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Nine animal totems

Posted: 19 Oct 2007, 21:44
by Bel
I found my totem last year, but have recently been made aware of two more that are always with me and ones that come at certain times. I did some research and found that people have nine animal totems. These are placed in the North, South, East, west, above, below, left, right and within. The ones I am aware of are my left, right and within so I used the DAO to see if I could discover by dowsing the rest, asking if the animals were in the deck. Some werent but some were. I had some interesting and not unexpected results.

I've been working with this deck for just over a year now and feel realy attuned to it. It would be nice to be able to buy the blank cards to add more to the set.

Does anyone else have any input into the nine animal theory ? Has anyone tried to discover their totems like this ?

Re: Nine animal totems

Posted: 19 Oct 2007, 23:06
by scopulus
I don't work with this set. However, I doubt everyone has 9 totems. This sounds so new age.
I can quite believe that people have poweranimals, and more then 1 and so, but 9.... this will take over a lifetime to get to know your totems. See them as friends, you got 9 friends, then you must be VERY lucky, and extremely busy.

I am not claiming that this isn't possible with power animals, but in my book the two are not the same ;)


Re: Nine animal totems

Posted: 20 Oct 2007, 20:18
by Bel
Good point Scopulus. I've been aware of my main totem / power animal for a while and recently been made aware through frequency of two more. I am always certain when I have a messenger / visitor for a brief period .

So, I have three animals that mean a great deal. I thought that 9 animal theory was interesting and wondered if anyone else had thought about it. But as I say, you make a good point, to know our totems well, less is more IYKWIM :)

Re: Nine animal totems

Posted: 20 Oct 2007, 20:22
by Donata
These aren't personal power animals, but I was wondering about this -- if you consider the animal guardians of the four directions, plus, if you wish, above and below, (and for some, Center as well) you're well on the way to the nine animals! These guardians do aid us -in a more general way than perhaps a power animal. Does that work for anyone?

Otherwise, for myself, I think I'd be confused by 9 actual power animals or allies.


Re: Nine animal totems

Posted: 20 Oct 2007, 20:59
by scopulus

When you say:
if you consider the animal guardians of the four directions, plus, if you wish, above and below, (and for some, Center as well)
do you mean then that there are animals in the 4 directions that are like cardinals?
For example, I could place owl in the NW part of the wheel, but also in the NE. Is there a fixed place then? (since my wheel works with subdirection too so far hehe)
I try to place animals in the wheel, and this is more troublesome then I could have expected, yet , i think in the future this will get easier for me, since I am only working with the wheel for the past year or so.
Another example is Bear. A strong animal which I am honored to work with. I can place him West, for healing starts there, but also north, where he goes in a form of hybernation and thus promotes Introspection.

What is your idea on this?


Re: Nine animal totems

Posted: 21 Oct 2007, 00:27
by Donata
In addition to the OBOD animal guardians, I've been taught different animals on the Medicine Wheel - it gets crowded at times! I work with the Lakota, Huichol, and Maya Wheels, with different animals or some of the same but at different quarters.... it can get confusing. :blink:

So if you choose to do this, I'd suggest picking one system and staying with it, or meditating yourself on each cardinal direction to find out which animal works best for you there.

Good luck!

Re: Nine animal totems

Posted: 21 Oct 2007, 00:39
by Seeker
So if you choose to do this, I'd suggest picking one system and staying with it, or meditating yourself on each cardinal direction to find out which animal works best for you there.
Excellent advice as always, Donata!

Re: Nine animal totems

Posted: 13 Oct 2008, 03:55
by celtic-bard
Hiya Mamma I would like to give my input on the 9 totem animals. I believe Philip and Stephany recieved their inspiration from Native American medicine men in America and were advised to look into their own native animal heritage. Something I believe they did amazingley well. :tiphat: I discovered my animal medicine with the medicine cards long before I picked up the Druid Animal Oracle and found the 9 totem animals gives a very detailed insight into ourselves through our animal allies or My female totem is an owl and my female side is an opposum, knowing this has given me insight into balancing my animal medicine. Deception and Diversion are not easy balance.
I find it difficult to understand the concept of one power animal when we have the medicine of all living animals within us, anyway I hope that is of some help. :warm:

Re: Nine animal totems

Posted: 13 Oct 2008, 10:52
by Bran-Raeven

I have been working with the Druid Animal Oracle for more than 10 years now and I grew up within the spiritual mindset of Native Americans (my best friend in school was half Lakota and his uncle was a practising shaman) and I have to say I always felt like these two spiritual approaches share a lot of similarities. I always felt more "home" in the celtic symbolism, but my general understanding of personal totems and animal spirits may be more influenced by the Lakota than by anything of our own culture.

So I have to say, first of all I do not believe someone "has" an animal guide. I think you have to distinguish between working with an animal spirit and using them willingly as a symbolism for meditation and spiritual practice. Animal spirits are not symbolic, they are real, very powerful, sometimes painful and have a will of their own. They will demand things from you and give you powerful gifts, but never without you having to do something in return and prove your worthiness to them.

If one or some of them decide they will lead and teach beside you for a longer period of time, this is a great honour. I sometimes feel that in the new age spirituality animal guides are underestimated or being misunderstood to descibe a person's character, symbolise parts of their personality or they are being utilised like trophies or tools. This sometimes hurts my feelings.

So I personally do not believe that anyone "has" 9 totem animals. It may very well be that there are 9 or more or less guardians or representants of the directions corresponding with the individual characteristics of the direction, but I don't think that every person "owns a set" of 9 totem animals.

I do believe though, that during many years of shamanic practice a practicioner can encounter 9 or more or less different animal spirits who decide to guide and help him on his journeys. Sometimes one particular spirit decides it would like to guide you through one journey and never meet you again. Either because they don't want to or because they believe you don't need them anymore. Others guide you through longer passages and there are even some who would decide to stay with you for a lifetime. In my view, it is up to them whenever they are willing to help and you have to be grateful for every single time you meet them and they let you learn from them - even if you take them for granted after a couple of years. They will never "belong" to you in any way though.

That's my belief, not meaning to offend any of yours though. :curtsey:

Greetings, Raeven

Re: Nine animal totems

Posted: 09 Jun 2009, 16:53
by Ladyhawk
Hello, I have been living in a strongly Indigenous population in America for the past 7 years and have experienced the power you speak of in the bear spirit. It does require something of you and it will show you insights and reveal messeges but you must be on your toes in every way. I have not always been in top form when needed. I have suffered greatly as a result but my eyes are opened more now and I can't go back and change what has happened. bear medicine is powerful and many fear the bear spirit but I am slowly discovering ways to join with the bear and not falter. It requires spiritual strength and tolerance, understanding and the willingness to see the points of view of others without losing your own strengths. I don't know too many bear people personally who come right out and tell me that they are bear people but the ones I do know of are decidedly family oriented and very loving and devoted parents. Many become jealous of their strong family ties and try to knock them down. A bear has to work harder than anyone to keep their family together and must be 100%committed to this task as a bear can be.

I have also been close to the owl and the owl has been close to me. In the Eastern Woodland tradtion of the US the owl medicine is used. It came to me for the purpose of healing in grief. It stayed with me for the purpose of transition.

I am a cat lover but also have two dogs. The owls and the cats don't like each other much. They compete for the same food and the kittens can be prey if small enough. Eagles are the same way but they generally choose larger prey than owls so you see more of them in Wyoming or where there are plenty of jackrabbits or fresh fish. They compete with the bear for fish but do not fight each other. Watching and observing animals in nature can be a very valuable thing when discovering the attributes of the totems. It is also relaxing because it is from where we as humans all come... a more natural setting.