"Mortimer" - acrylic on board, 8" x 8"
The serentipty theme continues! During an early morning walk, my husband, my dog and I were circled by a pair of North Carolina turkey vultures. These birds are LARGE, SILENT and a can glide for what seems like forever. I like to believe animals appear to us with a message of some sort, so what on earth could a vulture mean to me? I decided to investigate.
The vulture is a misunderstood bird. There aren't many vulture watching bird clubs, if you know what I mean? Myths and legends of many cultures depict vultures in a positive light, the opposite of popular beliefs. In the Greek tradition, vultures are a descendent of the mythical griffin. In Egypt, the vulture is a symbol of mother. And Pueblo Indians see the vulture as a symbol of purifucation. Not what you expected, right?
Vultures are graceful birds with the ability to see and use thermals to glide for hours without a single wing flap. Their keen sense of smell, sharp eyesight and unusual digestive system, along with a supreme amount of patience, make them formidable hunters. I have to admit, there are often vultures here in Charlotte, and I've not seen a single one flap it's wings once airborn. Part of their silent, stealthy mystery. Condors are in the vulture family, and have a 12 foot wingspan. 12 feet! No wonder people find them intimidating.
But what does all this mean for me? Changes in my digestion and how the energy of food impacts my body, perhaps. Vultures have no voice (other than hissing) so perhaps the message is "actions, not words." Vultures are often a symbol of rebirth, and these two appearing as the new year arrives could be significant as well. What resonates most with me is the power of the vulture as attributed in alchemy - a promise that the suffering of the immediate is temporary and necessary for a higher purpose.
Given the vulture's ability to inspire awe and it's many amazing abilities, I have given my vulture, Mortimer, a magical hat. Not just because I've decided vultures are special, but because Mortimer deserves a little something for all the stereotyping he's had to put up with from us humans.
Credit to Animal Speak by Ted Andrews for much of the information in this narrative.
This piece is available. Currently unframed. Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jen Walls and her imaJENation