The Bird Guardians of Our Tradition

Most magickal practitioners are used to the idea of acknowledging the spiritual energies of animals as important connections to nature, communicators of wisdom, or as magickal allies or guides.  In the Wardwell tradition of American Witchcraft that is really coming into its own amongst the witches of the Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick, I have seen all order of animals stand out as guides and messengers for many folks.  Despite the variety of potential harbingers of truth and magick that we seem to encounter, there always seems to be an overabundance of witches in this order who are simply entranced not just by the bird realm in general, but specifically with hawks, eagles, owls and ravens.  Now, you might be saying “Duh, of course.  Those are the coolest birds going.”  Sure, they are certainly among the most badass birds around…though I’m not in any way downplaying heron, falcon, osprey, crow and all the other magnificent flying creatures we encounter.  But I really do notice that not only is my own inner circle of witches specifically smitten with those four birds, but that the birds themselves show up to our members ridiculously often.  This is causing me to consider the possibility that these four specific bird energies or intelligences are special guides or guardians of this order…and going beyond that, I see them as some of our many potential guides of the quarters.  In our tradition, Hawk would easily correlate with air (“they all correlate with air” you say…well yes, of course, but just listen) due to its correlation with keen vision, cleverness, sharpness, and higher thought.  Eagle could correlate with fire as a fierce predator, a symbol of patriotism, freedom, fighting for what is right, and using our will to follow our passions.  Owl could correlate with water as an archetype of mystery, relation with the moon and divination, and reaching into the darkness to extract magick and wisdom.  Raven could correlate with earth due to its association with death, scavenging/cleanup, and darkness.  Even though all birds correspond to the element of air, I enjoy looking at the elemental differences and subtleties in these amazing guides and seeing how they help us to form a complete circle.  Here is an example of some simple quarter calls that could be oriented to these lovely guides:

“I call upon Hawk and the powers of the East and of Air to bring clarity, fresh thought, new beginnings and intellectual stimulation to my circle.”

“I call upon Eagle and the powers of the South and of Fire to bring courage, ambition, victory and passion to my circle.”

“I call upon Owl and the powers of the West and of Water to bring love, intuition, mystery and magick to my circle.”

“I call upon Raven and the powers of the North and of Earth to bring groundedness, loyalty, abundance, and life after death to my circle.”

I am aware that these birds stand for various energies that differ from these, in other traditions.  But in our tradition, these are perfect, well-balanced correlations that make sense, and that help me understand why they have shown up to us as they have.  SWOM witches will know they can be called upon to invoke the quarters, to bring balance, to be watchers and guardians, and I have no doubt that this will happen routinely somehow as this order’s tradition continues to evolve and to be passed from Priestess to student witch to student witch for many years (or lifetimes) to come.  Blessed Be.


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