Monday, February 25, 2008

Red-Tailed Hawk

Looking back over previous posts, I see that I have neglected to mention the surprise visitor I had the morning of 13 February. As I sat down on the living room couch to put my shoes on for work, I saw a flutter of wings out of the corner of my eye. I looked up to see that a bird had landed in the branches of one of the trees out front, but could night quite see him. As if sensing this, he dropped down a couple branches so that he was within perfect viewing -- and photographing range. I drew in a breathe of wonder as I saw that it was not a flashy cardinal or an early robin, but a red-tailed hawk!

This is the second time in the past year or so that one has flown directly into my path. The first time was during the summer, as I walked along the Beltline Frontage Road near the UW Arboretum: a hawk landed in the path before me only a few yards away -- and of course the camera was in the bag on my back. Doh! This time, however, the camera was within reach, and the bird sat preening for quite some time as I snapped a few pictures through the front window. I would have loved to go out and try to get a closer shot, but was afraid the crunch of snow might scare him off -- so settled for watching and admiring him through a pane of glass.

It was only later that I recalled the hawk that flew into my path some months before, and it made me wonder about animal omens and totems. Naturally I had to research the topic, and I found useful links through CC and Tempest's blog. If you are not sure how to find your animal totem, click here. And if you want to find out about a particular animal totem, try this site.

According to that last link, Sayahda, a hawk represents a messenger, appearing in our lives when we most need to heed what's going on around us. To quote from the site,

"One thing that all hawks have in common is the skill to move between the seen and unseen realms gracefully connecting both worlds together. Their acute vision compliments this ability and their discriminating nature keeps them out of harms way. The broader vision of the hawk allows them to see what the future holds... Those who hold this totem should remember to keep their analytical mind under control and not allow it to run wild."

"When the hawk flies into our life we will be asked to evaluate who we have become and rip out the threads of our self created illusions. This enables our inner truth to surface."

According to
another site, the hawk is

"the messenger, the protector and the visionaries of the Air. It holds the key to higher levels of consciousness. This totem awakens vision and inspires a creative life purpose. A Hawk totem is filled with responsibility because Hawk people seek the overall view. They are aware of omens and spirit messages."

Having the red-tailed hawk as a totem is said to be quite special, as it is a totem you will have your entire life, whereas other totems may appear only when their power is needed. A hawk is also associated with the Tarot card Temperance, which represents "the teaching of higher expressions of psychic ability and vision." It's about learning to free thoughts or beliefs that are preventing you from "soaring," from attaining your potential.

I don't think it's mere coincidence that the hawk sighting coincided with the beginning of another vivid dream cycle. These are fairly frequent to me, sometimes so active and vivid that I wake feeling more drained than when I went to bed. I try to remember and record what I can of these dreams, but find it difficult to do when jarred awake, as I frequently am with some of my rude neighbors.

I think I'll end this post with a list of "hawk" qualities from the
Better Living website:

Hawk Wisdom

Being observant
Messages from spirit
Recalling past lives
Seeing the larger picture
Wise use of opportunities
Overcoming problems

Are there animal totems in your life that you are aware of?


Anonymous said...

That is so cool! And the pictures are amazing. Now I'm off to find out what my animal totem is. Thanks for the link.

L train said...

This is amazing! I found your blog entry because this just happened to me and I knew it was an omen. I live in Manhattan, eleven stories up and a hawk perched at my window, looked directly at me, squawked and glided off. I watched him from my other window and saw his giant wingspan and majestic shadow as he rounded the corner out of my sight. I am struck.

Lisa in Wa said...

About one year ago my close friend helped me discover my animal totem, the hawk. I had been seeing them often and see them even more now that I have established it as my totem. Recently, I've seen at least 3 in 2 weeks and had one fly right in front of my car.
Today I was at my friends house having an emotional heart to heart about finding my calling. I have been getting many messages from the universe about a particular career interest. As we were discussing this I am looking out her huge picture windows to a beautiful Pacific NW fall morning. All of a sudden, a red tailed hawk is at eye level flying directly at me and hits the window! It drops and we run to the window but see it nowhere on the ground. We never saw it take flight but we couldn't find it so somehow it recovered quickly and left without us seeing it. I believe it escaped injury. I did not perceive the encounter as coincidental, more akin to being struck by lightning!