Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

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Post by Donata » 03 Nov 2006, 00:15

I've had the Medicine Cards since they came out, and I love them! I found them a wonderful aid in meditation and still use them. Excellent!

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

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through

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Post by Solya » 05 Nov 2006, 20:49

I have got various totems/guides surrounding me at this point in time. Cat has been with me since I began life here on Earth again. It is my companion, my teacher and my inner child and when I travel in Otherworld I usually assume the shape of a kitten. When I see a cat in real life it means that my guide wants me to pay attention to the things that are being sent into my direction. I have ignored the intuition and strength the cat naturally carries with her for a very long time in the past because I was not ready to meet with my inner power and driving force. Cat got back in touch with me at the time when I stepped onto the pagan path and has never left me since.

Another one that has been with me for as long as I can remember is Snake. Snake is capable of providing healing and also capable of shedding its old skin. I have always assisted in healing through the use of energy in the past and I hope to continue this in the future. Yet I also shed my skin sometimes, to get rid of the things I do not longer need, and so I am like Snake in both respects.

In the past few months I have also felt the Fox and the Wolf pull at me. Fox teaches me to observe but also to act and speak up when I feel like I should. Fox keeps me level-headed in times when I need to distinguish between my own truths and the truths of others. Wolf is a guide I used to fear until last night. Wolf is the teacher and pathfinder, but often ventures into the unknown and onto new paths. It was Wolf who actually brought me to this forum and who gave me the courage and inner confidence I needed in order to register and post. :wink: I used to fear Wolf because of the power that comes with it... I guess I always thought I was not ready to face the memories that come with learning yet, but Wolf managed to convince me otherwise and placed me in front of a mirror in order to show me my true heart's way.

My final two guides, formidable in their own respect, are the Water Dragon and the Phoenix. Water Dragon comes with great passion and makes me face painful past experiences. It gives me the power I need to deal with the old and accept the new. Phoenix ties into the force of the Water Dragon rather easily, for it is a symbol of rebirth and rises out of its own ashes time and time again. Phoenix came to me when I needed hope and ultimately renewed and healed me so I am free to venture back onto my path.

So, yes, I know six of my totems... it seems like a large number but they all work together with me and with each other to make sure I don't lose track of life again. :wink: They come and go as they please, though, and sometimes one of them features more prominently in my life than the others.
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Post by firefly~* » 22 Jun 2007, 23:42

My first totem, I believe is the fox. Through a dream i had a of being one years ago and then my growing facination with them along with what have read about the fox totem has shown itself to makes sense as my totem. I also feel close to cats and am drawn to fireflies (obviously lol) and recently, I think the hummingbird is showing itself to me.

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Post by scopulus » 23 Jun 2007, 00:13

Found a feather of a swan today.
I reconised it for there are only swans, pigeons and seagulls in that parc with the occasional crow attendancies.. ;)
This feather is a huge white one, and seems quite a storyteller ..

I hope that I can soon listen to the tales the Swan has to tell me.

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Words, mere words, Vivid, clear and sometimes Cruel!!!
Yet ... they have a subtle magic in them.

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Post by SilverStorm » 13 Jul 2007, 14:22

I know this thread hasn't been added to for a while but my totem wasn't listed here so I thought  I would share. Mine is dolphin and she has been around since I was 6 years old. Through a complete miracle at six years old I was chosen to participate in the dolphin show at Sea World in Florida shortly after my mother passed over.

Dolphin/Porpoise's Wisdom Includes:

Knowledge of the sea
Patron of sailors
Communication skills
Understanding the power of rhythm in your life
Use of breath to release intense emotions
Water element magick


The Dolphin
Dolphins live in groups of up to 100 individuals. Females give birth to a single young. Several Dolphins surround her to assist with the birth. They will pull the newborn out by its tail and protect it from harm. Injured and sick Dolphins are cared for by others who will lift them to the surface to breathe.
Dolphins spend large portions of their day playing. They live their life in joyful harmony with each other and their world. They seem to have learned the lesson that love is the most important part of life and can teach those with this totem how to love themselves and their world more. The power of Dolphin is community in balance.
Dolphins use a variety of clicks, whistles, grunts and body postures with which they communicate. Each Dolphin has an individual whistle that it calls itself, and it uses other Dolphin's personal whistles to call their attention. Those with this totem would benefit from some form of work or activity that uses the voice as a healing or communicative tool.
Some people believe that Dolphins are more intelligent than humans. They have a large brain and a great intelligence and are often associated in mythical lore with higher forms of consciousness.
Dolphins have been known to inexplicably beach themselves in large numbers. Perhaps they are following a sick or injured Dolphin to try to aid it. There was a story told to me about a man who singled out a dolphin from its group and killed it. The remaining dolphins beached themselves over and over and eventually died.
Dolphins have a purity of being which touches our inner nature. If Dolphin swims into your life, follow its lead and open yourself to the energy of love, harmony and balance. Express your inner truth and follow your inner joy. Dolphin asks you to return to the depths of your being and rediscover the love that you truly are.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.  Kahlil Gibran

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Post by Shandara » 21 Jul 2007, 19:00

Well I don't know if this really qualifies as a totem animal; but one guide I work with is called Gorgon - he is a gargolye.  A friend of mine had a small gargoyle statue he was selling and since I had always wanted a gargoyle statue - it was perfect timing so I bought him.

I had a little naming ceramony for him a few days later and he has since held a guardian position in my house.  

A few years later I was doing a vision quest; now I have a terrible sense of direction, I get lost extremely easy -  so my big fear doing this vision quest is that I would get lost in the woods.  So I called upon my spirit guides (leaving it generic not calling anyone in specific) to aid me on my quest.  I made it through the the labyrinth and I found myself in the middle of a large field with two rows of camps along each side - now I was familar with the park that I was in.. but I had never been nor did I even know of this particular field.  So I approached one of the camps and asked directions back to the main camp ground.. and was soon on the road that lead back to my camp.  

I took a few minutes... closed my eyes and silently thanked the "guides" who assisted me this night.. and I saw ever so briefly a white winged creature appear before me.. he noded his head slightly and disappeared.  My first thought was that it was a demon of some sort.. though I wasn't frightened.. and I didn't sence anything "evil" or negative about it.  

When I got back to my camp.. I started to record my experience in my journal.. when I got the the end and thought about the "white" creature that I saw.. I realized it looked like my gargoyle statue.. it was Gorgon.

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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Creirwy » 14 Mar 2008, 17:27

Ive just been re-reading this amazing thread and thought it deserved a bump, and hopefully someone else will want to contribute their stories and wisdom!

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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by wrenrainn » 15 Mar 2008, 06:34

Here in Central Texas I see and hear many kildeer or kildee in our fields. They are so named by thier cheerful song. They are interesting birds that run about while I mow the yard, herding their young to safety. I always watch out for them and admire their diligence. The kildee is know to be restless and noisy. Truthfull it is a silent bird unless danger is present. The kildee flies strong and rapid and so to "run like a kildee" is to move with utmost agility.

What do we learn from the kildee. Diligence and persistence in protecting your family and children. Appearances can be decieving. The kildeer is a quiet bird when going about his business, but vocal indeed when threatened or frightened, primarily by man.

Thank you kildee for your cheerful song, striking markings and flying antics. You are a bit of a jester, performing your antics.

the bird doesn't sing because she had the answers, she sings because she has a song

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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by RidgeDruid » 23 Dec 2008, 04:18

As a new Bard, I have been making my way through many of the threads, this one struck a particular chord. My experience is set forth below, written immediately upon my return to shore. I knew I had been granted a rare gift, but had honestly forgotten the power of it until reading this thread. I had lost my copy of the original, but just remembered I had posted it on another board, and found it there.

Dolphin breath

on aug 22 03, I went sailing in the delaware bay off Lewes Delaware in a sunfish, which is a 12 foot single sail boat with a small cockpit and one sail.

the wind was from the west, perpendicular to the beach, and I was tacking to the west end of the beach so that I could run back down the length of the beach

I was about ½ mile from the west end of the beach and about ½ mile offshore when I saw a large school of dolphins. They were about 1/4 mile further out, so I sailed out to them

there were about 30 dolphins in the group, spread across a circle of perhaps 75 yards in diameter.

Rather than constantly going in one direction, they were zig zagging back and forth - but heading generally due east

I managed to sail up to the edge of the group and they did not show any concern, so I slowly tried to work my way into the center of the group. The wind was directly behind me at this point so I had to do a little zig zagging to try and stay in the same area with the dolphins and keep my speed down so I did not outrun them. (i ended up pole-jibing a lot for you sailors out there)

I was able to identify what appeared to be two or three family groups, a mature dolphin, the mother I would guess, and 1 or 2 smaller dolphins swimming in unison. There were several other groups on the other side of the circle that I was not able to see clearly

there were several much larger dolphins (judging by the fins) but they tended to stay in the middle of the group.

One small group of three started following my boat at approximately 15 then 10 feet - they were joined by another group of 4 to my left rear who followed about 15 feet behind for about 5 minutes I had 7 dolphins following 10 feet behind me - I felt like the pied piper

the group of three eventually came up on the starboard side of the boat and swam alongside approximately 4 feet from the side of the boat. The largest one of the group was approximately 6 to 7 feet long. When they would surface I could feel the spray when they cleared their blowholes and I could smell their breath, which I really can’t describe except for the salt. But I can say that I have smelled dolphin breath.

this went one for about 1.5 miles or about 30 minutes. When a powerboat would come close by, the dolphins would all sound and stay down for 2 or 3 minutes - they have learned that lesson well. I would have to wait for them to come back up and then sail over to where they were.

As they were following the boat, they would come to the surface and when they were breathing they would look at the boat. Several times when I was in the middle of the group, the group of three would swim toward the boat as if to bump it and then come up on the other side.

I followed them the length of the beach until I got to the entrance to the ferry channel, and there was a ferry inbound from cape may, NJ about 1 mile out. The water deepens there and the current was beginning to flow strongly onto the channel which is dredged. With the wind from the west, I could not go into the channel and be assured of being able to tack back into the beach. Thunderstorms were threatening and I was about 1 mile offshore and about 2 miles east from where I had started with the dolphins.

As I was trying to see how much further I could stay with the group, the group of three swam back up to the right side of the boat, no more than 3 feet away. They swam along for about 1 minute, then swam under the water along the side of the boat for approximately 30 seconds, then speeded up and were gone. I turned to look for the other dolphins, and could only see one or two fins, then none.

I took me the best part of an hour to sail back to where I started.
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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Nathair Mac Brighit » 23 Dec 2008, 09:15

You forgot the SNAKE! My Animal Totem^^

The Snake Totem


The snake dwells in so many places, climates and environments, comes in so many colors, shapes and sizes that this creature can be said to be one of the most versatile of all. Indeed snakes represent versatility, transmutation and change, their natural inclination to “shed their skins” leaving behind the old, and adapting to the new, supports this idea.

The snake has been, throughout the ages, controversial in many regards. Some see the snake as a bearer of evil or bad news, but most see the snake as the healer and spiritual icon that it is. The debate among Christain’s has always been whether the snake is the personification of evil or a holy and scared icon. There are many references to the snake in the bible, some portraying this creature as a bearer of evil, but most refer to its job as healer and spiritual muse. No where in the bible does it say that snakes are evil, however, like any creature, human or animal, they possess both noble and questionable qualities. Some people fear them and many more are charmed by them.

Most of us recognize the snake as the symbol of physicians and alchemists, which shows two snakes wrapped around a staff. This again, supports their totem reputation as healer. Snakes are highly respected in India and their lore and symbolism is highly regarded by their culture; Vitana, the mother of snakes, is the symbol of water and the underworld and the Goddess Shiva always wears snakes on her body as jewelry, which represents sexuality. American Indians also see the snake as a representation of fertility and healing.

Those who are said to posses Snake like qualities have control over their emotions, excellent intuition and the ability to heal quickly. They are slow to anger but have enormous coiled power within them and will strike with control and precision when they must. Some snake type people, like their reptile counterparts, will give their opponent fair warning before striking, others will attack powerfully and without any warning. Snakes rarely, if ever, attack unless provoked, which is an excellent lesson for all of us to learn. Others should be on their guard when in snake territory and should respect the snake’s province.

Snakes awaken spiritual and magical intuition in the person who chooses this totem or is chosen by it. Snakes are associated with unseen creative forces at work. With the snake totem the powers of intuition and observation becomes keener and more precise. As snakes represent change and intuition the combination of these characteristics will allow for great new developments in life and the proper instinct for deciding which changes will be effective and which should not be made. They represent openness to new experiences, and thus, opened horizons.

The Snake in the wild is generally clam and peaceful. They hunt for food when hungry and can go long periods of time without eating again. They bask on warm rocks and will usually not attack unless prompted. To annoy or provoke a snake is a very unwise mistake, which many people make. Because of their calm and somewhat shy nature, many believe that they are too still or quiet to be much harm, however, as many have discovered, while a snake may seem as though it is still and unaware, if pressed they can and will deliver a dangerous blow or bite, sometimes without warning, that can leave permanent damage or even cause death to its victim.

Snakes are very sensitive to their environment, they are silent, calm creatures and seem to be very serene on the outside, but within this animal is coiled power that can deliver lethal blows, with well timed and startling accuracy. The snake is a powerful totem, symbolizing eternity, wisdom, transformation and intuition. Their wisdom is expressed as healer and the snake has been used as a symbol of this for centuries.

The Magnificent Snake Totem possesses the following virtues:
Wisdom, healing, intuition, awaking of creative forces, ability to handle change without resistance, new opportunities for change, material vitality, intellect, power over rashness in speech and thought, emotional control, increased sensitivity to the environment, increased powers of smell, transmutation, and increased powers of observation.

Snake Animal Pearls are said to impart their particular magical virtues to their owner. Snake Pearls are characteristic of its host animal; they possess all the awesome characteristics that may be seen in the Snake itself; the stealth and power of this animal is contained within the pearl waiting for its proper owner to bestow its inner magic to that unique and fortunate individual. For century’s shamans, priestesses, spiritualists, and practitioners of the occult have used Snake animal pearls to transfer the powerful magical energy of the Snake to themselves and to others in need of this commanding animal magic. Snake pearls are sought after by any wishing to absorb Snake virtues into their lives and develop stronger mental abilities such as those embodied by this versatile creature. The owner of a Snake pearl will see their lives, spiritual energy, and mental clarity imbued with all of the virtues attributed to the Healer of the animal kingdom, the Snake.
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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Creirwy » 02 Feb 2009, 19:38

Nathair Mac Brighit .. how interesting what you have written about snake. I just chanced on this thread but last night I had a dream about a snake - and it scared the b.jesus out of me. This yellow snake was in a room, I think I had put it there or knew it was already in the room as I was attempting to put this snake back in a bag to carry it out with me. So I had one of those grippy grabby sticks and was trying to talk nicely to the snake so he would let me get him in the bag. In the end I probably really angered him and eventually got him in a bag... only to realise it was the wrong one!
Ive never even thought about snakes until that dream.. and your post has given me thought about what this dream could mean:)

And reading Fae's post about horses (a current guide of mine) and re-reading my old post on my Frog Totem has been really illuminating :) Even now I still tend to wear green as my 'frog skin camoflague' and if i wear it i can seem to meld away into the background.. unless i'm 'singing' too loudly to be ignored hehe.

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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by DarcArchona » 12 Mar 2009, 02:57

I am in the early stages of my journey and am wondering, is it common to have more than 1 animal totem/guide? When I meditate and center myself, I am joined by a huge hulking grey wolf, a pair of ravens, or a pair of green and blue koi almost every time. Granted, the majority of the time it is the wolf spirit and that has even crossed over to my seeing him in every day life around where I live. The ravens and koi are usually when it's closer to a solstice.

any thoughts on this?

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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Corvin » 12 Mar 2009, 04:56

In my case, there are two animals i relate to best...

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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Kat Lady » 12 Mar 2009, 10:06

I have found that it is common to have more than one animal guide along the way. In addition, concerning totems, having a personal totem, a clan totem and a tribal totem was not uncommon.
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.--Mark Twain


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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by owl*light » 01 Apr 2009, 08:07

My totem animal is the eagle :baldeagle: . Though I have had spirit animals walk with me, such as the owl, the unicorn, and at the moment the Peewee (also known as the magpielark or mudlark) - the eagle is my animal nature. It is interesting to read the article by RJ Stewart, as I have fought having the eagle, I really didn't want it - I wanted a white hind, something soft and feminine - and here I had this big So yes, much can be said for the totem choosing you.

EAGLE :eaglehead:

Spirit, Healing, Creation

The eagle is symbol of the zenith.
A great reminder of your own ability to soar to great heights.

Eagles are messengers from heaven and are the embodiment of the spirit of the sun.

Those with an Eagle totem need to have an involvement with creation;
a willingness to experience extremes;
a willingness to use your ability;
even if it means getting "scorched" a little as you fly high;
a willingness to seek out your true emotions.

A demanding totem, but one that offers so much reward at the end of the journey.

Its four-toed feet remind you to stay grounded even when soaring high;
Its talons remind you to grasp the things of the earth;
Its sharp beak shows you when to speak, how much, and how strongly.

This totem will show you opportunities and how to ride the winds to your benefit.
Eagle people can live in the realm of the spirit,
yet still remain connected and balanced within the realm of the Earth.

You must become much more than you ever dreamed possible.

Eagle feathers are used all over the world as ceremonial instruments and are considered to be the most sacred healing tools. They are a symbol of power, healing and wisdom.

Eagle represents a state of grace that is reached through inner work, understanding and passing the initiation tests that result from reclaiming our personal power.

Eagle Medicine is the Power of the Great Spirit. It is the spirit of tenacity. It is the gift of clear vision with which one can truly see the things one sees. It is the patience to wait for the appropriate moment. It is to live in balance with heaven and Earth.

Eagle reminds you of your connection with the Great Spirit. It tells you that the universe is giving you the opportunity to fly above your life's worldly levels, or above the shadow of past realities. Eagle teaches you to look above in order to touch Grandfather Sun with your heart, to love the Shadow as much as the Light. Eagle asks you to grant yourself permission to be free in order to reach the joy that your heart desires.

Rise above


Eagle teaches us:
Ability to see the highest truth or highest viewpoint.
Connection from earth to sky symbolising balance.
Spiritual energy.
That we have the ability to reach great heights when we find the courage to do so.
That freedom is our birth right.

How to Apply Eagle's Teachings to Your Life
People with eagle medicine need their alone time. This gives them the opportunity to confront their fears and be honest with themselves. Eagle may be showing himself to you to remind you of the necessary time you need in solitude before you are able to take flight.
Because of your great beauty and grace people may see you as a threat. Don't let others intimidation's hold you back from flying like an eagle.
With your great vision you may also be looked upon as a mentor by others whether you actively seek this roll in a traditional sense or not be aware that others look up to you. You have great wisdom to share.
Opportunities are coming to you that will enable you to reach new heights. Be aware they are coming and have the courage to grab them.
Do you feel free to say what you want to say or do what you want to do or are you acting the way you feel others want you to? Release yourself from what others think and do what you need to for your growth and development.
Do you feel like you will never find a partner who understands or respects you or have you met somebody who seems unwilling to commit. Be aware that those with eagle medicine choose mates carefully but when they do its for life. If you give your best and value yourself expecting the best for yourself you will attract a mate who feels the same.
Eagle is a reminder of our connection to spirit. Have you forgotten yours? Spend some time in meditation and nature reconnecting to source.

How to Harness Eagles Energy
Draw Eagles
Read books about eagles
Do something you are afraid of
Eat fish or rabbit
Wear blue the colour of the sky
Meditate on a hill about your highest vision for yourself
Spread your arms and pretend you are flying. Become eagle.

An eagles feather is often attached to a talking stick (traditional Native American tool) to enable the person speaking to see the highest truth
Eagle's teach us about honest communication

Eagle with courage your soar
Showing me the heights I am capable of reaching
In balance my connection to the spiritual and physical
I grace the Earth but I am truly free when I fly
Courage you are mine

Myths and Legends
Eagle has been a symbol of divinity among many cultures
In Greece eagle symbolises Zeus
In Native American culture he represents Great Spirit

Journey gently
Gylela :feather:

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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Lynn of the woods » 21 Jun 2009, 14:56

Wowee! I really like this. Felt I was with you in the boat. I could even smell the indefinable dolphin breath! Hmmmm. I'm a new bard and have stumbled into this arena who knows how, but I like it. Can anybody post their poetry and stories here? Lynn

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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Wolfwalker » 21 Jun 2009, 17:54

Sometimes prose is the best way to describe your experiences, so in that way, yes. For your everyday poetic work, post to creative or in the bard section. Or if in season, to the Eisteddfod (whether in judged or non-judged categories).
peace, /|\ Peter
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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Mafalda » 26 Jul 2009, 13:02

My first animal totem presented himself to me two years ago, when I was in meditation. I only recognize a pair of eyes, from a feline. That time I wasn't sure what feline it was. In further meditations I started to recognize him as a panther, a black panther. Since then he has been my companion, and have been teaching me and protecting me in some situations. A few months ago I was presented to another animal totem, she started to appear together with the panther, a white owl.
I have other animal guides, the constant ones are the dog, the horse and the crow. But they change sometimes.

I am still learning how to comunicate with them, my totem animals and my guide animals, and how to learn and act with them, basically to feel them in the daily life, and it is really magnificient the way they fill our lifes!

Our true nature and path it is in each one of us! We just have to remember.. We are part of all that exists.. and everything is part of us!

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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Nicholaas » 27 Jul 2009, 00:52

I've been "working" with the (evidently trendy) wolf totem for many, many years now. It's something I don't talk about very often, even within the neopagan community, as I've had far too many "oh please, everyone says they have a wolf totem" tossed my way. But whatever, it's been a powerful and helpful guide for years, and I feel akin to the totem in ways that I am unable to articulate.

I didn't even know what a totem really was when I "discovered" the wolf totem. I was told by an ex (well, not an ex at the time) that she worked with animal totems and was studying various neopagan traditions. I expressed some curiosity, and she showed me her Druid Animal Oracle (which I wish I still had). She told me she felt I had a power "wolf energy", which I am still to this day not sure what exactly that meant, but there must have been something to it.
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Re: Animal Totem/Guide Characteristics

Post by Rebecca » 27 Jul 2009, 01:04

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. There have been numerous baby seagulls and ones who just follow me around and make creeling noises. Considering I make it a habit to NEVER feed the gulls, that is kind of odd. They usually prefer people with chips and other human trash.

I haven't made a study of them yet, but I really should. Not something that one reads about very often, but I have seen a bit. Need to meditate a bit on it. Reading through this thread has given me some motivation to get busy.


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