Throughout these years that I have focused on animals and their spiritual meanings – often in ways that relate to goddesses – I’ve heard from many people about their own encounters with animals. It seemed that for me animals mainly showed up in images and words. But now different animals have been showing up in my life while out in nature.
This past summer I was visited by Butterfly. A large Yellow Swallowtail graced my yard for several days on several occasions – a positive sign of ongoing transformation. In September a big colorful swallowtail caterpillar was chomping away at a parsley plant in my herb garden. Not long after a Black Swallowtail appeared with more Butterfly messages of joy and transformation.
Recently I lost that positive feeling of joy and the promise given by transformation – feeling instead a sense of stagnation, of not having achieved my goals and wondering what I needed, to create change and revitalization. With no answer in sight, I activated my go-to cure for the blues – a bike ride in the Bosque – Albuquerque’s cottonwood forest growing along the Rio Grande.
It was a glorious autumn day in the cottonwoods – hues of green turning, turning turning into orange, yellow, gold – sun-white grass heads shimmering in the sun, framed by a deep turquoise blue sky.
Stopping by the river, Dragonfly lit on a stalk of grass, swaying over the water. It remained. I photographed it – moved in closer. It remained. Breathe… wait…. look…. It remained. Suddenly Dragonfly darted – up, down – left, right – circled round – quickly, quickly and then returned to the stalk. It remained. Same sequence repeated ending on the stalk.
Still it remained. I spoke with Dragonfly while gazing at its huge eyes. Eyes that lead to true sight. “Dragonfly,” I said “Show me the way to a positive transformation, give me a sign. With your true sight lead me to an answer, a resolution to my dilemma.”
I repeated these words several times as Dragonfly remained – a few times flitting about – yet always returning. Dragonfly was still perched on its stalk when I finally moved on.
Returning to the cool shadows under the trees, I trekked along. Arriving at a spot where the trees opened up to the banks of the river was a downed tree – a good spot for a river view.
Shortly I noticed a lone bird, standing tall on a small island in the far side of the river It stood and it stood – same position – same spot. It was tall like a crane – many are arriving now. But no, something was different – it wasn’t a crane. It was grayer with fringe-edged feathers around its neck. With the help of my phone camera I discovered it was a Great Blue Heron. I was amazed!
“Ah ha!” I thought. “So this is my sign. Blue Heron has the wisdom I need now”
Not yet having investigated Great Blue Heron I had to wait until I got home to my computer and the wealth of information on the internet. What I discovered was not what I was hoping for.
As I had been struggling with what I needed to instigate the changes wanted, all I could focus on was who to connect with, what action to take, what project to start…. But Great Blue Heron delivered a completely different message.
Blue Heron brings messages of solitude, of standing still and waiting patiently for what you need to come to you. This is how Blue Heron hunts. Blue Heron encourages calm while watching for opportunities to arrive. Blue Heron says that only after calmly waiting, will opportunity arrive – which you must catch quickly or it will disappear.
Dragonfly, embodiment of transformation and true sight, led me to Blue Heron who then informed me that my usual way of doing and fixing and forging ahead would not work. Blue Heron called me to stop, to remain in my solitude and to wait. Now I can only trust that with patience and quiet meditation I will be able to flow with all of the forces active at this time and the path to the realization of my goals will become clear.
A week later, while on a bike-riding break from working on editing the stories for the Animal Wisdom deck, Coyote popped up in my path a mere 25 feet away before hightailing it across the way. I suppose I should expect the unexpected in this time of calm waiting.
I hope you too can find meaningful messages from the animals that appear in your life – messages that help rediscover the wisdom of our ancestors and support the reemergence of the feminine principle in your life.
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. Originally from New Orleans, Judith makes her home in New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment.
Judith is currently in the pre-press stage for her new oracle deck – Animal Wisdom. To learn about a soon-to-come, pre-order special, sign up to receive her newsletter on her website.
The Celtic Goddess Oracle Deck is still available. Order your deck from Judith’s website – click here. Experience the wisdom of the Celtic Goddesses!