In feathered robes the choir collects;
until one Singer interjects…
“I am a common guest
at houses around the globe,
yet I am seldom noticed
in my drab and earthy robe.
Appearances are deceiving,
and size is no measure of worth.
Accept no less than your true value
for nobility can be found in those of basest birth.
Awaken and give voice to joy
that wells from heart and throat!
Assertion, humility, co-operation and hard work
will help you hit the highest notes.”
The next voice arises
like an amiable shout.
This Teacher keeps Truth
from simply flickering out…
“Do you accept Truth with a smile?
Or do you deny, hide and pout?
It can sometimes seem brutal,
but that is not what Truth is really about…
Truth is a Joy,
lying hidden in plain sight!
Truth is a Healer,
that can set all broken things aright.
Truth is a Warden
freeing you from bonds you didn’t even see.
Put on your black cap of Wisdom, and think hard
upon the truths Mother shares with thee!
Expressing Truth, like a cheery song,
is one small lesson that you may learn from me.
Modest scholar and Teacher,
robed in black and white…
Great ideas begin as small inspirations,
and Truth shared should be a welcome light."
A third voice lifts in liquid song.
Hooded in black, cloaked in gray,
Wisdom hidden ‘neath it’s scarlet vest,
hear now what this Teacher has to say…
“Do you feel challenged by Change?
Without it, your garden would not grow!
I’ll help you plant new seeds of thought,
and tell you when to strive for the next
Compassion drove me onto the thorns,
that his torturous crown I might relieve.
I may teach you to manifest Creator’s will
in all you that you say, do, or believe.
Knight Errant for the lovely Springtime,
I herald Renewal,
Joyous Change and
manifesting the will Sublime."
A brash fourth completes this Quartet,
bearing lessons we best not forget!
“Like the Magician, I teach you
how to bring your tools to bear…
to balance between this world,
and the blue road of spirit, with tenacity and care…
How to use in proportion
your talents, learning, and intuition…
that you may reach your full potential
and become a virtuoso musician!
Although I sing of universal powers
and spiritual connection between
paternal Sky and maternal Earth…
I am a Robber Baron and few see my true worth..
My song is seldom held in high esteem…
my expression is oft perceived as an agitated scream!"
From first light to last
these Singers are there…
playing their games.
Who can tell me their names?
For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. This poem contains four loosely related Teachers singing in quartet. The first Singer is highlighted in bold text. Can you guess who is singing today? Name any of the four and I will feature them! (Congrats to Shay for naming this Teacher!)
“I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.” Henry David Thoreau
“Illusion is the first of all pleasures.” Voltaire
“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.” Mahatma Gandhi
“You may kill me but you may never insult me! Who am I?…. I’m Captain Jack Sparrow!” Cpt. Sparrow The Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End
Order Passeriformes contains sparrows, rooks, finches, tits, warblers, wrens, swallows and robins. It is one of the largest bird Orders comprised of half the known species in the world! Of all the sparrows, the House Sparrow is probably the most well known by name, but the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is an equally frequent visitor to the average backyard and is easily confused with the House Sparrow.
As a Spirit Guide, the main difference between these two is the symbolism found in their names. House Sparrows have a special emphasis on the home, the things that comprise our homes, and issues revolving around that environment. Tree Sparrows ask us to pay particular attention to Trees as Teachers, the Wisdom they carry, and to dwell within those lessons on a daily basis. Tree Sparrow also emphasizes the importance of a well grounded homelife. It is important to remember that many birds rely on Trees or other members of the Plant Nation for not only food, but the shelter provided to home and family.
Physically and in their habits there appears to be very minute differences between the two sparrows. I suggest those interested peruse various bird sites on-line or books offline to compare the differences of these close relatives in greater detail. For my purposes here I will be referring to both but concentrating on the House Sparrow as it is more widely spread. Personally though, I feel just at home in a tree as I do in my house.
Sparrows have thrived where other birds have failed to find a hold, and one of their main messages to us is to know and value our own self-worth. In the Middle Ages, Sparrows represented the peasantry or lower classes. Today, they are still around reminding us that true nobility can be found in the humblest package, and even the smallest among us can triumph. Sparrows show us how to live a truly noble life, without all the trappings, appearances, and pitfalls that come with the titled sort of nobility.
“There is an objective reality out there, but we view it through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values.” David G. Myers, Social Psychology
“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” John Lennon
“What we call reality is an agreement that people have arrived at to make life more livable. " Louise Nevelson
It is interesting to note that in the Philippines, the Tree Sparrow is known locally as Maya. I am unsure whether this is a direct reference to the Mayan culture left over from the days when the Philippines were a Spanish colony, or if the name comes from some other source. When you look at the word “maya” found in various cultures around the world however, the two references that stand out are the ancient Mayan culture, and the Maya of the Hindus.
The literal meaning of the word “maya” from Sanskrit translates as “illusion”. The goddess Maya in the Hindu tradition embodies the concept that the physical world is merely an illusion that obscures the reality of the spiritual world from which everything originates. Maya is the divine power which created the universe, and it is the mistake of placing the value of the material over the greater value of the spiritual. Thus, this tiny Teacher illustrates the difference between appearances and true nobility.
The Sparrow challenges each of us to be perceptive and not fall into the bad habit of judging anyone or anything simply on appearances; including our selves! Knowing your worth implies more surety than doubt, and illusion can be a subtle and insidious cloak over Truth. In the bible, the sparrow represented loneliness and solitude in the Old Testament and insignificance in the New Testament. Indeed, many people who can see Truth feel lonely in the vast world of people living blithely in illusion, and they often feel overwhelmed to point of believing their insignificance more than their true worth. Yet, we each of us have something unique and worthy to contribute to the song of Life… if we only allow ourselves to join in and sing with heart.
“We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us.” Rabindranath Tagore
“As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be.” Saul Alinsky
“Blithe wanderer of the wintry air,
Now here, now there, now everywhere,
Quick drifting to and fro,
A cheerful life devoid of care,
A shadow on the snow.” George W. Bungay
In Japan this bird is an emblem of loyalty. It has also symbolized the finding of one’s life mate and freedom to many cultures, and was a favorite tattoo among sailors of old as it represented a safe journey home. In ancient Egypt it was believed that sparrows brought the souls of the dead to rest among the stars. Sparrow says when you truly know your own worth, you will see Truth beneath Illusion, and will be at home anywhere because you will finally understand that we are all One and the concept of “many” is just another illusion. I believe this Sparrow lesson is becoming more and more important with each passing day.
In Hindu philosophy it is believed that the veiling power of the Supreme Consciousness creates the illusion of “me”, “mine”, “you” & “yours” and these ignorant concepts come to consciousness through the individual mind. This is what makes practices like Yoga so vital to us! Such meditative practices help us to still our inner dialogue, stop thinking and reach beyond the mind, past the illusions of the physical and divisive concepts like “yours” or “mine” to the realize one’s true nature, gain enlightenment and achieve Truth. In fact, in the world of symbols birds in general promote this concept of Unity and co-operative harmonious efforts! The humble Sparrow has traveled around the World and is a daily reminder to anybody who spots him of these essential life lessons.
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Albert Einstein
“Death has a way of re-shuffling one’s priorities… No, mate. I’m free forever. Free to sail the seas beyond the edges of the map, free from death itself.” Cpt. Sparrow At World’s End
“I have no sympathy for any of you feculent maggots and no more patience to pretend otherwise. Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness.” Cpt. Sparrow At World’s End
In looking at their coloring, the House Sparrow is predominantly gray and reddish-brown with a white spot behind the eye, a black curved line extending from the black around the eye around the cheek and terminates in the white bar that extends from beak base around the neck. A white wing bar echoes this facial bar. Black is the color of wisdom, change, and mystery. White typically represents blessings, purity and Divine energy. Red is the color of passion, creativity and life, while brown is an earthy grounding color that helps us to connect to the natural world, especially our animal Cousins. Gray is a color of modesty, sorrow, neutrality.
Their coloring are subtle clues when examining the language of metaphor. Their facial markings, for example, act as a reminder for us to view the world with wisdom and an eye our for the smallest blessings; that Wisdom can only outline Truth, not encompass it. Their throat markings remind us to speak with wisdom, modesty, and neutrality that we may make way for Truth and help to deliver it in it’s most healing and constructive manner. Their predominantly brown coloring is a reminder to stay grounded through all things in life and connected to Nature.
“I got a jar of dirt, I got a jar of dirt, and guess what’s inside it!” Captain Jack Sparrow The Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest
Beloved messenger of Aphrodite, sparrows are excellent survivors, and can teach us when to advance boldly and when to retreat. Birds in general carry two main themes; co-operative community spirit, and the delivery of messages. Sparrow is never alone, and is often so confident in it’s numbers that it will fearlessly forage. It’s very confidence often throws off predators. Ever busy, the Sparrow reminds us that idle hands are the devil’s playthings… meaning if you aren’t keeping your hand to some form of work every day than you are probably going to end up getting yourself in trouble. Industry is a good thing, and so is cleanliness. While Sparrow can teach us the importance of these things, it’s sweet song is reminder that even good things in excess can become a poison in our lives… so take the time to sing sweetly even when you think no one is listening!
Elizabeth Swann: “There will come a time when you have a chance to do the right thing.”
Cpt. Sparrow: “I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.” Dead Man’s Chest
“One word love: curiosity. You long for freedom. You long to do what you want to do because you want it. To act on selfish impulse. You want to see what it’s like. One day you won’t be able to resist.” ~ Captain Sparrow The Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest
Symbol of friendly household spirits, the Sparrow has been watching us for generations. Do you feel as if others are impinging on your dignity or sense of self-worth? Are you feeling insecure about yourself? Do you feel oppressed by those that are perceived as of a higher social standing than yourself? This countrified lord can help you awaken your throat and heart chakras that you may sing your song with confidence. Greeting each day with clear eyes, balanced thinking, and joyous heart is a common lesson from the feathered Choir that begins each day with a song. Making time each day to greet the day, and also to sing the sun down, with a little meditation is a wonderful way to begin connecting to Sparrow. How does this tiny Singer appear in your life?
“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone” Margaret Wheatley from Never Eat Alone
“For those who have seen the Earth from space, and for the hundreds and perhaps thousands more who will, the experience most certainly changes your perspective. The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us.” Donald Williams
Potential Balancing Energies: Hawk, Earthworm, Fly , Butterfly /Caterpillar, Beetle/Grub, Owl, Eagle, Cat, Snake , Blackberry, Cricket/Grasshopper, Grasses like Wheat, Corn, Alfalfa, Turkeyfeet, or Oats, Sunflower , Rabbit,Trees like Almond, Pine , Cherry, Cottonwood , Oak , Apple , or Rowan ,Bison/Buffalo , Cattle, Ant, Bee, Spider , Dragonfly, Crow/Raven , Hummingbird, Horse , Fox , Dog , Wolf, Coyote, Deer , Millet, Thistle,Frog/Toad , Dandelion, Primrose, Crocus, and others in the same family like Rook or Robin
Key Concepts: Nobility in daily life, Freedom, Self-Worth/Confidence, Truth (especially seeing and expressing Truth), Community, Inclusion, Spiritual Messages, Unity, Maya, Beauty, Home, Nurturing, Industry/Productivity, Simplicity, Joy, Safety in Numbers, Memory, Ancestoral Wisdom/Messages, Creator’s love for All
Associated with: Aphrodite/Venus, Cernunnos, Pan, Brighid, Danu, Lugh, Bel, Creator, Mercury/Hermes, Gaia, Idun, Bragi, Gemini, Artemis/Diana, Demeter/Ceres, Sjofn, Freya/Frigga