Monday, July 18, 2011

July Totems: Eagle

In our tradition we divide the year not only by eight solar and agricultural holidays, but also by the Kalends. We celebrate twelve months of the year by the common calendar, plus a special thirteenth month for Samhain.  These month cycles are associated with different totemic spirits. Each month is assigned an animal, a bird (or other flying creature), and a tree. July's totems are the Hound, the Eagle, and the Elm.

The totemic associations are as follows:

Hound (Cu) – loyalty, protection, guidance
Elm (Lemh) - elves, light, purification, wisdom
Eagle (Iolair) – light, renewal, loyalty, intelligence, courage


Golden Eagle
In America, the two primary species of eagle are the Golden Eagle and the Bald Eagle. It is a symbol of freedom for Americans, and it was likewise a royal and bird among Romans, Egyptian pharaohs, Greek Thebans and the Celts of Ireland and Scotland.
The eagle has a long association with sky Gods, such as Zeus and Asshur, which strengthens the bird’s connections to the sun, storms, lightning and fire. Eagle is often associated with war and bravery, as well.
Native Americans hold the Eagle in highest esteem among birds, and Eagle medicine was greatly prized. Most tribes have an eagle clan, for instance, and eagle songs, dances, and ceremonies are all well-known.
Druids, as well, valued eagle magic and were said to choose this form for shapeshifting for certain ceremonies. In fact, the eagle is almost as powerful and popular a bird in Celtic myth and legend as it is in Native American lore. It is one of the four most frequently mentioned birds in the Irish and British traditions (along with the raven, swan and crane). The eagle is particularly intertwined with the salmon at a symbolic level in Celtic myth – one representing the heights of intellect and vision; the other representing the depths of emotion and the unconscious.
Eagles are known for their swiftness, keen vision, strength, and courage.

1 comment:

  1. Here in Brazil we have the Harpy Eagle - . Its name refers to the harpies of Ancient Greek mythology.


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