When you encounter an animal in your daily life, do you ever stop to wonder why?
Have you ever had an experience with an animal and sensed that it wasn’t as simple as being in the right(or wrong) place at the right time? You’re not the only one. I take notice when I inexplicably encounter an animal that I inexplicably shouldn’t have encountered. And there is ALWAYS a message.
I’m going to share a few personal experiences I’ve had to illustrate how simple it can be to recognize the importance of it and understand what it means to you. Your path to understanding animal omens and symbolism could be different, but this is how it has worked for me. I’m also going to demonstrate how there isn’t just one way to understand animal omens, that you have to go with your intuition in order to really get the meaning behind it.
The Northern Harrier
There was a point in my life when I didn’t know what a Northern Harrier was. I probably would have said it was some sort of military aircraft. But now I know that a Northern Harrier is a bird. The picture at the top is a Northern Harrier. It’s sort of a cross between a hawk and an owl and the males(pictured) are also known as the grey ghost. They are pretty unique in the way they behave. They glide very close to the ground and use sound the way owls do, but they aren’t related to owls. Here are some more interesting facts on them courtesy of All About Birds.
I’ve seen lots of Northern Harriers and now I can easily spot one from a distance. But there was one day in particular where I saw one and was so inspired I had to take notice. I was sitting at a traffic light, stressed out from the day’s events with a million random 3D thoughts going through my mind. But then out of nowhere a Northern Harrier came swooping down towards the street, as if he was hunting something….during rush hour in an urban setting. For a second I was right there with him, looking down at the street, hearing every little sound. I forgot about everything that was previously in my mind and sat there in awe of the experience….even though all I did was watch a bird fly by.
In this case, I didn’t feel the need to research its meaning. I just accepted it as a moment just for me to help me realize that there’s more to life than the stress that consumes so many of us. I wrote the poem titled, For Just a Moment about that experience. From time to time I read it and recall that moment where a Northern Harrier decided to help me through my day.
I was at work one day amidst a very uncomfortable situation where I had to suspend an employee. I wasn’t 100% sure that I made the right decision. Suspending this person was convenient for me in that it got them out of the building. But was it the right thing to do? I had just escorted him out of the building and was headed back to my office when I saw a bird inside the building flying erratically towards me. The thoughts going through my head in that moment were concerns and doubts over whether I did the right thing. What would this employee do? Would he retaliate? He wasn’t known to be the most rational of individuals and the thought did cross my mind of him coming back for revenge. I was keenly aware of how one could get in the building, where I was located in the building and how I could protect myself if something unimaginable did happen.
When I got closer to the bird, it flew low directly towards me. I instinctively got ready to jump out of the way when I saw it a few inches from my face and it was a bat! A bat in the middle of the day flew right at my face inside a building! If you have never seen a bat up close, they are pretty crazy looking creatures. The image was stuck in my mind and I became compelled to find what a bat omen was all about. In5d.com had the answer for me:
Initiation, death-rebirth, changes are taking place which are blessings, facing facts in one’s life, fears are always beneficial, trust instincts. Bat tells us it is the end one phase of life and the beginning of another. Bat can show how to navigate in the dark and unknown. Soon you will see the world with a new perspective, teaches sensitivity to vibrations around you, navigation, introspection and demonstrates ability of observation and power of meditation and solitude along with ability of working in groups when necessary. Bat shows how to make those important transitions.
This was perfect information at the perfect time. I had a lot of fears at that moment and I was trusting my instincts. I was also very aware of the subtle energy around me and was already thinking about how I needed to really meditate on this decision to see if what I was doing was right. I absolutely did make the right decision and the bat omen is a big reason why. I can’t say I would have done anything differently had I not seen the bat, but the bat absolutely sealed the deal for me.
The mention of the word “murcielago” is related to a brief conversation I had with one of the other employees that day. He saw me from afar jumping out of the way and came to make sure I was alright. I told him it was a bat but he didn’t speak English. I then went into a very bad impersonation of a bat when he finally got it and said, “murcielago!” which is bat in Spanish. You have to appreciate when simple words in English are incredibly interesting words in other languages.
The Angry Little Bear
I had a dream one night where a miniature black bear was in my hand and every time I would think that it was going to be nice and let me pet it, it would turn around and bite me. It wasn’t a bite that would inflict serious damage like a normal size bear but it was enough for me to notice. I woke up with the image of the angry little bear in my mind and wrote a poem about it titled Angry Little Bear.
I don’t disregard animal omens whether they are in real life or in dreams. There was something to this angry little bear so I headed over once again to in5d.com for the answer. The section on bear omens is extensive and full of juicy info. But I found what I needed in this words:
Sub/Unconscious mind, strength, grounding, inner energy of soul to find answers, judgments, are you too critical or not critical enough, inner power to taste the honey of life. Bear teaches caution, quiet of the mind and silence within. There is great power in introspection which awakens insights and opportunities. Bears teaches leadership, natural healing abilities and defending when necessary. Bear is spirit keeper of the West, the place of darkness, maturity and good harvest. From this place, Grandfather Bear gives strength, introspection and knowledge.
The bear holds the teachings of introspection. When it shows up in your life pay attention to how you think, act and interact.
The fact that it starts with “sub/unconscious mind” immediately validated this information for me. The bear came to me in my unconscious mind. The part about “quiet of the mind, silence within” couldn’t have been more relevant to what I was going through. My mind had been working overtime the prior weeks but this angry little bear told me to “taste the honey of life” and to use the great power in introspection to find my answers. Another perfectly timed, perfect message from the Universe.
Like the Northern Harrier there was a point in my life where I didn’t know the difference between a mockingbird and a sparrow. To me, birds were birds. Some sing, some fly but there was no distinction in my mind. But once you take notice of the mockingbird, I assure you that your life will never be the same. They aren’t necessarily the most beautiful birds. But the mockingbird can sing and sing and sing and sing. Their songs are impossible to categorize and they seem to make them up at random, never repeating a note or verse. Even as I typed this, a mockingbird sat outside singing to me. They also love to be on display and will position themselves high on a building or in a spot where their voice will echo.
Most people know of mockingbirds from the book, To Kill a Mockingbird. That was my only awareness of them. I never read the book so I looked it up to see why it was called that. Interestingly, its just a reference to a line in the book.
Atticus, having given his children air-rifles for Christmas, allows their Uncle Jack to teach them to shoot. Atticus warns them that, although they can “shoot all the bluejays they want”, they must remember that “it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”. Confused, Scout approaches her neighbor Miss Maudie, who explains that mockingbirds never harm other living creatures. She points out that mockingbirds simply provide pleasure with their songs, saying, “They don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.”
My desire to look up mockingbird information was due to an encounter I had with one. There was a mockingbird that hangs out right outside of my workplace. Just about every day he can be found high in a tree or on a power line singing away.
I’d never consider killing any living creature for sport, let alone a mockingbird. But the message is clear. Take notice of them. Enjoy their song. Their song is like a psychic sound bath to help clear the mind. There is no hidden meaning here. Just enjoy the music and let it do what it will for me.
There is no shortage of birds where I live. On any given day I can be awakened by the sound of a mockingbird, sparrows, finches or even wild parakeets. But on the day where I wrote most of this article, one bird made sure I knew he was there, a crow. Crows are everywhere and they aren’t shy creatures at all. They are highly intelligent and many believe they exist in multiple dimensions simultaneously. To the enlightened, crows are magical. To the unenlightened, they are a pest. But make no mistake about it, crows are telling us something. I was starting to wake up when a crow about ten feet from my window started yelling loudly. It was like my own personal rooster to tell me, “get the f*&% out of bed!” So I did.
I only shared this crow story to illustrate that when you tune in, the Universe gives you exactly what you need. Sometimes its a powerful, life changing dose of clarity. But sometimes its just a wake up call.
Animals have been speaking to me for as long as I can remember. I didn’t even touch on what is probably my best animal omen story involving a snake, or the blind white cat story or the white cat that wasn’t really there, and on and on. If you find yourself wondering about animal encounters in your life, use your intuition to guide you to the answer. If you’re compelled to get online and investigate, then do so. If you’re compelled to just go with your gut, then do so. But never disregard an animal omen. The unseen world is speaking to us all the time and for some of us, it uses animals to get our attention.
If you like this kind of thing, then you might want to read some of my other stuff in The Lessons of Nature