Updated: Oct 27, 2022
Today is Tuesday, October 25, 2022, a seasonally warm yet rainy day in rural New Jersey, more so misty than pouring, at least for right now. It was if the rain consciously held off long enough for this interaction to unfold. Before I even saw them, I heard the jingle of the leash and felt the energy of excitement approaching from behind. I looked back and saw my neighbor John and his beloved Bella. It was now 4 days later and we meet again in the same place on the grassy knoll. If you haven't yet read part 1, I'd suggest starting there for a better understanding.
"Oh I didn't see you here," he says.
"Hmm it kinda felt like you did," I thought to myself but it's okay. The energy resonated as if there was something he wanted to tell me but wasn't quite sure how to approach it. There was an excitement clearly present yet a undercurrent of hesitancy as if not wanting to come off too bold, playing it cool and calm on the surface. I proceeded to ask him about his weekend and with a little prodding, we began to unfold one of the most amazing and magical stories of Spirit and synchronicity that I've ever heard.
It goes like this - it was last Sunday afternoon, 2 days after our moment of connection on Friday. John is sitting on his porch with Bella having his usual cigar when out of nowhere comes a bird, a cardinal that flutters in front of the porch door window and proceeds to land in between John's feet on the porch. He's a bit perplexed and nervous because Bella is a hunting dog and her instinct is to catch birds. But Bella, instead of reacting, gently reaches down to sniff the cardinal as the cardinal looks up at her unafraid. In a moment of connection and higher awareness, the two knew there was a mission here to complete.
John is astounded, he's spent his life hunting birds. I can hear the shock and utter bewilderment in his voice, "I don't understand it! She sat there for 10 or 15 minutes, she let me pet her head then plucked out her feathers and laid them at my feet! 7 or 8 of them! Then she just flew up to the railing for a second, looked back and flew away! Haven't seen a cardinal since."
Spirit chills run down my spine and through my body as my jaw hangs open in shock and astonishment, flashing memories of our chat on Friday flowing forward - how he now refrains from killing pheasants, memories of his father, his sister sick with cancer and possibly readying for transition. My own memories flooding of extensive spiritual encounters with the cardinal and it's meaning to me. Honestly, I might not even have believed his story if he hadn't shown me the picture of the cardinal and Bella nose to nose.
In all my encounters with cardinals, I've never experienced anything that profound. They've come close but never close enough to touch and never for very long. I feel a bit jealous because I've been looking for cardinal feathers for years without any luck! :) For them to not only leave behind feathers but purposefully pluck them out and place them at his feet - this was beyond, this was sacred. I feel so deeply excited for him!
He calls his Native American friend and asks, "What could this possibly mean?!
Am I supposed to give them to someone? What in God's name am I supposed to do with this?! I don't understand." She tells him it's a gift, that he should sage, make a bundle with the feathers and make an offering to the bird and Spirit to say thank you.
But he's confused by that,"You're supposed to tell me what it means and I don't know how to do that stuff!"
"You know what it means," I said gently. "You know in your heart. It happened after we talked on Friday about how you can't kill anymore and about your dad in Spirit."
"Yeah but, but..", he stammers.
To ease his confusion, I share with him my interpretation. "It feels like a double meaning. Your dad in Spirit embodied the cardinal who represented the entire bird family. They wanted to say thank you for not killing them anymore. A peace offering. A demonstration of Spirit that you can't deny."
Time stood still. John's eyes welled up. He stopped breathing. I could feel the ball in his throat and stomach. The suppressed emotion wanting to pour out as he kept it tightly contained. He felt the Truth in this.
I go on, "Spirit knew that it had to be something big, something that you couldn't explain or analyze away."
"Yeah but I don't understand," he says over and over. "Why me and what am I supposed to do with all these feathers?! I was thinking maybe I should give one to my niece and to my friend who's dog is sick and I don't know who else."
"Maybe they're all for you," I suggested. "They were a gift but you have to tune into your heart and see what you feel. If you feel you should give them to someone who needs it, then trust that feeling."
He goes on to tell me of another experience he had this past weekend. His sister was admitted to the hospital because she's deteriorating quickly. In the middle of the night he was awoken and felt a warm, loving presence. "I don't know how to explain it but it was if I was cleansed", he says. I ask him to explain more. "You know, there's a lot going on mentally. My sister, my parents, I work in the background, I do all the things that need to be done, get their meds ready, make appointments, do all the things but I'm not in the forefront, going to visit in the hospital and those kind of things."
Of course, I know why he functions this way. It's too painful for him to see, he'd rather be in the background and contribute to his family in the way he finds most comfortable. This is an extremely sensitive soul who has no clue as to the depth of that sensitivity. Sensitivity covered by a heart wall and layers of protection and programming that are finally starting to crack and allow the light in.
"But after this experience, I felt like some of it was taken away. I can't explain it. And I can't feel my sister anymore. It's weird, I don't know if this happens to people but I can usually feel her. I can't feel her anymore."
I tell him that yes, this is possible and explain that sometimes people begin to transition before the body actually dies. There are stages to transitioning. I asked if she was "hallucinating", using a term he would understand. John, again in his shock and bewilderment tells me how yes, his sister is seeing people that aren't there. Her granddaughter specifically, who is still alive. Usually at the end of life, the dying will begin to be visited by loved ones that have passed on. I'm not familiar with living people being present in spirit form but I'm sure it's a possibility, especially if she's a child. His sister gets upset when they tell her the people aren't there because obviously she's seeing them and not making it up. The doctor knows it too and asks if the people are speaking back to her. She says yes.
John laughs at the insanity of it all and that this is all happening to him at the same time. Even through all the hardship, he still maintains his humor. To me, that's a sign of a real Spirit. He goes on to tell me that after hearing about his sister and her "hallucinations" he experiences another synchronicity!
"I hate bumper stickers" he says, "but this one was just too good."
With a look of amusement on his face he tells me it said, 'The voices are texting me now.' He laughs and shakes his head at the absolute perfection and absurdity of that statement and I laugh with him.
It begins to rain a little harder now as we walk away, each to our respective apartments. He invites me to come over if I ever want a feather. I feel so incredibly honored and touched by his offering. There's no better time like the present so I follow him across the street. He reaches into his apartment to pull out his clear ziploc bag of cardinal feathers and allows me to choose one. I feel so much gratitude in my heart.
I talk to him briefly about the death of loved ones and how people are always asking and looking for signs that their loved ones are alright but they don't pay attention to the subtle energies and usually dismiss the signs they're being sent. Then he tells me about his 35 year old nephew, Martin who died suddenly last November. "He had a thing with hearts. His mother was born on Valentines day. There's 33 nieces and nephews and the last time they all spent together was on the beach, laughing, drinking, getting high and having the time of their lives. That was in August and my nephew died a few months later."
He pulls out his phone to show me some photos and shares how his brother missed his son so much, he was devastated and asking for signs that his son was okay. He looked down one day and on the carpet, through the light filtering from the window, there was a perfectly made heart of light.
"I brushed it off" he says, thinking that it was always probably there and he just didn't see it before.
He goes on, "Then my other brother was writing a song about Martin, we're a family of musicians, play guitar and stuff. While he was writing the song, this appeared." He shows me the photo of another perfectly shaped heart made of light almost identical to the one his other brother saw!
"Wow that is amazing!," I exclaim.
"Yeah I thought it was interesting, right?", he says totally low key.
"So then! My niece, who was the closest to my nephew, they spent time at the beach together. She found this!" He shows me a photo of an oyster shell with a perfect heart right in the center as if someone had carved it purposefully. Amazing!!
"It happened so much that I made a heart album," he laughs.
He shares even another story of Spirit and synchronicity when he tells me that his nephew always said the owl was his spirit animal. One day after his death in November when John was out in the woods hunting, an owl swooped down right in front of him and landed in the tree. "Ten minutes the owl sat there and looked at me. In all my years hunting, I've never seen an owl during the day!"
I assure him that was his nephew communicating via Spirit.
How many other synchronicities has John analyzed away or passed off as just a coincidence before Spirit had to knock him over the head with the undeniable magic of the cardinal? This is what we're trained to do as humans, logic and reason are much more important and prized than Spirit and intuition. Believing in something that cannot be proven is unacceptable and so we naturally explain it away over and over again until we can't deny it anymore.
I feel there's a part of John that relates the weekend events and experiences to our connection on that Friday and that's why he offered me a feather. It was a symbiotic exchange where something magical, something sacred was initiated. An opening, an allowance, an activation. Permission to accept Spirit into his heart. To allow himself to believe in something more than the material world, to allow his Awakening from the dream to continue, to access his Divinity.
For me, this was a reminder of what Karen calls the 'magical phase' of Awakening. The magic creates an excitement within us that propels us to want to know more. To peer inside the possibility that there is more to us and more to this place than we know. A glimpse of Divinity. What else can I see? What else don't I know about reality? What else can I manifest? Numerous possibilities arise as the programming is questioned, the conscious awareness expands and the Awakening continues. It's truly an amazing thing to witness and feel through someone else's eyes.
I reflect on duality, on humanity and the truly beautiful experience that it can be. How we can hold the paradox of emotions within us all at the same time as we traverse through the light and shadow. The fear, the worry, the magic, the excitement, the joy, bewilderment, awe, sadness, astonishment, inspiration, anticipation, disappointment. John expressed all those emotions and more in our brief encounter. To think that he could be having this magical adventure with a cardinal while we are clearing hundreds of greys and a ticking time bomb from my Coco on the same day. If that doesn't speak of duality and polarization, then I don't know what does. The depth of the human experience can be breathtaking, awe-inspiring and soul-crushing all at the same time.
As we part ways, the warm rain begins to come down heavier and heavier and I can't help but think of the cleansing John mentioned and how symbolic it is. Then he becomes animated and jokes about when they're deciding whether he goes to heaven or hell, the only thing he begs to know is,
"What was up with that cardinal?! Please tell me before I go! Its the only thing I need to know!"
We laugh and I say, "You will never figure it out. Spirit cannot be analyzed, it can only be felt." He agreed, I thank him again for the feather and return home with my Coco.
A wise woman commented on part 1 about meeting people where they are and I find this to be so important. Of course I'm not going to talk to John about Dark Force Entities, the Matrix Soul Trap or Archons. When people come into this kind of information before they are ready and spiritually mature, then it can do more harm than good. Oftentimes, it can cause symptoms of paranoia and psychosis and they no longer know what's real. Instead of opening to Divinity, they shut down. This is why I feel the magic comes first for some, a gentle yet exciting dip-of-the-toe into the world of Spirit.
John, in his 60s, will most likely never wake up to the reincarnation trap and will spend more physical lifetimes on Earth falling back asleep and waking up over and over again until one day in another life, he reaches a level of spiritual maturity where he can hold the totality of Truth, exit the cave and make his way back Home.
If that is his journey, who am I to interfere?
Sometimes, the egoic self likes to think that if we just share enough information, if we throw the big rock in the pond, it will create enough ripples to change the outcome for others. But the Divine Self recognizes that we're not here to save people and that everyone is on their own path back to wholeness and Divinity. Meeting people where they are is the best way to support them.
Karen and I experience synchronicities on a daily basis now, it's so much a part of life that it becomes almost mundane and we forget how magical it is and once was. Some people may say that it's all the Matrix program but I disagree. Synchronicity can come in many forms with many varying intentions and even be negative entity driven. But why would the Matrix push people to wake up and access their Divinity? This kind of magic is organic and from Spirit and is a reminder for us to reflect more and show gratitude for material life and the Great Spirit that animates it all. Human life isn't just good or bad, but a combination of both and a kaleidoscope of colors in between. We can appreciate life and still hold focus on exiting this system. Finding balance and transcending the duality is key to breaking free.