Owl by Dennis Sheehy

Dear Readers,  I wish to introduce two dear friends in the next two posts. The first is the photographer Dennis Sheehy whose beautiful silhouette of owl and branches appears above.  He takes one-der-ful photographs, illustrating a dedication to catching those moments that sparkle, that illuminate, that open a crack to see behind the veil of ordinary human perception.  To this end, he spends hours walking, looking, noticing and skillfully recording those moments of illumination. Nature photography is a kind of meditation and a kind of channeling, making visible what ordinarily goes unnoticed.

Usually I illustrate my posts with photos I take myself… a quick shot of a moment I observe in the ever changing beauty around my country home,  but I have thought for a while of including some of Dennis’ photos as a way of sharing his meditation and his talent with my friends on-line. He was once very involved in making gnome-homes, so clearly has a feeling for the aesthetics of faerie and the elementals  (see also http://www.gnome-home.com ).  Dennis is also a very dear brother to me.  I recognized him as that immediately, I’m happy to say, and it turns out, he is the twin flame of one of my sisters.   I first met him in the 1990s,  when I arranged for him to teach a gnome home workshop at the elementary school in Freeport, Maine where I was teaching art.

I chose the owl for the first post, from all of his photos, because Owl is a personal symbol of wisdom and sight in the darkness, and a messenger between worlds, which we as channels are also.  I do not resonate with the superstition of the owl as a harbinger of death, this is based in fear of change and transition.   The Greek goddess Athena, renowned for wisdom,  has an owl as her symbol. I have had an owl totem and spirit friend for at least thirty years.

When my son was seven, we went to a Native American tipi set-up demonstration, with a subsequent shield-making activity within the tipi.  The Penobscot man lead us on a journey to find our spirit animal, and draw it on the shield with crayons.  I still have the cardboard circle with the white and silver owl in flight.  This is the first experience I had with clairvoyance, as I realized how easy it was for me to follow a guided visualization, and saw/felt the owl fly to me so vividly.  I was in college at that period studying art education and later used guided imagery a lot with my students, who, as children, were closer to their non-physical senses than most adults.

My name Jennifer comes from the English name  Guinevere;  the original Cornish form was  Gwenwhyfar, meaning white shadow, white phantom, white fairy, or fair one).  The white owl on my shield feels like a phantom or spirit owl, not a physical one.  My parents didn’t know the etymology back in 1951 (they didn’t have baby -naming books then)… I discovered it later in high school when I became enamored of the Arthurian legends.  Pondering on why I have the name I do, another level of meaning came clear in meditation a year or so ago.  Jenn ( Gen– root word for race, kind, or simply,  the people) and  fer (or, pher- from the Greek to love, as in Christopher = lover of Christ),  which all adds up to Lover of the People, or All of Us! YAY!  I’m so grateful for my parents’ intuitive wisdom!!

Multi-dimensional Blessings to all of you on this magical Hallow’s Eve, when the veils are blown away and we can all travel between worlds like Owl, and sense/see/hear/feel the Other Side.  No fears– All is well– Always.   Love to All the People,  Gwenwhyfar

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