A Wild Encounter

This is a Stock Photo of the Hawk Who Visited Me.

Last Friday afternoon I had a very close encounter with an adult male red-shouldered hawk. I’d just left a client’s home, had started my car and was checking my phone and getting ready to drive home when suddenly I saw a flash of bright yellow feathers and black-checkered wings swoop up from the ground past the passenger window and heard something land on the roof of my SUV.

Wow! This was no parrot (as I’d originally thought because of the bright plumage). I froze, not wanting to frighten the animal away that had chosen to sit virtually over my head. I savored the moment. It felt like a messenger from the spirit realm. Something completely unexpected but welcome just the same.

Rather than chancing opening my moonroof to get a better look at the bird, I decided to back slowly down the driveway. Perhaps the bird, whatever it was, would fly off and I’d get a glimpse of it. The bird did move but it only flew a short distance, low to the ground, with its six-foot wing span flapping and perched on a low tree branch in the next door neighbor’s yard.

In this neighborhood (Belterra) the houses are lovely but closely packed with small yards like in Southern California. Lots are not more than 40 feet or so wide. So he didn’t travel far. Maybe 20 feet. I put the car in park, got out as calmly and quietly as I could and made my way toward his tree perch to get a photo. He was looking directly at me with his head cocked like the stock photo, partially hidden by the tree’s trunk.

Before I could get the shot, the hawk flew slowly to the next house and perched on a low slanted roof in the next yard. Again, he looked right at me as if to tell me his visit was not random. I finally got a picture on my crummy android phone that does not do the bird or our close proximity justice. Afterwards I walked back to my car and the Hawk disappeared over the roofline. I felt I’d been given a something precious to ponder.

When I got home I researched the species and the symbolic/spiritual meaning of the red-shouldered hawk. I have a few Native American books on animal spirit guides and their meanings from many tribes.

This illustration by Angela Wernecke of Hawk is from the now out-of-print book Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams &David Carson.

According to this book, Hawk is the messenger of the gods. He is likened to the Greek god Mercury. An encounter with hawk is a clue to be observant about the magic of life. It can remind one to use an unused talent (as I’m considering with music and writing) and/or to circle over your life to examine it from a higher perspective.

Hawk has a keen eye and a bold heart for Hawk flies close to Grandfather Sun.

The Ancients recognized this bird of prey as a messenger from our ancestors. Its message is deeply personal and profound.

From Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson

I have been enjoying working as a caregiver but my talents cry out for use and acknowledgment. It’s time to start finding empowering ways to use my creative skills to assist others and give voice to my own insights. I’m open to opportunities to expand along these lines.

There has only been one other occasion in which an auspicious animal visited me. The first was a couple of years ago while in Ashland, Oregon for a long private weekend with the celebrated author and teacher, Jean Houston. We were studying the history and power of shamanic healing. During each of those four days I was visited by a Raven.

According to Ted Andrews, a leading authority on on animal messengers, Raven is the shapeshifter. It tells us to be aware of our own magic and open up to it. That has certainly proven true over the last couple of years.

Thank you Spirit for giving me this great gift from the indigenous wild.