Birds are the messengers of Asgard–not just corvids, but raptors, water birds, even pigeons and sparrows, all of the creatures that fly between land and sky. Birds abound in Asgard itself, and one of the joys for me of living here in Eugene is that we are also blessed with an abundance of them. The water birds have a special connection with Frigga, and throughout my years of working in the West Eugene Wetlands I’ve had numerous sightings of the Great Blue Egrets who make their home there.
But there is one other special bird that thrives in the wetlands: golden eagles. In the office where I work part time, I’m often able to look up and see them (along with smaller raptors and lots and lots of crows) wheeling through the sky outside the 2nd floor window. On my walks home, they sometimes trail me, far overhead. They have a sense of humor, these birds, and at times it seems like a game to them, to see how low they can swoop down and circle above me without making me nervous. Eagles are Odin’s birds–not as famously so as ravens, perhaps, but His all the same; He took eagle form to escape with the Mead of Poetry, and one of His numerous heiti (bynames) is Arnhofdi (“eagle-headed”). If an eagle ever turns its head to look at you straight-on, and you know Odin, you’ll have no trouble understanding this appellation.
As I was walking to work on Wednesday morning, a juvenile golden eagle swooped down, the golden under-fluff of his wings catching the sun, circled once above my head, and then alighted on a street lamp dead ahead of me. He sat there, turning his head to preen his feathers a bit, and waited as I approached. I held my breath, but he let me walk right underneath him and stand there. It was the closest I’ve ever been to an eagle in the wild. He even let me snap a few pictures on my phone.
And then he turned his head and looked directly at me with his sharp, sharp, beak and piercing eagle-gaze.
Well? the look said. “Are you really serious about taking back your power? Are you really going to do it, or are you going to equivocate and make excuses and worry about what people might think?”
I won’t go into what, specifically, this was in answer to. But to say it was a spot-on omen might just be the understatement of the decade.
He sat there for a few minutes for, letting me admire him, and then took off–but not very far, only to the next light ahead of me. He waited until I passed him, then took to the skies again, point made.
I am who and what I am. People will like me, and what I do and stand for, or they won’t. But to limit and edit myself because they might not like me, might feel threatened, or might not understand–that’s not claiming my power, that’s letting it leak out and giving it away. I’ve played that game before. It was no one’s fault but my own and I’m not laying blame anywhere, but I’m done with it now.
I know I’ve asked this before, but what leaks have you found in your own power that need to be patched up? Where are you taking back what you should never have given away?