I thought there might come some others in the future who would be interested in knowing more about their personal totems and I found some information to share with you all. ">
I like the author's style of this first set of information, so I'm putting this first:
*Edited for indexing
I like the author's style of this first set of information, so I'm putting this first:
Quote:Here is a bit more informration on The Nine Animal Totems as well:
How the Special Animal Totems are Acquired
I think a good opening statement under this heading is something I read someplace that put it like this: "You don't pick the animals, THEY pick YOU."
I've read different versions of the explanation as to how the animals do this. One, is that it's done by communication through the "common atoms" that all living things carry.
Another explanation, which also applies to how communication happens between any spirit-form (animal sprits to human spirits, spiritual beings to living beings, etc.), is that on anything that any of us touch, we each leave our own, individual "mark," per se. This "mark" is invisible "energies," that don't go away. This is how many psychics (the real ones), for example, are able to "connect" with say a missing person (or their spirit), simply by holding/touching an object that the missing person had touched. Scientific studies have been done about these "energy marks" we all leave and how the electro-magnetic, telepathic communication occurs through it.
There are people now and throughout the ages, who have been gifted with special powers. People such as Shamans, certain Medicine Men, Medicine Women, others. These people can actually see the animal spirits that are around other people. But, from what I've read and been told about people who have these powers, believe me, it's not something they volunteered for! It's an agonizing process for them to accept that they have these powers, and to learn to live with them. But that's another subject. (Read some books about it!) Anyway, it isn't all just about "atoms" and "energies," the animals are "with" us, period, use any explanation you want! Just accept the fact, and ENJOY it! It's just one of all of the wonderful things that the Great Spirit provides each of us with!
An animal "chooses" you simply because you NEED the knowledge, the protection, the power that its Medicine can provide you with. But you have to do your part and study all aspects of its Medicine.
How the Special Animal Totems are Revealed
In ancient times, the revealing was done basically like this. There would be a gathering of the Tribal Elders, Medicine Man or Woman, those with special Powers/Memories for interpretations. There would be a bundle of assorted animal bones, bone or teeth fragments, special stones, etc., each serving as a symbol for a certain animal or animal family. A special ceremony would be conducted, a part of which was the calling forth of the animal spirits to reveal themselves to the "Seeker" there wishing to learn who they were. The symbols would be scattered on the ground, and the individual animal spirits would guide and manipulate the symbols so that the correct interpretations were made by those who knew how to read the layout of the symbols.
After the Sacred Knowledges of the Medicine Wheel Way were forced to be secreted away (there are books about when/why that happened), those who were trained in the knowledges, over time, were dying out. When it came time for the Knowledges to be revealed/shared, which was only within the past decade or so, this information, in great detail, was gathered, put down in writing, and made into books, as a tool for people to learn about it, and to know how to conduct their own ceremonies according to the Medicine Wheel Way.
There are a number of books available, each painstakingly composed under the supervision of trained, Sacred teachers. The one I use, and recommend, about the Nine Special Animal Totems, is shown on my main Medicine Wheel Way page. And I quote excerpts from it further down this page. It comes with some special Medicine Cards and instructions on how to use them to find out who your special animal totems are. Thus, these cards serve as the bundle of symbols. And the book tells many other spiritual uses for the cards besides the calling/revealing of your nine special animal totems. I, for one, made a special pouch for my Medicine Cards. And I conducted a special smudging ceremony to purify and honor them. I treasure them, I revere them, and I keep them in a special place. My set or anybody else's set, must never, ever be treated like some parlor game, or as a form of mere entertainment. They are every bit as Sacred as those bundles of symbols that were used for the same purpose long ago. The words that are in the book represent the words of trained Shamans, Medicine Men and Women, Elders, Teachers, and deserve only honor, respect, and gratitude.
Due to the explanation I outlined above, under the heading of how the animals are acquired, personally, I have developed a belief that the spirits of the animals "connect" with the "energies" left through the touching of the cards by the one asking for the animals to reveal themselves. But, by all means, do your own research on this. If you simply are not comfortable with that explanation, you must find the answers you need. Read books, surf the net for information, ask questions, visit Indian museums, whatever. That's how ya learn! And you have an obligation to share, to pass on to others whatever you learn. There are so MANY of us that have so MUCH to learn! We must help each other.
Significance of the Nine Totem Animals
The list of significances that follows is taken verbatim from a page of the book, "Medicine Cards - The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals," by Jamie Sams and David Carson. See my Medicine Wheel Way page for ordering information. It's in the section where my book recommendations are.
I also highly recommend that you have a reasonably good dictionary close at hand to look up any descriptive words used here or in the book that are not crystal clear to you in meaning. There is such depth to the way this book is written. Bear with me while I go a little off course here to use a Mark Twain quote, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightening bug and the LIGHTENING! It really won't seem to you like some bothersome, tiresome thing to do, to look up a few words, once you see how much better you "get it" on certain things expressed by the great writers of this book.
Also understand that sometimes animals that are not among those of your special totems, most certainly will bring messages to you from time-to-time. When any animal presents itself to you in some way that stands out in your mind, whether in a dream or while you are awake, study its Medicine. It has a message for you!
East: The animal in the East guides you to your greatest spiritual challenges and guards your path to illumination.
South: The animal in the South protects the child within and reminds you when to be humble and when to trust, so that innocence will be balanced in your personality.
West: The animal in the West leads you to your personal truth and inner answers. It also shows you the path to your goals.
North: The North animal gives wise councel and reminds you when to speak and when to listen. It also reminds you to be grateful for every blessing every day.
Above: The Above animal teaches you how to honor the Great Star Nation, and reminds you that you came from the stars and to the stars you will return. This animal is also the guardian of the Dreamtime - for your personal access to the other dimensions.
Below: The Below animal teaches you about the inner Earth, and how to stay grounded and on the path.
Within: The Within animal teaches you how to find your heart's joy and how to be faithful to your personal truths. It is also the protector of your sacred space, the place that is yours alone and is never shared except by invitation.
Right Side: This animal protects your male side and teaches you that, no matter where you turn, it will be your Father-protector within. This animal also carries your courage and warrior spirit.
Left Side: This animal is the protector of your female side and teaches you that you must learn to receive abundance as well as to nurture yourself and others. The left-side animal is also your teacher about relationships and mothering.
The Right Side animal and the Left Side animal are always with you. ALL of us carry male AND female essences within us, and the two related animal spirits are with you at all times. Not all people, but some people already know who these animals are, or who at least one of them is. During the revealing ceremony explained above, special consideration is given concerning these particular two animal totems. When it is time for animals of these Directions to be revealed, you may simply state aloud who they are, should you already, and without a doubt, know which animal it is for which Direction. It is highly unwise and extremely disrespectful to proceed with a "ceremonial" revealing if you already know. If your feelings, truly, are not that strong about it, then the wise thing to do is to put your trust into the ceremony.
Quote:Finally, I also found this about Native American Totem Animals to be informative:
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.
East: The animal in the East direction guides you to your greatest spiritual challenges and guards your path to enlightenment. South: The animal to your South protects the child within and reminds you when to be humble and when to trust, so that innocence will be balanced in your character.
West: The animal in the West position leads you to your personal truth and inner answers. It also shows you the path of your goals.
North: The North animal gives wise counsel and reminds you when to speak and when to listen. It also reminds you to be grateful for your every day blessings.
Above: The animal Above will teach you to honor the Great Star Nation, it will also remind you that you came from the stars and to the stars you will return. The animal is also the sentinel of the Dreamtime; your personal access to the other dimensions.
Below: The animal Below will teach you about the inner Earth, and how to stay grounded on your pathway.
Within: The animal Within will teach you how to find your happiness and to be faithful to your personal truths. It's also the guardian of your sacred space, the place that is yours alone and is never shared except by invitation.
Right Side: The animal to your Right protects your male side and teaches you that, no matter where you turn, it will be your Father Protector within. This animal also carries your courage and warriors spirit.
Left Side: The animal to your Left is the protector of your female side and teaches you that you must learn to receive abundance as well as to nurture your self and others. The Left- side animal is also your teacher about relationships and mothering. 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.
Quote:Please feel free to corect any inaccuracies you see. ">
Through His great love for us the Great Spirit Creator provided each of us with nine guides that would bless us, and walk with us on this Earth Walk which we have chosen
These guides come in the form of
animal totems, and represent the power and medicine which we carry within us...all we need do is recognize and call upon them for the guidance and love which they are waiting to provide.
The animal totems sit in the 4 cardinal directions (East, South, West, and North) they also dwell in the 3 spiritual directions
(above, below and within)
East: The guide that presents us our spiritual challenges, and guards our path as walk the Trail to Wisdom
South: This animal protects that child that dwells within each of our spirits, and teaches us to find the balance of humility and sacred trust.. This animal brings to us the quality of innocence .
West: From this animal we learn our personal truth, and find our answers that reside within. This animal will show us the path to reach our personal goals
North: The animal in the North brings with it wise counsel, and teaches us when to speak, and when to listen. With this animal comes the ability and wisdom to recognize and be grateful for the blessings which are bestowed upon us each day.
Above: The guide which dwells above is our teacher about the Great Star Nation, and shows us the way to honor those Great Spirits which come from the stars. This animal is a constant reminder that you came from the stars and to the stars you shall return. The spirit which Walks Above is the guardian of you in the Dreamtime, and will guide you as you walk to the other dimensions, and explore the expanse of the other worlds.
Below: This is your spirit of the inner Earth, and will teach you the ways of keeping yourself grounded, and your moccasins on the path.
Within: This is the way to finding the joy that your heart, soul, and spirit desire on this walk. The spirit from within shows you how to be faithful and true to yourself. This animal is the protector of that sacred space which is yours alone, and no one else can enter without your permission
The animal which walks with us on our right side is the protector of our female side (note that this seems not to be right to me ~ Sister Cyber), and teaches us the value of loving, and caring for ourselves in a nurturing way.
From this animal we are to learn to receive the abundance that Grandfather has provided for us.
There is also a totem animal which walks with us on the left side, and protects our male side (note that this seems not to be right to me ~ Sister Cyber) , and teaches us that Grandfather is there to protect and guide us at all times, this animal also carries our warrior spirit, and provides us with the courage to walk our walk upon our path.
*Edited for indexing