The Three Messengers and the Council of Owls

Wings of the Messengers

The three messengers came to me together and each gave of me their feathers; the softess silence of owl feathers, the jeweled blackness of crow feathers, and the camouflage cloak of hawk feathers.

“Take them, take them.”

“Use them, use them.”

Western Screech Owl, American Crow, and Red-Tailed Hawk, despite being natural enemies, approached me at the same time and offered their services to me (they must’ve seen me leave the entrails and fat offerings for the others on the roof, the gluttons). All three can be found on and around the mountain. It seems I am always collecting feathers; feathers from all the three worlds; feathers of light, feathers of dark, and feathers of song. Feathers to carry prayers, feathers to banish, feathers to bless and heal, feathers to fly… I had received feathers from crow and hawk before in the eldritch world, but never had I been gifted one by an owl before.

Western Screech Owl

Owl left its feathers on the stone wall of a cave for me. Owl is the messenger of the underworld. Owl belongs to the White Bone Mother, guardian of the gate and crossroads of the underworld. Owl serves her as messenger of death and psychopomp for the spirits of the dead. Owl is silent as a ghost; reveling in darkness and its mysteries. Owl brings messages from her mistress and from the dead. Owl helps you travel to and from the underworld safely and their ability to see in the dark can light your way in the blackest depths.

American Crow

Crow shed its feathers for me on the green grass beneath the trees. Crow is messenger of the middle world. Crow belongs to the old Witch Hag lost in the ancient woods. Many often make the mistake of thinking it is a nocturnal creature due to its dark colouring and unlucky reputation, but crows are actually diurnal: awake during the day and asleep at night like us. They are scavengers eating the leftovers of the hunters and warriors. Crows are not of death and darkness (though they follow it closely); they are tricksters, humour, curiosity, family, and fellowship. Crows are reflections and shadows of we mortals.

Crows are guardians and watchers for the other creatures of the earth. They warn of dangers, predators, bad weather, outsiders, bad luck, and misfortunes. This is where their bad reputation comes from, but they’re just trying to help. It is better to listen to their warnings than to disregard them and eat crow later when the danger comes for you.  Crow is messenger of the creatures and spirits of middle earth; of the animals, plants, wights, and elemental forces all around us.

Red-Tailed Hawk

Hawk drops its feathers for me from high in the sunny blue sky and they slowly float down to my feet. Hawk, flying ever so high, is messenger of the upperworld and of its deities and spirits. Hawk belongs to the Lady of the Flaming Heart. Hawks deliver messages pertaining to the bigger pictures – ones that will affect your life and your spiritual path. When hawk brings you a message it is time to borrow its sharp all-seeing eyes and fly high enough with its strong wings to view a situation or path from above and understand the full picture – the past, present, and future. Other times Hawk delivers messages to and from the gods and spirits of the upper world. Belonging to the upper world doesn’t mean sweetness and light, Hawk is a predator and warrior after all.

All three messengers belong to Crossroad and World Tree. Winged mercurial beings are they. Now, when one of the three come to me with news of the three realms, I will know what kind of message they bring and from where and whom it comes. Now when one of the three comes for me I will know for whence we ride.

The Council of Owls

The Council of Owls

I sit in the dark. It is so black I don’t know whether it is deep cave or dark wood. Surrounding me is a circle of owls of every type and size I’ve seen and have yet to see. They speak to each other. They argue. They stare at me with large round eyes. I am being judged. I am waiting for approval. Feathers ruffle and puff, claws click and scratch. Silence stretches through the darkness like a living thing.

“Yesss.”

Comments

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  1. A gorgeous post, as always.

    Thank you especially for the illumination regarding the crow’s nature. I like how you put it: “They warn of dangers, predators, bad weather, outsiders, bad luck, and misfortunes. This is where their bad reputation comes from, but they’re just trying to help. It is better to listen to their warnings than to disregard them and eat crow later when the danger comes for you.” I generally watch their numbers and movements for signs, but I think perhaps I’ll pay closer attention next time I see them, too.

    Marvelous work!

    All the best,
    -Cory

  2. Beautiful written. I too am a collector of feathers. Just this afternoon I was gifted with two gorgeous blue duck feathers, perfect for adorning a fetish I’m in the process of making.

    I also collect crow and hawk feathers whenever I’m lucky enough to find them. I have yet to ever be graced with an owl feather though!

  3. Jamie says:

    As always, I love, love, LOVE your posts. Always full of information; always intriguing; and I’m ALWAYS wanting more :-)

    Blessings,
    Jamie

  4. A very fascinating and informative post! I didn’t know that much about what Hawk represented (I don’t see him much when I’m in the city haha). Thank you again! I will be sure to pay more attention to our avian friends :D

    Yours,
    Eric

  5. i did so enjoy the crows while i was in Canada, oh and the Osprey that showed up playing in the updrafts the last day of KG fest.. it was awsome!!

    *beams*

  6. Alicia says:

    Deer, owls and crows are around me and my home. I welcome their energies. My favorite…the barred owl.

  7. sara says:

    I love owls. From childhood. They’ve come in dreams, in visions, and I’ve been lucky enough to find a couple feathers throughout my adventures.

    Lately I’ve been collecting vulture feathers, of all things. The lads who hang out in the eucalyptus trees along the main street a few blocks away drop them after I’ve passed beneath their perches, and I find them on my way back up the street.

  8. jennthesoothsayer says:

    thank you, not just for the information, but for your lyrical and enchanting writing style as well. many blogs are sorely lacking in this department, and thankfully yours is not among them.

  9. Gary says:

    Beautiful exposition on these majestic birds. The hawk and the corvus family I observe with both awe and amusement rather frequently, but Owl only allows me special glimpses that are truly magical. Owl knows I wait and watch, but those infrequent yet revealing encounters are on Owl’s terms!

    Sarah, I do hope time will eventually enable you to compose and publish the book you are destined to write.

  10. cinnageek says:

    :) This was lovely. And shortly after reading it I went for a walk to the garden and on my way home found a trail of crow feathers leading to my home. I took 2 for my altar but it made me smile.

    Do you ever clean the feathers when you find them? If so how would one do that?

  11. niff says:

    If someone has the time, could you please contact me. I was gifted an owl feather tonight. I could hear him outside. It was almost exactly midnight. I went outside to locate him but was unable to see him. As he was calling, his feather floated SO SLOWLY to the ground. I was shocked!! It fits. That’s all I can say here, but it so fits. I was gifted a hawk feather at summers beginning but never realized how precious the gift was.