Saturday, March 10, 2007

A feather is synonymous with the soul,
metaphorically speaking. They are light
in weight and are the only means by
which a bird is able to fly. Similarly,
the soul is extremely lightweight in
comparison to the dense physical body
that houses it; when free from
restrictions, a soul can fly uninhibited.

Unclip your wings, and let your soul
rise to meet your goals in this lifetime!
Here is inspiration from feathers and myth:
In Greek mythology Icarus and his father,
Daedalus, were trying to think of ways
to escape from the labyrinth, a palace
with intricate corridors, in which they
were imprisoned, and they came up with an
idea after watching some birds fly past.
They collected all the bird feathers they
could find and, using wax from candles,
they fashioned a pair of wings for Icarus.

When Icarus flew out of the labyrinth and
away to freedom it looked as if the plan
was going well, but Icarus flew too close
to the sun, causing the wax to melt and
the feathers to fall off, and he came
crashing down into the sea below, where an
island formed to mark the spot. Icarus,
with wings like a bird, represents the soul,
and the labyrinth in which he was
imprisoned denotes the physical body;
once free of the physical body, the soul
is able to fly to higher realms.

The sun represents the Light or creative
forces of the soul, and the air represents
the mind. The soul knows what is best for
us in any given moment, and by aligning our
minds with the creative forces of the soul,
we can allow a higher order to guide us
through life. If we allow our egos to set
our sights and ideals too high, we can get
our wings burned and be brought back to
earth with a bump.

Shamans symbolically use feathers to assist
their souls to rise above the material world.
Feathers reflect the fact that no matter
what physical obstacles are put in our way
during our life's journey, we all have
the capability to rise above our fears and
limitations and, in so doing, we will be
able to rise to new levels of understanding.

In Egyptian mythology, Ma'at was the goddess
of truth, justice, and the underworld, and
it was her job to evaluate and judge the souls
of all those who had just died. She weighted
each soul against a feather; if the soul was
too heavy it was sent to the underworld, but
if the soul was as light as a feather it was
allowed to proceed upwards to the heavens.
Ma'at was often portrayed wearing an ostrich
feather on her head, a symbol of truth in Egypt.

Birds that have feathers but cannot fly, like
ostriches and penguins, are also significant.
They symbolize the fact that we are souls living
on the physical plane, and also that we have
to be grounded to Mother Earth so that any
spiritual guidance can then, in turn, be grounded
into our conscious minds.

We all know how it feels when we add an extra
few pounds of burdens and worries onto
ourselves--we feel energetically weighed down.
But as soon as we release these unnecessary
burdens, we feel light as a feather, because
we are allowing the lightness of our soul to
flow freely through us.

c by Andrea Wansbury

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