Osprey Totem – Water and Wind

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – On the day of the 1st new moon of Spring, I was riding my bike to the beach and I stopped to watch right near the ocean. Osprey then flew above me and flapped its wings for long while. On the day of the 2nd new moon of Spring, I was back home walking in the field and again an Osprey (Fish Hawk) flew around the field and stopped to flapped its wings above me. Today, about a week before the 3rd New Moon of Spring, Osprey come again to say hello, as I was near the Lake, hovering over me and flapped its wings.

I love Osprey or Sea Eagles and its wonderful to have a connection to such a beautiful bird and I feel honored to have this type of messenger. When Osprey comes to me (personally) its a waking dreams messenger’s symbol and it means something spiritual is about to me over the years. But generally it’s not for me anymore, but one of my apprentices and that was true today.

When working with any “Bird Totem” these primordial and archaic one’s represent our soul and soul nature as a living symbol, their soul, your soul, others soul and the soul of mother earth. Those who are dedicated to a spiritual life (past the undisciplined mind or body, past the stages of using any pot, wine, etc )… Osprey will come for those who do serious spiritual work.

And this is the most important: Birds are messengers, and do not give you a message, they come to say… “A message is coming ‘for you’ in the next 24 hours, so pay attention” – if its a night bird such as an owl or nightingale, then it will come in your night dream, if its a day bird like hawk or jay, then the message will come in the waking dream:

Osprey, Green Lake 6-3-2013-9876


The return of Ospreys to area shorelines every mid-March to early April makes them the messenger that Spring. All birds as totems and animism are a symbol of our soul life. Osprey lets you know that Spring has truly arrived and as a totem it rules both water and wind. Because of their ability, agility and artful angling of perfection they hover and soar in search of fish near the surface and then dive, feet first, from as high as 120 feet, sometimes completely submerging. Their dense plumage, dislocatable shoulder joints, underwater vision and fleshy nostrils allow them to plunge unaffected and then immediately fly upwards with their catch. Their success is nearly perfect.

In Greek mythology, King Pandion of Athens whose two daughters and a devious son-in-law, Tereus, were all turned into birds – the daughters into a nightingale and a swallow, and Tereus into a hawk. Many bird enthusiasts think designating ospreys as Pandion (rather than Tereus) was not very wise of Jules-César Savigny in 1809. The species name “Haliaetus” from Greek halos (“sea”) and aetos (“eagle”) is also a misnomer: “Sea hawk” which seems more appropriate and also what the Native Americans call them. The most accurate label is “fish hawk,” as Ospreys are the only raptors that almost exclusively eat live fish.

Ospreys are considered in the eagle family in many coastal Native American tribes, and are accorded the same respect as the bald and golden eagles. Along the coast, where ospreys are most commonly seen, they sometimes play ‘police’ or guardian roles in traditional legends. In other legends, Fish-Hawk (Osprey) to the Eastern Oregon tribes of the Nez Perce, they are considered a medicine bird, and seeing an Osprey in waking when they visit or in a dream at night or vision is a sign that a woman has been granted spiritual powers. Tribes with Osprey Clans include the Menominee tribe, whose Fish-Hawk Clan is named Penekekonaew.


Known for its acuity of sight, the Osprey has been used to represent vision; it is also a symbol of abundance and long used as a totem of those who have a close relationship to the sea or the ocean. It is always represented as a white eagle and is referred to in heraldry as a Sea-Eagle. Osprey also have a connection to the magic of shamans relationship to nature, especially the magic of the sea and the seas’ winds, clouds, storms, thunder and lightning.

Working in ceremony with water, rivers, lakes and the sea is what a deeper meaning of the Osprey messenger will bring. They almost always appear to let you know that the magic of nature is close by and that we are the guardian to magic will be revealed for our eyes only, the special relationship to be the healthy guardians of mother earth.

Sources: Photo: Allan Block at http://feathertailedstories.blogspot.com; native totem information by http://www.native-languages.org/legends-osprey.htm, blurb from http://mara-gamiel.blogspot.com, Idaho Sandpoint Magazine.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Helena says:

    Fascinating. Here in Upstate New York, I always encounter the Red Tail Hawk.


    1. Red Tail Hawk (the messenger) doesn’t actually send a message, she tells you to prepare for a “Message to Come” within 24 hours. But as in all totems (helpers) they must make some kind of contact with you, such as looking you in the eye, flying above you in circles, swooping in front of you, any type of connection thats more obvious than the normal. Then look for your message coming from any source, a phone call, a missed connection, a note blowing in the wind and landing at your feet, a card outside the foot of your car as you get in. Hawks are ‘waking dreams’ during the day like Osprey… the night birds are owl, vulture, condor etc.

      ❤ Phoenix


    2. Helena says:

      I will need to observe more closely. They will fly along side when Im driving. I will always see them

      Liked by 1 person

  2. J. says:

    The Osprey is such a wonderful bird – truly inspiring. I live in SoCal, and I have had my own magical experiences with them and other hawks. One kept me company all of last year, in fact, while undergoing the most difficult part of treatment….I have video and photos on my cell of her bathing in my bird bath on a number of occasions, and she was – is? – living in the tree next to our home. She always made me feel so “watched over” and guarded and protected…and so much more. Hawk is my primary totem (we get a lot of Red Tails here, too), and I loved reading about your own experiences!


    1. Thank you and wonderful sharing. I only share maybe 1% of my experiences over the past forty years, i follow the sacred tradition of only speaking them in full, in oral tradition (speaking in a circle) with those who wish to learn.


  3. Reblogged this on Paths I Walk and commented:
    We shared the river with a pair of osprey and their going last summer. Beautiful birds not afraid to take on the bald eagles that shared the river.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are very powerful and beautiful birds and very swift with their abilities too, i love them dearly!


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