One Soul, Many Journeys
|Subject: Animal Totems Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:26 pm|| |
An Animal Totem is an important symbolic object used by a person to get in touch with specific qualities found within an animal which the person needs, connects with, or feels a deep affinity toward.
You can have several animal guides through out your life. Sometimes an animal guide will come into your life for a short period of time, and then be replaced by another depending on the journey or direction you are headed toward. Your guide will instruct and protect you as you learn how to navigate through your spiritual and physical life. When you find an animal that speaks strongly to you or feel you must draw more deeply into your life, you might fill your environment with images of the animal to let the animal know it's welcome in your space. Animal guides can help you get back to your Earthly roots, and reconnect with nature by reminding you that we are all interconnected. To first do this you need to know what your Animal Totem is.
If you don't know what your Animal Totem is there are several questions you can ask yourself. All of the questions below are designed to get you thinking about a prominent animal in your life. There are no right or wrong answers. Only you can truly know which Animal Totem(s) are right for your journey.
1. Since we are drawn to that which resonates with us, what animal, bird, or insect are you drawn to?
2. When you go to the park, forest, or zoo what animal are you most interested in seeing?
3. What animal do you most frequently see when you're out in nature or in the city?
4. What animals are you currently interested in learning about?
5. Which animal do you find most frightening or intriguing?
6. Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal?
7. Is there a recurring animal in your dreams or do you have one you have never forgotten?
If you are still uncertain which animal is your totem, here a few exercises you can do to come closer to the answer. You must not try to force the animal to come, it can pick up on that energy and be put off. Being patient and doing the following exercises will draw your animal totem to you.
1. Ask yourself what animal has played a meaningful part in your world? If you're unsure, make a list of animals that have drawn your interest or have left a deep impression on you from paintings, photographs, stories, movies, carvings, etc.
2. Which animal shows up in your life most frequently? Keep a journal of the animals present in your dreams or that you encounter through the day for the next month. How did the animal behave? Did you interact with the animal?
3. Find a place where you can be alone to meditate. Sit quietly and ask your animal to make it's nature known to you. Feel free to use tools such as incense, smudge, and candles to help you.
4. Don't give up, sometimes your animal totem is nearby watching to see if you're serious about connecting with it. Keep doing the above exercises until your animal totem makes itself known to you.
source: animal totem.com
|Subject: Re: Animal Totems Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:31 pm|| |
Wolves are the epitome of stamina, known to run 35 miles a day in pursuit of prey. They are highly misunderstood animals, who have gained the reputation of being cold blooded. In reality wolves are friendly and social creatures. Aggression is something they avoid, preferring rather to growl or create a posture to show dominance. Even though living in close knit packs provide wolves with a strong sense of family, they are still able to maintain their individuality. Wolves represent the spirit of freedom, but they realize that having individual freedom requires having responsibilities.
Because wolf is a teacher and pathfinder, he comes when we need guidance in our lives. Those who have a Wolf Totem will move on to teach others about sacredness and spirituality. Wolf can also teach how to balance the responsibility of family needs and not to lose one's personal identity.
Wolf teaches us to develop strength and confidence in our decisions. He shows we will learn to trust our insights once we learn how to value our inner voice. This wisdom keeps us from inappropriate action. If wolf appears in your life examine where you need to develop more confidence and if you need more balance between friends, family, and yourself.
animal totem.comThis is one of my totems
Co-Conscious with Oneness
Co-Conscious with Oneness
|Subject: Re: Animal Totems Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:06 am|| |
Thank you for this thread GothiKat, and moreso, thank you for providing the questions and exercises in your first post. I haven't thought much about animal totems, however when I have, I'd often come to the conclusion that I don't have one. I think this has mainly been because I couldn't think of any animal in particular that I had an affinity with - I seemed to be drawn to all equally. After answering the questions in your 1st post I was able to discover the reason why I couldn't attune with my animal totem. It was a semantic factor - my animal totem is anything with wings. In particular, Butterflies and Dragon-flies. I could say my animal totem is an insect-totem.
|Subject: Re: Animal Totems Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:08 pm|| |
That's wonderful Nuelma
But it's not just about the animals we feel a positive connection to...
The shadow energy (more familiarly known as 'totem') is an animal that challenges us somehow.
We fear it, or we dislike it. We experience an irrational feeling of distaste or revulsion towards it. It is an animal that we might kill, or avoid, or turn off when we see it on television, and it is an animal that can feature in our nightmares or that may even have attacked us in the past.
It is thought that we fear these animals because they teach us the lessons that we don't want to learn, because we fear what we might lose in the process and even what we may gain. We may fear what the animal may tell us about ourselves, often it forces us to confront harsh truths about ourselves. What we dislike most about the animal, may be what we dislike most in ourselves, or it might represent something that happened to us, or is happening to us, that feels harmful and unpleasant. In extreme cases, we can develop phobias of these animals. Or worse, we may begin to kill them en masse if we get the opportunity.
It is called a 'shadow' energy, because like many aspects of ourselves that we don't like, it is often marginalised and ignored. Even spiritual people have a tough time confronting and working with their shadow energies.
It is possible to have more than one shadow energy, and it is possible for them to change over time. Almost everyone has them. In some cases it's easier to know which animals we have problems with than others, because they might be animals we confront regularly like spiders or fleas. Sometimes it's more difficult, it's an animal that's easy to avoid because it might only be at the zoo, or in books.
Some common shadow energies:
- Raven / Crow
There are of course a lot of others! You might think of fears and dislikes your friends have had in the past, or fears and dislikes you have had.
Ask yourself the question:
If you fear 'spiders', you need to be very exact. Do you fear ALL spiders? Or the poisonous ones? Or the fast ones? Or the big tarantula ones? Do you fear all wasps? Even the ones you've never seen? Why? What about cuckoos? Do you hate them because they push eggs out of the nest? Or because you think they're ugly?
Ask yourself the relevant questions, WHY do you fear or dislike the animal. Start simple. Write down some answers to these questions and you can start to narrow down the nature of your fear:
What kind of 'animal' is it?
What does it look like?
How does it act?
How does it move?
Can it hurt me?
Do I fear / hate it as much as other animals that can hurt me more or in the same way?
Needless to say, one of the most powerful exercises we can do, is confront our shadow aspects and work with them consciously and subconsciously to create a working relationship with them. This is a spiritual process, often initiated through meditation and visualisation of the animal itself, and can force us to light a candle to the shadows of ourselves that we deny, or suppress, or ignore.
Shadow energies have powerful medicine, if we imagine that we are trying to always improve ourselves and get closer to the spirit and wholeness, the shadow animal can give us very direct paths to this. Shadow energies are not gentle, they do not coddle us, and sometimes working with them can involve tears, terror, and even pain if the animal has attacked us in the past, but they do show us very direct paths to the spirit, and to home truths that once confronted, often show that the animal itself is not half as fearful as we thought it was!
For example, venomous animals often force us to confront that we too are capable of brutal, poisonous acts to get what we want. There's no point denying it, and spiders and snakes (and other venomous animals) tell us that we need to not only confront this truth, but embrace it, and eventually learn how to love and understand it. Through this love and understanding, we reach a new respect of ourselves and the animal through spiritual work.
Here's one I have worked with and now respect and love
Sometimes shadow energies will even become your primary 'totem', or one of your more significant guides. If you are open and honest with the animal and with yourself, you may even develop a powerful ally who can help you in otherworlds, ritual and spellwork. You will also become well-equipped to help others face their own fears and dislikes of the same animal, because you will often know what you had to go through to get to a place of understanding.
Taking your time.
Some people like fast results in their spirituality, the idea of a long and protracted journey of hard work with little results can be frustrating to say the least. But with shadow animals it is important to understand that reconciling your shadow self, even aspects of your shadow self, with your conscious self can be a difficult and ongoing process.
Of course the process might also be very fast! You might have a lightning bolt of realisation and suddenly go 'yes! I do hate that about myself, and I fear this, and I'm going to do *this* to fix it, why did I never figure that out before?' But most of the time this process is slow and ongoing, and entirely worth it and rewarding in the end.
Don't force the process, sometimes you will not be ready at all, and you will know when it happens. Be patient with yourself. Respect and understand yourself and your spiritual journey as you are learning to respect and understand your shadow energies.
|Subject: Re: Animal Totems Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:39 pm|| |
My lifelong shadow energy has been this:
OMG I am getting heart palpitations just looking at it
And the bile is rising in my throat....
I really am frightened to my core of these things! I can handle spiders and snakes and cockroaches, but not CANE TOADS!!!
And look where I live...
Yep, smack bang in the middle of toad central :affraid:
Adaptation and proliferation. Success at the cost of others. Earth and water mysteries. The visionary. Strong medicine. Toxic situations. Toxicity. Invasion. Poisonous situations. Poisoning others. Harm.
The cane toad was introduced into Australia in the early 1900s in order to control cane beetles. They not only failed to control the beetles, but became a major pest growing in proportion yearly. Cane toads are poisonous, they oust other frogs and toads from wetlands, poison many creatures that try to eat them, and kill many pets who also attack them. They are hardy creatures with no known effective predators or methods for control in Australia.
Lessons and Challenges:
Cane toad has a strong and often overwhelming energy, and if it has shown up, it is letting you know that you are currently experiencing a situation (or many) that is toxic. It may be external circumstances beyond your control, or alternatively it may be thoughts and feelings within you that have become toxic.
Do a general scan of your life, and find out where the toxicity lies. Cane toad can help with this, and point your attention to specific situations which are toxic. Cane toad will also warn against certain people and situations who are particularly poisonous towards you. You may not be able to avoid these toxic situations, as you may be too overwhelmed and taxed at this point, but awareness is a step towards knowing how to work against them, and how to start leeching the toxins from your life; both internally and externally.
The presence of cane toad also warns against your own ability to 'poison' others, either with your words or actions. Watch out for how you speak to and interact with others. Are you being positive with them, or are you trying to clean your own inner toxicity out by spreading it in the direction of others? Watch out for harmful behaviour at this time.
In addition to watching out for general themes of toxicity, be aware that there may be some harm occurring in your life right now. Alternatively, you may be reacting in a toxic manner to harm that occurred in your past, or even harm that you imagine could occur in your future (i.e. such as pushing a partner away because you suspect they may do the same to you). Harm is not the same as hurt, it is long-lasting and has consequences on the body and spirit. Be careful at this time and look at what you fear, what harm has occurred, and how you can go about addressing it and healing.Another 'cute, 'little' specimen...
Feral cane toad is 'strong medicine.' It comes into a person's life with lessons that are often very hard to face and as such, it is loathed by almost everyone Australia-wide. Its lessons are akin to having to swallow a herbal tincture that makes one gag, or knowing that that infected splinter has to come out, or it will get worse.
There is a theme of adaptation and proliferation around, or that of invasion. What may be happening at this time, is that because you have not been able to contain the hurt, fear or harm within you (or because others cannot), it is spreading outwards and infecting others. You have the choice to attempt to stop this from happening, whether by protecting yourself, or by helping others to heal themselves.
Despite some of the more distasteful lessons of cane toad, there is the energy of a true visionary around when cane toad comes to call. This is an animal that has managed to conquer territories and adapt to landscapes readily, and almost easily. It is a resourceful, proliferate creature that stretches its energy out across the land. When it is around, you have the potential to harness great success. This success may be at the cost of others, but if it is necessary for your survival, cane toad tells you to seize it and embrace it as your own birthright.
Chances are, with cane toad around, you have access to visionary ideas and thoughts that may change the course of the businesses, relationships and interactions around you. It is often overwhelming to have this energy around, but despite the costs, the benefits and reward can be great.
Cane toad teaches about profound earth and water mysteries, especially those that are challenging towards us, and force us to grow or look beyond what is comfortable for us.I really can't see myself ever being as fond of toads as this little girl...
The Shadow Aspects:
Those who dislike or fear cane toad, often hate unpleasant change. The fact is that cane toad is a part of Australia now - whether we like it or not - but do we spend all our time funneling emotions like hatred and fear towards the cane toad, or do we become proactive and find ways to minimise their impact while maximising the survival chances for native wildlife? Cane toad let's us know that it's up to us to change our own attitudes. Unpleasant change / change for the worse is a part of life, it happens. How we deal with it determines how we experience life.
Cane toad challenges those who do their utmost to avoid 'toxic' situations and emotions. They might spend their entire lives running from memories that are hurtful or frightening, they might deny the presence of poisonous thoughts and emotions within their own person, or they might avoid others when they are going through times of crisis. Cane toad confronts such running and reminds us that toxicity can be a valuable teaching tool. Without acknowledging its presence and forcing ourselves to experiencing it, we cannot begin to assimilate it and leach the poisons from our unpleasant experiences.
Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Cane toad is an overwhelming energy, and because it so easily reaches out, it is readily accessed through visualisation and journeying. Its presence is strong, and in my own experiences with cane toad, I found that it was never ever alone. There were always others hiding nearby.
Cane toad responds well to offerings, and I'd recommend offering anything (water, food, etc.) to prevent it from taking offerings of energy. It can be quite a communicative guide, one that 'talks' and converses rather than teaching through example. If you want to voluntarily work with the energy of cane toad, make sure that you are able to connect with other more cleansing energies afterwards, whether this is guides in the spirit worlds, or people in real life who can help you to feel grounded once more.
Wildspeak cane toads
|Subject: Re: Animal Totems Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:08 am|| |
I don't know why, but I like cane toads. I've always thought they were kind of cute in their ugliness. It's awful, some people I know go 'toad hunting' - purposely seeking them out to kill them with golf clubs etc. It's such a horrible act.
|Subject: Re: Animal Totems Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:45 pm|| |
And two others that have come into my life in abundance in the past couple of weeks....
- Dependent Vampire
Accumulative Damage. Vampirism (emotional, physical, other). Aversion to Light. Metamorphosis. Rebirthing. Looking After Ourselves and our Environment. Running Away From Problems. Sensitivity to Environment. Dependence Upon Others. Hurting the ones you Love. Blood Wisdom. The Dependent Vampire.
All fleas are compressed laterally and are wingless, parasitic insects that subsist on blood. They have well-developed back legs in their mature stage that enables them to leap from host to host. Fleas have a sense organ on their bodies which is very sensitive to vibration and air currents. Fleas have multiple stages of complete metamorphosis, moving from eggs, to larvae, to pupa and then to adult. In their larval stages they avoid light and will survive off feathers, adult flea feces, hair and skin. Only the adult flea requires blood to survive. There are many different species of flea, some are cat-specific, human-specific, dog-specific etc. Each have different adaptations suited to this animal.
Please remember that if this animal is contacting you, it will often be the best resource for teaching you what its lessons are. What I write is only intended to be a guide, it is not absolute, nor is it infallible.
- If flea has come into your life as a guide (usually through biting us!) we are reminded to look after ourselves and our environment, and to practice vigilance. If we are lazy about how we look after ourselves, we can get physically, emotionally and spiritually harmed. We can even become seriously ill. Make sure you look after your environment and your body.
- Flea represents vampirism (emotional, physical, other). Flea suggests that we might be taking the energy from others - particularly those close to us - without even realising it. This vampirism is a sign of dependence upon others that can become unhealthy. We may also be preyed upon for energy, because we give our energy away too easily. Flea represents the dependent vampire, who will take from those he cares about most.
- Flea indicates a need for darkness and can represent the people who have an aversion to light. If flea has come into your life, it might be time to retreat into shelter, and take stock of your life. Fleas are highly sensitive to their environment, and you might find yourself overwhelmed by too much environmental stimuli. Quiet, dark places will heal you during the time that flea is around.
- Flea represents a time of accumulative damage. Flea bites are small, but the more we get, the more our health and immune system struggles. This accumulative damage can happen in other aspects of our life, small problems that never get sorted out add up until they become overwhelming. Look at each small problem in your life, and address them thoroughly to prevent a situation that feels uncontrollable.
- Fleas are adept at running away from their problems. It might be time for you to actually get away from a dangerous situation, if confrontation is no longer helping. Sometimes walking away is the healthiest thing we can do.
- Flea represents metamorphosis and rebirthing. When flea comes into our life, particularly in our dreams and visualisations, it is be time to turn over a new leaf and change our lifestyle. It is time to embrace change.
- When flea comes into our lives, it is time to assess whether we are hurting the ones we love, by either pulling on too many of their resources, using them emotionally, materially or spiritually, or if we're literally just taking away too much of their energy through never listening to them or giving them a chance to recharge.
- Finally flea represents blood wisdom. All aspects of blood, ancestry, knowledge, energy, wisdom etc. are part of the flea's domain. Indeed the domain of any animal that requires blood to survive. If you wish to understand blood memories, blood secrets and how to connect to your ancestry, a connection with flea may aid you.
If you have Flea as your Totem:
People with this animal as a totem will often manifest traits similar to the animal itself. I work on the philosophy that we only have one totem, and it teaches us lessons as well as representing the core aspects of our personality. Therefore -
- Flea people tend to be codependent, or in codependent relationships throughout their whole lives. They may be abusive, but usually just tend to be people who need the energy of other people and animals in order to live. One of their main lessons in life is to learn how give and take in a way that permits their partner or friends to survive emotionally and spiritually in long-term relationships. These people are able to get away from their problems with ease, which also means they may never confront some of the less savoury aspects of their behaviour. It is a rare person who will admit to having flea medicine, which is a powerful medicine for directing energy.
There will be other ways your totem manifests, and you will recognise them with awareness and communion.
As shadow guide/totem:
The shadow totem is the animal we often fear irrationally, that teaches us things about ourselves that are profound and difficult to confront. Often the traits we fear most within the shadow totem, are the traits that we dislike in ourselves. We must scrutinise why this is, and learn how to work with them.
- Well, I don't know many people who like flea, who seems to be far more common as a shadow totem, mainly because flea drinks blood. Flea attacks us, and threatens our physical well being, and the wellbeing of any pets we may have too. For this reason, we tend not to like flea, because flea reminds us that even when we are being vigilant there is a chance that we can be used for our resources and taken advantage of. Every part of our lives is constantly under threat, and the creatures that take from us, remind us of the humans that can take from us, and how life can put us in situations where we are taken advantage. It is important then, to learn that despite the constant threat of harm, we are able to live our lives as fully as possible. Fleas are a problem, but they are not the end of the world if we are vigilant and enjoy our lives. It is important to learn that flea reminds us of something positive, that despite harm, we are able to soldier on and lead fulfilling and wholesome lives.
- Those who hate flea are people who (understandably) tend to hate those around them who use and abuse people. They might know of people who vampiristically use their friends, they might never seem to give anything back. Hating these people is a response that enables us to protect ourselves from these people, but is it effective? And is hatred healthy? We need to confront this hatred, and understand the people what we may revile because of their decisions to use the people around them. Without understanding, we are left in a situation of ignorance and intolerance. We don't have to like their actions, but it is important to take the time to understand the motivations of using/abusing, and then understand why we don't do it.
Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Flea can be contacted via meditation / visualisation / journeying and of course in real life. Flea can be a cryptic guide and teacher, but the lessons are valuable.
Co-Conscious with Oneness