The Sign of the Hawk

Image - Hawk sign

A Hawk came and hung around the front yard yesterday. She held on to the telephone-internet-fiber-optic-cable-power cords like rungs on a ladder down from Heaven.

I immediately wanted to jump to getting all shamanic over the sight.

Telepathically speaking, I thought to her:

Oh! How majestic you are as a Symbol, as an Icon, as a Messenger!

Oy! How cruel your beak tip!

Lo! How impressive your sheer size!

But then I really listened to the familiar tone of the Mockingbird’s distress — her twitter came from a very particular spot in the holly hedge tree, where I know there to be a perfect nest among the higher north-facing branches, just behind the thorny field of the leaves.

To the Mockingbird I sighed and thought quite simply:

I have seen your home from the top of my bent ladder, and I’ve pruned around it, agonizing over the thinning of your Edge.

I’ve listened to you gripe at my house cats, pester their heads with your swoops and cursed cheeping… and even though I think you a crab apple neighbor, you are one of My Birds. You live in one of Our Trees.

I am honor-bound — aren’t I? — to protect you from Outsiders & Murderers who just happen to look Good against the sky.

I can’t just let your home be threatened. I can’t just let you die so that I might witness an Omen of Power play out live in a nature-documentary reality show.

So, I stood up taller, squared my shoulders, and stalked toward the Hawk in a game of Chicken — as if I would leap up, slam-dunk height, and snatch her down by the tail feathers.

She sneered at me, the curve of her beak tip in profile, the wire swinging above my head with the weight of something heavy having left it, as she dove back into the dusk among the power lines.

…The Mockingbird reprimanded me for my absolutely pathetic response time.

This actually wasn’t a Sign, it was just a “scene.”

How do you tell the difference between a plain ole sighting and a Sign?

  • The premise itself is intuitive.
  • The context is felt — known — by the body.

When I was a kid I asked my aunt Ann to explain this difference.

She told me “A Squirrel with a Message, feels like a Squirrel with a Message. A squirrel that’s just a squirrel… just looks like a squirrel.”

Symbolic Animal Meanings

My friend Avia Venefica’s site — Whats-Your-Sign.com — has a section devoted to animal symbolism, Native American animal medicine, and shamanic animal meanings. Check out this link: Animal Totems

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