2010, North Carolina — While waiting for my laundry to finish in Hot Springs, this image came to me. I actually put this together just days before a Tibetan llama visited Hot Springs, NC (as one of his students lived in that area). In Tibet, Garuda is a mythological creature — a giant eagle of sorts. It has potent folklore attached to it and is in Tibetan Buddhist texts. Also, Garuda is a very pretzel-ly, twisted yoga asana (pose).
Of course, eagle carries a lot of power as it a great predator of the sky. In the Amazon, the Harpy Eagle is the size of an adult human with a gigantic wing-span. So, across continents, this bird is revered for its fierce love of its young and its stealth in providing nourishment for itself. I think it is also honored for its beauty.
The other day, I visited the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi while staying with my mother. There are two bald eagle nests. Luckily, I was able to see one that day. It swooped right over the car as I drove into the refuge. It was very low and just above my car as it was about to dive into the waters of the refuge for fish.
In North America there is a golden eagle (a booted eagle) and a bald eagle (a fish/water eagle). In other countries, like the Amazon, there are land eagles that prey on mammals. So, people classify the eagles into those three categories as far as I know.
Here is a quote from a Mayan elder, member of the Eagle clan for 2012:
“Meditation and spiritual practice are good, but also action. It’s very important to be clear about who you are, and also about your relation to the Earth. Develop yourself according to your own tradition and the call of your heart. But remember to respect differences, and strive for unity. Eat wisely — a lot of food is corrupt in either subtle or gross ways. Pay attention to what you are takin…g into your body. Learn to preserve food, and to conserve energy. Learn some good breathing techniques, so you have mastery of your breath. Be clear. Follow a tradition with great roots. It is not important what tradition, your heart will tell you, but it must have great roots.”
“We live in a world of energy. An important task at this time is to learn to sense or see the energy of everyone and everything — people, plants, animals. This becomes increasingly important as we draw close to the World of the Fifth Sun, for it is associated with the element ‘ether’ — the realm where energy lives and weaves. Go to the sacred places of the Earth to pray for peace, and have respect for the Earth which gives us our food, clothing, and shelter. We need to reactivate the energy of these sacred places. That is our work.”
Carlos Barrios, Mayan elder and Ajq’ij (is a ceremonial priest and spiritual guide) of the Eagle Clan