Totem Animals

Page 21

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By CinnamonMoon

I have walked with the awareness of Buffalo Medicine for many years now. She first came to me
when I was introduced to the indigenous teachings that have guided my path of service to Spirit
and All My Relations. I walk two paths simultaneously: The Rainbow Path and The Path of the
Feather. Buffalo is the Spirit Keeper of the Rainbow Path. Hopefully my own understanding
will prove helpful to those looking into its teachings as you embrace and assimilate your own
lessons as this creature-teacher touches you. There isn't space here for the years of teachings I've
received but I can touch on them and if you want more from me on any aspect you are free to
ask. I took the shawl of White Buffalo Calf Woman when it was presented to me many years
ago. It made sense to me to do all I could to erase the lines of division between cultural
teachings. I'm a born eclectic at heart and I have always found that the teachings of any tradition
or culture hold the same truths. I asked myself: "So...why not bring them together through that
understanding, share the wisdom, come together rather than push ourselves apart?" It just made
sense to me. Then I was told by Spirit that the Shawl was being offered to me, I had free will in
accepting it, but to wear it would mean a path of service in that context. I accepted it with great
honor and was deeply humbled. It has been an honor to serve this path and I will always dedicate
myself to that end to the best of my ability.

It is said the role of Buffalo is that of a spiritual leader, and it truly is. The teachings shared by
such individuals who walk with this Totem and Spirit Keeper of the North are those of the Earth
Mother and her sustenance, of sacrifice for the yielding (willing yielding) of which our
foundations are formed. It is not a label of teacher as authority, however, it is the simple sharing,
the giving from the heart. Think about it...The Earth Mother gives us food, clothing, shelter,
tools, and the wealth of her resources...the foundations of life are there and shared freely with all.
While this "sacrifice" is made through Buffalo's example of giving itself to the people for this
very purpose, it has never asked more than to be honored and respected for that gift. I don't like
the term "sacrifice" for it always tends to denote something painfully given and in this case the
pain isn't there. It's no different than the giving of love from one's heart, at least for me that's
what it feels like. I suppose one could say I've sacrificed time to which there was no payment or
reward other than the love of sharing what I could to help others. But that didn't feel like a
sacrifice for me, it is a labor of love and I love every bit of it....yes, even the challenges because I
grow too then.

Buffalo brings us the wisdom of the Elders, those who have walked among us for decades and
have the wisdom of experience to share. It commands respect in its massive presence but it's a
gentle presence amid all that power of might....it might charge, it might pierce, it might maim,
but it doesn't as a rule. Only as a last resort will you find a Buffalo to take a defensive stand such
as that. It lives in harmony with the Earth Mother, and despite it's great bulk it walks gently
across Her. Buffalo is giving of its strength and the sacrifice is always for the greater good,
stubborn at times, it will take a stand when in its own wisdom it knows that what is sacred needs
to be protected and honored as such. Life itself is held sacred, and the honoring of All Our
Relations is part of that. Like the Elders, Buffalo offers the wisdom found in peace, in knowing
that the battles of the past have only wrought suffering and death to those who fight them,
Buffalo encourages us to find peaceful resolutions, to come together and share what we have
instead of taking selfishly for ourselves. This includes the spiritual teachings of the ages being
passed down to those who follow us in life, as well as those whom we share life with.

Frank Fools Crow of the Sioux Nation was a servant of the Rainbow Path and spent his life
educating those outside his cultural standing on the spirituality and indigenous ways his
People...of Buffalo. He willingly gave of himself to this task and yes, he sacrificed in his heart to
do so, time away from his family, opposition that was intense from his own traditional Elders,
but he did not give up, he kept walking gently forward. Even today his touch is felt and cannot
be retracted. He shared much of himself with the world and spoke to the Elders of many nations
throughout Mother Earth. Like Buffalo, Frank Fools Crow roamed wide and covered a lot of
ground. He's been one of my role models though our paths are our own, I see in him the strength
and stamina of Buffalo and find my own to sustain myself in the work I do. I am by no means on
the same scale as Frank Fools Crow, my touch has been much smaller, but it's there all the same
and it's reflected here at Spirit Lodge in the knowledge that is shared, the acceptance of all paths,
and of all who need spiritual sustenance as they come through the door.

The first time I heard the prophecy of White Buffalo Calf Woman my spirit stirred, tears
streamed down my face, my heart knew it as truth, and I embraced that truth. For many years
there was a Woman-in-White that kept watch over me that I could not name. Many saw her
present with me and others just felt her, but I didn't relate to who she was since we never
interacted, she was just *there* and watching. It took me decades to put two and two together
and then she made herself known to me, she was an Elder, a Grandmother, but that's all I knew
until one day I recognized her. This mysterious Woman-in-White is White Buffalo Calf Woman
spirit and she watches over me as she watches over all those who serve her upon the Rainbow
Path. I was stunned as I felt her chuckle at my recognition saying "It's about time!" and I was
humbled by her honoring me with the gift of the Shawl. I wear it with deep knowing of the
meaning behind it, and the joy of serving by sharing those teachings with others. It was White
Buffalo Calf Woman who initiated me along with the Earth Mother into the Sisterhood of the
Medicine Ways.

Buffalo walks with me and shows me where to find my courage and strength when facing the
challengers to the path I walk. There have been many, including indigenous groups that will not
yield to their traditions evolving and joining the whole. They jealously guard them to keep them
pure, and have come to me with declarations of war against the pathwork I'm doing. Buffalo
stood at my side during those times demonstrating it is in the merging of that purity with other
purities that the strength is found. Hence, I have done and will do all I can to sustain that sharing
of the lessons that White Buffalo Calf Woman brought to the People.

Twice I made pilgrimage to see Miracle, the White Buffalo Calf that has come among us and
now departed. Those visits with her will ever be precious memories, and she touched me with
her spirit bringing me the gift of Peace and the knowledge that the prophecy was being fulfilled.
She showed me that I just needed to keep walking, not in the guise of war but as a Peaceful
Warrior, to walk my talk with Spirit...to Wan-Tanna-Hey...walk in Peace with Spirit.

Other Spirit Allies supported these things in the multi-faceted aspects of my pathwork and in this
I began to see my own tapestry unfolding. In a sense wearing the Shawl means that I give of
myself willingly to feed the spiritual hunger and needs of others simply sharing of myself and the
knowledge I hold through my experiences in life. It's not hard to do, I'm pretty much an open
book and will discuss anything with those who ask me to share with them. It's who I am, but it is
also the path I serve in dedicating myself and my life to Spirit.

Buffalo teaches us to live in harmony with All Our Relations, to come together as One, and to
respect the gifts of Mother Earth for what they are. It is a very gentle wisdom that enlightens and
teaches that each step we take, each thing we do, has purpose and will pass down to the next
seven generations...that we are responsible for them and insuring the caretaker role and
guardianship of Mother Earth so that she can continue to sustain those who follow after
us...physically and spiritually sharing what is ours to share...taking only what we need...looking
for nothing in exchange other than to be honored for walking an honorable path through life and
contributing to the abundance in that sharing. My gift became the resources here at Spirit Lodge
and beyond. The sharing is gifted to the world from the heart. Buffalo teaches us to do this
sincerely, not to be rewarded but to contribute to the whole because we *want* to, because we
see that others need what we have within us and that in doing so we walk in good company
voluntarily. It is the desire within to offer a helping hand up and raise conscious awareness of the
sanctity of life and honoring Spirit in all aspects. It's being a friend to all, nothing more, nothing less.

Those who serve with Buffalo serve in many ways, for the sustenance of the whole is great and
there are many needs to be met. Each person who walks with this Totem will have their own way
of giving of themselves and bringing that gift into the physical reality we call life and
community. The strength of Buffalo is found in enormous desire within to maintain one's
pathwork. It's a need to give that will not empty the vessel of the person and it reminds me of the
Grail in a way, a path of looking within to find the sustenance that will allow you to keep going,
keep giving, for the sake of giving and it penetrates to a cellular level of being. It's the inner
strength that Buffalo brings to the surface for those who walk with her...the fortitude to be
unmoving when one needs to be, or to push ahead into unknown regions when things need to be
explored and new paths created ... for me that means the paths to Spirit are many and all are to be
honored through the process of integration...the herd coming together and standing as One
peacefully and with emotion...the emoting of those truths as they manifest them through their
journeys in life....trusting that journey, trusting the process of making it.

Walking with Buffalo has taught me to revere life, not to take it but to sustain it. Respecting
Mother Nature, seeing the presence of Spirit in all that exists, the sacred in life that sustains us
and sharing that with those who cross my path. At times that means I can plant myself quite
firmly in place to insure that sanctity, I've taken stands many times to guard over the work I do
and the safety of the space it resides in so that others may take what they need in the form of
spiritual awareness. I shine the Light of Spirit and Buffalo helps me to do that. If this is sacrifice
then it is not one that I would ever regret, perhaps the expenditure of strength it calls for at the
time, there have been aches and pains to take those stands, but I took them willingly and I'm
always glad I did. They may have exhausted me but that exhaustion was well spent in the end
and will be again for it is born of the dedication, but it is also a sign that it is time to leave the
issue lay and let others graze the grasses if they choose, time to move on and rest so that there is
the endurance to give more later...a lesson in itself not to force feed but to nourish where it is

Buffalo has taught me the value of prayer and being grateful for all that life brings my way. I've
learned to recognize blessings when they are given and to give from my heart when I ask for
blessings to come to others. Lessons are also blessings, they help us grow, they teach us the ways
we need to learn so we may walk our talk with others, but also walk our talk when no one's
looking...Spirit is always watching us and we cannot lie to ourselves or to Spirit.

Silver Eagle Dream Dancer:

I have to tell my encounter story. This happened to me WAY back in my early metaphysical
training - some 16 years ago I think. Anyway, I was in Vegas at the time and there was a wildlife
preserve I visited. Can't even remember why I went but, on the range were buffalo and there
were many new calves roaming around with their mothers.

Not really knowing too much about Buffalo or totems at the time, I was armed with only a basic
understanding that we were all related. So I reasoned that having a conversation would be an ok
thing to do. There were 2 low crickitey wooden fences that separated everyone from the herd but
otherwise they roamed where ever they chose. I sent a mental hello to see what would happen.
Well, one of the calves took a curious interest in me and came to stand right by me, rubbing on
the fence. It was molting and I thought it wanted me to take some of the molt but I was a bit
chicken so I thanked it, and told it I was scared to do it. The calf appeared unfazed by that and
was content to stand patiently but still I said no. Instead we just happily stood in each other’s
curious company. That was... until MOM got a gander at what her young'un was up to.

Now, she didn't charge up in defense. She didn't stomp. She didn't even seem in a hurry but
rather sauntered over - which was strangely more intimidating than if she'd charged. Then she
stood almost nose to nose with me - about 5 feet containing the two fences separated us and at
that moment, they looked more frail than ever with her massive head hanging over. But I was
literally mesmerized out of my fear and just stood there gazing at her. Her huge eyes watered.
Her massive head.. man I'll never forget those moments. I was fine until she took a deep breath
and snorted at me with those massive lungs! Like huge thunderous bellows they were. They
aren't associated with Thunderbeings for nothing!

When she snorted - I pretty much ran, shouting a thank you to the young one for chatting with me
for a bit and didn't stop till I reached the peacock cages It appears I was meant to have buffalo molt though because several
months ago, a good friend sent me a small tuft of buffalo molt. Made me smile as I remembered that encounter so many
years ago.


I was born under the zodiac sign of Taurus. And throughout my life, the image of a bull (bull in a
china shop, waving a red flag, grazing in the pasture, loner, etc.) has been a part of how I saw
myself or could identify behaviors, actions and emotions.

Not too long ago I was in a place where I felt the Taurus in me arise. Taking the bull by the
horns, or, more succinctly, I wanted to take something up onto my horns and gore it. I saw the
image of the ready-to-charge bull, snorting and steaming, ever so ready to charge. Then
something strange happened. The image shifted.

The bull no longer appeared ready to charge, but started to stand firm, holding its ground. The
bull started to grow a thick coat of hair, and the head grew in size. I was mesmerized by this
change of image - it was totally unexpected. I suddenly realized I was no longer seeing an
aggravated bull, but instead, a Buffalo. I have never seen a buffalo in the flesh... occasionally
seen one on TV, I've loved reading about Buffalo but that's about it. I didn't expect the Bull to
change into a Buffalo. Strangely enough - it also changed from the masculine into the feminine...
a shift in energy as well as appearance and stance.

Since that image came, I have been able to change the energy I felt for that particular situation I
was ready to gore into pieces. Or should I say that Buffalo's arrival and stance changed that
energy? It's no longer a desire to show my anger, but instead, a desire to just be firm in who I am
and what I stand for - without being threatening, just being very solid in that position... for the
highest good of all.

Also - I can now choose whether I wish to act like the Bull or the Buffalo...


A while back, I had an encounter with one of my spirit guides. He was dressed in Native
American leathers and had a wolf head on his head. Later I dreamed of the white buffalo woman
and the long walking woman. My partner also dreamed of the white buffalo woman. This is why I
choose my name. A friend gave me Hanta Yo to read and the story is told in that book as well. I
have found out since, that my great-grandfather was a full blooded Black-foot Sioux Indian. I
have dreamed of going to Pipestone. And I have been guided to take a job on the Prairie Island


Pipestone is where I vision quested! It's an amazing place and very sacred to many. I do hope
you can visit there. It seems you are being guided well and you will journey where you are meant
to go, enjoy the twists and turns your road takes and if we can help just ask. Are you doing work
along the lines of the Rainbow Tribe teachings associated with White Buffalo Calf Woman then?


Cinnamon, I have heard of the rainbow tribe, but I am not formally studying the work. I work at
the power station next to the PI reservation. I believe that I am here for a connection with the
Indian community. Said with love, Sonja


The Rainbow Tribe is all of us, *Soft smile*, it is the teaching of the White Buffalo Calf
Woman's prophecy. Pathwork to unite the spiritual teachings of all cultures, and share openly so
we all evolve in unity.


My first encounter with Buffalo happened when I was about 5 years old, shortly before my father
returned from the war. I can still describe the scene ...I was visiting my grandmother and we
were in the living room when the phone rang. My grandmother left the room to answer the
telephone and I sat down on the floor. She had beautiful wood floors and I loved to trace the
grain of the wood with my fingers. In the room was an old fireplace, with a big oval hearth.
There I was playing when out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw something move near the
fireplace so I looked up. Now you can imagine how surprised a little child would be to see a
huge brown animal standing in the same room as she. [I had no idea it was a buffalo until
several years later] Wow, I was sure impressed and even though I didn't know what it was, I was
eager to play with it. I wasn't afraid as angels and spirits were my companions. Naturally I
moved closer and it never moved. Moving still closer I'm sure I must have felt gleeful, so anxious
to touch it. I had almost reached it when my grandmother returned. Of course much to my
dismay, my animal friend had left. For years I tried to convince my parents and others what I
had seen but no one believed me except my grandmother. Even today whenever I recall that
incident, I can still feel the excitement in that little girl.


I was wondering why the Buffalo in the image I keep seeing, is surrounded by woods - the North
American Buffalo is not a woodlands animal. But today, looking through the information about
Buffalo, I clicked on the very first line. The European Bison or "wisent". And lo and behold - the
European Wisent actually prefers woodlands to grass.


Buffalo Medicine
*Lady Stearn Robinson & Tom Gorbett/The Dreamer's Dictionary:
Large profits are forecast in a dream involving this rare animal, unless you killed or injured it,
in which case be extra careful concerning any new venture offered.
*The name bison is applied to the American bison (buffalo), the European bison (wisent), and at
times to the wild ox of India (the gaur). The water buffalo of the Far East also plays a part in

The American buffalo has a large head that it carries low, a short neck, and heavy, humped
shoulders. Except for the dense curly mane around its neck, the buffalo's hair is short. It can
stand six feet at the shoulders, and a large bull can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Both bulls and
cows have short, sharp horns. The old cows, not the bulls, act as leaders of the herd.
Larger than the American buffalo, the wisent, or European Bison, was once at home in many of
the forests of Asia and Europe, including England. Today there are very few of them left. In the
Unitd States and Canada, buffalo roamed over most of the country, except for the arid deserts
and the Pacific Coast. They were almost exterminated by the hunters who supplied the railroad
crews with meat. Naturalists have, today, provided the buffalo with preserves where their
numbers are increasing once more.

As far back as the Upper Paleolithic times, the bison was honored. In a cave at Ariege, France,
there is a painting of man dressed in a bison head and skin.

Vana, the Vedic god of the dead, was pictured riding a buffalo, as was the Taoist deity Lao Tzu.
Legend says that Lao Tzu rode a green buffalo when he disappeared into the West. The Hindu
goddess Durga was sent by the gods to kill a buffalo monster; the buffalo is still sacrificed to
her. Even the Romans knew of buffalos and used them in the amphitheater in Rome.
Native Americans, especially the Oglala Sioux, considered the buffalo the chief of all animals
and said it represented the Earth. The buffalo was a sacred animal, particularly if it was the rare
white buffalo. The story of White Buffalo Woman is one of their legends.
The largest herds of North American buffalo today exist in Yellowstone National Park and in

Magickal Attributes: Social life, fertility, courage, abundance, prosperity, knowledge, sharing,
work, challenge, survival. Visions of a buffalo show that prayers are heard, reminding you that
nothing is achieved without the help of spirit. Formulating plans that will benefit you.

*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Buffalo symbolizes gullibility. May also indicate perseverance. Buffalo heart represents great
inner strength; endurance through intense adversity. Buffalo Robe denotes one's shield of inner
strength. Buffalo Wings relate to attempts to intermix specific aspects that do not blend or will
not coalesce.

*Jamie Sams & David Carson/Medicine Cards:
Prayer and Abundance. I n the Lakota tradition it was the White Buffalo Calf Woman who
brought the sacred pipe to the people and taught them to pray. The bowl of the pipe was the
receptical that held tobacco, an herb with male and female medicine. The stem of the pipe
representing the male entering the female, and seeding life. In the coming together of male and
female, the connection to the divine energy of the Great Spirit was made. As the pipe was loaded
with tobacco, every family in nature was asked to enter into the pipe and share its medicine as
prayer and praise to the heavens. The smoke was considered to be visual prayer, and was very
sacred and cleansing.

All animals are sacred, but in many traditions White Buffalo is the most sacred. The appearance
of White Buffalo is a sign that prayers are being heard, that the sacred pipe is being honored,
and that the promises of prophesy are being fulfilled. Whit buffalo signals a time of abundance
and plenty.

Buffalo was the major source of sustenance for the Plains Indians. It gave meat for food, hides
for clothing, warm and soft buffalo robes for long winters, and hooves for glue. The medicine of
Buffalo is prayer, gratitude and praise for that which has been received. Buffalo medicine is also
knowing that abundance is present when all relations are honored as sacred, and when gratitude
is expressed to every living part of creation. Because of its desire to give the gifts that its body
provided, and because of its willingness to be used on Earth for the highest good before entering
the hunting grounds of Spirit, Buffalo did not readily stampede and run from hunters.

To use Buffalo medicine is to smoke the pipe in a sacred manner, and to give praise for the
richness of life to be shared with all races, all creatures, all nations, and all of life. It means
smoking for others so that their needs are met, praying for the good of all things in harmony, and
accepting the Great Mystery as part of that harmony.

If you have drawn the Buffalo card, you may be asked to use your energy in prayer. You may
also be called upon to be an instrument of someone else's answer to a prayer. This could portend
a time of recognizing the sacredness of every walk of life, albeit different from your own. To
honor another's pathway, even if it brings you sadness, is a part of the message that Buffalo
brings. This may be a time of reconnection to the meaning of life and the value of peace. Most
assuredly this time will bring serenity amidst chaos if you pray in earnest for enlightenment and
the power of calmness and give praise for the gifts you already have.

Buffalo medicine is a sign that you achieve nothing without the aid of the Great Spirit and that
you must be humble enough to ask for that assistance and then be grateful for what you receive.
Contrary: To receive Buffalo upside-down is a signal that you have forgotten to seek help when
it has been needed. If your hand is closed in a fist, you cannot receive the bounty of abundance.
In understanding the significance of the reversed Buffalo, you may well ask yourself:

1) Have I forgotten my eternal partner, the Great Spirit?
2) Am I pushing myself too fast in the physical world and keeping myself from seeing the
importance of reunion with the Source of all life?
3) Have I forgotten to honor the ways of others and to afford them the same respect that I wish to
receive for myself?
4) Am I feeling like my life is being used for the highest good at this time?
5) have I forgotten to be grateful for my life, my possessions, my talents, my abilities, my health,
my family, or my friends?
6) It is time to make peace with another, or to make peace with some inner conflict that I have so
that I may walk in balance again?
Become Buffalo. Feel the smoke of prayer and praise change your Buffalo robe to white so that
you may be an answer to the prayers of the world.

*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
The buffalo is sacred to the American Indian. It represented sustenance for the Plains Indians. it
gave them clothing and food. A buffalo can mean abundance, harvest and plenty, and great

*Bobby Lake-Thom/Spirits of the Earth:
The Buffalo is a good sign, a strong power, and a special messenger of strength and survival to
the Plains tribes. The very essence of the Plains culture, their survival, their religion, their way
of life, and basis of their spirituality was predicated upon the Buffalo. Western exploiters almost
made this magnificent animal extinct. But Chief Yellowtail of the Crow Indian Nation helped
bring it back. Prior to European invasion it is estimated that there were over sixty million
buffalo on the North American continent. Within one hundred years the vast herds that had once
roamed free were reduced to a small number. The survivors went to Yellowstone National Park
for preservation, while the Crow Indians tried to save some because they considered the animal
so sacred. The White Bison is especially sacred, symbolically representing high spirituality,
wisdom, and wealth. There is an ancient Sioux (Lakota-Dakota-Brule) legend about White
Buffalo Calf Woman, who introduced to the Native people the sacred pipe and special
ceremonies and rituals for their tribe (refer to John Neihardt's "Black Elk Speaks" and Richard
Erodoes and John Lame Deer's "Lame Deer Seeker of Visions" for a detailed description.

*Brad Steiger/Totems:
The magnificent animal that we call a buffalo is in reality a bison. We will yield to common
nomenclature, however, and continue to refer to the Lord of the Plains as a buffalo.
In the early days of the United States, the buffalo ranged from the western plains to as far east as
the Allegheny Mountains. Especially to the nomadic palins tribes, the buffalo was a living
symbol of the perpetuation of their life force and their lifestyle. When the great one was slain,
every part of its body was used, not a scrap wasted. The hunters and their families utilized the
meat, the blood, the hide, the sinews, the horns, the hooves--and in some cases the slayer would
kneel to breathe in the dying animal's breath.

Around the year 1822, an estimated 60 million buffalo roamed the plains. When the great
slaughter of the animals began in the 1860's with the building of the railroad lines across the
plains territories, the reat Ogallala Teton Sioux Red Cloud took it as his mission from the Great
Mystery to protect the buffalo.

When he began his war in 1865, the number of the buffalo had diminished to an estimated 13
million. Although Red Cloud won many important battles and even achieved the victory of
preserving buffalo hunting grounds for his people, at the time of his death in 1909, the number of
buffalo in the entire United States was estimated to be fewer than one thousand. Today, the spirit
of Red Cloud may consider the comeback of the buffalo herds to be a mixed blessing, as they are
now domesticated animals, rather than the free-roaming Lords of the Plains that they were in the past.

Although in the legend of the White Buffalo Woman the hunter's romantic feelings toward the
enchantingly beautiful woman were rebuffed in a most violent manner, there are numerous
accounts among Native American tribes of marriages between buffalo and humans. Other tales
depict an underworld populated with buffalo that are awaiting a propitious time to reclaim the
surface world.

Scholars of religion have long noted that sooner or later every primitive god becomes a bull. To
the Egyptians, Apis, the sacred bull, annually sacrificed at Memphis, was a reflection of the
Creator Spirit. Horus, the bull-calf, represents Osiris reborn from his mother, Isis-Hathor.
Bull worship was a central element in Mithraism, a cult that became popular throughout the
Mediterranean region. Dionysus, an Orphic god, manifested in the form of a bull. In the
apocryphal book of Enoch, the Messiah is represented as a white bull. In like manner, the great,
charging form of the bull/buffalo was an impressive embodiment of the Great Mystery to those
tribes whose continued existence depended upon its flesh.

Yama, the Hindu Lord of Death, has the head of a bull and judges the underworld. The
Minotaur, in his labyrinthine caverns awaiting the foolhardy who seek to trespass in his domain,
is another symbol of a guardian of the underworld, with the body of a man and the head of a bull.

Celtic representations of bulls, particularly those from Gaul, often depict the creature's mighty
head with three horns, quite likely placing emphasis on the horn as a power symbol.
The Irish feast of the bull, tairhfis, included the drinking of the animal's blood, as well as the
eating of its flesh. After thus eating and drinking, one might lie down to sleep on the bull's hide
to have dreams of the future and the Other Side.

Grandmother Twylah of the Seneca teaches that the buffalo represents force and strength. If you
should ream of a buffalo, you are being given a sign that you are supported by spirit in the
accomplishment of a new project. If you often envision a buffalo, you are being given confidence
in your ability to achieve your goals.

If you have chosen or accepted the buffalo as your totem animal, you have an ally that will
encourage you to spend a great deal of time out-of-doors. Your buffalo totem will seek to help
you establish a solid connection with the Earth Mother and will endeavor to teach you ways in
which you may assist the many endangered creatures to avoid extinction. your spirit helper will
bring you strength of character and build within you an independent spirit that will prize
freedom above all things.

*Ted Andrews/Animal-Speak
Keynote: Manifesting Abundance Through Right Action and Right Prayer
Cycle of Power: Year-round
The American buffalo is actually a bison. Buffalo is a name that applies to the animals of Asia
and Africa. To the plains Indians it was a symbol of sacred life and abundance.

Once a beautiful woman dressing in white buffalo fur appeared. She brought to the Lakota the
sacred pipe which showed how all things were connected. She taught the men and the women
many mysteries of the earth, and she taught them how to pray for and bring forth abundance. As
she left, she rolled upon the earth and became a white buffalo calf and then disappeared over the
horizon. No sooner has she disappeared and great herds of buffalo were seen all around the
Indian camps.

The bison or American buffalo is a symbol of abundance and the manifestation. Part of what
White Buffalo Woman taught to the Lakota is that they did not have to struggle to survive if the
right action was joined with the right prayer. By uniting the mundane and the divine
appropriately, all that would be needed would be available. This same idea is embodied even
within the Biblical scripture: "The Lord helps those who help themselves."

The bison is a large animal and can weigh up to a ton and a half. It has a massive head, humped
shoulders, and an almost exaggerated appearance because of its shaggy fur. Humps are often
symbolic of stored forces--reservoirs that can be tapped. In the case of the bison, it reflects the
abundance that is available if we know how to tap it. The fact that the hump occurs at the
shoulder level, implies that we must incorporate our own efforts. Shoulders are symbols of the
ability to embrace and hold life. Upon the shoulders are carried either our burdens or our
rewards. The humped area on the shoulders implies the need for our own efforts.

The massive head also implies the need to combine our efforts with the Divine. The head is the
upper region. it is a symbol of the heavens and the divine, the higher faculties. In the case of the
bison, both aspects are amplified. both the mundane and the spiritual is necessary for
manifesting what we are seeking.

The bison is very unpredictable and can be dangerous. When we join the right action with the
right prayers, the path is not difficult. We do not have to bull our way through. The path opens
and flows easily. The bison will use its head to bowl and push with on occasion, but it is usually
during the winter. Its massive head is used to clear patches of snow so that it can feed upon the
grasses beneath.

If a bison has shown up for you, it may indicate opportunities to manifest or move toward
manifesting abundance in some area of your life. This has hidden within it several cautionary
notes, though. This is not a time to push or force. Follow the easiest path.

The appearance of buffalo also implies that the law of synchronicity is operating within your life
at the moment. Things will happen in the time, manner and means that is best for us if we allow
it. This doesn't mean we should sit back and do nothing, but rather that we should do what we
have to do and then let the events take their natural course.

It's nice to get from point A to point B, and there are ways of forcing it. If you force it though,
you may end up at the destination at a time when there is nothing to be gained. If you allow the
natural flow to take you, you still end up at your destination, at an advantageous time, and you
usually get some nice side trips along the way. bison teaches us how to work with that natural rhythm.

If bison has shown up in your life, look for opportunities for abundance and increase. Ask
yourself some important questions. Are you honoring that which you seek? Are you remembering
that the divine is essential to all things in the physical? Are you giving honor to yourself and to
the efforts of others within your life? Do you show gratitude for what you already have? The
quickest way to stop the flow of abundance is by failing to honor that which has already come to

*My notes:
Buffalo is the Spirit Keeper of the North, it teaches that we are to share from our hearts our
wealth and our wisdom in life. It teaches that we should *cry* our prayers, in other words that
we should mean each word we say from the heart with all the emotion we can put into it. It
teaches the give-away, the sharing of what you no longer need, of the excess you have, and of
touching lives in good ways. It teaches the connection to Mother Earth and to the peace of life. It
teaches that we are to be tolerant and love all our relations equally. It brings the message of
peace to the world around us and of strength in that peace.

Buffalo represents discrimination, determination, and firm resolution; stability and strength;
courage, perseverance and survival; abundance and sharing; knowledge and how to pray.
This creature-teacher demonstrates that to be courageous when facing life you also need to
realize that nothing should be wasted. Sacrifice of the self should serve a purpose for society as a
whole. It is an honor to sacrifice the self, but one that deserves respect, dignity, and pride.
Maintaining honor is the Code of Right Action which allows you to walk with Spirit. Being nonaggressive
by nature, Buffalo teaches humble peace in active harmony with All Our Relations to
survive with the strength of self and numbers.

Understanding that the inner wisdom of life's experiences allows you to know the right way of
things, Buffalo teaches what needs to be done, why, and urges you to do it. Respect for Elders
that know the secrets of life, death, and rebirth; honor for the wisdoms they hold; and, a desire
to learn from them teaches you that ignoring them creates an imbalance and decay within
society. Through Buffalo you will learn that honoring the Elders, the sacredness of the pipe,
respecting ritual and ceremony, the right ways to pray will become known.

Peace resides in the heart and within the solidity of Mother Earth's foundations. It is there you
learn to heal yourself and others. The right way of prayer is demonstrated by Buffalo as that
which comes from the heart. It must be offered up with love, peace, and emotion to be properly
motivated. here you learn that tolerance and peace brings people together. The smoke that rises
from the fire or Sacred Pipe makes the unseen visible and other realms come into view. It carries
with it your words to Spirit and to pray in the right way you must cry--each word spoken must
hold heartfelt meaning and emotion. Empty words are empty prayers.

The teachings of Buffalo are those of standing by your convictions and being steadfast in your
truths as you find the courage to defend them. By being focused in your goals you will learn to
apply the wisdoms you have gained and guide others. The value of freedom, independence, and
following your path while still holding social relationships is necessary. To walk with integrity,
pray in the right way, and follow your path with the needs of those who share it is wisdom of
great value. Without this knowledge you will always be seeking; and, through it and spiritual
awareness you will find peace.

The universal flow is available to everyone and you can tap it attracting abundance to you.
Through steady effort you will gain as others do; there is no need to push your weight around
and force things to happen...this is when accidents happen and regrets are made. Going with the
flow, your needs as well as the needs of those who share your path will be met.


From wolfs_moon.tripod.com/buffalototem.html (but mind the pop-ups)
Role: ~The Priestess/Priest~
Lesson: Sacrifice
Element: Earth/Water
Wind: North, The Elders
Medicine: Harmony with ~Earth Mother~
Selflessness ~ Strength ~ Harmony with Earth Mother
Sacrifice ~ Wisdom
Great ~Buffalo Sister~
We honor your courage & strength
We honor you
who came to us from the mighty Buffalo Nation,
to roam the golden plains that our Ancestors also walked
And when the great hunger was fast upon the People,
you offered up your own life
so that we might live.
You taught us to live in harmony
with our ~Earth Mother~
Your gentle wisdom enlightened us
to understand that when the time comes
to drop the Robe of Physical Life,
we must leave something good of ourselves behind
to benefit the generations yet to come
From you we learned
to never take more from the land
than we need . . .
to give freely of ourselves,
without fore-thought of what we might receive in return
As the Ancestors sing a song of praise to you noble sister,
we give thanks to ~Wakan Tanka~
for allowing us to walk
this Good Path with you

It was during a time of great famine that the mighty Buffalo came to the Sioux Nation to offer up
her own life so that they might live. She provided them with the meat with which to sustain their
physical life, the hide to build their tipis and fashion warm mantles and clothing to see them
through the frigid winters, and the glue and sinew needed for various instruments of necessity
and worship.

It is said that when ~Great Spirit~ called upon the Animals for one to serve as the sustainer of
life to the People, it was Buffalo that stepped forward and asked for the opportunity to give her
physical life, so that many others might continue their Life Path along the Good Red Road.
Almost as evidence of such conscious and willing desire to be of selfless service, the Buffalo
neither attempted to flee from the hunters, or to charge them in defense, though their own stature
and weight would surely be no match for a two-legged. And therefore, this beautiful animal is
held in especially high honor by the American Indians, (who indeed honor all living things), for
her selflessness and the abundance she has willingly provided, and for her Role in ~Great
Mystery`s~ plan.

***Buffalo Totem is drawn to those souls whose desire is to give selflessly of themselves from a
pure and true heart. She walks beside the one who seeks to be of service and support to their
fellow Earth dwellers and as such, assists in inspiring these individuals to volunteer their time
and talents to charitable causes, to the support and care of those unable to provide care for
themselves, as a priest or priestess desiring to uplift the awareness that there is a deeper, sacred
meaning to this life, and even as a supportive and loving friend. In whatever fashion this desire
to give of ones-self manifests itself, there is an underlying tone of genuine selflessness to these
individuals as the Mighty Buffalo walks beside him/her on the Path of ~Physical Life.~***

One has only to take a look at the physical form of the Buffalo to realize that there is
monumental strength contained within every muscle, each fiber of that form. The mighty head
sits upon a thickly corded neck, which connects to massive, rounded shoulders. Though their
legs appear diminutive in comparison to the great proportions of their back, shoulders, neck and
head, the muscles within the legs themselves are well developed and capable of crushing nearly
anything under hoof, after all they are supporting up to a ton of weight.

***Buffalo Soul is an individual that has volumes of inner strength, surprising to those who may
first misjudge the large, gentle eyes of the Buffalo Spirit as being one who is "weak" or
otherwise "incapable," yet the contrary is true, as for one to be as selfless and giving as the
Buffalo, there needs also be great rivers of emotional and spiritual fortitude.

In some instances, these waters are tapped, and known well & true, as they have thoroughly
explored the inner caverns and reaches of their resources. For those rivers of inner strength will
have been called upon, to carry the personality and emotional Self through the difficult lessons
that the Buffalo Soul tends to choose for their current incarnation, into the full integration and
peace of mind, personality, emotion and spirit.

In other instances, the reservoir is just as deep, yet thus far not explored, due to the avoidance of
facing the difficulties and choosing to escape into a world where no pain or harshness exists. Yet
this is more the exception than the rule for this particular totem, as those who have been blessed
to have Buffalo walk by their side, is one who understands that all lessons are merely steps along
a great Path, and although that Path may be rocky at periodic intervals, and barely
distinguishable at other moments in ~Time~, if taken in Honesty and Truth, it is the same Path
that will lead them ~Home~***

Harmony with ~Earth Mother~
Because Buffalo appeared in great number to the Sioux People at a time of great famine, and
followed by the blessed visit and instruction of ~White Buffalo Calf Woman~ (will be discussed
at a later date), the People became ever more aware of the intricate balance and interconnectedness
of All that the Earth Mother provides and sustains.

***The Soul who has inherited the gift of Buffalo Totem, has an instinctual connection to the
~Earth Mother~ and will have a great reverence for all life. This is one who may have walked the
Red Path before, though in this lifetime, are born of a different cultural heritage. Yet still, the
Soul Remembers as it yearns to release itself from the Swamp of Forgetfulness and stand in the
warm Light of Recollection.

There is a marked respect for the abundance and diversity of Nature, along with the willingness
to do whatever is necessary to preserve the sanctity and sacredness of all Life on Earth. As such,
if these individuals are not involved in a professional capacity in preserving the wilderness,
protecting endangered species or bringing awareness to others on a grand scale, they are
involved within their own backyards preserving a wild life sanctuary where butterflies and
sparrows, fox and deer are welcomed, and are vociferous to friends and family about their own
reverence for all of ~Great Spirit`s~ creations.***

As Buffalo Sister stepped forward to ask for the role of bringing life and awareness to the
People, she sacrificed her own Physical Self so that a Greater Good, the preservation of many
lives, was had. And as she stepped across the Rainbow Bridge that leads from the Red Road of
~physical life~ to the Blue Road of the Spirit, she was greeted upon her return Home by the
Buffalo Nation, the Sky Nation, and all of the Animal Spirits, the Ancestors and the Elders, who
sang a song of Praise to acknowledge her noble sacrifice.

***The Life Lesson for one born with Buffalo Totem is that of Sacrifice. This can be an
exceptionally difficult Life Lesson as there are so many areas open for misunderstanding and
misuse, and is one that is attempted many times before it is ~perfected~

As the true meaning of Sacrifice does not mean that one needs to be at the disposal of others to
the point of being detrimental to the Self. And yet, because these individuals recognize that they
are capable of such depth of feeling and capability to give, they can be prone to give to the point
of exhaustion. This then serves no one, as water cannot be had if the river is dry.

Sacrifice is the Willingness of Heart and Spirit to serve the Greater Good, even if there is no
monetary remuneration or ~reward~ of a material manner. To put aside differences in the ability
to gain greater compassion and understanding, not to give endlessly to those who gain nothing
from the giving, for then one is merely pouring water through a sieve, rather than watering a
flower whose petals reach toward the sun.

And therein lies the true challenge of this Life Lesson . . . to distinguish between just and true
sacrifice, and repetitive attempt to gain ground where there is merely ocean. Perhaps the sacrifice
is about putting aside the stubborn pride of personality in recognizing when one must allow
another to walk their own Path, and when one may walk beside another for a time.

This is the North Wind, the Direction of the Elders and the Wind of Grateful Prayer and
thanksgiving. When the soul drops the robe of physical life, and has reached the Northern Gate,
an Elder stands to greet them, often in the form of the Buffalo. The individual is welcomed
warmly inside, asked to sit at the fire and tell of their walk around the Sacred Hoop. And then,
when the talking has been done, the experiences related, thankful prayer ensue with All giving
thanks and offering praise to ~Great Mystery~ for the blessings and lessons of Life. The
Ancestors are honored, the Animals, the Mother Earth, the Grandmother Ocean and Grandfather
Sky. Then, the Elder spirit can then enjoy this time of great thanks and wisdom gained as he/she
prepares for the next sojourn around the Sacred Hoop of ~physical life~.***

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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