Apr 11, 2009

Animal Totems (?)

After having Googled "animal totems" for a while, I came across several sites, most of them just junk. Here I gathered some of the info I found.

Apparently, you can't know what your 9 AT's are through the Internet- like with a quiz-, you have to find the AT's yourself, by meditation, or by going to see a Reader (they'll read the Cards for you and tell you your totems). Personally, I'd like to find my totems myself, I don't really believe in the so-called Readers, but to find them, you need to have an OPEN MIND! So...

The Nine Totems

Your totems are found in 7 directions around your spirit: East, South, West, North, Above, Below and Within. The last two animals are walking beside you at all times; your Right Side (male) and your Left Side (feminine). While sometimes the living animal is around you, most often they are only the essence of the animal.

At different times in your life, you may also have Special Helpers and/or Special Protectors. These stay with you for an limited period of time, depending on the challenges that you must face. They usually appear in person, in dreams or during meditation.

Children also benefit greatly from having their totems around them. Placing figurines or stuffed versions of their totems in their room is very soothing for a child -- and brings the essence of their totems even closer. Their room becomes a safe haven and your child will be happy there. They grow up instinctively knowing their animal -- even if they've never heard of totems.

Each and every person on earth has nine power totem animals that symbolize the medicine they carry in their Earth Walk. These animals or creatures beings imitate each person’s abilities, talents, challenges and dreams. For instance, if a person is linked to a Wolf as a power animal, that person is born a teacher, pathfinder, innovator, and self-starter. This does not necessarily mean that a person has acknowledged those gifts and is using them to the fullest. It can mean that Wolf is there to bring that person to an understanding of the talents; you might say that Wolf would be appearing in the contrary. As you come into Earth Walk, there are seven directions surrounding your physical body. These directions are East, South, West, North, Above, Below, and Within. The direction called Within exists within you, but also surrounds you, since the entire universe is inside your consciousness’. You have a totem animal in each of the seven directions to teach you the lessons of these directions. The other two animals, which make up your nine totems are the ones which are walking at each side of you at all times, and which may possibly have been coming to you for years in your dreams. If they have not come to you in dreams, they may be animals that you are drawn to but which have not appeared amongst the seven you selected. You may find that these last two creatures will appear for you at a later date. The two that walk by your side may be from any part of the animal kingdom on Mother Earth. One of them could be a Duck, Big Horned Sheep, Vulture, or a Raccoon. Seeking advice from a book on animal habits to better understand the Medicines of these animals, and see how their characteristics applies to both human kind and your self. Your opinions of your self cannot get in the way when you pick these cards, therefore you will tend to learn more about your true nature when you simply allow the animals come to you. Once you have finished the selection of your seven animals for the seven directions, you should not do this process again. These are the creature beings that are your medicine.

To The East of You:

This Animal Totem guides you to your highest Spiritual challenges and protects you.

To The West of You:

This Animal Totem guides you to your inner being, your higher self.

To the South of You:

This Animal Totem guides you with your balance - Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically & Financially

To the North of You:

This Animal Totem guides your inner wisdom-right and wrong.

Above You:

This Animal Totem guides you into the Universe and visits with you during relaxed dream state.

Below You:

This Animal Totem guides you to be in touch with Mother Earth and brings balance for you.

Within You:

This Animal Totem guides you to want you are really wanting and creates with you your experiences.

To The Right Of You:

This Animal Totem is your protector and instills courage and strength within you.

To The Left Of You:

This Animal Totem teaches you to take care of yourself and all others.



Step 1

Understand what a totem is:

The word totem, itself, originated from the Ojibwe word doodem. The original concept had to do with kinship and clan – a personal and family symbol.

The translated word totem, nowadays, can mean many different things - different cultures have different concepts of this guardian spirit. For the purpose of this guide and as its most common modern meaning, a totem is in general an animal; a guide and an influence in life, self-discovery, and learning.

Step 2

Now I know what it is, but do I have one?

Discovering your totem animal entails more than just deciding that you have one. It is not something you can force. I personally believe that everyone has a totem animal (and sometimes more than one!) – it is just a matter of finding out what it is. Your totem animal may not necessarily resemble you. It could even be something you don’t like but that is trying to teach you a lesson you really need to learn. For instance, many people do not like skunks, but did you know that they represent respect and self-assurance? That is certainly a lesson many people need to learn – to respect themselves and gain positive self-esteem. So, keep an open mind!

Step 3

Ok, if I have one, what is it?

One of the easiest ways to discover your totem animal is to start by asking yourself the following questions.

1. Is there a specific animal I’ve always been drawn to?

2. Is there an animal that has had a strong influence on your life?

3. Is there any animal out there that particularly fascinates you?

If nothing is coming to mind, try to think of a time in your life that you received unexplained guidance or had an epiphany of sorts. What was it about? Different animals represent different lessons and if there is something that’s always kind of been there with you, look for an animal that corresponds with this ‘invisible’ guide. For instance, if you always find courage when you need it and have no idea how you overcame a certain circumstance, perhaps there is a lion there, offering strength and not-so-gentle nudge.

Check out guides on animal symbolism (there are some resources listed at the bottom of this article) and read about the characteristics and lessons of different animals. Do any particularly inspire you?

Step 4

I think I’ve found something, now what?

The reason animal totems can be so powerful is what we can learn from them. Spend some time learning about what animals interest (or repel) you. Learn about their behavior and biology. Look at pictures and videos of them. Think about them and how you could draw on their strengths.

For instance, many people think of crows and ravens as being dark, dirty birds – harbingers of death and disease. In reality, these birds are both extremely intelligent and playful. Have you ever seen a raven sledding on its back down a snowy slope just for the fun of it? Far from the evil, solitary shadow they can sometimes invoke, corvids can teach us a lot about community and building positive relationships in our lives.


How To Find Your Animal Totem

An Animal Totem is an important symbolic object used by a person to get in touch with specific qualities found within an animal which the person needs, connects with, or feels a deep affinity toward.

You can have several animal guides through out your life. Sometimes an animal guide will come into your life for a short period of time, and then be replaced by another depending on the journey or direction you are headed toward. Your guide will instruct and protect you as you learn how to navigate through your spiritual and physical life. When you find an animal that speaks strongly to you or feel you must draw more deeply into your life, you might fill your environment with images of the animal to let the animal know it's welcome in your space. Animal guides can help you get back to your Earthly roots, and reconnect with nature by reminding you that we are all interconnected. To first do this you need to know what your Animal Totem is.

If You Don't Know

If you don't know what your Animal Totem is there are several questions you can ask yourself. All of the questions below are designed to get you thinking about a prominent animal in your life. There are no right or wrong answers. Only you can truly know which Animal Totem(s) are right for your journey.

1. Since we are drawn to that which resonates with us, what animal, bird, or insect are you drawn to?

2. When you go to the park, forest, or zoo what animal are you most interested in seeing?

3. What animal do you most frequently see when you're out in nature or in the city?

4. What animals are you currently interested in learning about?

5. Which animal do you find most frightening or intriguing?

6. Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal?

7. Is there a recurring animal in your dreams or do you have one you have never forgotten?

Still Uncertain?

If you are still uncertain which animal is your totem, here a few exercises you can do to come closer to the answer. You must not try to force the animal to come, it can pick up on that energy and be put off. Being patient and doing the following exercises will draw your animal totem to you.

1. Ask yourself what animal has played a meaningful part in your world? If you're unsure, make a list of animals that have drawn your interest or have left a deep impression on you from paintings, photographs, stories, movies, carvings, etc.

2. Which animal shows up in your life most frequently? Keep a journal of the animals present in your dreams or that you encounter through the day for the next month. How did the animal behave? Did you interact with the animal?

3. Find a place where you can be alone to meditate. Sit quietly and ask your animal to make it's nature known to you. Feel free to use tools such as incense, smudge, and candles to help you.

4. Don't give up, sometimes your animal totem is nearby watching to see if you're serious about connecting with it. Keep doing the above exercises until your animal totem makes itself known to you.

-3- (Personal Favourite):

Answer these questions to help you discover the Animal Totems in your life. For Journey and Message Animal Totems you will have to often ask yourself the same questions. Remember that you may not currently have a Journey or Message totem. And finding out your Life animal totem is not always easy. When answering these questions you may have more than one answer per question, just don't start listing out all animals - only the ones that are really important to you. Follow your instincts when answering the question - when in doubt, don't.

Life Long Animal Totems

  • When you were a child, what animal did you collect or obsess over that you are still attracted to today?
  • Of all animals if you could have any animal as a pet or companion what would it be?
  • When going to the zoo, which animal do you spend the most time with or are drawn to?
  • If you could be any animal what animal would it be?
  • What animal is in your dreams that you have had since childhood?
  • What animal are you afraid of that you have no idea why you are afraid of it?
  • Of all animals what animals are you most attracted to?
  • When you are out in nature, do you often seem to run into the same animal?
  • What animal have you bumped into over and over throughout your life?
  • What animal have you watched for hours?
  • Does art work or jewelry with a certain animal always attract you?

  • You Life Long Animal Totem will be the animal that you answered at least three times out of the eleven questions. The more times the same animal is listed in your answers the more important and stronger it is in your life. The one that appeared most is your current Animal Spirit totem.
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Journey Animal Totems

  • What animal have you started to see occasionally that you never saw before?
  • What new animal are you attracted to?
  • Are you dreaming of an animal lately?
  • Are you thinking about an animal lately?
  • In the past two weeks what animals have you seen or dreamt of several times?

If you have a Journey Animal Totem you will have answered at least three of the questions with the same animal. Blessings on your new path.

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Message Animal Totems

  • What animal surprised or startled you today?
  • What animal that you don't usually see, have you seen a couple of times today?
  • What animal entranced you today?

If you answered the same animal to two question then this animal is your Message Totem with a very important message. Heed it's word quickly for the message is for now and today. If you only answered one question then this is a message you should still consider.

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Shadow Animal Totems

  • What animal attacks have you been in?
  • What scary or traumatic animal situations have you been in?
  • Does seeing a certain animal bring up feelings of fear?
  • What animal do you run from?
  • What animals do you have reoccurring nightmares about?
  • Does just watching TV with that animal appearing scare you?

Answering two questions with the same animal means you have a Shadow Totem you must address. Remember that the Shadow Totem will continually test you and work against you for you are it's prey. You must embrace the lesson of the animal totem and conquer your fear, accept the power of the Shadow totem, and bring it into the light as your spiritual totem.

To "find" your Spirit Animal, click here

I'll be looking for my totems from now on... You should do the same!

Xo, Ella

0 monkey thought (s):

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