From my Journal: The Crows and an Unexpected Message

13 March 2018

The following post is compiled from extracts taken from my digital journal. It has been only slightly altered to make sense as a blog post, to add links, and to remove other people's details. For this reason, it might not flow as easily as a typical post, but it feels important to share it, as is. 

For several months I've noticed a regular gathering (I purposely avoided the correct collective noun) of crows* on the rooftops surrounding our house. They are not there everyday, but every so often they hang around for a few days being particularly squawky and making a fuss. On such occasions they typically take turns swooping down outside my studio window (where I sit during the day) and hopping around in front of the house. I have no idea why they come, where they roost, or whether there is something special attracting them to this spot so often.

Image Source: Pixabay

One day, when I was feeling especially connected (to nature) and they were engaged in a particularly noisy and boisterous display, I looked up their symbolic meaning and learned that they are generally concerned with insight, magic, mystery, fearlessness and determination. 
The crow is a spirit animal associated with life mysteries and magic. The power of this bird as totem and spirit guide is to provide insight and means of supporting intentions. Sign of luck, it is also associated with the archetype of the trickster; be aware of deceiving appearances. If the crow has chosen you as your spirit or totem animal, it supports you in developing the power of sight, transformation, and connection with life’s magic. - Elena Harris,
Since then I've been fascinated and keeping a closer watch on them. Were they often there, and I just didn't notice them (for eight years?!) until I became more in tune with nature? I really don't know.

A few days ago, while walking Archie (my dog), I saw a particularly majestic specimen standing atop a very high tree that was damaged by a localised mini-tornado last summer. We don't normally get tornados in West Sussex, so this in itself is somewhat extraordinary. The bird looked so spectacular, I stopped in my tracks and watched, pointing it out to another dog-walker, before it swooped down and flew away. 

Five minutes later, as I rounded the corner of the street I was greeted by a loud cawing - two crows were flying around overhead and swooping in front of our house, but they flew away as Archie started barking at them. With the crows gone I came inside, made some tea, and sat down to shuffle the new Mystical Shaman Oracle¹ (first impressions here, full review coming soon). I was still thinking about the birds and how they had really made their presence felt - first on the tree and then around the house. It really felt as though they were getting my attention, and I  wondered whether there was a lesson that could be taken from this. Putting it aside, I drew a card ... The Crow!

Deck: Mystical Shaman Oracle¹, illustrated by Jena DellaGrottaglia
Crow is the keeper of universal law, the law of truth. Crow teaches us to walk our talk, to find congruence between who we say we are and who we really know ourselves to be. This winged one insists that we speak truth, that we create truth instead of searching for it, and that we bring truth to every situation we find ourselves in. - From the Mystical Shaman Oracle guidebook.
This felt entirely appropriate. Last week, for International Women's Day I'd posted a quote from Rebecca Campbell on my Facebook page - "While it served her in the past She refused to keep her magic contained, restrained or detained any longer." For me this serves a reminder to be authentic and speak my truth. I notice that many people are in the 'Spiritual' or 'Tarot Closet', and while I am not exactly hiding out in that closet, I don't shout from the rooftops either. It feels like a personal thing and I haven't been crowing about it.

It made me think about (and question) my own 'truth' - I feel as though it is still unfolding for me, and for this reason I don't quite know what to say. What should I share? Do I even need to? But perhaps the more important question is - Am I afraid to speak out? The honest answer is yes - because it doesn't even make sense to me yet. The throat chakra is represented by the colour blue, and it doesn't feel like a coincidence that the crow's feathers have a blue-black tinge, or that there is a swirl at his throat in this image (at the throat chakra) which almost looks reptilian (shedding?). I got the message that as well as being authentic with myself, I need to be more open with others too. (If you're reading this, perhaps there is a message in that for you too?) 

After writing my earlier entry, I stopped to do a Reiki session on a friend, and then came back to reread it, wondering whether to publish it on TCC (this blog) or not. I drew another card. It was 'Magic'.

Deck: Mystical Shaman Oracle¹, illustrated by Jena DellaGrottaglia
This symbol represents the infinite intelligence of Great Spirit that makes up the fundamental fabric of the universe. We experience the evidence of this magic through synchronicity, or meaningful coincidence.
The Magic card invites us to recognise "the dance in synchronistic events, signs, symbols, and omens given to you through the oracle of the ordinary world." It encourages us to pay attention and to recognise that "Magic gives birth to miracles." (cf Rebecca Campbell quote!) 

So maybe those crows have always been there, and maybe not. But the fact that I have noticed them and it felt like a meaningful connection is surely a synchronicity that shouldn't be ignored. I've been thinking of how I can speak my truth more authentically - do I even truly know what that is? It's changing all the time as I recognise things about myself - and the universe - that I would have surely laughed at only a year or two ago. How can I be more 'congruent' in my life? I think I need to speak out about all this 'stuff'. 

Over the intervening days, I had a lot more 'Crow' synchronicities - swooping down at the window while I was having lunch with my mother, constantly flying out in front of the car - not just in my own street but whenever I was driving anywhere. I started reading the new Denise Linn book on Energy Strands (for review) and there was a WHOLE section about CROWS!! My daughter even drew one on my card for Mother's Day, as she had seen them showing up all the time and when I saw my sister in the evening she said she'd been organising a new tattoo - a Raven - which she described as "a type of Crow". 

From Energy Strands by Denise Linn

[.....] Meditation at the Chapel. As I was driving there, another crow flew out in front of the car. I may have cursed - not because I don't like them, but just because they are everywhere I go and I was trying to work out whether I'm missing something. 

After a talk about the Brow Chakra (the focus for this month) we started the meditation and... well.... I'm not sure how to put it into words really, but I had a 'presence' with me who wanted me to speak for him. I didn't hear a voice, as such, it was more a 'knowing' - like the information was in my head in one go and I could feel it. 

I saw him as a teenage boy with dark hair, but I wasn't sure if he had ever lived, or had died before he lived. He wanted me to speak, to say he was there. I knew it was a message for someone but I didn't know who. He wanted the person to know he was with them, with love, on Mother's Day - he was either their actual son or like a son to them, I wasn't sure. I saw the letter 'J'. I thought I also saw an 'O' but wasn't sure if it was an iris as there were colours everywhere. It felt it may have been something to do with his head which caused him to pass, but by this point I was starting to doubt my sanity and STILL TRYING to listen to the meditation. 

In my mind I was thinking "I can't possibly say this out loud... but crows are about speaking your truth... and I know that this person won't go if I don't say something." I was trying to listen to the guided meditation but I couldn't focus on it at all - I was seeing colours (mostly blue - throat chakra - speaking the truth!) and I KNEW that he wouldn't go until I spoke. I tried to reason with him in my mind, saying that I would speak out at the end but for now would he please let me do the meditation, but no. He knew that if he went I might lose my nerve and not say anything and he needed me to. 

By the end of the meditation, I was so hot I even had to take my scarf off (it's always freezing in the tiny Chapel - the other people were wrapped up warm, some still wearing coats). When it was finished and we were invited to open our eyes, I tentatively spoke up saying that I needed to say something and I knew it sounded ridiculous. I welled up with emotion as I started to explain my experience and by the time I got to the letter J, the woman directly opposite me began to cry. I asked if it was a message for her and she said it was. I asked was it her son, because I couldn't be sure, and she said it was her grandson, from her son Joe. She went on to tell me all about him (details omitted for reasons of privacy) and how she had been in hospital recently herself, and she had felt him with her and been talking to him. I was floored, and also really glad to have been able to deliver this gift to her. 

After a grounding cuppa with the other meditators, I came home feeling that something profound had happened. Of course, my husband immediately started taking the p*ss when I tried to talk to him about it. I came into my studio (my sanctuary), shuffled, and pulled a couple of cards from the Mystical Shaman Oracle - 'The Heart of Sky' and 'The Seer'. 

Deck: Mystical Shaman Oracle¹, illustrated by Jena DellaGrottaglia
I didn't need to refer to the book to understand their meanings, but here they are anyway. The Heart of Sky is "the love force that made all creation possible" and it brings a scared reminder: 
You are a channel for the original energy of creation. Become the paintbrush, the canvas, the artist, all guided by the Heart of Sky. Set your intention, ethically and clearly, and allow the universe to take care of the details.
The Seer "represents the capacity to reach beyond the obvious details of life, into the hidden Realms where information is available to those with the discernment to perceive it. This symbol represents psychic perception, intuition, and the capacity to know something without prior exposure." The card "invites you to trust your intuition and follow it as it leads you forward....Trust your gut, and allow your perception of your circumstances to widen to include the nuances and subtle clues that you normally miss if you take things at face value. The Seer has gifted you with his magic. You are exactly as you are supposed to be. Your vision is clear." AMAZING!

After lunch I started playing around with my new mother's day tarot deck and two cards came out - The Tower and The High Priestess. It did indeed feel as though something unexpected and potentially life-changing had happened, and it was to do with everything that the High Priestess stands for. 

As if all of that wasn't enough, we sat together to watch Pixar's Coco. (If you've seen it you might understand why this felt relevant.) I can't help but feel that this was a continuation of the earlier message and something I was meant to understand by remembering that boy to his grandmother. I shed a few tears as I watched it.

I don't know if today's events were a one-off or not. I don't know if it happened because I was meditating in a circle and she was there, which made it easier for him to come through. Actually I don't know WHAT to think about it. Although this has never happened to me before, it was not at all scary apart from my fear of speaking out about it and I certainly think it is related to the crows!  

It's Tuesday now, and I completed my Reiki and Seichem level 2 training yesterday. I turned up and my Master Teacher (who has incredible skills that go way beyond healing) was wearing a jumper with the silhouettes of large dark birds sitting on a wire. I only saw one crow while driving to her, and I don't know if they were even crows on her jumper, but it did make me laugh. 

I told her all about the things I (and the other people) have been experiencing while I perform Reiki. How I can feel in my body what they are feeling - aches and pains, injuries, things that need to be released etc. And I told her about the message I delivered on Sunday. 

When we were talking about my Attunement, she mentioned  Melchizedek and I suddenly remembered the post I wrote last month about the Hierophant and The Alchemist. I called that post "Unlocking your Destiny?", and the picture was... 

Deck: The Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans
Looking back at my journal, this was around the time I started really noticing the crows were back too. I didn't even put these things together until she mentioned Melchizedek. It reinforced why keeping a journal is such a valuable part of this journey (see this post). 

Even as I write this, my logical brain is thinking that it must all sound completely crazy, that perhaps I'm GOING crazy. But on a deeper level, from my heart and my gut, I've never felt MORE authentic and I'm publishing these extracts as a big fat raspberry to my fear of talking about these things, and  trying to rationalise them before I do. 

POSTSCRIPT: I hadn't seen any crows this morning. I wondered if they were gone. But as I typed the previous paragraph, intending it to be the last, I looked out of the window and noticed there is just one, and he's standing on the roof directly opposite my desk. 

* I can't easily distinguish one type of crow from another - they all appear to me as 'Crows', some may actually be Ravens.  
¹ Mystical Shaman Oracle written by Alberto Villoldo, Colette Baron-Reid and Marcela Lobos, and illustrated by Jena DellaGrottaglia, is published by Hay House and will be officially released on March 27th 2018. It is currently available to pre-order from Hay House UKHay House and other booksellers. 

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