As well as being the national bird of the United States of America, the Bald Eagle is considered a sacred bird in many North American cultures. Eagles are thought of as spiritual messengers between gods and humans. The Pawnee considered eagles to be symbols of fertility, while the Bald Eagle is a symbol of peace for the Choctaw.
Eagle feathers - particularly those of the Bald Eagle - hold great religious significance for many Native Americans, and form part of traditional regalia such as head dresses. The Lakota give an eagle feather as a symbol of honour to those succeed at a challenge or complete a difficult task.
During the Sun Dance, conducted by many Plains Indian tribes, the eagle is represented in several ways. The fork of the lodge where the dance is held represents its nest, a whistle made from the wing bone of an eagle is played during the dance. Medicine men can use the power of the dance for healing purposes, by directing healing energy to those who need help using a fan of eagle feathers. They then hold the fan towards the sky.
I took the picture of a Bald Eagle at a bird of prey display at Eagle Heights wildlife centre, in Kent, England. It is a magnificent bird.
On each Pagan Eye post, I show a photo that I find interesting, with a few words about it. I'm not quite sure what I'll be including - it could be a seasonal image, a pagan site, an event, or just a pretty picture.
If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself and you must confirm that you are submitting it for A Bad Witch's Blog.
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