26 September, 2014

Fun with Hugin and Munin at the DC Zoo

Last weekend, I visited the Smithsonian Zoo when DC Pagan Pride Day ended. I was parked in a good spot at Dupont Circle, and took the opportunity to visit some Nature Spirits in the flesh.

Sadly, there are no Coyotes in the zoo (cause they are everywhere else!), but I did enjoy talking with the bear, big cats, maned wolf, snakes, flamingos, owls, etc.  One of my favorite areas I visited was the Giant Bird Aviary, because it had no walls or fences (once you are in the enclosure). There were numerous ducks and peacocks, as well as ibises (hello Thoth!), and I enjoyed walking up the path and seeing cute little grouse run ahead of me.

I've been to this particular area of the zoo numerous times, and had my favorites that I liked to visit. I rounded the corner of the sidewalk and heard "Cro--ak"-- I was stunned and stopped moving. Was it a crow that flew in for some free food? Was it a real noise, or just inside my head?

"Croak!"

Hugin!
Oh my gods, RAVENS!

I have never seen or heard a Raven in real life, ever. I immediately almost burst into tears, and scooted up as close to it as I could.

"Cro-ack!"

Now the tears flowed, because there were two of them:

Munin!
I stood there, transfixed, for over 20 minutes--cooing and croaking at them both, watching their behavior, laughing as they teased the other birds, cheering as they caught mice.

Ravens are very important to Odin, as they are his Thought and Memory made manifest for Shamanic Journeying and Magic. I have worked with Odin for many years, and honored our relationship with my own version of Hugin & Munin back in 2010:

Odin's great Ravens as shoulder tattoos
The sight of these two huge birds at the zoo opened my heart and mind in a big way, and I feel Them clench Their spiritual claws on my shoulders every now and then, warning me to Pay Attention.

Although I know that there are contrasting view surrounding the necessity of zoos, on that day I was very thankful to have seen a great Nature Spirit in physical form.

What Nature Spirits do you like to communicate with at zoos, parks, etc??

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