Archive for September, 2018

Animal Totems

What drew you to the path of Modern Shamanism, I’m often asked. My answer is always the same—animal totems. Animals have always felt like strong allies, while humans confused me. It turns out the the Shamanic Path suits me in other ways as well, yet I would not have known that without following the inspiration of the animals.

So what is an Animal Totem or Power Animal? They are a symbolic representation of archetypal power available to us. A totem does not actually have to be an animal. It can also be plant, tree, or rock. That said, I’m going to focus on animals today.

Why look into our Animal Totems? In order to know ourselves and our potential better. How? By impersonalizing qualities we need to improve upon or release. It is common for people to want big, powerful totems. Yet, all animals, including insects, have their own value. To place good or bad labels upon them, we miss what we most need. For example, if we need ant medicine (industriousness, order, discipline and group work) but were looking for Bear medicine (introspection and the power of the unconscious) we would totally miss the mark of our needs. So, please do not compare animals. These animals, images and all of Nature help us to become more natural and connected to the greater whole of Life. Humanity, specifically American  culture, has lost its instinctive connection to Nature and Animal Totems are one was to reconnect (a spider walks across the page as I write that.) What Totems are not is a Being or Guide with whom we are able to abdicate our free will to. They are available for giving guidance and finding encouragement when we feel doubt or confusion. Yet, we are the human and only we can use free will to take action.


How to find your Animal Totem

First thing to remember, Animal Totems chooses the human, not the other way around. There are many ways to find the animal or animals that have chosen you. Here’s a short list….

Pay attention.

You’ll know you have a totem if you continually see an animal in many different situations. Could be in the woods, then later on a billboard, and again on TV. These kind of Totems may come to you for a period of time as a messenger, or for your entire life. Notice and learn all you can about that animal. Also, if you’ve had a lifelong bond with one particular species, it’s a Totem. The animal that fascinated you as a child and still tugs at your heart whenever you see it. Dreams of certain animals may indicate a totem, as well. Totems are most often wild. So, if you feel that Dog is your totem, go deeper and look into the qualities of Wolf.

Power Animal Retrieval.

There are people who do the process of finding your Totem Animal and retrieve it back to your soul. I do this by going on a Modern Shamanic Journey to locate your animal, who may give messages for you or may simply volunteer its wisdom. I then blow that animal back into your soul. This is done remotely or in person. If remotely (95% of the time) I send an email with your animal and explain what to do next. After the retrieval, you need to pay attention to the animal’s presence for it to be useful. Otherwise, just like any healing, it feels good until it wears off.

Card Reading.

People, or yourself, can pull cards from a variety of animal card decks. I personally have two decks to choose from and also Animal Speak Runes for finding your Animal Totem. The same as above remains true here. You will need to do your part after the reading for it to become real or useful for you.



You can do a meditation for yourself or have someone guide you. If doing it for yourself; 1. be in an uninterrupted environment and put on relaxing music. 2. Make yourself comfortable. 3. Go to your mind’s eye and see yourself walking down a wood path. This path leads to an opening. Continue walking through and into the opening, as you do experience the peace of that natural area. As you do, allow an Animal to enter or appear in the scene. Ask this animal if it is your totem. If it says no, ask for it to show you where to find your Animal Totem. Typically, the first one if your totem, but not always. When you find your animal, it will speak to you through movement, sound, forms and give you messages. You may be able to just know what its communicating. 4. Trust. As the communication comes to an end, give thanks to your animal.

I am able to do the guided meditation if you it is helpful to you, just call. After you discover your Animal Totem, research their behavior, looks and family life. Learn all you can about the animal in their natural environment and compare what that lifestyle may be teaching you. If transferring that kind of knowledge doesn’t feel easy, look up the symbolism of your animal online Take what resonates with you and leave the rest.





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