I read about animal oversouls years ago, but never truly understood them until I had a few experiences that, to me, were nothing short of miraculous. The definition on an oversoul that I’ll use here is the overseeing archetypal “soul” that makes a group of animals what they are—e.g. birds, deer, etc.
I learned that when we develop a relationship with a certain animal, we’re doing so with the entire species—the whole. This has also helped me get a better understanding of the “spirit animal” concept in native cultures. I’d like to share two specific examples that I’ve had with bird and butterfly oversoul experiences.
I’m lucky enough to live on the California coast right next to a trail that goes through a protected area, made up of lots of green shrubs, trees and cliff bluffs that overlook the Pacific ocean. Wildlife is abundant here, including rabbits, foxes, weasels, rabbits, coyotes, mountain lions and many species of birds and insects.
One day, a baby bird fell out of its nest onto our driveway. It was still breathing when I found it, so I tried to help it with reiki. I’ve found that this usually can go two ways with an injured creature—either it gets “better” or, if it’s too close to death, it will have a quick passing as it transitions to the other side. The baby bird died within a couple of minutes as I was working on it, so I picked it up and buried it. Immediately afterwards, all types of birds started showing up and chirping at me. Finches, blackbirds, hummingbirds, etc. They started to fly in from all directions, one by one. They were all expressing their gratitude! I can’t begin to describe the amount of love I felt from them.
My other bird oversoul experience was when a gray Brewer’s Blackbird got stuck in our fireplace last year. I still can’t figure out how he got in there, because we had just had the fireplace inspected and cleaned a couple of months earlier, and the technician had assured me that it was properly sealed after I asked if anything would be able to get in. I was in our living room and heard some chirping and wings flapping and could see a little bird panicking behind the glass doors of our fireplace, so I opened our sliding glass doors to our outside deck and let the bird fly out. Again, one by one, all kinds of birds began to show up. This time they landed outside our windows on our deck (where I let the bird out), and each of them said “thank you”! I was amazed by the variety of birds that stopped to express their gratitude. Word travels quickly amongst birds!
My butterfly oversoul experience was very similar. I was walking on the trail behind our house one day, and saw a butterfly standing in the middle of the path. It did not “feel” like it was doing well. I picked it up (it didn’t fly away, confirming what I felt) and placed it on a tree trunk, out of the path of pedestrians. I also tried to work on it with reiki. Again, shortly after I was done, butterflies began to appear from everywhere! One by one, they would fly to me, circle my head with gratitude, and then fly away. It was such a heart-opening experience. I learned that working on one, works on the whole, and the whole will find ways to show this recognition.
Later, I would have similar experience with whales and bees. Imagine what we’re doing to these oversouls when we purposefully destroy one of their own?