Sunday, March 6, 2011

Feathers in Ritual

I've been on a quest to find a perfect crow feather for both my medicine bag, as well as to use in ritual, and anyone in my life with ears (regardless of whether they even give a damn or not) has heard my endless kvetching over how lacking my magickal life is without this feather. I have all sorts of found feathers from all variety of birds: gull, jay, starling, robin, duck, chicken, male cardinal, and even an enormous and lovely wild turkey feather. But not a single crow, despite the woods behind my house being full of crows. It was suggested I gently ask the birds for a feather and perhaps leave an offering for them in return, but alas, still no feather has appeared. Now, the turkey feather is beautiful, and I know Ben Franklin was madly in love with the wild turkey (even going so far as to try to talk all his cronies into making it our national bird instead of the eagle), but to be honest, turkeys just don't for it for me. Not in any way, magickal or not. I want a crow feather and for me nothing else will do for the crow speaks deeply to me on so many levels.

Used in magickal ritual, feathers can channel energy and as they are ruled by the element of air, bring more open communication to your ritual, thus making your incantations more successfully heard. Calmer species of birds bring a sense of peace to a ritual, while those from more aggressive birds or hunters are ideal for defensive magick and spells that require more oomph. Likewise, the color of the bird's feather is equally as important as the species. Some of the more common bird feathers to be found and used are:

blackbird: ancient wisdom, inner knowledge and hidden insights
blue jay: courage to speak one's personal truth
cardinal: confidence
chickadee: joy and cheer
chicken: sacrifice, fertility
crow: magick, mystery, messenger from the realm of Spirit
dove (this includes pigeons): peace, gentleness and feminine energy
duck: emotional balance
eagle: spirit and power
hawk: strength, a messenger from Spirit
hummingbird: joy, boundless energy, hope
owl: wisdom, magickal visionary energy, feminine energy, secrets
robin: new beginnings, creative energy
sparrow: fertility, home
turkey: blessings and generosity
woodpecker: sacred rhthyms, hard work

With spring just around the corner, now is the time to keep your eyes open for freshly dropped feathers to use in your rituals. And to give thanks, be sure to leave a small offering that busy nest-building birds will appreciate.

Photo courtesy of hedgewytchhaven.com.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Hi Victoria...enjoyed the post. Ya know, I've noticed that we have quite a number of things in common. I too am an avid bird feather collector, and have jars full of various feathers...all found. For me, they MUST be found in nature, not bought.

I know how feel, longing for that one special feather! I have been looking for a cardinal feather forever. Like your crow feather, it seems to be so elusive!

I hope that the Universe blesses you seen with your feather...soon!