Personal Affiliation/Totem: Eagle
Dr. Nikki considers herself most closely linked with the Totem of Eagle. It has been her primary Totem for most of her life and it is with Eagle that she feels her strongest Totem connection – that of the spiritual soul – the soul-self that belongs entirely and completely to the individual because it is the essence of that individual – is for her with Eagle.
From the great Sea Eagles of Africa to the awe-inspiring Bald Eagle of the Americas, the Golden Eagle and many other great birds of majesty, the eagle has been associated with the sky gods, higher thinking, and strength.
In some cultures only members of the ruling family, if talented enough to do so, could have an Eagle as its bird to hunt with. Throughout just about every culture there are associations between the Eagle and God or a higher power. The Greeks associated Eagle with Zeus, the Roman’s released an eagle from the pyre of emperors to speed their soul to the Gods. Hebrews believed the eagle could fly high enough to burn its wings in the heat of the sun and fall to land in the oceans. From the ocean Eagle arises from the waters with new wings. In Christian theology St. John the Evangelist is associated with the Eagle. By the time that medieval art was being created the analogy for Eagle had expanded to include the ascension, prayer having “wings of eagles.” The Eagle with a snake in its mouth in Christian iconography symbolizes the descent of grace and the conquest of evil. As an artistic allegory, the eagle is emblematic of pride.The ancient Syrians venerated the eagle as their God, given the image of an eagle with the arms of a man. On the ancient steppes of Northern Asia the feathers of Eagle were used in initiation and ascension rites. Vishnu, the Vedic god who battles the serpents of evil rides a hybrid steed of human and eagle named Garuda. As elemental symbols the snake is the representative of the earth, while it is Eagle who soars in the high places and takes wing that is representative of Air. On both sides of the Atlantic Eagle enjoyed a direct connection with the sun.
From Eagle Feathers in War Chief bonnets of the American West, to the three-feathered crests of the ancient Kings of Ireland and Scotland, the wearing of Eagle feathers were reserved for the ruling class. Eagle is directly related to reaching the higher realms of spirituality as evidenced by the Pueblo Indian tradition that Eagle flies in an upward spiral to pass through a hole in the sky to the land of the Sun.
In one form or another most religious traditions honor the Eagle with a direct connection with the divine. The Eagle flies high above, the Eagle call with its piercing shriek to see the higher self. Eagle calls to those with its Totem to seek the higher self, to solidify the connection with the divine and all that is. Eagle calls those who carry its Totem to use the wisdom not only of the immediate time, but to tap into the wisdom of the ages carried within.Eagle’s call to the higher self can demand sacrifice and challenge for in all things there is an exchange. Eagle calls across the boundaries of belief systems and traditions, folk tales and history to demand nothing less than the absolute best of those who carry Eagle totem. Eagle is master of the skies. In the high places Eagle’s cry echoes across the mountains. Eagle’s nest is strong to hold her chicks as they grow. Eagle hunts the animals of the forest, the fish of the rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. Eagle will also go “dumpster diving” for food if a meal of trash is easily available and handy. They will congregate in groups for hunting and feeding time. It is a testament to the recovery of the Bald Eagle that the Chilkat River in Alaska plays host to sometimes hundreds of the majestic birds at the same time.
The eagle’s vision is legendary. One who could see a long distance was referred to as being “eagle-eyed.” Eagle’s vision is not only that of the plane of man, Eagle can see beyond the veil. By flying in a spiral Eagle honors the Great Spirit. The spiral carries the prayers of those who have prayed with Eagle energy to the higher realms.
Those who carry Eagle Totem are challenged to use their connection with the Divine for the greater good. Eagle demands much from those she graces. To carry her Totem you must continually prove yourself and challenge yourself. Eagle shows us that through challenge the greatest achievements are attained. In order to survive in the high places and the great northern climes, Eagle is constantly challenged physically and mentally although considered ruler of the skies. Eagle expects those who carry her totem to do the same.