My brother has a house on a river that happens to be a path for migratory birds, so he gets a chance to do some fine bird watching. And he reminded me that today is National Bird Counting day. This is the final day in the 113th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. According to the Audubon Society this is the longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, with the count provides critical data on bird population trends.
I’m not really a bird watcher nor a counter, but I most definitely am a bird lover. And I particularly love crows. I’m consider myself very blessed to carry Crow medicine.
And perhaps I am a counter. Remember this rhyme? There are so many versions but this is my favorite:
One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told.
Eight for a wish,
Nine for a kiss,
Ten for a time
Of joyous bliss.
I love the photo above of a crow perched on an angel. I think it perfectly captures the paradox that is Crow. Profoundly Earthy, even profane, a trickster, Crow is clever and knows how to have fun; AND Crow is connected to the sacred realms.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil wrote a wonderful prose poem entitled Crow Joy about how the gold leaf on the domes in Kremlin was scratched off by crows sliding down the roofs. That image makes me laugh. It seems so utterly crow-like — the dance of the sacred and the profane.
Crows DO know how to have fun. This video of a Russian crow demonstrates that clearly. And it’s not hard to imagine those gold-leafed Kremlin domes getting the same treatment.
Did that make you smile?
I wish you all the bliss that sighting ten crows can bring, and a roof full of delight.
Loved to read that you carry Crow Medicine Deborah. Could I ask how one finds out what animal or animal medicine a person can carry? Is it intuitive, or let’s say a crow often appears in your life it would mean you carry Crow Medicine? I’m curious. 🙂
Great (and difficult) question Suzanne! First let me say I believe everyone has Totem spirits they work with – some for their entire lifetime and some that show up just for a particular situation or period of time. And that’s where paying attention counts. Who DOES keep showing up? Totems offer help and guidance, but I believe like any good relationship they require attention. So you learn about them, you listen, you find ways to give back and honor the animal who is gifting you with their wisdom.
You can also invite in the energy of a particular animal you’d like to work with. That’s so helpful when there are qualities you want to invoke in your life.
I think carrying medicine is a little different than that, and although I bet there’s a million different opinions on this, here’s mine. I think at the point where you integrate the qualities of the animal so that they truly are part of you and you’re using those qualities in your response to world, then you’re beginning to carry the medicine. I think this can be a more natural process for some people and others it’s a more ritualized thing. But at some level I think it requires commitment and conscious connection. And I can only speak for myself here, but Crow has been an important ally for me through many lifetimes. So in some sense it feels more like in this lifetime part of my job was to remember I WAS carrying this medicine.
Thank you for sharing so much about your thoughts on this Deborah. I really appreciate it and understand it better. I will become more attentive and conscious as to what animals seem to be more present in my life and learn what they might be trying to teach me. This brings me back to Ted Andrews work with the animals and their messages. I remember a Reiki Master teacher telling us about his work. Many Blessings to you! xo
That video is amazing!
Isn’t it? And that crow has mastered sliding a lot better than we did when we were bouncing down those front hallway stairs as kids. 😉