I never enter November or the Season of Scorpio without thinking of Owl. I remember one Scorpio Season that was simultaneously profound and traumatic and would turn out to be the key to me understanding the necessity of surrendering to this yearly time of deep transformation. It was a rainy evening and I was driving home. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, all I could see were wings and then the sound of something hitting the left front of my car. I was actually at my exit so I took it, but instead of turning toward home, I turned around so I could go back to see what I’d hit. I thought it was a hawk (not thinking that it was dark) and it wasn’t until I got home (yes, I put it in my trunk) that I realized it was an owl. I was devastated.
Over the coming days and weeks, conversations with trusted friends and many hours of silence tuned into this beautiful creature and the why of our meeting, I began to understand more of why Owl had come to me. I had been deep in the Lower World and deep in transformation and the mystery teachings for months. While not really comfortable, this world… the Dark… the place of the Inner Mysteries… was somehow – in a weird sort of way – becoming exactly that… comfortable… and while it was time for me to return to the world of my normal existence, I had no way to get there. Though I’d learned much, I did not yet have the knowing of how to integrate the mystery teachings and bring them to the surface.
For it is Owl that stands as the Guardian to the Doors of our Soul. It is Owl that brings us those challenging experiences that guide us to our deepest wisdom. It is Owl that holds space as we learn to navigate these Inner Mysteries.
After sitting with this magnificent creature for days, I knew I had to make a decision around her body. Yes, it was a she. Again, after more conversations with those more knowledgeable than me and sitting with her and listening, I knew she wanted to be returned to the Mother but not before gifting me with her wings and talons. I was hesitant at first… Ohhhh, so very hesitant… so again I sat for days and listened, feeling into this idea, asking her what she wanted just to be sure.
Finally, I realized to refuse her gifts was to dishonor her. She’d given her life to bring me wisdom and the opportunity to stretch my own wings with regard to how I connected to her. With the help of one trained in sacred ceremony and indigenous ways, I accepted her offering. Saying goodbye was the hardest part, really, but I finally placed her in the arms of the Great Mother to rest in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of NC where she would once again fly.
It took me many months to know her name and the full reason for her coming to me… many months to understand the why of the events of that dark, rainy Scorpio night in November. Finally it hit me! Owl had come to give me the eyes to see in the dark and the wings to fly up to the light. While the Mystery Teachings and this Inner Time were necessary, it was not a place to live. Owl was my way out of the Dark and back into the Light. The name she told me? Her name was Hope and she was a Great Horned Owl.
Then… A few weeks after my encounter with Hope, I was driving through the winding and hilly backroads of the Uwharrie National Forest near my home when I came upon something in the road. It was very early in the morning and there – seemingly unharmed and directly in my path – was an owl. Another owl!!! This was a juvenile Barred Owl with no marks at all on it, though sadly its neck was broken and it’s eyes closed. So I did what any ?sane? person like me would do… I put her in my trunk.
Sitting again with the magnificence of this beautiful creature she eventually told me she too was sent. Her name? Athena.
Four years ago, on November 6, 2014 I first met Hope. A few weeks later, Athena. There has never been a day since that these two have not traveled with me giving me Eyes to see and Wings to fly and Wisdom for the journey. Whenever I am called to the Dark… the Underworld and place of deep Mystery and Transformation… Hope and Athena travel with me.
Hope and Athena.
Potential and Wisdom.
Darkness and the Depths of the most mysterious of the Mystery.
Transformation and Integration.
Ancient Ways and Watery Births.
Guardians and Guides for these teachings of the Inner Mysteries.
This is the Season of Scorpio.
Words by Arlene Bailey, ©2019, Updated from previous versions.
Photograph of Wing by Arlene Bailey
Pathways by Susan Seddon Boulet
Doorway by GaudiBuendia on DeviantArt
Owl with Orb, Artist Unknown