Wednesday, September 1, 2010
It I Could Talk To The Animals
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.
What one fears one destroys.
—Chief Dan George
For the Native American in America, animals possess spirits which lead the human soul on a path to greatness and well being. Animals have influenced every major religion in the world throughout history. According to Animal Speaks, The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small, written by Ted Andrews, Bushman in Africa mimicked animal motion and gestures just as Native Americans danced in rituals to channel the spirit realm. Egyptians worshiped the feline. The Chinese named their calendar year after animals, bringing good luck and prosperity. Can an animal totem benefit us in this day and age? Was this the message Cheryl received when her dog chanced upon a skunk the other night?
Society has deviated from the rural-minded. Generations have forgotten the ways of animals, the hardships early settlers endured. People used to depend upon animals, their habits and breeding patterns, to learn about the earth. Now society depends upon technology. What if something catastrophic occurred preventing us from accessing energy? Where would we be? What happens to a society that bases its survival upon modern marvels? Today, when companies are trying to go ‘green’, it makes perfect sense that people once again feel the urge to reconnect with the earth. After all, it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!
Once again mankind attempts to grow organic food, to reconnect with the earth, study animals, listen to them, and follow their movements/habits, in order to understand life. This philosophy is the basic foundation for the animal totem. A totem, according to Animal Speak, ‘is any natural object, animal, or being to whose phenomena and energy you feel closely associated with during your life.’ Further, Ted Andrews goes on to describe that, ‘we can use animal totems and their images to learn about ourselves and the invisible world.’ And, ‘as you begin to identify and recognize your animal totems, you will begin to understand your life more effectively.
Beliefs associated with animal totems:
*Animals have powerful spirits.*
*Your animal totem may be mastered by animal origin or spirit origin.*
*Each animal is gifted with its own talent.*
*Animals choose who they guide.*
*In order to develop a relationship with your totem, study your animal guide.*
*Honor your totem for its power.*
*You are not limited to one animal totem.*
*Animal totems can access a doorway to the spiritual world.*
*Pay close attention when you encounter an animal rarely seen.*
Animal totems and their meanings:
An armadillo— Offers personal protection, discrimination & Empathy (All year)
Badger— Bold Self-expression & reliance— Keeper of stories
Bat— Transition & Initiation (Nightime)
Bear— Awakening the power of the unconscious (Spring/Summer)
Beaver— The building of dreams (Dusk & night)
Blackbird— Understanding energies of Mother Nature (Summer)
Bluebird— Modesty, unassuming confidence & happiness (Winter/Summer)
Bluejay— Proper use of power (All year)
Buffalo— Manifesting Abundance through right action & prayer (All year)
Bobcat— Silence & secrets (Winter/Spring)
Cat— Mystery, Magic & Independence (Nighttime)
Cougar— Coming into your own power (All year)
Coyote— Wisdom & folly (All year)
Crow— Secret magic of creation is calling (All Day/Year)
Deer— Gentleness, innocence, Gentle luring to new adventure (Autumn/Spring)
Dog— Faithfulness & protection (All year)
Dolphin— Power of breath & sound (All year)
Duck— Emotional comfort & protection (Spring/Summer)
Eagle— Illumination of spirit, healing & creation (All seasons/daylight)
Elk— Strength & nobility (Autumn)
Fox— Feminine magic of camouflage, shapeshifting & invisibility (Dawn/Dusk)
Goat— Surefootedness & seeking new heights (Fall/winter)
Goldfinch— Awakening to nature spirits (Summer Solstice/Summer)
Groundhog— Mystery of death without dying, trance, dreams (Winter)
Gulls (Herring/Sea)— Responsible behavior & communication (All year)
Hawk—Visionary power & guardianship (Equinoxes/New moon)
Horse— Travel, power & freedom (All year)
Hummingbird— Tireless joy and nectar of life (Daytime)
Lion— Assertion of the feminine & the power of the female sun (All year)
Mockingbird— Finding sacred song & recognition of innate abilities (All year/Day/Night)
Moose— Primal feminine energies & Magic of life/death (Fall/Winter)
Mouse— Attention to detail (5 Six week cycles)
Opossum— The use of appearances (Spring)
Otter— Joy, playfulness & sharing (Spring/Summer)
Owl— Mysterious of magic, omens, silent wisdom & vision in night (Nocturnal)
Panther— Reclaiming one’s true power (Dark moon/New moon/Winter)
Porcupine— Renewed sense of wonder (Autumn)
Prairie Dog— Community (Spring/Summer)
Rabbit—Fertility & new life (All year)
Raccoon— Dexterity & disguise (Spring/Summer-Nocturnal)
Ram— Seeking new beginnings (Fall/Winter)
Rat— Success, restlessness & shrewdness (All year)
Sea Lions/Seals— Active imagination, creativity & lucid dreaming (All year)
Skunk— Sensuality, respect, & self-esteem (All year)
Sparrow— Awakening & triumph of common nobility (All year)
Squirrel— Activity & preparedness (All year)
Tiger— Passion, power, devotion & sensuality (Full moon/new moon)
Vulture— Purification, death, rebirth, new vision (All year/Summer/Winter)
Weasel— Sly & secret circumvention/pursuit (Nocturnal)
Whale— Creation, power of song, awakening inner depths (All year)
Woodpecker— Power of rhythm & discrimination (Summer)
Wolf— Guardianship, ritual, loyalty & spirit (All year/Full moon/twilight)
As a child growing up, I loved the movie Doctor Doolittle with Rex Harrison. Was the snail his totem? He lived and sailed in one, drawing the respect of the entire animal kingdom, while accepting their guidance.
If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it
Chatting to a chimp in chimpanzee
Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah
What a neat achievement that would be.
If we could talk to the animals, learn their languages Maybe take an animal degree.
We'd study elephant and eagle, buffalo and beagle,
Alligator, guinea pig, and flea.
We would converse in polar bear and python,
And we could curse in fluent kangaroo.
If people asked us, can you speak in rhinoceros,
We'd say, 'Of courserous, can't you?'
If we could talk to the animals, learn their languages
Think of all the things we could discuss
If we could walk with the animals, talk with the animals,
Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals,
And they could squeak and squawk and speak and talk to us.
I’ve had many experiences with Hawks and believe I have a hawk totem. I see them everywhere I go, usually in passing as I’m driving down the road. (I’m sure that means something.) Years ago, we had an American Kestrel infant in our backyard. It could turn its head around like an owl as Bluejays darted over and around it trying to scare it off. I don’t think it could fly very well or it would have flown away from us as we neared it. We saw the mother’s shadow flying overhead and knew she was nearby.
Recently, a hawk flew out in front of my vehicle from a tall hedge on the side of the road, hovered slightly just in front of my car, and then flew off. Its wingspan was expansive. Time seemed to stand still as I watched it, feeling as though it had something to say. I count myself very lucky to have seen it. Of all the cars passing along the road, it had picked mine to dart across, talons bared, wings flapping to keep it in one place, head pointed in my direction. A hawk totem offers visionary power and guardianship. Hawks are messengers, protectors, and airborne visionaries. A hawk’s ability to soar high in the heavens heightens psychic development and teaches balance. According to Animal Speak, by meditating on the 14th Tarot card, the hawk will lead me to manifest my creative energy and discover my soul’s purpose.
Have you been visited by a strange animal lately, one you’re unlikely to meet on a normal day? If you could choose a totem, which animal would you choose? Has an animal spirit already stepped forward to be your guide?