It’s been a while since Osprey has graced my day, but while at the beach yesterday that dry spell ended.
It was a lovely day with perfect weather and hardly anyone on the beach since it’s off-season, which is still a mystery to me, as the weather is so amazing why would you not visit the ocean even if summer is over? But I’m grateful to have the quiet and yesterday the ocean was a bit rough, which seemed to turn up quite a bit of fish near the shore, as shoreline birds were having quite the feast.
It brought out Pelicans in small groups that danced together skimming the water’s surface and then one after another floating above and then dive bombing in to gather up their catch. And as they did a smaller group of birds would rush to them hoping to get some of their action.
Much later in the afternoon Osprey then arrived to join in the hunt and I watched as he dove in, plunging head first into the water to see what he could get. The water was quite choppy and seemed to throw him around a bit, but he continued to dive at his mark.
Not long after seeing him I got up from my chair and reading time to explore the now-revealed rocks and tidepools, as the tide had gone out since arrival. I always like to see what treasures are around. There were tons of tiny conch-like shells, which was interesting given my dream I shared about, and some sea anemones, as well as some pretty sea urchin shells, which I did pick up.
I decided to walk a bit further and then after feeling my explorations were done, I turned back, but went kind of a long-about way back rather than a straight line, and then I was amazed at what I found.
Leaning upright between two rocks was this large feather that looked so perfectly and sacredly placed, it was as if someone had purposely put it there to be discovered by who was meant to find it.
It looked like an altar to this feather and I walked over to examine it up close and immediately realized it was a beautiful Osprey tail feather. I felt a deep gratitude in my heart and thanked Osprey for this gift. It no doubt was likely from the one I’d been watching and I felt an extreme honor rush through me. I then decided to leave behind the sea urchin shells as a thank you gift in return and then picked up the feather.
It is now with me at home and in my altar space with quite a collection of feather gifts of my bird and raptor friends that have been finding their way to me. However, this one being the largest.
In Native cultures feathers are considered very important from any bird, and are used in ceremony, dance, and medicine, but being of “The Upper World” they do not belong to the person who holds it. It is considered a responsibility to decide to pick up a feather, or leave it and if you do decide to pick it up they say you should leave a gift (usually tobacco – but that’s not something I carry around :) ) thanking Grandfather and the bird, which assures him it will be honored and cared for while in your possession.
As a bird of prey, Native American culture believes Osprey to symbolize a high ranked warrior. They believe that each war bird represents a warrior’s level that’s been obtained through age, medicine, and deeds. There are only a few women warriors and women medicine people who can wear the feathers from the birds of prey.
It’s said that a warrior will die when a feather of a war bird (bird of prey) drops on the ground. So it’s believed you should take special care that doesn’t happen while it’s in your care.
Osprey is a member of the hawk family, and like hawks they carry the symbolism of power, vision, freedom of spirit, and communication as a messenger from Heaven. However, no other hawk family member leaves its natural air element (consciousness) to dive into the water element (the unconscious). Even Eagles do not enter the water, as they catch their fish with their claws while skimming the water’s surface. However, much of the food that Eagles get comes from the fish stolen from Ospreys.
Osprey are also symbols of the Sun (solar worship), royalty, illumination, visionary power, sovereignty, vigilance, Egyptian symbol of the soul, honing the senses, precise timing, and keen sight to see through illusions and to hunt in the waters of emotion.
Their eyesight is actually 3-5 times greater than a human being’s so they can see a moving fish under fluid surface. Their dark band around the eye also helps reduce glare from the sunlit waters and enables them to see into the sun, they have four types of color receptors in the eye (we have three), which provides the ability to perceive ultraviolet light, and because of the specialized proteins in their right eye they can ‘see’ magnetic fields and use these as a navigational guide when migrating.
Interesting that Tarantula, who showed up this week for me also, brought a message of precise timing as well. And Osprey really drives this impeccable timing ability home with their amazing acuity, bringing a message of knowing when an opportunity is there and when to dive in with pinpoint accuracy to seize it. So, if you see them, you either have this ability or are developing it.
Doesn’t surprise me that “timing” messages keep coming at me, as I have definitely been feeling the “timeliness” of things and not only waiting for the right moments, but also not letting anything deter the impending timing that I feel where things need to happen by.
Although they symbolize many things, their vision and timing, along with their ability to delve into the emotional, unconscious, and shadowy waters, seemed to be the stand out messages for me, as this is specifically what I observed him doing.
Waters represent our emotional world and the willingness to dive into them provides an opportunity for opening the heart in more expansive ways to create a new vulnerable softness in our relationships to self and others, and the courage to take bigger risks for the greater good. There is a need to be as open as possible to things and these explorations of faith, as there is much to receive by your willingness to venture there and let go of safety nets. And a greater love for self that reflects a greater love for others will emerge.
If you’re feeling down, unmotivated, or have given up on life, Osprey tricks you into having faith that divine love and support is always there…that you are not alone….and some guidance may show up in the form of service or life focus to assist you back on a purpose-full path.
Osprey’s ability to travel to the Underworld of the unconscious guides you to find and unite with the lost parts of yourself. Because he is both of air and water, he provides the path, strength, and power back to the conscious mind and ordinary life (air) so that you don’t get lost and endlessly descend while journeying deep into the abyss.
That speaks to me, as I learned this skill through the challenges in my life that took me to those deep places that were hard to come out of. I was a very extreme person, but now, rather than have these huge up and down swings, life is at a more harmonious and balanced place. And when anything does come up, I am able to quickly process and transmute it. It’s about learning the ability to move in and out without attachment and knowing you have the capability to center once again after your explorations have been embraced.
That’s what Osprey shares to me, is this fearlessness of feeling and of moving in and out of the shadow and places most people wouldn’t willingly go because of fear or judgments. They show you that you can build a foundation that enables you to ride any current of life in harmonious balance.
This ability to dive deeply into the creative realms that water symbolizes, also symbolizes your capability of drawing forth what you need for the journey ahead.
Osprey also teaches you to take risks and to streamline your life.
Yep, it all sounds pretty on point with things going on here and as always I’m grateful for the message and this gift I will honor with most reverence.