|Connecting to your totem
When I go into what I call my "sacred space", I play my favorite instrument, the didgeridoo. I love them, and am playing mine pretty well. The hauntingly beautiful drone of the didgeridoo is what the Earth would sound like if it could speak, all of natures creatures, the soil, the sun, the sky, the water, all mixed into one gorgeous breathtaking sound. I usually build a campfire, burn some sage, and start playing my didge. It is so important in today's high paced, technology ridden world to sit back and relax in the peace of nature. I was lucky enough to meet David Hudson, an Aboriginal Australian and master didgeridoo player. He made me one of his custom didgeridoos and it is my solace. Music is an important part of connecting with nature. You might consider getting yourself a flute or a drum, some bongos, clap sticks, any instrument you feel will help you connect to your inner self and take you to places beyond words.
|An Animal Totem is an important symbolic object used by a person to get in touch with sacred qualities found within an animal which the person needs, connects with, or feels a deep connection toward. One can have several animal guides through out life. Sometimes an animal guide will come into ones life for a short period of time, and then be replaced by another depending on the journey or direction one is headed toward. Your guide will instruct and protect you as we learn how to journey through our spiritual life.|
|When you find an animal that speaks strongly to you try to draw more deeply into its life. Fill your environment with images of the animal to let the animal know they are welcome in the person's space. Animal guides can help us get back to our Earthly roots, and reconnect with nature by reminding us we are all interconnected. To first do this we need to know what our Animal Totem is.|
|If you do not know what your Animal Totem is, there are several questions you can ask yourself. All of the questions below are designed to get you thinking about a prominent animal in your life, so there are no right or wrong answers. Only you can truly know which Animal Totem(s) are right for your journey.|
| 1.What animal are you drawn to?
Trust your instincts!
2. When you go to the park, forest, or zoo what animal are you most interested in seeing?
3. What animal do you most frequently see when you are out in nature?
4. What animals are you currently interested in learning about?
5. Is there a recurring animal in your dreams or do you have one you have never forgotten?
|If you are still uncertain which animal is your totem, here a few exercises you can do to come closer to the answer. One must not try and force the animal to come; it can pick up on that energy and be put off. Being patient and do the following exercises will draw your animal totem to you.|
|1. Ask yourself what animal has played a meaningful part in your world. If your unsure make a list of animals that have drawn your interest or left a deep impression on you from paintings, photographs, stories, movies, carvings, etc.
2. Which animal shows up in your life most frequently? Keep a journal of the animals present in your dreams or that you encounter through the day for the next month. How did the animal behave? Did you interact with the animal?
3. Find a place where you can be alone and meditate. Sit quietly and ask your animal to make its nature known to you. Feel free to use tools such as incense, smudge, and candles to help you.
4. Don't give up, sometimes your animal totem is near by watching to see if you're serious about connecting with it. Keep doing the above exercises until your animal totem makes itself known to you.
|Over the years I have become quite skilled in the art of connecting with other people's Animal totems and spirit guides. I have dreams of other people and see the things they may need in their life. In the past few years, I have been dreaming very vividly. This scared me at first, but now I am feeling more comfortable. I used to have animal dreams all the time when I was a youngster. I had a dream about a red tailed hawk that kept following me around and leading me down a snowy path towards some birch trees in the woods. Two days later, I was walking in the woods near my cabin, when I found a red tailed hawk feather next to a birch tree. During a time in my illness when I did not know where to turn, I kept seeing ravens cross down low in front of me. At that time, the raven was my protector and was always guiding me safely home.
Years ago, my dog went off on one of his afternoon hunting trips and he never came back. I looked for him for days; searching everyplace he could have gone knowing he must be hungry and scared. Feeling very low, and heartsick, I decided to go look one last time. I walked down the trail I had walked a dozen times in the past days still searching. I was to upset and desperate and at that point not paying any attention at all to animal totems or feeling the slightest bit like connecting. Next thing I knew a crow flew down in front of me, landed on the ground, and cawed its head off. I said "hello" to it as it kept cawing. Caw Caw Caw...ok, enough you loony bird! I stopped and watched it fly away. I just stood there crying like a baby missing my dog. Something just did not feel right and I started yelling his name. I yelled and yelled his name and of course "where are you!!!" I just sat there until the crow came back again, and would not shut up. I cawed back at it, half ready to chase it away. I just sat there and put my head in my hands as the crow cawed. I did not notice the crow fly away because the next thing I heard was a wailing yelp coming from the deeper part of the woods. Yelp, yelp...Oh my god! I ran so fast following the yelp. It was my dog, and he was in trouble! I ran until the yelps got louder. And there he was! I found him trapped under a tree, and wedged under a fallen log. He must have been chasing some rabbit and gotten himself wedged in there. He was there for 5 days, no water and nofood. I could not get him out, so I ran back to the house for an axe. When I freed him, he could not stand. He was so weak and dehydrated. I had to get my Dad and we carried him home. It did not strike me until I started telling the story to other people that the crow had led me to my dog. If the bird did not come and harass me, I would not have yelled. It's a great reminder to pay attention to your surroundings.
Crazy things like that happen to me quite a bit. My dreams are really getting intense these past few years. I have had dreams about friends and family members with animal totems that come through for them. Some of the things that have happened in reality that connect to the dreams freak me out so much that I do not know what to do, so I write everything down, and when I do readings I write as the images come in relation to life and the dreamtime. It may be helpful to use the Animal Totem Medicine Cards and the Animal Wise Tarot deck to help guide your personal insights.
|Finding your Spirit Guides
When using the Animal Wise Tarot, the Animal Medicine cards and so on, it may be easier to "ask" general issue type questions. It may be helpful to meditate on them for a few days too. The most common readings are usually relating to relationships, career, family, health, and decision-making help. The most important thing to remember is that you do not choose your spirit animals, and they change. Some stay with you your whole life, others come and go, some come in to teach us lessons, and some just never show up at all. Remember, you do not choose the animals, they choose you.
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