Chakras and Totems and Finches, Oh My!

This is a repost of a blog I wrote in July 2013. It is my most popular blog post, and I continue to get hits on it everyday. I also continue to get comments–some very poignant–about loved ones whose passing is followed by a similar visit. I wanted to share it again because this was such an extraordinary experience for me.

What I am about to tell you is true. Caveat: if you are a pragmatist, I will probably make you angry.

Sunday night after printing out poems I needed for a poetry group meeting the next day, I shut down my laptop and joined Rich in the living room to watch 60 Minutes (Hugh Jackman was on a rerun). I heard a clicking noise in my office and thought, I know I turned my printer off. Returning to my office I walked past both windows and sat at my desk. Yes, the printer was turned off. Hearing the noise again, I looked at my east-facing window where I have chakra beads hanging to catch the morning sun (bye-bye pragmatists). Perched on the outside looking in at me was a yellow finch. I kept still so as not to startle him, but he hadn’t moved when I walked by a minute before. We watched each other for a bit, and then he cocked his head and tapped again.

“Rich, come here! I have a bird friend,” I called to my husband. When he came to the door of my office, the bird flew away.

A warm feeling spread through me as I thought of what a special moment that had been, but it was not the only moment I would have with my new friend.  I continued to work at my desk for a few minutes, and my finch (I’m trying desperately not to name him Atticus) came back and sat at the north window directly in front of me. He looked in at me and tapped a few times, and then tried to fly through the window into my office. I called Rich again, but again the bird flew away. The finch returned one more time tapping a few times and then trying to fly inside.

I was smiling like a kid with a lollipop as I thought about this, but I was also trying to grasp how I was feeling and what this might mean.  You see, I’ve had my totem done, and while I have no finch, my “within” animal is the Grouse – bird of the sacred spiral. I tried to honestly examine my emotions during this, and they were positive and warm.

Returning to the living room, I focused on Hugh Jackman who was discussing Les Miz when I heard tapping on the north window right behind me.  Rich laughed and I turned and saw my finch friend tapping at me.  Again he tried to fly into the room, and then flew off. He left and returned to that window one or two more times. My movements never scared him away.

Rich and I pondered the meaning of this visit, and I Googled animal symbolism and found that finches are harbingers of celebration and happiness—good times were ahead.  Native Americans held finches in high esteem as birds of happiness. Cool.

Two days later I walked into my bedroom to dress after my shower, and there sat my little friend on the second-story, west-facing window.  He tapped good morning to me and I said hello.  Even as I moved about the room, he didn’t fly away.  Finally, I approached the window and he watched until I got very close and then flew away. Sadly, I have not seen him since.
My Prayer Chair

Now, I am cautious in relating this story to friends, but actually most have accepted it willingly and many have shared similar stories with me. Two friends, Trish Harner and Deb Cull had identical responses: “I wonder who it is?”   At Trish’s suggestion I tried non-dominate-hand writing asking the bird who he was.  Nothing came to mind, so I just allowed my pen to move.  I looked at the scribbles when I finished and could not make out any words.  I looked at it upside down and in the mirror, but nothing.  When I sat down this morning to share this experience with you, I looked again at the middle of the scribbles and quite plainly saw the word “love”. I will check this out with Rich at lunch today to see if he sees it, too, but I see it plain as day now.

I believe my daily meditation is opening me to broader spiritual experiences and understanding. Is it a coincidence that this little finch first appeared at the window right behind my prayer chair? Even scientists (and you pragmatists who have hung around) admit we use only about 10% of our conscious mind. How much more of the world would we enjoy if we only opened our minds and hearts to God’s creation?

 

I would love to hear of any similar experience you’ve had.

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41 thoughts on “Chakras and Totems and Finches, Oh My!

  1. Lovely post! Closest thing I've had to that is my cat of ten years not liking my now ex-husband when we were dating.
    She started missing her litter-box everywhere, jumping on the table, etc. stuff she had never done before. I should have listened to her 😉 I just didn't realize at the time what she was trying to tell me. And he was allergic to cats too 😉

    • Your cat sounds brilliant! Isn't the instinct of animals amazing? I saw a story of a dog who kept jumping on its owner and hitting her in the chest. She paid attention and saw a doctor who found early stage breast cancer. Her dog saved her life! Thanks for stopping by, Andrea 🙂

  2. nancy says:

    I also had a yellow finch knock on my bedroom window. He woke me up one day from a nap and then returned a few days later. Ironically, today I have a house finch (red head) sitting outside my office window singing and singing. He leaves, then comes back and gets closer to my window looking at me singing.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      You’ve had two special visitors, Nancy. That is so cool. Happiness and celebration are coming to you!

  3. Amy Lineberger says:

    Today a dear friend passed away! I am very sad because we had lost touch recently due to our busy lives. Though I did think of her and I sometimes would check out her FB page just to keep up. Well this evening I was on her FB page reminiscing, when a yellow Finch flew right in front of the window where I was sitting. It kept flying in front of the window back and forth and a few times I thought it would crash into it. Eventually it clung to the screen and just looked in at us. It was so cute. It stayed for about 5 minutes and flew around again in front of the window then just flew away. We have feeders on the side yard and finches all over our yard but this was the first time this happened.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Oh, Amy, what a precious gift! I believe that our loved ones visit us and send us messages through nature, music, and other manifestations…even pennies that keep turning up in our paths. I love your story.

  4. Hillary says:

    I had this exact same experience just the past couple months with a gold finch. One day I heard tapping on my east-facing window and it was the bird. It kept flying into my window and then it would find a way to perch and stare in at me. The first appearance was in early June and the finch has showed up at various windows in my house every single day. He just flies into the glass a few times, perches, stares, and cocks his head at me. I would like to think of this as a positive experience, but everything I found online said birds flying into windows is a bad omen, such as a warning of death or the end of a relationship. I have Cherokee in me so I’m glad you found something positive about birds and native americans!

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Hillary, that sounds exactly like my experience! Everything I found online and in books said this was a harbinger of good luck. We have had many blessings in our lives since it occurred. I hope you will, too!

  5. Jill Mungall says:

    To make a very long story short. My husband of 15 years had been working out of the state for a few months, met another woman and left my 9yr old daughter and myself. As you can imagine I was devastated. I have a very close relationship with Jesus and could not have made it through the past year and a half without his arms holding me up. This past summer as I was packing to move out of our house I began to have encounters with a beautiful little yellow finch just as you guys have described. After about three days of him pecking on my windows and following me from room to room I looked up the significance of this encounter also. What a blessing to discover it represented joy and new beginings. It brought such peace to my spirit and was confirmation that God has much bigger and better things for me in future. He is so sweet!

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Your finch encounter sounds just like mine, Jill. I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through, but I am so happy that your faith is helping you along this journey. I wish you and your daughter all good things. God bless!

  6. This isn’t quite the same but still was an unusual experience. Seven years ago this month, after attending the wake for a dear friend, a group of us were riding in the car together. Just as we crossed the river between two towns, there was an animal in the median. We could only see it in the headlights but it looked like a silver fox, very unusual in this area. One of my friends said right away, “It’s Benny. He’s telling us he’s all right.” Another friend took a picture with her phone. Later, when she looked at the picture, there was nothing there. Even now I get chills thinking about it.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      I love that story, Lucy! I’m with you. I believe your friend was visiting you with a message. What a gift. Thanks for sharing your story.

      • J. Kevin Hunt says:

        Yes. And here’s the rest of that story: that little finch made an earlier visit two hours earlier. Somehow it found its way into the arena, through a labyrinth of stairs and levels. It landed on the empty platform, then flew straight up more than 200 feet to the Jumbotron, which at that time was displaying a big blue Bernie logo. The finch buzzed Bernie’s name several times, then flew off. Two hours later, after the crowd of 28,000 had entered and as Bernie was about a third of the way through his speech, the finch suddenly reappeared and landed on Bernie’s flank. He was oblivious to it until he noticed front row standing crowd people pointing. Bernie turned, acknowdged the birdie, and turned back to face the crowd, swinging his right arm. The finch took off and followed the arc of Bernie’s arm, landing on the lectern and looking at Bernie. Goosebumps were raised throughout the arena. I was about 20 feet from the lectern when both incidents occurred, volunteering in the disabled persons’ section. The hair still goes up on the back of my neck when I recall it.

        • Elizabeth Meyette says:

          That is amazing! I love the photos of Bernie looking at the little finch perched on his lectern. Obviously, the finch has better political sense than many lol. Thanks for sharing these incredible details. It must have been amazing to have been there in the midst of Bernie and the history he has made.

  7. Tiffany says:

    I ran across this page while researching the meaning of seeing finches. I’ve been down lately and a very good friend passed away about a month ago so I thought maybe it was him. I always see 2 flying together and somehow they always make me smile even when I’m really low. I’m glad to know they represent celebration and joy! I also went through a break up the day before my friend passed away but wasn’t able to deal with those emotions because I was grieving the loss of my dear, sweet friend. The description of finches fits him perfectly! I think I was drawn to them (even though birds typically frighten me somewhat) for a reason. I suppose pragmatist is a great word to describe me, hehe.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, Tiffany. You’ve been through some very difficult events lately. I’m glad the birds are bringing you joy. I believe they are messengers of good things coming in life. I certainly wish that for you. Wishing you all best!

  8. Deb says:

    Loved that you shared your story. I heard birds singing just a few minutes ago and looked out my door. I saw a baby finch go into a berry bush in my front yard. Before I knew it there were about 12 finches flying from this tree to my neighbors. I live in the northeast and am 60 yrs old. I have never seen this many finches gathered together. So of course I had to look them up. Was so grateful to read that they represent live, joy, celebration and new beginnings. I suffered the loss of my daughter 4 months ago. I am always asking for signs that she is at peace (died of drug overdose …. Very difficult relationship over past 7 yrs w her) and my father was recently diagnosed w stage 4 brain cancer. Well today I have decided to allow these beautiful crestures of nature to let me know my daughter is in a new beginning and that she is feeling all the love she couldn’t allow herself to feel when she was on earth and I’m also going to accept that my fathers illness is bringing him closer to the love of his life, my mother, who passed away 7 yrs ago.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Deb, I am so sorry for your loss and for your father’s illness. You have been through so much pain. I have never seen so many finches together like that either – what a gift to you! I’m so glad these sweet birds brought you comfort and strength. Your wonderful attitude will help you through this difficult time. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I wish you all best.

  9. Kristen says:

    I had a beautiful experience with a gold finch. I had been out shopping in the morning and when I came home I left the windows to the car open. Sometime later I was headed out and when I placed the car in reverse I saw a movement in the cup that was in the cup holder in the car. What did I see, a yellow and black gold finch stuck. I took the cup out the car and released him. He came back later as I was sitting on the front steps and flew right up and landed right in front of me. He cocked his head as to say thank you and then flew off.
    Last week I woke up in a funky mood and when I lifted the shade to see the day outside, there on the bird feeder was a black and yellow finch saying your going to have a good day. But what made the day even brighter was the huge male cardinal in the tree that was singing such a beautiful song. My mom loved cardinals and as felt good luck when she saw one. However the song being sung sounded just like when my father used to whistle. So for me it was my father watching over me and telling me it was going to be a good day. I have never seen a bluebird until recently that is. It was stunning and I went about the day feeling great. That night while putting lotion on my arms I realized the bluebird tattooed on my arm in living memory of my mother and stood there smiling because I knew she was watching over me and guiding me in the right direction. Moving here 2 years ago has introduced me to animal spirits with each phase of my life that has changed and transitioned and I have never felt more connected to spirit then I do now. God has truly blessed me and I couldn’t be more grateful for his love.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Thank you for sharing these beautiful visitations, Kristen. Isn’t it wonderful when Spirit visits us via nature with comfort from our loved ones? This winter we had nine bright red male cardinals at and in the trees around our feeder at one time – it was a glorious scene! You’re right, blue birds are rare to see (at least where we live), so that was a very special gift…from your mother 🙂

  10. Nancy says:

    I found you through googling red house finch spirit totem. We have a family nesting on our front porch. They hop along the railing looking into our house singing away….looking for us and not afraid. They gather in the tree above when my husband plays his banjo. Now, while I am sitting at the back of my house looking out at the garden a male stopped on my trellis. He is looking in at me. I recently lost a dear friend. I will hold this sweet bird as a symbol of love. Thank you for your lovely post and equally meaningful comments.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      What a gift to have a family of finches nesting at your home. I love the image of them gathered listening to your husband playing his banjo. Yes, Nancy, I believe you had a visit from your dear friend. How blessed you are! Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences.

  11. Trista says:

    My childhood best friend is currently in icu on
    life support. For the past 3 days a female finch has been visiting me. I know it’s the same bird because she always goes and hangs on my husbands trucks side mirror first. She then flies over and sits on the windowsill and looks at me. She cocks her head and just sits. Today I wondered if this bird is trying to tell me something.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Trista, I am sending prayers and positive energy for your friend in icu. What a gift to have those visitations from your little finch friend. I hope its message is one of peace and happiness. Thank you for sharing this. I send prayers and positive energy to you, too.

  12. Monica says:

    I just had a small brow bird knocking on my window. There’s no reflection because there’s a screen. My dad past away a little over 2 months ago of a suicide of a lonely heart. It has been difficult but I accept his death but have been praying every night that he has been accepted into heaven.
    When he past, I had a crow following me. On his memorial, one flew between my car and my brothers.
    I’ve been crying now that the shock of his death is set in and I accept it. Is it either a sign that he is ok or is it a sign that good things are going to come my way? Either way, when I jumped up to see what the knocking was, I felt a warming inside immediately so I take that as a good sign and not an omen.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Monica, I am so sorry for your loss. It is difficult enough to lose your father, but the tragic circumstances of his death add to your grief, I’m sure. Trust your feelings and embrace the peace that came over you. How wonderful to have the visit from the little brown bird to comfort you. God bless.

  13. Jodi says:

    I woke up one morning 2 weeks ago and outside my west window was a gold finch. I told it “stay there I’m getting my camera.”I ran and got my camera and when I came back it was facing me looking right at me, chirping. I talked to it and said hi aren’t you pretty. I got one picture before it flew off, I haven’t seen it since. I showed the pic to my Dad and he smiled, he had a suicide attempt last August and had been battling depression all year. He seemed to be coming out of it the last 2 weeks of June,but suddenly this week he changed. Yesterday, he took his life and I am devastaded,but this little birds visit keeps coming back to me like he was trying to tell me something. l’m glad maybe that pic gave my Dad a little bit of joy like it gave me when I saw it.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Jodi, I am so sorry to hear about your dad’s death. Losing a loved one is difficult enough, but such tragic circumstances makes it even harder. I have a family member who has been suicidal most of her life, and I know the roller coaster ride of hope and despair that you and your family have been on. How wonderful that your finch visit brought a moment of happiness to your father before he passed. I’m glad the little finch’s subsequent visits have offered you some peace. I wish you all best.

  14. Theophilos says:

    Thanks for your input on this symbolism. I believe there is a message when things happen out of the ordinary to catch our attention. Practice of the “Presence” and the realization that, as stated in Scripture, it is God in whom we live and move and have our Being, brings us to the realization that She is ever speaking to us through all the things about us.

    A joy filled Season to all and a wonderful New Year.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Meditation has recently brought me to the realization that I don’t need to ask God to be present to me, for She always is present. Rather, I need to ask God to open me to “Presence”. Thank you for your lovely response, Theophilos.

  15. Jodi says:

    Update: I have had a purple finch at my bedroom window for two months. It turned out him and his mate had a nest in my arborvitae trees six feet from that window. He thought his reflection was another male threatening him. My Dad passed away a year ago on July 8th,2016 and this little finch I also read is a bearer of joy,so he made a difficult time a little better for me. He made me smile every day when I heard his tap tap tap so thank you little finch and thank you for your blog!

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Jodi, what a delight it must have been to have that little finch around during that time. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I believe your Dad is with you still. Thanks for sharing this with me and brightening my day.

  16. Rohn Federbush says:

    The love of writing: escaping the political venues, forgetting how to cook, letting the laundry lay unhung, skipping all my ailments, creating maybe only the sound of traffic under a window. The Lord has blessed me with this unpaid occupation, claiming my heart, calming my spirit, giving me a reason to avoid anything negative.

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