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