What I learned from some blue jays

imagesYVV4JR9TA few weeks before Christmas, I saw three blue jays in our backyard. Three blue jays lined up on a white picket fence, their painted crowns poking into the morning sky.

I knew there was some meaning in my sighting. I went to my computer and looked up the blue jay as an animal totem.

“If you have a Blue Jay totem, you must learn to use your personal power properly. Be careful not to become a bully. The word ‘jay’ comes from the Latin word ‘Gaea’ which is Mother Earth. A Blue Jay totem links you directly with the power of the Earth itself. It can link the heavens and the Earth and give you access to universal energies and power.”

I try to remember to be a partner and a parent and not a bully. Sometimes the line is blurred, especially because I am a person who admires strength as both a physical and mental quality.

I watched the oldest child do his second load of laundry. Ever. I wanted to yell at him to go through his pockets first.

This is the kid who carries around lighters and pocket knives, paperclips and disassembled pen parts, and other shiny detritus he finds on the ground.

But then I see him sifting through his blue jean pockets without my nagging.

The middle child always tells me what I want to hear. He has figured out that this is one way to get me off his back.

“Did you bring your dishes downstairs?” I ask.

“Yes,” he tells me.

I find his dirty dishes in his dresser drawer.

“You know that drawer doesn’t actually wash the dishes,” I say.

“Oh, I didn’t know,” he replies.

We laugh.

Laughter is a better sound than yelling.

After all, they are just dishes. Discs made out of clay.

We are made out of clay, too.

We can cut each other with our words.

Or build each other up so that we are so tall our heads poke into the clouds.

* * *

I saw another blue jay on Christmas Eve.

imagesBKLFD6HVOn the day after Christmas, I saw a red fox.

“Since the fox lives ‘between times’ — on the edge of land, visible as dusk and dawn, and can guide the way to the Faerie Realm. A fox can teach you to control your aura so that you can be more in harmony with others and the world.

If you have a fox totem, learning to be invisible is very important in your life. Imagine yourself blending in with your surroundings, becoming part of the background. Be very still and quiet. Through practice you can be unnoticed even at a party or in a crowd.

A fox totem also teaches good eating habits; the fox eats small amounts frequently which medicine is now telling us is better for our health.”

* * *

What about you? What are your animal totems?

The information on each animal totem comes from Lin’s Domain.

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21 responses to “What I learned from some blue jays

  1. Fox and hawk. I need to look up hawk.

  2. I have two Dragon tattoos and one Phoenix tattoo to remind me of strength and rebirth.

  3. Hawk, crow, black panther, snow leopard, and lizard. The black panther and snow leapard showed up in my dreams. The hawk, crow, and lizard I have actually seen visiting me or coming across my path.

  4. Lately it’s been red Cardinals for me, I’ve been told that it’s a message from heaven, that someone is looking out for you from above. I love bird watching, and the Bald Eagle that I see by Leigh’s Mill Pond is spectacular. I always see Red Tailed Hawks on my drive past the meadow on 236…almost every time I go that way…perhaps that is my totem…

  5. I really liked the stories with your children.

  6. This entry is brilliant. I nag. I should learn from the blue jay and fox. The former are pretty aggressive, but beautiful. Thanks for this post. (My spirit animal is a hedgehog.)

    • I wish I could say I NEVER nag, but alas it seems to be a part of parenting and marriage. I try to bite my tongue as much as possible, especially when the infraction is a minor one.

      Hedgehog, huh? That’s an interesting animal totem.

      • I still found this entry inspirational… Good reminders. Well, when I draw everything curiously begins to look rather like a hedgehog. So.

      • Well, there you go. Hedgehog it is.

        Glad to hear you found the post inspirational. It was written in response to a prompt on promoting peace in the new year. I figure that the best way to promote world peace is by starting in the home.

        Hope you have a peaceful new year.

  7. I was going to say “teletubby”, but I guess that does not qualify. 🙂 I have sort of appropriated the Wolf as my totem. I see your source mentions “he also brings learning to live with one’s self”- a lesson I am trying very hard to get into my iron skull. Take care.

  8. I believe in animal totems. The main character in my upcoming book has one. I think mine might be the tiger. Thx for a great blog!

  9. I started having dreams about black bears last summer and they have continued–bears are visiting me in my sleep! I looked them up, too. There are bear traditions and bear lore in many different cultures. I love especially this translation of a Lakhota Bear Medicine song.

    My paw is holy
    herbs are everywhere
    my paw
    herbs are everywhere

    My paw is holy
    everything is holy
    my paw
    everything is holy

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