Totem Talk

Working With The Animal Totems

It was Sunday afternoon and I was sitting out front of a local flea market talking with a dear old friend Kyle and his wife April. When to everyone’s surprise a sparrow, which are usually very skittish and would rarely let someone get close to them. This one instead weaved its way through the other people standing nearby and flew right over and landed on my left shoulder. It did somewhat startle me at first, however I have a rescue cockatiel at home and he will fly and land on my shoulder so I’m somewhat accustomed to it. The sparrow sat there for what felt like a long time, and then as he flew away someone said it messed into my pocket. Well to my surprise when I got home took off my shirt looked to see how bad he had messed up my shirt, once again I was surprised to find no mess but instead there was a seed. So apparently that little sparrow was nurturing me instead!
There are many schools of thought on this type of occurrence. Some would say that it is a sign or omen of things to come; while others say it is a symbol of how closely you are walking in tune with nature and the Creators intention for how we are to follow his teachings. I am sure there are other beliefs as well, but those two are the more predominant beliefs. I have been since that sparrow’s visit pondering the meaning of the visit. Five days later I had gone to pick up my roommate from work, I had arrived early so I parked and was sitting there reading a book when I hear a bird singing, I looked to my left and there on the roof of the car beside me sat a goldfinch. That goldfinch sat there staring straight at me and singing to me for more than ten minutes until the driver of that car came to leave, and the goldfinch flew away. Later that evening I started thinking about that goldfinch, and I remembered the fact that it was about a year had past since I had found myself in possession of a wooden box of feathers (some hawk, and some eagle) also in the box was a fetish containing the lady’s umbilical cord, and on the front of the fetish was sewn a goldfinch! This wooden box I had purchased at a garage sale the young man said he knew very little about the contents, saying it was his mothers and she had taken the box with her wherever she went. The box was locked and he did not have the key so I paid five dollars for it sight unseen. I knew these things to be sacred so at the earliest chance I took them to a powwow where I met up with my dear friends Arvel Bird and Kimberly Kelly his wife, we blessed it with sage and then took it and turned it over to a medicine man that was at the powwow, for him to take and put it to rest properly.
During the whole series of events I thought it could not get any weirder. However, much to my surprise I was sitting at a picnic table in the court yard at my apartment complex and this Blue Jay swooped down and landed on the other end of the table. Now that is certainly strange enough but while the Jay sat there two squirrels playfully chasing each other back and forth across the yard until they saw the Jay! The squirrels ran across the yard and up onto the table joining the Blue Jay and me. The squirrels and Jay sat there squawking back and forth as if to be talking to each other passing the day with a few pleasantries. That lasted about five minutes until when a neighbor came walking towards us on her way to her apartment. The squirrels took off up a nearby tree and the Jay flew off and just over the neighbors head.
So I am thinking that there may be several different schools of thought as to why I am suddenly being visited by these birds. The first would be that I am in tuned with nature and the birds sense this and so they are attracted to me. The second thought would be attached to the box of feathers and the goldfinch fetish that the spirit of the birds the feathers came from, were speaking to me through these birds! Apparently they are pleased that they had been put to rest in the proper way. A third way of seeing this whole series of occurrences is indeed tied to the box of feathers and the goldfinch fetish of the old woman’s umbilical cord. I feel this to be the most likely meaning behind this series of events. I since the second visit I have had numerous dreams. Dreams where I see a small older lady with long grey hair and a pleasant smile dressed in a floor length gown of solid gold! She is standing at the top of a hill the sun shining brightly behind her creating a halo effect making it hard to see the lady in much detail, her hair shining silver in the golden suns light. Within seconds she starts to fade away, as she does, I realize that all around her were goldfinches. As she disappears in the sunlight the goldfinches in mass fly straight at me, I start to raise my hand to prevent them from striking me. As I raised my hands the birds split and fly around me and I feel the warmth of the setting sun.
So in conclusion it has been over a week since the latest event, so I think I can finally assess the events. I feel the chain of events certainly did have to do with the box of feathers and the old lady’s goldfinch fetish! Some Native Americans believe the deceased person’s body is to be complete to be able to cross over into the afterlife. So the old lady’s spirit needed reunifying, to rest in peace finally! The visits with the birds were a thank you from her spirit.
Thank you for reading my humble interpretation of these events!
Douglas Spirit Bear Neely / 06-25-2011

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Wow, wow, wow Doug ... what an amazing story you have not only written, but LIVED here! Magic is quite obviously alive and well in your world! A truly remarkable experience, and it is just SO COOL that Arvel and Kimberly were with you to help her cross over as well! I am deeply moved by this experience of yours and am so honored that you chose to share it here on Totem Talk too! You know, if you post it in a BLOG format, it will post on the main page of the site, as well as on your personal page and in the BLOG archives as well. I have been away from this site for a while due to personal reasons, but I am looking forward to getting back to work on it again after I return from my trip to visit my son and grandson in Spokane, WA. I really LOVE that you wrote up your experience and shared it with our group ... and I look forward to reading more from you in the future too.


Interestingly, I had a visitation from a big brown bear a few nights ago when I was feeling pretty out of sorts physically, and it hesitated for just a moment before entering my sacred space, as if to ask if it was okay, and I nodded yes, of course, and he slowly and deliberately moved in close enough that I could feel his breath on my body. In less that 5 seconds flat I felt completely at ease, peaceful and at rest again, mentally, emotionally and physically. Within minutes I dropped into a deep sleep and awoke feeling completely rested and ready to face the day. It was a very moving experience, as brown bear is not an animal totem that shows up for me often. That was one very cool "encounter" in the spirit worlde with one of your tribe, dear Douglas (Spirit Bear) Neely. :-) I'm still processing that experience and will write it up and add it to my own blog when the time is right. Or ripe, as the case may be.


I hope all is well with you and that you continue to experience and to enjoy your connection with nature and with All Our Relations. Best of wishes and blessings to you Douglas!

Terri, Thank you for your reply and suggestion to post it in the blog section here on your beautiful site! I very well may have worked at one time as a Customer Service Agent for AT&T for several years, in which I resolved customer issues with internet connectivity. However I easily get lost navigating around even the simplest web sites, and often feel inept and wonder how I was able to receive awards for superior service for AT&T!


Thank you for sharing your recent visitation of your own with your big brown bear! It is nice to know I am not alone! It is nothing short of miraculous the way spirits move in and out of our preceptable knowledge, I do not beleive they ever actually leave us they are always with us just at times not visibly!


I pray the rest of your family visit is mutually beneficial for all involved! Also that your journey will be made with ease as you return to your home in California!


Many Blessings Terri to you and yours!



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