View Full Version : Hawk totem (synchronicity story)

12-07-2002, 04:24 PM
Last night I had a vivid dream of a hawk. It woke me in the night, yet I don't remember it well, just that the bird was magnificent. It was in the care of a man who, perhaps, hunted with it. I wish I'd awakened enough to write the dream down, but as so often happens I was back to sleep quickly, and much is forgotten.

Then, this morning I slept in. Around 9:30 I wobbled out of bed, mainly because Sheba needed to go out. If it had been up to me it would have been back to dream land for another half hour or so. I haven't slept well of late, and it was one of those mornings when the sandman stays well past breakfast.

I took Sheba out through the woodshed, opened the door, and there on the snow mottled grass, not twenty yards away, was a hawk. It immediately flew off, directly away from us, so identification was impossible. It was too small for a Redtail, and too large for a Kestral. I'm guessing it was a Sharpshinned or its ilk, but don't know. It was odd to see it on the ground, and I found no blood or trace in the grass.

I know many here will think, "so what?", but for the rest, any thoughts on Hawk totems?


[ 12-07-2002, 06:34 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

12-07-2002, 05:27 PM
I'd say the hawk is leading you away from the dog poop place. The magnificance of the hawk in your dream should give you confidence to follow it. Is the property you were looking at or anything you were hunting for in the direction the hawk flew???

- Margo

Wild Dingo
12-07-2002, 05:32 PM
Jack look at the direction the bird flew to... regarding the bird itself was it or did it give you calm or anxiety?... could have many meanings

I remember the story of the crow here and its similar to a movie I saw years ago about an Alaska tribes belief that the owl called ones name just prior to death which gave the person just enough time to put things in order... a simple matter to put things in order when the trappings of our society are not there so... like the crow in our own dreamtime story its meaning could be to put your house in order...

On the other hand I recall a story of the wedgetail eagle that bought me constant anxiety that actually reflected on some choices I was making at that time once I made the choice the wedgetail left... damned if I know what would have happened if it wasnt the "right" choice!! :eek: But Ive never doubted the rightness of the choice I made so Ive never been bothered about it.

Soooo could be the choice your makin about moving could be seen to be a good one if the bird makes you feel relaxed and content a good omen... on the other hand could be if it makes you stressed or anxious a bad omen regarding the place your in and the bird waiting to see you in the morning and flyin off could be saying its time and this way... so the direction could be important as is the feelings you got from it the dream and the meeting in the morning.

Or it could be the totem of one of your family check with them... or as ET says "phone home!"

Maybe Roger will step in mate as an indiginous person from your neck of the woods maybe he could have a different slant on it.

Take it easy

ken mcclure
12-07-2002, 06:33 PM
Birds in dreams are generally symbols of freedom, and sometimes prosperity. Picture yourself "flying away" to a better place, and all that.

Also note that hawks are hunting birds, and are fiercely independent.

Ask yourself what a hawk means to you.

John Bell
12-07-2002, 07:20 PM
Maybe it means you want a mouse for breakfast?

gunnar I am
12-07-2002, 08:52 PM
Jack, I don't pay much attention to dreams unless they repeat,because you can simply read them wrong. Rather I take signals during the waking hours.A couple weeks ago I asked about ice in the Adirondacks on a post. I was going to take my boat up and go camping. The morning I goin to leave ,there's no heat. So I blow the air comprresor through where the noszzle is and hit re-set and were on our way right? I'm upstairs and my son calls," Pop? There's water sraying everywhere!" The pressure regulator went on the expansion tank. So most of the day I did a good cleaning and repair, but decided it was an indication I should stay home, maybe step in some of Basil's doo. :D You think too much. Ignorance is bliss.

Roger Stouff
12-08-2002, 12:07 AM
Check your email, please.

Mike Field
12-08-2002, 04:50 AM
Well Jack, I'm going to be really bold here and mention the dreaded word Jung. As we both know, Jung (who coined the term synchronicity after all,) would say that that hawk means whatever you think it means.

Apart from saying something loosely as Ken has, like "birds in dreams are generally symbols of freedom," no-one can rightly say that "seeing a hawk in a dream means such-and-such and so-and-so."

As Ken also said, ask yourself what a hawk means to you. Then that's what that hawk means. To you.

ken mcclure
12-08-2002, 08:06 AM
C'mon, Roger - don't keep it a secret. A bunch of us (I'd bet) are interested in this. tongue.gif

ken mcclure
12-08-2002, 08:12 AM
Oh. I forgot to say also that you shouldn't necessarily confuse a dream with a prophecy. Dreams are many times just subconscious "wishful thinking." I daydream about escape - and I nightdream about escape.

Dreams can also be simple pressure valves - allowing the subconscious to work out conflicts. Your subconscious makes up little stories to make itself "feel better." Sometimes you can use dreams to figure out what to do in waking life to relieve some mental discomfort.

Roger Stouff
12-08-2002, 08:16 AM
After I hear back from Jack, I will. I am NOT an expert on these things. All I know is some of what my people taught, and some experiences of my own that taught me some more things. There are few universal truths, most truths are personal. That's all.

More later.

Roger Stouff
12-08-2002, 06:20 PM
What I said to Jack, with his permission:

In all North American indigenous culture, the hawk is at worst an abiguous omen, usually a good one. You cannot underestimate the power of such signs. Here is but one example:
An icy wind was blowing,in the middle of this wasteland was a single tree, sleeping its winter sleep; suddenly a bright flash of pure white light which lasted for a second and no longer occurred, when the light faded all was as it was except that perched on one of the branches of the tree was a large brown hawk. The hawk looked around, as if to get its bearings, let out a screech, then it proceeded to preen its feathers. When it finished with this, it leapt into the air and with powerful wing beats it left to find 'The One' it was meant to search out.

As it flew it took one last look at the tree, its place of birth, knowing it would never see it again. It passed over a village of eskimos, and circled once, as it did so the people looked up and their hearts filled with awe and wonder at the sight of the magnificant creature.

The hawk, upon seeing that 'The One' was not in this village, let out a screech and continued its journey. The people, while sad to see it go, wished it safety and speed. They knew it had a mission and it was not meant for them.

The hawk continued south, circling each village letting out a screech each time it saw that 'The One' it was meant for was not there. Its animal brothers the deer, elk, wolves, and so forth would each give their own cry to their brother as a symbol of luck to him in fulfilling his destiny.

The Hawk travelled for many weeks never resting, always searching..never finding, when it reached the center of what is now California it felt within its heart that it must turn east, that it would find what it was meant for in the grasslands, so it turned and made its way over the mountains, and across deserts, each time circling any village it came upon, each time screeching when it didn't find 'The One.'

During a warm summer day it happened upon a tribe in the grasslands, it circled once, and this time it did not screech. 'The One' was here, it felt it was, so the hawk gradually decended and landed upon a large wooden frame holding tapestry painting made from buffalo hide, and waited.

The people of this village were in wonder of this creature and felt blessed to have such a magnificant animal visit them. They all stopped to admire the bird but none dared to approach, except for one indian boy whose name meant Empty One.

Many of the tribe members speculated he had no spirit, that he was no more than an empty shell. They cared for him since his mother died while birthing him, even though he did not talk or smile or show emotion he was a member of the tribe, and they would not shun one of their own.

The boy made his way to stand before the frame upon which the hawk was perched. He looked at the bird and the bird at him, each measuring the other, their eyes met, and they searched each other's souls, for the first time in his life the corner of the boy's mouth started to lift in a slight smile, and a single tear rolled down his cheek. The hawk spread its wings and the boy mimicked the actions by spreading his arms, the boy then turned to face the people and took a few steps toward them with his arms still outstretched. Then he stopped, the hawk beat its wings and flew straight at the boy. Just when the bird was about to collide with the boy there was a brilliant flash of light and the hawk screeched for the final time knowing it would be truly home.

When the light faded the hawk was no more, but the boy remained, his face turned toward the bright sunlight, tears streaming down his cheeks, a smile full upon his face, and a light within his eyes; a light that was missing before, the light of his spirit, the tribe then renamed the boy "Spirit Hawk."

There is a spirit hawk meant for all of us; some of us have it and let it fly, some have it within but refuse to let it free, for fear of where it may take them. Others await the hawk's arrival. For those who fear to let it fly, don't. If you allow your hawk to fly with your spirit you will see heights never before imagined, depths never before realized, and you will see things within yourself and others you never knew existed.
It will allow you to see the wonder and magic that still exists in the world around us. For those who await the arrival of your spirit hawk, it will find you, and when it does embrace it, and what it stands for. It may come in the form of another person, or it may come from insight within yourself, but it shall find you eventually. To let your spirit soar beyond the flesh and blood, and believe in things you otherwise might not is to truly live and be free.

The hawk means many things to many people. You have to find in yourself what it is telling you, particularly if it returns again. The power of dream and the appearance of the animal is NOT coincidental! I promise you that. You may not see it again, but you may. The task at hand is to determine what it is you must learn. No one, no shaman, no wise old Indian can tell you. It's all in you, my friend, and only you can find the answer.

The danger in Native American belief systems is that while they agree largely on many points, there are slight variations in all, major variations sometimes. It is a failing of much of non-Indian culture to assume "the Indians believe that..." when, in fact, "Indians" are 500 distinct nations, several language families with hundreds of languages represented, different cultural, social and kinship systems, as well as radically different viewpoints on life due to the geography of their homes. For instance, the Chitimacha, my people, believe the crawfish was commanded by the Creator to go down into the oceans in the beginning of time and bring up mud to build the land. You would not, of course, find the crawfish in a creation story among the Apache. You would not find a coyote story among the Chitimacha. What you will find, however, are some basic truths represented by different stories to illustrate the same important lesson.

Many people make the mistake of asking, say, a Pueblo what something means or what the Indians believed about this or that, and come away thinking they have learned some universal indigenous truth. If they had asked a Seminole, they might have gotten a different answer. But the key is this: a certain moral lesson or spiritual concept may be represented by one thing for the Pueblo, something else by the Seminole, yet the lesson exists in both cultures. It only differs in the telling, in the presentation.

Hawks, for example, are an exception. Hawks are indigenous everywhere across the continent. I know of no "bad" stories or omens about hawks. A small universal truth among the differences in interpretation.

When I came to grips with myself as a Native American, after nearly 30 years of rebelling against it, I remembered that as a youth I had been fishing on the lake and seen a panther on the shore. It was only 20 years later that I Iearned my family was panther clan historically. No one else I know has ever seen a panther on the lake, or anywhere around here, though we know they exist out there. I know now I saw the panther because I was being summoned back into the circle, the circle I was trying to break out of, in vain.

I have a lot to learn about my own heritage, but what I've described above is perhaps the most important. An example of how I practice this in my own life is that I won't sweat in a lodge. I am not sure, and cannot verify, that the Chitimacha used sweat lodges. I also do not know if we practiced other traditions found in other areas of the country, so I do not involve myself in them until I know. Southeastern culture was markedly different than other regions, just as southwestern was markedly different than northeastern, etc.

Wasn't it Jung who theorized that the 90 percent of our brains we allegedly don't use may in fact be the collective memories of every individual who ever lived back to the beginning of human awakening? I think, if that's true, then that's where such universal truths arise, obscured only by the expression of them.

ken mcclure
12-08-2002, 07:50 PM
Thank you, Roger. smile.gif

12-08-2002, 09:13 PM
I also thank you Roger - and thank you Jack for letting him share this with us.

- Margo

12-08-2002, 09:54 PM
Yes, thanks to all for the input, especially Roger.

I offered my small tale, in part, because I feel it speaks to a lack of attention most of us pay: to our dreams, to their and our interactions with the world, to the high strangeness of this world. What do you really know about your existence?

Most of the time even those open to it just haven't the time or inclination to follow the oddities. They are shut away, and our lives are poorer for it. Until they hits us on the head or kicks us in the ass, as often happens also.

In truth, I think the meeting I describe here is happening all the time, to all of us...though perhaps not so startlingly as my hawk encounter. We just have been trained to ignore it.

So learn to watch and listen!

Best to all of you,


John B
12-08-2002, 10:13 PM
You know what a man said to me this morning? He said " and if you demount it all on saturday night, we'll pick it up at sparrows fart on Monday ".Not exactly common usage lingo!

Why do I intrude this upon you?

I don't know. I've just been expecting the subject to be brought up through the whole thread. smile.gif Somehow, Ken has managed not to.

I think the hawk would still have been there no matter what time you got up.

Take off ,Ish.

Mike Field
12-08-2002, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by Roger Stouff:
Wasn't it Jung who theorized that the 90 percent of our brains we allegedly don't use may in fact be the collective memories of every individual who ever lived back to the beginning of human awakening?Indeed it was. Jung's Collective Unconscious is a most powerful concept. It adds an enormously large extra dimension to Freud's postulate of the personal unconscious we all carry with us. Without doubt it's the nearest thing to a Universal Being that I've ever heard of -- a far more powerful (and to me believable) concept than the "all-powerful but all-loving Big Daddy God in the sky who will reward you if you're good" that I was brought up on.

I think also that the Collective Unconscious is indeed the source of the universal truths that Roger mentions.

As far as Jack's experience with the hawk goes, there is apparently something archetypal in the hawk itself. (Here I am referring to Jack's particular hawk. The archetypal behaviour of hawks in general is of course borne out by Roger's story.) Your use of the word "synchronicity" Jack, I take as evidence that this is what you yourself think, either consciously or unconsciously.

Thanks for sharing that story, Roger. I've transcribed it for future reference.

12-08-2002, 11:11 PM
Hi Mike,

I'm not sure what you are asking. Jung's term, synchronicity means, simply, the psychologically meaningful meeting of two causally unrelated events. So my dream of the hawk, and the appearance of the hawk, while not linked by any apparent cause, nonetheless had signifigance to me, the observer.

And Jung's collective unconscious is a phantasm onto which all manner of things have been projected. It's bases are his well documented observations that some of his patients brought forth, in dream, art etc., themes common in the world's mythologies.

No one still -- though I'm not up on psychology these days -- has been able to pin it to a particular part of the brain.

[ 12-09-2002, 12:12 AM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

Mike Field
12-08-2002, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by ishmael:
Jung's term, synchronicity means, simply, the psychologically meaningful meeting of two causally unrelated events.Yes, that's right Jack. But that definition's a little too broad. It needs to exclude mere coincidence. (Or is that what you meant by "psychologically meaningful"?)

What I was trying to say was that the appearance of the hawk in your dream and on your lawn could have been mere coincidence. But you didn't describe it as a coincidence, you called it synchronicity. So for you it was clearly something more than just coincidence, and therefore (by extrapolation) archetypal.

Has that filtered out some of the mud, or just stirred it up? :rolleyes:

12-08-2002, 11:41 PM

Same page. What made the hawk a synchronicity, and not mere coincidence, was my mind.

What is missing from most folk's playbooks is the primacy of mind, of psyche, of soul to go back to original Greek meaning. We think in material terms, when in fact it is mindstuff, consciousness, that underlies everything.

It's a tough one. I still don't believe it more than half the time.

We imagine ourselves in various ways, but even those who know they have a soul discard it out of hand, most days and hours. They worry reality to a frazzle, with their plans and hopes and fears.

Rather, we must turn to the images contained, the impulses and "frequencies" of our essence, to truly understand.

It is a fascinating, lifelong pursuit.

I remember reading a book, which name escapes, by a man who was friends with both Jung and Hesse in their later years.

Hesse had suffered much his conduit of spirit, and after long struggle (including an analysis with Jung and a stay in a sanitorium) followed the path he laid down in "Siddhartha", that of release. Jung, however, stayed in the arena of Western mythology, to duke it out as it were, to the bitter end. The writer knew Jung as an old man, still worried, still wresting, and Hesse, an old man, a blithe spirit.

Both lived their destinies very well, don't you think? Off hand I can't think of two souls more influential.


[ 12-09-2002, 01:55 AM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

Mike Field
12-09-2002, 12:26 AM
Originally posted by ishmael:
We imagine ourselves in various ways, but even those who know they have a soul discard it out of hand, most days and hours. They worry reality to a frazzle, with their plans and hopes and fears. Jack, I think most people live either in the past or in the future most of the time. Seldom do you find a person who regularly lives in the present. (This is an area where I'm just starting to do a bit of work, way behind time. smile.gif )

Would that perhaps describe the differences you've reported between Jung and Hesse in their latter years -- Jung still alternating between past and future and Hesse having learnt to live in the present?


12-09-2002, 12:40 AM

I see them as polarities contained in a whole. Jung felt, until the end, that he must wrestle with the opposites (a very present reality), and try to record what he saw. Hesse, being an artist, was free to seek release.

We musn't adore one or the other way. They both showed greatness of spirit, and that's what must be emulated. No one can answer for another, the path of struggle or release.

If Jung had not continued his struggle, his magnum opus "Mysterium Conunctionus" would never have been written. If Hesse had not sought release, his deceptively profound novel, "Siddhartha" would have died abed.

The point is that each man, by whatever means, tapped his own destiny.

[ 12-09-2002, 01:56 AM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

Mike Field
12-09-2002, 01:27 AM
Jack, I'm not as familiar with Hesse's work as I am with Jung's. But I see one of Jung's strengths as being able to delve into the arcane past and use what he found there to extrapolate into the present and future. In this sense, I think he moved more between past and future than in the present.

My impression is that Hesse was (or became) more comfortable in living with the questions. It wasn't as important to him to find the answers to those questions. He was more accepting of the "what is," and to that extent spent more time in the present than did Jung.

Please feel free to disagree.

You'll get no argument from me about your last sentence, though. Both men found their Spirit Hawks, didn't they?

On Vacation
12-09-2002, 07:38 AM
Jack, you and Memphis Mike should move to the Key of Florida this winter and look up Jimmy Buffet. You guys need a change of scenery. This is a sincere post. Keep posting but from a different surrounding. The world is not bleak and if it is coming to an end, you will not be able to stop it, either. Sometimes many need a break from sour coffee and grey shirts.

12-09-2002, 08:00 AM
Hmm, now that ya mention it Oyster, that hawk was flying south. ;)

Mike Field
12-09-2002, 08:29 AM
I'd like to chip in again, but I'm afraid I'm in bed asleep at the moment. You know what it's like with us antipodeans.

12-09-2002, 10:27 AM
Sleep Deprivation, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and Bad Pizza.

……and, it's hawk migration season.

Listen to R'ster. Avoid pizza.


Tom Dugan
12-09-2002, 03:16 PM
By a coincidence (?), on Friday evening I picked a book off the shelf in the family room that I'd never seen before, let alone read. It was Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist". It's subtitle is "A Fable About Following Your Dream". 'Nuff said about that, except to say that it's an interesting little story, easy enough to read in one sitting. You might want to look it up.

And if it's caused by bad pizza, you could do worse than to frequent that pizza parlor.


On Vacation
12-09-2002, 05:12 PM
Mama Linda's Pizzaria
The best natural sleeping pill avaliable. But if cookies and this pizza doesn't do the trick, I think this case is terminal. :(


Roger Stouff
12-09-2002, 06:32 PM
Having difficulty if you guys are being serious or ridiculing...???

12-09-2002, 06:39 PM
Just think of the trickster Roger.

On Vacation
12-09-2002, 06:46 PM
Roger, I was attempting to nudge Jack out of his somewhat down in the dumps attitude towards life. In the past few weeks, he writes doom and gloom. Would you feel better if I withdraw my posts? Gee this board gets stranger by the day.


Roger Stouff
12-09-2002, 07:00 PM
Not at all. Just requesting clarification. I like to ask before I go on the warpath, to avoid any embarassing misunderstandings.

Sorry. Guess I woke upon the wrong side of the nap sofa this evening after work. :( I'm tired and cranky, and like Jack, pretty gloomy these days over this and that.


[ 12-09-2002, 08:05 PM: Message edited by: Roger Stouff ]

12-09-2002, 07:04 PM
I'm not as familiar with Hesse's work as I am with Jung's. But I see one of Jung's strengths as being able to delve into the arcane past and use what he found there to extrapolate into the present and future. Mike,

Your statement is kinda true. Jung delved into the past in order to describe a perennial psychology. He wrote voluminously of medieval alchemy, teasing out meaning, not as a history lesson but to demonstrate how the underlying structure of the psyche, illuminated by the alchemist, is still the structure of ours.

The idea of meditating these structures away, as Hesse, I believe, did, was anathema to him. For Jung it would be like cutting off a hand or a foot. Where I think Jung was probably wrong was in his belief that such divorce was not possible.


On Vacation
12-09-2002, 07:06 PM
Loon, its worse than Bertha and Fran combined. In our little bitty area, we haven't had but one 20 degrees night this month. But boy is it horrible about three hours from here. The landscape has been redesigned. I have a previous client in the Piedmont area that lost 25 trees in his year. He lives on three acres with a pond. He still doesn't have any power. The light poles fall and has pulled the wiring out of the house also. I am sitting here in my short sleeve shirt with the window cracked open.

Mike Field
12-09-2002, 10:22 PM
The idea of meditating these structures away,,,,, was anathema to him. More than anathema I think, Jack -- rather, impossible.

Where I think Jung was probably wrong was in his belief that such divorce was not possible.
What divorce is this, Jack? Between the mediaevalists' structure and our modern one? The connection can't really be meditated away, I don't think. If it exists it exists. Certainly it can be ignored, but that's not the same thing. What Jung did, I think, was to make it clear that there was indeed such a connection, and because it existed, that lessons from the past could be used as lessons for the future.

Do you get the feeling that some of our colleagues are trying to subvert this thread?

12-10-2002, 03:08 AM
Sometimes a hawk is just a hawk ;)

12-10-2002, 10:02 AM
I've been keeping my oar out of the water, 'cause I vowed that I'd not get involved in further Jungian conversations (remember The Whale!), but sort of apropos I've been reading E.M. Thornton's Freud and cocaine : the Freudian fallacy.
It's a bit sensational, but interesting, and contains a wealth of turn of the century psycho/medical lore.