Totem Animals Blog by Mychele Spirit Mother
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Wolf
We have written about the wolf before but we have several requests to write about this magnificent animal again.

Wolf teaches us: 
Wolf is a great teacher and is here to help you adapt to change as she adapts to her environment, embracing the coming seasons and the availability of food

She accepts reality as she sees it and teaches us to see truth through her eyes 

From birth wolf is forever transforming as she meets the experiences of her world, embracing the changes and the lessons they bring. She shows us the value in transformation

Intuition and to trust our decisions

To accept the dark side of ourselves 

Aligned with the moon energies she teaches us to honor the feminine qualities within ourselves

How to Apply Wolves Teachings to Your Life 
What is changing in your life at present? Notice your resistance to it and then chose to embrace it. You may want to use affirmations for this such as "I embrace change as a natural process of my life".

What illusions are you clinging too? Are you seeing the world through clouded vision. Is your view influenced by past experiences or expectations? Let it go so that you are able to see clearly with the vision of wolf.

Are you being called to share what you have learned with others? This could be through a traditional role as a teacher or as a leader in your field of expertise. It could be that you have much to share with your children. However you feel called to expres your teacher within Wolf is their to guide you. totem wolves

Seek solitude. Set aside an hour where your family and friends know not to disturb you. Sometimes it is easier to relax outside of your home environment if this is possible go for a walk in the woods. This time will allow you to connect with the teacher within. 
Look for lessons where ever you are. You may find it in the smallest feeling of irritation towards someone or by asking more questions. Situations to learn from are being presented to you so stay alert.
 

Dragonfly

Dragonfly embodies a stripping away of all the beliefs that say we cannot do this or that, achieve a dream or goal, it is to remind us that anything is possible when we really get the understanding that we are part of Spirit and as such we have the power to manifest anything that we desire. 

Dragonfly is the keeper of dreams, the knower within that sees all of our true potential and ability. Dragonfly strips away the illusions that say to us we cannot achieve our dreams and goals, that we are not worthy or capable when in fact it is our birthright and our true power to create anything we choose! 

Dragonfly also connects us with the power of colour and the ability to work with many different colours to achieve anything we want to experience in life. We can begin to see how the colours we wear via our clothing, the colours that we fill our homes with, even the colour of the car we drive is impacting us for better or worse. Continually wearing dull drab colours while asking for more adventures or excitement in life sends the message that we do not really want what we are asking for. The colour we surround ourselves with does set up a vibration that attracts circumstances and energies that reflect back to us what messages we are sending forth. If we want change we need to affirm that we are ready and willing for the changes to occur through the use of colour vibrations that match the energy we are seeking to experience. If one wants to become better recognized for the work one loves doing then wearing shades of red or violet will help one achieve that. For new beginnings try wearing shades of green. To feel more empowered try wearing shades of yellow. To feel more deeply connected with the Universe and to develop greater intuitive ability, all shades of blues and indigo are excellent! Colour is a very valuable tool in expressing who we are, who we desire to be and what we desire to experience in our lives.

Dragonfly also teaches us how to combine emotion with rational thought. Dragonflies in the early stages are known as Nymphs and spend most of their lives in the water. They are voracious predators which indicates that Dragonfly can also help one to eat away at anything in our lives that is out of control. They are especially helpful for addictions of all sorts including the more "well known" addictions such as overeating, drinking to excess or drug addictions. Yet procrastination, over spending or maxing credit cards to the limit, daydreaming, overwork and so forth can all be addictions that rob one of the ability to create a balanced, fulfilling life. Most if not all addictions are due to suppressed emotional energies and traumas that are being compensated for through the addiction. Overeating for example can be a "medicine" for feeling unloved and Alcoholism "medicine" for depression. When Dragonfly appears it may indicate that there are addictions or other problems/pests that are "out of control" in your life that need to be examined and resolved. Often the main issue will not always be what it appears to be on the surface, it is important to peer beneath the emotional waters so to speak in order to understand what is really happening! 

Once the Dragonfly has emerged as a winged adult, it conquers the air through its swift flight. This indicates that working with Dragonfly energy may also help you come to some swift conclusions or new insights that help propel you into new ways of being and doing. Certainly it is a most important time for seeing through illusions and really hearing the messages that the Universe is sending you at this time. Beliefs that centre on powerlessness, limitation or fear are likely to be up for review and release. You always have the power to choose what you are going to believe in and focus on You always have the power to take action of some sort that will help change your current circumstances for the better. Working with Dragonfly medicine shows that you are ready to step beyond the mass thought of blaming "something out there" for your problems and instead are now getting down to the business of accepting responsibility for what happens in your life by making the appropriate changes as you feel guided. 

People who carry Dragonfly medicine are often quite talented in the use of Colour for healing. They may see or sense the colours that an individual carries in their aura and can learn how to help the person adjust the colour rays so that one become more a part of their own healing process rather than relying on someone else to do the healing for them (which never works anyway!). For example, if someone carries a heavy, murky colour of red in their aura which may lead to power struggles, constant irritations from others or things always going wrong, the Dragonfly person can help that person bring in the clear reds that are more empowering in terms of living with confidence but without the chip on the shoulder that begs for someone to come along and knock it off! Or if someone has an aura that appears to be depleted of vital energy and colour, the Dragonfly person can help this person learn to work with drawing in all the colours of the Universe, both seen and unseen, to repair and invigorate the aura. A simple way of doing this is to start by focusing on all the colours of the rainbow and to visualize them entering into the aura via the Universal flow. This can be expanded by asking that all colours including those our human eyes are not yet able to perceive also flow into the aura. This can take as little as 1 minute up to 20 or more to accomplish, normally though when one has attracted enough of this energy there is a sense of completion or "inner click" and the person just feels done with the process. This can be done as often as someone feels the need and is especially helpful during times of great stress or trauma. Colour is part of the "food" that the aura needs to remain strong and healthy so doing this several times a week or each day can be very uplifting and strengthening! 

Dragonfly people are also very talented at helping others navigate their own emotional waters. How often have you heard someone say they "felt Blue" or "tickled Pink"? Our emotions have colours just the same as our world is filled with colour. By noting what colours one is attracted to over a cycle of time, one also can hone in more closely on what emotions are really running the life. Because we become so acclimated to feeling a certain way, we may not even realize that we are depressed, feeling a low level anger or hostility, or are in grief still over an event that occurred many years ago. Or we may project those emotions onto others and wonder why we are constantly attracting people that are depressed or hostile! Dagonfly energy and people can help us get more in touch with our felt but ignored emotions, our ways of feeling that have become so well known to us that we don't even realize those emotions are there! Our emotions also impact the colours that our aura's are displaying and having a Dragonfly person take a good close look at those colours can really help someone release any energy that is not to their benefit while learning how to incorporate more of the colours that will be of better service. Once we are able to put a name to something, then we can begin the process of researching the tools that will help us to heal and move on from it. 

In our culture emotions are not "nice", people are not encouraged to feel the wide range of emotions we have been blessed with and so often the energy gets trapped or stuffed down, especially in the lower chakras. Working with Dragonfly energy, calling it into the lower chakras (where much of this energy is especially trapped and then manifested through the body) can help stir this energy up and get it moving again. It need not be as painful as one might fear and it is always less painful than having that energy constantly attracting more of the same to you through its vibration! To work with this if you don't know a Dragonfly person to help you through the process, simply call in the energy of Dragonfly through your mind, just thinking about it is enough and will work. Next, visualize the Dragonfly moving through your lower chakras, infusing them with clear, brilliant colours, the loveliest you can imagine. If you start to feel emotional, stick with the process! Usually it does not take so long for this energy to clear and you need to be feeling those emotions! Cry, yell, stomp your feet, do what ever it takes to get that energy up and out, and bear in mind that you have a powerful ally working within you and for you that us helping support you during this process. If however you really do feel afraid or are concerned you might "lose it", do consult with an alternative healer or other therapist before engaging in any of this sort of healing work. Its a great sign of true strength and power to know we all need help from time to time! 

Dragonfly people often benefit from working with crystals that have "rainbows" within them or stones that are brightly coloured, especially if the colours are clear and bright. Accents of colour throughout one's home can really lift the spirits of a Dragonfly person, especially if they have been doing loads of healing work on themselves and others. 

When Dragonfly appears be ready for transformation! This is a long cycle that can take up to 2 years or more and yet the work and effort are well worth it in the end. At times you may feel like you are firewalking your way through life (Dragonflies are really mini Dragons after all!) and yet what is emerging from within you is a sense of your own inner power and faith in a Higher Power that no one can ever take from you! You are in the process of coming to know and understand who you truly are, of connecting with the vast source of power and energy that was given to you by Spirit at the time your Soul came into being. This power has grown within you as you have journeyed through space and time. Now is the time for it to be claimed as your own so you may step forth renewed as the powerful Soul that you came to this earthwalk to express! 

The Squirrel When you observe the squirrel in nature they are always busy. They seem to have an endless supply of energy. Seldom do you see a squirrel inactive. Focused on the task at hand, agile and quick, they are constantly preparing for the future by gathering nuts and seeds for later use. Although they are always prepared for what may come they have a tendency to forget where they store things. The forgetfulness of squirrel serves as a reminder to those with this medicine to slow down, pay attention and to stop running frantically in several directions at once. Squirrels are sociable and communicative. They can be quite vocal both in work and play. Sometimes their continual chatter disturbs the silence, which creates an air of distraction and chaos. If you find yourself disturbed by their constant chatter the squirrel is telling you to speak clearly and effectively or to go within and be still, depending on the circumstances around your situation. Their gathering nature teaches those with this totem how to reserve energy and store things for future use. Honoring the future and readying yourself for change. Squirrel embodies the quality of trust and is one of the few animals that will eat out of a person's hand. This symbolizes a need to let down your defenses and learn to trust more. The issue of trust can play out in all areas of a person's life from personal intimacy to trusting Great Spirit. Because the squirrel is always prepared those with this medicine must remember that they will be taken care of. Establishing trust where it is presently absent would compliment the power of this medicine. Squirrel represents balance within the circle of gathering and giving out. If squirrel has scampered into your life pay attention to the wisdom it has to offer you. Preparedness and survival skills can be learned from this powerful totem.
The Butterfly Throughout history the butterfly has been admired for their delicate beauty. Most adult butterflies live just one or two weeks except for the monarch and angel wing which can live for six months or more. This is very symbolic. It suggests that a person with this medicine will experience tremendous soul growth in their earlier years. A difficult childhood is common. Life lessons are revealed to the consciousness while in the womb of the mother - the cocoon stage - and are completed when the caterpillar emerges into the butterfly and takes flight. Butterflies are symbols of freedom and creativity. They hold the gift of transformation and soul evolution. Butterflies have a pair of large compound oval eyes made up of thousands of individual lenses. They can see a single image clearly and are able to perceive ultraviolet wavelengths of light. This suggests clairvoyant abilities for those that hold this totem. The antennae of the butterfly has small knobs on each end which is said to play a role in orientation. When one antennae is missing the butterfly will fly in circles unable to find its way. Those with this medicine need to stay consciously connected to spirit at all times in order to arrive at their desired destination. The butterfly represents the process of transformation and shape shifting. When butterfly shows up, make note of the most important issues confronting you at the moment. What state of change are you at in regard to them? To the Native Americans the butterfly is a symbol of joy. They remind us not to take life so seriously. They feed on flowers that they help pollinate, thereby further spreading beauty. They represent the element of air, quickly changing and ever moving, so gracefully. Butterflies are messengers of the moment. They come in a variety of colors. To understand the message that the butterfly holds for you a study of its colors can be helpful. Whenever an eco system is damaged, butterfly is usually the first to leave. They are especially sensitive to the harmony of earth. If butterfly comes to you in a hurt, trapped or ill way, you are being asked to stop disturbing the natural design of life and to flow with events in a more gentle, natural way.
The Salamander Salamanders most commonly occur in freshwater and damp woodlands, principally in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They are generally short bodied, four legged, and moist skinned animals with bold patterns and bright colors. Patterns and colors have different meanings to different people. Examining the patterns and colors of the salamander can help us discover the intricate patterns that govern our lives. Unwanted emotional patterns can be restructured or eliminated by the study of sacred geometry and meridian alignments. Like other amphibians the salamander absorbs water through their skin and needs a moist habitat in which to live. Those with this medicine need to be around water for their overall health and well being. Breeding often occurs in the water although certain members of this family breed on land. The word amphibian comes from two words--"amphi" = "double" and "bios" = life. Amphibians divide their life between land and water. From a symbolic aspect, this can reflect much about what has often been taught in lore about its power. Salamanders are often regarded as the keeper of dreams. Their ability to live in water and on land can reflect that lucid dreaming is going to be stimulated. The salamander hears and responds to low frequency tones rather then high pitched ones. These tones are primal in nature and can help us gain entry into the underworld. To strengthen ones sensitivity to such sounds playing the didgeridoo as well as drumming is helpful. Typical salamanders undergo a larval stage that can last for a period of a few days to several years. The development of a child with salamander medicine is usually slower than other children their age. Specific periods of major transitions are common and easily pinpointed. Those with this medicine will find themselves continually learning, growing and developing their body, mind and spirit throughout the early part of their life. In their adult years knowledge gained as a child will surface. Salamander medicine is a subtle teacher, from its patterns and colors, to its connection with the elements. Those with this totem will often find themselves living a double life. Their thoughts and actions can seem odd and unusual which gives them the power to assist others in shape shifting their reality.
The Cat According to author Ted Andrews of Animal Speaks, cats wild or domestic have certain qualities in common. They are associated with myth and lore, magic and mystery. Nine lives, curiosity, independence, cleverness, unpredictability and healing. Those with this medicine should also study its color, size and breed for a deeper understanding. Cats have more rods in the retinas of their eyes which enable them to see effectively in the dark. The dark is often associated with mankind's fears. Since the cat is at home in the dark, it serves as a valuable ally into the world of the supernatural and the unknown and can help those with this totem move through their fears efficiently. The energy field of a cat rotates is a counterclockwise direction, the opposite of a human energy field. Because of this, cats have the ability to absorb and neutralize energy that affects humans in a negative way. This is part of the healing medicine that the cat holds. If something affects you in a negative way place a cat on your lap or find a cat to pet. Your energy field will immediately realign itself and inner balance will be restored. Because of their x-ray vision, acute hearing and high intelligence they were used throughout history as guardians and protectors. In ancient Egypt cats guarded the temple gates and were used to ward off evil. If cat appears in your life the blending of magic and mystery is at hand. A trustworthy teacher, the cat will guide you into the world of self discovery and transformation.
The Bat This close to Halloween, we simply must talk about bats! There are different species of bats, which have widely divergent characteristics. Some are small and others are large. With one or two exceptions, the large bats live on fruits and find their way visually. The small bats feed mostly on insects, catching them on the wing by a process known as echolocation in which an animal produces sounds and listens for the echoes reflected from surfaces and objects in the environment. When this medicine is fully developed in man intuitive and clairaudient abilities are accurate. When underdeveloped psychic perception becomes clouded by imaginings of the mind. Studies on bats found that when they are placed in a refrigerator, they will go into an instant state of hibernation and come out unharmed when they are warmed, which is unique for a warm blooded mammal. This indicates that the life force of the bat is strong and is able to regenerate and replenish it when needed. Those with this medicine also have this ability and would benefit from all types of yogic practices especially those related to awakening the kundalini. Bat holds the power of adaptability. Everything about them, senses, feeding, flight, mating and size is suited to their particular environment. When bat appears in your life its message may be to examine your surroundings to discern what bounty is being offered to you, and then alter your patterns so you can receive it. An out of balance bat will get scrambled and confused and will fly into things. Are you crashing into barriers as you try to get what you need and want in life? If so, bat may be trying to tell you to take a moment to get your bearings and determine the relative importance of what you are seeking. When bat flies into your life transformation of the ego self is about to occur. The old familiar patterns and ideas that have been your truth are about to change. That which once worked for you may no longer. The process of transformation represents a death and a rebirth. Bat offers you the wisdom necessary to make the appropriate changes for the birthing of your new identity. Author Ted Andrews writes that bats have needle like teeth and can sometimes carry rabies. Rabies is an infectious disease of the blood and can cause a person to go mad. Fears that are allowed to spread, uninhibited will eventually permeate our system and can create a kind of madness within our lives. Bats reflect a need to face our fears. Because the bat is a sociable animal it can indicate a need for more sociability or increased opportunity with greater numbers of people. It has great auditory perception and can navigate through the dark easily. Their built in sonar enables them to know what lies beneath the surface. Those with this medicine have uncanny abilities to discern hidden messages both from people and the environment.. When bat appears it is asking you to surrender yourself to the process of change. Opportunities unknown to the conscious mind are about to manifest.
The Swan Graceful elegant birds the swan seems to glide through the water leaving hardly a ripple behind. Its persuasive beauty reminds us to move gently through the currents of life and not battle them. Swans are one of the fastest fliers. During migration they fly in V formations at great heights. Their wing beats are slow but steady. This gives them the endurance needed to reach their destination quickly without tiring. Those with this totem have the same abilities and should observe, then apply, the movements of swan when pursuing goals. The swans large wings embrace the sky collecting and storing knowledge from the heavens. Their white plumage reminds us of the wonder and innocence found in the purity of spirit. Their long slender necks serve as a bridge between the mundane and the extraordinary. Upon this bridge lies the wisdom for spiritual realization. The swan mates for life. Courtship involves mutual bill dipping or head-to-head posturing. They are committed devoted partners. In personal relationships humans make commitments they cannot keep. By applying swans skills in our life we begin to honor what we have chosen. This in itself is a powerful lesson for those who hold this medicine. Honoring commitments increase ones personal integrity. While feeding, swans do not dive into the water like other birds. They skim its surface dipping themselves in and out. In man, water is associated with the feminine principal of intuition and emotion. By following the lead of the swan we learn how to view our emotions without getting trapped by them. Our intuition helps us understand our feelings and the swan helps us process them efficiently. Swans are sociable birds with a long life span. They live about 20 years in the wild and 50 years or more in captivity. The swan is a totem that teaches us grace through movement and longevity through inner knowledge. When we look upon the swan it invokes a feeling of tranquility in us and reminds us to experience the beauty and magic of life.
The Jaguar The South American name "jaguar" means carnivore that overcomes prey with a single bound." One Indian myth says that the jaguar acquired its beautiful spotted coat by dabbing mud on its body with its paws. These spots easily distinguish the jaguar from other big cats like lions and tigers. Jaguars have very large paws and a broad head with powerful jaws. The jaguar often kills its prey by piercing the skull with one swift bite. It does not roar like a lion. Instead, the jaguar grows, snarls and makes deep grunts. Those with this totem have a good command of language although their words can have a tendency to cut, tear and shred others apart. Learning proper communication skills is important for those that hold this medicine. The jaguar's powerful limbs carry them for hundreds of miles searching for prey. It is an agile climber and shows us how to attain goals through flexibility and steadfastness. Unlike many other big cats, the jaguar has no rivals - no other predator can compete with this powerful cat. Those with this totem make excellent leaders and diplomats. Jaguar is at home in the dark and has good night vision. It moves without fear and teaches us how to trust our personal instincts. It can awaken psychic sight in those who hold this totem. The jaguar was once found from the U.S. Mexican border southward to Patagonia, Argentina. Its preferred habitats are usually swamps and wooded regions, but jaguars can also live in scrublands and deserts. Jaguars live in caves and canyons close to a source of fresh water. In mythology caves are associated with isolation and retreat. A place to go to facilitate soul work. Water is associated with the emotional body in man. When the jaguar appears it is asking you to go within, release your fears, heal your emotions and awaken your inner sight. When you come out of retreat the jaguar will be waiting for you. It you choose to follow its lead it will guide you into the underworld where the secrets of life and creation are found.
The Giraffe The giraffe is a graceful animal in spite of its ungainly appearance. Its most recognizable features are its long thin legs and its slender long neck. Its neck, supported by seven greatly elongated vertebrae is very strong. Giraffes are often seen wrapping their necks around each other to test their strength. The giraffe only requires between two to four hours of sleep a day. When sleeping they kneel down with their neck and head wrapped around them resting it in the crock of their leg. Some legends claim that the "sleep time" of the giraffe is connected to ancient Eastern cultures. The giraffes incredible flexibility allows it to take on positions similar to yoga therapies in which the body is twisted and contorted while in a meditative state. This coupled with its kneeled sleep position made many believe that it was actually praying instead of sleeping. When it awoke and stood up its great height would invoke feelings from fear to respect. The giraffes strength and flexibility shows us how to gain control of our physical bodies while expanding our mental and spiritual faculties. Many cultures honored the giraffe including the Egyptians whose art featured giraffe designs. Because of the great distance between the head and the heart, its vascular system is equipped with valves so sufficient blood reaches the brain. The elastic blood vessels in the neck and head handle changes in blood pressure due to head swings. Blood pressure fluctuations and circulatory conditions are common in giraffe medicine people so proper care is advised. What we think and what we feel on a heart level need to be aligned in order for this medicine to benefit us. Giraffes are highly attuned to danger thanks to their height, keen sense of smell and eyesight. With their heads towering high in the sky and their feet firmly planted on the ground they serve as links between the higher and lower worlds. Its flexible neck allows it see what's behind it, alongside it and in front of it. This gives the giraffe the ability to know the future and understand the past while walking in the present moment. It holds the teachings of clear sight and can be a powerful ally for those with this totem. Giraffes can go for a month without drinking. Like the zebra, each animal has a unique set of markings that helps them distinguish each other. They are quiet animals making little noise except for an occasional bleat. This silence is a great teaching for those with this medicine. The giraffes lack of vocal communication suggests that we follow suit. Words often distract us from silent reflection. Learning to balance ones speech with quietude is important. When this medicine is underdeveloped speaking just to hear oneself speak can be a downfall. Because the giraffe communicates through body language those with this medicine would benefit from some type of movement therapy. Although the head of the giraffe appears dainty its three horns give it the ability to strike a nasty blow. One of its horns is somewhat hidden located under the skin just above its eyes. This placement is similar to that of the third eye in man and reminds those with this medicine to honor their visionary abilities. The giraffe teaches us how to increase our perceptions by viewing life from all angles. When we look up, forwards, sideways and down the past, present and future is known. A wonderful totem to have the giraffe is a bearer of many gifts.
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