Bald eagle hunts for prey at sunset on Lake Casitas

In June of 2007, the Department of the Interior removed bald eagles from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Still protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, it’s estimated that the bald eagle population has grown 10-fold to nearly 10,000 mating pairs. Bald eagles build their nests in high locations in trees near coasts, rivers and lakes On Wednesday, June 20, 2102, a bald eagle was spotted hunting near Lake Casitas. (Photo by Victoria Linssen / Brooks Institute © 2012)

Bald eagles protect their nestRare bald eagle couple spotted at Lake Casitas

Every once in awhile, life throws me a curve ball. Recently, I’ve been pondering with some trepidation what my life will be like after I graduate from the Brooks Institute. With five months left to go before graduation, it’s a valid question. Where will I work? How will I get paid? Who will want to hire me? What type of jobs can I find? Will I be able to follow my passion? Will I be able to travel and work on the kinds of projects that I love?

Then, a few days ago, I came across a marvelous thing: messages from nature. You see I believe that God, Goddess our Higher Power, Great Spirit, the Divine Universe, Buddah, Jesus, whatever you want to call it speaks to us in subtle ways. For me, It speaks to me through nature.

As I hiked in on the trails surrounding Lake Casitas near Ojai, CA, I came across not one, but three bald eagles at sunset. Majestic, Divine, Splendorous, do not even begin to describe how beautiful they were. Miraculous might begin to describe the fact that I had my camera and a long lens with me.

Only removed from the Endangered Species Act in 2008, Eagles are revered by indigenous cultures worldwide. As a matter of fact, it is illegal for anyone other than a Native American (First Nation) to have an eagle feather in their personal possession. That’s because eagles are honored as sacred and celebrated in ceremonies and rituals using their feathers.

Soooooo, after seeing three bald eagles in one night (I’ve been in Ojai two years and never seen any prior), I decided to research their archetype significance.

My friend Andrew Soliz told me to pay attention to my thoughts because bald eagles can help facilitate our prayers. So, of course, I want to have positive prayers and affirmations and stay out of the fear.

According to Steven Farmer’s book “Animal Spirit Guides,” bald eagle can represent opportunity, new beginning, spiritual awakening, greater connection to the divine. And he recommends to pay attention to visions and inspirations that arise after seeing a bald eagle.

Ted Andrews goes into much more depth about eagles in his book “Animal Speak.” He talks about how the bald eagle is a symbol of the feminine and represents wisdom, healing, grace and creation. An eagle totem for him represents a willingness to have: “involvement with creativity, experience extremes, use your passions and awaken a higher sense of healing and spirituality.” (paraphrased)

The Peruvians speak of eagle/condor as stepping into destiny.

To me, this means that I am stepping into my own destiny. I’m stepping into my passions, my dreams, my creativity and working as a nature photographer. And it’s risky and scary. And I have more help and many more opportunities than I might have previously thought.

I will leave you with this – shortly before my close friend Taylor Moore died, he sent me this amazing message. I give the gift of his writing as my gift to you:

“go my love, to nature, remember the wind and the trees and the dirt never forget your name, its always like embracing a old friend.”
Bald eagle couple watches over their nest

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