Excerpt from Odyssey of the Heart: Paths to Wholeness through Feng Shui by Deborah Redfern.

A few years ago, I decided to do a vision quest. Although I wanted to do it, I wasn’t fully committed and part of me was resisting. On the day I set aside for the quest I woke up totally out of sorts. It was late winter — cold and drizzling outside. I decided not to do it that day. Relieved to be off the hook, I made a  cup of tea and settled in to watch the birds in the garden.


My eye caught an unusual shape in the apple trees close to our house. It was a hawk. In the seven years we’d lived in this house, I had never seen a hawk in the garden. In fact, it was the first time I’d ever seen one up close. The hawk was intent on catching one of the chickadees that came to visit the bird feeder on our deck.


It swooped from branch to branch while the chickadees stayed just out of reach. After almost a half an hour of this dodging game, the little birds flew off into the woods and the hawk went in pursuit. It was such an unusual sight that I thought it must be a big sign for me and I decided to go ahead with my vision quest.


By the time I got everything I needed together, the sky was clear blue and the sun was shining. The snow that was still on the ground was sparkling. It turned out to be a splendid day to spend outdoors in an extended meditation. As I went into my quest space with my drum, the hawk returned to the apple tree. He stayed for a few moments and then flew away, and I never saw it in our garden again. I felt he was checking up on me to see if I had listened to his message! Just as I was finishing my quest I had another bird visitation; three ravens flew overhead, croaking loudly. Where we live Ravens sightings are rare, and I finished my quest feeling very fortunate for the double blessing.


A few days later, I was thumbing through my notebook and found an animal totem reading I had done about six months earlier. Using my Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, I had done the nine power animal reading that gives a person the animal helpers they have with them for this lifetime.


The first card I got for this reading was the Hawk. According to the Medicine Cards, Hawk is a messenger, telling us to be aware of the signals we receive. The second card I drew was the Raven. Raven carries the medicine of magic that signals a change of consciousness of some kind. I was in awe because I had totally forgotten about this reading I had done. It made the messages I received while on my quest all the more poignant.


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