As The Crow Flies

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The Story of My Animal Totems

Not long ago I released a piece about Goat, one of my animal totems. I also acknowledged in that piece that my earliest totem was no doubt, Dog, which I described in another piece in my first book. And I alluded to the need to tell you about Crow. At this point you may be wondering if I have a whole menagerie of spirit animals; the truth is more complex than that.

We are all evolving across our lives, if not across lifetimes. My own evolution seems to have been from the energy of Dog, to Hummingbird, to Goat and Crow.

Some of my earliest impressions of animals came from dogs. To this day, while I travel too much to have my own dog in my life, I frequent dog parks and take full advantage of good dog energy wherever I can find it. It invigorates me, almost like first nature. Sit me down with a dog, and the whole world slips away for a time. Not surprisingly, dogs like me, and seek me out. I often hear from their humans that the dogs are unusually receptive to me. I have not a clue where such energy may come from, yet I can certainly see evidence of it in my life.

 Pugs in particular have had special meaning in my life.

Pugs in particular have had special meaning in my life.

Some years ago, as I came fully into a conscious path of spiritual practice, I was smitten by hummingbirds. Not only are they symbolic of joy, they are little bursts of beauty, both themes in my spirituality. Yet when I heard the story of hummingbirds traveling as much as six thousand miles under extraordinary duress with near perfect navigational skills, I had a moment of insight: surely if the Creator had imbued such a tiny creature with such inner guidance, we must all have some form of such intuition. That epiphany drove the development of Seeing True: The Way of Spirit, my psycho-spiritual exploration of the ways and means by which Spirit animates our lives. Most assuredly, Hummingbird is an ally in this journey.

As I described Goat in that previous piece, it is so very clear to me that the curiosity, adventure seeking, and fearlessness of the creature likewise guides me.

Now to pick up the theme from my goat blog, a decade ago on a vacation to Victoria, British Columbia I stumbled across goats in a petting zoo at Beacon Hill Park. And into that transcendent interaction with goats, a murder of crows (yes, that's really what a group of crows is called) descended into the midst and set up a riotous and raucous banter. The sum total of Goat and Crow in the same space spun me off into a spiritual reverie and produced the storyline for My Name is Wonder, a spiritual parable of a goat named Wonder on a trek of adventure with his spirit guide, Mac Craack Crow.

Amid that unfolding, I came to have a tattoo on my chest of Mac Craack, a beautiful fusion of Crow and Hummingbird. Somehow it is true to and for me.

You might ask, “Why?”

Because the wisdom and canny nature of Crow are becoming mine. For me, Crow is aspirational, a living embodiment of how I most want to be as both teacher and student as well as spiritual adventurer. Intrepid. Somehow infused with the joy of Hummingbird all the while.

Seeing True in Action

“We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be awake and free! We can learn to fly!” Richard Bach from Jonathan Livingston Seagull

What animal represents your spiritual journey?