Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

A forum for discussion of the Shamanic path.
Forum rules
The focus of this forum is on the positive aspects of Shamanism, especially in connection with Druidry. Please feel free to discuss, ask questions and share your ideas and experiences. This is a public forum, viewable by guests as well as members, and is cataloged by most search engines.

If you find a topic of interest and want to continue the discussion then start a new topic under The Hearthfire with a similar name and add a link back to the topic you want to continue.
To copy a link just copy the url on the top left of your browser and then put in your post, highlight it and press the url button.
User avatar
Angeliis
Posts: 30
Joined: 01 Jul 2009, 04:46
Gender: Female
Location: New Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Postby Angeliis » 29 Jul 2009, 03:37

Over the years, I have been "stalked" by seagulls. In fact, I have had more than one seagull drop fish on my head. Luckily one flounder dropped was still alive and I was able to get it back into the water and on its way.
Oh my! Better a fish than what they have dropped on my head! It does sound ike the seagulls are trying to get your attention. :)

User avatar
Rebecca
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 109
Joined: 23 May 2009, 18:25
Gender: Female
Location: Washington State, USA
Contact:

Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Postby Rebecca » 29 Jul 2009, 04:16

Oh my! Better a fish than what they have dropped on my head! It does sound ike the seagulls are trying to get your attention.
Goodness! Yes! Much better a fish than the alternative. And I am not talking clams! :innocent:

My favorite was a baby gull who kept walking behind me making this pitiful squeaking. Every time I'd turn and look at him, he would open his mouth and bat his wings - waiting for me to feed him. Silly thing. His momma showed up and gave me an earful. Yikes! I love watching them, though. They are so fascinating and quite full of character.

User avatar
Serpentia
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 460
Joined: 06 Sep 2008, 16:27
Gender: Female
Location: Nidderau, Germany
Contact:

Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Postby Serpentia » 04 Sep 2009, 22:26

Wonderful, fascinating thread! Here's another totem/spirit guide story from me.

Two things have been with me throughout my life: my spirit guide - who is a human male of middle age that I used to refer to as "Anthony" - he's never told me his name, and still refuses to do so. He's been inside my head since I can remember - I think it was puberty, before that he was a girl.

I used to think that was just a "make-up-friend" for a lonely kid growing up in a family of adults :roll:

And my love of animals of all types. Closest to me are the felines, though.

In my Wiccan work, we did not hold much with shamanistic techniques (that was in the early 80s). I just recently encountered this in the Bardic course and related exchanges and met my first guide or totem (I thought I knew, now I'm confused - you will soon see why) in a Sweat Lodge last year, when Mother Bear came to me.

I can relate to her, even though the bear has never been a particular favorite of mine. I like them, though.

You don't know me, but I'm a very fiery person (3fold Aries), very quick to change moods, very much living on the outside of my skin, restless, always in a hurry to start the next project, always wanting to be done before I get started.. not a bear type of person at all!

But bear was good for me, I have become much more at peace with myself, people even call me "relaxed" - and I've almost quit living on coffee. So writing this I now realize.. she was a guide, after all. She walked with me through the changes of the last year, through my bardic course and now as I am about to take the next step to Ovate, along comes Snake.

I've always loved reptiles, snakes and particularly monitors. Used to have a pet snake by name of "Agathe" - hope she slithers happily in the Summerland by now. Snake came upon me with a vengeance, though, and has really turned my life upside down these last 3 months. Fortunately, I don't mind - it was long overdue! And I thrive on change.

Snake is so much stronger and so much deeper that I now wear her on my skin. She has brought me new friends and helped me shed my old skin. I am very happy to have her part of me and to explore new horizons with her.

It was good to write this, writing always helps me line up my thoughts and see what comes out at the end. Perfect!

MoonDancer, SerpentWoman
Facilitator of www.druidryonline.de, the NEW German Druid Community on the web

User avatar
Bracken
OBOD Druid
Posts: 3363
Joined: 30 Dec 2006, 03:51
Gender: Female
Location: The Lancashire moors.
Contact:

Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Postby Bracken » 06 Sep 2009, 13:00

Hi everybody.

Here's a link to the September Seminar relating to animal guides by Kat Lady.
Image

User avatar
Avariel
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 161
Joined: 06 Sep 2008, 02:54
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Postby Avariel » 12 Jan 2010, 07:56

MoonDancer - Snake has a habit of doing that ;) He showed up in my life when I wasn't even paying attention, and I find that he usually does so when big transformations are about to come around, and massive amounts of wisdom are to be gained....and as we learned as Bards, the gaining of wisdom leads to transformation and the shedding of one skin to take on another can be pretty hectic, to say the least! He comes and goes, for me; he's a guide in this instance, not a totem, and when I start noticing him taking on a more prominent role in my life I know to buckle myself in for a big change.

I wasn't expecting my animal totem, either (I don't even like cats), although once I read about it and studied it's attributes, I realized it was me, through and through. She even said that, when she appeared to me for the first time, "I am you." Now I know it was to let me know that she wasn't just a guide, she WAS my totem. And here she is!

"Tiger Medicine:

The Siberian Tiger is the largest of all the big cats with their bodies growing up to twelve feet long and their tails adding another three feet to their overall length. Watching these beautiful creatures, the strength and power they possess is very much in evidence in their rippling muscles.

Large paws carry impressive claws that are usually kept sheathed until either grasping a prey animal or delivering a lethal blow to an enemy. Such formidable power is contained within a musculature that has been designed to assure this cat’s ranking at the top of their food chain.

For the two-legged (human/soul) beside whom Tiger stalks, the sheathed claws and defined muscles can transform in the space of a heartbeat from fluid, casual movement to a powerful burst of energy, this is quite symbolic of the human counterpart’s same power that is most often kept in check. These individuals possess an amazing reservoir of energy that is frequently held in reserve for times when it is genuinely needed, yet when circumstances warrant the release of this wellspring, they can tackle a problem, crisis or challenge with a focused intensity that can only be equated to a Tiger’s leap.

When very young, the Tiger soul learns to contain such raw power. This contained energy can present itself as an intense gaze and quietly studious demeanor that may intimidate others, as though the eyes of the Tiger are capable of peering into one’s very soul. (note: LOL when I first read this I cracked up laughing, because I've always been described as having 'sniper eyes.' Apparently I don't really blink. My eye doctor chastises me for this.)

Such intensity can drive others away as the one beside whom the Tiger journeys can often appear as aloof or disinterested. Nothing can be further from the truth however, as although they may seem insensitive or detached, these are the souls that desire to experience all of life’s intricacies and adventures, yet it is only as they mature and gain confidence in themselves that their more exuberant side is let free to play and explore.

When operating from Lower Personality, such raw power can be utilized for extremely selfish ends with the Tiger individual seeking to further his/her own agenda regardless of the cost to both others around them, and to their soul’s own progress. In this scenario, the energy is then released in volcano blasts and whirlwinds, obliterating all who stand in the path of the tiger. Or the reverse may be true and the two-legged with this magnificent Animal Spirit may be intimidated by their own exceptionally powerful emotions and desires, stuffing or denying such feelings, which results in many frustrations and denial of the true Self as an end result of such repression.

As the Tiger Soul grows, matures and evolves, a balance is found between releasing their indomitable energies and maintaining an awareness of the feelings of those around them. When the two-legged can embrace, without fear, their own Power and utilize it for the benefit of both themselves and others, the Light Force of their Will shines forth to light the pathway for others who journey the path of Self-Knowledge and Discovery."

More can be read here if there are other Tiger's that want more information: http://www.namastecafe.com/animal/tiger.htm It's a difficult totem to find information on, and as I'm trying to build a medicine bag even harder to find a part of an actual animal; I settled for a replicated claw that a company in the States develops for use in museums, since tigers are endangered. If anyone else has any information on Tiger I'd love to have it, I always enjoy reading about myself, lol.
If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin
Come in, Come in.

-Shel Silverstein
ImageImage
Image2009 BS

Maskdt
OBOD Bard
Posts: 20
Joined: 21 Feb 2010, 06:59
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Postby Maskdt » 12 Mar 2010, 08:05

I do find some comfort in vultures. They're terribly misunderstood, but they perform an important service for the Earth by eating animal carcasses that would otherwise simply rot and temporarily poison the immediate area. The turkey vulture has come to me a few times, but seems to have mostly stopped since I began some major changes in my life. Maybe she's simply waiting until I'm ready and have the time to work with her more before she returns.

I've also found myself meditating on the qualities of my leopard geckos and how I could use those qualities in a shamanic way. With these animals, however, I'm on my own; there is no literature for them even though they possess many traits that often get brought up in animal totem literature as well as traits that don't seem to get mentioned at all: the ability to see in the dark, an opportunistic feeding behavior, tails that store fat (and thus become very large), stripes and spots, the ability to flatten their bodies in order to either bask in the last rays of the desert sun or to fit into small nooks and crannies, being more than capable of going many days without eating or drinking (and often refusing to do either on a daily basis even if there's plenty of food and water), shedding their skin all at once (much like snakes) and eating their shed skin (or, in the case of my pet geckos, having one member of the group eat the sheds of the other two since they won't eat it; I guess some lizards are just finicky, too) and the strange tendency to feel completely at home with either a solitary or a communal lifestyle...can you tell that I'm fascinated by these creatures and have learned some of their mannerisms through taking care of them? I'll admit that I was a little surprised when I first realized that right in front of me were creatures with some potentially powerful spiritual qualities, but then, they are relatively unknown but truly unique animals that simply haven't been worked with on a spiritual level.

I've also found that coyotes and red-tailed hawks, both wild creatures that I know very well from growing up on the Canadian prairies, come to me in dreams sometimes. It's very fitting since I'm currently undergoing several transitions in my life (living away from my family, going to school and consciously changing my outlook on life for the better) and both animals are associated with change. However, I don't feel that either is going to be with me on a regular basis.

There has been one creature that's been with me for quite a few years now that I feel a strong connection with: a white dragon. It often appears in my dreams and, when I'm having a nightmare, I can usually take on the physical form of this particular dragon and am then more than capable of dealing with whatever is menacing me that particular night. I know that dragons can sometimes be devious, but I've never felt that about this one. There's a sense of strength and protectiveness to it, not malevolence.

When things have settled down somewhat and I have more energy I will definitely work more with both vultures and leopard geckos.

User avatar
Creirwy
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 1791
Joined: 12 Jun 2004, 21:22
Gender: Female
Location: Shropshire
Contact:

Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Postby Creirwy » 21 Jun 2010, 06:38

A new guide has come to me recently (when you think you've got enough animals following you around!) and today by the sunrise of the Solstice Sun he told me he was a keeper... one that was always there, but only now am I ready for the truth of it.. Wolf.

The wisdom on this thread has found words for the feelings and connections to wolf that I couldnt express... Thank you for the learning and wisdom here on this 'ere thread!

truthseeker
Posts: 29
Joined: 09 Dec 2011, 09:12
Gender: Female
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Postby truthseeker » 29 Jan 2012, 22:26

My totem is moose. I have had many experiences in this world with them. I always thought they were odd experiences until I began exploring the significance. My first would be on a pre-season camping trip with my family about 20 years ago. The weather was terrible and we were basically confined to the tent for most of an afternoon and night with the prospects of pouring rain and being blown away. Anyway at some point in the night (I don't know when) a moose chose to visit our campsite and spent a considerable amount of time (judging by the signs) standing next to our tent, keeping vigil maybe? On another camping trip we came across a bull moose. It was autumn, rutting season. Anyway my oldest son began making his way through the brush towards the bull and despite my calls to him continued almost as if in a trance. Bulls are not generally friendly so of course I grabbed him back, but it seemed odd. Then there was the time my husband and I were canoeing through a bog and came across a young cow feeding in the stream as it bagan to enter the lake. It was not a wide stream and so we stopped. It seemed to be not a good idea to spook her. We were very close, probably no more than 15 or 20 feet away. Anyway she raised her head, looked squarely at me and just dropped her head and continued feeding. Finally we had to just slide past her up the far bank and not once did she show any concern. I have had many more experiences but the most magical was early one morning. I was fishing a tiny stream (I love fly fishing) and had stopped to change flies. I was sitting on a rock in the middle of the stream and a cow stepped into the stream from the brush. She looked at me, called back to the brush and out came the most beautiful little calf. They both stopped, stared at me, then proceeded to cross the stream and disappear. I guess they figured I looked safe. The funny thing is my dog was laying next to me on the rock sleeping and she didn't even stir. That was strange.

Anyway here's what I've gleaned regarding moose totems:

Moose Totem

A legend makes people aware of the importance of honoring animals killed for food. One tribe believed there was a close relationship between Raven and Moose.

Moose, the largest member of the herbivorous Cervidae family, which includes deer and elk, are native to northern climates in North America, Europe, and Asia. They became extinct in the UK centuries ago. These animals graze on grasses, shrubs, moss, lichens, pine cones and aquatic plants below and on the water’s surface.

They are diurnal or daytime solitary animals. Males are bulls; females, cows and the young, calves or mooselings. Both sexes call to each other during the rutting season in September and October. The bull emits heavy grunting sounds, while females make a wail-like call.

In North America, wolves, grizzly bears and humans are moose’s only predators. Wolves sometimes bite the animal’s sensitive nose to immobilize their prey because the pain paralyzes it.

Native American Symbolism of Moose

Moose represents self-esteem and is also about the magick of life and death. Late autumn and early winter is her cycle of power.

Moose symbolizes expressing joy of accomplishment, not in a boasting way or to seek recognition.

This is done in a spirit of sharing joy which is contagious. It’s about learning to explore new depths of awareness within that lie within the self and environment. Moose’s medicine includes primal female energies, longevity, value and integrity.


Athapaskan AmerIndians saw a relationship between Raven and Moose. The hunters would protect and talk to Raven. They prayed to her for a successful hunt. When they saw Moose, she was a sacred, sacred gift needed for their survival. This opens a sacred, unique energy.

If moose is your power animal then you will probably be full of contradictions - clumsy yet graceful, huge but with the ability to move swiftly and soundlessly. Usually people with this power animal have excellent depth perception and are very wise. They also have an innate ability of being balanced - when to be gentle, when to be strong, what to say when and to whom.

The ability to shape shift is linked to mythology and merges with the teachings of shamanism and magic. If you are a moose person cultivating these skills is enhanced through studying.

Seeing a moose in the wild is amazing - the energy they embody is extraordinary. Their colossal antlers grow larger than those of any other antlered animal. Ancient myth calls these antlers ‘The Crown of Courage.’ The antlers are linked to the crown chakra in man. As the antlers grow, the crown chakra opens and widens giving those with this power animal a direct channel to universal knowledge.

The moose possesses a highly developed sense of smell and hearing. Babies are born with open eyes. People with this power animal are born with their inner eyes open already, they see things with extraordinary clarity - psychic awakenings in later life are rare for the moment moose people are born this is their awakening. They do have some of their most testing lessons in their childhood, but their fearlessness and mettle together with their direct connection to universal knowledge gives them the necessary aid needed to strengthen their self-esteem and find their place in the world.

Moose is a very powerful totem to have and will help you discover who you are and put you in touch with your congenital wisdom.
He would be a poet who could impress the winds and streams into his service, to speak for him - Henry David Thoreau

User avatar
Yex
OBOD Bard
Posts: 203
Joined: 03 Dec 2015, 22:23
Gender: Male
Location: The Whulge
Contact:

Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Postby Yex » 05 Dec 2015, 03:43

My primary totem is Crow. There's already been some posts here about Crow, and I won't elaborate on those aspects. I will say though, that for me, Crow teaches the lessons of mysticism. When I encounter Crow (which lately is often), he (she? they?) often flies up to me and taps me on the chest, opening my heart center, a reminder of the omnipresence of the mystic Love that binds all things together. Crow assures me that we are both made of this Love, that it is our truest essence. Crow reminds me that "a true initiation never ends". Sometimes he appears to me in humanoid form, with the head a bird and the body of a human (sometimes covered in feathers), dressed in the clothes of a shaman, armed with rattle to shake over my head, prepared to take me as far as I need to go in that moment. I've yet to experience Crow as a trickster. Rather, Crow is, to me, first and foremost a guide, and I am more than willing to follow.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
But the heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own

Image


Return to “The Shamanic Druid”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest