It is interesting the many ways animals can creep into our consciousness and send us messages and lessons. I usually see them in a vivid dream or out in the world where you wouldn’t expect them (like having a fox or three racoons visit my back yard!) Yesterday parrots came into my awareness when I read an article in the March/April 2013 issue of all animals published by The Humane Society. You can see the full article at this link: (warning: there are images that are disturbing)
The article focuses on parrot rescues where parrots who have been surrendered or taken from abuse situations are cared for. Parrots are really wild birds who love light, flying, being with the flock: FREEDOM! They are highly intelligent (intelligent enough to be bored) and when denied their crucial needs as they are in many homes and breeding farms, they will often self-mutilate, plucking all their feathers off and worse. They also live a long life span so often will outlive their owners leaving them to rescue situations. Apparently the numbers who are being rescued have been climbing steadily, an indication of a crisis situation.
Ted Andrews in Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small gives parrot the keynote: sunshine and color healing. The parrot can be a wonderful teacher of the power of light and colors. Also their ability to mimic humans can make them a communicator between the human and bird kingdom. These wonderful attributes may also have contributed to their popularity as a pet. They are now the fourth most popular pet after dogs, cats, and freshwater fishes. Carly Van Heerden in her Animal Totems & Spirit Animals: The Shamanic Approach sees the parrot as representing communication, diplomacy and negotiation. “They are seen as guides to wisdom that have also mastered the art of mockery, and are known to think before they speak.”
I can tell you that the photo in the all animals article of an African Grey parrot Sofia spoke to me loud and clear. Birds, especially wild, intelligent, flocking birds do not thrive in lonely, boring, dark cages. They need to be free, out in the sunshine, flying in flocks and living the life nature intended for them. I sense a deeper lesson. Is it just parrots who need these things? Do we not have many people who feel isolated, caged, bored, shut off from the sun, in prisons real or metaphorical? Do not these people often hurt themselves or hurt others as a result of this mistreatment? Perhaps the rescue parrots are sending messages to us to be kind and more giving to each other. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on pet parrots or other exotic pets who may be miserable in that situation we should be thinking about how our resources could be helping les miserables among us, all the creatures on mother earth. Kindness and compassion is a good place to start. Thank you Sofia and the beautiful, colorful and wise parrots for your many valuable lessons of what freedom really means.