Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

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Donata
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Post by Donata » 20 May 2006, 19:49

Yes, welcome Thunder!

Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

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Robb Hawklord
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Post by Robb Hawklord » 20 May 2006, 19:57

Welcome indeed Thunder

Hawky
She's the goddess of love
The goddess in green
The goddess of all
That I've ever seen
The goddess of hope
The goddess in brown
The goddess of all
That you've burned to the ground

Maid Of The River - The Levellers

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Seeker
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Post by Seeker » 20 May 2006, 20:30

Look forward to talking with you, Thunder..
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Thunder
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Wolf spirit guides

Post by Thunder » 21 May 2006, 04:19

Wolf spirit guides- Although basically related to Native American spirituality, the wolf is also found in various Medieval folklore, as well as seen serving as companions to many pagans in days gone by. In fact, the ancient Celts had Shamans who walked with spirits between the two worlds, providing healing & guidance to those around them. They felt that by attuning themselves to the animals energy they  could learn the wisdom of nature inherrent within. Celtic Shamans sought the aid of spirit animal helpers who served as guides, teachers, and guardians. Celtic Shamans often assumed the forms of animals through shapeshifting. Shamans utilize their totem animals to guide and protect them on their path

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Donata
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Post by Donata » 21 May 2006, 14:38

Hi Thunder,

My Wolf has walked with me for many years now, since my initiation into the Seneca Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge, and is my friend and guide.

Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

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The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


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Post by Druidknight » 21 May 2006, 15:56

hi everyone.. when I started my OBOD studies and did the sacred grove initiation, there was a white wolf there, and in subsequent meditative visits to my grove, the wolf was there, by a fire, sometimes leading me through the woods and once he was laughing at me because of some foolish thing I'd done. Is that my totem? If not, how do I find out which animal is my totem?

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Donata
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Post by Donata » 21 May 2006, 16:37

Hi DarkHammer,

Ask him! If he's chosen to stay with you this long, then he probaly is your guide/ally.

Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


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Spiritunicorn
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Post by Spiritunicorn » 21 May 2006, 16:41

Darkhammer wrote:hi everyone.. when I started my OBOD studies and did the sacred grove initiation, there was a white wolf there, and in subsequent meditative visits to my grove, the wolf was there, by a fire, sometimes leading me through the woods and once he was laughing at me because of some foolish thing I'd done. Is that my totem? If not, how do I find out which animal is my totem?
It is certainly possible that the wolf is your totem.
At the very least the wolf is a teacher and can help you to find your totem.

I had a similar experience when I started out but after a few months the wolf led me to the unicorn who is my main totem animal and then the unicorn took the place of the wolf, although the wolf still visits from time to time.

One thing that I have found with totem animals is they are like other aspects of yourself, so if the wolf is your totem then the wolf will be you and you will be the wolf, at least in part. This is something that you feel over time, certainly in my case I have shapeshifting dreams about my totem animals and I can feel the aspects of myself that the totems represent as the totem animals. I expect this is something that is felt and expereinced differently by different people so my experience may not be that helpful for you.

In the end its proberbly best to keep your eyes open, take note of your feelings, research the animal spirits that visit, and in the end when the time is right you will know the truth inside.

Hopefully that did not come out too rambly? ^_^

Bright Blessings.
Dan Greywolf /|\

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Post by Druidknight » 31 May 2006, 03:45

not at all rambly..I've been meditating on this a bit, and I think my totems are wolf and crow..there are a lot of crows(or are they blackbirds?) on my block, I see them every single day, and the wolf is there when I do a sacred grove meditation. It feels right anyway, I'll just keep meditating on it.

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Post by Orchidaine » 31 May 2006, 10:02

copied from my LJ so excuse lol,,,

Blackbird
Yesterday I was sat in a circle of Yew at the local churchyard, I often come here for a bit of quiet..I had finished my picnic and felt inspired to write. After writing a few verses I was reading back the one about a blackbird. All of a sudden I was startled by something touching my head...A blackbird had swooped past he then perched in the yew behind me and burst into song..It was truly a fantastic feeling..

Blackbird – enchantment and between two worlds work
Associated with magick and the ability to pass into the Other World. Its song can put people to sleep or enchant them outside time. Can impart deep secrets of the Other World and transport the listener to another place.
Blackbird: Energy, Understanding, New
Blackbird—Enchantment, The Gateway, The Inner Call

http://www.sayahda.com/cycle.htm

So whether my totem feels I am ready for his wisdom I dont know...

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Panther or Hawk?

Post by WearyBard » 26 Jun 2006, 08:08

Hello all,

 Some great information here. I am a bit lost about my totem however. Now I feel particularly drawn to the panther. Not just any panther, the black panther. I have always loved them for their nature and their place in the wild. Now that I am older I guess I have always enjoyed their energy.
 
 However, in the last 2 years, there has been a very strong presence of Hawks in my life. They seem to be everywhere. Circling above, on the fenceposts along the roads, in the fields searching for prey, just everywhere. Now I guess it could be just coincidence that Living in Montana and now Germany, that I am seeing them a lot. But I dont really think that's it. There is a lot of wildlife in both places. In fact the deer population in Montana is larger than the people population but deer have not entered my life.

 So that leads me to my question. Would the panther, who I have always loved be my totem animal? Or the Hawk who in the last couple years has made a huge presence in my life be what I am looking for? I am a bit confused.
WearyBard

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Motuckquas Cwningen
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Re: Panther or Hawk?

Post by Motuckquas Cwningen » 26 Jun 2006, 10:18

Hi WearyBard

My spirit animal is panther.  She is beautiful and her name is 'She who walks in the night'.  To me she is my spirit animal as in some strange way when we met in Dreamtime I became her and felt a part of her and she me.

I have had other spirit guides.  I started with spider as a child and, without going through all of them, prior to panther I walked with wolf.  

I have also always had a connection with crow who is a messenger for me.  When crow shouts at me I need to pay attention to something or something is about to take place - crow brings the 'news'  :)  (My teenage children actually call me Mama Crow  :-)  ).  I still walk with wolf sometimes or stag or spider.  They are still my friends and guides when needed.  

I believe our animal guide may change as we do.  I'm not 100% sure about the definition of 'totem' and its not a phrase I normally use.  I would say with both panther and hawk look to what they are telling you.  It could be that panther is your spirit animal and hawk has something to give you which is relevant to where you are now. Or it could be that panther was your teacher and guide and hawk is about to become your teacher and guide.  Or it could be something else completely.  The most important thing is how it feels to you and how you relate to them.

Strangely enough I wasn't particularly attracted to panthers before I met her, or any other meat eating animal.  So things don't always turn out as you expect them.  They never seem to for me  :-)   However I think that is good as it means I am open to opportunities rather than learning from expectations.  I have learnt that it will be as it will be and the way it will be is the way it is meant to be.  So in the end its not the name I give things that is important (which in my case is just as well as I'm hopeless at remembering the 'correct' names)
Motucki


"The Rainbow Race brings peace through the understanding that all races are one. The unity of all colours, all creeds working together for the good of the whole, is the idea that is embodied in the Whirling Rainbow. When all pathways to wholeness are respected by all cultures, the prophecy of the Whirling Rainbow will be completed.” quote from the Whirling Rainbow Prophecy

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Donata
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Post by Donata » 26 Jun 2006, 15:15

I agree with Motucki.

I have several animal allies. A couple have always been with me, others joined in later, some are with me for a while, then leave. There's no one way with allies/totems.

You can have more than one at the same time.
I'll repeat myself! ASK THEM! meditate with them, listen to them - you'll probably have a sense of - could be a voice, could be a thought, or a feeling. Accept this as real.

Good luck,
Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


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Post by WearyBard » 26 Jun 2006, 16:56

Thank you both. I will certainly do this and be more attentive to what they are bringing to me. Although now that I've thought more about it I do feel the Hawk has been more of a messenger for me as I do have some really life changing events happening in my life currently. Perhaps he is here to guide me in these and maybe beyond.

Again, thank you for the insights!
WearyBard

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Post by Jenny » 28 Jun 2006, 18:16

Anyone have advice about stubborn totems? My main totem, the one who's been with me since childhood has always been easy to deal with and I always understood her (wolf, btw). But about a year or so ago, squirrel showed up. And he won't give me a name. I've taken to calling him Skittles, which he isn't terribly pleased with, but he seems to take pleasure in annoying me with the lack of name. Maybe it's Rumplestiltskin. :-) Or maybe he's just trying to tell me names aren't so important, but they kind of are to me--it's one of the ways I get a handle on concepts.

He also likes to sit on my left shoulder when I travel in the Otherworld or in my grove. I don't think he likes being too close to predator wolf...

(It's also good to be back, now that I finally have time for the message board again!)

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Post by Moira Rhydd » 03 Aug 2006, 21:38

Hi everybody--

I'm confused about the difference between totems and guides.  Someone on this board wrote that totems pretty much stand for what you are, whereas guides take you safely through the Otherworld.  Did I get that right?  I know how guides come to you, as for the past 4 years I've been working with she-wolf, bear, and horse.  But how do you figure out your totem?  Do they also come to you naturally, or do you pick one deliberately?  I used to think that guides and totems were the same.

As for names, none of my guides ever gave me a name for themselves.  I never thought that was odd.  Each of them exuded "animal essence" (she-wolfness, bearness, horseness) and specific character.  It seemed to me that this was enough.  I guess that, in the animal realm, animals don't greet each other as "Joe" or "Buttercup."  I always thought that I had to take what they offered and not ask for more than they were prepared to give.  So if you're used to your guides giving you names but Squirrel won't, I'd say go with that.  Respect that reserve in Squirrel and see where it takes you.    

Another question...  Have any of you ever had human-like guides through the Otherworld?  I've been in the presence of a... thing... a shape... a womanly presence that always took me by the water and asked that I find the missing pieces therein, and so I guess I identified "her" as "Isis."  Lately, as well, Horse takes me to a woman who seems to be the soul of a woman who died two years ago and who sends me very powerful (verbal and non-verbal) messages, at times in the form of questions I need to take with me into this world and think about.  Does this happen to you too?
Moira Rhydd

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Post by Kat Lady » 05 Aug 2006, 23:43

Hi CeltIberia!
Here are some links to the various discussions on totems vs. guides we have had here in Shamanic Druid. It is a wonderful topic and I hope that this helps.
http://www.druidry.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=3900 and http://www.druidry.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=3875 and
http://www.druidry.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=9177

Basically, a totem is a part of you and once found, remains with you for your lifetimes. But we have various guides that teach us along our path. Our guides change with our needs. Some may be with us during our whole journey and others for one time only. Some will choose to provide a name, and others do not. A guide may come in all shapes and sizes: animal, mineral, vegetable, human, fae...variety is the spice of this journey! :grin:

And lessons come in many forms: questions, answers, actions, visions. The key is to be open and willing to hear in any form.
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 Jenny » 06 Aug 2006, 17:55

I've always assumed Star to be totemic spirit rather than a guide because of a few things. One is that she's been around since childhood (she was my first imaginary friend). Second is her eyes--I've never seen a wolf with violet eyes. There is another wolf with me as well, and he's more well, wolflike. He was encountered during one my OBOD studies.

I think, in my experience, I often get a guide that represents a totem animal. I think this is because I tend to work closer with totems rather than guides and personality becomes involved.  Had I been thinking when squirrel (and I insist on calling this particular one Skittles anyway--he's got quite a bit of the trickster about him) appeared, I would have realized all the squirrel encounters in my life. Which pretty much anyone in the 'burbs or a city will get as they seem to be used to people, but which are pretty nifty nonetheless. I also know exactly what I should be learning, I just have't gotten there yet. :-)

I do have a human or humanesque guide as well. Also encountered during my studies.

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Post by shirley mclaren » 07 Aug 2006, 14:22

I dont know anything about animal totems.  I think I have one though because not long after I started on the Bardic grade a couple of years ago, a big golden long haired dog - like a Golden Retriever introduced itself to me.  It said its name was Gar which I found out is a Saxon name meaning "Spear".  I did not "call him up" so to speak, he just came to me.

BB

Shirley

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Post by Arth Seren » 07 Aug 2006, 14:53

Wow that sounds wonderful - he sounds like a totem or animal guide to me. Find out as much as you can about that breed and it should tell you about what he has to teach and share with you.

Bless you Shirley
Arth Seren
(Formerly Naiyah Sionnach)

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