In Which I Take Questionable Advice from my Spirit Animal Guide

If you read my last post, you know I was a little down in the dumps. I thought a good night’s sleep in my big, cushy, golden AirBNB bed would help, but I woke up feeling much the same.

Nevertheless, I got out of bed, laced up my shoes, and promised myself that I only had to accomplish one thing today and then I could come back and wallow. I had to climb to Arthur’s Seat.

 

Arthur’s Seat is an inactive volcano super close to the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. No one knows where the name “Arthur’s Seat” came from, but legend has it that the formation used to be a dragon. The dragon’s name was not Arthur either, so I will call him Lewis for the purposes of this story. Now, Lewis was a very fearsome dragon. The only thing he loved more than flying around and scaring people was eating livestock that he had stolen from local farmers.  Even though he was eating organic, free-range, and protein-rich snacks, Lewis grew fat and slow. One fateful day, he lay down to take a nap after eating too many sheep, and was never to move again, becoming the mountainside.

There are several routes to the top, and I did my research beforehand so I could half-ass it with an easier climb. Hey, I said I was going to make it to the peak; I never said I would do it properly.

About 2 minutes into my walk, I started feeling better. The sun was shining, the air was crisp. When I got tired, I would turn around and take a peak at the view behind me. It was nothing compared to what you get at the top, but still beautiful and satisfying.

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I’m finding there’s nothing better than getting up above a city when you’re feeling overwhelmed by traveling.

 

This hike is very popular. This would normally annoy me (sorry, introvert)–but I felt such a complete surge of love for everyone on the mountain (sorry, volcano) with me, especially at the top. We had all done the same thing and were looking out over the same amazing city.

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The 360-degree view of Edinburgh was breathtaking, but I found myself once again playing paparazzi to the people around me. In that moment,everyone was just so lovely with their big, bright jackets and smiles of accomplishment. I just couldn’t help myself–you know it’s a big deal when I’d rather take pictures of people than buildings.

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1 person off-center=1 great, melancholy photograph. Seriously, I take so many photos like this.

Arthur’s Seat technically refers to the peak of this rock formation, but there’s other lovely hills and cliffs underneath, so after exploring those a little, I scoped out a place to sit.

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And upon this rock, I shall eat my cheese sandwich.

I had just pulled out a little lunch when a raven landed on the rock right in front of me. Like, right in front of me. Like I was a Disney princess. Like if Snow White was an alto, was cynical (in a charming way), and really liked wearing black.

He looked right at me, like he was trying to tell me something. Or he just really wanted some of my crackers. Either way, he hung around for 20 minutes, hopping from rock to rock around me.

It seemed like a happy coincidence because I’d been in the market for a new spirit animal after a date back home kind of ruined owls for me. Don’t ask. My kooky AirBNB host from Bath had also talked about her plans to go to a workshop where a Shaman would help her find her spirit guide. I know I’m a bird, so I decided to try on raven.

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Say I’m a bird! Say it! Source

Obviously, I’m reading into this, but upon further “research”, the raven seemed entirely appropriate. I’ve had a rough and confusing year, and I started this blog so I could reset before I move on to the next chapter.

Know that when Raven appears that magic is imminent. Raven is about rebirth, recovery, renewal, recycling and certainly reflection and healing. He signifies moving through transitions smoothly by casting light into the darkness. Source

I decided to follow this raven around the hilltop. He moved to a new boulder. Ok, Birdy. I’ll move to the rock right next to you. I trust you. He took flight, then hovered over a certain spot. Ok, Birdy. What’s special about that spot? I’m coming to investigate. He flew left, hesitated in the air for a moment, then dove down the side of the cliff. Nah, Birdy. Not today. 

Thanks for tuning in, friends! That Brit Pop playlist I promised is still in the works, but I is very sleepy. I is going to bed.

-D.A.

 

 

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