Jeremy Black, an Alabama wedding and wildlife photographer, recently spent five hours in a friend’s back yard in the hope of capturing an image of what he called “the most captivating cardinal in Alabaster, Alabama.”
But that description sells this bird too short. The northern cardinal that Black ended up photographing was not the usual deep red of males but dazzlingly yellow. It could easily claim to be the most captivating bird in the nation — or at least on the Internet. Black’s photo, which was shared on the Facebook page of the Naturalist’s Notebook, promptly went viral.
“As soon as it landed, I was star-struck,” Black told National Geographic. “It kind of took my breath away a little bit.”
To read the rest of this article please click on the link or copy and paste it into your browser: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2018/02/26/a-one-in-a-million-yellow-cardinal-is-dazzling-the-internet-with-its-sunshiny-feathers/?utm_term=.f3c412cd2fa2&wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1
The Festival of the Dead or Feast of Ancestors is held in many cultures around the world. For centuries people globally have been honoring their ancestors. The reverent devotion expressed by their deceased forbears through a culturally prescribed set of rules and observances. From Japan, China, Korea to Nepal, Peru, Mexico, India, Scotland, Ireland and Cambodia are to name just a few.
The ancient Greeks, Romans, Persians, the Pacific and Tongan Islands, Africa and Native America till this day continue to recognize the honoring. These religious traditions have remained steadfast and are usually practiced among cultures who have strong ancestral reverence.
I take this time of the year to remember all the people in my life gone. I build a little remembrance alter, give them an offering, light a candle and allow myself to slip between the veil.
Happy all Hallows Eve.
A link with an insight on how people around the world celebrate their ancestors.
In the middle of spring, a magical thing begins to happen outside. In addition to the greening of the earth, we notice a change in the local wildlife. Suddenly, squirrels and chipmunks are everywhere. Birds are twittering away madly in the trees, worms are popping up right and left in the soil, and everywhere you look, life has returned. In particular, you’ll see bees buzzing around your garden, partaking of the rich pollen in your flowers and herbs.
The plants are in full bloom at this time of the spring, and the bees take full advantage, buzzing back and forth, carrying pollen from one blossom to another.
In addition to providing us with honey and wax, bees are known to have magical properties, and they feature extensively in folklore from many different cultures. These are just a few of the legends about bees:
In some areas of New England and Appalachia, it was believed that once…
A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol of a tribe, clan, family or individual. Native American tradition provides that each person is connected with nine different animals that will accompany him or her through life, acting as guides.
Different animal guides, also called spirit guides and/or power animals, come in and out of our lives depending on the direction that we are headed and the tasks that need to be completed along our journey.
Native beliefs further explain that a totem animal is one that is with you for life, both in the physical and spiritual world. Though people may identify with different animal guides throughout their lifetimes, it is this one totem animal that acts as the main guardian spirit.
With this one animal, a connection is shared, either through interest in the animal, characteristics, dreams, or other interaction.
This Animal Guide offers power and wisdom to the individual when they “communicate” with it, conveying their respect and trust. This does not necessarily mean that he or she has actually touched or spent time with this animal, more that, they are open to learning its lessons.
For some, knowing what is their totem animal is almost an innate process. It’s as if they’ve always known, inexplicably drawn to the animal or having a special feeling for the animal’s energy. For others, they wonder how to tell what their animal totem is.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering what your animal totem is:
The use of a totem animal is not part of traditional Wiccan practice. However, as Wicca and other modern Pagan practices evolve and blend together, many people who follow non-mainstream spiritual paths find themselves working with a mix of many different belief systems. Because of this, someone following a Native American or Indo-European shamanic path might find themselves working with totem animals.
While totem animals or power animals have nothing to do with the Wiccan religion, some people do incorporate them into non-Wiccan shamanic practices as well as Neowiccan eclecticism.
It should be pointed out that sometimes, the use of totem animals and other Native American practices is sometimes seen as cultural appropriation when it’s done by non-Native American individuals. Some European shamanic systems do connect with animal spirits, but the use of the specific word “totem” implies a Native American connection. It has a very specific, anthropological meaning, and chances are that if you have made a spiritual connection with an animal entity, it does not qualify as a true “totem.” Be cautious what you call your beliefs, because you may find yourself taking ownership of a heritage that’s not actually yours to claim. If you’re not Native American, but are practicing some other form of shamanism, you may want to consider using the term “power animal” or even “spirit animal” instead.
A power animal is a spiritual guardian that some people connect with. However, much like other spiritual entities, there’s no rule or guideline that says you must have one. If you happen to connect with an animal entity while meditating or performing astral travel, then that may be your power animal… or it may just be curious about what you’re up to.
Our Guide to Healing, Phylameana lila Desy, has a great piece on different types of animal totems and what they mean: Animal Totems.
Unfortunately, as often is seen in the Pagan community, many times the connection to a power animal is simply the result of…
In some traditions of modern Paganism, including the various Wiccan paths, the concept of an animal familiar is incorporated into practice. Today, a familiar is often defined as an animal with whom we have a magical connection, but in truth, the concept is a bit more complex than this.
They were, in essence, small demons which could be sent out to do a witch’s bidding. Although cats – especially black ones – were the favored vessel for such a demon to inhabit, dogs, toads, and other small animals were sometimes used.
In some Scandinavian countries, familiars were associated with spirits of the land and nature. Fairies, dwarves, and other elemental beings were believed to inhabit the physical bodies of animals. Once the Christian church came along, this practice went underground — because any spirit other than an angel must be a demon. During the witch-hunt era, many domestic animals were killed because of their association with known witches and heretics.
Animals. We share our world with them, we have them as pets, and they can be a source of comfort and love. Animals can also be spiritual guides for us during times of need or to help us grow on our spiritual path. I call them energy animals because I work with energy and animal frequency, but they’re also known as totems, spirit animals, power animals, familiars, and animal spirit guides. All of these terms describe animals that guide, teach, and connect with you in order to deliver messages from the spiritual realm that you need to know at specific points in your life and on your path. Some appear for a short time, others are with us for a lifetime.
When an animal has a message for you, the energy surrounding the animal will feel different. It may feel as if the animal is staring you down, or you just intuitively know that there’s something unusual about the bird that keeps perching in trees near you, making you notice it. The animal will not give up until it gets your attention and delivers the information. If you’re not paying attention, things will start to happen that captures your awareness and makes you take notice. Your animal encounters may happen more often and with more intensity until finally you say, “What is going on?” That’s when you’ll be open to receiving the message that the animal is trying to deliver.
You’ve probably heard the term, “familiar” during conversations among those who provide psychic and/or natural healing services. What does it mean? Though a familiar may take on a variety of different forms, most often a familiar’s form is feline. A psychic, healer, clairvoyant, medicine woman, shaman, etc., will frequently have what is basically a working assistant in the form of a cat. That cat is not a pet, but rather provides useful, practical, magical supportive assistance to its human.
More often than not, the familiar is the one who chooses the human, rather than the other way around. There will be something that’s just “different” about the animal – a look in its eyes, a difference in its demeanor making it stand apart from the rest of its liter, or a consistently-demonstrated heightened sensitivity and special skill set.
Yes, I have a familiar in my work, and yes, he chose me rather than the other way around. As I’d never been around a cat before, it was and continues to be a fascinating adjustment that adds depth & enjoyment to my work & life. One of those adjustments was how to effectively discipline this curious, dedicated kitty cat…
To read the rest of , T. Renee Richardson, DD, http://www.psychic-services.com, point of view and information on this topic please click on this link: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/what-s-a-familiar-and-what-purpose-does-it-serve
The Cosmic Cookie Trail led me to the following blog post today. I found a Crow feather on the ground and then Crow was talking to me as I went on a walk today. You can read the blog post at the following link:
“Crow Animal Totem: Crows are the keepers of the Sacred Law and to have a Crow totem is very powerful. Personal Integrity is your watchword and your guide in Life. If you have a Crow totem, your prime path is to be mindful of your opinions and actions. You must be willing to walk your talk, to speak your truth and to know your life’s mission. Crow is an omen of Change. Things that you have been working toward will come to fruition when Crow appears. Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time; therefore, it sees past, present and future simultaneously. Crow merges both light and dark, both inner and outer. It is the totem of the Great Spirit and must be respected as such.” You can read more meanings at the following link: