the feather

The stuff of recognising significance is part of the skill of discernment. The ability to judge well. What is meaningful or relevant and what is not.

The other morning as I left for work, I saw a feather in the middle of the room.

When things turn up out of place, especially in a room where there are no birds behind a locked door, I take it as a message. Feathers as messages are a common association throughout history and cultures.

As I left for work that morning feeling a little happier than usual, I wrote a mental note to put it up on the counter when I got home.

Walking back through the door later that day, as the early evening light streamed in behind me across the floor, I could see the ‘feather’ was actually a leaf – that looked remarkably like a feather.

There was no feather. No message.

I realised, it would have been easy to track a leaf inside from the night before.

This morning I listened to a podcast by Christina Pratt where she’s speaking about the human tendency to place significance on a person or people who are “around at the time” when an important process happens, such as an initiation.

It’s easy to do. Especially when things are new or there are big changes in life around the same time.

As Christina says,

we connect what’s going on with Spirit…projecting the power, and the energy and the impulse…

onto living people or in this small example, a leaf that looked like a feather.

Like the feather in the early morning light, some people or events look or even sound especially significant.

I have a strong tendency to connect things or people around me in the physical world with what’s happening on a non-physical level. I gravitate easily and quickly towards moments like these and conflate them with significance. In my experience, instead of doing some of the ‘hard'(er) work, I’ve mistakenly given them a power and significance not theirs.

While they may have shown up on cue, they’ve become unwitting actors in a role they didn’t sign up for.

I don’t think I’m alone in doing that.

This incident turned out to be a timely reminder about some unfinished work I had to do. The significance I’d easily and quickly put on this so-called ‘feather’, was misplaced.

This simple situation gently reminded me about the skill of discernment, that we witches, magicians, wizards and sorcerers do well to develop. I have more work to do.

28 September 2017