For our ancestors, feathers were a symbol of Divine connection.
As birds are able to fly high into the heavens, collecting feathers and wearing them in your hair or on your clothing, or using them in sacred ceremonies, were all practices that brought one closer to the gods.
It is also widely believed that finding feathers means that you are receiving messages from angels, or proof that they are near you, or that you are being watched over by deceased loved ones.
For myself, I never miss an opportunity to pick up feathers. And as I have found, the more that I invite them into my life, the more that I find them, even in the most unlikely of places.
And it seems that we all have feathers gifted to us primarily from a certain type of bird. This is so that we can be taught the lessons that this particular bird has to teach us.
Since I was a small child, I have been finding Hawk feathers. Red-tailed Hawks are an impressive predatory bird that I have always admired. They can be seen on hot summer days, effortlessly floating upon the air currents, high above the rest of us plodding around here on the ground. They make flying look easy. They fly with style.
Mid-summer seems to be when I do the most of my connecting with the “winged-ones”, ironically enough, from the inside of a tractor. It is haying season right now on the farm, and as I flip over the curing swaths of hay, I uncover all of those fat little field mice that the Hawks love to feast upon. Hawks patiently wait, keeping me company as I make my rounds, wasting no energy until suddenly making their move and landing their prey.
When I happen to find a feather, especially that of Hawk, I am always reminded that I need to be looking at my life from a “higher perspective.” They also teach that it is not wise to waste energy chasing around lots of “mice.” They are smart hunters, and they teach us to be choosy with our choices and where and how we spend our energy.
It is often when I have become too focused on the little everyday tasks that I am missing the “big picture.” I find that these are the times when I need to step back from my life and re-evaluate a few things. I feel that haying season is the perfect time for this as I am in a tractor all day and have plenty of time to just think and ponder!
So how can we determine what our messages are?
Paying attention to the feelings that I get or the thoughts that run through my mind when I first hold the feather often tells me what the message is. Sometimes they are a message from a deceased loved one or a sign that they are okay. Sometimes they are guidance about a particular problem that I am dealing with at the time.
And we don’t need to know what type of bird the feather came from to understand the message. Once again, simply pay attention to how you feel, what problem you may be having or what you may have been thinking about when you found the feather will often offer the answers.
I was fortunate enough to also be gifted several feathers from Raven this haying season. Ravens have long been misunderstood as a sign of misfortune and death, probably because they can usually be found picking upon the carcasses of the dead. But in reality, they are a crucial “clean-up” bird for the Earth. And spiritually, they are believed to be helping to carry the souls of the dead into the heavens.
As I clutched their shiny black feathers and opened my awareness, I heard the words, “not all Angels wear white feathers.”
I suppose the same could be said for many of us as well. Angels come in many forms, occupations, and backgrounds. If we disregard our preconceived notions and judgements, the truth is easy to see, but is often not what we thought it would be.
I tend to collect feathers and display them in vases the way most women would display flowers. But for me, having so many feathers around is a constant reminder of the Divine, and of my spiritual advancement and the lessons that provided it.
I keep a vase of feathers in my home on a shelf next to my late grandfather’s harmonica. I often find a feather when I am thinking of him, and I know that he is “on the wind” and not far from me. I feel his presence particularly strong when a North breeze blows, as my grandfather, a wilderness man, was particularly fond of the North and the “wild country.” These are the times when I have heard his voice whispering to me, a gentle wisdom in his usual light-hearted way.
Anyone who knows me knows I have an affinity for feathers, and so I have been given many as gifts from dear friends and acquaintances. The children in my life know this as well, and I have often chuckled when they came running to me after being in our coop, proudly clutching a handful of abandoned chicken feathers just for me, complete with droppings still clinging to them!
This haying season I had a rare find-a feather from a Horned-Owl. I tend to have Owl encounters when I am experiencing the loss of a loved one, and they come as a reminder that they will be okay and all is as it should be.
Right before I found the Owl feather, I had been feeling a little blue and had actually asked if I could have a sign, or some kind of magic, just to brighten my spirits. Not 5 minutes later I spotted a feather lying on the swath ahead of my tractor. I was at first unsure of what kind of feather it was as it was too soft to be a Hawk feather and the colouring not quite right.
But as soon as I stepped back into my tractor and resumed driving, a Horned-Owl swooped down in front of me and then flew up into a tree and watched me as I passed by. This was quite unusual as I have never before had an Owl encounter in the middle of the day.
I was overwhelmed by his beauty and the power of his presence. I began to weep as I thanked him for his support and his confirmation that magic is all around. Sometimes we need to move through the dark to discover our true selves, our light, and there is always guidance available to help us.
Angels truly do have many forms.
Notincing the magic that is all around us at all times enriches our lives in ways that nothing else can.
Every time I find a feather, I thank the messenger. And I also don’t hesitate to ask for feathers either. Nature is always willing to communicate with us if we are.
I hope that you have found this helpful and inspiring. I would love to hear from you! I can be contacted at www.jessieklassen.com. Feel free to sign up for my free emails where I share advice, wisdoms, and lessons that will help you connect with Nature and the magic of life.
love and warmest blessings,
Enjoy fun activities and energy exercises to encourage growth, self-confidence, and awareness in you and your child while developing a close relationship with Nature in Jessie’s children’s book, “The Sapling.”
An inspiring story from the Trees for the children of Earth, “The Sapling” has vivid, full colour Nature illustrations that will appeal to younger children and powerful Life lessons that will grow with your child, just like a Tree!
“The Sapling” is the first book in Jessie’s Nature Child Children’s Book Series, committed to helping chidren grow into who they truly are meant to be. It will be available on Amazon in the late summer of 2017.
A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Nature Conservancy of Canada and to the Treesisters for reforestation and the conservation of our Earth.
Jessie is also a farmer, Reiki Master, and mother of 3 sensitive children. Deeply connected to Nature, she has been inspired to “share the words that Nature wants to have heard.”