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.