This winter we are experiencing a migration of Snowy Owls from the Artic tundra to the east coast, all the way down to the Carolinas. The migration is larger in magnitude than any that has occurred in decades and the scientific reason the migration is happening at this time is unclear. It is a calling, and an opportunity, for us to turn to spirit for answers.
Our lives are enriched by the presence of spirit and by developing our sensitivity so we may understand communications from it. Spirit speaks to us in many ways, including through visual signs and symbols. The presence of the Snowy Owl here in New Jersey has allowed me to realize my life long desire of seeing one of these exquisite creatures in person. It also has opened my heart to listen more deeply; to ask what is the greater meaning and teaching here?
Everyone must find their own interpretation of the symbols in their life. At the same time I have found many teachings of the indigenous people of the earth hold common interpretations that resonate with my personal ones. Here are some that have helped me to interpret and to understand this significant event.
In the sunwise cycle of the medicine wheel and the four directions, north is the final point. It contains the gift of wisdom gained from the completion of the full cycle of the wheel. After our journey has experienced birth and the rising of a vision, it moves into the illumination of mid-day and the physical manifestation of it. Even with creative expression and accomplishments in life, disillusionment inevitably sets in and so begins our descent. As the sun drops on the horizon, we are called to transform our reality. Our transformative healing requires a journey into the darkness of the night to regain lost pieces of our soul.
The north is the direction where we emerge, the arrival, the point of realization. It is associated with purity of crystalline, white snows; the cold and winter. It is not a direction without its own challenges and requires us to develop endurance, an asset during times of physical instability.
The Snowy Owls have come to us from the great north of the Artic tundra. The owl is considered symbolic for change: profound, significant change. Spirit and the earth are speaking to us and we can receive the gift of ancient wisdom when we open our hearts and listen.