Vultures are a common sight around this part of Virginia, though it is highly unusual for them to appear on the Institute grounds. You see them spiraling on the thermals, great wings outspread, eyes downward and ever vigilant, scanning for food. As a glider pilot, Bob Monroe loved to watch them gracefully soaring far above TMI.
In the beautiful countryside around TMI, participants often see just the right animal totem at just the right time. All events are an invitation to receive guidance, and sometimes guidance appears in unexpected forms.
Indeed, vultures, also called buzzards, are some of our finest purifiers, helping to clear the environment of disease-producing decomposition. As a TMI staffer once remarked to a participant repelled by the sight of a vulture consuming something on the roadside, “The world would be a hideous place without them.”
But despite their large stature, ghoulish appearance, and intimidating reputation, vultures tend to be shy, and generally depart when humans get anywhere near them—one reason why a Black Vulture sighting during the MC2 program in March was compelling.
Patty Ray Avalon, a trainer of MC2, was with David Barden, a participant from Australia, when, “We spotted a BIG elegant bird perched atop the crystal at the Nancy Penn Center. Our hearts leapt with the dream that it might be, you know, an EAGLE or a HAWK! As we got closer, our hearts calmed ... it was a common buzzard. But we had new respect for it because it was powerful and brave and singular and elegant up there.”
The bird appeared purposeful and not at all afraid. For those to whom the notion of a random universe seems absurd, this event begs several questions:
- Why did it choose TMI as its landing place, and specifically, the crystal?
- Why did it appear at just that time?
- For whom was it making its appearance?
- What was its “medicine,” its message?
Without claiming to have all the answers, I think many would agree that the vulture’s presence during the MC2 program was no accident. MC2, or Manifestation and Creation Squared, is, in part, about bringing into form with love that which we desire, and releasing that which no longer serves us.
… this event … is an exceptional opportunity to receive the gift of animal medicine.