Females are larger than males, common with birds of prey. On average Eagle weighs twelve pounds, its body is around three feet long and its wingspan reaches up to seven feet. But Eagle is not heavy as its bones are hollow. Most eagles mate for life. Both sexes share in the incubation of eggs and the raising of their eaglets.
Vision, Spirit Messenger, Balance, Strength, Courage, Power, Nobility, Wisdom, Intuition and Creativity, Freedom, Patience, Healing
Vision, Spirit Messenger
Many cultures see Eagle, with its excellent vision and soaring flight as the messenger of the gods.
With one million light-sensitive cells, Eagle sees four to eight times better than humans. It sees five basic colors – we see only three; has three deep fovea at the back of each eye – we have one shallow fovea. These fovea increase visual acuity, acting like telephoto lenses, enabling Eagle to judge the distance and details of an object from miles away.
Eagle was revered all across North America by the Native Americans. Its high flight and excellent vision led them to believe it could carry messages between Earth and Heaven – regenerating and guiding the soul. Eagle is an important part of many spiritually-based ceremonies. The Eagle Dance is found all across Native Country. In the Sweat Ceremony sacred herbs are burned and each participant is smudged with an eagle feather. Many tribes fashioned whistles and flutes from eagle bones for use in religious ceremonies.
Druids observed Eagle watching from a higher place and saw the Divine manifest.
The Egyptians honor the spiritual significance of Eagle- its name, Akhom, represents the sound A, the beginning.
White-tailed eagle remains were found in an Orkney Island tomb, perhaps to aide the deceased in their journey to the Otherworld.
As Eagle ascends in spiral fashion, it sees a higher perspective on the world below. Eagle guides us to seek spiritual truth and to push ever upward in self-discovery.
Eagle’s gift of clear vision guides us toward a life lived in balance with Heaven and Earth.
The Abenaki of North America believed in a Sun God, Kisosen – Sun-Bringer. Kisosen was symbolized as an eagle who created day by opening its wings and brought night by closing them. Some tribes believed that the balance of male and female principals is represented by Eagle’s wings.
Eagle has four toes on its talons. Four symbolizes stability, groundedness – connecting the Spirit World with the physical world. Eagle reminds us of the need to seek balance in our use of Earth’s resources..
The Pueblo tribes of the American Southwest view Eagle as a directional guardian associated with Above – the direction of balance, the higher mind and sky.
Eagle, though very intelligent, teaches that we must seek balance between solutions from the mind and solutions from Spirit.
Strength & Courage
Eagles are masters of aerial brinkmanship. Male bald eagles perform stunning displays – audacious swoops and mind-boggling dog-fights. Two males will lock their talons together and plummet to Earth in a death-defying spiral. Usually they separate before hitting the ground.
Both Native American and Celtic stories tell of shamans and druids with the courage to shape-shift into Eagle, and enter the unknown. They left behind the comfortable, the familiar and encountered new ways of seeing and being to bring back to their people.
Tribes all across North American called the golden eagle, associated with courage in battle, “War Eagle.” Eagle feathers still hold significance to Native Americans. To receive an eagle feather is the highest honor awarded for acts of bravery and only then added to a war bonnet.
Eagle calls us to find our inner strength and be courageous as we seek out new ways.
The white-tailed eagle of the Scottish Highlands is a magnificent bird with golden eyes. Its Gaelic name is Iolaire suile na grein – the eagle with the sunlit eye. Still today in the Scottish Highlands, clan chiefs wear eagle feathers in their bonnets, symbolizing their rank.
The Greeks and Persians saw Eagle as the sun and associated it with the supreme sky-god. The Greek God, Zeus could transform into a golden eagle to launch thunder and lightening.
The Hindu god Vishnu’s steed, Garuda, had a human body and an eagle head and wings.
Eagle has been found in the coat of arms of many European rulers since the time of the Crusades and has been the emblem of many empires throughout history – from Persia, to Rome, to the Byzantine – to the United States, Russia and Austria.
Before the Aztecs built their empire they were a poor wandering tribe. Their god told them to make their home where they found an eagle sitting on a cactus eating a snake. Found in a lake, they created Mexico City. The Aztec’s elite warriors were called Eagle Warriors. Their emperor dressed in eagle feathers which also adorned his throne.
The Celts honored Eagle as a symbol of power. On the Isle of Man, Eagle is called Drein – the Druid’s bird.
To the Celts Eagle is one of the wisest and oldest creatures, only surpassed by Salmon. Eagle aides Culhwch in the Welsh tale of Culhwch and Olwen. To win the hand of the beautiful Sun Goddess Olwen, Culhwch had to complete tasks. He received guidance from wise Eagle.
Christians associate Eagle with St John the Evangelist. They believe that as Eagle takes flight toward higher matters, St John experienced inspiration through the intellect, the word of God.
Resilience, Patience, Healing
Eagle is a paragon of patience, vigilantly watching hour after hour from its high perch. Eagle calls us to be patient in all things in order to attract what we truly need into our life.
Eagle, predator of the weak and sick, helps keep a healthy balance in nature. Medicine people and shamans have long used eagle feathers as sacred healing tools. In the British Isles various parts of Eagle’s body were used for healing.
When Eagle appears know that self- healing and/or healing powers for others is at hand.
Eagle, ancient representative of divinity, calls us to a communion with Source, with our higher selves. Eagle opens our hearts to the wise use of power. Eagle gifts us with the freedom, strength, and courage to forge new paths while at the same time giving us the patience and resilience to confront the difficulties and blocks we might find. Eagle’s endowment of intuition and creativity allows us to heal and to live a balanced life. With the higher vision provided by Eagle, we can break free from our limitations and with courage soar ever higher toward the joy of our true selves.
Sources: Trees for Life, Celtic Heritage, American Eagle Foundation, Native American Eagle Mythology, Eagle Symbol, Symbolism of the Eagle, Spirit Animal, Pure Spirit, Wild Gratitude, Shamanism, Mental Floss, List 25
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Judith Shaw, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, has been interested in myth, culture and mystical studies all her life. Not long after graduating from SFAI, while living in Greece, Judith began exploring the Goddess in her art. She continues to be inspired by the Goddess in all of Her manifestations. In recent years Judith became very interested in the Goddesses of her own ancestors, the Celts, resulting in her deck of Celtic Goddess Oracle cards. She is now working on her next deck of oracle cards – Animal Spirit Guides. Originally from New Orleans, Judith makes her home in New Mexico where she paints as much as time allows and sells real estate part-time. Give yourself the gift of one of Judith’s prints or paintings, priced from $25 – $3000.