Take the Ancient Shamanic Path and get in touch with your Animal Spirit Guides. Learn about the gifts of the Animal Kingdom and how they guide the inner you.
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If you talk to the animals
they will talk to you
and you will know each other.
If you do not talk to them,
you will not know them
you will fear.
What one fears one destroys.
~Chief Dan George~
In today’s busy and hectic lifestyles, the desire to get back to nature and to be more in touch with Mother Earth is a soulful yearning yet, we have never lost our connection, we have just forgotten how to engage it or we have simply ignored it. When we fail to have reverence for nature we lose something very valuable – our intimate connection with the inner SELF.
The animal world has much to teach us. Animals are experts at survival, adaption, nurturing, protecting and the art of courage. Couldn’t we all use a lesson in or a reminder of those qualities from time to time? Terrestrial animals have always had a strong symbology associated with them and we can use animal imagery to learn about ourselves and the invisible worlds. Animal Totems belong to the world of natural shamanism that works to reconnect conscious human life with Nature and Spirit. It is a gentle yet powerful transcendental attunement that brings joy, peace and strength. When you call upon the power of an animal, you are asking to be drawn into total harmony with that animal and its essence. Every animal has many lessons to impart and there is power in the wisdom of understanding that every living thing is a teacher that should be honored. Be mindful always that the lessons taught are eternal and forever forthcoming for that is part of the Great Mystery of Life.
Working with animal totems is not difficult but should be approached with reverence. The steps are as follows:
Beginning the Process – Do You Know Your Natural Animal Totems?
1. We are naturally drawn to that which resonates with us. Is there an animal or bird that has always fascinated you? How does it make you feel? What is your heartfelt response?
2. Whenever you have visited the zoo or a nature center during your life was there ever a particular animal or animals that you always liked to visit?
3. What animals do you frequently when you are out in nature or your mundane environment?
4. Of all the animals in the world, which ones are you most interested in now?
5. What animal frightens you most? Remember when we conquer fear it becomes a power. Many Shamans believe that fear will take the shape of an animal that we need to confront without fear. (If we are successful these animals become powerful shadow totems.)
6. Have you ever been attacked or bitten by an animal? (Survival of an attack means the animal becomes a spirit totem.)
7. Do you have dreams with animals in them or are there dreams of animals that you have never forgotten?
ANIMAL TOTEM SIGNIFICANCE
(Most popular “Lifetime” Totems)
EAGLE – “Spirit” – ILLUMINATION: The Higher Mind and creative force of the Great Spirit.
HAWK – “Messenger” – INTUITION: Being aware of life’s signals and receiving them.
ELK – “Stamina” – WARRIOR: Realigning the Self with group consciousness.
DEER – “Gentleness” – COMPASSION – Healing power of gentleness that touches all hearts.
BEAR – “Inner-Knowing” – INTROSPECTION – Strength of achievement that comes from intuition.
SNAKE – “Transmutation” – ALCHEMY - Transformation through thought, action or desire.
SKUNK – “Reputation” – DISTINCTION – Assertion without EGO and self-respect.
OTTER – “Woman Medicine” – FEMALE ENERGY – Healthy curiosity and living life without preconceptions and suspicion.
BUTTERFLY – “Transformation” – CYCLES – Going within to bring fruitfulness without.
TURTLE – “Mother Earth” – PROTECTION – Groundedness and observing all situations with compassion.
MOOSE – “Self Esteem” – PROGRESS - Joy without EGO in accomplishment.
PORCUPINE – “Innocence” – TRUST – Faith in the Divine Plan.
COYOTE – “Trickster” – MASTERY – Consciousness that is born from folly.
DOG – “Loyalty” – PHILANTHROPY – Loyalty and service that is not countermanded by need for approval.
WOLF – “Teacher” - WISDOM – Sharing of the Higher Truths.
RAVEN – “Magic” – WIZARDRY – Trusting the power of the unknown and the Great Mysteries.
MOUNTAIN LION – “Leadership” – CONFIDENCE – Balancing intention with physical strength and grace.
LYNX – “Secrets” – CLAIRVOYANCE – Paying attention to revelations and using caution about what you reveal.
BUFFALO – “Prayer and Abundance” – SUSTENANCE – The power of prayer and reconnecting to the meaning of life and the value of peace.
MOUSE – “Scrutiny” – METHODOLOGY – There is always more to learn.
OWL – “Observation” – TRUTH – Speaking the whole truth rather than half truths or lying by omission. The power of keen “silence” to intuit life situations.
BEAVER – “Builder” – TEAMWORK - Sense of community achieved through collaboration.
OPOSSUM – “Diversion” – STRATEGY – Mental and physical prowess that leads to progress.
CROW - “Law” – SUPERNATURAL - Sacred Law. Knowledge of alchemy. Shape shifting. Higher Order of Right and Wrong.
FOX – “Camouflage” – CUNNING – The sly power behind ingenious maneuvers.
SQUIRREL – “Gathering” – PRESERVATION – The ability to prepare and honor the future.
DRAGONFLY – “Illusion” – ENLIGHTENMENT – Things are never completely as they seem.
ARMADILLO – “Boundaries” – SHEILD – Defining one’s space.
BADGER - “Aggressiveness” – ACCOMPLISHMENT – The “BOSS”… the one who gets things done.
TURKEY – “Give-Away” – SELFLESSNESS – “Doing unto others.” All life is Sacred.
ANT – “Patience” – COMMUNITY-MINDEDNESS - Working for the good of the whole.
LIFETIME POWER ANIMALS
Every person has nine lifetime power animal totems that represent the personal essence and medicine they carry on their Earth Walk. These animals emulate each individual’s talents abilities and challenges. A non-expense way to find your Lifetime Animal Totems is to write the names of the animals listed above on separate pieces of paper. Fold each slip so the name cannot be seen. Find a quiet location where you will not be disturbed or distracted. Place the slips on a table and mix them up. Sit quietly and follow whatever ritual you use for relaxation and clarity. Intuitively choose nine slips and place them in the order chosen in front of you. Below is a layout chart that you will use to determine the “direction” of your Lifetime Totems. Start at the left placing the first Totem in the EAST space and then proceed to the right in order. When you are done see what Totems have chosen you and record them on a piece of paper or print out the grid. Do this process only once! This is not a shopping expedition where you can “return” a totem. What you have selected is the Animal Totem that belongs to you.
In Earth medicine it is believed that there are seven directions surrounding the human body. The directions are East, South, West, North, Below and Above. The direction of Within exists inside you but also surrounds you. This is based upon the premise that the entire Universe is within your consciousness. The last two directions are Beside Me (right) and Beside Me (left). These two totems are the animals of the subconscious. They may have been coming to you in dreams or visions. At one point later in your life they will show up.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DIRECTIONS
EAST: This totem guides you as you face your greatest spiritual challenges and guards you on your path to illumination.
SOUTH: This totem protects the child within and tells you when to trust and when to be humble.
WEST: This totem leads you to your personal truth and inner answers while showing you the path to goals.
NORTH: This totem counsels you when to speak and when to listen and how to be grateful for your blessings.
ABOVE: This totem reminds you of your Universal Divinity while guarding your dreams and access to other dimensions.
BELOW: This totem teaches you about inner Earth and how to stay grounded.
WITHIN: This totem shows you how to have joy and to remain steadfast in your personal truth. It is also the protector of your Sacred Space.
BESIDE ME (right): This totem protects your “male side” and carries your courage and warrior spirit.
BESIDE ME (left): This totem protects your female side and teaches you how to accept abundance and how to give and receive nurturance. It also guides and guards your relationships.
As you open your heart and mind to the wisdom of the animal world you will begin to notice a change in how your future takes on a new shape. Remember to embody life with courage and to take time out to play. Get out in to Nature as much as you can and be active as well as observant. Do your best to support conservation and the environment. Walk a path of self respect ad self authority. Above all, remember that sometimes it is more important to “feel” than to “know.”
“Whenever you observe an animal closely, you feel as if a human being sitting inside you were making fun of you.” ~ Elias Canetti
“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ~ George Eliot
<Pages with more Animal Totem Information will be added over time. Titles are listed on the right hand side of this page under the membership box. Simply choose a title and click on it.)>
Animal Speak by Ted Andrews (ISBN 0 87542 028 1)
Animal Wise by Ted Andrews (ISBN 1 888767 34 0)