Every now and then I get distracted by nature.
Ok, very very often, I get distracted by nature.
Recently (thank you biology class and the understanding of phenotypic changes among birds haha) I became aware of a species of crow that appeared to be wearing a grey hood/cloak and it fascinated me.
It fascinated me so much that this crow has visited me in both dreams and meditations recently so I feel it is more than worthy of some additional research and writing about. Much like the initial fascination with discovering this species of bird, in meditation and dreams it just seems to "be there" minding its own business and yet still distracting my attention. This has sometimes lead to the message that I am missing something, or need to slow down and pay attention to something new, but its also puzzling given my relationship with The Morrigan.
Last night I had a dream that it was snowing outside and I was walking with purpose somewhere, I cannot remember what I was doing, but I do remember there being random birds about and a hooded crow was among them sitting on a barbed wire fence. As I walked past I caught sight of it and I felt an overwhelming excitement that I had found this bird, that I had just learned about, in the wild. I remember thinking about how beautiful this bird was contrasted with the snow. I don't remember the rest of the dream, but when I woke up I could remember the bird sitting on the wire and the excitement it brought me to find it in nature when I had just become aware of its existence.
What originally struck me as fascinating about this bird is that it isn't black like the crows I am use too. A lot of people see crows as dark, creepy, foreboding, or omens of death and bad luck. This has a lot of historical backing and most of our deities of death and war are associated with some form of dark animal like a raven or a crow. The Morrigan is no exception.
But this crow, has all of the same biological ferocity of a standard crow, and yet maintains the illusion of a bird that is, softer. The hooded crow is, in fact, hooded from those darker (often times perceived as negative or "evil") attributes. It is unique and mesmerizing to me.
So the research began, and low and behold, I discover that not only is this bird native to Ireland/Scotland and Northern Europe but there are specific tales in which The Morrigan appears as a hooded crow. She appears NOT as the typical black as night crow, but a hooded crow.
Talk about feeling slapped upside the head.
The more I thought about it the more it fits with my perceptions and interactions with The Morrigan. Many people seek her darkness, many of her followers know her only as a death and bloody war Goddess. But there is far more to her than that. It's easy to see her as those things, but its wise to remember that there is far more to Her than what her stereotypes are. There is always more to learn and far more to understand by listening.
She is no fluffy princess by being a hooded crow, but she is also not a romanticized vampire queen when she is a black one. Its not that simple, its not that black and white, no deity is.
She is complex, often mysterious and full of transformation and illusion when she means it. She could blend in with society well enough that in the Epic's she was not detected as the Goddess she was, but she also instigated men to warfare and prophesied death.
Every now and then its refreshing when the gods reach out and snap us out of our closed-box thinking without us realizing it.
They tell us how and who they are, not the other way around.