Sometimes our 'shadow totems', the animals we fear most, can become our most powerful allies. When I was a child I was terrified of magpies because they constantly attacked me in Spring. It seemed that I could not cross a park or group of trees without hearing the dreaded loud swoop of their wings over my head. Over time it developed into quite a phobia. And then 4 years ago I dreamt that my sister Rebecca Rainbowalker, death-wife, healer and bird-whisperer brought a magpie to me and I felt such love for this creature. In my dream it flew up into my hair and sat at the back of my head with its' wings outstretched. I felt it's strong protective energy with me. When I woke up I felt very differently about Magpie and I began to open my heart and observe this bird without fear. When we moved to the forest 7 months ago it was Magpie that welcomed us when we first stepped on to the land.
And then 2 months ago as I was preparing to announce Femmina Unbound at the Convent, a parcel from another dear sister, Nicole Ahava, plant medicine woman and creatrix, arrived bearing a surprise gift. It was this beautiful felted Magpie smudge fan you see above. Ever since this fan was gifted to me, a Magpie mamma has been bringing her young one to eat in our garden in the afternoon. In the last 2 weeks this young Magpie has been coming to sit on our verandah and sing his song. He comes alone now without his mother and sings for me every day. He lets me come and stand beside him and I feel honoured that he trusts me, I am grateful that I have lost my fear of this beautiful song-bird.
There are many ways to feel into an animal's totem energy. It can help to look up meanings in books and on the internet but the real meaning for you can only be obtained by trusting your own feelings about the message this animal brings to you. For myself Magpie is asking me to hold my song and sing it for the love of it. To not worry about appeasing or pleasing but to know that the song will be sung as it needs to be and when it needs to be strong it will be strong. How that is perceived by others is not important to me. This is the balance of the black and white of our medicine - that it is not going to be understood or liked by everyone. That is Magpie's message for me.