When the Owls Call…

by Jennifer on April 13, 2013

cowper12Friday, April 12th, 2013

It was late.  I had just gone upstairs to my special room and let my body down onto my yoga mat.  It always takes courage to meet the floor that way…to meet with everything you are feeling so fully.  Everything throbbing in your heart, hiding behind the corners in your body.  It all comes out, and you meet with it.  And on days when you are sore, when either your body or your heart aches, and sometimes both, it is especially courageous.  It was once of those days for me.

The soft pink lights along the wall in my room took the edges off of everything, and I met with the raw feelings that waited for me, knowing that if I let them in they would soften too, and reveal their secret and wild beauty.  That’s why I go.  That’s why I’m willing to meet with my pain.  I know it has gifts, even if it takes a sweet and terrible wait, a torturous eternity, to unfurl and finally drop them in my trembling hands.  But aside from that knowing which helps me rub up against the burning ache inside again and again when it comes, there are other things that speak to me…that have always been the whispers in the Oracle’s ear.  Those voices can lead us back to the one that pulses, ever true, from our hearts, and guides us always to come from that place of home inside.

That night, giving up on my yoga mat, I had just sat down when I heard it, right away…an owl calling out to me.  It must have been in the trees nearby because it sounded as if it were right outside my window looking in at me…looking right into my heart.  I didn’t move.  I didn’t even breathe.  And then it came…another owl replying.  Breathlessly I listened, and there it was…a third owl, far in the distance, almost inaudible, joining in.  This is why I put tissues in my ears at really loud dance parties, I said to myself.  So I can hear the third owl…

And that’s one of my great secrets.  It’s one of the ways I remember and always have.  But it isn’t just my way, it’s the way we all remembered.  It’s a lost art I want to remind you of.  I want you to hear the third owl too.

Luckily I am not talking about your actual sense of hearing, so if you are worried because your hearing is not what it once was, or was never that sharp to begin with, don’t worry.  I am talking about something much deeper that can always be reaccessed, renewed and relearned.  Because it isn’t just the owls that restored my soul that night that beats strongly in my heart as I write you these words.  It was seeing the brand-new eyelash moon last night before it set, suddenly as if the magical realms I have known were suddenly made manifest outside the car window on my way home from the gym.  It was pure power, pure truth, pure memory that new beginnings are forever…are now.  It was the first time, leaning in to close my bathroom window in the darkness, that I heard the frogs this spring, and in a single moment my soul was revived…a deep underground water was brought to life and flowed in me where I hadn’t known I needed to be quenched, and I felt, beyond what any description could offer, the absolute essence of hope.  The promise that we are never alone, even though I hadn’t felt alone before.  That’s what the frogs were singing about.  It’s what they’ve been singing to me about every night since.

And it was, without any doubt, in the moment my heart skipped a beat because I heard the first buzzing behind me, sitting in the sun yesterday, and turned to find the first honey bee resting on the rosemary blossoms.  I felt its bliss, finding nectar, leaving pollen, such perfection in its quest.  Such redemption, such fulfillment, such ancient joy.  The same quest we have.  And I was transported, before I even turned to see it, to that cave on the side of Mt. Parnassus in Greece where I first remember living as a Bee Nymph, and the sweet-honey bliss of every moment.  The same sun shone on me and I was not separate from any of it.

What I want to know is, can you feel it?  When the moon starts to wax?  When she lets go?  When the tide is coming in?  Perhaps the tide of an ocean nearby, or another kind of tide somewhere in your heart?  Do you know when something lights a spark in you and do you let it start a fire?  Is it okay for you to burn?  Do you hear the owls because you have made a special space and been willing to meet yourself where silence and your real feelings meet?   And when you do, can you hear what the owls are telling you?  That everything is perfect and you are just exactly where you need to be on your path?  That you haven’t missed anything, or mistaken anything, or taken the wrong turn?  That spring will come for every winter that freezes your heart and numbs your body?  And do you know, when you hear the owls speak, that you will not be alone?  That others like you are waiting to step into your path just as soon as the moment is right?  And do you know that, as the owls speak to each other across the distance, you are the fourth owl?  You are not separate from them, but one of them answering too from your own ancient depths…

We were trained long ago to look away from the skies, from the earth and the trees, to look away from the truth resounding from inside, pulsing through our perfect bodies and calling from our timeless hearts.  We were trained by powerful means to look down, not at the earth, but at some book of someone else’s truths.  We were told not to trust ourselves, our all-knowing bodies…to look out, away.  I know when we look back there we may find pain, we may find a mess of crossed wires and neglected gardens.  But I promise that beneath that first layer, if we can stay with it, a wild forest of perfect beauty and true understanding still waits…has grown even more powerful and true.  And the owls know this, and the frogs and the honey bees…this is why we communed with them once…why the goddess rode with the owl on her shoulder, why the bee priestesses buzzed and rolled slick honeyed fingers across their bodies.  This is why the Oracles listened the the wind, and the babbling spring, and why the Sibyls listened to the sounds of their own voices coming back to them deep in the caves.  This is why the Priestesses of Dodona listened to the breezes through the leaves and stayed barefoot year-round.  Because if you keep feeling, keep noticing, keep listening, you can hear exactly what the universe is saying all the time.  Your heart is not a mysterious code you have to break.  It sings and you know the song.  You sing too.

Oh yes, sometimes you have to wait.  Sometimes you haven’t heard and owl, or a frog, or a wild storm…you haven’t felt a downpour or a windy sunlit day, or sat beneath falling leaves or a swelling moon in a long time.  But keep going anyway.  Keep going to the place where you meet what you feel.  Keep going to the place where you listen to what is said inside of you when there is no censor, no promise and no price.  Where there is only what is real for you in that moment.  Where there is only the ecstatic throb or the cracking glass of broken things, and whenever you can, go to the body, go to the ocean, go to the sky.  Go to the places you have been told not to.  Don’t try to be good, or spiritual, or somehow right inside…you already are those things.  You can’t help it.  Try to look in the places you think are forbidden, are wrong, and give them a warm place by the fire that never dies.  Try the path that looks unacceptable.  That seems like it might upset someone but set you free.  And move your body from that place.  Write from that place.  Be alone with the trees from that place.  Tempt the ocean from that place.  You have secret fire, secret diamonds that sparkle in a way you are afraid would burn the eyes of others, burn the world down.  But the fire we have been told to hide, deep beneath covers and snuffed out by blankets of shame and complicity and compromise…the world needs that fire.  We need that fire.

So feed it.  Give it the oxygen and fuel of your awareness.  Meet your naked body in the place where the owls cry.  In the place where the new moon is born.  Show up in the places where you hurt, and forgive yourself everything you could ever imagine needing to, and forget you ever thought you needed forgiveness.  Drop all your signs and all your promises to be small, drop all the postures you try to hold without breathing and step into the clear pool of nothing where everything begins when you don’t have to be something you didn’t create.  Oh yes, the place you end up in is the meeting point between heaven and hell.  The place everyone is so afraid of that they’d rather live in shades of grey than visit.  But it is the place of all possibility, of all creation, of all power, and I promise you that if you can get there, you will remember just what to do there.  It’s like riding a bike.  Once you get on it, once you get there, it all comes back to you.

Only you know what it means to meet your feelings right now.  Only you know what you have to walk away from, whether it is just an afternoon appointment you need to cancel so you can walk out in the sun and hear what your heart has been trying to say, or something much larger.  Make the space…whether it’s to sit alone in your special spot or just to lean in when you close the window, look out at the night sky on your drive home, or sit on that bench for a moment before you go inside.  Listen carefully.  Touch the fire and find out what places it burns and what you really, really want.  Not what you’d settle for.  Listen for the third owl…the one that you can only hear if you are so very open, so very still.  And be the fourth owl.  Respond in your heart and let it settle all the way down in, let it quench the place you didn’t know was thirsty.  And wait, soulfully, when you haven’t heard the call in a while.  One quiet night, a dark one, perhaps even when you are hurting the most, it will come again…

Love, Jennifer

Join Jennifer in her upcoming course, available around the world, The Thriai Nymphs: Lessons from the Bee Priestesses

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Heike Lorenz April 14, 2013 at 12:03 am

This is such a beautiful post Jennifer, I’m deeply touched and inspired and so very grateful I read it on this wonderful Sunday morning. I will read it again, many times, with my heart, following your invitation to listen, deeper, longer, and to answer. With infinite gratitude! Heike


Donna Swindells April 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

Greetings Jennifer,
This post fuels my need to reconnect with Nature. As spring ushers in warmth & light, I will
make time to spend in my local park & gardens. Thank you for reminding me of listening for the call of the Owl.
The Owl is one of my animal spirit guides. I needed to be reminded of this.


Victoria April 15, 2013 at 11:51 am

Mmmmmmmmmm! Aaaaaaaah! So yes!


Abi April 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm

How cool.
Saturday I saw a leaf outside my window that made me laugh because it alternately looks like a frog or a chameleon, depending on the angle.
Satuday I saw my first spring wasp.
Yesterday I saw my first spring be
And today I saw a bloke wearing a yellow on black t-shirt that had “started from the bottom” written on the front, and on the back a big owl outline. And then I came home to your email.
Synchronicity 🙂




Jessica Sue Burstein April 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

This is so beautiful bone aching true. Thank you for all that you inspire in my deepest place.


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