Spirit Animal Meaning of Owl

Gray Owl and moonFunny how some animals (like Dolphin) are almost universally loved, while others elicit a whole range of emotions, from reverence to revulsion. Of any bird spirit animal, Owl is perhaps the one that is most feared, while at the same time respected and sometimes even beloved.

Owl played a big role in last week’s New Moon reading for this lunar month. For me, it was the third or fourth time she popped up within a couple weeks. When a power animal shows up three or more times in a row, it’s time to pay attention. So I thought I’d take a deeper dive into Owl spirit animal medicine this week.

Here is the Cliff’s Notes version; if Owl calls to you and you’d like to hear more, check out my brand new Owl video on YouTube.

Owl Spirit Animal Meanings and Associations:

  •  Secrets
  •  The shadow world (deep unconscious)
  •  Deep intuition
  •  Speaking the truth
  •  Wisdom, and especially Crone wisdom
  •  Silent or behind the scenes efficiency
  •  Magic
  •  Letting go of what doesn’t serve you

The Shadow Side of Owl:

  •  Illusion
  •  Illogic
  •  Insanity
  •  Depression
  •  Stealth
  •  Addictions
  •  Death (This can actually be positive – e.g. dying to one way of life in order to enter a new one)

To explore Owl power animal meaning more deeply, watch my video:

Owl is asking me to share a couple things in particular right now:

Old Woman Wisdom: Speaking the Truth

The first has to do with speaking one’s truth. Owl represents intuitive awareness, and the ability to not only see different perspectives, but the compulsion to reveal the Truth about them. This is old woman wisdom (and in fact the Celts associated the Owl with the Crone phase of the Goddess.) Old women are not afraid to speak the truth, even when it is uncomfortable.

Here is where the shadow side of Owl comes in: When truth is suppressed—when the choice is made to ignore or turn away from intuitive guidance, to kill the voice—illness, misfortune, and madness reign supreme.

We see the effects of this in our culture: chronic illness, high suicide rates, environmental degradation, threat of nuclear holocaust, etc. It shows up in individuals, too (especially for people who are called to the shamanic path; part of the shaman’s journey typically entails falling ill and/or going mad until they learn how to align their mind, spirit, and body with divine truth, at which time the shaman is healed and is able to use their healing powers to help others.)

Take What Serves You, Get Rid of The Rest

The second Owl power animal insight at this time  is related to Owl’s digestive habits. An Owl’s digestive system is able to separate out the digestible bits of their prey from the inedible parts – bones, fur, teeth, and claws – and compress the latter into hard pellets which the owl then coughs up and spits out. Owl teaches us to take what’s nourishing from a situation and leave  the rest rather than internalizing what’s not supporting you. (Or more likely expel it; as silent as Owls can be, they are not a passive bird.)

Put together, Owl’s encouragement at this time is to spend some time really feeling into what is true for you—including separating out what you find valuable from that which is not—and giving voice to it.

This, of course, takes courage. Whether it leads you to a path of activism, or getting rid of habits or people who aren’t supporting your highest good, or honoring the truth of what really is fulfilling to you vs. what others (or your own ego) advocates, or simply drawing a line and speaking up for what you know is true, you can expect resistance. In fact, it can shake up your life pretty bad. But ultimately if you are experiencing any kind of discomfort in your current life, acknowledging the truth and acting on it is a necessary step to regaining balance.

And if fear of the consequences has been holding you back from speaking or acting on your truth (don’t be ashamed if it has), know that the consequences may not actually be as bad as you may anticipate. We are entering a time in history where old woman wisdom is just starting to be appreciated again. There is a lot of spiritual support for this on the planet right now. And this support is growing on a lot of levels.

As each individual steps into their truth, it makes it that much easier for the next to do so. We all rise up together.

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

Finding Your Purpose: A Spirit Message from Fox

Red fox power animalA couple weeks ago I had a magical moment in the woods. I’d been rambling about with my dog, and after a while felt the call to go off trail a bit to pray.

Right in the middle, I hear this rustling in the leaves behind me. I look up and see this critter just booking towards us. Someone’s dog? No—as it comes closer I see it’s a beautiful Red Fox. It barrels past just a yard or two behind me, then disappears into the woods on the other side, its white-tipped tail like a signal flag behind it.

Fox  has been calling himself to my attention quite a lot lately. So I thought I’d feel into it and see what he’s wanting to say.

Fox Power Animal Guidance

What’s coming forward right now is the shapeshifting aspect of Fox. Unlike frogs and butterflies, Foxes don’t actually shapeshift (except in folklore, such as the Japanese kitsune, a fox that can shapeshift into human form.) But, they do move silently and are really good at disappearing and reappearing into the forest, giving the impression of being able to disappear at will.

In other words, they have a slippery, elusive quality that gives the Fox totem the energetic quality of shapeshifting.

Also, foxes are one of those wild animals that do quite well in an urban environment. I’ve come across foxes right in the middle of several small to medium towns I’ve lived in. A friend from Dublin once wrote me about a fox living in their garden, and I’ve heard quite a number of stories of foxes living quite happily in other larger urban centers as well.

So the fox energy that’s coming forward right now has to do with that elusive quality, and also with their adaptability. It’s about the ability to slip in and out of established conventions.

Sometimes we find ourselves moving about in social circles or work environments that “require” us to step outside of who we are and follow the conventions. Fox medicine allows us to appear to do that while still actually following our own compass.

One of the interesting things about foxes is that they’re able to “see” the Earth’s magnetic field. Scientists think they can actually see it as a shadow on their retina, and it gives them the inborn capacity to be aware of where North is. They use that ability in tandem with their sense of hearing to locate and capture small animals that may be hiding under the snow or under fallen leaves. It’s rather like a specialized intuition that’s very connected with Earth.

So here’s the power animal message from Fox:

  1. First, Fox is asking us to really tune in to what is our “true North.”

Not what you think you should or ought to do, or what others are trying to tell you to do, but what are YOU being called to do? 

Doing so will require you to tune into your intuition. Pay close attention to all your senses. Each sense is its own channel for divine guidance; when we get similar intuitive input through different ones it can work like lining things up in the crosshairs – just like the fox “lines up” the rustling sounds in the leaves with its magnetic vision to zero in on its prey.

Use your senses to follow your pleasure. Every animal knows that pleasure is a good thing. It’s the pursuit of pleasure just as much or more than the avoidance of pain that helps them survive and thrive. We humans often have a warped view of pleasure. Yes, there are false pleasures, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

What brings you joy? By joy I mean real fulfillment, not some false pleasure that is just a temporary fix for an empty spot in your life. Find what brings you joy, and allow yourself to pursue it! That’s what Joseph Campbell called “following your bliss,” and it is the road to Purpose.

2. Next, the encouragement is to connect with Earth, to ground ourselves.

There are many ways to do this, but the one that’s coming forward for me right now is to pay close attention to your body. Whatever frustrations or setbacks you might be experiencing, take a moment to tune in and ask: what is your body wanting to tell you?

Maybe you need more sleep, or more exercise, or a different kind of exercise, or to eat more or less of something. It’s amazing how many times when we get thrown off track it’s because we’re not aligned with our body’s needs. A little fix like an extra hour of sleep can work wonders.

3. Also, Fox is saying we don’t always have to disrupt our lives to follow our purpose. 

Sometimes we get the prompt from Spirit to make big leaps, to quit a job or to move out of state or start a business or something like that. That can be very legitimate, and for most of us there are times for that, but that’s not what this is about.

The message I’m getting from Fox is that you can follow that sense of true north, follow your purpose, in a way that doesn’t require you to make huge leaps,  disrupt your life, take on Herculean tasks, and/or call undue attention to yourself.

Bringing Purpose to Earth

With this Fox energy, it’s more like weaving your pursuit of joy through your existing life, keeping that true North in sight, but moving towards it in a way that’s almost inconspicuous and/or not overtly disruptive. So it’s the ability to follow your guidance, follow your bliss, follow your purpose within the life you already have. It’s a sort of flying under the radar.

For example, say you feel called to be a healer. You could go all out, quit your job and start a healing business, or go back to school and switch careers to something in the medical profession, the whole nine yards. And sometimes that’s the way to go.

But another path is to keep the life you have, and work your passion for healing into it. Maybe start a healing Meetup. Work on family and friends in your spare time. Take on a few clients on the side. Take some night classes. Quietly practice Reiki at work. That sort of thing.

It’s a “yes, and” approach. Yes, there are reasons for me to be where I’m at. And yes, I have dreams and desires for something more. I allow myself to experience and receive both!

That is not to say that big shifts will not happen at some point. In fact, if you’re truly following your purpose they most certainly will. You may eventually quit that job, make that move, start that business, or whatever it is. The point is that it can happen gently and naturally, growing organically from where you are at right now, without being forced or forcing you and those around you to cope with huge changes all at once, at least not at the moment.

In a sense, it has to do with a sort of truce, a “meeting half way” between the spiritual and the material planes of life, between our dreams and our daily reality. They really can come together in harmonious ways!

Looking for more insight on the Spiritual meaning of Fox?

Like all power animals, Fox has multiple spirit meanings. We are all connected, so even though this message is relevant to me personally, it will relate to the collective as well. If Fox has come into your life recently it may therefore feel spot on for you, too.

But, if you feel Fox may have a different message for you, or if you’d like additional insight into the spirit meaning of Fox, check out my YouTube video on Fox here:

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

Deer Spirit Meaning and Finding Your Purpose

Deer painting in watercolor

Deer has been coming forward for me a lot lately so I thought I’d share a bit about the spirit meaning of this magnificent animal. Perhaps it will speak to you, too!

Like all animal guides, Deer has multiple meanings and I could go on for pages about it. For now, though, let’s explore Deer spirit meaning as it relates to soul’s purpose.

Connecting head and heart

This animal relates very strongly to two chakras in particular: Heart and Crown. Gentleness, innocence, nurturing, giving of oneself, and Love are some of the symbolic meanings of Deer in many traditions. All of these resonate very strongly with heart energy. And the antlers of the male deer symbolize the crown’s connection with Spirit. While pursuit of purpose involves all the chakras, this connection of heart and crown is especially significant. Deer can therefore be a powerful guide in the process of seeking one’s purpose.

It’s interesting to note that in English, another word for “stag” is “hart,” don’t you think? There are many examples in folklore of a hunter or prince being led deep into the dark forest by a mysterious stag, becoming lost and embarking upon a great adventure that eventually leads to love, wealth and happiness.

And that is what often happens when we begin to follow our h(e)art’s purpose.

Often we feel alone in the wilderness, at least at first. And we face many challenges and even demons and monsters along the way. Every hero of story and myth experiences their dark night of the soul, and it can truly be a place of woe and despair.

3 whitetail deer illustration

So as innocent as the Deer animal guide may appear to be (and innocence is indeed one of its symbolic meanings), taking it on as a totem is not for the faint of heart.

But there is immense wisdom to be found in myth. Inevitably, our hero meets up with helpers and guides along the way, and is given tools and wisdom to vanquish the forces of the dark and accomplish his task (the first step of which is often to realize that he has a task in the first place, and to find out where and what he needs to do!)

Letting go of attachments

On another note, purification is another huge symbolic meaning of Deer totem. And in fact, a large part of finding and pursuing Purpose often entails letting go of that which does not support it.

Here we want to take a close look at one of the shadow aspects of Deer: jealousy.

Male deer can be extremely jealous, which if you think about it makes sense, since during rutting season it’s a buck deer’s goal to gather together a harem of does and to mate with as many of them as possible. If he is successful at this, of course, his genes get to rule the next generation. But he has to not only fight with powerful rivals, but also guard against rogue bucks who will sneak into his harem and mate with the does while his back is turned.

So like nearly all shadow energies this one is here for a reason. When jealousy shows up in human relationships the underlying reason is typically fear of loss.

I’m not talking just love relationships here. I’m talking about any kind of attachment energy, where you cling to and/or defend a person or behavior or idea of how something should be. And what happens is that we fixate on that thing, we keep giving our energy to that instead of focusing on our connection with Light.

So one thing to consider if Deer keeps showing up for you, especially if you are experiencing some sort of dark night of the soul, or relationship issue, is what fixations might be present in your consciousness? Are you relating to the person as he or she really is, or some sort of projected belief about that person? Are you focusing on what you really want in your heart, or on what some part of you thinks you should want? Are you clinging to things that no longer serve you? Recognizing and releasing these fixations and attachments will help free you to get back on the path you seek.

Watch my new video for more about the spiritual symbolism of Deer

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Deer spirit meaning. If you’d like to hear more Deer spirit wisdom (including Deer’s connection with Christ energy), check out my newest animal spirit video here:

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

Spider Totem: Spirit Animal Meaning of Spider

Spider spirit animal image
For more about Spider spirit animal meaning, watch my video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unpDsV9ORVg

Spiders. They evoke our wondering admiration, and our horror, both.

On the one hand, we have the miraculous, ethereal beauty of a spider web, like a garment woven for angels. On the other, a horrifying entity creeping into our nightmares, or emerging from the darkest imaginations of a Tolkien or a J.K. Rowling.

Why do Spiders, more than any other animal, elicit such a spectrum of emotion?

I believe it’s because, more than any animal I am aware of, they embody the power of the Deep Feminine—an energy that is deeply misunderstood in our culture.

The thing to remember is that feminine energy is all about connection. This is what makes it so super powerful. On the one hand (in its Light aspect) it’s the driving force behind Oneness. On the other (in its dark aspect) it can be horrifically manipulating and subversive.

Here are just a few of Spider’s powers:

Spider web

Positive (Light) Spider Energy:
  • Creativity
  • Patience
  • Persistence
  • Emotional Awareness
  • Magnetic Allure
  • Networking/Connectedness
  • Wealth attraction
SpiderNegative Spider Energy (dark side):
  • Ensnarement
  • Calculating manipulation
  • Venomous thought
  • Vampirism

Whew – that’s quite the list! So if Spider appears to you, be aware that she may be pointing out tendencies towards any of the above in you or someone you’re dealing with.

I’m not going to go super deep into Spider symbolism here (if I did it might take all night). And I am definitely not in the mood right now to delve into its dark aspects. (Although I just released a Spider video that touches on the topic.)

For now, I want to focus on one of Spider’s strongest and most positive aspects: Creativity. The act of Bringing Forth.

Spider is an absolutely fantastic power animal for anyone wishing to expand their creative abilities, and especially for creative people wanting to make a living from their skills. A few thoughts:

spiderweb

  • Watch a spider spinning her web. It will just about put you in a trance. Spider demonstrates complete attunement to a pattern that comes not from intellect but from her own inner knowing, manifesting it precisely and deliberately in the physical world.
  • Notice all the different types of spider webs in the world – the variety is breathtaking. Besides the beautiful orb type web, there are cobwebs; funnel-shaped webs; the little gossamer webs you find in the lawn; even trap-door-like webs that aren’t meant to ensnare but to hide a spider so that it can ambush its passing prey. And check it out – they’re ALL awesome. You won’t find a Spider comparing her web unfavorably to her neighbor’s!
  • To continue that thought, some webs are notable for their beauty, some as amazing feats of engineering. Creativity is not just the realm of artists! How does your own creative self want to express him- or herself?
  • Patience is another of Spider’s virtues. And Faith. Most spiders have to wait to be discovered. Sometimes a while!
  • Persistence, too. Despite being crafted out of one of the strongest materials in existence, spider webs are fragile and sometimes have to be rebuilt again and again. Spider just doesn’t give up. (If you’re an aspiring author trying to get published, take note. Some of the world’s most successful authors only got published after they got rejected again, and again, and again.)
  • Notice that the web is both a beautiful creation and a source of livelihood for Spider. No reason the two have to be mutually exclusive. “Starving artist” myth be damned! (Including the healing arts!)

Well, like I said I could sit here riffing on Spider all night. But I’d like to get some sleep. So if you want to know more about Spider, check out my latest YouTube video here. (And discover a simple exercise you can do to open yourself up to a more feminine, creative style of vision.)

(P.S. Next time you find a Spider in your house, please don’t smash her. Find yourself a yogurt tub with a lid and gently remove the little artist outside where she can spin her dreams in peace.)

Do you feel a connection with Spider? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.

Are you living your Purpose? A spirit animal’s perspective

“The purpose of life is Life.” – Joseph Campbell

circle sm

I channeled this painting for a client recently. The image came first, but it felt like something was missing. So I took a break and started cleaning out a shelf in the studio. And as luck would have it a piece of paper fell out with these words printed on it:

The Sun is a Circle/The Moon is a Circle/The Earth is a Circle/We are a Circle

Everything that is, is alive/And everything has a place on the Circle.

I remembered someone handing that sheet of paper to me at an event I attended last fall, but I don’t know who the author is (or if it even has an author.) Regardless, it seemed to provide the missing element.

The message that comes through to me here is all about grounding, and balancing, and relaxing into the art of being.

Being, in terms of feeling oneself a part of all that is.

Knowing that simply being is enough.

We often spend such time and energy worrying about “Purpose.” And indeed some of us do have a burning mission in life. 

That’s beautiful when it happens, but what if your purpose isn’t clear to you? 

I think the bird in this painting has something to say about that.

You might think at first that it is a Crow. I did, when I first saw it in my mind’s eye. But once I got it down on paper it was quite clear that this spirit animal was not a Crow, but a Grackle.

A Common Grackle, to be precise.

Grackles are indeed common birds. If you live in the eastern half of North America you’ve probably seen these black birds gathering in noisy flocks in treetops, or strutting across your lawn. They are boisterous, opportunistic birds that eat nearly anything and are actually much more likely than crows to steal corn.

At first glance you might not think there was much about a Grackle to write home about, with its somber dress and creaky voice. But if you look more closely at the Common Grackle you will see that it is really quite a striking bird. Its head and neck are not actually black but are covered in iridescent feathers ranging from purple to green to bronze. It has a distinctive white eye that contrasts sharply with its body. And its elongated, v-shaped tail lends a graceful touch to its figure.

To me the Grackle’s message is to appreciate the beauty, magic and majesty of ordinary, everyday life. To honor one’s physical being and delight in the strength and power of the body as a divine vehicle for Spirit. 

It also connotes the night, a time of feminine power. In fact, the grackle
with its white eye resembles the feminine “yin” of the famous Chinese yin-yang symbol.

We are all a part of the body of Mother Earth. Our bodies, our blood: her soil and water sparked to life. Our breath and her air are one. Her fire burns in our souls.

Is it not enough to simply be? Were we not born into the world as sacred beings? Can not our most simple, everyday actions become so infused with love that they are in themselves a prayer that is felt, seen, heard and understood without need for words or explanation?

That is the power of the divine feminine – a power that is felt, wordless, in the body and expressed naturally when we share the joy of living with others.

Just as a gorgeous iridescent rainbow lies hidden in the Grackle’s “black” feathers, so there is hidden treasure in the commonness of our lives.  A treasure we often miss in our pursuit of Purpose.

But sometimes, when we allow ourselves to quiet down, to ground ourselves and simply be, Purpose has a way of revealing itself after all.


This artwork is available as an 11″ x 14″ fine art print.  Click here to purchase.  

 

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, uplifting artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just go to the "Cool Stuff" tab in the menu up top and click on "Newsletter" to subscribe.