Animal Totems are all around

Hey there,

Animal Totems are all around – and watching.  Stay tuned.

Sitting here in the Meadowview, wrapped up in a blanket and gazing out over the still, frozen meadow.  The blue roof, which is metal, lets out a “bang” as it contracts, like a living, breathing thing.  Baby, it’s cold outside – and has been for weeks.  Winter is certainly doing its thing this year, so far, as it has only officially been Winter for less than one month.

Already the complaining.  I know, I know.  Your skin is dry, your hair is dry, some have already had the cold or flu that goes hand-in-hand with this, our most least-loved season.  Elderberry and Yarrow tea, Mint honey, Ginger and Lemon – we’ve talked about these before…

Anybody out there embrace this stuff?  Good for you!  Me?  Not so much.  Yes, I am Canadian and no, I don’t do Winter well.  Apart from the aprés sports stuff…I’m pretty good at that. 🙂  Wine, anyone?

I find myself being watched by my Animal Totem, the Red-tailed Hawks, that join me every Winter, on the coldest of days, perched in the Maple tree out by the barn.  I can see them (there are two) out of the kitchen window.  Silent and still, scanning the meadow landscape for their next meal.  They will literally sit there for hours.  So very majestic and gorgeous creatures.

Just keeping a steady eye on all things me – “careful”, they say, “she’s getting close to losing it in this bitter cold.  Someone needs to get outside for a walk”.  Soon.  All is well.  Please remain indoors for now.  Make a cup of tea.  Get out your seed catalogues.  Breathe.

The ordinary arts we practice everyday at home
are of more importance to the soul
than their simplicity might suggest
-Thomas Moore

I’ve also been joined by a couple of crows, in the same tree, but not at the same time, as the Hawks. Crows are very interesting birds.  Some find them rather ominous, but those of us that wear the pointy hats know that crows are something special.  Uh huh.  I’ll let you look that one up.

Should I back up a bit?  Anyone not know what an Animal Totem is?  Ooo, buckle up, we’re about to enter the land of all things woo woo.

So Animal Totems, or Nature Totems are basically symbols of energy.  Now everything holds energy, but this is the kind of energy we manifest and align with our everyday life.  The Totem becomes a symbol of the invisible, the characteristics and activities reveal something of our own powers and abilities.  You can also look at different parts of the animal and what that represents.  For instance, a bird with a sharp beak could symbolize someone who speaks their mind or has a sharp wit.  Perhaps too sharp and that person should think about what they say before saying it.  Or maybe they constantly bicker and pick at things.  See where that’s going?

The Totem can be animal, bird, reptile, insect.  It can be something as simple as an ant.  Think about ants for a moment.  What do they represent?  Discipline comes to my mind.  Patience, industrious, also.  Most people just find them annoying – not disagreeing with you there, but have you ever taken the time to actually watch them?  They are fascinating.  They work together, they have a purpose and goal, they march along the same path and if you disturb what they are working on, they just find another way to accomplish what they set out to do.

Now, do you think that maybe that could send a message to someone?  I do.  Perhaps that someone is having a hard time focussing, or their life has been turned upside down in one form or another.  Or they need to learn to work with others and get along.  All of a sudden, they find ants in a place they have never been before.  Maybe in their house (horrors), but those guys are sending a message…”The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah…”

When you start really paying attention to nature and what’s going on around you.  Looking at the little things, that’s when you tune in.  That’s when you hear your message.  Listen – it’s there for a reason.  That’s a large part of my woo woo.  Make sense?  Of course, you’re going to have to go outside – and probably put down your phone, to see it.  A walk in the woods can really make you see.  Just sayin’

What speaks to you?  Is there a particular animal that you are specifically drawn to?  Do you see a particular creature constantly when you are outside in nature.  Do you dream about a particular creature?  Does something call to you?  Listen.  The other thing to mention here, is that you may not always have the same Totem – depends on the message that needs to be heard.  But you might.

If all this fascinates you, and you’re interested in reading up a bit on it, or maybe figuring out what your Totem might be, I would recommend this book, Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.  Happy reading.

Even though I’m a crazy cat lady, it always seems to be the birds that speak to me.

What else in the bird world?  Well yesterday, where we set a record here in Southern Ontario for the coldest day in 60 years, a flock of Starlings decided it was a great time to come back from wherever they had been.  Somewhere warmer, no doubt. (I don’t get it either…)  Yup.  They do appear to be early.  I don’t usually see them until end of January/early February.  They can withstand Winter, obviously, but yikes!

I couldn’t fill the feeders fast enough – including the dish of cat food left out for this guy…

I currently have a stray cat that I am trying to get into the house under the blue roof.  It has been at least six weeks that this kitty has been coming by for food, regularly, morning and night.  I can’t get close enough to see if it is male or female, but it doesn’t appear to be a scrawny barn cat, it looks healthy.  It will not let me get close to it.  I feed it on the porch.  It will let me watch it through the window, but as soon as I try to open the door to get close, off it goes.  Now, it is starting to only go far enough that I can’t reach it, so there is starting to be an element of trust.  It knows that I am going to feed it.  But this kitty is out in -30 degree C weather.  It’s driving me crazy that it won’t come in.  I don’t know where it goes when not being fed.  I’m sure it’s in a barn somewhere close by, but still…I have tried setting out the food and water inside the door, with the door open, until the house freezes.  Just last night, it came in long enough to eat the food and then out it went again.  Sigh  I usually am pretty good with cats and turning them around to help them.  This one has me puzzled, but I will persevere. Maybe this, too, is a message for me.  I am listening.

A friend and reader, gifted me with a little glass black and white cat which now sits here with me on my desk as I write.  Thank you again, very appropriate!  You’re right, fits right in with my pointy hat!

I haven’t named this stray kitty yet, which is unusual, because I usually do – I name everything.  Maybe that’s another message. Hmmm  I’ve been receiving a lot of messages lately.  The night sky is telling me there are some big things coming up.  It has been an adventurous couple of years for me – still evolving, still working through, but feeling like it’s not over yet.  Good or bad.  Maybe it’s good this time.  My birth chart reading for this year tells me that once again, this is not a year where I’m just going to coast…UGH.

In the interest of plants, because I am, although there isn’t much growing here these days, there are still the evergreens that can be harvested fresh.  Pine and Spruce needles for tea, for example.  A huge dose of Vitamin C there.  What better time of year to increase your Vitamin C levels?  And what does Mother Nature provide to harvest?  Getting that?

Please keep in mind the Moon phase that you are harvesting though.  Interesting fact:  Around the Full Moon, the sap rises in trees, just as the tides in the ocean get higher and moods change.  You don’t want to harvest around this time as you could damage the tree.  When you respect nature, nature respects you and will give you the help you seek.  Very simple and logical, isn’t it?  That’s what I love about woo woo.

Speaking of the Moon, where are we tonight?  The waning Moon is in Virgo: earthy, practical, fixing and cleaning up the universe, one item at a time.  Making lists, asking questions, making things happen (this all sounds extremely familiar to me somehow…).  I’m pretty sure ants are Virgos – understood?  The Sun is still in Capricorn, another earth sign, so it’s all business today.  January is ruled by Saturn – the planet of maturity.

Today’s colour for getting things done:  blue – how conservative!

I’ll leave you to get things done under your own roof – blue or otherwise.

Until next time,

-Debra

Rockin’ Round of Robins

robin-in-fall

Hey there,

First, news from the bird world here at Blue Roof Living…yesterday, the weather was beautiful and warm and the birds were everywhere.  I had a Round of Robins drop by.  That’s what you call a flock of Robins, a Round (had to look it up – I didn’t know either).  There were so many – I had never seen that many at once; they usually just hang out in couples.  Even when they arrive in the Spring, as I desperately await them.

Yesterday, however, I heard them from the house and when I went outside…binoculars in hand…the Robins were all over the lawn and in the trees – both male and female. Wow – it was pretty cool.  Having a heck of a time digging for worms in the lawn, as the lawn is so dry and the earth hard from the lack of rain this previous summer.  It doesn’t help that my soil is of the clay variety.

I also had a Flicker hopping about, competing with the Robins for the worms and insects in the grass.  Of course they’ve had a little help from the racoons, who like to dig up the lawn at night…that doesn’t make someone here very happy (not me – I don’t really care – as long as they stay out of the gardens).

I’ve had a Confusion of Warblers stop by all week enjoying the Golden Rod that is going to seed in the meadow.  That’s what you call a flock of Warblers. 🙂

Our little teenage Miss Cardinal is starting to look more like her mother – she was hanging out in the nyger seed feeder with her Dad.

The Woodpeckers are making themselves visible – waiting for me to put up the suet for them again, no doubt. They’ve been around all summer, but I could only hear them.  Not yet you guys!  Not until the snow comes…lovely to see you, but go back to your bug hunting!

On that note,  who else is back?

junco

Dun dun dun dunnnnn – the Juncos – oh nnnnooooo she says, hands covering ears – lalalalalalalalaaaa – those are the cold weather birds that actually spend their summer in the arctic and winter here.  They seem to be a wee bit early this year and I’m not sure what that means about the coming season (the one after Autumn).  They are cute little guys, but Geez, I’m so not ready!

 

Ugh – reality check.  Think happy thoughts – kittens and flowers, kittens and flowers.

img_0727 img_0728

We are enjoying our long Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  The rellies will be descending tomorrow for their turkey dinner…

Pick the weeds out of your own garden
before you start tending to mine

– just sayin’ 😉

I’m late with my blog this week, but I’m still squeaking in, as promised!  Still busy with my jars and drying, as you can see. 🙂  The temperature is dropping after our lovely warm week and this will definitely be the weekend where all of my plants in pots to be brought in doors will come in…the “f” word (FROST) is not far off, I’m afraid.  Sigh – my favourite season is so short.

So, October, shall we discuss?

The animal (or bird, seeing how we’re already discussing) for October is the Crow or Raven.  A flock of Crows is called a Murder.  Bwahahahahahaaaa.  Lots of Crows at this time of year, following the farmers as they bring in the harvest – they love the corn.  Such an intelligent bird.  They have a great mysticism and mythology about them.  They do seem to carry a certain magic.  Perhaps it’s their jet black colour?  We discussed the colour black here.  Crows are fascinating to watch – they like to watch you back.  They also have their own language and don’t actually sing, but caw and are great communicators.  Symbols of creation and spiritual strength, they give the message to look for opportunities and manifest the magic of life. Yup.

The flower for October is marigold – a fitting colour.  We’ve discussed Calendula, one of my favourite herbs, here.

What else do we think of when we think October?  Pumpkins!  Did you know that it was once thought that pumpkins could cure snake bites?  Weird.  October is also considered Canadian Library month.  Shhhh.  I would consider the early months of the calendar year library months – that’s when I like to sit by the fire and read (my winter sport).

The ruling planet for October is Venus, Goddess of Love, who also rules Libra, the zodiac Sun sign.  Libra is represented by the scales; restoring balance; prefers the comfort of company.  Not a loner; feminine and all about sharing life and experiences.  Social, cooperative, compromising, does not like conflict and happiest when everything is on an even keel.  Librans like elegance and beautiful surroundings.

Speaking of Venus, have you seen her in our night sky?  She is in the West early, after dark – that very bright star, not too high up off the horizon.  Dazzling.

Tonight’s Moon is in Capricorn, still in her first quarter but almost to the second (half moon) phase.  Today’s colour is black – like the Crow.

I’ll leave you there.  For my readers in Canada, do enjoy your Autumn long weekend – and don’t forget to bring in those pots!

Until next time,

-Debra