The natural power of animal totems has not been lost. Animals still have a vast store of knowledge and wisdom they can teach us. However, it is up to us as individuals to reestablish that connection. We must open our hearts and minds to their messages. We must learn to listen with our hearts and subconscious being. We must open up our conscious minds and find a way to trust, and acknowledge our way isn’t the only way that’s right.
Our ancestors understood these connections. If they could understand, then so can we. The same stories and “myths” are repeated around the globe in a thousand different languages and hundreds of different religions. Could they all be wrong?
To love the Earth and all she holds is to accept and love yourself. Your totem animals can help you to acheive this inner peace and acceptance. By honoring your totem animals, you will be able to acheive a happier, healthier, phsyical, emotional, mental and spiritual state of being. You will begin to love yourself.
As the circle closes, you will begin to love and honor the Earth and all her creations. People often ask how to go about finding their totem. The quick answer to this question is, you don’t. Your totem or totems (there are usually several at varying stages of your life) find you when you are ready and receptive to receiving their messages.
Before we discuss how to prepare yourself for a state of being where you will be ready to receive those messages, let’s take a moment to discuss the ways you will NOT find the answers to your questions, why these methods are incomplete, and why they will be limited in their value to you.
One method that is popular today are New Age cards like Jamie Sam’s “Medicine Cards™”, the “Animal Wise Tarot™”, and “Druid Animal Oracle™”, to name a few. While these type of cards are a good general STARTING POINT for learning some of the characteristics of individual animals and the nuances of the medicine wheel, they are just that: GENERAL.
They do not necessarily apply to your specific situation. They gloss over the most prominent characteristics of an animal and the most often encountered lessons, but do not begin to cover the many various lessons possible or the finer nuances. These cards could be compared to reading your daily horoscope in the local newspaper, where the astrologer has no idea exactly where or when you were born.
The same can be said for reading books. In addition, many of them are written by “New Agers” who are well meaning, but don’t really understand what they are talking about. Often, these books will be a hodge-podge of ideas borrowed from many different American Indian tribes, meta-physical concepts taken out of context, or partial ceremonies passed down to them from false shamans.
Frequently, this type of information can do more harm than good. Ceremonies, especially, can be dangerous when not performed properly by the uninitated or when used in a selfish way.
This is not to say there are no good books out there with accurate information. It is merely a warning that there are the misinformed and outright charletans mixed in the lot. You need to be selective in what you believe to be fact.
With any of these books, you should take the information presented with a grain of salt, and consider it to be half-truths until you have verified it with not just one, but several other independent sources.
If you really want to pursue useful information in books, look for volumes written by biologists who are experts on one animal or one group of animal families, who also have some understanding of phsychology.
Look for meta-physical gurus who focus on METHODS of practicing meditation or astral projection or whatever, but don’t offer ceremony for sale. Study up on the art of body languages.
You DON’T just choose an animal on a whim because you think it is macho or cool, or it is a popular or often honored totem and you decide it will be yours. If you do this, you won’t learn much because you probably won’t be ready for the lessons that animal has to teach.
You may not understand the messages. Indeed, that animal may choose not to appear to you at all, because it will know you are not ready for its lessons. If you do not understand the deer, you certainly will not understand the teachings of the wolf.
Probably THE WORST way to find your totem animals is to pay a “spiritual advisor” to guide you. These persons often dabble in ceremonies they do not fully understand or know how to control, have half baked ideas they have come up with on their own, and mix teachings from many cultures taken out of context or omit strict controls that have been initiated through the generations for a specific reason.
While some of these teachings may be good basic concepts, rituals are very powerful tools that have a specific protocol and order. To change the order, add something or take something out is to unleash unknown powers that may cause irrepairable harm. This can be very dangerous.
To begin with, real medicine people do not charge for office visits like a medical doctor. They do not have preset fees for giving a lecture, seminar, or workshop. They do not go around proclaiming themselves to be shamans, medicine men, or medicine women. True spirituality is not for sale.
It’s true that it is customary to pay travel expenses if you ask a medicine person to come to you. It is also customary to offer a gift. In this day and age, that gift can and often should include a monetary gift and/or non-perishable food. (They can’t eat eagle feathers, and if they are a real medicine person, they probably already have an abundance of them.)
However the real deal does not advertise his/her services as such or have a set fee schedule. Be particularly aware when dealing with people who offer such services over the Internet for a fee.
True medicine people rely on word of mouth endorsement from people they have already helped. If asked a direct question, a true medicine person may respond by saying something like, “People have referred to me in this way”, or “Some people have called me that”, but they do not directly boast, “I am a Shaman” or “I am a Medicine Man/Woman.”
So, steer clear of “spiritual advisors” who have a title, advertise their services, and have an up front fee for said services.
Introduction | Respect and Honor | New Age Spirituality | Finding Your Totem
The Conscious Mind | Life Totems & Power Animals | The Unconscious Mind
Directional Totems | Tantra Totem | The Totem Animals