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!

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.

What does Ferret mean as a Spirit Animal?

Ferret sm
Black Footed Ferret illustration by Anne Christie Michelsen. This painting is copyrighted. Want a copy? Contact me for purchase information!

People who receive my spirit animal readings are sometimes surprised at what animal comes up for them. It’s sometimes an animal they never would have thought of.

No disrespect to spirit animal oracle cards (I’m working on creating a deck myself), but that’s the beauty of doing it on pure intuition. It can literally be ANYTHING.  For instance, I had a 5-lined skink come up for someone once – and it turned out she had a previous connection with the animal! (She actually has a skink skin she once picked up and the reading brought attention to some relationship healing that needed to happen in relation to that incident.)

Anyway, Ferret came forward in a reading I did recently, and since it’s an animal that doesn’t get featured very often, I thought I’d give him a chance to sit in the spotlight today. Please feel free to share this post with anyone you know who is fond of Ferrets! 🙂

Ferret Spirit Animal Meaning

The common name “ferret” includes any of a group of animals in the Weasel family, including the Black Footed Ferret of North America, and the European Polecat. (Domestic ferrets are thought to be descendants of the Polecat.)

Ferrets are carnivorous, and ferocious hunters. As such, they definitely speak to the Warrior within us – and they have lessons to offer both for when our Warrior energy needs some encouragement, and for times when it might be coming on a bit too strong.

In English, to “ferret something out” means to track down something hidden and bring it to light. A ferret’s long, low body allows it to go down into the burrows of its prey (such as rabbits or prairie dogs), where it often takes its sleeping prey by surprise. Ferret can help you uncover hidden blocks and energies in your own psyche – sometimes ones that have been buried for a long time. It takes courage to work with Ferret energy, though, because it will ask you to hold yourself to your own truth.

Once you’re connected, though—watch out! Ferrets embody the word FEARLESS! An awesome super power for when you are going after your goals, or entering into any kind of David and Goliath situation in standing for your truth. Not so awesome if you are simply rushing in where it would be more prudent to walk away and live another day.

One of my readers, Sally, who kept ferrets for many years, says:

Ferrets are sometimes foolishly fearless, they lack fear so much that they have never even heard of the word! They will often attack a huge hunting dog or pitbull or a cunning hunter like a feral cat without second thought or thought at all.  However, in times, in need of fearlessness, the ferret is a great inspiration.”

Ferret does take shelter in the earth, so balance those fiery warrior tendencies with the more earthly qualities of discernment and strategic thinking. Cultivating good people skills, including negotiation, is a good idea, too.

Ferrets and weasels sometimes have a negative connotation in English, as being sneaky or sly, and even thieving. That can indeed be the shadow side of this power animal, and a ferret person may find themselves tempted on occasion to hide the truth from themselves or others. The little bandit mask on many ferrets is a visual symbol of this type of energy.  However, this aspect of Ferret has its positive side, too. When a Ferret person is aligned with her higher self she can put that tenacious, let’s-bring-it-to-the-light-and-get-it-done kind of energy to use in a way that contributes to the highest good.

Like many weasel-family animals, ferrets will sometimes engage in what is known as the “Weasel War Dance”: a ferocious-looking, frenzied display that is supposed to disorient its prey. What can Ferret people learn from this? The value of posturing! Attitude is everything, and putting on a mask of confidence when you have to negotiate or are in a shaky situation can make all the difference. (Another observation from Sally: “I feel they dance around doing the war dance also because they are trying to take their enemy off guard with comical behavior. They’re trying to laugh you out of your attack towards them. They do have a way of charming bigger and better predators than themselves.”)

Keep in mind here, too, another characteristic of the Ferret: like most weasel – family animals, they have musky – smelling scent glands under the tail. Translation? Don’t be afraid to make a stink if you have to! Or conversely: Are you making a stink unnecessarily?

If you find that you attract a lot of conflict, though, remember that a Ferret’s little war dance can also be an invitation to play. Keep the competition friendly and open yourself to creatively “ferreting out” solutions that allow everyone to walk away with their dignity and livelihoods intact – if not actually finding win-win ways to do things.

Finally, a word about our native ferret, the Black Footed Ferret.

One of the benefits the Black Footed Ferret brings to people is to keep the prairie dog population in check – and in the process, reducing outbreaks of bubonic plague, which those animals can carry. Once thought extinct, this feisty little guy is making a comeback with the help of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other organizations.  That makes him an awesome power animal for Survivor energy! 🙂

To find out more about the Black Footed Ferret, and/or to donate any amount to help this beautiful animal stay here on the planet with us, visit the nonprofit Prairie Wildlife Research website: http://www.prairiewildlife.org/support.html

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.

Butterfly Power (A Little Known Butterfly Spirit Meaning)

Just had to share something that came through the other day during the Spirit Animal class I just finished teaching.

We were doing an exercise on shapeshifting and one of my students experienced herself as a butterfly. She found herself noticing that butterflies don’t see the way we do.

A Little Known Spirit Meaning of Butterfly

Butterflies are insects, so of course they have compound eyes. That means, in effect, that they see in all directions at once – indeed an animal super power!
You are probably already familiar with the Butterfly as a symbol of transformation. But if you resonate with Butterfly energy, you might also want to explore this animal totem as it relates to vision.
Butterfly can remind us to look at things from multiple angles to get a higher perspective. Or it can be a symbol of the unity of life – how all things, and all experiences – past, present and future (represented by the butterfly being able to see forwards, backwards and sideways all at the same time) – are ultimately one.
I’ve never seen this Butterfly spirit insight written anywhere, but it feels right. Just one example of how working with your spirit animal directly can deepen your understanding of your totem.
I’m gearing up to start another session of my online class sometime in early to mid October. Details forthcoming! If you’re interested in learning more about how to work with spirit animals, shoot me a reply, and I’ll be sure to notify you directly.

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.

Fall cleaning (Vulture spirit meaning)

turkey vulture feather Somebody handed me a feather the other day. A very long, dark brown flight feather. Neither of us knew what sort of bird had dropped it. But I took it home and looked it up on the Feather Atlas (one of the better things our taxpayer dollars have been spent on.)

Turns out it is from a turkey vulture. I had to chuckle, as for me it was a timely coincidence.

I’m in the midst of a big transition, and as part of the process I”m cleaning and organizing my entire house – closets, attic, the whole nine yards.

Vulture: Symbol of Purification

Despite Vulture’s sordid looks and its diet of decaying flesh, its symbolic meaning has to do with purification and transformation. One of the stories I love about Vulture came from the native people of Costa Rica, who believed that the Vulture is responsible for carrying the souls of the dead up to heaven.

Fall is nearly here – the season of decline and decay. But it is also a season of beauty when seeds are being sown for new growth and new life.

Cleaning house is lots of hard work – especially when you’re digging through 20 years of accumulated stuff. But I’m already feeling clearer and lighter, and look forward to renewed energy and time for exciting new projects once the process is complete.

Whatever is happening in your life right now, take some time today to give thanks for the cycle of life and honor the way it is manifesting for you right now. Give it time – whatever is happening, this too shall pass! 🙂

(I don’t think I’ve introduced my spirit animal affirmation posters here yet. I’ll do it more formally in the next post, but for now just have to include the Vulture one!):

Spirit Animal affirmation poster - vulture

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.

Is Wolf your Power Animal?

I’ve been working on a series of Power Animal paintings in preparation for showing at the Hiawatha Music Festival Artists in the Round art & craft show next month in Marquette, MI. Thought I’d try another Wolf! Read on below for insight into Wolf as Power Animal.
Watercolor Wolf

Wolves are one of those animals that humanity both loathes and reveres. I think it’s because they represent very intense energy, which can be extremely empowering to work with but also frightening, especially if you’re not prepared for it.

Like most animal totems, Wolf has multiple meanings. Today I want to focus on Wolf as Hunter and Pathfinder. Wolf represents following your intuition and inner guidance, and taking action on it. So if you are seeking your Purpose and Wolf appears to you, pay attention!

As you know, Wolves are predators, tracking their prey by scent as well as sight and sound. They are highly intelligent animals. A pack of wolves will work cooperatively to bring down prey much larger than they are. Deer (and anything in the deer family, including elk and even moose) are their favorite prey. Deer are excellent runners. Bringing down such large animals requires speed, stamina and strategy. Once they have selected an animal to chase, they pursue it relentlessly until it is exhausted.

Wolf as a power animal can help us discover our inner Purpose, and guide us on our path towards it. One of the keys to doing so is to tap into our intuition, or inner knowing. As a wild animal, Wolf has all its instincts intact. Wolf and Dog were originally one; dogs are simply domesticated wolves. (And there is good evidence that the process of domestication was likely initiated by wolves, not humans!) If you feel a strong bond with Dogs, but are struggling with some aspect of your life, you may want to invite Wolf to walk beside you as well. Its sharper, wild instinct may help you in ways that Dog energy isn’t equipped to.

Yes, that wild instinct can be scary. As we tap into our intuition, we may find that it leads us into unfamiliar territory. In fact, it may tell us to do things that feel positively terrifying! This can make you doubt your own instincts. And in some situations, it’s possible for instincts to work against you – especially fear. In the wild, anything new is potentially dangerous. So we have a built-in distrust of change.

Wolf represents the power of tempering instinct with intellect (and vice versa). When you make a decision based on instinct, check in with your intellect first. Ask, “what is the worst thing that can happen if I do this?” Then weigh the outcome against potential benefits. You can do the same thing with your logical decisions. Check in with your gut before jumping in. Learn to trust yourself. Like a wolf crossing a river in winter, you can tune in to those red-flag feelings that tell you to beware of thin ice.

 

In the painting above, I’ve tried to capture the Wolf’s intensity of focus. The Wolf’s direct stare can be frightening, but it is also compelling. Wolf can help us zero in on our Purpose, and pursue it without allowing ourselves to get distracted. As you work with Wolf energy expect your intuition to grow stronger. You will probably become more focused on your goals and more determined in your pursuit of them.  You may find that other people in your life resist this. Be sensitive to when they are being unreasonable, and when you might be getting a little ruthless or overstepping your role. If the latter, it might help to invite some Deer energy into your life.  Gentle Deer can activate your heart chakra to balance out an overabundance of Wolf hunting energy.  Or, focus on the nurturing side of Wolf for a while. Wolves are very family-focused. They spend a lot of time nurturing, playing with, and teaching their pups. If you’ve been working intensely for a while, try taking some time off to spend with your family, or seek out a teaching or mentoring role in your work.

Speaking of which, Wolf also tells us that we are stronger and more successful when we work together towards a common goal. Whatever your goal is, look around you. You are almost certain to find someone whose goals complement yours. Why not see how you can help each other out?

 

 

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.