GIFTS: Patience. Resourcefulness. Renewal. Easy gliding, lift without being weighted down. Cleaning up the mess.
CHALLENGES: Feeling unworthy. Ungrounded. Shadow side of waiting to swoop in for the kill. Over-reliance on benefitting from other people’s efforts.
Vulture is a fascinating animal that has been mistakenly considered a harbinger of death. Vulture does not bring death. Vulture gains from death and cleans up from death. Physical vultures are scavengers, not predators. They seek out death in the sense that they seek out carcasses, nourishment.
When I think of all the vultures who get to live another day because death left a carcass for them to eat, I am reminded of the Star Trek quote, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.” While many people turn away in revulsion at the sight of vultures feeding on a carcass, I am drawn to the magnificence of a death that was not in vain. What a waste for death to happen and benefit no one—for no one to grow, for no one to learn.
Spirit Animal Vulture is not a “look on the bright side” kind of archetype. Vulture is more pragmatic than that. I’m not suggesting that you look on the bright side or hold onto some other hollow platitude when dealing with death or any other kind of darkness. I am suggesting that you take what you can from it. Don’t avoid death or dirt or messiness. Hop into it, like Vulture. Feed off of it to nourish your soul. It doesn’t have to taste good. You can feel the dirtiness and the revulsion.
Call in spirit animal Vulture to help you be fully there and to clean up afterward. Vulture isn’t playing around in the mess; Vulture is cleaning it up as it goes. Feeding off of the mess isn’t creating more mess; it’s getting rid of the mess.
This process of feeding off of death leads to renewal and the endless cycle of life. When you are knee-deep in death/mess/despair, remember that there is renewal awaiting you. That’s not a bright side. That’s just part of the cycle.
Another, more “pleasant,” gift from spirit animal Vulture is the conservation of energy. Vulture teacher you how to glide through life without being weighted down. Physical vultures flap their wings only briefly to get up in the air. They use the thermals (rising warm air) to stay aloft. They are then able to glide effortlessly without flapping again for 10, 20, 30 minutes, even more. Borrow this gift from Vulture whenever you need to conserve energy and glide through—or above—a sticky situation.