A bit of blackbird medicine

I love blackbirds and have loved them for as long as I can remember. I guess you could call them a ‘totem’ animal. I can’t really explain why I feel such an affinity for them. There are many layers to it; just as there are many layers to this intricate web of life we live in.

There are references to blackbirds in mythology and folklore. You can read about it on the ‘What is my spirit animal‘ website. Blackbirds are often seen as messengers, protectors and guides for those who travel between realms, like shamans or witches. They are revered in many cultures and feared in some, where the sleek black feathers are associated with death. But as with all symbolism, the significance depends entirely on the meaning that you give it based on your own beliefs and experience. The blackbird has a beautiful melodious song and scientists know that different calls are used for different purposes. Even so, the language remains unknown to us. Blackbird is indeed mysterious.

What is your soul song?

To me, the blackbird symbolises the clear intelligence of the natural world. Blackbird medicine is to remember that we are all part of the web of life and we each have our own song to sing. Tuning in to the blackbird can connect us to our own soul song and the deeper truths of the world around us that are as natural as the air we breathe.

Blackbird has visited me on numerous occasions – often during a time of uncertainty or shock. Sighting (or hearing) a blackbird reminds me that things will be ok. The most recent meeting was last week when my cat brought a young female into the house! I acted quickly as I always do when he delivers a feathery gift, taking the bird away from the cat, checking for injuries and placing it in a cardboard box to rest and recover from shock. But this little beauty wanted to perch on my hand. I felt so very privileged to be up close and so I kept very still and watched the bird’s chest heaving up and down, but gradually quietening and softening. After a few minutes the bird must have felt safe enough to close her eyes.

“It’s a good feeling to rescue
a blackbird (or any animal)!!”

Later I released the blackbird into an area of the garden where I know others are nesting. She sat very still, her brownish speckled chest camouflaged amongst the branches, and when I returned some time later she had gone. It’s a good feeling to rescue a blackbird (or any animal)!! My cat has a ‘soft mouth’ – he likes to keep his victims alive so he can play with them. This ‘serial killer’ streak ironically offers his prey the chance of rescue and I have prised numerous birds and lizards from his jaws, about 50% of which survive the ordeal.

And so what was the message from this young female blackbird, who still had some of her pin-feathers? For me it was a reminder to sing my song – and the importance of protecting that song. I’m in the process of creating something new, and I’m plucking up courage to ‘put it out there’. This is a delicate time. As writers and artists we create from a very vulnerable place. We put our work into the world and it is very easy for someone to tear it down. But it was very worthwhile saving that blackbird, just as it is worthwhile protecting and nurturing that inner voice.

So if you see a blackbird up close and personal, consider that it might have a message for you. It might be reminding you that it’s time to sing the song that only you can sing. The small soul-song that wishes only to be heard.

As always you are very welcome to leave your thoughts and comments here. Thank you for visiting my blog. You can connect with me on Instagram @beautifulskybooks

This is a short timelapse of Christchurch with a blackbird song soundtrack from Kate Bush’s fabulous album Aerial.

2 thoughts on “A bit of blackbird medicine

  1. Peggy Cameron says:

    What a delightful post about your totem animal. You are a wonderful story teller Celia.
    My totem animal is the Dolphin. I read:
    “The dolphin spirit animal represents harmony and balance. Dolphins are both highly intelligent and closely in tune with their instincts, striking a balance between the two states. Dolphins are also a symbol of protection and of resurrection. Their playful nature is a reminder that everyone needs to approach life with humor and joy. People who identify with the dolphin totem are usually peaceful and gentle, but with a deep inner strength.”


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