“In an eagle there is all the wisdom of the world.”
Eagles figure prominently in the mythology of nearly every Native American tribe. In most Native cultures, eagles are considered medicine birds with impressive magical powers and play a major role in the religious ceremonies of many tribes.
The eagle was believed to carry prayers to the Great Spirit in the Spirit World and also had a special connection with visions. Eagle feathers were highly significant to the Native American Indians and the bones of eagles were used to make the whistles and flutes used at religious ceremonies and rituals.
Athapaskan myths portrayed eagles as the deliverers of people from famine. A prince who gave an eagle a salmon during time of plenty was repaid in the lean year that followed by grateful eagles who first dragged salmon, then sea lions, and eventually whales to shore in gratitude for the prince’s kindness.
Teutonic mythology tells of an eagle who lives in the top branches of Yggdrasill, the World Ash Tree, and who watches the goings-on of the worlds below. One myth says that when this eagle first flapped its wings, the winds of the nine worlds were born. The eagle symbolically came to represent the sky and the sovereignty and were both associated with the omnipotent power of Odin.
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