Totem Animals

Page 158

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By CinnamonMoon

Squirrelly © Gloria Hazell (Dragonfly Dezignz) 2001

*Ted Andrews/Animal-Speak:
Keynote: Activity and Preparedness
Cycle of Power: Year-round

Everyone is familiar with the squirrel. It is a member of the rodent family, and is often seen
scurrying about, as if always busy or bursting with nervous energy. Squirrels can be quite
sociable, but they don't like strange squirrels. They are often observed scrounging about for food
and digging holes in the earth and storing nuts and other food sources for later times. Their keen
sense of smell will enable them to find their stored caches even if they do forget where they
buried their nuts.

There are two main types of squirrels, the gray and the red. There is also a black squirrel which
is a more aggressive strain of the gray. The gray is found most often within the city, while the
red is found more commonly in forests and woods.

There is also the flying squirrel, which does not really fly. Its skin stretches and enables it to
glide from tree to ground or tree to tree. Unlike the gray and the red, it is nocturnal. It strongly
dislikes being disturbed during the day. Owls are usually the flying squirrel's chief predators.
Red squirrels are the sentinels of the forest. They chatter and scold when strangers appear. It
seems as if they are literally reporting the news to all who can hear. The red squirrel is more
aggressive and is usually a much better fighter than the larger gray. The marten is the red
squirrel's most dangerous enemy, and it should be studied as well. Red squirrels usually have two
litters per year, with two to seven young. Within twelve weeks of birth they are usually capable
of being on their own. This twelve-week cycle would be good to examine in regard to your own
life, if red squirrel has come to you.

The gray squirrel is the most common and the most enthusiastic. Like all squirrels, it does not
hibernate. It builds its nests in the hollows of trees or in tree-tops. The nests are usually ballshaped,
and the entrance is on the side. Even though it is bigger than the red, if confronted the
gray will usually run and avoid any fight. Its predominant predators are foxes and raptors such as
the owl and hawk. Gray squirrels, like the red, usually have two litters per year, and they are
usually able to be on their own in about twelve weeks.

All squirrels can be quite sociable. They wrestle for play, and they are extremely observant and
imitative. This imitation of other squirrels is how they learn. Individuals with squirrel totems
learn best by doing rather than by studying.

Squirrels are also quite communicative. Their chatter can often be heard in the trees when
disturbed or playing. Their bushy tail adds to their expressiveness, along with providing warmth,
shade, and balance. The squirrel will often express emotion through flicks of its tail.

Every squirrel is unique, and its medicine will be activated differently for everyone. If squirrel
has scampered into your life, examine your own activity and preparedness. Are you too active?
Not active enough? Are you not planning at all for the future, distant or near? Are you becoming
too erratic--running to and fro and not accomplishing anything? Do you need to learn how to
save and ration on any level--including time, money, energy, etc.? Are you afraid you will never
have enough? Are you getting too hung up on collecting and accumulating? Are you gathering
and not giving?

Squirrels can teach us balance within the circle of gathering and giving out. If we are doing too
much of one or the other, squirrel may appear to help us. Squirrels are the masters at preparing
but they also are reminders that in our quest for our goals, we should always make time to
socialize and play. Work and play go hand-in-hand, or the work will create problems and
become more difficult and less fruitful.

*Ted Andrews/Animal-Wise:
During the winter months, a squirrel makes a drey (nest) close to the tree trunk. In the spring, a
new one is built farther out in the branches. This is where the young are born and raised.
If squirrels appear to you, in the winter you might want to keep your activities sheltered and
solidly balanced (trunk of the tree)l In the spring, you might want to move your new activities
away from areas of your usual ones to protect them from predators and other dangers until they
are more mature (the second nest for young in the outer branches).

*Lady Stearn Robinson & Tom Gorbett/The Dreamer's Dictionary:
The omen in a dream featuring squirrels varies according to the action. If you fed them or
observed them eating or carrying nuts away, it signifies comfort through prudence and diligence;
to see them running or chasing each other aimlessly suggests you are heavily involved in a
profitless love or business affair which you would be wise to forget about; to see squirrels
running up--or sitting in--a tree is a warning of possible financial embarrassment; pull in your
belt before you stretch your credit to the breaking point.

*Zolar/Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions:
Generally held is the belief that shooting a squirrel will bring bad luck to the hunter.
Legend holds that the squirrel was the only animal to witness Adam's eating of the apple in the
Garden of Eden. As the story goes, the squirrel at that time had the tail of a rat. So horror-struck
was he by seeing this sight, that he drew his tail across his eyes to shut it out. As a reward, all
squirrels were henceforth given the thick brush of a tail they now possess.

*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Squirrel refers to the act of hoarding. Depending on the dreamscape's associated details, this
symbol may indicate a "need" to reserve something or it may reflect a warning against retaining
too much.

*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
This can be a sign of frugality and of comfort through patience. The squirrel gathers nuts and
foodstuffs for the winter. This sign can be telling you to make preparations for the leaner times in
life by stockpiling and storing. This can also pertain to stockpiling your energy or to creating a
reserve of energy within yourself. Be prepared.

*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
There are a wide variety of squirrels in both the United States and Europe. The word squirrel, a
rodent of the family Sciuridae, is used to mean such creatures as chipmunks, ground squirrels,
prairie dogs, and woodchucks. However, the word usually refers to the tree-dwelling species.
Squirrels are often quite intelligent when it comes to eluding hunters. They have been known to
move slowly around a tree trunk, always keeping the hunter on the opposite side.

The tree squirrel has a long bushy tail and hoards nuts for Winter. It is known for its nervous
movements, rapid flight, sudden appearances and disappearances. The expression "bright-eyed
and bushy-tailed" comes from the characteristics of this squirrel.

The squirrel was an emblem of the Irish queen Medb. There is an old Scandinavian legend that
the squirrel is a messenger of the gods and carries news of what is going on in the world to
animals in distant lands. The squirrel Ratatosk was said to dwell in the Scandinavian-Norse
World Tree. Tatatosk was a mischief-maker, carrying gossip from one place to another.

Squirrels are quite clever when it comes to handling hunting cats. Several squirrels live in Rod's
yard and enjoy tormenting his cat Brigit. One or two of the squirrels will keep her busy while the
others continue to pack off walnuts. They seem to take the whole affair as a game.
Superstitions: In some parts of Europe it is said you will lose your hunting skill if you kill a squirrel.

Magickal attributes:
Preparing for the future by storing up time, resources, and energy; resting during unproductive
times. Moving to a higher level of consciousness to avoid harassment. Sometimes its appearance
means changes or the approach of adversaries. Warning, wisdom, change, trust, discovery, truth,
balance, harmony. Use as a spiritual watch-dog to warn you of danger on any level.

*Jamie Sams & David Carson/Medicine Cards:
Gathering. Squirrel teaches you to plan ahead for the winter when the trees are bare and the nuts
have long since disappeared. Squirrel medicine can come in many forms, as this furry creature is
very diverse in nature. The erratic behavior of Squirrel has bested many a forlorn hunter, and it
thus stands to reason that there are benefits to being able to circle a branch at lightning speed.
This erratic behavior of Squirrel can also get nerve-wracking if you are dealing with persons who
have Squirrel medicine. Trying to calm them down enough to accomplish something may drive
you nuts!

The gathering power of Squirrel medicine is a great gift. It teaches you how to gather and store
your energy for times of need. It teaches you to reserve something for future use, whether it be a
judgment, an opinion, a savings account, candles, or extra food. To put it in a nutshell, Squirrel is
the Boy Scout of the animal kingdom--always prepared.

In today's world of changing times and fortunes, it is the wise person who prepares for the future.
Our prophesies have all spoken of the end of the millennium and the changes to come. Squirrel is
a friendly medicine to have, in light of possible future rainy days. Its message is to be prepared,
but not to go nuts with it. Love yourself enough to gather the goods that will meet your needs in
times of scarcity, even if that time never comes.

If Squirrel has scurried into your cards today, it may be that you are being told to honor your
future by readying yourself for change. The message could be to lighten your load if you have
gathered too many "things" that do not serve you. These "things" can include thoughts, worries,
pressures, stresses, or gadgets taht have been broken for years. In understanding the balance
involved in gathering, you need to look at the idea of circulating the stock of what you have
gathered. Call the nearest thrift store and give the gadgets to someone who can benefit from
them. If something no longer "grows corn" for you, then it is time to let it go.

Squirrel has another lesson which can aid you if you observe what is obvious, and which can
prepare you for anything. It has to do with the safe place in which to put your gatherings. This
safe place is an untroubled heart and mind, and that which is gathered to put in this place of
wisdom and caring. The energies gathered will set your mind and heart free, so that you will
know that all will be taken care of in its own time. Apply this to your fears about the future and
they will vanish.

Contrary: The contrary medicine of Squirrel is the hoarder: a fearful person who expects the
worst and is stuck in waiting. Waiting for something to happen is the trap. No action equals
stagnation, but a little of Squirrel's erratic energy might get things moving. If Squirrel is hanging
upside down on your branch, you may have begun seeing the world through opposites, hoarding
your thoughts of abundance so that fear of scarcity takes hold. You may ask yourself:

1) Have I denied my ability to produce enough space for abundance to enter my life?
2) Have I denied my connection to the Earth Mother, from whom all things flow?
3) In moving too fast, have I taken on the erratic nature of Squirrel without having any focus?
4) Am I leaking my energy on worry instead of gathering power through being prepared?

Remember, one of the Squirrel family gathered the energy of Eagle and connected to the Great
Spirit...now this Squirrel can fly.

*Timothy Roderick/The Once Unknown Familiar:
If a squirrel runs across the road in front of you, it means good luck and wealth are going to be
yours soon.
Key Words: Precise, exacting, clever
Magical Influences: Wisdom, perfect timing, creates beneficial coincidences
Personality: Squirrels love to be free. They are watchful of their home and personal belongings.
Squirrels have the capacity to figure out how things work. Once a squirrel absorbs information it
needs, it then can take action--but not until it knows the ground rules does it feel comfortable.


A brief story: Last night my neighbor came to me to please help a baby squirrel that was laying
on the side of the road crying. When I approached the squirrel was seizing and whimpering. I
crouched down and stroked it's small head, it was obvious that it had been hit and was soon to
pass over... I laid my hand on its side and opened up my Reiki telling the little one it was time to
let go and that it was all okay... I sat with it for about 5 minutes - the seizing stopped and it got
calm but still hung on suffering terribly, from the pitiful whimpers that were coming from the
poor thing. SW drove up on his way home from work and he took it home ... he quickly put it out
of its misery and buried it in our back yard... my heart is heavy when I see an animal like
this...especially squirrel who I feed in my yard and who make me laugh and giggle at their
antics... However, I am feeling a lesson in this incident ... and I see it as this: I need to let go of
the stresses that are building up in my life - the stress of worrying whether or not SW will go to
jail because of a vindictive wife has really been wearing on me. Deep down I don't believe they
have a case, but the charges are serious nonetheless. I know that I need to be taking care of
myself and in that I will be of more help to him...for the wee grey one that it's little spirit is
frolicking away in Spirit's homeland in trees that are chock full of acorns ... thank you wee grey
one for touching my life for a moment yesterday... and trusting me enough to help you pass...


I was sitting in the side yard at my best friend's mother's house this weekend Sunday and
something caught my view in to my right on the grass. I looked at it was a squirrel. I had been
thinking about Jimmy WhiteBear's last post to me, and my response in sending him to the
Welcome Center for the answer to his question.

So I see this squirrel and said to myself, "Hey! An animal! Surely a totem in the eyes of Spirit
Lodge.... Let me see what I can get out of this...." The squirrel nibbled something on the ground.
I said, "Hey squirrel, do you have something to tell me?" Just watched it. It didn't move fast. It
was very casual and walked closer to me. Then it went towards the house across the yard, and I
was thinking "Umm... what direction is that?! Err... Geez I dunno!" You see, I've never been
good at determining East, West, North and South.

I sighed *sigh* No sense in trying to figure out anything by observing the direction he/she went
in (a little to the left ~ I guess Northwest from where I sat on the stoop in the side yard, but I
don't even know which way is East from there. Anyway, the squirrel left. Then I noticed where
by the spot where the squirrel took its route to leave, I noticed the shadow the tree was casting in
the grass. It looked like a bird. I started looking at the other shadows in the grass ~ didn't see
anything really interesting though. So I went back in the house.


Squirrel (when it is running in circles) is about finding one's direction. Since you couldn't place
the directions you found the need for a compass and it's on your list now. A landmark you can
refer to helps too. Like something (A hill or skyscraper perhaps?) to the North will always let
you know where you are when you spot it. But we're all pointing you in the direction of Air/East
on the Wheel to start your cornerstone of building blocks. A hint to do that perhaps ... and to buy
that compass? Squirrel also puts nuts away *everywhere* and often forgets where they are
stored. So it runs in circles looking for them. Again lost directions. The message to you from
Squirrel, from what I see, is addressing this one issue at the moment...the starting place. If that
feels right to you, then trust it and see where it takes you, SisterCyber.


That's what I did with my poems. That's why I cannot find them now when I want them. I just
moved back into my Grandmother’s house (mine now) and a lot of stuff is still in boxes. I
thought I knew where to look when I went but I cannot find them. I will be scurrying tonight
though! I didn't get that feeling from the experience ~ what you said. The biggest thing that stood
out for me in that happening with the squirrel, was the shadow in the grass of the bird that the
tree cast where the squirrel was. I stared at it for a while. Don't know what that means, except I
do remember that the eagle is the spirit of the east, and yes, I will be working with that.... In my
first dance....


"That's what I did with my poems."
I saw that. I do hope you can find them.
"I didn't get that feeling from the experience ~ what you said."
Perhaps you will see it a little later on?

"The biggest thing that stood out for me in that happening with the squirrel, was the shadow in
the grass of the bird that the tree cast where the squirrel was. I stared at it for a while. Don't
know what that means, except I do remember that the eagle is the spirit of the east, and yes, I
will be working with that.... In my first dance...."

Wonderful! But the shadow of the bird may well have been the shadow of the bird in your poem
too. See where this takes you. Your own symbology is starting to guide the way. It will come to
light if you keep going and I think you're making a very good start on that process right now.
Good luck finding the poems, I'm sure there are things that will click for you when you do.

This is interesting. My best friend's aunt's husband passed away and this morning was the
funeral. I happened to share with him the information about the Nine Totem Animals (just to
prep him... hehehe...) and he thought it was interesting. (He's Christian, but doesn't go to church
or anything).

He just called me and said, "So what does Squirrel say?" I said, "Huh?" He said, "Squirrel is an
animal, right?" I said, "Oh! Yes, it is a totem ~ I'm impressed at you! Why? Did you see Squirrel
today?" and he told me that at the church, a squirrel ran up the steps of the church, in the middle
of all the people, then ran back down, into the bushes and poked it's head out.

That's odd, to me, because they don't typically run up to just ONE person, let alone a crowd of
people. What do you think? I told him I have information on Squirrel that he can read later when
I get home, but I was impressed that it crossed his mind, like when I was beginning to learn
about totems and I recognized "Squirrel" as a totem rather than just a squirrel. Well, I am still
"beginning" to learn about totems... hehehe...

But isn't that weird? Maybe Carl (the deceased) had Squirrel as a totem? Is Squirrel a messenger
of some sort? Telling them to get ready for the future? Was it an omen of some kind? Any
thoughts or impressions?


Share the information with him. Let him sit with it, then ask him what he feels Squirrel was
saying to him. That's where his message was hidden. The two of you can work on it together.


I thought so too, and I told him I'd let him read what I have (from here, of course) so he can see
if something in it clicks for him. I was a little surprised that he is so "okay" with my exploring
"this way" ~ he's very open!


Squirrel represents preparation, resources, and energy; wisdom, timing, and freedom; activity,
communication, and gathering.

When Squirrel comes chattering into your life, scurrying around and drawing your attention to a
given situation or set of circumstances, it is time to take heed. Squirrel knows when to prepare
and draw upon all available resources gathering information or supplies to sustain her. She
signals a move to a higher state of awareness by dancing in the upper branches of a tree or
scurrying along a high wire. The need to be alert to your immediate surroundings comes from
the sound of her chittering voice. Her curiosity will urge you to discover the intricate workings
within your environment and projects. her enthusiasm and playful actions demonstrate her
ability to draw pleasure as she scampers and circles the tree of life to explore all its possibilities
while balancing work with play.

The "Squirrely behavior" or erratic characteristics she displays are all warning signs of danger
and caution in a given situation. Her expenditure of energy at these times can be amazing and
very tiresome. Still, she does find a way to get your attention. her need to have reserves includes
the energy she uses so she will teach you to do the same for just such times. She wants you to see
that it is important to always be prepared for changes that are sure to come, even if they are not
immediately seen, she knows they will arrive soon enough. She tells you not to become
preoccupied with the gathering but to make it a part of your routine saving what you will need.


This morning I didn't make coffee at home; I went out to buy a cup from the deli a few blocks
away. On my way back, I heard this loud chittering sound and wondered, "What kind of an
animal is making THAT sound?!" As I was passing by the dentist's office on one corner, I saw
the noise; a squirrel was standing on the flat part of a fence that goes around the property. I

It was "odd" as CinnamonMoon 1 noted in the article about animals and tools. It's not very odd
for me to see squirrels, but I remembered that she mentioned out-of-the-ordinary things they
might do to get our attention, plus seeing them in 3s. Well I'd only seen the one sitting where "it
didn't belong" hollering like I've never heard a squirrel do. So I passed by it by about a foot, and
instead of jumping down and running away as they tend to do when people get too close, it stood
there! So I laughed again. I said, "Hey Squirrel... I see you, okay? What's up squirrely? He turned
around on the rail and looked at me!

I got a little nervous, because although as a kid, I'd play with squirrels, chitter with them and
they'd come close too, until my Stepmom yelled at me not to mess with them; that they had
rabies and if one bit me I'd get 10 shots in my belly button with a really long needle and probably
die... well, since then, I've kept my distance from squirrels, and I did feel some adrenaline
pumping when the squirrel turned and looked at me. It didn't come closer though. I had to go, so
I thanked it and as I was walking to the end of the corner, I saw the squirrel it was chittering at in
the grass on the dentist's property... I said, "Two squirrels..." Then when I got to the corner, a
squirrel was crossing from the sidewalk to the dentist's property... 3 squirrels....

I've got to re-read the info on it, but I remember a lot. I wonder what the message for me was in
this case though...I must say, I am becoming more aware of a LOT these days. It's a good
feeling; almost like being in a new world... experiencing it as a child again...


And it's the child-like (not child-ish) wonder that keeps the doors open. Enjoy!!!


The child-like sense of openness and wonder is sooo healing!
“…that they had rabies and if one bit me I'd get 10 shots in my belly button with a really long
needle and probably die...” When I read that, I just wanted to swoop the little girl Sister Cyber up
and hug her and tell her stepmother to shoo, and to not put lies and fears into young Sister
Cyber's head. Darn it. Please do take your time to get reacquainted with squirrel. Do you know
that when you become more familiar with them, they show you their secret paths and highways?
They also show you which nut trees there might be in your area. *grin*


Cedar Rose/Mouse, thanks for pointing that out. I was quite disappointed with the overwhelming
feeling of apprehension at being so physically close to the squirrel (on eye-level; he was on top
of the flat part of the rail fence) and the uneasiness I felt when the squirrel turned to look at
me.... I kinda felt like, you know, when you stare at a dog or even a cat in the eye, it can turn out
to be a "battle of who is dominant" (at least I've experienced this) and the one who breaks the
stare first loses... Well with this squirrel, I lost! I felt like if I continued to look it its eyes, it might
jump and attack me; grab me on my face and bite my forehead or something.

My stepmom did put thoughts like that in my mind, and I've held them, though I do know for
myself that when I was a kid playing with them, none ever bit or attacked me. My stepmother has
great power, huh?

“All squirrels can be quite sociable.”

When I initially DID look in the squirrel's eye (first his right one, then when he turned, his left
one) I was okay; I really wanted to know whatever message he wanted for me to have; so much
that I even felt like a very strong surge in my solar-plexus when I was internally pleading to the
spirit (essence?) of the squirrel. But then I got scared and backed up and left; had to go
anyway...I sure do need to work on this issue I have with squirrels! Are you sure they don't bite?
Anything you can suggest to help me get past this wall? Hmm...Maybe I can leave some nuts on
my porch or something so that I'd be sure to see one now and then, and practice my social skills
with it!

I was really upset because of the fear that kept me from getting what the squirrel had for me.
Maybe... Maybe the squirrel knew my problem and gave me a message anyway. I've reread the
information, and I can see that I do need to store up some things (energy) and I do need to get
rid of some things that I no longer use. I've been working on it over the past few weeks. But I
*could* put more enthusiastic effort into sorting through things to get rid of, instead of being so
lazy about it....

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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