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Re: Power Animals

Posted: 26 Mar 2009, 22:37
by Kat Lady
Welcome,CornishShaman, and thank you for participating in the discussion.
CornishShaman wrote:Totem Animals are for a Group, so a Grove or Seed Group may have a Totem, but it is unlikely we as individuals would!
I think actually it depends on the practice and culture. In most Native American traditions that I have been in contact with, a totem (or power animal) can be for a tribe, clan, family or individual. And yes, 9 guides is the magic number. They will most likely include our totems. But some are guides that will come and go, providing the guidance that is needed at a particular time.

The way I explain it is guides come and go as we need them. We may only meet a guide once in our lifetime. But our totems are with us always

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 27 Mar 2009, 16:51
by Shakya
Hi All

being new to Shamanism, and not being entirely sure of what to expect/what was expected of me (particularly 6 months ago LOL), I have had a few shocks and suprises where power animals are concerned. I have realised there's no point questioning why they appear in my life, and whether or not I want them here - they come anyway, always with lessons and skills, if only I choose to find out what they are.
For some reason I was "OK" with Bear and Horse, but resisted Tiger (I hated cats, and couldn't see that I was hating aspects of myself!). Resisted Egret too! Complete waste of effort really - I have finally come to accept them and respect them and, to some degree, enjoy "the ride".It's much more fun when I accept, embrace and move one ....

Shakya x

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 27 Mar 2009, 18:50
by CornishShaman
Thanx! a good reply Kat Lady!
Though I thought Totems were individual, eg theres only one Grizzly Bear Totem, etc, and all those involved with it, share its energy, like a sort of Collective Consciousness of that Species, or Grizzly Bear Deity almost!?
But Power Animals are like Individual Spirits of that Species; for example, when I cast a circle and invoke an Animal Spirit to guard and guide in a Quarter, Im calling on the Totem of that Species, but I dont expect it to do it itself, I expect a representative of that Species to do it, eg a Power Animal.
I am honoured to think I have at least 2 Totems as my Guides, but dont actually feel this is right!? I think they are Power Animals. What do others think?

PS Hi Shakya, hows it going!?

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 30 Mar 2009, 14:42
by Makoiyi
Ok from both sides of my heritage we have totems; these are both family / clan totems and personal totems. Then to add even more into the equation we also have power/ medicine animals etc.

To explain this I'll use myself as an example.

At birth I inherit my family totems on one side of my heritage this is Wolf and on the other it’s Horse. So these are my Clan totems. These are the big boys if you so wish to term it this way.

Next I have my own totems which are personal to me. In my case but not in all cases its Wolf and Horse again. But these though totems in there own right are slightly less powerful that my Clan totems. Then to back up my two totem animals I then have my medicine or power animals. These are my own personal medicine, and these can change from time to time and needed. One I may only work with say once in my life time that I am aware of but others I will work with daily. In my case I have 9 of these but due to my beliefs I won’t be revealing what they are on here.

I can and do work with my Clan / family totems at specific times along with my family etc, but I can also work with these on my own. Though I was taught to and always tend to work with my own two totems and my medicine animals first of all, and if I still feel that I need to I will back this up by working with my clan totems. It's kind of like the difference of me going straight to the MD of a company with something and the MD replying to me via my manager who is still powerful but someone that I deal with every day.

Hope that make sense
Makoiyi

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 01 Jun 2009, 02:41
by WillowRaven
What I really like about the article is how R.J. Stewart points out how we often say that "we have" a totem, or power animal. I know that I will say that sometimes withouth even realizing that I am making it sound like they belong to me. We work with the animals that we are connected to for whatever reason, but it is a give and take relationship. We have to give as much to the relationship as we expect to recieve. It was nice to have that reminder.

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 23 Jul 2010, 17:51
by Spirit Bear
Griffin wrote:Just lately - following an eye operation - I've been returning to my Bardic Grove more than usual.

And there, in this magickal place, was my Jack Russell Terrier power animal pissing up against one of the trees.

He DID have the good grace to look (slightly) embarrassed at having been caught out.

Takes the piss, that does!
Hi Griffin,

That you after your eye operation saw your Jack Russel Power Animal pissing in your Grove makes sence to me. In my opinion he was healing you. In a lot of cultures like f.e. Indian Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, the old Rome, South America, Unani... they used to wash the eyes with morning urine (amaroli) to cure all kinds of eye diseases and it clears and strenghten the sight.

Blessings,

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 09 Oct 2010, 03:34
by wolf560
CornishShaman wrote: ... Totems were individual... Power Animals are .... Spirits of that Species... I have at least 2 Totems as my Guides, but dont actually feel this is right!? I think they are Power Animals.
Since I have Animistic Deities surrounding me, I can offer my "spin"...
Crowning-Grounding-Future-Past-Individual-Group-Masculine-Feminine-Shadow
------------------------------------------or--------------------------------------------
Above-Below-North-South-East-West-Right-Left-Within



As far as "Totems" and "Power Animals", this is my belief....
"Totems" are the non-gendered Deity itself each with certain attributes and beliefs
"Power Animals" are the spiritual representations of the Totem that shows itself to you


In my case, five have shown themselves to me because of either my actions or beliefs. They are representations of 'Deity' and not just 'another animal'. My Totems are equal to, and as deserving of respect as; Cernunnos, Thor, Shiva, Bast, or any other named Deity. Power Animals would be the equivalent of "Angels" I suppose. Deities in their own right but lesser forms of 'Spirit' than the 'Deity' itself.

I call my Totems by their names, but I know that the actual Totem is not actually strolling beside me as I walk around all day long.

Here is a couple of websites to read up on the differences
http://spiritlodge.yuku.com/topic/940
http://native-american-totems.crabbysbe ... er-totems/

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 10 Oct 2010, 04:09
by wolf560
... just came back from a class at Pagan Pride Day...

"Shadow" to many Jungians, is where a persons psychic power comes from....

Thought that was interesting

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 28 Nov 2010, 00:45
by BKBR
Donata wrote:http://www.rjstewart.org/blessbeasts.html

This is an excellent article by R.J. Stewart on our relationship to power animals. need for respect, etc. It's long, but very worth reading! It has much to think about, and perhaps discuss. Here's one from it: why doesn't anyone have a gerbil as a power animal?

BB
Donata
Many thanks for posting Donata

BKB

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 29 Nov 2010, 15:30
by Heddwen
Donata wrote:http://www.rjstewart.org/blessbeasts.html

This is an excellent article by R.J. Stewart on our relationship to power animals. need for respect, etc. It's long, but very worth reading! It has much to think about, and perhaps discuss. Here's one from it: why doesn't anyone have a gerbil as a power animal?

BB
Donata
This is something that I've always wondered...nobody seems to have the slug or the squid either...and most people tend to have the more 'glamorous' predators.

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 02 Dec 2010, 02:29
by wolf560
I have had friends with "Deer", "Rabbit", and even "Hummingbird" as Totems... (capitalized out of respect for the Deities involved)

Each of the Animals have a lesson to be learned and a life to be emulated.
It really is up to the individual and what they find important in themselves.
Totems do not usually show themselves to individuals that are not of their beliefs...

If an individual is not peaceful or sympathetic and is instead aggressive and antagonistic, the Totems that will want to be around them will likely be as well. Asking someone to be something they are not is not fair to the individual or the Totem for that matter.

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 03 Dec 2010, 17:19
by Heddwen
Put it this way, today I'm honouring the dung beetle :huh:

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 05 Dec 2010, 02:44
by fulbert-avebury
Donata wrote:http://www.rjstewart.org/blessbeasts.html

This is an excellent article by R.J. Stewart on our relationship to power animals. need for respect, etc. It's long, but very worth reading! It has much to think about, and perhaps discuss. Here's one from it: why doesn't anyone have a gerbil as a power animal?

BB
Donata
Thank you for this link, Donata. I learned a bit about these animals and how this concept seems to work in practice.

My only concern about it, especially given how some of our colleagues seemed to like it very much, is that the author seemed a little self-righteous at times. In places, he dismissed how other people practice this spirituality while insisting that he is right. This tone struck me as being a bit intolerant in similar ways to what he criticized in others.

Alas, there are many rich traditions!

Jeffrey

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 05 Dec 2010, 07:08
by Donata
Personally I skip the personal attitude he can show in writing and in person because he does, IMO, have so much that's worthwhile to share. I have most of his books and gained tremendously from studying them.

I've met others with good info, etc., who also can come across this way because they've experienced and developed what they know and share and in many cases have had to defend against the 'muggle' mind.Why 'throw out the baby with bath water'? An individual choice of course.

BB
Donata

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 05 Dec 2010, 13:57
by Heddwen
Ok it may have seemed a little flippant but I did spend the day shoving the literal and matephorical sh*t around.

R.J. Stewart is one of my favourite writers, I return to his work often. I like Caitlin Matthews on this topic also.

Whilst I agree that some otherworldly seers are perceived as defensive, no doubt they are challenged on their experiences and beliefs often. There are also those who are self righteous because they believe they have achieved a state that is superior to the mere mortal mind. That is only accessible to the spiritually elite. Not only this but they seem to assume the role of teacher or leader.

I think it's best to take it all in its stride, use the bits that make sense and keep a healthy balanced view.

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 05 Dec 2010, 16:24
by fulbert-avebury
Donata wrote:Personally I skip the personal attitude he can show in writing and in person because he does, IMO, have so much that's worthwhile to share. I have most of his books and gained tremendously from studying them.

I've met others with good info, etc., who also can come across this way because they've experienced and developed what they know and share and in many cases have had to defend against the 'muggle' mind.Why 'throw out the baby with bath water'? An individual choice of course.

BB
Donata
Heddwen wrote:Ok it may have seemed a little flippant but I did spend the day shoving the literal and matephorical sh*t around.

R.J. Stewart is one of my favourite writers, I return to his work often. I like Caitlin Matthews on this topic also.

Whilst I agree that some otherworldly seers are perceived as defensive, no doubt they are challenged on their experiences and beliefs often. There are also those who are self righteous because they believe they have achieved a state that is superior to the mere mortal mind. That is only accessible to the spiritually elite. Not only this but they seem to assume the role of teacher or leader.

I think it's best to take it all in its stride, use the bits that make sense and keep a healthy balanced view.
I agree with you both. It is valuable to recognize these biases and then make informed decisions based on the entire work and context. In many ways, I suppose we have our own communications styles, and part of navigating the vast amount of information out there to determine which of it we can make meaning out of is a challenge in an increasingly connected world.

Along these lines, can anybody recommend any other resources to shed some light on this area?

Jeffrey

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 20 Dec 2010, 06:16
by Sabael
Over the past 2 years I've been studying shamanism. I've met 2 animals who seem to always be with me. They never speak but they take me places and show me things, I also shapeshift into their form and join them as we travel. I figured they are my spirit guides and my teacher concurred.

Now the kicker... throughout my life there is one creature that has filled me with more dread than anything. I have never had a negative encounter, nor is this creature aggressive or violent. So of course, when she began appearing to me both on the physical plane - quite dramatically I might add, and during my journeys, I had to find out what was going on.

Her presence was dramatically different from the other two. First off, she speaks! Secondly, she is just there, no traveling, no shapeshifting, she is just there. While the others show me things in symbolism that I need to figure out later, she is plain spoken and clear.

She is very eloquent and her wisdom is uncanny. She will come up with something that seems random and a few days later I will be reading or listening to something and all of a sudden her words "click". After over 6 months now of strange encounters, 2 am wakeup conversations, and repeated meetings during journeys and meditations, I finally asked her if she was my totem, a guide, power animal, or what.

She paused for a little while, laughed (as if it was a silly question) and answered "I am the voice of your soul".

Now what the heck is that supposed to mean? She consistently compares my life and circumstances to hers, when I have a problem... she tells me how to handle it based on her natural habits of handling obstacles. The crazy thing is that it all makes sense.

She is a joy to be with, (in non physical) but I still fear her physical kin with a reaction that borders on a phobia.

My teacher, when I mentioned this to her suggested I look into the meaning of this in relation to Celtic cosmology since that is what I am most drawn to. Any ideas or suggestions?

Respectfully,

Sabael

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 08 May 2011, 18:00
by ideagirl
Sabael wrote:Over the past 2 years I've been studying shamanism. I've met 2 animals who seem to always be with me. They never speak but they take me places and show me things, I also shapeshift into their form and join them as we travel. I figured they are my spirit guides and my teacher concurred.

Now the kicker... throughout my life there is one creature that has filled me with more dread than anything. I have never had a negative encounter, nor is this creature aggressive or violent. So of course, when she began appearing to me both on the physical plane - quite dramatically I might add, and during my journeys, I had to find out what was going on.

Her presence was dramatically different from the other two. First off, she speaks! Secondly, she is just there, no traveling, no shapeshifting, she is just there. While the others show me things in symbolism that I need to figure out later, she is plain spoken and clear.

She is very eloquent and her wisdom is uncanny. She will come up with something that seems random and a few days later I will be reading or listening to something and all of a sudden her words "click". After over 6 months now of strange encounters, 2 am wakeup conversations, and repeated meetings during journeys and meditations, I finally asked her if she was my totem, a guide, power animal, or what.

She paused for a little while, laughed (as if it was a silly question) and answered "I am the voice of your soul".

Now what the heck is that supposed to mean? She consistently compares my life and circumstances to hers, when I have a problem... she tells me how to handle it based on her natural habits of handling obstacles. The crazy thing is that it all makes sense.

She is a joy to be with, (in non physical) but I still fear her physical kin with a reaction that borders on a phobia.

My teacher, when I mentioned this to her suggested I look into the meaning of this in relation to Celtic cosmology since that is what I am most drawn to. Any ideas or suggestions?
You could ask her why you're so scared of her form in the physical.

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 20 Jun 2011, 21:02
by raveighen
I recently lost my beloved power animal, my cat Sam. He walked out the door a week ago and has not returned. I hope he has found someone that needs him and nothing worse has happened. I miss him severely but I know his spirit will always live in my heart. I just needed to share with people that understand the closeness you feel to such an animal and the pain of the loss. Thank you for allowing me to do this.

Re: Power Animals

Posted: 02 Jul 2011, 21:30
by Donata
My deep sympathies on the loss of your companion. I understand how important one is to us and how much we miss them.

BB
Donata