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This post is being made in honor of Pat who is seeking information on Lizard and Hawk.

Here’s from Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals by Jamie Sams & David Carson:

H A W K
-Messenger-

Hawk…
Messenger of the sky,
Circle my dreams and teach me
The message as we fly.

Hawk is akin to Mercury, the messenger of the gods. Hawk medicine teaches you to be observant, to look at your surroundings. Observe the obvious in everything that you do. Life is sending you signals.

Life is the initiation. If you have pulled the Hawk card, then right now a clue about the magic of life is being brought to you. This magic can imbue you with the power to overcome a currently stressful or difficult situation. The test is your ability to observe the nuances of power lurking nearby. Is power the talent you have and are not using? Are solutions always hard to find because you have lost the broader vision of Hawk? Or is the Great Spirit displaying a gift that you need only to receive? Have the colors of the morning inspired you to create? Or has the gloominess of a present situation left you earthbound, unable to hear the voice within the raindrops splashing on your window? Pay attention! You are only as powerful as your capacity to perceive, receive, and use your abilities.

What is called for here is an intuitive ability to discern the message carried within the cry of Hawk. The shrillness of Hawk’s call pierces the state of unawareness, and asks you to seek the truth.

The Ancients recognized this magnificent bird of prey as a messenger bringing tidings to their Earth Walk, the Good Red Road, from the world of the grandfathers and grandmothers who lived before them. If Hawk were to magically cry, it was a sign to beware or be aware. This could mark the coming of a waring tribe, the birth of a child, or the celbration of counting coup. Hawk’s cry signalled the need for the beholder to heighten awareness and receive a message.

Hawk medicine is a totem that is filled with responsibility, because Hawk people see the overall view. Hawk is not like Mouse, who sees everything through a magnifying glass. Hawk medicine people are aware of omens, messages from the spirit, and the color of the caling card you gave them three months ago. No detail slips by them unnoticed.

If Hawk has circled and landed in your card spread, you are to be aware of signals in your life – so notice and receive them. Hawk may be teaching you to grab an opportunity which is coming your way. On the other hand, Hawk may be brining you the message that you should circle over your life, and examine it from a higher perspective. From this vantage point you may be able to discern the hazards which bar you from freedom of flight. Remember: Hawk has a keen eye and a bold heart, for Hawk flies close to the light of Grandfather Sun.

Here’s from Animal Magick by D.J. Conway:

The hawk is related to the falcon and combined in the family Accipitridae. They are subdivided into such groups as perns, kites, buzzards, eagles, Old World vultures, and harriers. However, the name hawk usually refers to the sparrow hawks of the Old World, goshawks, sharpshinned American hawks, and Cooper’s hawks. They are found throughout the world except for antarctic regions.

A bird of prey, the hawk has very sharp eyesight, can use air currents to its advantage, and can strike swiftly. This bird has a sharp, hooked bill and strong talons. Many hawks have a variety of plumage colors which change from year to year during their early lives. Some species mate for life.

The symbolism of the hawk is much the same as that of the eagle and the falcon. As a solar bird, in Egypt it was associated with Horus, Ptah, Rehu, and Seker. When in his aspect as conductor of souls, Horus was shown with a hawk’s head on a human body; this askpect was called Heru-merti. However, the hawk was also connected with Amenti in her aspect of Underworld Great Mother.

According to the Greek writer Homer, this bird was one of the messengers of Apollo because of its swiftness. Both the hawk and falcon were also associated with the goddess Circe. Although the hawk was usually associated with the Sun, a very early statue from the temple of the Moon goddess Artemis shows a priestess with a hawk on her head.

In one of the legends of India, the hawk Gayatri brought soma from heaven for the gods. In the Rig Veda, the Sun is often compared to a hawk. Indra sometimes rode on a hawk. In Persian Zoroastrianism, the hawk was connected with Ahura Mazda, god of light, and Mithras, the Sun God.

In Celtic oral tradition, the Hawk of Achill is listed as the oldest creature in the world. The Celts considered the hawk to be a messenger between the otherworlds and this existence. In magick, they said it had greater skill and strength than any of the other birds.

Superstitions: In most of Euprope the hawk is still looked upon as a symbol of good luck.

The hawk throws itsyoung out of the nest and won’t feed them any longer when they can fly.

Magickal Attributes: Clear-sightedness; being observant. Far-memory or recalling past lives. A message from spirit; omens and dreams. Overcoming problems. Taking advantage of an opportunity. The cry of a hawk in a meditation is a warning of upcoming situations that will require boldness and decisiveness. Courage, defense, wisdom, illumination, new life, creativity, truth, experience. Getting a larger over-view so you can make better decisions.

Chant: 

Soaring, gliding, wind current riding,
Hawk of wisdom, creativity.
Seeking, hover, bright Sun-Lover,
Bring inspiration now to me.

And from Animal Speak by Ted Andrews:

Keynote: Visionary Power and Guardianship
Cycle of Power: Spring and Fall Equinoxes — New Moon (incidentally, we just had the fall equinox!)

Hawks are one of the most intriguing and mystical of the birds of prey. They are the messengers, the protectors, and the visionaries of the air. Hawks and owls have the keenest eyes of all raptors.

Hawks vary in size, appearance, and environments. There are so many different species that it is sometimes difficult to tell them apart. There are marsh hawks, forest hawks, sea hawks, and prarie hawks. The environment in which your hawk is found will tell you much about how its energies are likely to manifest within your life.

Even when people cannot tell one hawk from another, they can recognize it is a member of the hawk family. All hawks are impressive and stir the imagination. Their hunting ability, their eyesight, and their powerful flights and other behaviors are dynamic symbols.

In most raptors, the colors of the male and female of the same species are very similar. It’s almost always the female who is larger, though. This has much to do with the fact that the mother guards the next. Many hawks mate for life, the red-tailed hawk being one example. The length of time that mated birds stay together is often determined by the number of seasons they spend rasing the young.

An examination of the specific species of hawk and its behaviors will reveal much. For example, an osprey is sometimes referred to as a “fish hawk,” based upon its primary diet. This magnificent bird is often mistaken for an eagle because of its nearly all white head, but it is the only large hawk that is clear white underneath. It is most numerous in coastal regions, as if its white breast reflects the white foam of the waters in which it hunts. Other examples are the cooper’shawk, the goshawk and the sharp-shinned hawk who feed frequently on other birds. Although they eat rodents and such, most of their food is feathered. This reflects the old idea that what you eat, you become.

We do not have the space to explore all the characteristics of every hawk, but we will examine one species more closely. That species is the most numerous member of the hawk family, the red-tailed. It is named for the distinctive coloring on its tail feathers. Only the mature red-tails have this coloring. The immature also have lighter colored eyes, distinguishing them from their more mature relatives.

The red tail is very symbolic. It has ties to the kundalini, the seat of the primal life force. In the human body, it is associated with the base chakra, located at the base of the spine the coccyx or tail bone. Those who have red-tailed hawk as a totem will be working with the kundalini. It can also reflect that this bird becomes a totem in your life only after the kundalini has been activated. It can also reflect that the childhood visions are becoming empowered and fulfilled. It may pop up as a totem at that point in your life where you begin to move toward your soul purpose more dynamically.

The red-tailed hawk is a member of the buteo family or the group of soaring hawks. The ability to soar and glide upon the currents is part of what hawk can teach. Although it is a part of this species, it is most often seen perched on treetops and utility posts, using its phenomenal eyesight to locate prey. It teaches how to fly to great heights while still keeping your feet on the ground.

Hawks are occasionally harassed and attacked by smaller birds. This is very significant for those of you who have hawk as a totem. It indicates that there are likely to be attacks by people who won’t understand you or the varied and different uses of your creative energy. They may attack your ability to soar.

The red-tailed hawk is usually a permanent resident in an area, although occasionally it may migrate. This permanency reflects that as a totem, this hawk will be with you permanently once it shows up.

Although incorrectly called a “chicken hawk,” the red-tail feeds mostly on rabbits, rodents, and snakes. It has an adaptable diet which has helped it to survive. The red-tail was often accused of and shot for killing chickens when in reality, it was one of the bird hawks, such as a cooper’s hawk.

It is generally accepted that red-tails mate for life. Both the male and female help care for the young. Two to three eggs are laid in the spring. They vigorously defend their nexts against any intruders. They cling to their home territories for years. And they can live up to 14 years in the wild.

This “14” is significant. The 14th card in the tarot deck is the card for Temperance. This is the card that represents the teaching of highre expressions of psychism and vision. It can be used in the development of astral projection – new flights out of the body. It has ties to the activation of your vital energies (kundalini), and the bold expression of it. It is tied to the archetypal forces that teach beauty and harmony in moderation. It holds the keys to higher levels of consciousness.

Rising to a higher level can bring a rapid development of the psychic energies. The red-tailed hawk helps us in balancing and using those senses appropriately. It teaches the balance necessary to discover our true purpose in life. If you have a red-tailed hawk as a totem, meditation on the 14th Tarot card will help you to see how this hawk will lead you to use your creative energy in manifesting your soul purpose.

The red of the red-tail reflects a greater intensity of energy at play within your life. It reflects an intensity of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual forces. This bird is the catalyst, stimulating hope and new ideas. It reflects a need to be open to the new or shows you ways thatyou may help teach others to be open to the new.

To the Pueblo, the red-tailed hawk was known as red eagle. Its feathers and energies were used in healing ceremonies and for bringing the rains and waters necessary for life. To the Ojibwa, the red-tailed hawk represented leadership, deliberation, and foresight. “Hawk is akin to Mercury, the messenger of the gods. Hawk medicine teaches you to be observant… Life is sending you signals.” The red-tail can spread its wings to a great width, and it can teach you to use your creative energies in the same way. It can extend the vision of your life.

The beak and the talons are always commented upon by observers. They are the most striking features of any hawk, especially the red-tail. It is a fearless bird. It will even take on poisonous snakes. It has a scaled leg to help protect it against poisonous bites, and immediately upon graspoing its snake prey, it tears off the head. On one of my trips to Colorado, while traveling through Kansas, I was fortunate enough to see a red-tail swoop down upon a snake. Within seconds it had taken flight again, cutting across my path. I could see the head of the snake dangling by just a few threads of skin. It happened so quickly, that by the time I realized exactly what I had observed, the red-tail had disappeared.

Because of the strong energy (the intensified life-force) activated by this totem, an induvidual with it must be careful in how they express themselves. There will unfold within you the ability to tear off the heads of any snakes in your life, or anyone or anything seen as an enemy. Your comments and actions will be like the hawk’s beak and talons – strong and powerful, but with a capability to tear and/or kill.

The feathering of the red-tail actually has two phases. both of these are significant to anyone with this totem. Its feathering is a little lighter during the summer and darker during the winter. The lighter is often symbolic of more joyful and sociable kinds of energies. The darker phases can reflect a time to be alone or to withdraw a little. The red-tail and its color phases also help us to guard against blazing so brightly and intensely that we get burnt out.

The sky is the realm of the hawk. Through its fight it communicates with humans and with the great creator spirit. It awakens our vision and inspires us to a creative life purpose.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, this information is being presented for Pat, a reader of this blog who has inquired about Hawk. Each source has been cited, as this is obviously a direct copy from the books I have on hand and is not intented to appear as my own unique writing.

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