Black Eagle Totem – The Kabardinian Tales

black eagle
The Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malayensis) is a bird of prey and like all eagles, it is a waking or day bird. They soar over forests in the hilly regions of tropical Asia and hunt mammals and birds, particularly at their nests. As a totem symbol with those who find a soul connection with these birds, you too enter particular families and relationships in order to bring truth, which will upset the traditional aspects of the resting and nesting types. When a black eagle person comes into our environment, expect some overdue changes to occur – which will not be easy. The same can be said for Raven, but Black Eagle goes a little higher and a little further.

Black Eagles have long primary “finger wings” which is the main characteristic in their silhouette. Flight is very slow with the yellow legs contrasting their black feathers. Those who have Black Eagle as totem, you will find yourself in the role of spiritual warrior or a huntress archetype, entering difficult situations and still remaining peaceful and grounded (slow and steady) in order to see into areas that are very fertile (black), but also very shadowy. (For the young this is a life training that starts, for the adults over forty, the lessons are then presented with real consequences and for the elder, these are manifestations of a living manner either mastered or one finds themselves in grief).

Black Eagles are generally residents and have no migration patterns that have been observed. They live near Asia and the Himalayan foothills west through Nepal into northeastern Murree in the forests of the Eastern and Western Ghats in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The species also extends into the Aravalli range of northwestern India. The nominate race is found in Burma, southern China (Yunnan, Fujian) and Taiwan, into the Malay Peninsula.

As a totem this translates that the person remains most of their lives in the same village, town or city and goes through enormous changes internally rather than externally at each stage of life with challenges presented. Black is internal and fertility of the feminine teachings, while white is the external life with its struggle. When we work with totems, or temporary totems in the nature of birds or animals that come to us, we learn to see them as the message, not the messenger. Its knowing the symbolism of totems that is the reflection.

Most eagles like fish, but Black Eagles prefer mammals, birds and eggs, which would mean that for balance, if Black Eagle visits often and for many years, one must eat meat and a diet high in protein to stay healthy.  As nest-predator, this eagle’s ability is to remain aloft for long periods with minimal effort and requires the mastery of self control, observation and not much movement when around things shadowy, or situations that call for strength.

The Lepcha people of India’s Darjeeling district described Black Eagle as a bird that never sits down, bringing it closer to the patterns of flight of vultures and condors. Its curved claws and wide gape allow it to pick up eggs of birds from nests easily. Hands (claws) are associated with symbols of purpose, so for the more disciplined and sober apprentice, it means the shamanic shape-shifting ability when dealing with the shadow nature of life. Always trying to balance and letting go into a fall pushes one through into balance faster.

Along with swallow-tailed kites Black Eagles share the unique habit of carrying away an entire nest with nestlings to a feeding perch. Squirrels, Macaques and many species of birds emit an alarm call when Black Eagles are spotted soaring over the forest. So for those who must be the wrath or prey of these magnificent birds, pay attention not only to the lessons they bring you in life, but also the environment of squirrels or macaques who warn you that a lesson that is not of the light but of transformation is coming. The Indian giant squirrel has been noted as a prey of this species and young bonnet macaques may also.

The courtship and affection between Black Eagles, displays steep dives with folded wings with swoops up in a U shape into a vertical stall. So in one’s love life this represents much activity between two showing off one’s abilities in the relationship to keep it alive and passionate. They build a platform nest, 3 to 4 feet wide, on a tall tree overlooking a steep valley. Nesting season is between January and April, so this as a totem will be your active and productive months from winter to spring and finding more rest during summer and autumn. The nest site may be reused year after year.

As in all teachings of mother earth, her natural teachings in divination (divine communication), includes all animals, avian, bug clans etc, and are very accurate when they enter our life for a short or longer period or a lifetime. Pay attention, for she is our greatest natural teacher to maintain a balance in this “over populated / over-saturated human knowledge-reality.”

`~ Phoenix of Ashland

Russian Photo by via

One Comment Add yours

  1. Melizien says:

    Wonderful Article. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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