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Some of the links for the 197 pages in this Totem Animals section
are below. For the rest please go HERE
The Nine Totems
My "Medicine Cards" and the book by Jamie Sams and
David Carson (revised, expanded
edition) arrived! You might have noticed from a few recent posts
that I've been reading it....
Well, this morning I read the Chapter on the Nine Totem Animals
and guess what? I wanna
know what will come up for me!!! It indicated that I should
"quiet myself first" and ask nicely
for my "creature" guides and helpers to guide my hands
to their cards. Then it describes how to
pull and place the cards for each totem animal in each of the
Seven Sacred Directions (East,
South, West, North, Above, Below and Within) and what they mean.
Then it said something
about after I do this, I should not do it again because THOSE
power animals *are* "my"
medicine. Then it touched on the last two power animals that
walk on my right and left, but it
never described "how" to draw these two cards, nor
where they should be placed. Is there
anything I should be doing or asking before I draw those cards?
Is the one meant for the animal
to my right drawn first, or is the left drawn first? Any help
you can offer on how this should be
done would be appreciated ~ since I should only do it once,
I'd rather do it correctly. I didn't see
anything about burning incense or anything else, but if the
book is missing something that oral
tradition does not leave out, could you let me know? I won't
be doing it this week, I don't think. I
want to read more of the book before I actually sit down to
ask my Nine Totem Animals to
reveal themselves to me.
And let me add to this SC, that the results are not going to
necessarily be exact. I know what my
Totems are and did this when I got the book too. I wanted to
compare the results, some were
accurate, others were not. The most accurate way of getting
to know your Totems is to journey
and meet them. They come to you. So to draw cards to determine
them is to start with a group of
creature-teachers that will either confirm or invalidate them
for you as you experience their
influence in your life. Do this as an exercise, read the information
on the animals that come up
and see if it "fits" you or not. That will help too.
It's a great exercise to get started with, but to
say it is concrete or totally accurate, I struggle with that
one personally. My Totems have all
made themselves known to me in ways they contrived and they
have all appeared either in vision,
dreams, journeys, or the physical reality on some level. That
is what will define things more
clearly for you. Over time the true Totems will step forward
as your spiritual path develops
more. Please do not see these as carved in stone, see them as
a scavenger hunt to find who is
real and who is not. Some will come forward to act as initializing
Guides to get you on the right
track or deal with issues currently before you and then they
will leave to let the true Totems
come forward. Totems are with us at all times, the Guides and
Teachers will change as needed.
Well, the book only talks about "how" to draw and
place the first seven cards, representing my
Totem Animals in the Seven Sacred Directions. But it doesn't
say "how" to draw and place the
last two which make up the Nine Totem Animals. Don't know if
the "right" one is drawn first,
nor where it should be "placed" in the arc among the
first seven. Don't know whether the "left"
one is drawn first. The last two, not knowing which is which,
might cause a little confusing
unless I know which is meant to be which. (that sounds confusing
Sister C Funny this should come up so soon after I re-found
all my old diaries with all this stuff
in. I took the left hand first by the look of things, I presume
it must have because I always "feel"
cards with my "taking hand" i.e. my left hand, so
that would be the one I would naturally take
first. The animal I got for the left is an animal with intuitive
i.e. "feminine" medicines (left side of
our body being feminine) and the animal I got for the right
is a masculine medicines (right side
of our body is masculine) Despite the fact its the opposite
way around for the brain: right is
intuitive (feminine) and left is masculine, as you are new to
this and working with a "physical"
media (as opposed to purely intuitive processes) I would take
the "physical" attributes not the
"thought" attributes of right and left.
Maybe a better way if you are not happy with not knowing "for
sure" would be to take the two
cards and see which seems to apply most to which side: i.e.
anything inward (intuitive) is
feminine and anything "out with you" is masculine.
For instance if you were to draw Otter or
Bear, to me they would be feminine, but if you were to draw
Mountain Lion or Horse they would
be masculine. The former tells you more about the inner you,
the latter more about how you
should behave in the outer world.
I later got some different animals in meditation, but as a starting
point I think the cards are good
in that they teach us how to work with totems.
Interesting Wolfie as Mountain Lion comes across as feminine
to me. Personally I would not
attribute each type of animal a gender (otters as feminine,
etc.), I go by the energy of each
individual Guide. As in Mountain Lion just made itself known
to me recently with a female
"vibe" so to speak- which is why I consider it feminine.
The only exceptions to that are animals that we consider to
be separate along gender lines. Not
sure if that's the best way to put it-brain decided it didn't
want to think in words. :gr What I mean
is how most people don't bother considering certain animals
as part of the same species- bulls
and cows for instance, or chickens and roosters. Chickens and
cows are both feminine and
roosters and bulls are both masculine. If you get the opposite,
then who am I to judge the
preferences of our Guides?
My take on the cards is that they will give you a starting point
in finding out who your Guides
are- regardless of their permanence. Like Cinn said, you may
find that one or two do in fact stay
with you for life, but the others may only be walking with you
for a little while. Journeying is
your best bet of finding them. You can ask for validation- they
have no problem verifying it for
you, just don't expect it to be immediate. In addition to centering
I would add that you make sure
that you can meditate for about 20 min. You need to make sure
that you can get fully into the
meditation and then let them come to you.
SC, the last two are to your left and right side (sacred feminine
and masculine sides). All Totems
have either a masculine or feminine nature and we can have either
gender in those that come to
us. I have two Big Cats that work with me on a regular basis,
one is male, the other female so it's
not the species that determines their nature. When studying
any animal it is a good idea to study
the traits of both the male and female to better understand
them and the one you are working
with. It doesn't matter which side the female or male walks
on, that's interchangeable as far as
gender nature goes. It depends on the type of balancing energy
and natures you require. Often
one Totem will complement the other, they make up for weaknesses
and enhance strengths.
I agree Cinn, both should be studied. To me some medicines are
predominantly more about how
we gain inner knowledge and some are more predominantly about
how we sustain ourselves in
the outer world. Both are interchangeable, and both have aspects
of the other like Ying and
Yang, but some animals speak to me first about either one aspect
or the other. Thats all I was
saying. As to whether Mountain Lion comes to a particular person
as a female or male
wouldn't have thought that that would affect the medicine they
bring, well not when we first start
looking at totems at any rate.
SisterCyber, I understand ~ thanks. There actually are a few
that I believe are my true totems, from their
descriptions both here and in the book that came with the Medicine
Cards, and particularly the
"personalities or qualities" fit for me when I look
at their significance ~ brought lots of nods,
recognition, lots of understanding and general enlightenment.
Because they are so true to me, I
do not think I should "chuck" those at all. Just some
snippits of what I mean.
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 spirits
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
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 Knowledge 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 knowledge, over time,
were dying out. When it came time for the Knowledge 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
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
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 counsel and reminds
you when to speak and when to listen.
It also reminds you to be grateful for every blessing every
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
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.
Here is a bit more information on The Nine Animal Totems
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 yourself. Your
opinions of yourself 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
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
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
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.
Finally, I also found this about Native American Totem Animals
to be informative: 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.
Please feel free to correct any inaccuracies you see. I do need
to add a note that it was highly
stressed to me that when using the Medicine Cards, you should
keep in mind that not every
single living creature is represented in them, and that any
of your true totems may be of the
creature beings not described or represented in the cards, so
you may want to remain open until
(or if) they reveal themselves to you.
Copyright: Cinnamon Moon & River WildFire Moon (Founders.)
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