Last Friday Matt and I were in Georgetown looking at a retirement community for his dad. Now, his dad isn't moving here until January of next year but for whatever reason, on this random day in August that was 102 degrees, we decided to go check it out.
We spent about an hour there driving around and talking to people that lived there and we visited the real estate office. It seemed like a good fit and we felt good about the life he would have there.
On the way out of the community on the other side of the boulevard, I saw something in the road but I didn't say anything. Right about that time, Matt said, "did you see that?"
"Yeah, but I think it's dead", I said.
"No! It's a hawk!" With that, he turned the car around and pulled over. On the road was a baby red-tailed hawk. It was panting, had blood on its beak, and a swollen eye. Matt picked it up and took it to the side of the road. It didn't move.
"It's going to die if we leave it here," I said.
"You want to take it home?" (He was hoping I would say no...and I did)
"There are wildlife rescue places we can take it to. We can't leave it here."
Just like in a movie, I was prepared. There was a large towel in the back of the car. Matt wrapped the hawk up and put it in my lap. The poor thing had been literally cooking on the road and was lethargic.
The nearest rescue place was 30 minutes away. It sat in my lap, not moving, just panting away under the towel. We pointed the vents at it to help it cool down. As I sat there with this little thing in my lap, I could feel it's energy. It was stressed.
I was worried it wouldn't make it. I have had animals die in my arms before and I was dreading that happening again.
"Oh!" I thought, "I'll do energy work on it."
And then I heard something I didn't expect. "NO"
I sat there for a minute and asked again and again I heard NO.
Let the hawk medicine work on you. The message was clear.
This little hawk was placed in my path for a reason...
Rewind to that morning... this had been one of the hardest days for me in a long time. I was a mess. I had realized that morning that my life trajectory was most likely going to be altered soon in a way that I didn't want and there was nothing I could do about it. I had laid everything out with an intricate plan for the next year and all of it was just kind of like, "poof" gone. It was a lot to wrap my mind around. I was in shock and mourning it all. But enter the hawk.
While we were on our way to the rescue center, I started to feel the energy from the little bird change. As I let down my guard to it, the bird started to move around and I felt the energy from it moving into me. I knew I wasn't in a place to know what it meant right then, but I knew that didn't matter. I just let it come and I thanked the hawk for its gift.
By the time we arrived at the rescue center, I was pretty confident the hawk was going to make it. The volunteers took it in and came back to report they thought it had just been stunned by a car windshield. They were x-raying it but were pretty sure it would make a full recovery.
It felt good to help the little guy. I am such an animal person and it was a nice pick me up.
The rest of the day was really hard as I went back to my pity party. Sometimes, you just need to be human and move through your emotions. It's the only way to get to the other side. You might want to add energy work. And a little chocolate.
The next day though I felt refocused, centered, and grounded. The new path was becoming clear and I can't help but think maybe that little bird had something to do with it. So next time you are presented with an animal that stands out to you, go home and look it up. Just type in whatever the animal is and "symbolism" after it. I guarantee it's got a message it's just waiting for you to pay attention to.
P.S., as a fun side-note, this is the second hawk Matt has rescued :).
While there are many websites out there with Red-Tailed Hawk Symbolism, this one hit the mark for me. https://www.wildgratitude.com/red-tailed-hawk-symbolism/
Symbolism of Red-Tailed Hawk Feathers
The red tail feathers of this hawk are extremely significant as they bring strong power in relation to the first chakra, otherwise known as the root chakra. The first chakra relates to situations and circumstances around family, friends, and community. Here is where our insecurities around being abandoned, outcast, and left alone are held. Here are our worries about being humiliated. To have red feathers at this chakra that is characterized by the color red amplifies the power of this message and demonstrates how integral these hawks can be in helping us work through healing wounds around our sense of belonging in tribes.
Red as a color relates to love, anger, and passion, matters we’d typically associate with the heart, but this is the personal heart, the one that ties us intimately with those we come into contact with on a daily basis.
If you look closely at the tail of a red-tail, you will see a thin black horizontal line running across the base of the feathers with each feather tipped by white. Red-tails are divine messengers meant to bring guidance from the heavens and ground the guidance out in the physical world. In grounding out the guidance (black line) the realms of spirit (white tip) are available even in the lowest, most mundane places. Many of a red-tail’s feathers are “barred” with multiple dark lines. This is a common feature of hawk feathers and speaks to how they are able to navigate multiple altitudes and embody many layers of understanding.
An overabundance of red-tailed hawk spirit animals in our lives can mean that our prayers are being answered… the answers are being brought to us on hawk’s wings. What are you wishing for right now? What are your dreams? Are you able to recognize the gifts being brought to you and the doors open before you?
If you are not able to see the gifts coming your way the red-tails may be coming to assist you and to CALL your attention to them. They can help you identify who in your tribe is granting and fostering these gifts. The hawks may be calling your attention to old habits, patterns, or defenses that are getting in the way of you relating to your fellow humans. Listen and be willing to let your guard down. Trust your reputation into the talons of the red-tail and you will be rewarded.
Red-tailed hawks typically hunt by either using the power of the wind to hold them aloft while they soar or by roosting on a high perch. Aloft or perched, they wait quietly and watch carefully. Once they see a mouse move below them they swoop down on their prey in a slow, controlled dive. The message here is to not waste your energy tirelessly trying to stir up the answer, but to find a high vantage and to take in the whole picture.
With red-tailed hawk symbolism, it’s time to become the observer and see things from a mystical perspective. This is not about being “better than” your tribe-mates, but about seeing things away from your ties to worry about what others will think of you. From this wide-angle view, wait to see a glimmer of movement and use your sharp, keen vision to focus in on what caught your attention. Then you can confidently dive down and grasp hold of the knowing.
Hawk spirit animals in general are about vision and the ability to shift from a wide view to a microscopic focus. It may be time for you to review your life to get in touch with a larger vision and purpose while at the same time checking in to make sure that you are focusing on key relationships. Look for the gifts of your tribe, revel in the gifts of your life, and give thanks to divine messengers. You can release your gratitude to the red-tails and they will carry the memo back to the heavens on your behalf.