I love birds, many of them are my totem animals and I’ve always resonated with their energy. A wonderful variety of our feathered friends surround our home here and every year at the holidays, a Wren nests in our front door. Nothing feels sweeter than seeing that wee Wren sleeping each night on the wreath hanging on our door.
One of the aspects that I adore about all birds is that they are tenacious by nature and determined to do what they do best. This brings me to the story at hand… A couple of days ago, a Woodpecker in our area attracted a mate and he is now “drumming”, to establish his territory.
Drumming is the knocking/drilling percussion sound that Woodpeckers make when pecking on wood and this particular Woodpecker has chosen our home to drum. It’s a misnomer that Woodpeckers drum on a home to eat insects, ornithologists have explained that this occurs less than ten percent of the time when the bird is pecking on the home and that even in those cases, they are in search of an insect that they saw crawling between the boards. For most Woodpeckers, they have a better source of food available in the dead trees and limbs around them in the forest. This is certainly the case for our visiting Woodpecker as we live next to a lake and nature park with lots of trees and insects for the taking. It’s not unusual through the course of the year around our home to find deer in the front and back yard as well as rabbits, geese and more species of birds than I can identify.
For the past several days the Woodpecker has been drumming on our home and if you haven’t had this experience, you’ll know when you do. It literally sounds like someone is knocking on your home or playing a drum. My biggest surprise with this encounter has been to observe our little dog, who is extremely vigilant and barks at every noise near our home. Our pup barks at car doors closing, voices, knocks on the door, you name it. We have nicknamed him, Chief of Security, as no one in the neighborhood can make a move without him checking on their progress and updating us on the situation. To my surprise, when the Woodpecker drums quite loudly on our home, our pup goes completely quiet. He actually stops what he is doing and listens to the sound and appears to be attempting to understand the communication. It’s been fascinating to observe and I find myself having the same reaction when I hear the drumming, both pup and I stop what we’re doing and tune in to the sound, connecting to the beat of the drumming and of nature’s voice.
As a wisdom teacher of Celtic origin, I know well enough that when one of nature’s creatures attempts contact so directly, that there is a message from Spirit to be delivered. Yet I must confess that for the past month I have been so busy and caught up in the demands of my work, that I paid him little attention. In response to my lack of response, the Universe in its divine wisdom turned up the interaction between the Woodpecker and I in order to get my attention and deliver the message.
With full commitment to deliver his message to me, two days ago the Woodpecker attempted to enter the window in my office where I write. He decided that he’d like to make a nest for his new mate here in my window and the only thing stopping him from this progress was the screen in front of the window. I came in to the office to find him having done swift work on the screen, making an entry to begin building the nest. This isn’t the first time that birds have built a nest at our home, several years ago we discovered a nest with blue eggs in our dryer vent with the mother and eggs inside. As someone who works with the spiritual planes and the earth planes, I’ve always surrounded our home with a loving energy and explained to all of nature that they are welcome here at our home, which is why many nights my husband and I venture out on the deck out back to find several deer waiting to commune with us in the most gentle and peaceful manner.
When each of Mother Nature’s creatures honor me with such a visit, I know they have taken the time to deliver their totem wisdom to me and that it is important that I pay attention to the message they bring. In this case, the Woodpecker, with his shaman like drumming, continued to visit and I knew that I must stop what I was doing and take the time to focus on his totem wisdom.
When a Woodpecker visits you, he brings his “medicine”, his energy and the message from spirit. Woodpecker medicine reminds us to pay attention to rhythm and patterns and announces that opportunity is coming swiftly and one must be ready to take advantage of the opportunity when it arrives. The Woodpecker is known as nature’s “drummer” and like drums used in rituals, it is said that his medicine can allow one to move between the spirit and earth planes. The Woodpecker connects us with our root chakra and reminds us to ground to our roots and step out of our traditional routines and open up to the creative energy surrounding us at all times. It is a reminder to shake off the old energy that has taken hold and become routine and to shake things up with new rhythm in order to embrace new dimensions and understanding of space and time.
The Woodpecker came to visit me at the perfect time, shaking me from several months here where I have been working very hard in the traditional sense non-stop and reminding me that when I use my creative talents and non-traditional spiritual forms of communication that things always flow more smoothly for me. Yesterday I thanked him for his message and spoke to Spirit, letting them know that I had received the message and had adjusted my energy flow accordingly. During my communication with Spirit I sat facing the trees and sky and my pup crawled into my lap to take part in the moment. The Woodpecker flew back to my window and drummed once again in sympatico as I sent my communication and gratitude outward to him and to Spirit.
I haven’t seen him here today at our home and I’m not sure if he will return to finish his work on the screen to build his nest or if now that his message has been received, if he will be guided to move on elsewhere.
Either way I am grateful for the message he delivered and the always helpful guidance from the animal kingdom. Animal messengers enter our lives in many ways, the next time one draws your attention, take the time to stop and receive the message and gift.