Two Feathers

As some might have noticed, I’ve been struggling lately about what name to use for signing my poetry. I’ve used my birth name, my married name and my spiritual name. A little confusing, eh?

This past week, I completed the Bardic grade of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I can now feel comfortable thinking of myself as a Bard, something that has been an ongoing process since I began the coursework at Samhain 2020.

During the past few years, even before I entered OBOD, I have been writing poetry and my passion for it has grown from a small spark to a bright flame. I see the world in poetic images and words.  I believe this ‘gift’ has been given for a reason and is connected to my spiritual path. As my love for poetry has grown, so has my desire to use it to serve the earth as a form of spiritual ecology.

It seems proper to write from that place in my soul that holds the name Two Feathers. Moving forward, as I refine my style, I will be using that as my pseudonym.

Some may wonder where the name Two Feathers came from? If you’re not wondering, you can stop reading here.

In August of 2007, I was about to enter my second year of Interfaith Seminary and was doing a lot of reflective soul work, using prayer, journeying and journaling. Over a period of a few months, I kept having dreams or visions of two feathers- one from a Hawk and one from an Eagle. At the same time, I was seeing Hawks and Eagles everywhere, literally flying over my head or my car!

There are layers upon layers of meaning that could be derived from the symbolism of these raptors. However, I had two clear visions that Two Feathers was my spiritual name. Initially, I had the sense it was a symbol of the balancing of my yin/yang spirit, or the fact that I have a tendency to see the duality in things, as opposed to non-duality. With the passage of time, my understanding grew. I realized it is a reference to my deep soul connection to both my biological Irish heritage and my equally as strong soul connection to the Lakota tribe. I thought perhaps it related to how, religiously and spiritually, I often felt I was living in two worlds. I have learned over the past two years that it also refers to my roles as chaplain (healer) and writer (bard). As I said, there are many layers.

The feathers have changed a little over the years, at times it’s more Hawk and other times Owl, and other times Ravens and Crows. Eagle still shows up in unmistakable ways when I really need to pay attention. Like now, when I’ve been agonizing over this decision about a pseudonym.

So, as of today, my poetic offerings, as meager as they may be, shall be written by Two Feathers. I may self-publish a book of poetry, or I may not. I do not seek fame or fortune. I write to process what’s in my heart. I write to make a small contribution to the healing of the earth. I write to hopefully touch someone in a small way.

I close with one such offering now.

Two Feathers in flight

Soaring high above the land

The Eagle and the Hawk

Sun rise in glorious color

Over rocky mountains as

Mouse seeks cover under a rock

From this great height I see

Through avian eyes

Both joy and suffering of my kin

All beings, even Mother Earth

I am not separate

I am one with them

Hear my prayer,

Great Spirit of the sky

To heal and help

Through word and deed

The dying ones

And those bereaved.

The poet wakes

Beneath the trees

Grounded between earth and sky

Inspired bard from forest grove

Makes word magic

While the river flows.

Two Feathers

January 10, 2022

About The Author

For Heidi Hanley, reading and writing are like breathing. On her 5oth birthday, she got serious about turning her passion for writing into a goal to publish. The result is The Prophecy, Book One of the Kingdom of Uisneach series. The Runes of Evalon, the second book in the series, is due out in April. Heidi lives in New Hampshire beside the Connecticut River with her husband and a Scottish Terrier. She has enjoyed a career as a Registered Nurse, Interfaith minister and is currently serving as a Hospice chaplain. When not working, you will find her reading, sneaking away to Maine, or and in the garden with the birds and faeries.

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