Pinecones & Crows

Somehow the spaciousness I spoke of last week has managed to stick around for the most part. My breathing feels deeper, my energy feels clearer and my ability to create a narrative around my experience feels…well, somewhat blissfully difficult.

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

I was walking home the other day and tuned in to listen to any spark of inspiration that might be there for writing this week. My eyes instantly caught a crow carrying something. Before I could question the ‘sign’, several other crows flew past and my memory went to something that happened a few weeks ago.

It was early morning and I was walking around my favorite Seattle park. It’s a peninsula that juts out into Lake Washington, housing the only old-growth forest still left in the city as well as a jaw-dropping view of Mount Rainier when the weather is right (as it has been a lot lately).

The crows were particularly rambunctious that day, and they were harshing my mellow quite a bit with incessant cawing. I figured they were angry at an eagle or something, but you never know with crows. It’s often safe to take the narcissistic bent with them and assume it’s all about you, ‘cuz they sure do tend to vocalize when they’re unhappy with a human, and they sure do tend to be unhappy with humans a lot. There’s an entire blog dedicated to mapping blocks in Seattle it’s best not to walk down in order to avoid crow dive-bombing.

As the murder followed me around the park, there was one crow that was flying out over me and then back into the woods, with something in its mouth. Finally it flew out, from the top of an evergreen, and dropped the something right in front of me: a pinecone. It seemed too perfectly choreographed, and in the state I was in (read: very upset) I took it as a sign.

Ah, signs. My history as a diviner goes back quite a ways. In this life, I feel I’ve used the whole “universe please give me a sign” thing in such inappropriate ways that I often have a hard time discerning them at this point. There is a difference between “universe, please give me a sign that my father is with me” and “universe, if that ring is still in the store in one week I’ll take it as a sign that I should buy it.” I get that. I’m even starting to honor it, too! I’ve lessened the frequency with which I pull tarot cards, and the questions I’m asking are more focused and less mundane.

I suppose this is part of a larger process, that of reclaiming or learning how to hear my intuition. I have a lot of wounding around the theme of betrayal, which of course creates trust issues. At the core, however, is a deep fear of trusting the universe. More pressingly it’s a fear of trusting myself. That makes the intuition hard to access.

I’m aware that collectively speaking, the wound of separation is quite oozy at this point. Mythologically, the roots go back to separation from source or god or light or divinity — whatever language you want to use. The ripples of the wound, or the attempts to recreate the trauma so that we can heal it, are everywhere. Separation from the womb. Differentiation from the parent. Separation from intuition. From the earth, from our bodies, our lovers, our children…

I remember being shocked when I started piecing together the fact that when we die we seem to fragment or separate even more. Consciousness separates from the body. Perhaps a part of us stays Earth bound, while other parts go to the light or run around some bardo state. Or perhaps that’s all just linear logic trying to make sense of complex processes. And perhaps all of these processes are all happening at once in a sphere rather than a line, and so an adjustment to the narrative could just be “it’s all happening at once, and so everything is connected; we just separate to categorize and create language…”

These are all fascinating points to ponder and to work with. I suppose what’s interesting in light of the crow story is the act of rehabilitating that sense of connection. A crow drops a pinecone in front of me. What was I struggling with at the time? Clarity. Feeling like I didn’t know anything, like I couldn’t see straight, like I couldn’t figure anything out. What does a pinecone represent? Well, the third eye for one. Clarity. Sight.

I am aware and do believe that we live in an inherently connected world. Ensuring that that belief resonates with all parts of me — that the betrayed and distrustful pieces get the memo — appears to be lifelong, very worthy work. The glorious thing about choosing to accept the belief that the crow dropped the pinecone as a symbol for me means that I have something new to work with, in whatever way I choose, that has relevance for me. It also means I’m embracing an existence in an inherently connected cosmos, and there is so much healing in that.

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About Amanda Moreno

Amanda is an astrologer, soul worker and paradigm buster based in Seattle. Her adventures in these forms of ‘practical woo’ are geared towards helping people to heal themselves and the world. She can be found in the virtual world at

16 thoughts on “Pinecones & Crows

  1. Len Wallick

    Ah! Thank you for sharing your experience with the Seattle Crows. In my experience, they have neighborhoods of their own, and the residents of each neighborhood differ subtly from the others. Thank you also for sharing your maturation with oracles – perhaps as part of a journey to become an oracle. Could be that cone-dropping crow was showing you something it was familiar with from its own long experience in its own neighborhood.

  2. Lizzy

    Amanda – I live in a little flat perched on a small terrace, on a rooftop, that’s surrounded by crows on the neighbouring rooftops, They keep their dstance. But every now and then they pay me a quick visit – which I always ìtake as a great honour and a sign. You proably know the wonderful Jamie Sams::
    And did you check out pine/pine cone?
    Jude – I read that amazing story too – and bookmarked it to send to a friend!

  3. Jaimie

    What an amazing gift you were given by the crow!

    So it occurs to me that you received a reproductive structure. Male or female cone? A reproductive structure sourced perhaps from the forest you wrote about. Maybe there’s an invitation there to go off into the forest and explore yourself in the fertile freedoms of that wild space. I wonder what you might recover there to help you gain the clarity and guidance you are seeking.

    I loved this piece, Amanda. Thank you!

    1. pam

      Amanda or just the seed, seeding, seeded (ie seeding given).

      And one can always to talk to the universe or any deity along the lines of – sorry can’t trust, or won’t, or don’t – please show me how I can trust, how it would be possible for me to trust, to walk on more solid ground, how I would get there, and gently…

      or whatever.

      Reading your piece and Jude’s I wondered if part of ‘seeing’ is getting the emotional note exact of what the one asking is asking ie is it can’t or won’t or shan’t – what is the nuance of the refusal/hesitation and where does that go backwards and forwards and around and holding all of that and who you are – another note! – the replies get very specific to specific circumstances, or the door is opened to…


  4. Nicolas Salinas

    Amanda, if I may say so, you can trust the Universe. In my life I also have some problems with trusting people, especially since close ones have hurt me in ways I’m still trying to forgive, but the Universe is much easier. I personally tend to distrust or disconnect with the Universe when I am trying to hold something, like when I want something to go the way I want it to go but is not the best option in a greater scheme, like not in harmony with truth and also is not the way the Universe unfolds as I have perceived it. The Universe for me must grow, expand, unfold, flow, meet everything and fill every space in an order that’s like the beautiful wilderness, one must be honest with the Universe, in my opinion, not hide anything even unknowingly, I know this is easier said than done but sometimes and even more when one does not know what one is withholding from the Universe, feelings and emotions are a good place to be in tune and in understanding, a way to reconnect, like going into nature, like you did but there are moments when one forgets oneself, those are the best in my opinion, like a child holds onto something that a parent wants him to release like some matches for example, there is a moment the child forgets about the matches and then it is a good moment to take them away, the Universe for me is like that but it also has its speed and rhythm, one must not try to go faster than it, one must slow down and it will reach you and not only that, if you have patience it will connect the dots in your life. When you are running fast and don’t know what to do, take a moment and if you pay attention and see, you will see how it is unfolding and where it is headed, like a river.
    Also, I had some crows also near my house this weekend, they used to almost drive me insane, this weekend my morale was so low I didn’t care, do whatever you want crows, was what I thought, I don’t care, although I live in Chile and they must be somewhat different.
    I used to also look for signs although I was not very good with any tools for doing so. I just looked deeper into the pieces of the pieces and then the broad upon the broad, it was very crazy sometimes, I don’t look for them anymore although some signs kind of wink at me at some moments like dragonflies, butterflies, Saints and Buddhist Beings, they manifest in some way. Some transits favored this but the mind is tricky so I need to develop mastery over myself in some ways so as to not be deceived. One thing you did remind me though, when I also felt disconnected I also resorted to animals, hearing songs of birds for example and one moment I remember I saw something that I remembered while reading this. A flock of pigeons flying down around me but what I noticed is how they were organized, in order, together and from each other, I could see the flock as one can see a constellation but moving, as if each pigeon was a star in a moving constellation and they flew down around me, that made me somehow feel connected, they sort of sewed me back into what they had which is also part of the Whole.
    Well, forgive me for whatever pompousity or arrogance or anything I may be doing wrong. I just went on writing and of course this is all just my perspective. Thank you for the chance to share something and thank you for sharing also. Best wishes.

    1. Amanda Moreno Post author

      Hi Nicolas – thanks for sharing. I do have to say that most of me totally trusts the universe. There are just a few parts that haven’t quite gotten the memo yet, and they can be quite vocal at times. It’s a work in progress. 🙂

      1. Nicolas Salinas

        All good, anyway it was a good exercise for me writing to you so thanks for inspiring me to do so. Hope you saw whatever good was in it, I wrote to you very late at night listening to Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains the Same” and when I woke up I was like woooo what did I comment? I was kind of embarrased, it happens to me almost all the time but some good will come of it, it kind of helps with my fears. I’ll just say this and thank you.

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