~Digital composite by Felicia~
On my way home from work, many thoughts raced through my busy head. My brain was like a swirling pool of black uselessness. Approaching 599, the state highway, I was still deep in thought when I saw a very large, white and brown, spotted, dead bird in the middle of the road. Her lovely feathers were being roughly shoved about by the wind and my heart broke to see the majestic creature deprived of life and flight. I screeched off of the road with burning rubber and instantly forgot about all of my thoughts. All that was important in that moment was getting the bird off of the road. Five o’clock traffic raced around her and I wanted to save her from being smashed under tires by all the other people who didn’t care or have time to stop for her.
I pulled over and then I noticed another car followed. It was a woman. The bird was a huge Red-tailed Hawk. One woman jumped out of the car, while her angry mother glared at me through the windshield. There were three large dogs in the hatchback. The woman had a big fast food bag ready and didn’t seem like a good person. I felt like choking her out…frankly. She ran into the road and scooped up the bird before I could blink. She spurted out over the racing traffic…”indians use these,” while she tossed the beautiful bird in the hatchback with three dogs. Indians? Dogs? Really?? So cultured and thoughtful! At that point, I seriously felt like wrestling her to the ground. I told her that she better call BLM because the bird was protected by state and federal law. I’m not sure if she knows it’s illegal to possess a dead raptor. Hopefully, she did the right thing.
When I drove away. I realized the raptor was a sign for me. I could have not seen her or pretended not to see her and just driven over her like everyone else. Why didn’t I? Why was I awakened from my pool of useless thoughts? Well…because I believe in magic. The hawk is a very symbolic bird. She is a messenger. She is a power animal with a powerful totem. Ina Woolcott once wrote that “hawk’s gifts include clear sightedness, being observant…magic, and focus.” She also said… “Hawks have a broad vision, allowing them to see what the future holds. In man this is a symbol of prophetic insight. If this gift is underdeveloped, it is common for people with this power animal to have a tendency of over analyzing everything.”
Maybe I need to see things clearly? You know? With hawk eyes. Tonight I read the “Wildlife Notes” publication put out by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. I learned that “the eyesight of a hawk is 8 times as powerful as that of humans” and that hawks “have excellent color vision extending into the ultraviolet range so they see more colors than we do.” I guess it would be easier to see illusions that way? The hawk is my new totem. Seeing in the ultraviolet range? It sounds magical doesn’t it? Ahhh…yes. Back to magic. Last night I posted “I Believe in Magic” and coincidentally, there was a hawk show at the Renaissance Fair while I was there. Magic. Yes. I believe.
When I thought of the symbolism of the hawk and her magic, the first woman who came to mind was Circe. In Greek Mythology, Circe was known as the Goddess of Magic and her name means hawk. She was a bewitching nymph who was the daughter of the God of the Sun, Helios. Her magic was based on herbal potions. She was the daughter of the light in the sky. We see clearly in the daylight right? Finding the beautiful hawk was a sign. Call it the “flight of Circe.” I need to wake up and open my eyes. I need to look to those who actually cherish my magic. I am a magical being and deserve to have that in my life.
Woolcott’s symbolic interpretation of the hawk “denotes union with All That Is.” She says “the hawk is a bird of the heavens, arranging the changes necessary to prompt our spiritual growth. Having this power animal can be bitter sweet. When accepting its presence in your life, you will be asked to surrender/give up anything that doesn’t honor the integrity of all life. Whether its an idea, feeling or action. Although hard work is involved, the rewards to be reaped are great, far outweighing this.” I accept this majestic creature as my totem. I am willing to put in hard work. “Work” is my middle name. “Magic” is my last.