In my most recent sojourn to the latest class with my teacher, she stated to us that we should remain open to receive a feather from a raptor or other such winged one for use in our upcoming class, that we would be using for Limpias. Although I already have many feathers, I would like to have a larger one for such purposes. So, I took what she gave to us and held it in my heart for the intention to be actualized at some, hopefully recent point in the future.
Since I have been home I had forgotten all about my intention until last week as I opened up my Mesa in the morning, before traveling to “The Island” (South Padre Island) to see my holistic doctor that is working with me doing Nutrition Response Testing. As I sat with my Mesa that morning, the intention bubbled up again about being open to a feather coming to me, so I sent it up with my breath into the Ethers and closed my Mesa, so that I could get ready for my drive. As I was driving to my appointment, I called a friend of mine , to see if he had any large feathers that I could have (I guess I was trying to shortcut my way. As if!) He answered the phone and we talked for about 2 minutes and as soon as I was about to ask him if he had any large feathers, I saw something big and dark brown on the side of the road. It was a Vulture. I immediately pulled over and told my friend that I would call him back. I got out of the car and walked over to where the vulture was lying and I didn’t see any blood, so that was telling me that he was not hit by a car. He must have just recently crossed over because he was still very warm. I picked him up and carried him to an embankment overlooking a small lagoon, that was dotted with flowers, cactus and mesquite trees, which are indigenous to South Texas. I gently laid him down and sat next to him quietly for a moment. He told me that he was gifting me with some of his feathers to have as medicine for the work that I am and will be doing. He said, “Take one feather from my right wing, one from my left, and a tail feather”, so I did.
I walked back to my car to grab a sheet that I had and took it and wrapped him up in it as a burial shroud, even though I could not bury him because I did not have a shovel to do so. I created a hollow in a thatch of grass and flowers, under a mesquite tree and laid his body to rest there. I used the same flowers as an offering, as that is all that I had on hand. I prayed over him and thanked him and stood up to walk back to my car, and as soon as I did that, another Vulture was flying very low, around my same height, right above the ground in front of me, in the North. I know that this is not a coincidence, as I believe there are none. I sat in the car for a moment just taking all of this in, before I headed to my appointment. After I saw my doctor, I went straight home and opened up my Mesa again. I lovingly placed the three feathers on my altar ground, one on the left side, one in the center, and one on the right side. I cleansed them with palo santo and then copal and quieted myself to take flight back to where this whole thing had occured. I came to the spot where I laid his body and proceeded to consecrate the ground with water, cornmeal, tobacco and 3 leaves, which I lovingly and gratefully prayed over with breath. Vulture came and told me never to fear Death, that Death is just a doorway to another world. Now, Vulture has come to me a couple of years ago as an Ally to help in specific healing work that I have done in the past, for myself, related to a “Fear of Death” piece, that was created about 10 years ago, due to my mother being in and out, and in and out, of the hospital so many times. I was traumatized and programmed to fear death, and because of this it created deep neural pathways around death. Before these incidents, concerning my mother, I never feared death. I rode motorcycles,skydived, bungee jumped, raced cars, cliff dove and even have 15 hours in the air to get my pilots license. You name it, I tried it! So this death piece has had a grasp on me for a very long time. 2 days ago, I traveled up to Austin to see Mateo and my Ayllu there, and as I was making the 5 hour drive, I saw dead birds, specifically vultures, hawks and owls, littered all along the road, on the drive up. Hawk and Owl are also allies. So this was just getting stranger. I also saw deer, opossum, racoon, fox and coyotes on the side of the road, all passed over. I had never seen so much “Death” in my life, all in a few hours. So I am again, noticing, being aware and receiving the deep wisdom teachings from the four leggeds and winged ones. I journeyed through them, becoming them and living in their bodies as I observed their lives. The road trip was a Journey through Deaths Doorway, for me, the Journey to other worlds. This is helping me to create new neural pathways around death and dying, even though I inherently know what death is and that there is nothing to fear, I am just reprogramming and remapping my brain, with the help of Vulture. It has not been easy, this life. And this fear of death piece is a very scary feeling. So, I will continue to remain brave and courageous in facing my fears, in diving off of the highest cliffs into the deepest, seemingly hellish, pits of my Hu-Man existence in this material plane. As Pema Chodron has once said, “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. ”
And so each day I am grateful for the deep initiatory experiences of my own life. For me, my journey through my own life is my initiation. Working with Spirit, my guides and Nature, all of the elements, plants, trees, animals, THAT has been my initiation, and such wisdom, gifts and golden nuggets I have received. Life, and THE ALL that is in it is my Ally. This is the Magic, the Medicine and the Mysticism, for me. The Alchemical Soup. I’ll have another bowl, please.
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you, good brother Vulture, for your potent Medicine
– Gabriella Galvan
About the Author
Gabriella Galvan is a ceremonialist, ritual artist, shamanic healer and Sanctioned Teacher of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. She walks the path of the Wounded Healer, with apprenticeships in a wide range of modalities and the esoteric arts. By communing deeply with Spirit, Pachamama and her guides, and by diving deeply and doing shadow work into her own psyche, she has brought tremendous healing to her own life. This has been a driving force and catalyst in her service work with others as a mediator between the Worlds. She facilitates and teaches others to empower themselves by showing them that they are already whole. Teaching, assisting and supporting others with a compassionate open heart has brought the greatest joy into her life. Gabriella currently lives in Brownsville, Texas. You can visit her website Sacred Soul Song Healing, her Facebook Page, FB Sacred Soul Song Healing and her Pachakuti Mesa Teachers page at Gabriella Galvan. She is available for sponsorship to your area to teach the PMT Five-part Apprenticeship Series. To learn more about this you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the PMT sponsorship page.