The Making of "Magpie"
This summer I had an incredible period of surrender and Grace in my life. It's amazing how surrender and Grace go together. I had somehow surrendered to the point that I was no longer trusting or listening to most of the thoughts in my head, and my thinking dramatically reduced. I noticed more detail, more beauty, more evidence of the omnipresence of God than I ever have in my life.

The image above is an altar I made at my campground in Crestone, CO, on a solo trip I took following an intensive classroom training. The yellow marigold is a flower I picked up at the Hanuman Temple before leaving Taos. I made a stop there to offer my trip to the care and will of the Divine. Then, on the highway through Sunshine Valley on my way to Crestone I found a magpie the side of the road. The bird had probably been hit by a car within the last 24 hours and one of the wings was totally intact. I'd never done anything like this before, but felt called to get a knife, cut off the wing, and take the rest of the bird off the road, offering tobacco as a prayer of gratitude. says this about Magpie:

"If Magpie has flown across your path he is most likely reminding you that obsession with the material world will not nurture your spiritual path. Only when we loudly follow our true calling in life by being all that we can be will we be able to find the fulfillment and satisfaction that we are longing for. Re evaluate your priorities before you move too much further down the path you are currently on. Keep an open mind and see where Magpie magic can lead you in matters of your spirit and true potential. When the magpie flies into your life, get ready, you are about to embark into the world of opportunity."

Upon arrival at the campground in Crestone my camping neighbor, a beautiful man helping to build a Buddhist temple there, introduced himself and we immediately felt like comrades. I gifted him a piece of Palo Santo holy wood and a tail feather from the magpie. He gifted me the lightning-shaped piece of selenite in the photo.

After a wonderful evening of fellowship with my new friend I retired to my tent and woke up with so much awe and gratitude in my heart. I built the alter as an expression of gratitude for all the beauty in the world and my connection to all of life. The red prayer ties are a Lakota prayer practice, tying tobacco in red cotton fabric while praying. The practice reminds me of praying with a rosary or a mala.

It became my daily morning practice to build an alter upon awakening. The act felt reverent, creative, and blissful.

This image reminds me of holy provision, connection and beauty.

~Tracy Rae Clark, November, 2015