Homage To A Hero

My Family Lost A Special Member

On Friday evening (April 17th), my family lost a very special man, Harry Loar. He was the loving and devoted husband to Ruth for almost 61 years. He was so many things to all of us. A special soul who touched the lives of our family in ways that will stay with us all as we continue our earthly journey. I can’t speak for the rest of the family but I know they all feel the loss of Harry as strongly as I do. Harry was so much more than just an Uncle to me and I feel the need to share with my regular readers and my family members just how important his presence in my life was.

Every soul that we encounter as we walk this road of life is significant and important. I feel so blessed that as I have placed each footstep on the long and winding path of my own journey to have had so many special souls to walk with me. Uncle Harry did more than just walk next to me.

hero quote

If we are lucky Heroes Walk Among Us

I tried in an awkward way to tell Harry that he was one of my heroes when I visited him in the hospital a month or so ago. I’m not sure that he heard me or understood the magnitude of what I was trying to say. Like the person in the song by Bette Midler…He was one of my heroes and he was definitely the wind beneath my wings in my youth and adult life.

There are so many memories of my childhood that include my Uncle Harry and even more memories were made as I became an adult. As I look back and reflect on those memories there is a common thread in many of them. He encouraged me to spread my wings, to grow, to do….to become the me that I was supposed to be. He made sure that I experienced life in different ways than I had been exposed to. He helped me to fly higher, to soar like that eagle. Isn’t that a hero?

Harry was sometimes like a father to me and always a friend in the truest sense of the word. My girls loved him so much and felt so connected to him that they called him Grandpa as they were growing up.

Common Interests

Back when I was a young wife and mother, Harry and I discovered cross-stitching. We both loved to stitch and Harry became much better at it than I have ever been. My goodness the pieces that he did were just remarkable. When we would stop in to visit, he would pull out the piece he was currently working on and show me pieces he had finished. He would pick designs that were intricate and make them into pieces of art. I love that we could share that together!

Back in the 1980s when I became interested in getting my first computer, Harry was the one person on this earth who encouraged me to follow my instincts. He actually helped me get my first one. Can I tell you how many hours we spent talking computers? I might get stuck on a command and I would call him. He might get stuck and he would call me. This, folks, was back when you started with a black screen and the C prompt. To get anything to work, you had to type the command you wanted. We learned computers together.

If I had a nickel for every hour that Ruth, Harry and my first husband Jeff spent playing Pinochle, I would be a wealthy woman. Oh we had so much fun. It was much more than sitting and playing a game of cards. We talked, we laughed and just genuinely enjoyed the company of each other.

go rest high

Dear Uncle Harry, I want you to rest on that mountain and enjoy the company of those who went before you. Save a place for those of us who will join you when it is our own time. Watch over us, please. I hope that before you left this earth that you knew just how very special you were to all of us.

Some might think it is odd that I would use this site to pay a final homage to my beloved Uncle Harry. I don’t think that it is. I’ve spent years discussing the “teachers” that give us lessons to live by. In my mind and heart, Harry was the epitome of a teacher showing me and those around him how to live a good and honorable life.

My request for you today: In honor of this special man, Harry Loar; do something that will make a difference in someone’s life. Let them know that they are special to you.

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What lessons are learned from the bull totem?

bull totem meaning

Visits From The Bull And What They Might Mean

Have you suddenly noticed that everywhere you look you see a bull? Are you dreaming about bulls? Perhaps this animal spirit is trying to tell you something. That is often how it works. So, let’s look at some of the lessons that the bull totem may want you to learn.

The basic or overall message of the bull totem is fertility but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a visit from him means that you are about to become a parent, although it could. Bulls and cows have been symbols of fertility for centuries by many cultures. The cow (female) symbolizes motherhood and nourishment through her milk. The bull also symbolizes nourishment but it is through it’s slaughter that the meat is provided. Hence, it is a symbol of fertility through sacrifice.

bull totem

The bull is a male totem and associated with the sun, a cow would be female and associated with the moon. Bull worship was a part of many cultures including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Osiris was often times depicted with the head of the bull. The Romans and Greeks included him in many of their myths. The minotaur comes to mind for me. I mention this because if the bull totem is working with you, it might be trying to remind you of a past life.

The bull is also the astrological sign of Taurus. That happens to be my star sign and was one of the reasons I felt drawn to write about him today. As a star sign it has a lot to do with possessions but it also is linked to the idea of making the ordinary parts of life more fertile.

Mother Earth is a feminine planet and the bull is masculine so there is an implication of the bull fertilizing the earth. An interesting note here is that even though the bull is often depicted as being a masculine or solar being it is also many times referred to as lunar or female. The horns of the bull can look like the crescent of the moon which is a feminine aspect. When an animal can be associated with both male and female traits of spirituality there is often an opportunity for fertility. Many things can be fertilized…ideas, thoughts, relationships.

Questions To Ask Yourself

If the bull has come to you as a messenger totem, what things might he be trying to tell you?

  • Are you being as productive as you possibly can?
  • Are you being stubborn or rigid in your thinking?
  • Are there some seeds you should be sowing?
  • Is there a need for you to be more sensitive to the conditions and people around you?
  • Are you trying to rush something when you should be allowing it to “become” in its own time?
  • Are you feeling insecure?

Brother bull as a totem can help you to affirm your feminine energies with a great deal of success. Men, sometimes you need to assert the feminine side of yourselves, too. The bull totem will teach you stability without any stubbornness. It can help you understand the relationships needed to work with the ordinary or mundane aspects of life to make them the fertile successes they are intended to be.

Study the star sign of Taurus to get further understanding of the bull totem:

bull horoscope
TAURUS: Your DAY, Your DECAN, Your SIGN: Includes 2015 Taurus Horoscope

Also, refresh yourself with the Greek and Roman mythologies that deal with the bull for better understanding of the lessons that Brother Bull is trying to share with you.

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Lessons From The Dove Totem

I recently had a reader ask about the dove totem and what it might mean so I have meditated on this bird, studied some of my resources and am now ready to share the lessons we may receive from the animal spirit of dove.

mourning-dove-totem

Lore And Legend Surround The Dove

I think before we can talk about the totem of the dove we must first look at how other cultures besides the natives of North America saw this bird. Just about all, if not all, have the dove centered around feminine and motherhood symbols. According to the Greek traditions, a dove brooded the egg that Aphrodite came from. Alexander sought out council from the Oracles of Dodona which was founded by a dove. The Slavs believe that our souls become doves when we die. Christians embrace the dove as a symbol of peace and we could go on.

The Pueblo Indians honored the dove and often wore it’s feathers or used them in prayer sticks. When searching for water, they would listen for the mournful song of the dove knowing that it was an indication that water was near. Water is also considered a maternal connection. The song of the dove signified that watering holes or springs were close as the dove must return at dusk to drink.

When you, yourself, hear the song of the dove aren’t your emotions stirred in some way? Our emotions are our internal waters and respond to the call of this lonesome sounding bird.

Being a ground feeder, the dove reminds us to keep in contact with Mother Earth. We should always be mindful of the creative possibilities from the feminine energies that come from the earth.

I’ve talked before about the significance of the number 2 and feminine energy and it applies to the dove totem, also. Doves lay two eggs which falls in line with the traditional connection of feminine and creative energies.

Mourning Doves Plate
Mourning Doves Plate
by ellenlaurine at Zazzle

The voice of the dove might be compared to a rain song. It invokes new waters of life from its mournful cry. No matter what might be going on in our lives, the dove reminds us that new waters can still flow and new life is still possible.

The Between Times (dusk and dawn) are the best times to reflect on the song of the dove as it relates to you. It is at dawn and dusk that there is a thinning of the veils between the physical and the spiritual, the past and the future.

The dove totem reminds us that it is fine to mourn what has passed but to also awaken to the promise of the future. This bird of prophecy can help you to see what you can give birth to in your own life.

The mourning dove is also sometimes referred to as the turtle dove. I think that is also a significant connection to feminine energy. Many tribal traditions refer to North America as Turtle Island where life began from the waters.

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Bobcat Totem

bobcat totem

If the bobcat totem has arrived in your life it has come to teach you that there is true power and strength in silence. There will be people who will immediately understand that statement because bobcat has touched their inner being at some point in their lives. There will also be people who will not “get it” at all. It is perfectly OK if you don’t understand about the silence, all that means is that bobcat is not working with you. It may not be a lesson you are ready to learn just yet.

The messages that we receive in silence has been something that I have understood all of my life, even as a child. I would literally seek out quiet places to be. Many years ago, I had a conversation with my ex-husband. He was deceiving me at the time and my “whiskers” sensed the deception. I was sitting at our kitchen table, contemplating my next move in this situation when he walked in on me. He asked me what I was doing and I responded, “Just listening to the silence.” He looked at me with such a look of contempt and gave a dismissive gesture with his hands. As if to say, you can’t HEAR silence!

What he didn’t realize that through bobcat, my eyes could see what he was trying to hide. My whiskers were picking up images of what he was doing and my ears could hear what was not being said. Bobcat had shown me his secret!

Close-Up of a Bobcat (Lynx Rufus)
Close-Up of a bobcat

from Allposters.com

In that situation and in many others when the bobcat totem was walking with me on my journey, I learned to see the hidden agendas of those around me and to hear what was not being spoken. Not everything was what it appeared to be. I learned to trust my own senses; that if it didn’t “feel” right it probably wasn’t. I learned to trust that instinct even when there was not a logical explanation for the feeling.

Bobcat comes to me from time to time when I am in situations where there are many hidden secrets. He may come to you, too. Just learn to trust that your instincts are trustworthy. He is telling you to stay silent and observe.

Bobcat Poster
Bobcat Poster
by lolanimals on Zazzle

If you feel that bobcat has entered your life to be a spirit guide ask yourself:

  • Am I being too solitary? (Bobcats are a solitary animal)
  • Are there new learning opportunities I should be looking at
  • Am I dismissing my inner senses too easily
  • Am I allowing outsiders to sway me too much

Bobcat will come to you when it sees that you need to listen to that silence and the secrets that are hidden there.

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Woodpecker As An Animal Spirit Guide

woodpecker totem

Perhaps you had never considered that a visit from a woodpecker might be a message from an animal spirit wishing to guide you into some wisdom. Then again, if you have landed on this page you must have had some sort of inkling because you searched to see what the meaning might be if the woodpecker is working as one of your totems. My guess would be that if it is not a bird that you see often, if it came more than once or your dreamed about one that it is most certainly wanting to share some lessons with you.

In many American Indian traditions this bird, the woodpecker, is connected to the heartbeat of Mother Earth herself. The drumming of the heartbeat of earth has more than a few mystical connections. A couple that come to mind are the rhythms of new life to shapeshifting applications. Many a shaman has learned to ride the drum beats into a different dimension.

Obviously, there are many different kinds of woodpeckers in the world. Most of them are colored with black and white feathers and many will have at least some red on their heads. The black and white of the feathers tells us that we should be seeing the issues and aspects of our lives clearly. Sometimes, things can be pretty clear when we look at them in a black or white perspective.

red-bellied woodpecker

The red found on the head of many species of the woodpecker symbolizes the stimulation of mental activities and also the head chakra centers. It is associated with the stimulation and wakening of new mental faculties. New ways to look at things or new wisdom in general. Even the pecking that we associate with the woodpecker is a symbol of these same reflections.

We can associate the act of digging in to a topic for more analysis with the woodpecker, too. They peck holes into trees and wood to get grubs and other insects for a meal. When we dig into a book for knowledge we feed on the wisdom we find.

If you are being visited by the animal spirit of woodpecker there are a few things that you should be asking:

  • Are you looking at your life rationally?
  • Are the people around you discriminate? Are you?
  • Do you just jump into a new situation with no analysis of what is involved?

We might find that the woodpecker has pecked into our vision to stimulate new rhythms for us to dance to. Rhythm is a pretty powerful means of affecting physical energy. We humans, often, get so wrapped up in our daily mental and spiritual activities that we do not pay attention to our physical needs. That might be the reason for the visits from woodpecker. He might also be telling you to drum new changes into your life.

A good book to read about how the woodpecker lives in the wild along with images of different types of woodpeckers is the one below. Often, when we meditate about the real animal, it opens up or drums up the message that the spirit animal is trying to convey.


Woodpeckers of the World: A Photographic Guide

 

Many cultures have lore and myths that include the woodpecker. Most have to do with the drumming or the pecking rhythm characteristics of this bird. Europeans felt that the woodpecker was a prophet of the weather as it drummed out the message that change was coming. In Greek mythology the woodpecker sat on the throne of the god of thunder, Zeus. The Babylonians associated it with fertility.

Basically, woodpecker is the symbol of the rhythm of life and of discrimination. We should find our own beats of the drum to follow in our journey and do what is best for ourselves and not what others might tell us to peck at. Woodpecker comes with the message that you have the foundation and it is now safe for you to follow your own rhythms.

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