The Nine Totems

When I moved back to iPage self-host and brought everything back to The Feisty Witch, I lost some things in the import process. This entire page didn’t make the transfer. Luckily I have most of it saved in various documents and over the next few days I’ll be adding to this post in order to give you the information I have written about MY personal Totems.

 

The Nine Totems

Did you know each person has nine animal essences or totems that walk through life with them, teaching and guiding them and in some cases, protecting them? These nine totems usually remain the same throughout your lifetime; however, major life alterations can cause your totems to change as your totems adapt to your new life style. I have been experiencing a few big changes in my personal life and as a result, some of my totems have changed as well.

Your totems are found in 7 directions around you: East, South, West, North, Above, Below and Spirit. 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 a limited period of time, depending on the challenges that you must face.  They usually appear in person, in dreams or during meditation. I recently found my Uncle has come to me in his Spirit form of Wolf and is working with me on a daily basis with some of the more difficult challenges I have found on my journey. I am more than thankful he has come to my aid, it’s not only education but he brings comfort as well.

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. Our Witchling has been able to identify a couple of hers and talks to them frequently.

East: Your totem animal in the East guides you to your greatest spiritual challenges and guards you while you are on that path of illumination.

South: Your totem animal in the South brings you trust, balance, and innocence. He protects your inner child.

West: Your totem animal in the West leads you to your personal truth. He helps you find the answers you already have buried deep within.

North: Your totem animal in the North is very wise. He helps you to discern when to listen and when to speak. He also reminds you of all the blessings that have been bestowed upon you.

Above: Your totem animal from Above connects you to the Great Star Nation, the Universe, and reminds you that you came from the stars and so shall return someday. This totem also brings you the dreams you experience in the Dream Time, helping you connect to other dimensions other than just this one.

Below: Your totem animal from Below brings lessons about Mother Earth and how to stay grounded and balanced while here in the Earth Walk.

Within: Your totem animal from Within brings you your heart’s desire and gives you the strength to be true to your dreams and Walk your Talk. (This is also considered Spirit)

Right side: Is the Male: Your totem animal on your Right Side protects you like a father. He is your protector as well as the one who gives you your courage and spirit to fight when necessary.

Left Side: Is Feminine: Your totem animal on your Left Side protects you like a mother. He teaches nurturing yourself as well as others. He teaches how to experience and have loving relationships.

My Nine Totems are:

East: Blue Jay

South: Crow

West: Bear

North: Otter

Above: Raven

Below: Fox

Within or Spirit: Tiger

Right/Male: Badger

Left/Female: Hummingbird

Do you know what your Nine Totems are?

References:

Sams, J., Carson, D., and Werneke, A., (1988) Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals

 

My Totem for East~ Blue Jay

East: Your totem animal in the East guides you to your greatest spiritual challenges and guards you while you are on that path of illumination.

When I began the quest to find the animals that have been called as my spirit guides, I had no idea how changeable the journey could be. I honestly knew nothing about animal guides other than I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Badger fits into my life as a major part of my day to day existence. More on Badger when I get to the Totem for right.

Then in 2009 among a group of amazing women, I learned each person can have up to nine different guides that walk with them on a daily basis. Yes, these can change, however, most often the primary guide will step aside to allow another in its place because there is a lesson that needs to be taught and the temporary guide is the best for that task. Once the lesson has been learned, the primary will once again begin to walk in their spot next to you, guiding you and making sure you don’t forget the lessons you have been given.

Of the Nine Totems each person has throughout their life, this one, East, for me is the most changeable. And even though the most present in my everyday walk is the Blue Jay, I have had Dragonfly, Butterfly, and most recently Wolf guiding me through the lessons and challenges I’ve been given. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to give you information about having Blue Jay as my Totem for East.

Blue Jay Associated Traits

Assertive, Vibrant, Curious, Intelligent, Talkative, Determined, Fearless, Audacious, Trustworthy, Resourceful.

Those who regard blue jay as their symbols are somehow talkative and tend to chat most of the time. These people tend to be successful in the field of sales, law, politics, public speaking and teaching.

If Jay is your Totem animal, you have no doubt of your duty and when to stand up to be counted or stay small and invisible. It is very rare for you to become nervous and most often stay grounded. Jays are symbolized by assertiveness, determination, and above all, intelligence, as they are fiercely audacious when dealing with enemies. This causes them to be a highly respected creature in the animal kingdom.

Those with Blue Jay animal totem are trustworthy and honor the bonds that is created with others people, it is a decidedly resourceful creature that strives to create the best environment for itself and its family with what it has access to. It will make its home anywhere that it can, making the best out of every situation.

Symbolic Meaning Of Blue Jay

A Blue Jay animal totem flies into your life to teach the importance of using your intelligence to learn quickly and being able to adapt to any situation. It has a passion for investigating, thus utilizing adaptive skills and constantly learning new ideas and concepts. It allows us to access memories that we have long forgotten and shows how to adopt them into our awareness.

The Blue Jay symbol is that of a risk taker, always seizing the opportunities presented to it and discovering new avenues for exploration. As a powerful and intelligent bird, this animal has mastered the balance of silence and patience in timing. This allows it to develop a deep connection with the Earth, uncovering sacred interconnections between all things. Blue Jays recognize that mental growth promotes spiritual growth and they intentionally activate and use their minds to gain new spiritual knowledge.

You will also find those who have Jay as their totem have an underlying sense of when to be seen or when to blend into the setting around you, are unashamed to walk their spiritual walk unafraid they will be lost or overwhelmed by the things they learn. They are confident, sometimes arrogant, strong, sure and rarely have a case of the nerves or cause to second guess themselves. On the opposite side of this concept is the ability for the Blue Jay to help keep you on track, especially when it may seem you have forgotten the need to be humble and not over confident. For us to live as honorably as the Jay, we are required to hold ourselves to higher and completely honest standards.

One of my favorite aspects of the Jay as a Totem is that they build long lasting friendships or relationships (not so much in my past life before I began my journey on this crooked path I travel today) and as a result of this long-lasting relationship ability the Jay tend to have only one mate for life. This characterizes endurance, loyalty, patience, truthfulness, solidarity, and faithfulness.

Blue jays are curious creatures. They tend to peck at any sparkling object that catches their attention. The same way are those who resemble blue jays, they are also curious. In fact, people that choose this as their animal totem tend to follow new paths, entertain new insights out of their curiosity. They are often known as a jack-of-all-trades and wonderful trouble-shooters.

Blue Jay shows up as a spirit guide when…

You need to have ferocity in your life.

You need to be modest.

You need to live a fulfilling life.

You need to be confident.

You need to be happy in life.

Call on Blue jay as a spirit guide when…

You need to be powerful.

You should be confident.

You need to move to the next level of your life.

You need to fulfill the desires of your heart.

You need to understand death.

Jay’s gifts include understanding how to use power wisely, warning, courage, ability to check on future trouble spots, the power of presence (being in the eternal now), fearlessness, resourcefulness, adaptability. Jay’s show us how to use personal power correctly and effectively, reminding us to pay attention and to not allow ourselves to be put in a situation where power is misused against us. If this is your power animal, bear this in mind.

Jays symbolize huge talent, however, this talent must be developed and used correctly. If Jay has flown into your life, this may be a signal that you are coming into a time where you can begin to help the inherent wisdom that lies within you (within us all!) to mature.

References:

Andrews, T. (2010) Animal Speak, Llewellyn Publications

Carson, D., Sams, J., Werneke, A. (1999) Medicine Cards, The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, St. Martin’s Press

Farmer, S. (2006) Animal Spirit Guides: An Easy-to-Use Handbook for Identifying and Understanding Your Power Animals and Animal Spirit Helpers, Hay House

 

My Totem for South ~ Crow

When I pulled the card for South and turned it over to see Crow, I was a bit hesitant. Everything I knew about Crow was negative, they were tricksters, mischievous and manipulative. They were considered to be the bearer of bad news and often were thought to be the symbol of death. I remember as a child my great grandmother being very uncomfortable when she would see a crow sitting on the fence at our family farm in Indiana. She never spoke of her fears but you could easily tell she was uncomfortable until they left the farm.

Once I had the chance to actually sit down and read the book and do some other research on Crow as a Totem, I found more positive information and was actually quite happy to have this awesome creature in my corner. Did you know that Crow Medicine gives you a firsthand knowledge of the higher order of right and wrong than any that have been established by the laws created in human culture? Crow actually strives to teach us to be honest and forthcoming with our self and those we deal with. This gives us the ability to have a strong voice when speaking about those issues we are passionate about, things we might think of as being unfair or unjust, or even out of harmony with the universe. Much like the way I rant and rail at the unjust and unfair treatment of Marriage Equality.

I also discovered Crow is an omen for change and has the ability to help us merge the light and darkness so we are able to see both inner and outer reality of any given situation. Crow medicine directs us to be mindful of our actions and especially of our opinions. If you have Crow medicine, you must be willing and able to not only walk your walk and talk your talk, you must also be strong enough to speak your truth without hesitation, know your life’s mission and be able to balance the past, present, and future.

Even though I have had Crow as my Totem since 2009, I sometimes forget they are the bringer of messages from the spirit world and are often times thought to live beyond the realm of time and space. I forget these things when I am faced with tough decisions or news that may not be ideal. For instance, right before my Mother passed away in 2012, Tanya & I had gone shopping at our local Kohls. Driving into the parking lot we saw a very large group of crows and even though I was in awe of them and their beauty, I had forgotten they carry messages to those who are in need. Looking back, I believe they were there and present at that time to prepare me for the passing of my Mother who died just 3 days later.

More recently I have discovered the truth in Crow being the guardian of ceremonial magic with regards to healing. A couple months ago I was part of a circle and ritual for healing for one of our Sisters. During the meditation phase of the ritual, Crow appeared and gave me the reassurance that the work we were doing would manifest the change in consciousness we needed to guide the healing magic and remove the disease or illness we were working against. The courage of Crow during this ritual gave me personally the ability to enter and walk through the dark void where all my deepest fears reside and come through to the light on the other side.

The most difficult lesson I’ve had to learn from Crow is that I must allow my personal values or integrity to be my guide in all things. To stop following what I may have perceived to be the light of others because in reality their light is not my guide and will only bring me more darkness. To allow my personal strength to become first in all I do and when I can accomplish this one thing, then the feelings of insecurity or unworthiness will no longer hold me down.

The most important lesson Crow has taught me is to keep my eyes open, to be aware of those who are deceitful, and to not follow blindly.

If Crow has flown across your path;

It is a sign of change. All that you have been working for and toward is now coming to fruition. Alternatively, Crow is giving you clear messages and guidance as to what your next steps are. Pay attention to your thoughts, and to the omens around you. The messages are clearer now than they have ever been.

Crow as a messenger could also be letting you know that perhaps you are spreading yourself a little bit thin. It’s time to step back – re assess where you are at and take stock of your own dreams and aspirations. Being clear about our own desires is key in manifesting our intentions.

If Crow is your Animal Totem;

You have a great deal of personal integrity. You work hard at being mindful of your opinions and actions and are willing to walk your talk, speak your truth and embrace your life’s mission.

You shift through changes and phases of your life with effortless ease and are willing to swoop in on opportunities at a moments notice. You have a tendency to have no concept of time as a linear entity and know in your heart that time is literally the existence of the past, present, and future in a single moment. You live for now.

They are territorial and won’t give up an area without a fight. They are loners, seeming to like to spend time to themselves.

If you have a crow as a totem, you need to be willing to walk your talk and speak your truth. You must put aside your fear of being a voice in the wilderness and “caw” the shots as you see them. Crow is an omen of change. If he keeps appearing to you he may be telling you that you have a powerful voice when addressing issues that you do not quite understand or feel that they are out of balance.

Crows are the bringer of messages from the spirit world, and is thought to dwell beyond the realm of time and space.

When you meet crow, he could be telling you that there will be changes in your life and that possibly you should step by the usual way you view reality and look into the inner realms …walk your talk…be prepared to let go of your old thinking and embrace a new way of viewing yourself and the world.

Crow is the sacred keeper of the law. Crow medicine signifies a firsthand knowledge of a higher order of right and wrong than that indicated by the laws created in human culture. With Crow medicine, you speak in a powerful voice when addressing issues that for you seem out of harmony, out of balance, out of whack, or unjust.

When you learn to allow your personal integrity to be your guide, your sense of feeling alone will vanish. Your personal will can then emerge so that you will stand in your truth. The prime path of true Crow people says to be mindful of your opinions and actions. Be willing to walk your talk, speak your truth, know your life’s mission, and balance past, present, and future in the now. Shape shift that old reality and become your future self. Allow the bending of physical laws to aid in creating the shape shifted world of peace.

The crow is a spirit animal associated with life mysteries and magic.  The power of this bird as totem and spirit guide is provide insight and means of supporting intentions. Sign of luck, it is also associated with the archetype of the trickster; be aware of deceiving appearances.  If the crow has chosen you as your spirit or totem animal, it supports you in developing the power of sight, transformation, and connection with life’s magic.

Crow Symbolism

Throughout history, the crow has been associated with both positive and negative symbolic meanings. The most common are:

Life magic; mystery of creation

Destiny, personal transformation, alchemy

Intelligence

Higher perspective

Being fearless, audacious

Flexibility, adaptability

Trickster, manipulative, mischevious

Other traditional meanings associate the crow with a bad omen, death, and dark witchcraft. The crow also carries the power of prophetic insight and symbolizes the void or core of creation.

The Crow, a Spirit Animal Symbolic of Magic

Crows are commonly associated with magic and the power to manipulate physical appearances. Ted Andrews in his classic on animal totems “Animal Speak” mentions that we can find crows are common animals that we can find all around the globe. As such, they are a reminder that magic is everywhere. When you encounter a crow, just tune into its behavior and it will give you a clue on how to use the magic powers it carries.

Because of its affinity with life mysteries and magic, the crow is seen in many shamanic traditions as the spirit animal of choice for those who use magic and have the power to manipulate the law of our physical universe. The crow used to be the animal of choice of shamans, those who do witchcraft and shape-shifting.

Crow Spirit Animal

Crow Symbolism and Life Mysteries

Crows have a usually black with tints of blue depending on the light shining on them. Their color is symbolic of the onset of creation, of the void or what has not taken form yet. Fascinating spirit animals, they carry the energy of life mysteries and the power for deep inner transformation.

As a spirit guide, the crow will guide you in getting in touch with life mysteries and develop your ability to perceive subtle shifts in energy within yourself and in your environment. It has the ability to go beyond the illusions, especially duality of right and wrong, inner and outer.

Crow Totem and Power of Insight

Crows are known to build their nests in very tall trees. Doing so, they can get a better vision or perspective on the rest of their surroundings. By affinity with this trait, those who have the crow as a spirit animal or totem will enjoy a position from where they can see things from a higher perspective.

The crow is also watchful of intruders and predators. The sound it makes is characteristic of a loud, strident bird noise that can warn the other members of it clan over great distance. When you see your crow spirit animal, be on the watch.

The Crow Spirit Animal, a Guide about Fearlessness and Determination

Have you ever watched a group of crows ganging up together and chasing out birds much bigger than they are? This behavior makes the crow a useful animal totem to call when you need support in dealing with adversity. If the crow chose you as your power animal, you are encouraged to develop your personal will power and speak your truth more loudly.

Crows always seem to be able to get away with what they are after, be it a piece of food left on the road or sneaking into other birds’ nests to steal or eat their eggs. Echoing this trait, those with the crow as totem or spirit guide might watch for the tendency to trick or be a bit manipulative.

References:

Andrews, T. (2010) Animal Speak, Llewellyn Publications

Carson, D., Sams, J., Werneke, A. (1999) Medicine Cards, The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, St. Martin’s Press

Farmer, S. (2006) Animal Spirit Guides: An Easy-to-Use Handbook for Identifying and Understanding Your Power Animals and Animal Spirit Helpers, Hay House

 

My Totem for West ~ Bear

Because I grew up in Arizona where there is a very large Native American community, I wasn’t surprised when Bear presented to me as my Totem for West. You see, in Native American culture Bear is strongly connected to Shamans and more specifically to women. I’ve always felt drawn to Bear and would spend hours at their enclosure each time we visited the Desert Museum. Yes, I know…zoos are nasty… and fortunately for me I am not a hunter, nor do I like to hike or camp, so seeing these magnificent creatures in the wild just isn’t happening in my world. However… I have a great respect for Bear and everything they symbolize or represent.

When you have Bear as a Totem, you are cautious in everything you do. You are probably a healer and have pretty good leadership skills. The main power of Bear is for looking deep within ourselves and finding the answers we seek through introspection or through the process of silencing the mind, becoming one with the silence and just know. Many people with Bear as their Totem often mimic their habit for hibernation during the winter months and become quiet, all the while anticipating what new and exciting opportunities waiting for them with the coming of the Spring.

With Bear as your Totem, you often find yourself in the role of a leader, many times those who are considered to be *natural leaders* have the Spirit of Bear guiding them. And from this natural leadership also comes the fight to fearlessly defend your beliefs

Those with Bear Totem are among the strongest voices in the crowd. You will stand up for what you believe, for your truth and your voice will be the one that carries the farthest. Having bear also gives you the strength you haven’t realized you had before. The bear also guides you to take leadership in your life or in other people’s lives. This animal is feared and admired for its strength. Its presence inspires respect. It has a strong and powerful stature will inspire you to step into a leadership role in your life and take action without fear.

When you invoke the power of the bear totem, reflect on the qualities of inner strength, fearlessness, and confidence in yourself and how you can project them in your world. Since the bear is often associated with shamans in many traditions, this spirit animal can symbolize healing abilities and stepping into the role of the healer. If the bear shows up in your life, it may also be time to take care of your own needs for healing, whether it’s at the physical, emotional or spiritual level. Be sensitive to where you are at and reflect on where you would most need healing. You can call on the bear spirit guidance to direct your energy in a more conservative or focused way.

The bear is an animal that lives a solitary life. Having a bear as a spirit animal can mean that you find balance and comfort in solitude. The presence of this power animal could point to the need to “regroup” and set up boundaries, so you feel comfortable in your own space. For some people, being alone is just as powerful and strengthening as being in a crowd. When Bear presents to you it may mean it’s time to find your place away from the crowd or busyness and enjoy the quiet time and rest. The bear spirit can also be a great helper to dedicate time and energy to more introspective practices, such as self-inquiry or meditation. Call on the spirit of the bear to help you find your center and ground yourself in a strong foundation that will support you in the busiest and noisy times.

The spirit of the bear is a strong source of support in times of difficulty. It provides courage and a stable foundation to face challenges. When the bear shows up as a spirit guide in your life, it’s perhaps time to stand for your beliefs or your truth. This power animal will provide for support and strength.

The bear is also a guide to take leadership in your life or in other people’s lives. This animal is feared and admired for its strength. Its presence inspires respect. Its strength and powerful stature will inspire you to step into a leadership role in your life and take action without fear.

When you invoke the power of the bear totem, reflect on the qualities of inner strength, fearlessness, and confidence in yourself and how you can project them in your world.

If Bear is your Animal Totem:

You have a great deal of patience in manifesting your ideas and projects waiting for just the right moment to spring them on the universe.. You have a great deal of confidence in who you are and where you are going in life. You are looked upon as an authority figure. You are nurturing and protect your children well.

If you were born with a Bear Totem (or have chosen this mighty but humorous and playful creature as your Totem Animal) you have natural fortitude, assurance, and aptitude when taking on leadership roles.

Bear people growl at adversity and come to the rescue of those in their circle in times of need. You may also find a calling in medicine, be it holistic or main stream. Bear Spirit is restorative and recuperative.

However, that means you must also care for the self, often by taking regular retreats to refuel.

The one caution of which to remain aware is that Bear people have hot tempers. Be careful not to attack without just cause. Discernment is your ally.

Seek out Bear Spirit as a helpmate when your instincts seem a little off. Bear then becomes a guide on your journey for honing your insight, including psychically and emotionally.

Bear can also help you discover, acknowledge and empower personal abilities that we may otherwise underestimate. Release whatever holds you back and embrace Bear’s wisdom.

Bear as a Power Animal is especially helpful when you need to stay grounded and walk on terra firma. Bears are bowlegged. This helps them with balance and enables them to better grasp tree limbs/not slip on ice. In this, Bear energy can help you “get a grip”, find your balance and stride through any situation with strength and confidence.

References:

Andrews, T. (2010) Animal Speak, Llewellyn Publications

Carson, D., Sams, J., Werneke, A. (1999) Medicine Cards, The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, St. Martin’s Press

Farmer, S. (2006) Animal Spirit Guides: An Easy-to-Use Handbook for Identifying and Understanding Your Power Animals and Animal Spirit Helpers, Hay House

 

My Totem for North ~ OTTER

I’ve always been fascinated by Otters. Every time I’d go to the Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson I’d spend a good deal of time watching them in the habitat the keepers had built for them there in the Middle of the desert. I was in awe of these tiny yet powerful creatures, how happy they seemed to be and how protective they were of their space. A few years ago, I found a diagram that shows what the Native American sign for each birth month is and of course Otter is the Native American sign I am born under. Yes, I AM Otter.

The medicine held by Otter is a set of lessons in female energy. These lessons apply to both men and women, as all of us have female sides.

If Otter has swum across your path you can be sure of many of the following traits to begin to manifest in your life.

It is time to allow yourself the freedom and pleasure of relaxing and letting go of all your daily concerns. The power of otter is in the knowing that you have to take care of yourself first in order to be of use to others. Go with the natural flow and ebbs and tides of your life and find joy and wonder in the small things that give you pleasure as an adult and that gave you pleasure as a child.

Alternatively, the otter may be reminding you that universal acceptance of “what is” in your life is the only way for you to move forward. This form of embracing the good with the bad and seeking out the joy of the moment will manifest a new freedom of love and acceptance. Honor the right of everything and everyone to be as they are. Simply allow things to unfold in your life.

Occasionally this animal is here to remind you that you need to rekindle lost relationships in a playful and upbeat manner.

If Otter is your Animal Totem:

If Otter is your animal totem you take great pleasure in the success and happiness of others and will work untiringly to help others achieve that. You have no selfishness, are not self-centered, or self-driven and could never be mean to others. You are never unnecessarily critical in a vengeful way nor are you a gossip. You find purpose in supporting and enhancing the lives of others.

You find everything interesting and have a great deal of curiosity. You effortlessly create space in your life for others without preconceptions or suspicions. You tend to have a great deal of happiness and good fortune in your life.

Otter is very caring of its young and will play for hours, performing all types of acrobatics. It lives on land, but always has its home near water. The elements of Earth and Water are the female elements. At home in both of these elements, Otter is the personification of femininity: long, sleek, and graceful. Otter is the true coquette of the animal world.

Otter is always on the move and is very curious. Unlike other animals, Otter will not start a fight unless it is attacked first. This joyful little creature is adventuresome and assumes that all other creatures are friendly – until proven otherwise.

These character traits are the beauty of a balanced female side, the side of ourselves that creates space for others to enter our lives without preconceptions or suspicions. Otter teaches us that balanced female energy is not jealous or catty. It is a sisterhood, content to enjoy and share the good fortune of others. Anchored in the understanding that all accomplishments are worthwhile for the whole tribe, Otter people express joy for others.

Long ago, in tribal law, if a woman were widowed, her sister would offer her own husband to the widow as a lover to keep her from drying up and not using her creative urges. This is Otter Medicine, too. Envy or the fear of being replaced has no space in Otter’s balanced understanding of sharing the goodness. Woman energy without games or control is a beautiful experience. It is the freedom of love without jealousy. It is the joy of loving other people’s children and their accomplishments as much as you love your own.

Otter is an antidote to worry and anxiety. It emphasizes how important it is not to concern yourself too intensely with acquiring more material “goodies” or advancing your position career-wise. Otter encourages you to find satisfaction in what you have and to enjoy life rather than to merely tolerate it.

Otter’s medicine includes woman’s healing wisdom, sensibility without suspicion, guidance in revealing one’s talents, psychic awareness, faithfulness, recovery issues, understanding the value of playtime, primal feminine energy, joy, playfulness, prognostication.

Otters are regarded as the masters of play by the Native American and Celtic cultures. Observing an individual otter or a family of otters shows us that it’s possible to view life as a game to be enjoyed, rather than a burden to be endured. Living is not painful, it’s a gift. Life is too short to worry so much. When you were younger, like most children, did you feel like you didn’t want to become old and didn’t want life to get serious, or maybe you wished you could grow up and then once you became an adult wished you could relive your childhood as life was too serious now? Are you now too serious? If yes then otter is just right for you for you will be shown how to play again, it will help you find your inner child.

If your birthday falls between January 20th and February 18th (my birthday is February 2nd or Imbolc, so this is me to a “T”), your birth totem is the Otter. You were born under the element of air during the Rest and Cleansing Moon with Waboose (White Buffalo) acting as your Spirit Guide throughout your lifetime. You have a strong connection to the winds of the North and you belong to the Butterfly Clan. You will find a connection with your plant totem, the Quaking Aspen or the Fern. Silver or turquoise act as your mineral totem.

References:

Andrews, T. (2010) Animal Speak, Llewellyn Publications

Carson, D., Sams, J., Werneke, A. (1999) Medicine Cards, The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, St. Martin’s Press

Farmer, S. (2006) Animal Spirit Guides: An Easy-to-Use Handbook for Identifying and Understanding Your Power Animals and Animal Spirit Helpers, Hay House

 

My Totem for Above ~ Raven

I’ve got to be honest here, when I lived in Arizona, I couldn’t tell the difference between a Raven or a Crow. It took me moving across the country and having a murder of crows living in the trees outside my back door to finally be able to see the differences. Ravens have always been part of my life as far back as I can remember. They were frequent visitors to the ranch where we lived and would often follow overhead when we were on horseback in the deserts of southern Arizona.

Some Native American tribes call the Raven a ‘secret keeper’. When you have a Raven spirit animal you must not give your promises of confidentiality lightly, nor give away information given to you in trust. Raven has no patience for two-faced dishonesty and calls those with whom it interacts to rise to new levels of honor.

People walking the path of the Mysteries are often sought out by Raven spirit. This being prefers to share its knowledge with someone who appreciates the depth and breadth of the Adept, including the challenges that await along that Path. When Raven as a spirit animal guide comes cawing loudly into your life, it marks a moment to pause and give serious consideration to the messages coming your way.

Black as midnight, it’s not surprising to discover that, in many cultures, Raven symbolism and meaning is connected with death and the underworld. At first, this meaning may seem dire, but the representation need not be literal. Rather, it’s most likely that something is about to transform your life. Whether positive or negative, the total transformation is usually dramatic. And, so, Raven spirit can help guide you safely through the fray.

Remember that Raven consumes the remains of other creatures, giving this bird the additional symbolic value of cleansing. Perhaps there is something old and unhealthy that you need to purge? Raven is a great helpmate for that. Raven is also an excellent teacher, guide, and partner for magical studies and efforts. Let this sage master “call” to the quarters of creation with your intention.

Raven has been called a master of time. Procrastinators out there get ready. If Raven wings his way into your awareness you are about to get a lesson in using time wisely. You need to be in the right space at the right moment, and Raven encourages that change in movement in your life. Effectively this animal spirit is one that presages a kind of rebirth or renewal when your life may have seemed stagnant.

The ancient Greeks trusted in Raven to carry messages from the Divine, particularly Apollo. This means that while Raven spirit is tied closely to the night, it also has solar qualities. Working with Raven is a way of boosting your powers of observation and bringing anything that lingers in the shadows into a healthy light.

Ravens have a very distinctive voice and a vast vocabulary. They are among the smartest birds in nature, so don’t be surprised if you start finding that your communication skills improve. Raven reminds us to stay true to our voice. You might find yourself feeling a little nervous when Raven decides to speak to your life. That’s natural. Remember, however, that Raven is a fierce protector sacred to Morrigan. Raven also was the totem to the Queen of the Fairies. One thing is for certain, with Raven around your life will not want for mystical adventures and spiritual surprises.

People drawn to the Raven as a totem have a naturally inventive and mischievous air about them. You will never be afraid of darkness… in fact you embrace it with a passion. You can walk, swim, or fly while remaining totally quiet, which is also the time during which you really connect with the Divine and Higher Self.

A Raven totem means that you are often the human version of Mercury, delivering information to others. This may be something mundane like guidance in their protection or something deeply spiritual. Raven people often walk the line between the worlds, acting as a bridge. There is no doubt that you will work closely with magic when you walk with Raven. You’ll also find your ability to transform your life in meaningful ways expanding. Raven spirit challenges you, however, to look honestly at yourself and ask “Never more?” – what hides in the shadows of your being that’s holding you back?

This massive black creature brushes his wingtips along mountainsides. His black eyes drink in entire landscapes as a subtle breeze holds him aloft. Once he decides to go somewhere in particular, his undeniable determination is audible in the whir of his heavy wingbeats. He does not keep many companions. On occasion, he will join with a troop of two or three others to cackle at the wind and tease the two-leggeds that clumsily lumber along on the ground below. His voice cuts through the silence of the forest. His inside-out gurgle like water down a seep-hole is an invitation to other worlds. Is he calling those worlds forth or us to those worlds? This is for him to know. He is incredibly clever. We admire him for his ability to use tools and solve puzzles we create. The trick is we haven’t even begun to solve the puzzles he creates.

Often ravens come to assist us with ceremonies such as weddings and land blessings. They come to the opening of the veil we create when we invite the sacred into a space to do ceremony. Ceremony involves working with what we call magic. Magic is simply an unseen force that adds power to a setting and it relies on the power of illusion. When magic is in the air surprising omens appear and events outside the laws of nature seem to take place.

Raven spirit animal, like a magician, can weave intricate illusions that cause us to see things we would never believe. When you have an experience you don’t think anyone else will believe, raven is often afoot. He helps shatter our preconceptions and shows us new possibilities. He captivates us with his tricks and causes us to question everything we once thought was certain.

The catch to it all is that power is never created or lost. When you direct power into creating the dazzling illusion, you’ll often find that another area of your life seems to lose power or attraction for you. There is nothing wrong with this situation, just something to be mindful of. The part of your life that now seems mind-numbingly boring hasn’t changed a bit, but the balance has shifted. Give the illusion some time to fade away and things will seem less uneven, but, ultimately, once raven comes to visit you will never be the same. Adjusting to this new world view will be your new task.

Among the Irish Celts, the raven was associated with the Triple Goddess, the Morrigan, who took the shape of a raven over battlefields while acting as “Chooser of the Slain” and the protector of warriors. Irish and Scots Bean Sidhes (Banshees) can take the form of ravens. Their calls from over the roof of a dwelling was considered to be an omen of death for the occupants.

“There is wisdom in a raven’s head.” – Gaelic Proverb “To have a raven’s knowledge” is an Irish proverb meaning to have a seer’s supernatural powers. The raven is considered to be one of the oldest and wisest of all animals. Ravens were the favorite bird of the god Lludd, the Celtic god of artists and artisans. He was said to have two ravens to attend to all of his needs (similar to Odin and his ravens).

References:

Andrews, T. (2010) Animal Speak, Llewellyn Publications

Carson, D., Sams, J., Werneke, A. (1999) Medicine Cards, The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, St. Martin’s Press

Farmer, S. (2006) Animal Spirit Guides: An Easy-to-Use Handbook for Identifying and Understanding Your Power Animals and Animal Spirit Helpers, Hay House

 

My Totem for Below ~ Fox

Your totem animal from Below brings lessons about Mother Earth and how to stay grounded and balanced while here in the Earth Walk.

The fox is often associated with the figure of the trickster, but as a spirit animal, it can also turn into a teacher providing guidance on swiftly finding your way around obstacles. If you follow the fox totem wisdom, you may be called to use or develop quick thinking and adaptability. Responsive, sometimes cunning, this power animal is a great guide when you are facing tricky situations.

When the fox appears in your life, it may indicate that you need to pay attention to people or circumstances that may be deceiving or tricking you into going down a path that does not necessarily serves you. This spirit animal may call you to be more discerning in relationships, whether it’s in business or friendships, or in choices you make for yourself. Following the fox totem wisdom, look for any area of your life where you may be cunningly led to do something else than you would in all reason do. Use discernment in your choices and actions.

The fox is often associated with the dark side of magic. In a lot of cultures, seeing a fox as you start a new project or endeavor is a bad omen. In some Native American belief systems, this animal represents the practice of negative sorcery and the dark manipulation of magic powers. The fox has long been considered as a witty, quick and intelligent. In some European traditional tales, he’s the character who outsmarts humans and other animals alike and gets away even in the trickiest situations.

The Fox spirit is the grand problem solver. She will guide you to solitude and silence until the way out is shown. A healthy combination of persistence and patience will strike a balance that picks apart a problem until it is solved.

You are intensely loyal. Often you are a joy to watch or to be around. You are energetic, outgoing, personable, and very flattering. While not exactly social butterflies fox people can use that sly energy, their keen sense of camouflage to “fit right in”. You are also a keen observer and skilled at remaining unnoticed. This means that you blend into your environment and move around unnoticed in any kind of company or society. You adapt and portray yourself as whoever you need to be in a given interaction. This affinity for fitting in often means you are a jack of all trades, taking interest and educating yourself superficially in a great number of areas while mastering none. This allows you to chat or small talk with ease whenever you care to. This does not mean you are disingenuous. It simply means that you really do care and take an active interest in the feelings of those around you. You are also a very creative problem solver and can seem eccentric because they are quick to think outside the box. Quick thinking or wit is definitely a common tool for you.

Additional Associations for Fox:

Adaptability, Afterlife, Cleverness, Cunning, Guidance, Longevity, Messenger, Nobility, Protection, Quick Thinking, Rain Spirit, Strategy, Trickster, Wisdom

In Native American tradition, Fox is the fire-bringer who possesses healing abilities and has strong ties with Shamanic practices. As a guide and messenger, Fox may come to you when you’ve started a project that’s ill-conceived. Highly intelligent and a bit of a trickster, Fox knows all too well when there’s malicious trouble afoot. Thankfully Fox brings clever solutions to your situation, ones that require determination and persistence along with some serious forethought. Fox wants you to get past illusions, adapt to your discovery and see things clearly before moving forward any further.

Fox as a Spirit Animal comes to you during times of change, particularly challenging or unpredictable ones. Many people are slow to move out of their comfort zones even when situations call for responsiveness and flexibility. Fox energy says, “You must act, but do so wisely.” In working with Fox as an animal spirit guide you may find your supernatural senses keener than usual, particularly at twilight and dawn. These are “in between times” that hang on the edge of other realms and awarenesses. Some say Fox may will guide you in working with fairies and devas.

Very little gets by you, especially any form of trickery. As you respond to your environment and current circumstances you action is swift and smooth. You have little trouble adapting to new situations or overcoming obstacles on a moment-by-moment basis.

Fox people have a natural sense of humor that they may find hard to keep in check. It’s tempting to pull that prank, but not if the result is one that harms an innocent. Discretion is a hard lesson for those guided by the Fox but it is a necessary skill. Those whose soul chose Fox medicine in this turn around the Medicine Wheel always seem to know which way to go. They are agile thinkers and doers. Because of this, their critical thinking skills are lightning quick and usually on the money!

Turn to Fox as a Power Animal when you need greater discernment, particularly when it comes to personal or business relationships. Fox can grant you wisdom, especially in those areas of your life where you may have a blind spot. Fox is also a good teacher for those who dislike confrontation. He will lead you down a different Pathway and provide perspective on avoiding conflict. More importantly, He keeps your sense of humor intact through the process.

Fox is amongst the most uniquely skilled and ingenious animals of nature. Being a night creature, fox is often imbued with supernatural powers. Foxes are usually seen at dawn and dusk. Dusk starts off their day, and the dawn is its ending. This is the time, when the world of magic and our every day realities cross paths. Foxes live on the edges of forests and open lands, the border areas. As fox is an animal of the between times and places, it can be a guide into the faerie realm. Fox has a long past of magic and cunning associated with it. It can move in and out of circumstance restoring order or causing confusion, depending on the occasion.

Fox’s Wisdom Includes:

Shapeshifting,  Cleverness, Observational Skills, Cunning, Stealth, Camouflage, Feminine, Courage, Invisibility, Ability to observe unseen, Persistence, Gentleness, Swiftness, Wisdom, Reliable friend.

Fox can teach us to control our auras so we are more able to live in harmony with the world and others.

If fox is your power animal, learning to be invisible is very important in your life. Picture yourself blending in with your surroundings, becoming part of everything. Be extremely still and quiet. With practice and patience, you will be able to go unnoticed even at a party or in a crowd. If fox is your power animal, pay attention to the way it moves and follow its lead. This is a powerful guide to have and those that have it to should learn to use its skills for the benefit of all, including themselves.

References:

Andrews, T. (2010) Animal Speak, Llewellyn Publications

Carson, D., Sams, J., Werneke, A. (1999) Medicine Cards, The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, St. Martin’s Press

Farmer, S. (2006) Animal Spirit Guides: An Easy-to-Use Handbook for Identifying and Understanding Your Power Animals and Animal Spirit Helpers, Hay House

 

 

 

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