Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

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Kat Lady
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Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Kat Lady » 06 Nov 2005, 03:17

Greetings all! Since the subject of animal totems/guides seems to come up quite often, I thought that it might me nice to have a thread just dedicated to Characteristics of guides/totems. Feel free to post your favorite totem/guide characteristics'. I will begin by posting the one that Seeker so kindly provided for Bear. So without further adieu, I present the Animal Totem/Guide Characteristic thread. :grin:
Last edited by Kat Lady on 13 Dec 2005, 13:54, edited 1 time in total.
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.--Mark Twain

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Kat Lady
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Bear

Post by Kat Lady » 06 Nov 2005, 03:29

Seeker had posted this in another part of this forum. In my enthusiasm with setting up this new thread, I accidently moved it and to make a long story short, botched up the job. BUT, I did copy it so her it is. My apologies, my friend.
Seeker wrote: BEAR FAMILY
Speaking Truth to Power

Virginia Carper Copyright 2005

The most recently evolved of the Carnivores, Bears
appeared on earth about 20 million years ago. They now
contain the largest meat eaters on land. Despite their
heavy bones and massive skulls, Bears are fast
sprinters, able to keep pace with Horse. In addition,
many Bears are good tree climbers, foraging for fruit
and nuts. Lifting large boulders, They eat Insects,
that live under the rocks. Swimming for long distances
in the cold Arctic Seas, Polar Bears hunt Seals. In
their pursuit of food, Bears are quite resourceful.

Throughout history, people’s lives have intertwined
with Bears’ lives. These Predators stand up, eat the
same foods, and protect their children, much like
people do. Because of these similarities, people feel
a kinship with Bears. Humans and Bears have been wary,
respectful, and tolerant of each other. However,
contact with the other usually ended in disaster for
both people and Bears.

Bears are one of the oldest recorded totemic beings.
For many peoples, Bears offer their nurturing,
protection, and wisdom. Ancient legends tell of people
sharing caves with Bears. (People were contemporaries
of Cave bears (Ursus speleus) in Eurasia.) Early
people often sought permission from the elders and
from the Bears, before hunting a Bear. In addition,
special ceremonies were often held to ensure the
Bear’s Spirit were at peace, after the killing.

Various peoples have traditions of Bears as intimate
members of their cultures. Among Native Americans,
Bear, “the animal that walks like a man”, would care
for lost children and raise them. Among the Basque and
Siberian peoples, if a person was killed by Bear then
they came back as a Bear. Arcadians of the
Mediterranean Basin claim that they are descended from
Bears, as well.

Bears urge people to speak truth to power. In the face
of power, truth is their best ally and weapon.
Knowledge of Bears has helped people to avoid being
killed. In addition, this powerful Animal appears in
people’s dreams offering individual truths. Bears go
into the dark regions where people fear to go, and
speak truth to power for them.


Bear Family’s Teachings Include:

“This innate visceral fear of bears lives somewhere
inside all of us. Stone Age man still hunkers in the
cave of our emotions and his survival is still
threatened by predators. This Stone Age fear will
always exist but we can control it with understanding.
To make it easier to coexist with bears, because
without them our lives will be greatly diminished.”
Copyright: “Bears of the World”, Lance Craighead.

“Bear has two sides to his personality. On one hand he
is curious, cheerful, good-natured, and deliberate. On
the other hand, he is quick to anger, because he is
sure of his own power, and will defend his family to
the death. Bear’s only enemies are man and forest
fires.” Copyright, “Alaska Bear Tales”, Larry Kanuit.

Bear Family’s Wisdom Includes:
Spiritual Force
Strength
Inner Wisdom and Dreams
Strength in the Face of Adversity
Healing and Protection
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.--Mark Twain

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Piastra
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Cougar

Post by Piastra » 06 Nov 2005, 09:51

my own totem:

Cougar Medicine

Cougar symbolizes one's ability to accept and direct the course of power through one's life with grace and speed. Its appearance heralds a time when we will learn to move quickly when the opportunities we have been seeking to transform our lives suddenly present themselves, especially if we are willing to claim and step fully into our own power.

Often called Puma, Mountain Lion, Florida Panther and by other names, the Cougar is one of the largest of all North American cats. Males can weigh in at 150 pounds and be up to 8 feet in length. Females are generally smaller, though still up to a good 7 feet in length and weighing in at 90 pounds. Their primary prey are larger animals such as Elk and Deer, though they will eat smaller animals if prefered food sources are scarce. For those who have this powerful animal as a totem, they too may often find that their need for protein is higher than many other people. While plant proteins can sometimes be substituted, usually the prefered source is red meat.

The Cougar both stalks its prey and keeps a sharp eye out in case a easier, tastier meal presents itself. Then it acts quickly, not stopping to ponder whether one choice is truly better than another, but trusting in its own instincts and ability to get what it wants. Then the focus of the Cougar goes straight on to the prey it is hunting, nothing distracts it from making the leap that will bring it down. So too do those who carry this medicine or for whom Cougar has appeared as a temporary totem, need to practice both the ability to stalk something that is desired and yet also be open in case something even better presents itself. If more than one choice is presented, then one needs to move with what one's instincts say is appropriate and not try to rationalize decisions. The energy needs to come from the gut, the body not the head. Our bodies are very wise and they are always sending us messages as to what we should or should not do. Its only when we try and rationalize all of our decisions and choices that we trip ourselves up and miss the target. This does not mean that the rational mind doesn't have its place! We may need to have a plan of action already in mind should our own "prey" suddenly appear so that we may follow through on the energy when it is presented to us. Cougar people often admit that they do tend to act first and then think later. This can be a great advantage to the Cougar person if they have done alot of inner work and have their minds focused firmly on their goals. Otherwise they may find themselves reacting to situations in ways that are not in their own nor others best interests.

Cougars are for the most part unrivaled in the ability to jump with leaps measuring 35 feet have been recorded. When stalking their prey, they will use foliage as a cover, staying downwind and creeping up on their target. They may also leap from tree branches, staying hidden within the leaves until its prey is close enough for them to bring it down in one fell swoop. Cougars can only run at top speed for short distances, because of this they know it imperative to get as close to their prey as possible before making a killing strike. Otherwise the opporunity will be lost and it may be some time before the next appears. In the world of the Cougar, there is no time for dalliance or hesitation! He/she who does, may not eat for the next several days. During the winter when food may be scarce, it can mean the difference between life and death not only for the adult Cougar, but for a female, her offspring as well. Many Cougar people learn this lesson in life early on and some go for years kicking themselves for not jumping on an opportunity and thus feel they have "missed out". Opportunities will come again, especially if the Cougar person is willing to go looking for them. Cougars will sometimes have a territory that spreads up to 200 miles and so too does the Cougar individual need to cast their nets far and wide if they are to find the abundance they are seeking. It is said that good things come to those who wait, but for Cougar people, they often find instead they need to keep moving and searching. When they do make a "kill" however, its likely to be a big one! It is important Cougar people too use a cover or blind to stalk that which they are seeking. For humans, this means that we do not share with others what we are pursuing at the time (Cougars are solitary hunters and only a female with cubs to teach will allow them to go with her on the hunt) lest someone let the proverbial cat out of the bag! It may be a promotion or a new job we are seeking, a relationship or a new home, no matter what our own "prey" might be, any show of power too soon will have the opposite effect of what we are seeking. Softly, softly, catchee monkey! This also indicates that Cougar folks need to follow their own individual pursuits instead of trying to stay within a group effort. These folks tend to work best on their own with minimal distractions. For the Cougar person the motto is "Stay focused, decide what prey it is you are seeking to catch and yet be alert to something new and better be presented. When and if it is, pounce swiftly and without hesitation!"

Cougars also mark their territories and yet do allow transient Cougars of both sexes to pass through unharrased for the most part. This is also important for us to note because we too need to have clearly defined boundaries and yet also allow others to pass through our own territory unchallenged unless they are intent on trying to take over our "space". Then we need to act swiftly, standing in our own power and letting the other person know that we have established this space for ourselves and they need to move on to find their own right place! Because Cougars will remain transient until they find an abandoned territory to take over, some Cougar people may also find they too are needing to move from one "territory" to another, that they may currently be in a space as well that is already full and need to find a new niche to carve out for ourselves if they are to be successfull. Humans do have a tendency to want to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to many things in life yet too we forget at some point that wagon is going to become awfully crowded and some may start falling off! If one is trying to move into a territory that is already heavily marked by others and finding there is little nourishment or food to be had in the situation, it may be time to let go of what one was pursuing and ask to be directed into that which wil be truly sustaining and supporting of you. We all have a niche that only we as individuals can fill, and no matter how easy another's path or territory may appear, if we choose to try and stay within that niche, we will find our energy draining and little being accomplished from the struggle. Cougars themselves are self-regulating of their populations, they will only breed when there is enough actual space within their ranges to accomodate more of their own kind. So too do Cougar people need to be aware of where they, as well as others, might be infringing on another's space (including how the expanding human population is impacting all other forms of life) and take the appropriate steps to insure that they and others are not overstepping boundaries or trying to encroach on what others are rightfully doing but to instead find their own space. Cougar people sometimes do have to find ways to express to others that their boundaries and "territory" are sacred and rightfully theirs.. Cougars rarely fight and much of their aggression towards others of their own kind is for show. Yet if the need arises because one is backed into a corner, these Cats and the folks that carry their medicine will come out fighting with fangs and claws bared. These folks don't tend to carry a grudge, once the point has been made they simply carry on with what presents itself next in their lives. Yet heaven help anyone who is on the receiving end of their ire! Many Cougar folks will use the power of their voice first before taking any sort of other action. A Cougar's call can send a chill up one's spine! Its amazingly powerful and carries for quite a distance in the wild. So too do Cougar people find that their words have great power and meaning to those that hear them, so they best choose their words wisely! Cougar medicine does teach and can be used to teach others, that when one finds what one is truly meant to be doing and where one needs to be, that the territory that has been marked out is able to support one abundantly! Cougar people often tend to also value their privacy highly, they often don't like to live in large cities or areas where there are many other humans because they feel infringed upon by the energy of others, though some of course do and then go to extraordinary lengths to keep the neighbours at bay. Cougar people simply need a lot of space, be it emotional, physical or mental. This does not mean that a Cougar person cannot or will not have very close, satisfying relationships, but it does mean that in order for them to do so, they need to be with people who can understand their deeper needs for freedom and their urge to go "roaming". This in turn is not indicative that a Cougar person cannot be monogamous and and in fact many are for the simple reason they don't want to become emotionally entangled with someone who cannot honour their needs. Once the Cougar person has found the mate that can allow them to be who they truly are, they are not likely to risk it on a passing fancy. Cougar has bigger fish to fry! Cougar folks may find that regardless of where they choose to live, they feel the need to move frequently. There is a restless energy to this totem that is always calling them to move on, to explore and carve out new space for themselves. Its difficult for Cougar people in our society as one is encouraged to "put down roots", especially if children are involved and one is seen as unstable or even selfish for wanting to do anything else.. Yet the Cougar person and their family, (often Cougar people have Cougar offspring as well!) if they have chosen their mate wisely, find that everyone is much happier being on the move with a home being viewed more as a temporary resting spot. Cougars follow the herds in the wild, and since many of their prey are migratory, so too does the Cougar person find they need to keep moving in order to be able to sustain themselves. This can be of great benefit to the Cougar person who will sense before many others will that an area or career or pursuit that was once abundant with reward is starting to dry up and a new path must be forged. Many Cougar people are well known for suddenly leaping into a new arena even when the old still seemed full of promise. While others may thing the Cougar person daft for making the change, eventually they too will be wishing they had followed the Cougar person's example.

Female Cougars usually give birth to two cubs. The cubs are marked at birth with brownish-black spots that fade as they grow. This symbolizes both Cougar's strong connection with the material world and its ability to find what it needs in order to grow and thrive as well as acting as camoflauge for the newborn cubs. Couger people have a strong need to feel grounded and in control of what is happening around them. They feel the most secure when they are actively pursuing goals that will bring them material benefit and yet they are not hoarders by nature. Things of the earth and this includes money are important to them because they realise its true value. They use the resources they have to sustain themselves, the people they love, (especially if they have children) and often, their own business or company. An amazing number of Cougar people I have known do own their own business and I believe in part this is due to their need to work on their own as much as possible. They don't feel the need to much to be leaders, after all the Cougar is a very solitary animal and even when living near humans, it is rarely seen. Instead, these folks have a need to set and pursue their own destiny rather than leaving it in the hands of others or taking on the responsibility for another's. Cougar knows that eventually, we all need to find our own way through life, no one else can do it for us.

Cougar also reminds us that we need to express our power actively. We must pursue those things that truly feed us from the level of the heart and soul, as well as those things that feed our bodies. When Cougar appears, we shall also be seeing more clearly how we are actually expressing our own power and energy in the world. By paying attention to how others are responding to us when Cougar appears or for those that have it as a primary totem, we become more aware of how we actually are expressing our power and energy as opposed to how we may think we are. If we are expressing our power in positive ways, others will respond in kind by honouring our energy, perhaps seeking us out from time to time for support and guidance. If we are over-expressing our power and energy, we will see that clearly as others begin to steer clear or feel inclined to try and knock the chip off the shoulder. If others seem to be constantly on the defense around us, then we know it is us who need to back off and give the other person some space. If others seem to be agressive towards us, we need to ask what sort of energy we are putting forth that is inviting such an attack! On the whole, if people are supportive and feel at ease around us, then we know we are expressing our power in positive ways and helping others learn how to do as well.

Often times, Cougar people face issues and examples of what true power is and what it isn't. True power is never about trying to have power over someone else. Power and owning one's power means one accepts responsibility for one's choices and actions, one accepts that every action one takes leads to consequences that may be positive or negative. One learns not to blame others for everything that happens but looks inside to see what sort of energy one is putting forth that has attracted the circumstances to begin with. We learn that it is not "everyone else" that have created the circumstances in our lives, but us that have put the energy forth to begin with that attracted those people and circumstances. Accepting this and working with it means that YOU have the ultimate power within you to transform your own life! Perhaps of all the things that Cougar can teach us, how to stalk and capture our goals, how to be okay with being alone if that's what we need at some point in our lives, how to use and value the resources and space we have wisely and well, this may actually be the most important. Its so easy to point the finger at someone else and make them "responsible" for how our lives are not working. Its so easy to blame circumstances or "fate" instead of calling upon our own knowing and intuition, our own inner power and setting about to "stalk" the right solutions. Its easier to sit where one is and moan rather than pick up and move on. Yet for Cougar, there is no such luxury. There is only this present moment and perhaps a cub or two to feed. Its time to get moving.

Other things that may be important for you during the time that Cougar makes its presence known to you or if you carry Cougar medicine:

Events pertaining to material gain and financial recognition for efforts.

Travel relating to business or new ventures, also possibly relating to an inheritance of some sort.

Need for patience, allowing things to unfold at their own pace until the time is right for you to act.

New and unexpected sources of prosperity may suddenly appear.

Recognizing that good boundaries allow relationships with others to fluorish.

Learning something new from a mentor or teacher will help you stand in your own power as well as reaping greater rewards for the future.

Affirmation "I am open to working with my own power and harnessing it for the abundant good of myself and all".

Essences for working with Cougar Medicine include:

Cougar
Australian Blue Cypress
Lemon Scented Myrtle
Blue Barrel Cactus
Red Tourmaline

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Seeker
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Coyote

Post by Seeker » 06 Nov 2005, 15:12

My Totem...Coyote Medicine: :coyote:

Oh that Coyote! Up to his usual tricks no doubt and creating chaos and mischief every where he goes! Yet Thank God/Goddess/All that Is for Coyote medicine and the people who carry its energy, for without him and them, this world would be very drab and dreary indeed! And have a little sympathy for those of us who do carry this medicine; like Raven and Crow, its not an easy path to walk.

There is a wonderful Native American story that tells of how Coyote and Silver Fox sat dreaming one day, trying to see which one could out-do the other in their creations. Everything was going fine until Coyote got the idea to think up a creation that was smarter than itself. Coyote focused and concentrated very hard indeed, (see, it really does take a lot of energy to get into trouble, VBG!) and when he finally opened his eyes, he found he had created the first humans. Poor Coyote, because we are his creation in this story, we are also his responsibility and he has had his hands full with us ever since! Coyote thought he was being very clever indeed and was so clever, he ended up tricking himself, truly a hallmark of Coyote medicine.

Stories about Coyote abound in Native literature. He is the practical joker, the trickster, the chaos aspect of all creation. For the most part in Native American "myth", his focus is primarily on himself and his own gain which is always his undoing and for people that carry this medicine, they too would do well to heed this example. People that focus only on their own benefit and gain at the expense of others tend to attract folks that would love to give them their comeuppance. Coyote once heard a pair of Chickadees saying how they had learned to throw their eyes up into the air and catch them again. Of course, they knew Coyote was near and they had decided to play a trick on him to teach him a lesson. Over and over Coyote heard them chanting "I throw you up and you come down in". Coyote, deciding to give it a go, took great delight in informing the Chickadees that he already knew about this wonderful game and that he could do it even better than they could. So he took his eyes out and threw them up in the air. They returned to their sockets so he decided to try it again except this time, the Chickadees stole his eyes and made off with them. It took Coyote quite some time to finally get them back! There is a double moral to this story for so often, Coyote really is able to do many things that others might find difficult. However, Coyote also needs to bear in mind that he too needs to keep his eyes wide open and firmly in their place, lest someone else get the better of him/her. If Coyote is really guilty of anything it can be of hubris or thinking that one is better or more gifted than everyone else, assuming one's self to be on par "with the Gods". Coyote is actually very clever but the problem usually occurs when Coyote forgets that just maybe, he or she doesn't know everything and that there is much more that one can learn.

Coyote is the Divine Fool. Think of The Fool from the Tarot and there is Coyote in a nutshell. About to walk off a cliff and yet there is also a sense that somewhere below there is a strong safety net waiting to catch Coyote as he/she falls. Knowing Coyote, not only will the net catch him, it most likely will bounce him back up to where he was before so he can do it all over again! Coyote people and I am one of them, often do find that they tend to repeat the same blasted mistakes over and over and over and over again. Its not that Coyote folks are stupid, far from it! There is however a sort of innocence that Coyote people carry that leads them into the same silly (or very challenging) situations repeatedly both as a means of learning and too, to show others how they do NOT want to be or what paths not to walk! Its as though Coyote people at some level have volunteered to go ahead and be the clowns, the ones who fall into some truly bizarre and even heart rending situations because they know that can be the best way to teach others the potential pitfalls of life. Bless Coyote people and if you know one, give them a hug and a pat on the back! Truly they don't mean to repeat the same mistakes, its just in their nature to be both teacher and fool. Learn from these folks, they can be some of your greatest teachers in life if you allow them to be. And in your learning from their mistakes, they too are blessed and allowed to move a little further along in the game of life. Coyote people do make the most wonderful teachers. They are well known for taking an unorthodox approach to teaching (as well as everything else in life!) and often have a wonderful sense of humour that makes learning a great deal of fun. And they truly are so often very clever people, insightful, quick studies themselves, and not as apt to be impatient with others if they are struggling to learn something new. Coyote people have had some very painful and difficult lessons of their own to learn and so they deeply empathize with what others are experiencing.

Coyote medicine is Heyoka, the shamans and teachers who act in sometimes truly bizarre though often humerous ways in order to get a message or point across. For those who carry this medicine, sometimes it feels as though something "takes over" and they suddenly find that they are saying and doing things that cause more than a few raised eyebrows. Yet, this is not meant to imply that a Heyoka can say or do what ever they feel and use this medicine as an excuse for bad behaviour. There are strict, spiritual rules and guidelines that a Heyoka must follow if what they have to offer is going to bring peace and healing instead of hurt feelings and problems for others. Among the Confederated Nations of the Northeast, Heyokas would be called in to act out (in a very humerous fashion!) the possible consequences of any new laws that might be set into place. This allowed the elders to see quite clearly the ramifications from a totally different perspective. Through the antics of Coyote medicine, there is indeed much wisdom! Among many Native American Nations, humour was used to gently bring someone back into alignment with the rest of the group if that person was starting to behave in ways that were not for the good of all. Often we really cannot see how our behaviour is impacting others unless someone else makes us aware of it. Yet the teasing was done in ways that would not hurt the person, and quite often, many other members were teased at the same time so that no one person felt singled out.

Coyote can also teach us how to balance work and play, to have more fun in our lives which also helps us to manifest anything much more quickly because we are vibrating more closely to the true nature of ourselves and the Universe. We can go through the process with a feeling of joy, ease and excitement, knowing that when Coyote appears, we can re-create our lives in ways that we might never have dreamed if we are willing to lighten up, let go and follow our inner guidance. Think of something you would like to release - how does it feel when you think of just letting it go? If you feel a sense of relief no matter if also underneath that is a feeling of fear, then you know you are right in your wanting to move on. The fear is our old way of responding to change because we don't see the bigger picture. Not yet anyway. We will though, as soon as Coyote has managed to trick us into going for what we really want! So often, what one really wants in life may seem very far away or impossible to achieve. Coyote people though have this sense of innocence and trust in the Universe that allows them to keep following their dream, no matter where it may take them. To Coyote, everything that one experiences is valuable. There is no right or wrong, up or down, black and white in Coyote's world. Its a hodgepodge of colour and experience and sensation that makes life to Coyote worth living. Anything less is too grim for Coyote to contemplate and this is why many Coyote people say (as do their friends and family) that they have lived several lifetimes in one. Granted, some of the experience has been painful, even terrifying at times. Sometimes the Coyote person feels like shaking their head and wondering how in God's name they managed to get themselves into such a terrible mess. Yet when the dust settles and the light dawns on a new day, the Coyote person is GLAD to have had the experience. They gained far more by their risk taking than they could ever have lost, even if its just that sense of total aliveness that comes from having been to hell and back and having lived to describe the journey.

Coyote can also teach us how to laugh at ourselves and our own folly. We all make mistakes and do/say things we really wish we hadn't. Its part of being human and part of life. Yet instead of beating ourselves up or feeling shamed, we need to remember that we have learned something very valuable and hopefully won't need to make the same mistake again. If we do, oh well, we can learn to laugh at what we have done and accept that maybe we had some more learning to do around a particular situation. The blessing in this can be too that perhaps there will come a time when someone will come into our lives that will really benefit from the mistakes we have made. We may be able to pass on navigational information in the sense that we can say to the other person "see that road there? Trust me, that is not the road you want to take! There's a big pit at the end of it." Well, sometimes I have to admit that Coyote and I both then go running down that road once again to show just how big and deep that pit really is. But we have learned how to climb out of it rather well at least! Sometimes, people with Coyote medicine really do need to go down into that pit yet again to help someone else climb out of it. Maybe they have fallen in and didn't notice on the way down the ladder that Coyote had made sure to bring with him the last time he was headed this way. Maybe the pit is just a little too dark and the person doesn't have the keen perception and sense that Coyote does. Coyote will be happy to help the person hone their own senses once they have both managed to climb out of the pit. Or maybe they will choose to stay down there a bit longer. After all, Coyote did hear someone saying something about buried treasures.....

Coyote and the folks that carry this medicine often work best in cooperative ventures. Coyotes hunt in packs, and this too helps to balance the medicine so Coyote is not focused soley on itself but must act in a way that benefits the whole. In the Roadrunner cartoon, you can bet that had Wil E. Coyote been cooperating with another Coyote, Roadrunner would not have stood a chance. On the other hand, maybe the Acme Company WAS another Coyote and thats why everything Wil E. tried was bodged so badly! Yet he never gave up, each new cartoon there he was with another plan and another device that he was sure was going to help him get that Roadrunner. This is something that is also important for Coyote people to bear in mind: patience and persistence win the day for these folks more often than not. So what if we look a little foolish from time to time on the way to achieving our goals. At the end of the day, other folks are going to have a lot to thank us for, for they will have learned how, through our example, what is the best route to take and which should be avoided.
Coyotes also use a technique called "charming" to get their prey. A Coyote may dance around like it has gone completely mad, leaping and rubbing its nose on the ground, twisting and turning this way and that. Its prey becomes so fascinated watching what Coyote is doing, that it doesn't realise that suddenly Coyote is right on top of it. So too may Coyote people find that they need to use diversionary tactics to reach a goal. Coyote people in their innocence can also be a little naive as to others true intentions and before they know it, someone else may have snatched their idea or plan right from underneath their noses. Or taken credit for work that the Coyote person has done. This can be very painful to the Coyote person though they often will never show it but will lick their wounds in silence and then think up a new idea or plan. And these are some highly intelligent folks when all is said and done, adaptable as well. Coyote always has another plan, another goal to pursue! Hopefully though, they will be a little bit wiser and use the technique of "charming" to hide behind until the energy comes into manifest form.

Part of Coyote's wisdom is its adaptability. Coyote takes life as it comes and doesn't whinge about the dark times but simply gets on with things. It knows how to survive and so do the people who carry its medicine. Coyote may be the archetypal Fool and yet Coyote has managed to spread far and wide across the US. They have been poisoned, shot, run down, trapped and yet every effort on the part of a few misinformed to eradicate them has not only failed, but also failed in a rather spectacular manner! So who is the real fool in all of this? Certainly not Coyote who continues to thrive and do quite well for itself, thank you very much! Its a paradox, but the more efforts are made to eradicate Coyote, the more of them there are. Like Fox, Coyote is a master of disguise and can easily out wit its enemies through its ability to adapt and remain in the shadows until its safe to emerge once again. I also find it a most humerous paradox that the very creatures that are considered to be the greatest fools, Coyote, Raven and Crow, are also among the most intelligent creatures in the world. Perhaps it is their willingness to take risks, tred where angels fear to go, and not caring whether others think them fools or eccentrics that allows these creatures to thrive in a world where so many other species that are more "refined and focused" are dying out. Coyote goes with what catches its interest at a moments notice. And while in the real world of day to day life it can be difficult to follow one's impulses and do as one will (with harm to none), perhaps what we all need is a good dose of just not giving a flying squirrel what someone else or many someone elses might think from time to time about our behaviour and just cut loose. Coyote would also say, just who are those "someone else's" anyway? Certainly not anyone he knows. They can't be much fun to be around anyway.

Coyote brings us many gifts, many of which are greatly unappreciated in modern day society. Coyote is our right to be individuals while learning how to cooperate and work with others. Coyote is our ability to adapt, to hide when needed, to act the fool to discourage others from invading our space or doing us actual harm. Coyote is the ability to speak the truth about a given situation, to tell it like it is and the devil take the hindermost. Coyote is our ability to play, to take risks, to not conform so just maybe we might find a better way of going about things that will be of greater benefit to all. Coyote brings us the gift of laughter which has been shown to heal dis-eases such as Cancer. Laughter is powerful medicine and one that all of us would do well to take more and larger doses of! Coyote is the part of us that knows what it feels like to be at the bottom and how to climb back up again with patience and persistence. Coyote can teach us how to live in a world that really has gone completely batty, being run by conservative "sane" individuals who can no longer see the need to work for a greater good. Coyote can teach us how to walk into our full potential as unbounded human beings if we will but listen for its call and respond. Our greatest teacher is waiting! It is said that if all the other creatures of the world were to die off, one would remain. Coyote. Somehow Coyote would find a way to survive and who knows, perhaps all the creatures would be brought back to life again because Coyote one day decided to close his eyes and envision what could be.

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"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
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Owl

Post by Dryadia2 » 06 Nov 2005, 19:58

:owlsnow: Owl is my journeying Guide/Totem.

Owl is associated with 'The Mystery of Magic': omens, wisdom, vision of the night, detachment, change, transformation, deception, feminine magic and mystery, bringer of dreams, and messenger of 'The Great Spirit'.

Owl hunts it's prey at night, and is armed with a hooked beak and curved talons. It is a powerful, noiseless flyer with good hearing and sight. The owl is a symbol of the feminine, the moon, and the night. It is believed to have great healing powers, both in North America and on other continents.

Owl in various languages:
ulchabhan - Irish
tylluan, gwdihw - Welsh
chomhachag, a chaillech-oidhche - Scots Gaelic
ula - Cornish
strix (pl. striges) - Old Roman
eule - German
buho - Spanish

Owl in Celtic Mythology:
It was considered a bird of ill omen among the Celts. Sometimes being called the 'Night Hag', and the 'Corpse Bird', that often carried the recently deceased to the Underworld. It symbolized Crone and Underworld deities. However, the Owl of Cwm Cawlwyd, was a significant animal helper in the Mabinogion story of Culhwch and Olwen. In Wales, the owl has come to be associated with fertility.

Owl in Native American Mythology:
Owl is called 'Night Eagle' by many Native Americans. Most believed the owl was a bird of sorcerers. However, the Cherokees felt the owl was sacred, for it's ability to see in the dark, and was the bringer of messages at night through dreams. It was the 'Chief of the Night' to the Pawnees, who said it gave protection. Traditionally, Owl sits in the East on the Medicine Wheel, the place of illumination. But can also be associated with North and wisdom. To the Winnebago, the owl ruled the north, the land of the unknown, of cold, dark forests; of death. The Zuni associated the owl with the wrath of a witch. The Apaches believed 'Big Owl' was a bloodthirsty, evil giant who took the form of a huge owl, and carried humans off to eat them. To the Ojibwa, the owl was a symbol of evil and death. The Pueblo associated the owl with the 'Skeleton Man', the god of death, but who was also a spirit of fertility.

Owl in Oriental Mythology:
Although the Japanese generally regard the owl as a wise and benevolent night creature, most of the cultures of Asia fear the bird as a demon of darkness that delights in carrying off human souls. Conversely, in the Polynesian tradition, the owl is a special protector in battles or danger, and brings back to life any souls that may be lost and wandering.

Owl associations with deities:
Anath - goddess (Middle Eastern)
Athena - goddess (Greek)
Blodeuwedd - the woman created from flowers, by Math and Gwydion (Welsh)
Cailleach - Crone/hag goddess (Scottish)
Gwynn ap Nudd - god of underworld (Welsh)
Lilith - goddess (Sumerian, Middle Eastern)
Mari - goddess (Middle Eastern)
Tlazolteotl - goddess (Aztec)
Minerva - goddess (Roman)
Yama - god (India)

The Owl is a creature of the underworld, and as such can be a powerful ally in journeys made to this world. Working with owl can help with studies of esoteric lore, clairvoyancy, astral travel, and shape-shifting. Owl is a messenger of hidden truth, secrets, and omens, and can also aide in unmasking those who would deceive you, with wisdom to make positive changes.

Owl Chant:
Soft darkness of night, a time of deep magick,
Your realm, great owl whose eyes see reality in the darkness.
I would call up wise and deep magicks,
Magicks bold and strong, creating change.
(from 'Animal Magick' by D.J. Conway)

Owl Chant:
Owl...
Magic,
Omens,
Time and space.
Does the truth emerge?
Casting out deception,
Silent flight,
Sacred Medicine Bird.
(from 'Medicine Cards' by Jamie Sams & David Carson)


References:
"Animal Magick" by D.J. Conway
"Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews
"Celtic Totem Animals" by John Matthews
"Dreaming with the Wheel" by Sun Bear, Wabun Wind, and Shawnodese
"Medicine Cards" by Jamie Sams & David Carson
"The Celtic Shaman's Pack" by John Matthews
"The Druid Animal Oracle" by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
"Totems" by Brad Steiger

Peace and Blessings,
:dryadia: /|\
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than any city on earth - Steve McQueen

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Post by Night Hawk » 06 Nov 2005, 20:52

I wouldn't say that birch trees are my guides, but i feel protected when I'm near them.
Sorry, I don't have anything profound or "traditional" to tell about birches as guides. I just feel their protection. :beith::wall:
:coll: Current read: Earthsea TrilogyUrsula K. LeGuin
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Post by Kat Lady » 06 Nov 2005, 21:55

Dryadia2 pointed out that the OBOD Home page has a section on Animal Lore and suggested that I post this here for those who wish to read more. I say brilliant suggestion, Dryadia! :hug: So for our reading pleasure here it is.
http://www.druidry.org/modules.php?op=m ... page_id=71
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.--Mark Twain

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Post by salmoncat » 07 Nov 2005, 03:55

er, having gone to the afore mentioned site regarding animals, am i wrong to have such a revered animal such as the salmon to identify with? i dont wish to offend, its just been my nickname since i can remember and i identify with its perseverance in returning to its home
I dont suffer from insanity..............I enjoy every minute of it!!![

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Kat Lady
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Post by Kat Lady » 07 Nov 2005, 05:29

salmoncat wrote:er, having gone to the afore mentioned site regarding animals, am i wrong to have such a revered animal such as the salmon to identify with? i dont wish to offend, its just been my nickname since i can remember and i identify with its perseverance in returning to its home
There is honor in identifying with the salmon of wisdom. I am sure that no one, especially the salmon, is offended. It is a part of you, salmoncat, so how can that be wrong?
Keep the name. :grin:
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.--Mark Twain

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Wolf

Post by Wolfwalker » 07 Nov 2005, 21:36

Wolf medicine is very ancient, born of living experiences. Wolf is a teacher or pathfinder who goes ahead into the unknown to seek out knowledge and medicine. Having learned this, wolf returns to the clan to share this new teaching. Teacher, this makes wolf both the guardian of the old, seeking wisdom, and the bringer of the new knowledge. Wolf is traditionalist and radical in one being.
Wolf's howls are understood by First Nations' peoples as talking with the spirit world.
In healing, wolf medicine is for inner healing, as wolf looks within your heart and shares the knowledge IF you participate fully and sincerely. Wolf walking by you rekindles old memories in your soul. This will often as not relight the fires of your inner soul; remember that you only own a thing when you have accepted emotional responsibility of it, realize the responsibility for it's creation. Realizing things in this way heals you inwardly, and you continue your journey. Wolf medince is inner healing and will make you whole. You may return many times to wolf during your life, constantly rediscovering truths within yourself and being reborn by those inner truths.
You can lie to others if you are so foolish. To lie to wolf is to lie to yourself and there is no helping you then, you are neither admitting what lies within or confronting it, working with it and as I said, wolf will heal only if there is participation and sincerity, with a heart that is pure enough to truly desire the healing of Wolf.
blessings of peace, Peter
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Wolf Part 2

Post by Madadh-Allaidh » 07 Nov 2005, 23:41

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Wolf's medicine includes facing the end of one's cycle with dignity and courage, death and rebirth, Spirit teaching, guidance in dreams and meditations, instinct linked with intelligence, social and family values, outwitting enemies, ability to pass unseen, steadfastness, skill in protection of self and family, taking advantage of change.

Wanted to post something too :oops: , Wolfwalker beat me too it :-) .....he's definitely the faster wolf :grin: :grin: :grin:

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Post by Dryadia2 » 08 Nov 2005, 00:04

Madadh-Allaidh wrote:...Wolfwalker beat me too it :-) .....he's definitely the faster wolf...
That's because he's the 'Alpha Male' wolf here! :wolf:

:dryadia: /|\
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Post by Wolfwalker » 08 Nov 2005, 14:28

Got to be an up side of getting older... So you learn to move a little faster in the shadows, recognize the scent in the air, see the danger and when to walk with the old ones in counsel... "Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill." as the sign on the door of my room says. Must be something to the Alpha though, even most very aggressive bred dogs will not look me directly in the eye, or avert their gaze after a few seconds. That grey muzzle fur and hard stare must count for something.
Peace of the season... blessings, Peter
Love people and use things, NOT use people and love things...

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Post by Madadh-Allaidh » 08 Nov 2005, 15:02

Averting my gaze now.... :hug:

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Post by Kat Lady » 08 Nov 2005, 15:05

Kat, on the other hand, stares directly into wolf eyes with her Lynx eyes and grins the grin of the Keeper of the Secrets. :-)

(Sorry! Couldn't resist.)
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.--Mark Twain

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Horse

Post by Fae » 09 Nov 2005, 15:33

I am Horse

The Spirit of Horse bestows a simple, kind, content yet sometime unruly nature. You are generally exuberant, efficient, and enjoy taking care of yourself and others. You love your independence and will surrender it only to a relationship that is based on mutual trust, consideration and respect.
You have a good sense of humor and are willing to sacrifice yourself for friends, family and your honor. You are a beacon of hope to those less fortunate, and willingly work long and hard, assuming both your own and others duties. You are the efficient guide and teacher, and with glad heart you show an exuberance that makes you attractive, and treasured by most. Many look to you confident you'll shoulder and resolve any trouble or strife.
You hate discord, and at the first sign of conflict your instinct is to run. And run you sometimes do, as far and as fast as you can. You possess great strength, yet are an innocent and once you've lost trust in a beloved one, it is not gained back. You are a wanderer by nature and you seek a congenial atmosphere as soon as you've rendered your services and duties.
Self control, training and learning to reign over your libidinous instincts comprises the greater bulk of your early years. Denied physical or sexual expression you build charges that threaten all that you hold dear. Once your physical senses are reigned under will of your whisper, you will achieve great things.
The Horse Spirit in Business defines this as a time of great effort and productivity. This time shows the breaking of new ground and opens whole new avenues and vistas of exchange. Chances are there will be long hours with much work being accomplished. Often you will be asked to assume a greater role in management, administration or a project.
Your energy is high and even if you are fatigued you manage to muster strength and plod on. The weight of these burdens will sit squarely upon your shoulders. You must work at a steady pace, gage your step and conserve your energy. You are probably overburdened nor resting well because of your increased burdens.
You will be inclined to run over any opposition and may set unrealistic goals or expectations. You'll have no patience with slackers, tardiness or anyone else you might think or feel is obstructing your flow. You may find others shirking duties, passing the buck or scapegoating others to cover their own lack of effort. If a person has lost control or their actions are getting out of line, suggest temperance with repercussions for noncompliance. Be careful, you are not a beast of burden, nor should you insist others to become so. Your attitudes, impatience and temper will make things difficult for you, and may cost you some key employees besides general disgruntlement in your work force. Do not assume others burdens or
This is a time of gearing up for production, with a possibility of new tools, machines, and a greater probability of increasing your current manpower for temporary labor needs. Take all sexual harassment reports or complaints seriously. Investigate them and see to it that your own behavior does not jeopardize your future.
The Horse Spirit in Love defines a period of time when desires and feelings can get way out of hand and there is a strong chance that an affair of heart will interfere with your productivity. This relationship is meant to be one of trust, kindness, loyalty and devotion. You are both high energy people, and great caution must be used to avoid "riding rough shod over" each others needs and desires. You must show respect while finding healthy ways to express your competitive and freedom loving natures. Premature action or the insistence of specific action (especially if it is sexual} should be avoided at all costs. Sexuality, cooperation and service will be your general language of love.
The forces of the libido will be demanding action that is not thought out beyond the immediate moment. This spirit provides guidance and protection as long as things have been planned, especially over a period of time. This is a time of exuberance, and it must be tempered by having clear aspirations, defined goals and a willingness to work in alternate tandem with the other.
This spirit often shows a loss of self-control or a partner that is out of control. Unless your partner exhibits the ability to reign in their primal instincts, their temper or sexuality you must use caution. If your partner is always on their "high horse," continues to "beat a dead horse," or can not "hold their horses," you should consider sending the relationship to the glue factory. If this is a new relationship you must control yourself and see if they use a whip or whisper for training. Your relationship is very good or very bad and you shouldn't have any trouble distinguishing the difference.
Peace from the branches of the Mighty Oak
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Lynx

Post by Kat Lady » 10 Nov 2005, 04:38

Lynx medicine

Lynx is the keeper of the secrets, the guardian of occult knowledge, the knower of the secrets. Those with Lynx as totem have a specific type of clairvoyance that seems to see into the soul. S/he will see others fear, lies and deceipt. But also potential and intent. Many are drawn to lynx and share their secrets with Lynx. So it is very important that those with lynx as totem to not break confidences. Words spoken by s/he of lynx must be chosen carefully so as not to reveal too much too soon, if at all. It is not uncommon for those with lynx medicine to see mental pictures concerning people, often information not previously acknowledged by the person. But lynx is known to get to the heart of the matter.

S/he with lynx medicine often learns at an early age the painful lessons of voicing warning to those not yet ready to hear the voice of the universe. For that reason, s/he sees much and reveals little. So s/he is always watchful, highly aware waiting for the need to warn or provide solution when the heart is ready to hear.

People with lynx as totem often are sought as mentors. But lynx "teachers" make the students work and discover answers on their own. As a walker between the worlds, lynx understands that each path is individual. Therefore, what is the answer for one may be the question for another.

It is important for those who are gifted with lynx medicine to remain grounded or s/he may feel drained or overwhelmed. They also may have moments of doubt based on others views. But it is important for lynx to remember that even s/he has lessons to learn. Often, lynx has the strong desire to attempt to distance her/himself from others emotionally as they have seen so much in others. Therefore, it is important for lynx to take the time to understand their own emotions and learn to work with them, thus being able to help others.

Lynx thinks fast on his/her feet and is able to turn direction as needed. And enjoys the ride in the process.
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.--Mark Twain

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Post by Piastra » 10 Nov 2005, 05:27

i think it important to mention that totem animals in our lives are a different thing than the animal guides that assist us. the totem is a foundation of who we are, while the guides are the mentors that advise us in our path, and teach us in our life lessons. as we grow and evolve, and journey into various realms, the guides change to accommodate each phase.

salmon is always with me as a guide, though i have to watch cougar doesn't devour him. dragon mother always teaches, and snake is still wrapped around my ankles. and i call on others as i need them too.

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Raven

Post by Fitheach » 16 Nov 2005, 00:53

My guide has always been Raven.

According to Jamie Sams and David Carson, in their excellent book Medicine Cards (which accompanies a beautiful deck of animal cards), Raven’s medicine is magic. She is the Great Mystery of the Void.

Black, to Native Americans, is a color of magical power, and only to be feared if misused. Raven symbolizes the void - the mystery of that which is not yet formed. Ravens are symbolic of the Black Hole in Space, which draws in all energy toward itself and releases it in new forms. The iridescent blue and green that can be seen in the glossy black feathers of the raven represents the constant change of forms and shapes that emerge from the vast blackness of the void. In Native American tradition, Raven is the guardian of both ceremonial magic and healing circles. She is also the patron of smoke signals.

Raven’s element is air, and she is a messenger spirit, which Native American shamans use to project their magic over great distances.

In many northwestern American Indian traditions, Raven is the Trickster, much like the Norse Loki. Observing ravens in nature, we find that they often steal food from under the noses of other animals, often working in pairs to distract the unfortunate beasts. Anne Cameron has written several northwestern Indian tales (Raven and Snipe, Raven Goes Berrypicking, Raven Returns the Water, and others) with the Raven as Trickster theme.
Tha gliocas an ceann an fhitich
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Post by OrlandoDruid » 20 Nov 2005, 04:55

Good Eve Everyone,

I am in the ending stages of my Bard Journey and every meditation I have been through, I have been accompanied by a Red Female Fox. I have found a few things that describe the Fox totem as Cunning, Feminine Magic, Protector, and diplomacy. I am seeking more information on what she might mean so that I can grow with her knowledge. I went under a meditation this evening and ask for her guideance to assist me in knowing her purpose.

Was just interested if anyone else had any information regarding the Red Fox and it's meaning within the Animal Totem?? Thanks for any information.

Have a Blessed Night...

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