Totem Animals

Page 182

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By CinnamonMoon

*Ted Andrews/Animal-Wise
Humpback Whale:
Whales are of two categories, toothed or baleen. Toothed whales have sharp teeth by which they
catch and eat fish and other marine animals. Baleen whales do not have teeth. Their mouths are
lined with bony plates of hard keratin. They strain seawater through these plates, feeding on
plankton or the sea life within it. The humpback whale is a baleen.

Most noted for its wonderful song, the beautiful sounds sung by males. Each breeding season
brings with it corresponding changes in the Whale's songs, reflecting the ability for the whale to
teach us how to create through song and sounds---adjusting it to the time, place, and individual.
Singing is one of our most powerful and creative acts, linking us to the underlying substance and
being, and is a means by which we can enter into a relationship with our most spiritual powers
and abilities. It awakens our healing energies.

Whales have a form of echo-location or sonar. This sensitivity to sound links the humpback
whale to the primal creative sounds of life. Sound is the creative force of life. Humpback whale
teaches us how to direct it and respond to its feedback. This can be used to tap hidden levels of
our mind and even to accelerate the manifesting of our goals.

Unlike the sociable sperm whale, the humpback whale lives in a very loose and changing group
of about 4-10 whales where the most stable and longest lasting relationship is between mother
and calf. They remain close to each other for up to a year. When the humpback appears, there is
usually a year cycle at play in which our creative powers of sound and voice will develop. We
will find ways to use our voice more effectively in all aspects of our life.

Humpbacks usually give birth to one whale. The umbilical cord is snapped and the young
instinctively come to the surface for their first breath of air. The mother urges the baby to the
surface, pushing the young upwards. These first seconds are crucial because until it fills its lungs
with air, the calf's body is heavier than the water and it is in danger of sinking and drowning.
Often those who have humpbacks as a totem also have someone who is there at new
undertakings, pushing and nudging them to go higher. It is a reminder too that although the first
year of a "new birth" may be difficult, greater strength and independence comes quickly after.
The Gray Whale migrates 26,000 miles every year from feeding grounds to breeding grounds
and back again. Reflecting greater possibilities for ourselves than we may have ever imagined.
Are we using our vocal powers constructively? Are we being unmindful of what we say and how
we say it? Are we hearing what is said beneath the words of others? Are we acting upon our
inspirations? Are we ready to sing forth a new birth in our life?

*Source unknown:
This big creature is a splendid dream omen signifying protective influences around you, and if
you saw the flukes of the tail, freedom from worry will soon be yours.

*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
Whales are the largest sea mammals. They range in size from 20-100' long. The toothless whales
are: the blue, finback, sei, piked, and humpback, gray, right, and bowhead. They eat small
shrimps by straining them out of the water. Toothed whales are: sperm, bottlenose, and killer.
The sperm and bottlenose feed on squid and fish, while the killer will eat seals, fish, porpoises,
large sea birds, and occasionally other whales.

One widespread myth is the story of a hero being swallowed by a whale, then spit out on land at
a later date. This actions represents death and rebirth. It may also be symbolic in telling of the
initiation process for certain ancient Mystery Religions; the initiate was enclosed in a dark place
for three days before being brought forth into the light of the temple. One of the first recorded
sea goddesses connected with this swallowing story was the abylonian Derceto, whose name
means "The Whale of Der". She swallowed, then gave birth to the god Ea-Oannes. One version
of the story of the hero Ilmarinen of finland says he was temporarily swallowed by a giant fish.
The same theme is seen in the Polynesian tale of the hero Nganaoa.

The whale denotes the waters of life and the regeneration process, whether that is by rebirth back
into the physical or awakening in a heavenly realm.

In such vastly separated cultures as the Arabs, the Russians, and the Arctic peoples there were
stories of sailors landing on what they thought was an island and which turned out to be a giant
whale. The Slavonic cultures have a myth of four whales supporting the Earth. The Norse
believed that whales had magick powers and were often the vehicles of witches. In Japan, the
Ainu said that the chief god of the sea rode on a whale. Even parts of the Polynesian culture
honored whales.

Whales were known to the coastal Native Americans. Even though they were hunted by some
tribes as food, they were considered powerful, magickal beings. Whales were thought to be
record Keepers for the Earth.

Superstitions: To see a whale is a sign of good luck, unless it is in a place where it hasn't been
seen before. Then it is a sign of misfortune.

Magickal attributes: The sea, music, long life, family, friends, trust. Developing psychic and
telepathic abilities. Using sound and music to balance and heal. Learning new magick. Working
with Elemental magick.

*Bobby Lake-Thom/Animal Signs and Omens:
The sign of the Whale can be very confusing at times. In northwestern California, for example,
and for some tribes up along the Pacific Northwest Coast, the Whale is a sign of wealth and
prosperity. It is considered a good sign to see one out in the ocean, near the coast. Thus, many
tribal groups performed a welcome ceremony for the Whale when they saw it near the rocky
coastline. They would offer it tobacco and food, such as acorn soup, and make a wish to it for
good luck and wealth. To see a Whale go up a freshwater river, however, is a bad sign. This tells
the people that things are out of balance with Nature, and it is usually a warning that floods or
bad earthquakes are forthcoming. Drought followed by flood too.

To see Whales ramming themselves up on the beach is a bad sign from Nature. It usually means
that a tidal wave or hurricane is forthcoming. Some of the elders carry the message a step further
and say: "When large schools of Whales keep running up on the shore, it is a sign that they are
trying to become land creatures once again; hence it is a sign and warning that the Earth may be
preparing for a complete rotation of its axis. Thus, the tribes should begin plans to move inland,
to higher ground, for protection, and begin to store food and supplies for survival, allowing up to
a decade for preparation.

*Brad Steiger/Totems:
In the language of symbolism, this large aquatic mammal has variously represented the earth, the
physical body of a man, and the final resting place of all humans, the grave. In the mythology of
some cultures, the whale replaces the more common image of the turtle as the creature that
supports the Earth Mother in space.

Queen Semiramis, legendary founder of the city of Babylon, was the daughter of the fish
goddess, Derceto, who appeared as a whale, the Great Fish. There is no St. Jonah, but the whale
is the animal emblem for St. Malo and St. Brendan. In later Christian literature, authors adapted
Matthew's use of Jonah's sojourn in the whale's belly as symbolic of Christ's 3 days in the tomb
and imaginatively transfigured the whale's mighty jaws to represent the gates of Hell.

If you have only recently received the whale as your totem animal through a dream or a vision,
you perhaps noticed that certain of your ESP abilities, especially that of telepathy, began to
increase dramatically. If the whale has been your spirit helper for quite some time, you are very
likely a generous person with keen humanitarian interests and a strong belief of the basic moral
teachings expressed in most of the world's religions.

This totem guide will encourage you to pursue your spiritual development, and at the same time,
to maintain a good balance between your family life and your responsibilities in the workplace.

*Source unknown:
The whale uses sonar to tune in to the surrounding environment. The whale can be a sign of
perception and intuition...use your intuition to tune in to the situations in your life. This is a sign
to connect with your instincts, your creative intuition, and your psychic perceptions. Whale has
tremendous power and strength and yet is gentle and considered nonaggressive. You can access
the inner strength within yourself and still be gentle and loving. This sign may concern the size
of something, as in a "whale of a job". This sign may be a homophone for "wail". Are you
grieving or crying for help?

*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Whale corresponds to a person's spiritual generosity or magnanimity; a giving and compassionat

*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams:
Whale is reflecting a difficult journey to transformation and enlightenment as in the story of
Jonah and the whale. Similar whale myths appear in other cultures too, all of which equate this
creature's belly to a cauldron of change and rebirth, or an initiation.

A whale swimming in deep waters often represents your own search for deeper awareness about
yourself or the universe. A whale spout is a type of air or wind dream, in which you seek out the
breath of life and perhaps a break from being emotionally or empathetically immersed.
Alternatively, this may represent the liberation of positive ideas and energy.

A symbol reflective of the regenerative power of water to refresh your ideas, bring peace and
healing, and smooth out the rough spots in life.

Among the Norse, whales have magical power all their own, and would sometimes carry witches
to their destination. So, a whale surfacing from the ocean depths may indicate a surfacing interest
in, or ability with, the occult arts.

Whales have sonar like that of dolphins, making them an emblem of "sounding things out" and
knowing your direction in life. The humpback whale, specifically, reflects finding your own
song; a harmony that mirrors your soul, especially with regard to the way you interact in
relationships. The song of the humpback changes every breeding season, reflecting the
environmental changes that surround it.

*Source not noted:
Whale is about precision, intellect, and spirituality. Magical influences are telepathic
communication, ability to resolve personal emotional blockages, summons the aid of undines and
mermaids, deep mysteries revealed. The personality is usually humanitarian, evidencing a high
level of moral development. Whales tend to have heady, dry, or ironic senses of humor. They
need to release pent-up anger through physical activity. Whales are intrigued with issues of
spiritual development and enjoy philosophies that engender cross-cultural universal truths.


Cinnamon, thanks for the information about Whales. They are very special creatures and have
strong personalities. In the west I typically see a very old female Humpback (Grandmother)
along with a young male Orca and a giant Sea Tortoise. The male Orca is always excited and
racing around, the Sea Tortoise always grabs my left wrist. Often I sit protected from the sun
under her shell. One can sense that her neck skin is pliable yet so strong. She is around when I
need to slow down. Orca is around when the day will be extremely active and the Humpback
calls me inward. I don't know her well yet. There is a depth to her eyes that draws me to her
much like to Black Jaguar eyes; but in his I see galaxies/cosmos. It’s an outward expansion but
with the humpback Whales eyes I see or feel a knowing or depths of something but to what I
don't know. It's like an abyss of knowing and that seem contradictory. But her energy and
knowledge seems to have a gentle quality to it or maybe it is just her feel.

Nevertheless, I like the Whale(s) and the giant Sea Tortoise a lot. I can usually tell what my day
will be like emotionally by the interaction of these three in the morning. Does anyone else
interact with Whales?


I have 3 Whales I work with so I know what you mean. They draw you in, teaching you how to
use your own senses as sonar. *S* And your intuition. I love them and I'm glad the information
helped you. Hopefully soon you'll be understanding your Humpback better. Think of diving into
the depths of self as deeply as a Whale dives into the ocean *S*! Give it a shot and see if that
opens things up for you a bit. I'll see what I can find on Sea Tortoise for you. Probably


Earthwalker, that is a powerful interaction you have there! Thank you for sharing.
I feel particularly drawn to the Beluga and the Orca. I've communicated with the Beluga at an
aquarium on the mainland on the occasions we were there. The Orca's energy is very tangible on
the island here. Orca swims around both ways, through the Pacific, and through the strait. I've
seen Orca from the ferry twice now, which is apparently "rare".

I feel that Beluga will reveal her/himself to me at some point. I feel it's a young Beluga, but
haven't actually interacted or even seen him/her.

My mother had a most beautiful interaction with a humpback when she was in Hawaii (Maui);
she and a friend went out kayaking and stopped to swim with a group of dolphins. My mother
was nudged to kayak a bit further, so she did. When she got into the water, a humpback almost
immediately came alongside her, as did the dolphins. They were together there for about 10
minutes. It was one of the most magical moments in her life so far.


The Whales and Tortoise are special to me. I have only seen in images a beluga once but they are
beautiful and I think they are a favorite. I have an acquaintance that sculpts whales. He is a
marvelous artist and catches their motion in wood. When he went to California to film them so
he could see their motion he had an experience similar to you mothers. A Humpback came up
and put its head on the side of their rubber raft. At first he was startled and then was allowed to
rub her head; it was a life changing event for him and from that day forward he has dedicated his
career to the Whales.

I have also sailed off the cost of northern Nova Scotia. We only got to see fin whales but they
were only two feet from the edge of the sail boat that was tipped to about 6 inches above the
water. They are absolutely beautiful creatures and are quite playful.

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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