Category Archives: Land Totems

Primer Video on Animal Totems

More pages of interest:

Symbolic Meaning of Animal Totems

Classification of Animal Totems

Silly Bands and Animal Totems


Silly Bands and Animal Totems
Silly Bands and Animal Totems

I got the low-down on silly bands from my niece, who gave me this one – a Dragon, who happens to be my predominant animal totem.

Now, I’m not big on extraneous consumerism.  I prefer to keep my personal adornments and purchases as pure and simple as possible.  However, I can see some pretty practical uses for silly bands in relation to our animal totems.

To explain…

Life is replete with distractions.  There’s so much going on in our modern lives.  Busy-busy, push-pull, tag-your-it. 

If your days are potentially crammed with complexity like mine are, then perhaps you’ll agree it’s good (indeed, even necessary) to keep reminders close by.  Reminders that ground us, and redirect our consciousness back to the pure vitals of life like: Compassion, Dynamism, Expansiveness, Balance, and such.

I have tattoos that serve as permanent reminders of these things and more.  Photographs plaster my office-studio walls serving the same purpose.

Imagine my surprise and delight when this tiny silicon silly band fulfilled the same function. 

Every time my eyes catch sight of this little guy, I return to my core – a place in which my Dragon’s crave for me to stay rooted.  Why? Because being rooted in the realms of our animal totems manifests superior benefit for them, ourselves and our society.

Just thoughts…an idea for triggering awareness back to your ideal, totemic core.

That said, a special thanks to my niece for this wicked-keen gift! ;)

Other pages of interest…

Tips to Knowing and Re-Connecting with Your Animal Totems

EcoIntuition: What is it?

Animal Totems (a whole heap of ’em)

Porcupine: A Symbolic Guide Through Grief

Porcupine Symbolism In Times of Grief
Porcupine Symbolism In Times of Grief

My mother-by-marriage (and mother-by-heart) passed away on Monday. 

Her transition naturally triggers a chain reaction for every soul she touched in her life, including me.

It’s been numbing.  Also, it’s been very telling to observe how each human copes so differently with the physical loss of our beloved.

Equally intriguing is the observance of various energies surfacing amidst raw human emotion.

Upon every encounter with physical death, the Porcupine wobbles into my presence with aplomb.  It enters my awareness with a casual authority, squatty legs shuffling through my mind, my meditations, moving through my moods.

I observe those quills as I have in the past, and know with piercing clarity the ability to barb in reactive situations.  So, I become mindful of my tongue & the energy I’m outputting in these moments of crude emotion.  Porcupine quills are slightly snagged at the tip making them neigh impossible to remove.  Once they meet their target those clever darts tend to stay put. 

 I keep my quills in-check these days following the death of my mother; keeping close watch on my behavior so as not to cause damage that cannot be undone.

Thankfully, those quills are multi-purpose.  Did you know they serve as floating devices?  Very apropos.  In murky pools of turbulent emotion, I feel my energetic quills fanning out – filled with air, they keep me afloat.  When waves of melancholy and morose moods threaten to overcome, Porcupine ingenuity keeps me buoyant, solvent, topside.

Also, mom’s passing and the ensuing madness are tailor-made for burrowing, something the Porcupine and I do together in silence.  Retreat.  Withdraw.  Porc’s don’t hibernate, but they are masters at holing up until the sun chooses to show itself again.

Which reminds me, Porcupines are considered solar or fire animals in many cultures.  Their quills are likened to sun rays spanning out from our solar orb.    I take comfort in this, as I am reminded of the radiant nature of my mom, she was a penetrating light and a presence of compassionate warmth to all who knew her – including me. 

I also find it fitting that aboriginal Nigerians paid special homage to the Porcupine, and saw the creature as a liaison to the spirit-realms. I totally dig this association.  With its unassuming candor, the Porcupine is a perfect travel guide through the veils of parallel life/lives. 

My Native American kin tell me the Porcupine is also an “in-between” walker.  With nonchalance, it moves through shadows of life and death…  straddling weird and paradoxical realities with aloof matter-of-fact’ness.

For these and many more reasons, the Porcupine has a stoic calm that proves invaluable in times of excruciating grief.   This totemic guide also opens channels of curious awareness – which, in solemn pits of sorrow can be priceless. 

The Porcupine delivers a childlike sense of wonder, which breathes new life in topics of death.  Adjustable focus, silver linings, awe, inspiration – all effective tools for healing in times like these.

In both life and physical death the Porcupine remains a remarkably effective compatriot:   A reminder, a guardian, a friend, and of course, a consummate flotation device in consumptive, emotional waves.

Other pages of interest:

Solar Animals

Hedgehog Symbolism

Animal Totemism


Thanks to Moosealope on Flickr for the Porcupine image above.

January Wolf Moon Symbolism

WolfMoonSymbolism
Wolf Moon Symbolism


Native American wisdom marries every full moon in a month with a specific feature in Nature.   These moon associations will vary depending upon the tribe we are honoring.  This month, January is deemed the Wolf Moon or Cold Moon by various tribes indigenous to the Great Lakes region of North America.

It’s been a tough month for some of us.  I thought it fitting to toss out some symbolic observations about the January Wolf Moon with a goal to offer inspiration to folks facing some challenges right now.

Lunar Symbolism:
Before blasting off into Wolf Moon symbolism, let’s take a look at lunar implications. Subtle, cunning and soft in silky shadows, the moons meanings can be slippery.  But, to those who grasp moon symbolism, great insights follow.  Typically feminine in archetypal understanding, the moon carries themes of cycles and fertility. 

Moreover, the moon conveys a kind of creativity that is born from veiled magic.  Consider the moon’s growth cycles (waxing, full, waning, new).  These phases are wrought from the moon’s movement.  And, the manifestation of her development is made known to us through light and shadow. 

What’s the symbolic lesson here?  Progress is sometimes subtle.  Manifestations of evolution often occur behind the scenes, in shadow – before we “see the light” or the end-product of our vision.

When contemplating this month’s full moon and its partnership with the Wolf, we must not cram our intellect into the void.  Rather, the Wolf Moon asks us to use intuitive instinct in soft ways

 The gifts of this full moon come to our senses like steam rising over sacred waters marbled with frosty stillness. 

Wolf Symbolism & Wolf Moon Solutions:
Strategic, resourceful and incredibly communicative, the Wolf is a noble mentor for humankind.  Wolves have specific protocol and rank within their packs.  This observation is a cue to look to community for creative solutions during this full moon.  Communicate with those in your pack to help you with your challenges.  But don’t break taboo.  If you follow specific traditions in social communication, hold to them.  In fact, use this full moon to honor traditions of your heritage.  Take time to honor your elders too.  Tribal rituals should be heeded this time of year.

Wolves are vastly expressive.  Sure, their vocalizations (baling, howling and barking) are legendary, but Wolves also have an complex system of body language and even eye contact to convey intent and current state of being.   Discipline in the pack is rarely corporeal.  Rather, behavior is admonished or reinforced by intricate expressions.  One look from the Alpha can convey as much power as a physical blow. 

There’s big medicine in this.  Use this full moon to get in touch with your own modes of expression.  Explore your own eye contact and body language.  Examine yourself in the  mirror (yes, I’m serious) as you’re talking on the phone.  View yourself objectively.  What are your expressions conveying?  How can you modify or enhance your body language to portray more authority or power?  Or, perhaps more softness and sensuality is needed.  Too often we are unconscious about our eye and body  movements in the scheme of social interaction.  This is a great time to ponder these nuances of communication.

Wolves are also phenomenally resourceful.  In fact, their resourcefulness is partly why this moon carries the Wolf moniker.  January is a brutal month in the northern regions.  The frigidity of winter crunches life to a stand-still in the wild.  To be sure, it’s a time of “sink or swim” to all wildlife exposed to the elements this time of year. 

Wolves, however, often thrive during this lean month.  They are designed to handle the brutality of cold quite well.  Furthermore, as Wolves are inclined to pick off weaker animals, January offers up a host of feasting options.    Perhaps we can use the resourcefulness of the Wolf to reconsider our options in life.  Maybe what seems bleak or lame in our life is actually an invitation for opportunity.  Food for thought.

I hope these symbolic ideas about the cold Wolf Moon inspire you to take advantage of January’s lunar fullness.  Take a pause on the evening of this month’s full moon to contemplate your own inner wisdom too.  I bet your findings will be illuminating.

Shine on.

Other topics designed to inspire:

Native American Full Moons

Your Native American Full Moon Zodiac Sign

Moon Symbolism

Moon Tattoo Symbolism

Moon Sign Personality Types

Wolf Symbolism & Wolf Totem Meanings


The image above was created by Avia Venefica using her moon photo, and a Wolf image from Dennis Matheson on Flickr (used with permission via Creative Commons).

Sky Dogs and Horse Helpers

Tags: Animal Totems | Native American | Horse Symbolism

My Great Grandfather, Bronze Medalist of 1932 Olympic Equestrian Events
My Great Grandfather, Bronze Medalist of 1932 Olympic Equestrian Events

For me, the symbolic meaning of horses is compelling because it points out the value of partnering with our animal kin for guidance, wisdom and growth.

That admiration was confirmed last week after spending hours with my dad going over his lineage.  Simply put, we’re horse people.

Generation after generation the hands of my bloodline have held firm on horse reins (and mane hair before the advent of the bit).

What’s this got to do with you, who are seeking relationships between symbolic meaning and your personal life path?

Plenty, because horses, more than most creatures, exhibit a brand of stoic patience for humans and a willingness to help us in our pursuit of freedom.

Over the years, horses have stood by our sides, helped us in our plights, facilitated our goals, and offered us a kind of mobility we would have otherwise never known without their graceful countenance.

Native Americans  knew this. 

Sky Dog was the name given to horses by Plains tribes because prior to the mid 1600s (when visiting Spaniards accidentally let loose a few horses which eventually fell into the savvy hands of  Northern American native folk) dogs served as helpers in daily work.  They helped carry heavy loads by means of the travois, and facilitated an intensely nomadic way of life. 

Horses effortlessly usurped these roles from the dogs, and much more.  They afforded Native people freedom and opportunities as vast as the sky. 

When Sky Dogs came on the scene, they shifted the entire paradigm for the Native way of life. 

Most notably, horses showed a willingness to accept mankind’s dependence upon them. 

For centuries, mankind has asked for their strength, and horses have nobly and generously provided. 

With that in mind, I invite you to ask yourself: “Who are my Sky Dogs?” 

By this I mean:

  • Which animals communicate with you?
  • What animals share and carry your burdens?
  • What animals offer you mobility and facilitate your highest freedom?
  • What kind of gratitude and acknowledgement do you extend to these animal helpers?

 
If you happen to be “horse people” too, you might enjoy my page on the symbolic meaning of horses here

You may also find my page on Knowing and Communicating with Your Animal Totem  intriguing.