk back toward your village.
As you walk allow the world around you to come back into focus, you are in your room, in front of the candle and the flickering flame. Slowly let the sounds of your house come to your ears and welcome you back to the here and now.