Thursday, January 19, 2012

owl medicine

For the last several months, I've been noticing owls everywhere. In the beginning, it was always in stores - things to buy. I first bought the baby an adorable stuffed owl of all the right colours (brown, orange and turquoise) that has various sensory thingies. Then a couple of owl shirts (also with brown and turquoise) at Old Navy. I saw owls elsewhere in stores and figured it was just a trend. Wherever possible, I tried to resist.

I think it was in November that I went to visit a new person for my photo project. And owls were everywhere. She'd made a series of hanging owls that spelled out the word autumn. She had a more than 50-year-old owl cookie jar in the kitchen that was once a wedding gift for her grandparents. She had more owls on teensy shelves in the hallway. It was lovely. And these were not owls on things that a store was trying to sell.

I began to wonder if perhaps I should be paying more attention to these owls. If perhaps I was noticing them for reasons other than corporate marketing.

That day, I spent way longer visiting than I expected. I missed lunch entirely and had to race out to pick up Eldest at school, barely making it on time. She was a former early childhood educator and things we talked about got me thinking in new ways.

Later, I googled owl as totem. It was as I almost expected. Owls can see clearly in the dark and guide you back to your proper path if you've lost it. Owls can help you find balance, as they keep rodents (pests) in check. They are associated with death (and rebirth) and wisdom.

From the site:
"Yet even so, the Owl provides a vital function in keeping bird, rodent and insect populations in check; too many of any species is detrimental to the balance of all. So it is with other things in our own lives, for if we have too many possessions, too many projects, too much of anything, it limits and restricts our ability to move freely through the different areas of our lives and the result is stagnation which leads to the death of joy, happiness and abundance. Owl medicine then becomes crucial in helping us to clear out that which is no longer needed or wanted. What may seem like a death to us in the giving up of something may be for another the birth and manifestation of a dream. We are most likely to lose our way when we become enmeshed in the "shoulds" and "must haves" in life, most of which come not from our inner selves but from the opinions and beliefs of those around us. We can spend so much time listening to others about what we should want (and the commercials on the telly and radio are prime examples of this!) that we ignore what we really want. We find ourselves spiraling downwards into the darkness because we have become so busy thinking we must pursue this or hunt that, most of which provides very little, if any, real nourishment.

"Think for a moment what your life would be like if you were able to jettison anything that did not speak to you on a Soul level. What would remain? What then would you "hunt" because it provided for you on all levels? That is what Owl medicine teaches us to do. We find that as we begin to move through the process of what we truly want, clearing the old to make way for the new birth of the Self that is close at hand, we find that other obstacles, limitations, fears and anxieties also begin to "die" in our lives. They no longer have the hooks to remain attached to our energy fields and without our support, they must die."

Last weekend, I went back to photograph the woman. I'd been having a most shitty day before I arrived. My whole family was crabby (including me) and Eldest had had a godawful meltdown that included kicking me in the shin several times.

I felt immediate peace once I got in her door. There was lovely music, and dried goods in jars, and wood, and owls. It was good.


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