and the revelation of a person's totem is one of the
more pleasurable roles for a shaman. A shaman
meditates and journeys for the client, seeking the
animal with whom the client (often a baby) has a
revealed, it is almost never changed unless the
person is materially altered (i.e. struck by
lightening, becomes a shaman themself etc.).
are critical as they describe compatibilities and
conflicts in relationships. A male whose totem
is a tiger is unlikely to form any lasting bond with
a single female and play happy-families, they are
solitary and polygamous creatures. A female
whose totem is a cuckoo bird is likely to be flighty
and less inclined towards actively raising her own
Naturally the human side of this is without excuse.
A man whose totem is a tiger will be challenged to
find peace and stability in a relationship,.. that
is their life's lesson. The totem identifies
lessons to be learnt BUT DOES NOT offer excuses for
strong a vibrant couple known to me had a mix of
puma (him) and deer (her). Outwardly, this may seem
like a incompatible mix as one is the natural
predator of the other, but think a bit more
deeply,.. the puma is nourished by the deer, who in
turn is made stronger by the pumas presence.
Natural parts of a cycle. Each surviving, but
more poorly without the other. One of their
kids has a black rhino as their totem, and doesn't
that keep life interesting 'at the water hole'!
She teaches the child acceptance and courage, and he
teaches it thought, consideration and action.
Distinct from animal guides, totems are not
necessarily available for help, but are rather an
identification of traits and potentials.
Shaman encourage the finding of an animal guide who
is also a totem, for this allows clear and strong
interaction when the relationship is established,
making both much stronger in the process.
are rarely invertebrates (I've never heard of one)
but may cross terrains. For example )(via
hearsay), a woman in central Australia has a
sailfish as a totem, and is one of the mob's best
spear hunters, even though most women of her mob do
not actively hunt. Her natural predisposition is
towards fishing and the sea, but the spear is her
choice. This ended up working out as she
joined with a fellow from the coast and last I
heard, things were 'swimming' along nicely.
Finding one's totem can be a powerful and revealing
look into one's self. Revealing lessons to be
learnt and absorbed, strengths for finding and
weaknesses for overcoming. Totems are also a
powerful tool in helping to decide a future
occupation for a person. A day loving crow
will never be happy working the nightshift indoors.
A far ranging stork will not be happy stuck in one
place. A territorial bear will love a position
of static achievement and little change beyond
comfort levels and power. I am sure you get
the idea form here
onto the more advanced concepts which are the final
in this site's foundational concepts series.