Totem Animals

Page 198

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By CinnamonMoon

*Ted Andrews/Animal-Wise
Keynote: Transformation. Passage into happiness and fertility.

In an ancient Pima tale, the bluebird is described as having been an ugly color, but then one day
it found a sacred lake where no water ever flowed in or out. The bird bathed in it four times
every morning for four mornings, singing a sacred song. On that fourth morning, it came out of
the river with no feathers at all. When it bathed itself again on the fifth morning, it came out of
the sacred lake with its blue feathers. The bluebird became a symbol of transformation through
sacred song and sacred acts.

In the Pueblo tradition, great importance is placed upon rituals and ceremonies honoring the six
directions. In the Niman Kachina ceremony, the bluebird represented the southwest direction.
The southeast and southwest directions represented the rising and setting of the shortest day; thus
the bluebird was a symbol of the setting on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice.
Hence the bluebird is considered a winter birt, but it often indicates that each day that follows
will have greater sunshine.

The bluebird is also often considered a spring bird, representing the movement out of winter into
spring. It is a bird of transition, of passage--from winter to summer, from child to adult, night to
day, barrenness to fertility.

In the north the appearance of the bluebird heralds the coming of spring. Its habitat is one of
open fields with scattered trees and is one of the few birds that has benefited by the spread of
agriculture, and thus it is often a sign that we will also benefit from the agriculture within our
own life. The things we have planted and the seeds we have sown will come to fruition.
Among the Pueblo, bluebird feathers were used to promote snow and ice, moisture that will
bring new growth. Because of this and other similar associations, the bluebird is also related to
fertility on all levels.

The bluebird is a guardian of all passages and transitions that we make or are about to make. We
speak often of the bluebird of happiness, and this is rightly so. It makes our movements more
fertile, productive, and protected so that we can attain the happiness we need in life.
When the bluebirds show up, we are about to see a change in the climate. Darkness will soon
fade and more sunshine will arrive. Our own fertility in our endeavors will increase, and our
passages and movement in all endeavors will be protected. Those things or people who had
hindered our endeavors will find themselves bogged down in their own "ice and snow."

*Animal-Speak/Ted Andrews
Keynote: Modesty, Unassuming Confidence and Happiness
Cycle of Power: Winter and Summer (changes of seasons)
The bluebird is a native of North America. Although once common, they are now quite rare. This
often is a reminder that we are born to happiness and fulfillment, but we sometimes get so lost
and wrapped up in the everyday events of our lives that our happiness and fulfillment seem rare.
When bluebirds show up as a totem, it should first of all remind you to take time to enjoy

Bluebirds are part of the thrush family, and you may wish to read about thrushes to learn more of
the bluebird. The males are entirely blue, while the females are blue only in the wings.
Occasionally there will be some warm reddish tones on the chest as well. Pay attention to the
colors and where they are located. This will provide some insight.

To the Cherokees, blue is the color of the North, while in many magical traditions, it is the color
of the East. The edges of many Jewish prayer shawls were often the color of blue. Blue is
associated with the throat chakra and creative expression. Blue is symbolic, so ask yourself what
blue means to you personally.

The idea of the bluebird being symbolic of happiness is fairly recent. The concept has developed
more within this century than any other time. As far as I have been able to discover, the bluebird
did not play any major role in Indian myths or tales.

This bird always has a plaintive song and modest, unassuming appearance. Its shoulders are
hunched up when perched, giving an impression as if ready to dive. This can be symbolic of a
need to work hard and play hard. Are you trying to shoulder too much responsibility?

To the Pueblo, bluebirds are considered winter birds because they descend to the lowlands with
the snow and cold during that season. This transition from winter to summer is dramatic in the
area of the western home of the Pueblo. It is a transition from great coldness to summer heat.
This is symbolic of a passage, a time of movement into another level of being. Specifically, it is
connected to the transformation of a girl into a woman, and thus the bluebird is also sometimes
connected to puberty rites. This, of course, has connection to human fertility and a new
confidence and happiness in coming into your own.

Other Pueblo rites revolved around the use of bluebird feathers as prayer sticks. They were
considered beneficial for snow and ice, and for bringing the summer rainy season. There are also
rites in the Pueblo tradition that tie them to the fertility of the land.

Bluebirds are gentle and unaggressive. They do not push or bully other birds, but they are very
scrappy when threatened. They have been known to put to flight jays and even larger birds. Their
homes usually have an entrance facing South, the direction for awakening the inner child. If a
bluebird has come into your life, look for opportunities to touch the joyful and intrinsically
native aspects of yourself that you may have lost touch with.

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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