During the last few years I’ve enjoyed researching the symbolism behind the animals and birds that show up during significant events in my life. Maybe it’s due to my Native American and Celtic roots. But whatever the reason, I feel especially loved during these encounters. 

Last spring, after I got home from a bleary-eyed day at work, I dragged on my sweats and went to the front room to sit on the couch for a little. I brightened up when I noticed two black-capped chickadees hopping around on the branches in a large bush next to the windows. 081080(If you can tell me the name of the bush I would be ever so grateful.) Since my couch snugs right up to the window and the bush, I expected them to fly away when they saw me, but they didn’t.  They continued to hop around in the bush and make their distinct calls for about fifteen minutes even when my cat Pumpkin nestled in the window.  The view was a rare treat.  I mentioned it to my daughter and she shrugged it off, “Oh yeah, they’re always there.” Really? How could I not have noticed before?  A few days later on Saturday morning, I got up early and came out to my front room for meditation and journaling.

As I leaned over the couch and opened the blind, I was pleasurably startled to find a black-capped chickadee sitting on my porch railing, about four feet away, and peering through the window right at me.    Again, it did not fly away when my shade snapped open or when it saw me.  It continued to stare at me, almost motionless for what seemed like a long time.  We were both fascinated. Then it flew to the maple in the corner of my yard and began a jubilant song. I had to wonder what it meant. It seemed like a message. I looked at  Animal Speak by Ted Andrews and read: 

Chickadee = sacred number is 7 (the day I was born and my favorite number) seeker of truth and knowledge.  Cheerful and truthful expression.

I’d been experiencing greater contentment in my life as I  accepted the flow of events.  I was learning to pay attention to what was in front of me instead of straining forward or fruitlessly trying to reconcile the past. 

Another significant animal sighting ocurred when I was dating a man that is a evangelical Christian.  I’d already walked that path and it was toxic to me.  I could never go back. He knew I was a pagan and wasn’t happy about it. But we enjoyed many of the same activities and had a strong intuitive connection. When we were on the phone he would verbalize exactly how I was feeling even though I hadn’t spoken and he couldn’t see my facial expressions. It was comforting and at the same time scary. For my part, I would know when he was arriving within 5 minutes even though I may not have been told what his ETA was. On the day we knew it wasn’t going going to work, we were standing in a friend’s driveway and I was crying hard as he was holding me.   When we let go of the embrace, we noticed a pair of racoons about 10 feet away staring hard at us. It was eerie. They stayed for a minute and then leisurely wandered on. After looking up what they symbolize on Avia Venefica’s website (the best for animal symbolism!) I realized we had been  masking our souls and playing roles we could not sustain because we wanted so much for it to work.  I was so sad, but thankful for the message.

One of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer L. Shelton at FemCentral shared this cool story about her own animal encounter.

What about you? Do you have a story of how an animal has communicated an important message to you?