Totem Spirits

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There is a growing interest in shamanism and ancient traditions in a world today, perhaps we are becoming tired with the ever increasing involvement with machines, and materialism.

Shaman tradition means reconnecting ourselves to the energies of the earth and all that lives upon it, and within it.  When we were a much simpler people, we believed that we were part of everything else, since we have ‘ evolved’?  We believe that we are above everything else.

To be part of the world as it is, we have to understand it, and honour it as part of the ‘ all there is’.


 "If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other.

If you do not talk to them, you will not know them.

And what you do not know, you will fear.

And what one fears one destroys."   ---Chief Dan George. 

Connecting with our spirit totems, is one way of feeling connected to the earth.  The Shaman works through dance and trance to connect to his totems, but we can do so through meditation.  In the simple meditation that follows, you will begin the process of opening up to the spirit realms of nature, and connecting to them.

 Find a time when you're not likely to be disturbed, and if you can do this meditation outside in a beautiful area, so much the better!

 Find a place to sit comfortably, (sitting with your back propped against a tree is a lovely way to do this meditation) perform whatever relaxation exercises you are familiar with, or simply relax the body systematically starting at the feet and ending with the neck and shoulders and head.  Then take a small amount of time to breathe rhythmically and gently, without forcing the breath, and just simply relax.  Feel all the fears, and worries of the day soaking down to the body, and into the earth, where any negative energy will be transmuted into positive energy for the trees use.

 Now all feel that you're pulling all your energies in, deep within yourself, and imagine yourself standing in a beautiful wide grassy area, in front of a very old and tall and gnarled oak tree.  It is huge, and its roots extent deep into the heart of the earth itself, twisting and weaving far below you.  Imagine how they feel and how connected they are to be earth itself.  Its branches high above you extend right up into the sky itself, and almost block your view of the sky they are so many and so interwoven.  Take a moment to be aware of this huge tree which bridges the gap between earth and sky and all that it contains!

 You noticed is a small opening right at the base of the tree which with care you could squeeze into, and with a last look at the beautiful place that you are leaving, the grass the trees, and the beautiful calm sky, you turn and stepping to the tree.

 There is a beautiful crisp smell of moist wood and earth and moss, as you squeeze through the whole, and you find that it opens out into a woody and wood lined tunnel.  Move along through this tunnel feeling confident that all is well…… you begin to hear a very regular and soft drumming, and you suddenly realise that this is the very heartbeat of the tree itself and also of the earth connected.  Put your hand on the side of the tunnel, and feel the drumming, take a moment to realise that the drumming is drumming in rhythm with your own heart.  You the tree the earth are all connected…… One Heart!

 As you continue on your way you become aware that the tunnel is going downwards very gently, but without fear you continue down and see that at what appears to be the end of the tunnel, a flickering light, which on closer investigation you see are torches set in the wall of the tunnel and so as you get nearer to them it becomes lighter, and very pleasantly warmer.

 Suddenly the tunnel opens out into a huge cave, you stand and are amazed at the size of it as it is almost impossible to see its true extent so large it is!  You feel as if you are in the very womb of the earth, and it is a good feeling!  Through this huge cavern runs a pure and crystalline river, which makes a burbling noises it tumbles over rocks and stones and runs on its way, and next to the river is a stone seat.  You sit on the seat and are suddenly calmed by the peace and tranquillity of the space that you are in.  Close your eyes and just’ Be’ for a little while still faintly aware of the heartbeat of the earth and your own heartbeat, and the peace and universal love of the place where you're sitting.

 You suddenly become aware of a slight movement quite near to you, and without alarm you gently open your eyes, and at this point you may see in front of you your totem animal……. it may be large, it may be small.  It may be a simple ant, or a lizard…. or it may be the most beautiful tiger or an elegant deer.  Whatever it is it will hold your gaze for a little while before it turns and moves off.  Feel connected to it whatever it is, from the lowest to the greatest creature.  And as it begins to move off, say ‘thank you’ to it for visiting you, for connecting with you, and allow it to go on its way, and gently close your eyes again whilst you rebalance your energies.

 When you are ready rise from the seat, and begin your journey back through the tunnel to the outer world.  Take your time, enjoy your feeling of connectedness with all there is, and from time to time put your hand on the side of the wooden wall, to connect with the heartbeat of the tree and the earth.

 As you emerge out again into the sunlight, give thanks for the opportunity to have met your totem spirit!  And remember your unique connection with this spirit.


Honouring the spirit of your totem

 Now that you have discovered what you animal totem is, find out as much as that it is you can, its habits and behaviours and all the tales and ancient myths associated with it.  This way you will begin to understand what your unique connection to this spirit is, and why it is important for you.

You may find that your totem is an animal or bird or insect that you have a great fear of, this simply means that there are issues surrounding this energy that you need to work with, and that you need to find out why this could be, and working with the image of this animal, will bring healing and understanding to your life. 

Part of honouring the spirit of your totem, is allowing its energies to be uniquely with you alone.  Discussing your animal totem with others may dissipate that energy, and disrupt your unique relationship with it.  It is best honoured by keeping it to yourself!

Until we learn to honour all our relatives, whether animal or parts of the earth itself, we can never really ascend or honour ourselves truly.  Remember that by honouring the lowest of natures forms, we also honoured the highest!

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