I’ve been thinking about animal visitations lately, and I wanted to share two stories with you. They are quite different, but to me they each represent our profound connection to the creatures with which we share the world. Perhaps you have stories about your spiritual connection with animals as well. I’d love to read them.
The first visitation happened to my mother. She frequently took care of a friend’s tortoiseshell cat while the friend traveled. The friend traveled quite a lot and my mother and the cat grew to love each other. We will call this cat Starry. One night my mother had a dream, which she wrote down upon waking. She dreamed of a cat that seemed like Starry but was pale and ghostly. She was in a house and the door was open and she thought the cat might get out. When she picked the cat up it was very light and they looked out through the door together. The cat kissed her affectionately. The dream ended.
The next day she went on a walk with her friend, who told her, “I have some bad news.” My mother said. ” I know. Starry died.” And she had. She had lost a lot of weight, and was indeed much lighter than when my mother saw her last. Starry came to say a sweet goodbye to her friend, before she went through the doorway.
The second visitation happened to me. I was walking around my neighborhood thinking about a rather stressful situation. I talked on the phone to a loved one about it and now was alone with my thoughts. I heard a loud cry and looked up to see a hawk just above me sitting on a power line. I stopped and marveled at its size. I asked for the obvious, a sign. “You know what would be great right now?” I thought to the bird. “A sign that all will be well. Perhaps if you dropped one of your feathers for me that would be reassuring. Don’t you think?”
Guess what happened?! Nope. Nothing. It flew off to find its mate in a nearby stand of trees. “Oh well, it was worth a try,” I thought to myself glumly and walked home, not reassured.
The following week I came home and something caught my eye at the top of the driveway. Yes. A perfectly beautiful hawk feather.
*** Update. This week we visited a friend’s baby for the first time. She’s actually a toddler now. The first thing she did after we said hello was to reach for a little stuffed animal and hand it to me. It was a hawk.***
Sometimes the signs are pretty clear, like these. Other times, the signs and omens we encounter in the natural world are harder to interpret. Part of shamanic work is being in relationship with the environment in a way that allows communication. If you are interested in interpreting some of your own experiences and could use some help, feel free to contact me.
Wishing you a peaceful heart,