Animals in the Pagan World
"...They are our cousins, our brothers, our sisters. We have grown away from the path they tread, yet there is no path we should be willing to tread more. Theirs is a way of oneness with our Mother.
==Galeain ip Altiem MacDunelmor
It brings great sadness to me that many people view animals as inferior to us "humans". In the Pagan/Druidic mindset, animals are our equals ... they merely differ in the paths they choose to take. Whereas mankind uses guile & cleverness to adapt to (and sometimes alter) the environment, animals are one with their environment. As a Pagan, there is nothing we should desire more than attaining oneness with Nature. There are few things more at oneness with Nature than Animals. It is through studying and communicating with the animals around us that one learns many of their skills and talents. ... All animals deserve our respect -- for all have lessons to teach and for us to learn.
Birds Symbolism and Lore in the Celtic Tradition
Birds have a plethora of teachings and roles in the Celtic/Druidic Tradition, especially as messengers from the OtherWorld.
Please see Below for some Specific Bird Information.
An important animal of the Celts. In Ireland the raven was associated with battles and such Goddesses as Morrigu or the later Welsh Morrigan. The bird was connected with Bran the Blessed. Raven embodies paradox and contradiction, and it is also quite self-important. The raven often represents the upsets and crisis of life that are necessary for new creation.
A bird noted for wisdom and long life in Celtic stories. The eagle represents swiftness, strength, keen sight, and the knowledge of magick. It helps one to see hidden spiritual truths.
Celtic oral tradition lists the oldest animal as the Hawk of Achill. As with other birds, the hawk is a messenger between the Otherworld and this world. Hawk symbolizes clear sightedness and longevity of the memory. If you hear a hawk cry during a journey, be alert to upcoming situations that need boldness and decisiveness to keep from being thrown off balance.
Connected to sea deities, such as the God Manannan mac Lir and the Goddess Don in Celtic Shamanism.
A mystical bird who finds its way into several Celtic stories. Its feathers were often used in the ritual cloak of the Bards. Swans are connected with music and song. Swans also help with the interpretation of dream symbols, transitions, and spiritual evolution.
Blackbird (Druid-dhubh, Lon Duhb)
Legends say that the birds of Rhiannan are three blackbirds, which sit and sing in the World Tree of the Otherworlds. Their singing puts the listener into a sleep or a trance which enables him/her to travel to the otherworld.
Not to be mistaken with Raven or Blackbird, Crow is the most cunning and devious of these three birds. Crow is sometimes seen as a traitor or malicious trickster associated with Air, and sometimes Fire.
Last Updated: 11/13/04