the mysterious gift


Somewhat not so recently, I set out into the nowhere to help a friend do a woodland photo shoot. Due to an overloaded vehicle, I happily stayed behind to explore while she trudged back to civilization for this and that. I, of course, had my shoes off in mere seconds and set forth to the meandering while I had some time to play. I found byways stocked with fern, several beautiful trees, and even came quite literally face to face with a spider (but then I am getting very used to spiders in my life here of late). I found myself trudging through one of many paths intent on rounding the corner into a particular patch of woods when I found it lying pretty as you please by its lonesome… I was not sure at the time what type of bird had left it but I was thrilled all the same. I spent the next bit of time tromping the woods, gift in hair, visiting with the many trees.

Many weeks later, on my way out to meet friends, I gave into the compulsion to tuck the feather into my bag hoping someone would know its origin – they did, turkey vulture. Cin remarked (next day) that their medicine was really interesting… and so it was. Vultures are a totem of death & rebirth, purification, and the lesson of how to use energy powerfully and effectively. They are symbolic of reaching a higher spiritual place. Once present in your life, it will be with you for the remainder. I found some really great articles here and here (you might have to refresh this one, for some reason I have to try it twice to get it to work??).  The latter held two really interesting bits that really stood out to me:

–“People with vulture totems and vulture medicine, who are also shamans and psychopomps, are usually first on the scene with the Ravens, Eagle and Hawk people, shepherding lost souls home. The first shamans at the scene of the Asian tsunami (according to elders, and some other shamanic communities) were the vulture people, the raven people, the eagle people. These people live on the frontier of life and death, and are often very literally called to places where they can help shepherd the dead into new realms.”

–“People with vulture totems are often concerned with community and family health, and usually create communities of people around them, or maintain communities. They like to make sure that everyone is getting something out of a community, but vulture medicine also makes sure that they don’t ‘spread themselves too thin.”

This last bit particularly resonated because of where I am right now in my spiritual – I very much want my immediate “community” as I see it in my little world to be supporting, equal, whole as we find our way. I often wonder if these things are gifted to me as a inkling of things to come or if they are meant to find their way to someone else through me. Or if I just make too much of it.. maybe all three. Again, I can only assume time will tell.


8 thoughts on “the mysterious gift

  1. At first i was going to say a dove feather, but it is hard to identify a feather without some idea of its size in a picture. Yes we have Lots of turkey buzzards around here too, especially cleaning up dead critters on the road. I can always tell their flight pattern from the eagles that roost and raise their young on the edge of this mountain. In Egypt the vulture was the totem of the Goddess of Truth MA’AT, so you might want to look that up. Vultures represent Truth, the final Truth, and have much to teach. Thanks for those links, will read later. BTW i have a vine spiraled walking stick and have drilled a hole in the top and when i go for a walk and find a feather i tuck it safely in there for the walk home, just an idea. But one’s hat and hair work just as well. Blessings Michelle. Lee / Shawnus

    1. I love the idea of the walking stick, quite genius! This is probably the largest feather I’ve ever found, and it was sitting just as in the picture out in the open, I wish I’d thought about truth then, I must go back and think on where I was in life at the time, but then maybe the point of truth was waiting for you to bring the idea to me, I shall think on the now as well.. As always you bring me such great wisdom to ponder 🙂

      Sent from my iPod

      1. Yea i was always finding feathers and sticking them in my hat and losing them so i came up with the feather holder walking stick. Make the hole a little bigger than you may think as the wood will seal up a little especially if new. My walking stick i have had well since i got that athame so it must have thousands of miles on it, lol. I read the vulture article which was good, but boy do i hate Tripod sites with all their pop-ups, and just like at Central Anatolia where they had open towers for the dead the vultures cleaned the bones from for later reburial also in Tibet you can look up their practice of “sky burial” online where the bodies are hacked up and fed to the vultures and any other scavengers. BB

      2. I will look it up, sounds so interestIng. I will be going to sea today to make an offering, I will be thinking of you and the truth to be brung.. I had one come to me this morning and I am bringing a friend with me who I think, oddly is seeking a truth.. As it would have it your timely wisdom is – well, right on time.. I love when things come together (well, once the coffee seeps in, lol). As always, you are my hero!

        Sent from my iPad


      3. Well say hello to La Sirene and the Oshun and the ocean Naginis for me. Gods i have not been to the ocean in maybe 18 years or so. I love to go when it is full moon rising over it in the east and walk on the beach at night when there are fewer people around. Its going to be a cool breeze for ya’al down there but we are toughing it out with a heat wave of 10*F and windy.

  2. I don’t know if this will be relevant to you – as it is UPG – but I have been working with Turkey Vulture for over a year now. Me writing this may be telling the cat how to catch mice :)….

    Turkey Vulture is a very loving mother-protective-Crone aspect to me. She devours the flesh of the dead to enable you to move onto spirit. She’s also about inner nature vs. outer appearance as Turkey Vulture has a bright red, featherless head.

    Turkey Vulture uses thermals and very little effort to fly. They let their wind take them to where they need to be and have a very acute sense of smell. Their wing span is quite huge and they fly very high – mythlogically they are linked to Griffins.

    Perhaps it’s my own age for now at 50 I find her an elder who I have more in common than ever. When she appears in combination with another animal aspect I’ve found that it points to a transition time (either in reality or in understanding).

    Here is one of the blog posts I wrote about working with Her.

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