May 17, 2009

When an owl shows up in your life, what does it mean?

Posted in Animals, Spirit tagged , , at 7:58 AM by moxiemuse

great_horned_owl

Wednesday the 13th, I worked until 7:30 PM and was driving home in the pouring rain. The phone rang and it was Jason inviting me to meet him in Carnation for a Mexican dinner night out. Despite being tired, I was fairly hungry so I readily agreed. I cranked up the tunes to keep me company. I was listening to Love Songs with Delilah on Warm 106.9 when a young man came on and made an unusual request for a song for his father, who was in hospice. As Delilah was picking a song, she asked him to describe what his father meant to him and so he began sharing those meaningful moments and events of their life as father and son.

It was then that the tears started to flow.

The song Delilah picked was Dan Fogelberg’s “Leader of the Band“, a tribute to his musician father.

As the music began to play, the tears erupted into a torrent.

Soon, it was unsafe to keep driving with deep pools of water obscuring my vision and racking sobs making it difficult to keep my hands steady on the wheel so I parked the car on the side of the road to collect myself. It was tempting to turn toward home but I knew Jason was looking forward to my company while sharing our day over an evening meal.

A few minutes later, I was back on the road for about another mile or two when I noticed a lump of sorts in the middle of the road. I cursed under my breath and I started to veer left to go around it. As I got closer, I noticed it moving. I then saw it was a bird and then, lo and behold and clear as day, an owl was standing proudly on the yellow line.

Suddenly, I swerved to keep from hitting it and slammed on the brakes. Thankfully, there were no cars behind me nor coming toward me. A good thing, too, because I was crossed over a lane and a half.

I get out of the car and stride quietly yet purposefully toward the owl. I quickly notice that there is no roadkill anywhere near the owl so whatever drew it to the center yellow line, it wasn’t obvious to me. What was obvious was the fact that the he (yes, I’ll explain how I knew it was a male) wasn’t budging despite me getting ever closer to it.

He seemed to cock his head, gimble his ears, and shift his eyes from right to left a few times. As soon as I got to within a foot of it, it ‘cocked’ its head and moved a few steps back. Some head-cocking and ear-gimbling seconds later, he turned and flew to a nearby tree. I followed it. More of the same head, ear, and eye movements until he took one last long look at me and flew away.

My mouth, still hanging open from when I first opened the car door, was catching some big raindrops and so I closed it as I headed toward the car to compose myself. I turned toward the yellow line once more and shook my head. It felt surreal. I was experiencing a moment out of time.

I also knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that owl was my father.

He came to say hello and to let me know he was just fine.

Continuing on to the restaurant, I tried to make sense of it all. The realization came to me that the man recounting memories of his father on the radio followed by the sentimental song were just an opportunity to cleanse more feelings of grief and regret I was storing over the loss of my father last October.

Right at that moment, a friend called and broke my reverie. She listened to my story and exclaimed that it was a pretty awesome event. I was, and still am, truly blessed by what happened that rainy and fateful night.

Ted Andrews, in his book, Animal Speak, states:

“Many superstitions and beliefs have come to be associated with owls. Owls have been thought of as the reincarnation of the dead. The owl is the bird of magic and darkness, of prophecy and wisdom. The Great Horned Owl (what I saw) has tufts of feathers that look like ears, but are not. These ears that are not ears have made them symbolic of being able to hear what is not being said. In the Native American tradition, one who works with owl medicine will be able to see and hear what others try to hide. To hear and see what is hidden or in the shadows. To detect and pinpoint subtleties. This can make others uncomfortable because they will not be able to deceive you about their motives or actions.

Owl people have a unique ability to see into the darkness of others’ souls and life. Owls are the eyes of the night and they see what is not in the open. They have secret knowledge that they can share. Their eyes cannot move. Their neck is flexible, giving them a wide range of peripheral vision. The symbolism of the neck and its flexibility should be meditated upn for those with owl medicine. If your neck is stiff and inflexible, you are hindering your perceptions to a great degree.

The owl also has a third eyelid which moves from side to side. It cleanses the eye, clearing its vision. This symbolizes so much about new vision opening to you. It often reflects that you were born very perceptive–with a vision of others that you may or may not have recognized or acknowledged.”

I often have a stiff neck so the flexibility part is interesting because Friday night, I just had a 3 month chiropractic checkup for low back pain and the majority of adjustments were to the neck. The doctor was as surprised as I was that my neck was so stiff yet not giving me any pain.

As for a third eyelid, that’s news to me. However, understanding that the owl uses it to cleanse the eye to clear its vision, is very apropos because I have a condition called dry eye, which requires drops and ointment at night to prevent my eyelid from sticking to my eyeball. Quite a connection.

Jamie Sams’ Medicine Cards state, “You are being asked to use your powers of keen, silent observation to intuit some life situation. Owl is befriending you and aiding you in seeing the total truth. Owl can bring you messages in the night through dreams or meditation. Pay attention to the signals and omens. The truth always brings further enlightenment.”

Cool beans.

I’m going to carry the Owl card in my wallet for a while and see what happens with this newfound energy.

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