By Sandra Atkinson, CCSS Collective Member
I am Owl
Swift creature of the dark night
Guardian of the Spirit’s flight
Herald of new direction
Ancient wisdom in reflection
Nature’s shy and silent one
Who sees beyond the setting .
~ By Cecillie Okada and Barry Brailsford
A few summers ago I watched my granddaughter, Nuala, drag my staff through the rocks in our backyard pronouncing to the wind “ I am Grandmother Blue Owl!” While looking at this bundle of light, my heart started to swell and quiver. Really didn’t know when I had mentioned my spirit name to my family. The beautiful sound of her speaking the words, Grandmother Blue Owl, filled me with the courage to accept the gift I had been given. In using my spirit name of Grandmother Blue Owl, I have enlightened my spiritual path and opened my heart up to the words that Spirit shares with me.
Owls have always been important to me. Their haunting song, their powerful flight and the magical lore surrounding them has kept me fascinated for years. Throughout history we have heard of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, forever walking with her owl on her shoulder showering messages of truth to her public in Greece. Owl had the ability to light Athena’s blind side, enabling her to speak the whole truth, as opposed to only a half truth. Also, Owl was the guardian of the Acropolis. To the early Christian Gnostics, Owl was linked with Lilith. As Owl, Lilith strived for freedom. Lakshmi, the Goddess of Abundance in India always claimed Owl as a bringer of sacred, wise messages. Then there is Hedwig, who came to Harry Potter on his 11th birthday. This beautiful snowy owl continued to be his closest companion.
Owl represents Magic, Time and Space
Owl protects me
Owl can see what others cannot,
Granting me the gift to know the truth in others.
In the spring of 2005 the Great Gray Owl came south to Orillia in search of voles. They could be seen on Muley Point Road for a few weeks. At the time I was a teacher at Uptergrove Public School which is on Muley Point Rd. Also, I lived just down the road by Lake Simcoe. Every day I had the honour of meeting these glorious creatures eye to eye. People came from all over North America to take pictures and be close to them. When the Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson came to Uptergrove to present an award, she took a ride to see them as well. Of course all the attention was stressful for the owls and thankfully worried caretakers had to curtail the activity.
Their presence helped me understand the mysterious longing I had within me to be closer to owls. Throughout the time Owl visited us, I was able to study their habits and share the teachings with my students. We all learned valuable lessons from nature.
In our shamanic studies we know that Owl’s gifts to us include looking within to see the shadow side of our perceptions, understanding the messages and secrets from Spirit, feeling the moon magic and developing a link between the dark, unseen world and the world of light. Ted Andrews tells us “Owl medicine is symbolically associated with clairvoyance, astral projection and magic, both black and white.”.
Owl, sometimes called Night Eagle, sits in the East, the place of illumination, where we see the bigger picture and fly to the mountains we dream of.
All those perceptions come from a study of her great skills. While many humans are afraid of the night, the dark and the unseen, the dark is Owl’s friend. By learning the lessons of our shadow nature, we overcome our fears, make peace with our conflicts and soar in freedom like our mystical friend, Owl.
Owl is a bird of the night. Its great vision can adjust in an instant to a microscopic focus. The yellow colouring of their eyes is symbolic – like the sun alive in the dark. This light lives within the owl at night. As well, its hearing is just as keen as its sight. Those who work with owl medicine can see hear what others do not see or hear.
Its very telling to me that my name, Grandmother Blue Owl was given to me by Don Martine, a Shaman from Peru. I just thought it was because I had blue eyes and I was old. Now as I approach the time when there are more years behind me than in front of me, the veil is opening and is beginning to call me to do my spiritual work. With more time to accept this mantel of owl medicine, I have found that stillness has allowed me to hear and see like Owl. Owl can see that which others cannot, which when used for healing can be very worthwhile for those who are being helped. I am very grateful for the gift to be of service.
~ Grandmother Blue Owl, Sandra Atkinson
Where in your life does magic reside? Sitting in stillness, going deep within the yellow flame in your heart, ask silently for “finest hearing”. Breath deep, hold for the moment and release slowly. Going deep again into the golden yellow light in your heart, ask silently for “finest sight”. Listen with your heart.
* What sounds come to you?
* What sights come to you?
* What magic is revealed to you?
Take a walk at night to a place that is comfortable for you. Know within yourself where the sun is, where the moon is and where the pole star of your life is. Open your heart to compassion and joy while journeying to the golden flame in your heart. In silence, see with your finest sight and listen with your finest hearing. What magic is revealed to you?