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!
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.