The Orange Cardinal
When I first started channeling, Spirit encouraged me to adopt a cat. I had no idea why since I never lived with a cat nor knew anything about them. Nonetheless, acting on this guidance, I took the train from Brooklyn to upper Manhattan to select a cat from a litter that someone I knew needed to find homes for. From a rambunctious group of kittens came my first adoption of a calico feline that I named Isis.
It was the mid-1980s and I only did in-person sessions in my Brooklyn apartment then. It was not unusual when I came out of trance to see Isis sitting on the lap of a client who would be petting her – especially if the client was crying (good tears). Isis loved her job as resident healer. When I held group channeled sessions in that same apartment, she would go from lap to lap around the circle of attendees giving each person the opportunity to pet her. She seemed to be facilitating the energy in the room though her vibrational presence. Everyone loved Isis and she reciprocated.
Since that time, four more cats came into my life, all beloved, but none that played the role that the most recent resident cat did. Sasha’s presence was notable because she showed up when I was embarking on a period of many unknowns. Unlike the other cats that had an indoor/outdoor life, I kept her indoors. I was about to relocate to California where coyotes are a threat to small animals, yet always made sure I had some outdoor space for her such as a screened-in patio or balcony. We were together more of the time than any other cat I had cohabitated with.
About two weeks ago, after 14 years together, it was time for Sasha to return back to the spirit world. She had finished her incarnation on this earth. Despite the depth of my grief, I have accepted that she completed her journey with me. Two days after her passing, I was sitting at my condo’s community pool with a neighbour, my heart heavy. This friend shared with me a prayer about The Rainbow Bridge that helped her through the loss of her beloved pets. Just as I finished reading the prayer on her phone, I looked up and saw a fluorescent orange cardinal. Even its beak appeared to be an unusually brilliant orange. Although I encounter red cardinals from time to time, orange cardinals aren’t indigenous to South Florida. One may find them in the woods in Canada, but not in tropical South Florida. Cardinals are said to represent the soul of a departed one and I knew instantly it was a messenger. The little bird stood on the fence for a brief time and then flew off. My friend and I both were amazed by the apparition.
A couple of days later, again at the pool, the orange bird appeared on the pool deck area. It then flew around the entire circumference of the pool, taking its time to sweep and dip and show off a bit. Despite the choice of 40 chairs and chaise lounges, all of which were unoccupied, the cardinal finally landed on the one chair that I had draped my bathing suit cover-up on. It turned and looked at me for a while as it stood coolly resting on my item of clothing, and then once again flew off.
About two days after that, I was walking out to the pool for my daily swim, and this time the orange bird was waiting for me on a tree outside my apartment. It flew a short distance to another tree and I followed it with my eyes, not wanting to lose sight of the beautiful bird. I walked over to the tree to get a closer look but it had again vanished seemingly into thin air.
I am grateful to my beloved Sasha that she would take the time to say goodbye in this manner. There is a particular sweetness in knowing that we can be touched by that which lies beyond the ordinary and the mundane. Some would brush this off as an odd coincidence, and perhaps it was. Yet in my heart I knew Sasha would send me a message and that one was quite clear. It was a gesture of love.
We are magical and mysterious beings as is this life. This is why knowing that our Guides are with us (as well as those that have passed over) is such an incredibly reassuring thing. The spirit world and the physical world commingle when we rise up to know ourselves in this extraordinary way. We are never alone.
Once again, I thank you for your presence in my life as we travel this Earth journey together. May we never forget to embrace the miraculous.
Asandra is included in the groundbreaking book, Miami Contemporary Artists, (Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2011) and was featured in Carpinteria Magazine, 2018.
You can also see more of her work at Asandra.net.
© Sahar Huneidi-Palmer