Let Owl Guide You

With the guidance of an elder, I made this medicine shield years ago.

With the guidance of an elder, I made this medicine shield years ago.

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. . . . Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Jung

For a few disconcerting moments, I thought the crows had followed me across the country. You will remember that while living in Seattle, I was plagued by crows. They swooped me on a daily basis, picking me out of crowds for a sneak attack. I came to the conclusion that they were trying to wake me up. According to Crow Medicine, crows are an omen of change. When crows are around, something special is about to happen, consciousness is about to change and dis-ease will be dispelled. Since we can only connect the dots backward I can now say with great confidence that I took the medicine and it worked. They hammered me on the head for months before I stepped into the void and allowed new forms to emerge. Needless to say, I have a love-hate relationship with crows.

Yesterday afternoon our backyard was a festival of crows frantically barking. It brought back visceral memories and I went on high alert. As it turns out, the crows were focused on our owl and not me. I haven’t heard the owl since autumn and had forgotten that we have an owl in the backyard. I was happy that the owl was back. The crows were not happy as owls are great nest robbers and also, if hassled excessively, will make a dinner of an adult crow.

A detail from my shield. Owls have been with me for a long time. The owl is the top symbol.

A detail from my shield. Owls have been with me for a long time. The owl is the top symbol.

Last fall I googled Owl Medicine when the owl hooted above my head almost every night. I learned that, as a totem, Owls have great intuition. They follow their instincts. They see clearly (meaning they cannot be deceived). Owls see what others cannot. For instance, Owls see into the inner life of others; generally, they know more about a person’s inner life than that person knows about him or her self. This is why people do not sit next to me at parties! Also, owls are fierce warriors if something dear to it is threatened.

What a fantastic collision of bird archetypes for the crows and the owl to return to my world at the same moment. The owl was mostly indifferent to the incessant crow barking and attacks. There was no contest. In the evening the owl flew away to hunt and I wondered if there might be one less crow barking in the morning.

Both owl and crow are harbingers of change. They both speak to a comfortable relationship with the unknown and an attraction to the mysteries of life. I laughed when I re-read the symbols as I’ve lately been preaching through my book, The Seer (owls and crows are both seers) to cultivate “not knowing” as a necessary step on the path to health and creative vibrancy. In the practice of “not knowing,” one learns to see.

Later in the night, while driving back from Chicago, Kerri and I were talking about the extraordinary and meteoric changes in our lives this past year. She encapsulated my crow and owl commentary when she said, “We make plans according to what we know. It’s what we don’t know that changes us.” Her thought reminded me of another Carl Jung quote. He famously wrote that, “Religion is a defense against a religious experience.” Just so, a life plan is often a defense against a vital life. Adventure and discovery are never in the direction of the known. When you pay attention to the symbolic crow hitting you on the head you can also rest assured that when you step into the void there will always be an owl waiting to guide you.

title_pageGo here to get my latest book, The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, Seeker, Learner, Leader, Creator…You.

Or, go here for hard copies (Amazon…Kindle version available here, too)


One Response

  1. I would sit next to you at a party…you have GOOD to share.

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