Learn From Animal Meanings At The Spring Equinox
The Spring Equinox is upon us. With so much change sweeping the globe since last year at this time, it can be helpful to gain understanding from the those in the nonhuman world who are going through these changes alongside us. Animal meanings are essential messages long associated with different species and can help you walk a more powerful path through chaos if you tune in and heed what Nature is telling you.
The equinoxes and solstices are times of transition, a natural parting of the veil so to speak, when astronomically we shift from dark to light and back depending on what hemisphere and time of year we are in. As each of us contemplates the last year and how we can stay alive and find peace within the intense chaos of the world, many animal meanings come our way from day to day. This week for me the wild things who walked across my path included a pigeon landing on the sidewalk next to my cafe table for the first time in the two years I have lived in my neighborhood. Pigeons are plentiful in some places, but this one took the unusual action of approaching me for some reason. Sure, it could have wanted to find out if I had a crumpet from which abundant crumbs might tumble to the sidewalk under my table. A fat, unidentified songbird had done so days before even though each time I did not have anything to eat, only my coffee. Due to the uncommon appearance of these creatures in my personal experience I noted the one I was able to identify.
Animal Meanings and Relationships
I have been thinking about relationships a lot lately, considering all the videos posted by people who have lost a loved one to the vaccine, and the dynamic of social interaction under the cloud of so-called “social distancing” and covering one’s face. The pigeon, it turns out, is a messenger of love. The human mind tends to flow as a stream across a wide plain, following many tiny rivulets in one day. The appearance of this bird in an unusual way within the context of my normal experience provided me with a sign post, pointing to one rivulet of thought over another. By taking note of the animal meanings offered like this, I am not wholly responsible for choosing the best path and can let go a little in striving to get something done. The drive to be productive isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and sometimes we need others to dangle concert tickets or a pint of Make Fudge Not War ice cream in front of us. This pigeon had dangled the message of love.
The next to cross my path was an osprey, whose morning perch below a group of cawing crows (much more common in my neighborhood of course than s/he) had not fully served to pull my thoughts out of their rut. The second time one of his kind (or maybe him) came to me was later in the day, swooping overhead in a flash of speckled white breast feathers, this time dodging one of the crows. Okay, I thought, I’ll refresh my memory of what message the osprey has for me. A quick search for the type of bird with the words ‘symbolic meaning’ after it revealed the winged dispatch. Ospreys symbolize true power and keen vision. Since I’ve been thinking about how the negativity of news in the last year (perhaps escalated from its standard low vibrational pattern) has made it extra-challenging to stay on track with positive energy, a double encounter with this bird focused me on creating my vision for a peaceful life.
As I sat to draft this article under the Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) just beginning to burst forth in bright pink blooms, I noted my tiny but significant success toward this end. After almost three years in Los Angeles County the birdhouse I’d constructed in Ashland, Oregon, and installed within days of relocating has finally attracted a pair of tiny songbirds. These just so happened to make their exploratory first visit to the house while I was looking out the window facing it. What luck! I’d waited through the seasons for something to happen, wondering if it was in the wrong place and forgetting to ask the neighbor across from my courtyard if he wouldn’t mind my attaching it to the roof of his garage so I could keep watching.
It took a year-and-a-half for a diverse group of small birds to discover and come to trust the bird feeder I hung around the same time as the bird house. Without taking the time to learn their species’ names, I cannot look up their symbolic meanings; then again, their presence is not different enough from the norm at this point to warrant it. Still, they are wonderful. It is my cat’s distinct pleasure to stare up at it as if in some sort of religious rapture, wait for the ideal moment to jump into the window with a clunk and the scratching of claws against pane and wall, and slide down, taking the Christmas lights along with him. Right before I noticed the birds visiting the little house across from my window I was struggling with a spate of negative thoughts. It can be a challenge to even want to climb out of such a place once you have unwittingly (unlike my cat) slid into it. If you’ve fallen into a negative state of vibration the beginning of the climb out and upward again can often be the hardest; once you get going, it gets easier and easier. Before spotting my new birdhouse neighbors, I made a tiny but very important shift. I decided I would stop fearing other peoples’ responses to my mood with their own rudeness and other frightful behavior, and instead pull the snake’s tail from its own mouth.
I find taking these first few steps of the climb (once you have recognized that you’re off the horse, lying in the rutted dirt road with the wind knocked out of you) allows me to achieve the subtle shift from anxiety to calm that tends to flip the switch so to speak. From that small opening, that trace of peace amidst the chaos swirling around my frustrations and annoyances, the path opens.
Sometimes I don’t need to know the species of an animal crossing in front of my soon-to-be footprints. The birds arriving at last in the little wooden house I’d set out for them was a clear sign that my small steps had echoed in the quantum field with enough resonance to match the purity of Spring nesters. Their visit also reminded me that, in the midst of global catastrophe, something very beautiful and important is happening this time of year. It is the Spring Equinox (Saturday, March 20th, at 5:37 am), the turning from darkness to light. The threshold across which the Northern Hemisphere starts to receive more of the Sun’s goodness.
Every single time I have a brush with wildlife I always feel honored. Millions of innocent animals are brutally murdered by humans every year in the U.S. alone, and so being able to see one feels like a precious gift to me each and every time. In this time of change, of season and daylight savings as well as nationally and globally, I invite you to look to the creatures with whom you cross paths on a day-to-day basis and consider their meaning for your life journey. I’m confident that like me you will very quickly read the signs they hold up to help you navigate through the changing times we are in with more of the grace and wisdom of Nature.