Body & Soul, Nature & Spirit: Celebrating the Dance of Eagle

By Parashakti

The Eagle has been a vital reality, a magnificent power animal, an embodiment of spirit and a significant symbol in my life. It was the sight of a bald eagle soaring through the vast sky, alighting atop the tallest tree in sight, and pausing and posing on its own enormous aerie, itself the most massive bird nest I had ever seen on my vision quest.

Eagle.  Noble. Powerful.  Fierce.

It’s no wonder that the eagle is sacred in the Native American tradition. Eagle is seen as a messenger between the creator and human beings, the world of earth and of spirit. So when the feather of an eagle was gifted to me by the same eagle that visited me that day, I was ready to receive the sacred wisdom and teachings. This eagle feather led me to dancing with eagle medicine for over a decade. I was invited to the Naraya – A Native American Dance for All People, a tradition of the Great Basin/Plateau peoples led by Clyde Hall. With the intention of generating healing for the earth, the offering of the dance is to focus one’s heart, mind and prayers on inner transformation, based on the belief that we must become in our inner lives what we choose to create in our outer world.

In my first dance, when the eagle song was chanted by my elder, Nancy Eagle Spirit Woman, the very first vision I received was that of the eyes of the eagle. In response, I set out on a path to understand what seeing on more than the physical plane means and how to integrate spiritual vision with the world of the senses. That experience led me to create Dance of Liberation™ , a movement therapy birthed out of the roots of Shamanism and  based on seven foundations. One of the foundations is the blindfold. When blindfolding our physical eyes we free ourselves to see with our “inner” eye — to see what for us had been unseen.

After years of participating in Spirit Dance, apprenticeship, study, and nourishing my shamanic practice with Eagle,  I acknowledged my connection by having eagle wings tattooed on my back as an external symbol for an inner process that has allowed me to fully feel the weight; to  fly free and spread my wings and profoundly share my own wisdom teachings with the world.  The wings also represent a way of reaching my goal: always opening and recommitting to spirit.

I’d like to suggest to our readers that, if Eagle appears to you in a dream, hiking, yoga, in your prayers, in meditation, dance, in your song or even driving, it is a call for an awakening that is urging you to soar up to the next level of your life.  The eagle flies closest to the sun – so when you align yourself with the energy of the sun there is a deep connection of power and warmth and of shining your true colors. Aligning yourself with Eagle is saying yes to that higher call that you signed up for before you even entered this lifetime, and that you have been in preparation for your entire life.

For many of us, Eagle appears when you are ready and takes you through tests, journeys, growth opportunities and spiritual work. Eventually, you will discover a more authentic expression of who you are and the wisdom to fly your true flight in the world.  We call this connection a power animal. In the words of  Jamie Sams and David Carlson, authors of the Animal Medicine Cards and Sacred Path Cards: “Take heart and gather your courage, for the universe is presenting you with an opportunity to soar above the mundane levels of your life.”

You may recognize the places within your soul, personality, emotions, or psyche that need bolstering or refinement. By looking at the overall tapestry, Eagle teaches you to broaden your sense of self beyond the horizon of what is presently visible… for “eagle medicine is the power of the Great Spirit…the ability to live in the realm of spirit, and yet remain connected and balanced within the realm of earth.

Soar high into the heavens, travel vastly within your soul, take care of your offspring (whether creative, physical, spiritual, aesthetic, intellectual) and celebrate the glory of your nest!

Parashakti is the founder & creator of Dance of Liberation™ and the forthcoming ‘Dance of Liberation’ documentary. Born in Jerusalem and descended from a long line of spiritual teachers, she has been exploring the essence of spirit and dance from the age of four.  She will be co-teaching one class (with Hemalayaa) at the Tadasana Festival in Santa Monica over Earth Day weekend: Soul Liberation. By using her promo code, parashakti, you save $50 off a three-day festival pass until April 1. Purchase tickets here.

Photo by flickr user Kip Lee.