It’s the owl. That is what I focused my sights on. I thought seeing an owl, an owl manifesting in and around my campsite was what would complete my inner journey/vision quest. I know I said I was going to focus on leaving behind me as girl and stepping into me as an older woman, have a celebration of this. I guess some part of me thought the owl represented that. At first I thought it was Dragonfly. I went and got that dragonfly necklace at state fair and everything. Then, as seems to be the case with me, I just focused on the owl. Call it my intuition, call it fickle. When it strikes, I don’t really think about it. I just go with it but in the end it seems my whims end up being just what the doctor ordered. Way back in the day, when I was seeing a therapist, I was told that I know what’s best for me, that she trusted my inner guidance. I thought she was crazy. How could I know what’s best for me, my life was a mess. Now, I see that all along, whether I knew it or not, my intuition was strong and helping me out.
I actually participated in a facilitated vision quest with Ana Larramendi, a shamanic practitioner in 02. It was all part of my venture into shamanism: an ancient tradition practiced by many indigenous people. I was already taking part in shamanism workshops and weekends before working with Ana. It was on this vision quest with Ana that owl became one of my animal guides. She gave me the spirit name of Brave Owl or Owl Woman, which I have not shared with many people. Those names seem too grand for me. She told me to choose the one I wanted and to tell you the truth I have yet to settle on one. I usually lean towards Owl Woman because it seems the less imposing of the two.
The use of animal spirits is a part of shamanism. Each animal has an energy that a person can draw on to help along life’s journey or with problems. Usually I go to this website Shamanism Working with Animal Spirits to look up the energy of an animal or bird or insect. I also use the Medicine Cards book, which I brought along with me this time. From these two sources and what Ana told me, owls possess the ability of keen sight and hearing. This means the energy that owl carries is of wisdom, insight and intuition. These are the very things I wished to make use of during my crone years. I’m thinking owl would be a great ally, any time actually, but specifically as I am making my way through my last, shall I say thirty years. Well, thirty years at least, right? Not that dragonfly wouldn’t be great to help with embracing change and understanding illusions. And I still have dragonfly as one of my animal guides. On this inner journey, I was aware when dragonfly was around and was grateful. For some reason, however, owl became my main focus. Ok, here’s what happened.
It was late afternoon when I just finished putting the finishing touches on my sacred circle. This was a circle of stones I gathered. I planned to sit in the center during my all night vigil. I brought some objects from home to place in the four directions along with feathers, leaves, tree bark and flowers I gathered. It was a time-consuming process. Every time I went out on a walk I found myself picking up a stone or a feather to place somewhere in my circle.
Satisfied that my circle was just the way I wanted it, I took a few pictures, crawled into my tent, stripped to my underwear and lay top off on my sleeping bag to cool off and rest. I was using my tent without the fly so the whole top was screened and open. It was hot that day about 85 and windy. Hickory sprinkled with a couple of cedar and oak tress surrounded my tent. Every time the wind kicked up the Hickory trees would sway wildly while the cedar and oak held firm. There was this one dead tree, which looked like a very tall pole with no branches. The swaying of the Hickory trees knocked around the tall pole tree making quite a racket. From time to time the Hickory nuts would fall to the ground with a thump.
I watched the wind and trees while laying on my back looking up through the screen roof of my tent. Eventually, my mind wandered to owls. I reached over to the to get the Quest book. I was reading page 177 where it says watch for signs. I read,
“…if you see an owl in the middle of the day (owls usually are only active at night), these occurrences may contain hidden meaning.”
As I did this, the wind gusted, the Hickory trees where swaying more wildly than usual. The knocking of the dead tree sounded like a branch was breaking loose. I sat up abruptly searching the treetops wondering if a branch was going to fall on top of me. I saw something out of the corner of my eye and turned my head.
There in the space between the trees I saw a huge bird glide just over the tops of the trees. My mouth dropped. It was an Owl. I was elated. Oh my god, I kept repeating. I wrote in my journal, OMG. This was amazing. An owl in the daytime. How wild that I should see this owl at precisely the time I am reading about seeing an owl. This wasn’t even my all night quest time. I mean I haven’t started the most important part.
The only conclusion I came to was an owl would need to come to my site that night, sit in a tree and maybe hoot. And dropping a feather as it left wouldn’t be bad either. When dusk came and I entered my circle, that is what I called for. And I waited. And waited. All night I waited. No owl. Oh, I heard owls hooting off in the distance but not what I was waiting for. Day broke and I was down in the mouth. Not only did I not have a vision but owl didn’t come. My heart was heavy.
Sue and I made an arrangement whereby we would leave a note for each other under this tree. She would leave one at night and I in the morning. I didn’t pick up my note that night because I went to my circle and didn’t want to leave. I walked over to the tree after my disappointing night and found the note. What I read made my spirits sink even further. It seems that Sue went to her car around dusk to get some food and when she got back an owl was in a tree right above her tent. When it saw her it lifted off and flew away. I was astonished. What I wanted and waited for happened to Sue. This can’t be. It was incredible.
Before I got that note, I was telling myself that, well, expecting an owl to come where I was and hoot, even drop a feather was maybe a lot to ask. Almost silly. Definitely foolish. After all owls are extremely shy of people. But lo and behold, it was possible but apparently not for me. I got out my journal to complain how owl was no longer my spirit guide. How sad and disappointed I was, how this whole vision quest thing was futile. How I was let down by the universe, by God by my animal guides. As I wrote, I realized that I did indeed have messages from the universe. Important messages and had the owl done as I hoped these messages would have been out shadowed. I would have focused on the owls visit and maybe even left my circle to go to sleep in the tent. It was not an easy thing to sit up all night watching and waiting.
I believe the owl was not only giving a message to Sue but also to me through Sue. The message was: I am here, intuition is your gift. You can count on your wisdom. I am sending this message to you through Sue and I know you will hear it.
The owl didn’t desert me. Owl just didn’t want me to ignore all and focus only on owl. There is much to learn. I would not have paid attention to the experience I had if owl would have showed up in my camping area. I had an amazing experience that took time to sink in. Getting the note and realizing owl was in Sue’s site set me to writing. It all needed to come together exactly as it did for me to “get it”.
I will share with you what happened, what I learned that night but for the next post I want to tell you something things that happened during the days before. Because like the owl would have overshadowed my “vision”, my telling you the end will spoil the events leading up to it which contain valuable meaning as well. What do you think? Can you stand the suspense? Tee hee.
Pictures of owls from 123RF Stock Photos