Land Spirits! Wait. What Now With the Who Now?

In all the time that I have looked into this pagan path, I have rarely–if ever–considered animal spirit guides or animal totems. I had a book, once, about communicating with one but it was when I was with the ex-husband, proving it difficult for such frivolous things as meditating or, you know, practicing a religion that wasn’t of Christian descent. Hell. I don’t remember the book in and of itself (where the hell did I put? what the hell did I do–oh, I remember now.), but I do remember spending quality time with the back of the book. It contained–can you guess it?–the super-duper-uper long list of various totem animals. I remember for a while thinking that maybe it was the fox that spoke to me, but then I got out of all of that.

It wasn’t personal, but I just didn’t really get the whole thing. I meditated and an animal came on over to contact me? I have the hardest time clearing my head long enough just to fall asleep, never mind actually meditating. Since I found meditating difficult (still do), I figured that the whole animal guide thing was not for me. A little upsetting since I liked the general concept, but it just didn’t seem like it was for me.

Since then, not. a word. Nothing. Zilch. Zip.

Then, some weeks back, feathers started to appear in my path all over the place. The Sister’s current patron, Hermes, tends to send them when he wants her attention, so I ignored them at first. And they went away. However, they came back a few weeks later and in larger increments. The feathers were all the same: the soft, pale gray of a morning dove. I would see them when I was walking the dogs, out to get the mail, taking my son for a walk… anywhere and everywhere. Irritated by this, I told The Sister to inform Hermes that I don’t play that game and I’m full of patrons at the moment. After that little snark, I came to realize that I may be overreacting…

…and that while Hermes may find it amusing, he had little to do with it.

So, I asked around for help on finding a deity that had to do with feathers. I was thinking perhaps something in the Native American arena since, you know, the bird feathers are being left for me in America. However, I couldn’t entirely rule out everything. I cannot tell you how many tabs I had open while looking through every section of “mythical birds” that Wiki had to offer. My eyes went cross-eyed and lame with all of the reading, which became glancing, which became skimming, which became unbelievable frustration. I posed the question on TC for some commentary and Devo asked: “Have you considered picking a feather up, and seeing what you feel or what comes to mind? I know it’s not a very concrete method but sometimes the simplest methods work the best.” That so did not occur to me.

Simplicity and me, we are obviously not close friends.

Yesterday, when I was taking one of the dogs outside, I saw a feather in the yard. Bearing in mind what Devo had recommended, I picked up the feather. I thought I’d get this great shock of electricity and an EUREKA! moment would occur. It did no such thing. Instead, I held onto the greasy little feather and closed my eyes. Slowly, in my mind’s eye, there resolved the imagine of the American bald eagle. Yep. The very symbol of our land. I didn’t see the whole bird, just the head, but I think that stems from the fact that the feathers are of a light color and the only lightly colored feathers that I can picture on an eagle are the ones on its head.

So. The eagle.

I started doing random researches about eagles in mythology. I got a lot for Vishnu’s bird mount and Zeus turning in to one, but little else. I was rapidly growing frustrated before my brain kicked in and said, “THERE ARE ANIMAL SPIRIT GUIDES, REMEMBER?” So, just as a “ha, ha; yeah right” kind of thing, I did a search for the characteristics that an eagle, as spirit guide, have to offer. The list is as follows: swiftness; courage; strength; wisdom; keen sight; illumination of spirit; healing; creation; knowledge of magic; ability to see hidden spiritual truths; rising above the physical to see the spiritual; ability to see the overall pattern; dignity with grace; great power and balance; ability to see the ‘big picture’; connection with higher truths; creative and intuitive spirit; grace achieved through knowledge and hard work and lastly, respect for the boundaries of regions. (All of that was taken from Animal Spirits-dot-com.)

Phew. That is one lengthy list.

There are key phrases on there that reach out to me, of course. Then again, I think I could do that with any of the general attributes of a spirit animal, but for whatever reason, it was the eagle that came to me. And it is through the eagle that I must learn.

I think a large part of the eagle coming in to my life is my sudden interest in hedge craft and that wild path. I think a lot of it, also, stems from the fact that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how I would like my spiritual life to merge with my physical life. I’m not saying that I want to walk around in a permanent state of spiritual uplift–I think that would prove difficult and tiresome after a while–but that I want my waking life to have more to do with the day-to-day. You know, a part of that could be to light the candle to my patrons on a daily basis, but I think it’s more than that.

I want to live my spirituality. I want a break, too, now and again, but I would really prefer it if my pagan path had something to do with my daily path.

I think courage, strength, and wisdom are a two-fold arrow. Not only, I feel, is this animal trying to tell me that in so doing what I described above, I am going to need those three things. However, I think, considering the timing of this, that it may also have to do with the unemployment thing. I need courage and strength to get through this whole kind of thing and I am going to be getting lots o’ wisdom from this battle. I’ve found myself rather depressed about the whole thing lately and unable to see a positive outcome in all of this. With the entrance of the eagle, I’d like to think that I can start to see a positive outcome in all of this.

I posted on the forum that I was pretty sure the eagle symbolized an animal spirit guide of some sort. And there were general congratulations before the big question: Now what are you going to do with this? And my response? NO IDEA! I have, literally, no idea. All three patrons are taking a backseat to this, I can feel that. However, I don’t know what the eagle is supposed to teach me or show me. I don’t know how to contact him, either, without meditation. And as I’ve mentioned that is both tricky and impossible when it comes to me. So, again, how do we communicate? How do we connect?

And what the hell is all of this supposed to mean?

Got me! It should be interesting learning all of this new stuff, though.

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10 thoughts on “Land Spirits! Wait. What Now With the Who Now?

  1. I love to ask questions that make your brain hurt!

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the eagle teaches you things on a subconscious level. Once again, one of those things that happens and you don’t even realize it. I have a totem, but I rarely ever meditate upon it. I still think that I can and have learned from it.

    Perhaps collecting some of those feathers and keeping them with you, making an amulet or talisman to help your brain focus on the animal in question would help. For me, keeping my totem in my house helps me to keep it in mind (usually).

    Maybe?

    • After all of this (and the occasional thought actually on this stuff), I think I’ve decided that I need an eagle feather for space cleansing. I don’t know what-all that’s supposed to achieve or how it’s related to all of this, but you know, there’s that.

      And I like the idea of a talisman or amulet. I have had various pendants over the years that have signified each different patron in my life. That weighed me down. I think maybe I should try and create something that has meaning across the board. That incorporates Eagle, Papa Legba, Sekhmet, and Hwt-Hrw. Hm.

      Thanks for the food for thought!

      • I used to use Macaw feathers to clean my space. I think they’re really nice. I know lots of smudge sticks and whatnot that Natives use involved feathers of some kind.

        Whatever you come up with, you should post about it here so we can see :)

  2. I got a digital copy of the book I had — Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. The eagle section is rather long; if you like, I can type it up for you in an e-mail.

    • I had that book! That’s the one I was talking about in my entry.

      And no. I appreciate the offer, but I don’t want you to have to spend so much time typing that up for me.

  3. Hello SatSekhem

    Seems that there is also someone with egyptian deities and at least one animal spirit.
    I guess this is a maybe a wierd question in someway but since this post is from 2011 I am interessted to know: What’s up with your eagle spirit now in 2016?
    I am on my spiritual way at least with one patron god (from my username you can guess who it is) and one totem animal. I am still looking for some ideas of how to work with booth. Sometimes it was a little bit fustrating and I thought sometimes that they would not go very well together but in meditations that I made it always seemd that my patron and my totem (that you also mentioned in the first lines of your text: its fox), are going realy good together. I don’t know how other deities would react on this but this is something that would be maybe a concern when other deities are coming up.
    So I would be realy thankful if you have any ideas on this topic and I am going to comment on other posts of you as well in the future.

    Senebti and good evenig
    Merit – Djehuti

    • This post really is old because it goes to show just how uneducated I was at the time. So before I answer your question, I just want to let you know that “totem animal” and “animal animal” is actually culturally appropriation and shouldn’t be used outside of the closed cultures those concepts are a part of.

      I don’t have any relationships with animals, in either spirit form or otherwise, nowadays. I honestly couldn’t say what may have occurred beyond this point in time relating to eagles. And I’m not really sure what sort of advice to give you. Sorry.

      You may want to look for someone who has a familiar or spirit companion.

      • Dear Aubs Tea,

        I prefer to use the term totem animal in the same way as any pagan that I have even met in my life uses it. Even one of my favourite pagan book authors (her name is Lupagreenwolf) uses this term. And I personaly prefer it to use it as synonymous with the word animal spirit (which I use as the translation of the german word Tiergeist) and the word inner animal.
        I also know that totem is a term that actualy derived from the Ojibwe word ototeman and that a man named James Long has transliterated it as totam and even used it in the wrong context because in the original context it means blood relatives. I would consider it as wrong to use the original Ojibwe word for animal guides which is nigouimes instead of totem animal.
        And to quote Lupagreenwolf here: “Totem may have originated from the Ojibwe language, but just as shaman has long moved beyond its Siberian origins, so too has “totemism” come to apply to a variety of concepts in not only Ojibwe but other cultures as well. Thanks to Western anthropologists, it is the most familiar word used to describe the various sorts of animal and other natural beings that people around the world have worked with, and so it is often simpler to just use the term as shorthand rather than describing each individual culture’s system in its own words” (quoted from the book: New Paths to Animal Totems:Three Alternative approaches to creating your own totemism). And I actualy have the same meaning to wards the word totem as Lupa has.
        So I find it Ok in every way. I also normaly use this word in my private spiritiuality and even on my own Deviantart page and no one has ever said anything against it.
        And yes I am german as you may have guessed.
        I hope that explains in a very understandable way why I prefer to use the word totem animal and if this still offends some people than I will extra for them using either animal spirit or Tiergeist or inner animal instead and only use the term totem in the context of my own private spirituality or in the context of people who are not seeing it as culturally appropriation.
        I hope that I do not have to do this for every special word I am using but I hope this explains all.

        Dear greetings,
        Merit – Djehuti

        • So I’m just going to leave it at this: Lupa, iirc, is white and doesn’t get to make a determination as to what is and is not cultural appropriation. Native Americans do. First Nation peoples have made it quite clear that this word is not appropriate for people to just use willy nilly and to take from its original context. If you are interested in educating yourself on this matter, please let me know and I can provide you with links.

          Thank you and have a good day.

          • Hello Aubs tea,

            Ok. Nothing that I have written was to offend especialy you. Are you native american yourself or why you where saying this? And by the way links to this theme or topic are a good idea, I actualy want to know where you have this information from or better what the how and why of this topic.
            This is not the actual question that I had but it also seems interesting.
            My original question was if there are any khemetic pagans working with animal guides or not and if so how I can maybe bring this together?
            And you seem to have no answer to this question so I may ask you if you know anyone who could know the answer?
            Otherwise I have to say that the rest of your blog enteries seem to be interesting too. So be prepared for more comments under more of your enteries.

            Dear greetings Merit – Djehuti

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