Animals on the Trail

I walk as a spiritual practice. There are walking trails near the YMCA where I work out and I walk after my work out every day. It’s a bit of cool down, but really it’s my other time of the day with God.  I sit in meditation for 30 minutes every morning, but I’ve found I like having an active, moving prayer practice as well.  This week I encountered a Falcon on my walk.  Peregrine Falcons are not an every day occurrence on this trail, so I took notice.  I didn’t seem to take enough notice because the falcon swooped in and landed on a fence to my right.  I kept walking.  The falcon lifted off, did a tight circle over the trail, not more than 20 feet off the ground and landed back on the fence.  He seemed to stare at me.  “Okay, okay, I see you,” I spoke to the falcon and we looked at each other for a minute and it lifted off and flew away.

This may be dismissed as just a coincidence, however, I am firm believer in the symbolic, if not actual power of animal guides.  I havea long standing relationship with the cardinal as an animal guide. I’ve written about it before and I’ve even written a song about it: Mattapoisett (by Tony Lorenzen)

A few months ago, I encountered a coyote at dusk on this same walking trail.  I was not going to take my falcon lightly.

I usually don’t bring my phone with me on my walk, but there have been some break ins lately in the YMCA parking lot, so I’ve taken to carrying my wallet and phone in my pockets on my walks.  Using 3G, I looked up the falcon.  I read a lot about falcons that day.  This writer and her postings sum up most of the material.

Throughout history, culture and myth, Falcons symbolize superiority, spirit, light, freedom and aspiration.  The Falcon is a solar emblem for success, victory and rising above a situation.
At its core, the Falcon represents visionary power, wisdom, and guardianship.  This powerful bird awakens visionary power, and leads you to your life purpose.  The Falcon carries with it a message of transition and change – perhaps in your vocation, work, career, etc.

The fact that this Peregrine chose to show itself to you is a powerful message in itself.  This is a call for you to pay attention to the your performance, your function, your actions.

The fact that the Falcon is a solar beast leads me to believe that there is something in your life that you are highly passionate about, and the Falcon is asking you to take action on this passion.  But be smart about it – don’t jump into something without doing research and planning.  Make your passion a reality by persuing it methodically.

This seems an appropriate message to receive at this time in my life.  Having learned to pay attention to the Cardinal and having had the Coyote appear at an appropriate time in my life. I’m ready to listen to the Falcon, too.

When I saw the Coyote, I was going through a very transitional period, but it was mostly interior work and was only beginning to manifest itself in the day to day of my life.  Being a shape shifter, the coyote represents a death and resurrection time – a dying of the old and birth of the new.  Avia Venefica again:

The sighting of the Coyote was said to bring natural shifts in balance, causing an end (which, of course, simply makes way for new beginnings, and so on). Essentially, the Coyote is like a “way-maker” of new direction as it went about its symbolic role of representing the cycle of life/death in nature.

The Coyote sometimes comes to us with a message about learning from our mistakes, and by learning, we become free from getting trapped. This learning can mean communicating with “our pack” for better understanding (advice, open dialog, sharing experiences with our closest peeps). Or, learning might be a solo thing, like recognizing a personal mistake, seeing its consequences and vowing not to make that same mistake twice.

Back nearer the beginning of my journey, I came to life and transformed myself during my college years.  This isn’t unusual.  A lot of people do this.  My college transformation, however, happened at Fitchburg State College, now Fitchburg State University.  The symbol and mascot of Fitchburg State? The Falcon.  Perhaps it’s time to get back to following the passions that started this journey and this dream.  It’s time to take action and live into the passion for peace, justice and God that came alive for the first time while I was at Fitchburg State.   I wonder where this will lead…..?

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