Spirit Animals: 4 birds that symbolize Vision – what’s the difference?

snowy owl
Photo by English

HAPPY SPRING! Someone was telling me recently about going up to Brockway Mountain for the spring raptor migration. Apparently they won’t migrate across Lake Superior, and instead go around the land way, with the result that sometimes you can see dozens of eagles and other birds of prey in one day at this spot. Wow!

I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to get up that way this spring. If I do I’ll certainly share the experience with you. But just hearing about it got me thinking about vision.

Raptors (birds of prey) all have amazingly sharp eyesight to help them locate and catch their prey. As spirit animals, they all represent Vision – the kind of energy that can help us gain focus and clarity in our lives. However, each one channels this energy in a slightly different way.

Here is my interpretation of the different flavors of Vision as represented by a few of the most popular raptors:

eagle-detailEagle:  Eagle is the consummate crown chakra animal. Its energy is all about spiritual vision, and connection with the sacred. Don’t be surprised if Eagle shows up for you as a confirmation that you are on the right spiritual path.

red-tailed-hawk-947416_640
Photo by skeeze

Hawk: To me, Hawk feels more aligned with the third eye chakra. Its vision is more about observation and intuition, and developing those powers within you so that you can gain clarity on your path and goals in the world. This spirit animal may show up to help you gain more clarity around your life purpose or self-realization.

peregrine falconFalcon: Falcons are amazing fliers and hunt on the wing, barreling into their prey (typically smaller birds but also ducks) at a couple hundred miles per hour. Falcon vision is about keeping your goals in sight and taking swift decisive action to achieve them.

horned owl
Photo by Chräcker Heller

Owl: The most mysterious of the raptors, Owl is nocturnal and has incredible night vision. It can also turn its head 270 degrees around! Spiritually, this translates into deep intuition and full awareness of what is going on at all levels of being. Owl also has a strong connection to the deep feminine.

Hopefully this will help you to sort out what kind of “vision” is being referred to if one of these “vision birds” flies into your awareness!

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Angel in progress – digital illustration

This is my second attempt at this piece. Many more layers to go. The falcon at the top is still just sketched in.

I’ve had several dreams of falcons and sightings of real ones during the past year.  And for some reason angels have been coming into my work and consciousness.

My kids were kind enough to pose for a photo shoot a few weeks back. Mostly I was after their hands but I had my son do this pose and this piece just kind of flowed naturally out of it.

The falcon, amongst other things, is significant as a symbol for life’s purpose. My dream falcon was very large and white – I’ll try to make this one look like him once I start filling him in.

One thing I really like about Photoshop is that if you just don’t like where you’re heading, you can save the file under another name, delete whatever layers aren’t working out, and keep going with the original drawing or whatever you had that was working – like going back in time and taking a different route.  (Physicists now tell us the concept of progressive time is an illusion, and being able to work this way makes that seem plausible!) 🙂

My first attempt was started before my daughter opened my eyes to some of the possibilities of the medium. I was liking it until I realized how I could have approached it – then did the time warp trick and came up with something I am liking even better!  I’ll post again when it’s done.

Angel illustration, unfinished
My first (primitive) attempt at the angel.

Did you enjoy this post? Anne

The Vulture: Symbol of Resurrection

"Ascension," watercolor, 15x11"

You might think it strange to claim the vulture as a favorite bird.  But I’ve always loved to watch them in flight, gracefully riding the updrafts.  Contrary to popular myth, they don’t hang around waiting for their prey to die, but feast only on ready-made carrion.

While this may seem morbid (not to mention unappetizing), think about it for a moment.  The vulture provides a critical service by effectively disposing of remains that would otherwise pose a health risk to the population of the living.

For a bird of prey, the vulture is amazingly gentle.  It has no need to be violent or predatory.  In fact, you might say it lives a perfect, Zen-like existence.  Not many things want to eat a vulture, yet its food is freely offered by every creature that walks the crust of the Earth.

Spiritual meaning of vultures

Many years ago I was privileged to spend three months working and living in Costa Rica.  Of course I visited the museums in the capital, San Jose.  While there I noticed many images of vultures.  I learned that the native Central Americans believed that the vulture was responsible for carrying the souls of the departed up to heaven.

This painting was influenced by that belief, and to honor the natural cycle of life and death – each of which is truly just the other side of the other.

Did you enjoy this post? Anne