Red-Tailed Hawk and I have a long history; Hawk and Bear came to me virtually simoultaneously when my Dreams led me to the Underworlds, two of my first three allies. Hawk and Bear both represent an ability to survive. The place where I spent all of my teenage life is rife with Red-Tailed Hawks - you can see them there on all sorts of days, soaring on the thermals or swooping low, hunting. I would watch the hawks in flight from my room, or in the car, or on the bus...they used to make me wish I could fly like them.
When I began to Dream in earnest, Red-Tailed Hawk often showed me the way I needed to follow - a pointer, or sorts, teaching me to see beyond what I was used to, to really see with a second sight that opened up the worlds for me. It wasn't his place to teach me to fly - that came later - but I soon learned that my Sight was a precious gift, and something to be very sharply honed if I were to use it properly.
I remember one day coming home from school, in late fall, and seeing a red-tail dancing the thermals in the fields around my house. The setting sun touched the distant trees just so, and the rancid mood I'd had all day lifted, and I danced in the fields with it, dipping and soaring as I spread the "wings" of my wool cloak and spun to the drumbeat of the Earth. When I was laughing, I looked up, and the hawk was gone - a spirit-Hawk, something I have no doubt of. It taught me a lot about the simple joys of Spirit that day. Red-Tailed Hawk is in my East.
Taken from my favorite animal spirituality site (go here):
The mighty hawk has a family so large that there are dozens and dozens of different shapes, sizes and names for this messenger. Just as the eagle carries our messages to the Great Spirit, the hawk is the messenger who delivers thoughts and information to us. If you carry hawk medicine, you are also charged with sharing those messages with others. You must help your fellow humans to free their spirits, and feed their creative urges.
Hawk also speaks to the ability to survive and adapt. In addition to their natural habitat in the wilds, they can be found in the strangest of places. They live on window ledges and in the cornices of skyscrapers. They can be found in the most unlikely places in cities, along freeways and highways, in nests on power poles - everywhere. The message here for humans is that the hawk has learned to take those things he finds, no matter where he may be, adapt them to his needs, and make any and all locations "home". By being alert and aware of his surroundings, he has created a space that is safe for him. When you hear the mighty peal of the hawk’s cry, he’s telling you to wake up, pay attention, be alert to all things in your surroundings, and to make good use of those things right in front of you.
Another gift of hawk medicine is incredible vision; both with your physical eyes and with your spirit eyes. Only the owl has keener vision and insights than the hawk. Being able to see clearly into surroundings and situations gives you a distinct advantage in being able to live your life to its fullest.
Hawks are often attacked by smaller birds. Be careful of attacks from others who are threatened by your spirit’s ability to "soar", and who do not have your powerful insights. You can use your creative mind while being grounded and practical at the same time. A rare gift, but one that is not understood by many.
The hawk is also a fierce and relentless hunter with great weapons of beak and talon. Learning to control your instinct to attack and shred those who cause you pain will be a long and continuing challenge. Few can stand up to a full attack from hawk.
The mighty hawk. Spirit’s messenger. Are you paying attention?