Nightingale Folklore and Totem

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – A friend of mine shared with me the lore of the Ukrainian Nightingale which I am very grateful. I have smaller birds such as the Mourning Dove and the Nightingales as a totem, and on occasion the Mockingbird on and off through my life.

These birds after working with them as totems for quite a few years represent my karmic journey. Before my karma opened, before 18 years old, it was always the Whip-poor-will who would be around, another night bird.

The two would show up when I began to enter a struggling and sorrowful or painful deeper gates that started to open or when I was really sick and it was getting dangerous (mourning dove). To balance this out, the lighter and more soothing side of the night in a more positive sense would be the spiritual calling (nightingale).

The third bird present in the last month along with Mourning Dove and Nightingale, is the trickster of communication himself, the Mockingbird. But I want to focus on the common Nightingale or simply Nightingale here.

Nightingale is a small passerine bird best known for its powerful and beautiful song at night. It is classified as an Old World Flycatcher and belongs to a group of more terrestrial species, often called Chats. “Nightingale” is derived from “night”, and galan “to sing”.

Nightingale Totems.jpg

Ukraine Legend of the Nightingale
Many years ago the Nightingale lived only in India and flew all over the world to collect diverse songs. Once the nightingale had visited Ukraine, but there were only sad Ukrainian songs there. This was because people worked very hard and were always tired and exhausted.

The Nightingale decided to cheer u[ the Ukrainian peasants, with its melodious singing. People revived and surprised their overseas guest the bird, with their new and wonderful cheerful songs. Since then, every time Spring returns, the Nightingales return to Ukraine to hear lovely Ukrainian songs.

In Ukrainian folklore, nightingale is a symbol of Volition (the faculty or power of using one’s will), great Inspiration and unsurpassed Talents. Nightingale is often mentioned in Ukrainian songs and poems as a harbinger of spring. Nightingales are also a part of the indigenous folk art, patterns and embroidery as well in Folk Arts.

Ensemble Chebrece singing a Nightingale Folk Song :

Nightingale Symbolism

Like many Slavic birds of lore, folklore and mythology, the Nightingale is a Sacred Bird, a symbol of kindness and love. Its song is pure like your heart, and lift one’s spirit. It is also about the night, which can be about the purification of one’s karma, bad deeds of the past, guilt or any other connections of one’s past or past life that needs healing. She is a bird about the purification processes we go through of the soul and for the rare, the dark nights of the soul which can last decades.

As a totem, when the night Nightingale comes to sing to you at night, its to remind yourself that you are a soft tempered person, even when things can get intense. A good speaker who can communicate complex things and make them sound coherent and a smooth movement in one’s voice. She reminds you that you are a Keeper of the Night which in Ukrainian Goddesses it is the goddess of dusk and dawn and the immortal sky goddesses.

When a nightingale appears it is here to teach you the Healing Power of voice, spoken word, songs and to move through great fear and shadows with Grace – which is extraordinarily difficult because of the night reality (rather than daytime sun reality. 

In my life, these two visitor will sometimes come together during a period of time and sometimes they come individually. Right now in my journey, the third and final purification of my third karmic lifetimes process of fire purification, they are both present.

There is a legend about Nightingale the Slavic and why I have always known with my one grandmother, her family living near the Southern Polish/Ukraine border was a deeper part of my journey in this process of purification. Sometimes I felt because I had to pay all three lifetimes of karmic debt, knowing where I lived, who I was and what horrible behaviors I lived, I also was given the blessing of not dying and have luck with death at the last minute.

Petrikov painting of a Nightingale.jpgIn my Slavic descendant, known that my particular lineage that includes Ukraine besides Polish, I have associated my soul with the first Slavs coming from Persia (Mesopotamian to be more specific around the Iranian area). I’ve always known for me in my deep journey, that they migrated to the Slavic lands and settled. I can see in some of the Persian friends I’ve had this lifetime, that they do look Slavic, just much darker hair and skin.

Of my three karmic debt persons in which I was, when the first two were completed, my higher selves (soul) returned. The first one this lifetime returned in 1998, she was from the pre-patriarchal lands of what is now known as India. The Ukraine legend fitting in with the Nightingale being from India made me pay attention.

When my higher pure soul returned (lifetime before any karma, around 9,000 years ago) in the way higher souls actually work, it was because I paid the Roman Soldier debt this lifetime, I believe that the totem of the nightingale is a positive one from personal life experience.

My ancient gifts of dreaming that I had lost due to my Roman Soldier karma. That is when I could then dream walk, astral travel without trying, remote view, clairaudio and much more.  All my dreaming gifts returned when she returned after I had burned in the fire and spiritual fires of the war loving Roman Soldier who I know all too well.

The Roman soldier dissolved completely in the underworld (he never escaped the underworld because I never did drugs or shamanic plants) and I made sure of that. I was returned all pain over ten years, of those I had killed in Egypt two-thousand years ago, at the moment of their death. Their soul was then freed, as I took it all back and suffered greatly as if I was being killed. Real karma is hell, especially the worse one’s which is when one participates in war.

What the horrors of war are, no one can imagine
they are not wounds and blood and fever, spotted
and low, or dysentery, chronic and acute, cold and
heat and famine. They are the intoxication, drunkenness
of brutality, demoralization and disorder on the part of
the inferior, jealousies, meanness, indifference, selfish
brutality on the part of the… Superior.


~Florence Nightingale

Water clay whistle Nightingale Totem - Ukraine

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