As so often happens, more information has revealed itself as I continue to ponder the mystery of the owl encounter. When I described what happened to another wild woman wilderness guide, she offered a new perspective, which I had not considered:
“You know, this story of yours is so fascinating. I was right with you there at the end when you said you weren’t sure that the owls were giving you medicine, as your teacher had suggested. It sounds to me like they were angry! They wanted you out of there!
“One thing occurs to me: have you made an offering to the owls? In that place where you encountered them? Maybe some food, some flowers, whatever else seems appropriate. Some prayers for them and their well-being and a statement of your own well meaning.
“Often, I think, we need not understand these close and mystifying encounters with the wild… we just need to reflect on them for all our days and be grateful to have been invited in so far and survived to tell about it. That on its own is sacred.”
Wow, what a sense of freshness to consider that the owls may simply have been REALLY ANGRY! This opens up a whole new area of thought, about how we have encroached so much on the wild places, leaving no room for the animals to have peace to live undisturbed. Perhaps the owls are spokespersons for the animal kingdom! My desire to help protect wild animals and wild places is strengthened.
Shortly after this I dreamt bears and deer were being raised for their parts, kept in a pen with underground tunnels. When I found out what was going on I forced a conservative red-neck type man to the ground, sat on him, and told him I was going to stop him and the others from killing animals. It was a very clear declaration. This dream was revealing my wish to do something more concrete to help change attitudes about the rights of wild creatures, educate people about the importance of preserving wild areas, and speak out for those whose voices are not heard.
I also appreciated the idea of making an offering to the owls. I had not thought of that, but I love this idea and will do so. It also feels freeing to consider the idea of not having to understand these mystical encounters with the rational mind and pin them down into a specific meaning. But to let them keep touching me in a not-knowing place for the rest of my life, with gratitude for the gift.
Photo credit: Great grey owl by Miguel Lasa. Used with permission.