Totems

Sep. 17th, 2012 03:39 am
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Totems. Maybe you've heard of them while talking about Native Americans and their totem polls, perhaps you've even seen one in the movie. This is how I first heard of them and I thought it was just some fancy wood for decoration or something. I didn't understand until fairly recently that the totem poll is about the animal and the power of the animal and totems are more than just polls, they can be anything, any type of fetish or representation. But, hey, I was little so give me a break. :P Now that I am older I can share the information I have gathered throughout the years.

Maybe you or someone you know plays World of Warcraft and you've seen the shaman class drop a few totems. These, again, are shown as wooden polls. This time they're short and stylized for the particular race the shaman is i.e. orcs have axe blades while tauren are more traditional.
Perhaps this is because of the long history of wood carving in native culture which never included plastic and wood is a fine resource.

Maybe you went to a powwow nearby that a local tribe hosted or a local magick shoppe and you saw some totem stones that possibly looked like ordinary rocks but with animals or other symbols painted on them.

What are these things though? What is their purpose?

As described by Ted Andrews in his book "Animal Speak", "a totem is any natural object, animal, or being to whose phenomena and energy you feel closely associated with during your life."

A totem is an animal or representation of an animal that, usually, chooses us who's power/qualities/medicine we can benefit from. They may only be for a short period of time or come and go as needed or they may be around forever. Your pet house cat isn't necessarily your totem animal but it could be or it might be a weaker version for a wild feline and once you learn to recognize and harness their powers then you may get to meet the stronger version. Remember it is better to become skilled in mouse medicine than sloppy with bear medicine.

Each type of animal has different qualities, different strengths and weakness that can represent something to you in your life. For example,all birds, in general, have very good vision. "They can help us to see more clearly that which is at a distance; thus they are wonderful tools for developing higher forms of intuitive descrimination." **

** Page 76 of "Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews
ISBN 13: 9780875420288 ISBN 10: 0875420281
Buy it at The Book Depository or the audio book from Spirituality and Practice / Sounds True.

I also used this as my main reference. I found it at my local library and if you want to know more then find your own copy to start with. This is a very in depth field and I cannot possibly list everything in the book and the book can't cover everything on the subject. Especially because I'm still learning. ;)

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