Tag Archives: intuition

Poof! You’re a Toad (the dangers of totem-assignment)

Personal Investment is Key to Totem Identification

Don’t let the title of this blog post fool you.  I’m not waving my rowan-wood wand, turning folks into toads (yet, lol).

Rather, this post is about the tricky business of assigning animal totems to folks wanting to know.

Not a day passes when someone doesn’t send in an email with a question like: “Avia, can you tell me what my animal totem is?”

On the one hand, I’m thrilled with these inquiries.  It suggests a desire to re-connect to animal kin.  It’s a sign that folks are becoming more attuned to the wild and wonderful realms of the Mother [Nature] – and that is uber-awesome.

On the other hand, I’m often distressed by the lack of personal investment in re-connecting with our animal brothers and sisters.  Connections to our animal kin is a deeply personal act.

What’s even more irking is the idea that a virtual stranger can arbitrarily assign a totem to another person.  To explain, I’ve been known to listen in on certain radio show discussions about totems and neo-shamanism.  I’m not naming names, but I’m suspect when these totem-experts get callers on their show with the inevitable question: “Can you tell me my animal totem?” and I’m floored when the totem-practitioner pops off a critter to the caller – essentially assigning a totem to him or her in the span of two seconds.

How can that cosmic connection be gleaned from a distant second party?  It feels like “slot-machine logic” – an answer spit out at random.  I could be wrong. These totem experts could be mightily connected to their spiritual council, and so they are fed this totem information to present to the caller.  Still, I have doubts.

On my most connected days, in which unification with my own Spirit Council is super-tight, I am fed information in terms of “seeing” woodland creatures or other critters scampering around my client’s energy.  These visions give me a good idea about the inquirer’s totem affiliations.  Nevertheless, in the midst of these visions come strong admonishments from the Council.  Admonishments like: “These are the animal energies communing with the human – but he/she must establish the connection.”

Historically, shamans could succinctly identify totems to the members of their tribe/village.  There’s a reason for that.  Shamans, elders, seers, and wise-women of a tribe typically hold their positions in the group over long spans of time. They live, learn, love together in a tight-knit community, intrinsically linked to the clan members. They often oversee the birthing of new members, and are participants of that member’s life from day one.  This gives them special knowing, they see the patterns between a tribal-member’s aura, energy, personality that link to the like-energy of their totem.  Simply put, tribal shamans have had a long-standing connection with their people, and are therefore in a better position to identify the individual totems of their tribesmen and women.

So what if we don’t live in a native setting in which an Elder knows us and can help us retrieve our animal totem identities?

The onus is on us.  We must be the ones to invest the time to re-connect with our animal guides and guardians.

Asking others to identify our totems isn’t a bad thing, but I’d be leery of pat answers from virtual strangers.  Those who ask me what their totems are often get frustrated with my round-about answers.  I offer information that my Council feeds me, but not without belting out a few paragraphs about the importance of personal meditation, research and investigation into the matter.

Let’s face it.  Most of us wouldn’t ask a stranger “Who is my life-partner?” and then marry the first person named Joe or Suzie just because we’ve been given a pat answer to this question.

In my opinion, re-partnering with our animal totems is no less serious.  Our animal totems are profound partnerships – indeed, a marriage.  They deserve our time and attention to get to know them.  We deserve the investment to familiarize ourselves with our connection to them.  So, be wary of the “poof! you’re a toad” syndrome.  Pat answers to complex questions like these are to be approached with caution.

Animal Messages: The Good News

Animal Messages - It's All Good

In one capacity or another, I’ve been dipping into animal consciousness and interpreting symbolic messages they contribute to the greater/global consciousness.

An email I got from a reader of my main website (whats-your-sign), asked a great question:

Hi Avia, I love your work and reading your animal insights have really helped me on my life’s journey.  A few years ago I was having a terrible spell of bad circumstances.  The Owl kept visiting me, and I was convinced it was a bad omen.  Do you remember me emailing you about this several years back?  You responded with a link to an article you wrote about symbolic Owl meanings, and it helped.  It also made me explore more of your animal interpretations, and I noticed something.  All your interpretations are positive.  It seems there is nothing but good news coming from our birds, fish and mammals from your perspective.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a criticism, but even your ideals about Snakes and Spiders (critters who aren’t my favorites, lol) are positive and uplifting.  Can you tell me why is it all good news?  Don’t animal messages sometimes include negativity, or at least a warning of bad things to come?  Thanks for your work.
Love,
Beth

Beth makes a good point.

I look at animal consciousness as an extension of the Unified consciousness (call it the God, the Goddess, Christ consciousness – by any name,  it’s that omnipresent, pervasive, supportive intelligence unifying all energy).  I mention on many occasions that the creatures of our planet are (mostly) clarified energy – they don’t have the weirdies of mentality like humans often exhibit.  Because our creatures are clarified, they’re a pure channel for Unified consciousness.

So, when I dive in for data about animal messages, animal meanings, etc., it just makes sense the information retrieved will be a bright reflection of the Unified field – supportive, buoying, brilliant.  In short, the Natural Realm lives closer to, and indeed, is one with God.  Naturally, their communications will reflect that relationship.


If you dig this post, you might also like:

Getting Messages from Nature

Nature Symbols

Animal Totems & Animal Symbolism

Tips to Knowing Your Animal Totems

Introducing Deep-Heart Healing

Through my work, I come in contact with special souls, whose intent is true and virtuous.  One such soul is Steven Distefano, co-founder of Deep-Heart Healing.  Over time, Steven has remained consistent in his devotion to spiritual growth for himself and his community (both local and long-distance).  This post serves as an introduction to the ministry of his heart, Deep-Heart Healing.  Here are a few excerpts from his work, and the work of co-founder, Ulrike Basile.  Enjoy!

Deep-Heart Healing
Introducing Deep-Heart Healing

The focus for Deep-Heart Healing is the overcoming of fear-based energies in our life by love.

The great human problem of evil and fear lies in believing the illusion that we are separate from one another, separate from nature and Spirit.  This is ignorance of what truly is: Our Oneness. When this is overcome, we behave lovingly towards one another. What is most needed today therefore is healing the effects of believing the illusion of separateness and the fear it generates in our lives.

In the way of Deep-Heart Healing, – Spirit discerns all things. We are all an interdependent web of relationships mutually influencing each other in every moment. As we become aware of Spirit as Loving Ground we can discern how all things work towards the realization of our unique call to love from The Spirit for the good of all.

Deep-Heart Healing also stresses that we can develop intuitive guidance as we commit our whole life for the good of all. Intuitive guidance has but one aim — that we may discern what is in harmony in our life, in all our thoughts, words and actions with Spirit and what is not.

Deep-Heart Healing assists the direction of the heart towards the commitment for Universal Good which discerns all energies at work in our life.

  • What spiritual practice will best serve my awakening to Spirit?
  • What are the unresolved fears and limiting beliefs from my earliest years and throughout my life that are now calling to be released?
  • Where in my bodily systems is there imbalance and what supplements, healing modalities will best restore my natural balance?
  • What relationships and/or choices in my life, best serve my realizing the greater joy and freedom to respond to The Call of Spirit given me?

It is in listening to such questions as these in the presence of Spirit that what we truly need is discovered.

For Healing Sessions (by phone or in person), Talks, Workshops:

Steven Distefano
(402) 651-1926
deephearthealing{at}gmail.com

-or-

Ulrike Basile
(402) 319-7790
deephearthealing{at}gmail.com

Seeds as a Symbol of Consciousness


Seeds - A Symbol of Consciousness?
Seeds – A Symbol of Consciousness?

Last night, in the dreamtime, symbolic seeds were sown into the meaty furrows of my brain.  Their manifested identities known only to my deeper consciousness.  It was a fabulous sensation.  The grey matter of my mind seemed willing, pliable and moistly awaiting the first touch of root to mental-membrane.

A good dream. An oracle of potential growth.  A sign of depositing new ideas into old rows with the hope and promise of a bumper crop of…of what?  Creativity?  Productivity? New kinds of nourishment?  Food for a hungry mind?  New neuro-network patterns?

Who knows.  Dream-walking advances at a far different pace than common ambulation.  That means, I’ll have to walk calmly between multiple time-lines to see the cycles of growth these dream seeds represent.

But in the meantime, while I’m weeding, feeding and cerebrating over these dream seeds, I thought I’d sow a few symbolic thoughts on seeds as a symbol of consciousness.

Traditional symbolic meaning of seeds include:

  • Potential
  • Trust
  • Hope
  • Nourishment
  • Sacred
  • Earthiness
  • Initiation
  • Reproduction
  • Cycles
  • Time
  • Provision

Several years ago, while dining with a colleague, he asked: “What’s the symbol for consciousness?”

In response, I pulled out a pen and drew a single dot on a paper cocktail napkin.

“That’s it?” He asked.

“Yep, that’s it.” I said, “The dot represents a single point of awareness.  It is, essentially, a seed.  It is the point of pure potential.  This present moment of focused consciousness gives no clue as to which side of the polarity it leans.  There is no gender, no higher or lower, no light or dark.  It simply is.”

My colleague protested: “But isn’t consciousness expansive?  Pervasive?  Everywhere at all times?  This dot, or seed suggests limitation, and that’s not how I see consciousness.”

I loved this observation, and after pausing a moment to let his implications sink in, I responded:

“Yes, I agree with your model of consciousness.  However, I chose this dot to represent a seed as a symbol of consciousness because it is the point of initiationAwareness must be initiated.  And the concept of initiation is inherent to the ancient symbolism of seeds.  So, it’s the idea of initiation…specifically, initiating the potential that is powerfully packed in a small unit (a dot, a seed) that I’m emphasizing here.”

I was reminded of this conversation when I woke from my seed dream.

Those crazy brain seeds!  That tiny dot drawn on a cocktail napkin.  A single unit of initial potential!

These images made me want to become that dot…to become a seed and

  • Auger a sense of stillness in the midst of daily bustling.
  • Be as a seed is: Patient, Potent, Packed with potential.
  • Be silent, rest in a damp darkness, suspended.
  • To “just know,” and own remarkable wisdom without the necessity to prove it.
  • Submerge in resolute assurance that transition, growth and ascension is inevitable.

Just thoughts.  Thanks for growing along with me..

Other symbolic seeds for your consideration:

Nature Symbolism

Dream Meanings

Six Simple Steps to Interpreting Dreams