By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Most totems are not permanent, they are cyclical, for example a totem may come seasonal only once, or for a few years. A totem can be a lifelong messenger and come around for decades. Bird totems represent the “soul” and even the oldest of shamans 10 or 20,000 years ago, had bird effigies on stone. The soul is not limited to this world and flies above, hence the bird or flight aspect. In this article we talk about Black Eagle and Black Falcon.
If you look at all cultures of earth, there are four basic totems that cross into every culture and country and they are from an earlier era of prehistory of women’s shamanic cultures. In dreaming cultures and the later shamanic cultures, there were no totems, but only our animism souls. Today people generally only use totems because they don’t have animism experience, a few do (but that doesn’t include dreams or shamanic plants/drugs experiences or demon shape shifting sorcery animals or birds).
I divide them and their meanings (both light and shadow) forms:
AIR 1. Bird = Soul
FIRE 2. Serpent = Healing of the Soul
EARTH 3. Spider = Weaver of Soul & Healing together
WATER 4. Fish = Nourishment of the Soul to keep it healthy
Each culture and indigenous culture has variations of these to some degree, but in the newer patriarch (the last 5,000 years), Eagle has dominated as a male or patriarchal symbol in most countries. In white and black animal totem and symbolism, I divide colors by white (known or seen); and black as (unknown or unseen). This is because many cultures and indigenous cultures have superstitions and taboos in their teachings especially when it comes to keeping safe or aware. (I won’t discuss here, the science and military-science genetic manipulations of the white birds and animals that are unnatural).
Black represents in the Bird Soul totems, fertility of the feminine principles (internal), 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.
BLACK EAGLE (Ictinaetus malayensis)
This 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 connection with these birds, you too enter particular families and relationships in order to bring truth forth, which will upset the traditional aspects of the resting and nesting types of behaviors.
When a black eagle comes into our personal environment, dream or simple vision, expect some overdue changes to occur – which will not be easy or by your choice, but your soul’s life and its choice. We are not cognitive to such changes, we always just try to control them if we have no control over what initiations come forth. . The same can be said for Raven, Black Falcon, but Black Eagle goes a little higher and a little further, so the changes needed are a little more 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 a spiritual warrior (having to call out those who have shadow but are spiritual and tend to be the ones in leadership positions); or you are the huntress archetype, entering difficult situations and still remaining to work for peaceful and grounded (slow and steady) practices, in order to see into areas that are very fertile (black), but also very shadowy.
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.
If this totem is a life totem (more than a decade or two), then 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. If black eagle or any totem shows up once, its just for a three moon cycle (one season).
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.”
BLACK FALCON (Falco subniger – Aulstralia)
Although dark chocolate to chocolate black in color, the Australian Black Falcon like all falcon totems represents swiftness, change and choice. When one of my apprentices first started with me, her non-physical black falcon soul flew through my living room and a few days later, flew next to my window while I was driving my car. Its an undeveloped animism soul and knew it was hers.
The Black Falcon is a rare endemic bird of prey in Australia. It was thought to have been recorded once in Gisborne in 1983. Black falcons are an open habitat species where they occur in Australia and the sighting of the bird in Gisborne seems highly unlikely.
Black falcons have far longer pointed wings than New Zealand falcon and when closed their wings almost reach the tip of their tail. New Zealand falcon wings are more rounded and fall well short of the tip of the tail when closed. Black falcons are also generally larger than New Zealand falcons. They are uniformly sooty brown-black all over, especially lacking the red trousers that adult New Zealand falcon’s exhibit.
Falcons have powerful eyesight to hunt and whenever you deal with a bird who hunts, you are translating that totem into a symbolism of equal proportion. I work with oppositions and thus in totem work, we ask, where can I “not see” or what am I suppose to be seeing in the next week (after the totem visits). If the totem comes into your dream, then its an internal issue, not an external and the question changes to “what can I not see about myself” that needs to change.
Falcons are swift, so if a totem has entered for a month or smaller cycle, then one needs to make swift decisions concerning something important. Don’t waste your time fearing responsibility by extending the decision, make the decision right away so you can then begin the process of why falcon has shown up. It maybe a long process or issue at hand, but the moment or week of falcons visit says, make the choice, then move forward one more step. Remember, bird totems are about your soul and whats good for your soul, and not about your mind/body reality. Try to understand that in totem work.
Animism souls are not totems, although those of us who have attained our animism souls may show up in your space and become a totem for you. My apprentices will all meet my animism soul in the form of my squirrel or raven etc and they will hang around them for awhile. Since i do no spiritual work outside of having healed all my issues the last 40 years and purifying disciplines etc, these animism souls act upon their own accordance. No intention, magic or spell is ever needed because its nature based, not human nature based.
My student and her black falcon is a long journey under her studentship work with me as a shaman, but hopefully if she stays around long enough, she “might” eventually attain it. I will carry her black falcon soul with my soul energy until she is pure enough and healed enough karma to raise her vibration to match the black falcons. This is how I keep track of my dedicated apprentices, as the bird comes to me of their own free will and then I know either my apprentices is in trouble or needs my help even in ordinary emotional issues.
It may sound attainable today in a world of instant visions (dmt, shamanic plants, peyote etc), but its not. Those things are magic in a pill, bottle or plant and not the real thing. The real requires painful and even deathly purifications to raise ones vibration high enough for an animal or bird, even small ones. Unfortunately, we all have karma from our past lives and this is what destroys and devoluionizes our soul, especially military service for lifetimes.
Animism is a very slow process taking decades and sometimes lifetimes of overcoming all personal issues and gaining consciousness awareness and karmic purification of the real karmic lives (not through yoga or meditation practices).
If you wish to connect with Elder Mountain or to be on our free once a month work-study for the emotional intuitive nature, or if you need a healing session or wise counsel, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Russian Black Eagle, Photo by via ay.by ; https://www.wingspan.co.nz; Drakensberg, Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, South Africa photo.