i love taking canal road into DC. it is part of the national park system and the flora can be breathtaking, and i see something new every day. occasionaly i turn off the radio, roll down the window and just listen for the wee critters. the other day i saw, for the first time in my life, two woodpeckers. my carpool mate had to tell me what they were. two wee black and white birds, with markings so unique and beautiful, and the male with his red tuft. the only woodpecker i have ever seen in my life was woody woodpecker, and these wee birds looked nothing like him. when i see an animal i have never seen before or when i see lots of one animal i look them up for their meaning in my life.
There are about 180 species of woodpeckers in the world. Most spend their entire lives in trees. Woodpeckers are climbers. They climb by propping their stiff pointed tail feathers against a support while shifting its leg hold. With its body close to the trunk or branch and its head bobbing, the bird hitches upwards, back down spiraling and nimbly darts sideways at incredible speeds. Because of their speed predators have difficulty catching them.
Their flight patterns are unique. Woodpeckers fly up, coast down then fly upwards again. Those with this totem often find that their path in life wont always conform to society's standards and that their personal unique rhythm needs to be honored. Woodpeckers teach us to honor our personal truth and move through life with perseverance and inner strength. By staying grounded in our pursuits our goals can be obtained.
Woodpeckers are opportunists. They know when to fly out from a perch to catch insects in the air or on the ground. Their barbed tongues and strong chiseled beaks symbolize life lessons associated with discernment and proper use of speech for those with this totem.
In spring the loud calls of woodpeckers often augmented by drumming on hollow wood are the sounds of males holding territories. Woodpeckers defend their territory aggressively. Those with this medicine need to be in control of their personal environment and will not tolerate others trying to change it. Although personal space is very important for woodpecker medicine people control issues can sometimes be a problem and flexibility needs to be learned.
The woodpecker is known as the Earths drummer. Drumming is the heartbeat of mother earth and is associated with shamanism and the ability to move into other dimensions at will. For those with this totem the woodpecker represents self discovery. As they peck into and through trees and dead wood, hidden layers of ones psyche are revealed. Those with this medicine are good analysts and have strong mental capabilities. They make excellent psychiatrists and psychologists. Woodpeckers are active birds so caution is advised to maintain balance when reviewing any situation or issue. Too much analyzing can result in procrastination