I have been finding feathers on my walks a lot lately and I usually feel compelled to pick them up and keep them. Then today a small downy feather blew on my windshield and I began to think about their significance. Feathers are lightweight and soft and flexible yet structured with distinct boundaries. They are surprisingly durable. A single feather is limited in its use but when grouped together, they allow birds to magically take to the heavens, soaring, dipping, diving, gliding.
For most (if not all) Native American cultures, feathers are considered sacred objects. Feathers are the fashionable coats of birds, which are believed to be the connection to the celestial world. When a feather falls to earth, the Native Americans believe it carries all of the energy of its former attachment on a bird to a living being. Feathers are perceived as gifts from the sky, the sea and the trees. They arrive unexpectedly, but not without purpose.
Depending on the type of bird, their feathers will have a unique meaning. For example, a Bluebird feather symbolizes happiness and fulfillment; a Dove feather symbolizes love; and an Eagle feather symbolizes great strength, courage, and leadership.
In Space Clearing, we might use feathers to direct and move the smoke upward when smudging. This is not only a practical use to disperse the smoke in all corners of a space, but it also adds an overtone of ceremony. And if we are cognizant of the meaning associated with a particular feather we are using, all the better to invoke that symbolism into our living spaces.
In Feng Shui, feathers would definitely be representative of the Fire Element, as all animals symbolize the Fire Element. So, if we want to add more Fire into our décor, simply placing a collection of found feathers could serve that purpose. And if we were also working on an intention of abundance, we might choose a collection of Turkey feathers for this very reason.
Perhaps the feathers I have been seeing are here to teach me a lesson. Having a soft and flexible attitude while maintaining appropriate structure and boundaries sounds like a pretty good metaphor for how to move through each day. And combining my individual efforts with others will surely result in magically soaring, dipping, diving, and gliding towards my goals.