After I witnessed Eagle’s Lesson I continued to wonder if it was really an Eagle I saw, or if it was a Vulture. I was so in awe of the wingspan and power as the bird flew toward me that I didn’t take the time to notice it’s face. I didn’t recall seeing the telling red of the Turkey Vultures common to my area, so I assumed (and hoped) that it was an Eagle.
However, after recent events I can say with 99% confidence that it was a Vulture that flew over me that day. As for Eagle’s Message, I believe I needed that message and that medicine at the time I wrote the post, and continue to treasure it both for the illusion and the unveiled truth.
The truth came to me July 27th, the day of the Eclipse, but it really started a couple days earlier, on my 28th birthday, with a dead squirrel.
Let me explain something first.
As I become more awake and aligned with Spirit I’ve started to notice the significance of dead animals as messengers. Sometimes these are scary omens like physical injury or death. Other times it’s a mental or spiritual transition, though those can cause just as much upheaval. Since Spring there have been a few occasions that stand out.
In April my Uncle Jack passed away. I got the news a couple days after I saw a series of 3 dead animals: First a dead Squirrel (directly in my path), later a dead Jack Rabbit (side of the rode on my left), and finally a dead Deer (side of the rode on my right). I was going away with friends for the weekend and I took note as we passed each animal. After the third one I wondered if something terrible would happen on the trip, but I let it slide to the back of my mind. Heading home on Sunday I thought I’d been paranoid, the weekend was fun. Then I got the phone call with the news. It turns out my uncle died in an accident the same day that I saw the series of dead animals.
At the beginning of July there was one dead Deer on the side of the rode on my left. I had the thought to pay attention. I wasn’t sure what message this was but I knew I needed to stay alert. Hiking with some friends, the spot was beautiful but a little treacherous. There were slippery rocks near a river and lots of boulders to clime over. Sure enough a friend slipped, shattering his wrist (needing a plate and screws) and gashing his forehead (needing stitches). Needless to say, the hike ended early.
I’m still learning to tune to what each message brings. It’s not always so severe. About a month ago there was a small dead bird directly in my path when I was trying to bike to a meditation center on the outskirts of town. When I saw it I stopped, moved the bird out of the path, and said a prayer for it. I noticed all the other birds alive around me and felt this was also part of the message. Shortly thereafter my bike chain fell off, and then fell off again, and again. I ending up walking. I missed the meditation I was trying to get to. I was tired and achy, but trying to stay in tune. I knew something had to change; I needed to cherish this body. I’ve been working on exercising more and appreciating my physical being since.
These could all be one-offs, but I have a feeling that these messages have always been there, and I’m just now tuning into them.
Finally now, we turn to July 25th, my birthday.
I took the day off after a co-worker suggested I call in. I decided the day would be gentle and all about pampering me. One town over there was an herbalist I wanted to visit. I’ve been having back pain and digestion issues for awhile, so my birthday seemed like the perfect time to try a new remedy. As I exited my cul-de-sac there, directly centered where my car would pass over, was a dead squirrel. Normally I pay no heed to dead squirrels, they’re common and usually on the side of the rode. Being so clearly in my path though, I took notice.
Pulling over I found a shirt in my trunk and used it to move the squirrel underneath a nearby Willow. I gave a small offering and said a prayer. I wasn’t sure what this message was, but I felt certain it wasn’t physical harm. I just let the experience go to the back of my mind and knew the meaning would reveal itself later.
My trip to the herbalist was fruitful and my day ended up being peaceful and lovely. It was a good birthday. The next day I noticed the dead squirrel had somehow moved to a tree closer to our house. Curious, I thought, had an animal moved it? I let it pass.
July 27th, the day of the longest Lunar Eclipse this century.
Now the squirrel had moved to the other side of the tree, directly beside our short wooden fence. Interesting, I thought, and went on my way to work. I had a half day and would be meeting with my PMT teacher (from the Pachakuti Mesa Cross Cultural Shamanism Lineage) to honor the energy of the eclipse in the afternoon. We decided to do this kind of on a whim, and I was excited to connect.
When I got home from work I noted the squirrel was still in the same spot. My boyfriend was just heading back to work after lunch so I asked if he’d noticed it. He gave me a blank look, ‘Nope, haven’t seen the dead squirrel.’ After a quick kiss he drove away. I had to hurry to get ready.
I opened my Mesa by intoning each direction 3 times: Pachamama, Mamakilla, Wiracocha, Inti, Quichi. I invited them to join us and said some prayers, then I went outside and offered tobacco to a beautiful flower bush in our lawn before harvesting some flowers for the ceremony. About 15 minutes after my boyfriend drove away I backed out of our driveway, and there it was.
Directly in my path was a Vulture, enjoying a wonderful meal of the dead squirrel. . . I paused. What? What did this even mean? The squirrel is being eaten now? I didn’t have time to explore the answers, my teacher was waiting and I needed to get to the park. I slowly drove around the vulture, and it stared as I passed, non-moving.
When I got to the park there was smoke in the air from the fire that had started that Monday in Redding, CA. We’re close enough for the smoke to fill our skies, but luckily out of harms way. My teacher greeted me with a smile and hug. I told her a little bit about the Vulture. We both marveled at it, but our focus was the ceremony. We were there to honor the energies of the Lunar Eclipse and balance the Air/Fire energy with Earth/Water, as well as balance the Light with Dark. Using flowers, leaves, and some herbal blends we’d be creating a Despacho and offering it to the river.
We sat in the park along with families lounging and kids playing in the water. Since I’d already opened my Mesa we started with prayers, then began building our beautiful mandala. We worked well as a team, balancing the firey reds and yellows of the sun with the cool greens and blues of the earth.
Once we were done I walked into the river and released the Despacho. We watched as the wind sent our offerings to the edge of the bank in the shade, rather than downstream. We discusses how accidents don’t happen, and that there was nothing wrong with the ceremony. Across the world the moon was still being covered by the sun, so perhaps our offering needed a little more time in the shade before it was ready to move downstream. It was a wonderful ceremony.
I was feeling light as I journeyed home, my mind was open. When I arrived I was met with another interesting development. Now in the corner of my lawn sat the Vulture, eating the squirrel. There was no ignoring it, the message was loud and clear- this was for me. I sat in the grass a little ways away, opposite the bird. He regarded me for a minute and moved to the fence.
Sitting cross-legged I took deep meditative breaths, greeting the bird then bowing in honor. Again, the Vulture just stared. We regarded each other with interest and ease. A feeling rose up in me and I began to intone the directions. I noticed on ‘Pachamama’ the Vulture bustled. After toning a few times, I pulled out my phone to capture it. He bustled again as I toned ‘Pachamama’ but I accidentally had angled the camera at a tree, divine perfection. As I finished toning ‘Inti’ the Vulture rose to fly, so that as I intoned the Sacred Rainbow ‘Quichi’, the blending of all elements, I watched him fly away, taking my prayers to the heavens. (video below)
Some of the squirrel remained, so I gave it offerings and said a prayer. I have a feeling that what was left is exactly what needed to be left. I’m still integrating the meaning. I’ve read a lot on spirit messages of dead animals, squirrels and vultures.
One of the biggest takeaways I found is that many ancient cultures saw the Vulture as a bad omen (because it awaited death and fed from it), but overall the Vulture brings a beautiful medicine. The Latin name “Cathares aura” translates to ‘Golden Purifier.’ These misunderstood messengers actually purify the land, and harm none. Vultures use air currents to counter gravity, flying effortlessly. They are a community, notifying each other when food is found. “Turkey Vultures that range within California Condor habitat areas, when they find food they will go to the Condors and lead them to it. ” In the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition the Condor is sacred, one of Wiracocha’s (Grand Creator’s) animal allies, so I feel a powerful significance.
There is still much I’m learning and integrating. Right now is a great time of purification for me, and for many of us. As I tune into my body and mind I’m finding many neglected places, full of pain and fear, just waiting to heal. It’s a process. I’m also learning my gifts, learning to trust my ‘knowings’ and understand my connection to death.
Thank you Vulture for your amazing display, and the medicine you bring to me.
Here’s the video I took (please don’t mind my imperfect toning, and if you don’t want to see a dead squirrel turn off the video after the Vulture flies away):
Update as of 1:00 pm on 7/31/18: My mom called to let me know an extended family member passed away Sunday night. She was elderly and suffering, this was a little expected, but I know my aunt is grieving hard for her mom now, only months after she lost her husband (the previously mentioned uncle Jack). I wasn’t as close to her, and I’m unsure if the Vulture Medicine was related, but I do believe the Lunar Eclipse brought with it the energy of transition and transformation, helping my aunt’s mom transcend pain to join with infinite love: Source. My heart goes out to those she left behind who suffer in her absence. Much love to them, my soul family, my Aunti and Cousins. May their hearts mend and may deep healing occur around so much loss ❤