Condor, the bone cruncher, has a very special place in the next world. He is recognized for his service, that of taking on the purification of the world. Great Spirit acknowledges him for purifying the realm of the living by eating the dead. Condor humbly accepted this undertaking when all others of the bird tribe refused. “Many will fear you, ” Great Spirit told Condor. ” But when they come to my world, the spirit world, they will find you standing next to me.”
The Condor in myth and in fact has a unique and symbiotic connection to solar forces. In the dew-damp morning, the birds must wait for the sun to dry their bodies and wings before they can fly. And still, they can’t fly until the sun produces the thermal winds that carry them aloft.
It is easy to play with words and ideas, but Condor teaches totality. Condor understands that books and symbols cannot ultimately teach us. They are bricks that wall the mind. Condor has the power to consume our words and our symbols in order that we might know a connectedness of being. Condor teaches the sacred wheel of death. The east holds the quick passing of the infant, and the south is the mournful death of the child. The west signifies the death of an adult. In the north is the death of an elder, an old person. We all must return to the center of the wheel of death – to our own death. Condor knows that all life is on this wheel and yet he never speaks of it. He has no voice box and never makes a sound.
Condor teaches of many kinds of purification – purification of body, mind and spirit. Purification begins with forgiveness. Just as Condor cracks bones, he breaks deadlocks. Condor has the power to make way for clarification. Condor doesn’t belong to the world of judgement. To look at a situation in a simple and clean way often means to be misunderstood. You go against what is regarded as the “common sense” of the people.
Condor’s number is 16. Sixteen separates all things and brings them to purity. The sixteen-pointed star is said to be closest to creator and so is Condor. Life and death are one to Condor – there is no borderline. Condor circles high and carries a unique vision of our human consciousness. The sky trails of the Condor are isolated because of its special gift. He has a difficult job and he does it. Condor does not kill prey. His survival depends on sighting and consuming the dead. Condor likes thermal currents high in the mountains to spot carcasses. He does not smell but instead uses acute vision. He engages the putrefaction that the rest of the animal world rejects. Therefore, his immune system is highly effective and bacteria resistant.
Condor has a wingspan of nine feet. His feathers are extremely long and efficient but vulnerable at that length. Bonesetters prized Condor feathers as emblems of their occupation. Condor does not wear the robes of ceremony, whether the attire of doctor’s whites, the sun dancers skirt or the monks saffron vestments. For Condor completes the daunting journey to the land of the dead day after day.
Condor engages with little physical aggression within his tribe. Instead he uses behavior to establish dominance. Condors fly in groups numbering up to 60. Air speeds top out at 55 miles an hour. As the sun heats the mountain air, they fly higher and higher, staying aloft for hours, not beating their wings but skimming along the thermal pockets. The ancients believed the sun sent radiance to the trees, which in turn produced the winds and gave life through breath. Elders teach that Condor is a symbol of reconciliation as he overcomes duality; by eating the rotten, rejected garage of life, he lives and thrives. The Condor lives for 80 years.
The flight of the Condor casts this divination into a realm where identity is abandoned. What if you had no religious, cultural, class, ethnic, or even gender affiliation? With no voice, Condor has no song. Ask Condor how to bring purity to your question. Life is a great gift. Condor teachers us to live in the present moment with no dead time. Condor energy can set the tone for your future actions.
– David Carson, Condor, 2013 Oracle Deck & Book