Native American Totems

Discovering the medicine and lessons learned from the spirits of animals and all living things.

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I had not really given this much thought in the past but the Sparrow must have been one of my mother’s power totems. I was reminded of her attraction to this bird of somewhat lowly status in today’s society a couple of weeks ago by an event that I will share with you below. For as long as I can remember, Mom had always said that she wanted a song about a sparrow to be sung by a particular individual at her funeral. Because the song she referred to was a religious song, I had always thought that was the reasoning for the request. Of late, I think it was much more than that and went even more in the spiritual realm than I ever imagined. The song was His Eye Is On The Sparrow which has a refrain that says, “His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches over me.”

It is said that the sparrow was the only bird around during the Crucifixion of Jesus and became symbolic of the triumph after a time of long suffering. This tiny little bird who seems so insignificant today was once a symbol of household divinities in Britain and in the Middle Ages was a symbol of the peasants of the lower classes in all of Europe who were in a state of helplessness under the power of the Lords over them.  These peasants loved to tell and hear stories of how a small little bird like the sparrow would triumph over enemies like a wolf, bear or eagle that symbolized the different houses of the nobility.

Sparrow Plate
Sparrow Plate by RuthGarrison at Zazzle.

Because the sparrow has been able to survive and thrive in spite of its many natural predators, it has become a symbol of the idea that the nobility of the common person is inherently strong within all of us. If you believe that this little bird is one of your totems, take a minute to look around you. Have you been allowing others to take away your dignity? Is your own self-worth something that you dismiss or have forgotten about? Have you taken on the frame of mind that tells you that you will always be under the crushing step of a tyrant? If so, the sparrow will show you how to survive all of this. No matter what the circumstances around you are or seem to be, sparrow will awaken a new sense of dignity and self-worth in you. Wow, this made me think of my Mom! She had very low self-esteem and did not stop to hear the song that the Sparrow was singing to her.

Sparrow Feeding Poster
Sparrow Feeding Poster by neighborhoodwildlife at Zazzle.com

A few weeks ago, I happened to be having a conversation with a friend of mine who has the gift of communicating with the spiritual world. As we talked, we heard a very loud bird singing. We both thought the bird was in the room and started to look around. The song would stop and then start again and kept getting louder, almost insistent that we stop and take notice of its song. I looked over at the window that was to my right and there it was, a sparrow perched so that I could see it and just almost screaming its song. My friend said, “You know the spirit in this bird, it is talking to you.” I thought to myself that if I didn’t know better I would think it was Mom but I did not say it out loud to my friend. My friend got really quiet for a few seconds and then said, “This person’s name started with an E. Oh, it is your Mom! Watch for her in a dream, she has something to tell you.”

Notice the sparrows in this video! When on the ground a Mourning Dove comes to get some grain. Also making an appearance are a House Finch (cute little bird with a red head) and a female cardinal visiting the feeder at the same time as the sparrows are feeding.

 

The sparrow is not one of my totems, except that for that one day it seemed to be. By Mom coming in the form of a sparrow, I knew that it did have to be her because of that request that she had for the song to be sang when she left the earthly plane of her existence. Had it been any other bird, I might not have taken notice. What were my friend and I discussing at the time of the visit from the sparrow? A feeling of being held back and held down by powers stronger than me. Hmmm! So, maybe in the spiritual realm Mom has learned from the Sparrow and wants me to, also.