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Bird Totems

Understanding Bird Medicine


Birds in general are survivalists. They will first choose flight over fight. They instinctively know that fighting is a dangerous endeavor. Whereas flight is avoiding trouble: possible injury or death. Birds have superb reflexes. They teach us awareness and adaptability. Birds represent the air element and are also teachers of proper breathing. Song birds teach us about the healing properties of sound.

1. Eagle

Bald Eagle with claws out in preparation to land
Gary Vestal
Amazing and majestic bird of prey, the eagle is often desired as a totem. It holds strong medicine. The eagle soars high in the sky, yet will swoop down to the ground in a swift motion to capture a mouse from the forest or fish from the water. Because of this the eagle is considered a strong connection between earth and sky energies. The eagle has keen sight to be able to see his prey on the ground. As a totem the eagle also represents keen insight.

2. Hawk

There are many different varieties of hawks. Common traits they share are a keen eyesight, superb hunting ability, and impressive flight patterns. As a totem the hawk is representative of soaring to higher states of awareness and vision. You can expect communications with spirit to open up more fully whenever hawk visits.

3. Cardinal

The cardinal, a red finch, is easily recognized among other birds. Cardinals also tend to stick around for all seasons so they are easy to spot year round. As a totem cardinals interject vitality or serve as a reminder whenever your vitality is lacking. You may also need to brighten up a drab wardrobe with some color. Cardinals will whistle loudly to alert danger, for this reason a cardinal sighting can also be a signal to be on alert for possible trouble.

4. Swan

Swans as a totem is strong medicine. They are graceful, strong, and tend to live a very long life. For this reason they represent grace, strength, and longevity. As a species they mate for life, a swan showing up can indicate the one you are with, or someone you are soon to meet is a soul-mate. As an archetype, the swan begins life as an "ugly ducking" and yet emerges into a beauty when grown. The swan's message may very well be that things are not as they appear outwardly.

5. Hummingbird

© Michelle Lamb / www.heavenlyscent.net
When the hummingbird totem visits we are reminded to appreciate the sweetness life offers. We have all heard the saying "Stop to Smell the Roses" and understand this means to slow down and enjoy life. The hummingbird teaches a similar lesson asking us to bury our noses more deeply and inhale the fragrant nectars. Life offers much joy and sweetness if we take the time to breathe it in.

6. Flamingo

Flamingo, within the crane family, teaches the importance of balance. Pink is the color associated with the heart chakra, and the pink coloring in flamingos vibrate with heart and emotional energies. The flamingo is a visionary and draws its power from water.

7. Crow

Crows are extremely intelligent birds. They are adept at being aware of things around them and have been known to help birds and other wildlife when danger is near with their presence and loud CAW. When the crow visits as a totem it can be a warning of some kind. A crow sighting can indicate that you need to be on alert for changes or differences in your surroundings or life circumstances.

8. Robin

The robin with its red breast and trilling song awakens us to the spring season. When robin totem makes its appearance you can expect new spurt of growth or a new beginning for yourself. This bird is associated with the spring equinox, reaffirming the importance of seasonal changes. Are you honoring change in your life or are you stuck in old patterns? The robin teaches us to move forward and try new things.

9. Duck

More about Duck as a Totem
Ducks are associated with the element of water. They are good deep water swimmers and also are content to glide on top of a body of water. As a totem the duck teaches getting in touch with your deepest emotions in order to get to a calmer state. Ducks are family oriented and enjoy companionship. If a duck visits it could mean it is time to return to your roots and spend some time with your clan.

10. Sparrow

The sparrow is a common song bird that reflects the significance of the common traits we share with others in humanity and life in general. The sparrow does not think of itself as common and will assert itself in life to assure its own survival. The sparrow as a totem reminds you to appreciate your place in the world. Sparrow teaches that you have self-worth.
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