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Two robins arrive for breakfast every morning! I feed them a handful of seeds before I feed the kids!

If I run a few minutes late, they already sit by the kitchen window and give me a look: “What kept you?!” The term ‘early bird’ has suddenly acquired new meaning!

Last night I was up at 4 AM. I realized that the Full Moon Sailing over our house had awakened me. I stood by the window and observed a fox having a ‘party for one’ under the streetlamp in front of our house – as someone had thoughtfully left a half finished portion of fast food on the pavement. On top of that same streetlamp a robin sat singing to the Moon (do robins ever sleep?!) and the fox looked golden in the moonlight.

At the moment I am reading a book titled “The Pale Fox”, an anthropological study about the Dogon people in West Africa, giving an astounding insight into their sacred (esoteric) knowledge. And I couldn’t help but wonder: had I dreamed into being a visit from The Pale Fox?

The Full Moon can produce very vivid dreams – if you get to sleep at all, that is (and often I don’t).  The Full Moon can also bring on a very magical state of consciousness where waking reality becomes a living dream. As the visit from The Pale Fox illustrates!

So why do robins have a red chest? I read a myth about this the other day:

 The Hunt

The Micmac Indians of Nova Scotia and the Iroquois Indians along the St. Lawrence seaway share one story about the Big Bear. In this story, the quadrangle of the dipper represents a bear that is pursued by seven hunters; the three closest hunters are the handle of the dipper. As autumn approaches, the four farthest hunters dip below the horizon and abandon the hunt, leaving the closest three hunters to chase the bear. The hunters are all named after birds. The closest hunter to the bear is named Robin, the second closest is Chickadee, and the third is Moose Bird. Chickadee is carrying the pot in which the bear will be cooked. The second star in the handle is actually two stars [the famous double star system] called Mizar and Alcor which represent Chickadee and the pot. In autumn, as the bear attempts to stand up on two legs, Robin wounds the bear with an arrow. The wounded bear sprays blood on Robin, who shakes himself and in the process colors the leaves of the forest red; some blood stains Robin and he is henceforth called Robin Redbreast. The bear is eaten, and the skeleton remains traveling through the sky on its back during winter. During the following spring a new bear leaves the den and the eternal hunt resumes once more.


My maiden name means ‘child of a bear’ and I have always felt a special connection to bears.

Reading this myth I realised just how much I yearn to reclaim for myself a magical connection to the night sky.

To look at the stars and to know why robins have a red breast.

To follow the night sky throughout the year and observe if the Big Bear is walking on all fours, standing up, or lying on its back dead and dismembered, awaiting rebirth.

To look at the Corona Borealis ( a crown like star formation near Big Bear said to be the den where the bear hibernates), and to reflect on where I am in my own life at the moment: in the ‘reasons and seasons’ of symbolic death and rebirth I myself cycle through until the day I actually die. And maybe I then join the Big Bear in the sky?! Using my name as a calling card perhaps.

I just hope that The Big Bear (Ursa Major) understands Dutch!

And if you love the night sky too, I highly recommend the following book by my shamanic teacher colleague Renna Shesso: Planets for Pagans


Imelda Almqvist



Imelda Almqvist is a shamanic practitioner, teacher and painter based in London, UK