From up close, the blue is a gorgeous bird. Beautiful shades of blue, catching the sun. However, the blue jay can be seen as having bad power. The blue jay warns us about the kind of people we might run across. In native medicine, blue jays are challengers, negative energy and associated with arrogance, too much pride and selfishness. Blue jays are lazy, steal, take from others for their own good. If you see a blue jay around your house it could be a sign that evil and/or jealous people are praying against you in a bad manner.
However, there is another side to the story of the blue jay. Indeed, in certain cultures, like the Cherokee, the Blue Jay medicine is not all negative. If we think of blue jays, they seem full of pride, colorful, almost flamboyant with their feathers. Energy, royalty, stardom they project. In a way, the blue jay is a reminder to embrace what we have, our assets. It is a reminder that all attention does not need to be on you because you already have the world’s attention. That sometimes, it is your turn to respond to the world rather than have the world respond to you. A good lesson we can all use at times.
The Eagle, the connection to the spiritual world, or the Creator seemed like a good way to begin this page. Its message of strength, wisdom, courage and spirituality is one to carry. The Eagle rises above the Earth and provides spiritual strength and protection. Its power is great and it connects us to the great spirits and higher power and truths. The Eagle carries our prayers to the Creator, the Native Higher Power. If you see an Eagle, talk to the Eagle, ask the Eagle to carry your prayers to the Creator. Yes I might look crazy at times :), but I do talk to animals and birds I see. I ask them how they are, ask them what message they carry and I listen. If you listen, you will hear. If you are praying or at a ceremony and an Eagle is flying above you or is close to you, it is good news. Thank the Eagle for its presence and know that your prayers will be heard and the ceremony will go well.
Talk to nature people! Reconnect with Mother Earth, where we all come from. If we all do it, I might look less crazy doing so….Talk to all living things, the trees, the birds, talk to the insects or mice. Nature is there to listen, to calm, and to nurture. Nature is where our cousins live and where we can feel at peace. It is meant to be treated with respect. The Native culture teaches us to respect all living things, to take only what we need and to give back if we take.
I know this is a bit off topic but it is still related….I was faced with that lesson of respecting all living things recently. I was in a healing circle (I will elaborate on the topic a bit later) recently and a mouse decided to join us. As a white woman, my first instinct was to jump on a chair (ok that might be an over-exaggeration but still…). However, the leaders of the circle welcomed the creature to join us. As all living creatures are related and belong together. We are all related!
For eagle related art, gifts and products, click here
The hummingbird, such a pretty little bird, dainty and colorful. And hummingbirds are a very good sign. They bring messages of good luck. They take our prayers to the Creator. In the native culture, the hummingbird is often referred to as being female. So she is a healer and a doctor. The hummingbird has the ability to travel long distances in less than ideal conditions (and to fly backward!). She is a very spiritual bird who can teach us to develop powers of the mind and to be graceful.
Moreover, the hummingbird symbolizes life, the joy and lightness of life. The hummingbird encourages us to push negativity away and to express love more often in our life. Her resilience is high and she teaches us that we can overcome obstacles (even those of small sizes) and that we have the ability to adapt and be resilient.
I end my discussion on the hummingbird with some West coast style native art. A West coast native hummingbird. 🙂 And for some hummingbird inspired art click here.
The majestic owl! What could be the spiritual meaning of owls?? Well, the native american owl symbol is quite different than the owl symbol in the “white culture”. You might know the mainstream meaning of owls: owls represent wisdom and the ability to see in darkness or past the obvious or mask that others put on. The ability to see past deceit. Therefore, it is a good omen, a good sign. I won’t elaborate more on that symbolism but it is what is communicated within the “white culture”.
Native spiritual meaning of owls
What about the native spiritual meaning of owls? Well to be blunt, it’s pretty much the opposite. Owls are considered a bad sign and a bad power within most of native nations or tribes. They are a messenger of evil, sickness, death. Therefore, hearing an owl near your place is considered a bad sign. Be careful if you hear one near your house but don’t fear it. If you see one hollering at you in broad daylight, beware. Some would say it is basically death looking at you….
However, owls do see everything, in darkness and even into the future. They are seers, seers into the future and into what others cannot see. This might be what the meaning of the “white culture” is based on. But let’s remember, the concept of balance. There are two sides to everything in life. So owls might be able to warn you of upcoming dangers as well.
As I have discussed in the Ceremonies section, smudging for protection and cleansing is an important part of native practices. So when seeing or encountering a bad sign, burn a smudge stick, and pray to the Creator for protection.
Ok I am guessing you are expecting me to talk about a time when I encounter an owl and something bad happened to me? Wrong! My personal experience involves a tattoo. Yep, a tattoo of an owl on my back. Where am I going with this you ask? Well, as a white woman, I originally “bought” into the “owl is a sign of wisdom” meaning. However, as I did more research, I learned about the native american owl symbol, i.e. symbol of bad news and evil.
Remembering what Native people do in the presence of evil, I came up (with the help of my tattoo artist, as I really really cannot draw….) with an original, unique and meaningful tattoo. As you will see below, I combined the owl with smudging herbs. Therefore, the owl is sitting on braided dry sweetgrass which opens up into fresh sweetgrass and its flowers as well as sage leaves. My personal meaning for that tattoo is that although I might come across the presence of evil (and I have and will as it is part of this world), the medicine will protect me and keep me safe.
For owl related art, gifts and products, click here
Raven or crow
If you are like me, you had no idea there was a difference between a raven and a crow (I researched the differences a few months back). Generally speaking ravens are bigger than crows and have a deeper voice. Their feathers are also shinier and they typically have a tuft of hair on top of their head like the picture at right. For more information, see this website.
However, both crows and ravens are typically a good sign. Both bring good luck, protection and are messengers of wealth. For example, seeing a raven or a crow eating or with food in their mouth, could mean that you are about to receive a gift.
The power of the raven especially can be used to fight or counteract against bad signs or spirits. The raven is one of the very few who can go into the land of the deceased, the spiritual world and bring back a person’s soul to the physical world. In other words, bringing back someone from a coma or back to life. Therefore, it signifies a very high power, often requiring further studying to understand and use it. Ravens and crows can also be useful to hunters. Praying to them before hunting so that the bird can lead to game. However, as we know, we have to be thankful and offer gifts to the powers at be. So leave food in return for the birds.
For those also interested in looking pretty, I think those raven earrings look fab
We have all heard them, hard at work on a tree. The hard working woodpecker. Woodpeckers are a sign of wealth, happiness and healing. The story has it that if you see or hear a woodpecker, clap your hands three times, make a wish and thank him for his message. It is a sign that money or a gift is coming to you.
You think I am kidding? Well listen to this. A friend of mine, was recently taking a walk in nature when he heard a woodpecker. He very quietly and slowly approached the bird to look at him and see the work he was doing. The bird allowed him to get very close.
A few days later, the same friend found a wallet. The wallet contained a cheque for a significant amount, a few credit cards, the owner’s ID and driver’s license. In other words, the entire life of the owner! So my friend, as he is living his life according to the principles of the Red Road, went to the owner’s house to return the wallet. After some phone calls, the owner was found (he was not home), and was so grateful, that he gave my friend 50$ for his troubles! Money that was totally unexpected…..thank you Mr. Woodpecker 🙂