Personal Qualities • How would you best describe yourself? Lets brainstorm. • http://www.maricopa.edu/eod/secureemployment/documents/pers_quality_checklist.pdf • Write down the key qualities from the list above that you believe you possess.
WHAT IS AN ANIMAL TOTEM? There are hidden qualities and forces of nature that we can access if we are interested and we can learn some of the natural language the animal kingdom is telling us. Animals express the spirit nature of that species and demonstrate qualities we can learn from. They are psychological and spiritual symbols that convey to us qualities we are needing or lacking in our daily lives. They are a mirror of us reflecting our own innate qualities to help ourselves better understand our connection to all things. Connections to animals and their wisdom are found throughout the world in many cultures. From cave paintings, jewelry and carvings to countless stories and legends. In thepast there was no separation between man and animal. This view is reemerging as we awaken to the knowledge of the animals. We were and are inextricably linked as one. Animals, regardless of culture and location, teach us by example because they are tuned to the natural forces around us.
Do you know your Animal Totems? • From Mystickal Creatures • Begin the process of discovering your animal totems by examining the animals you have been most interested in & the times of your life that interest was piqued. • Use the following questions to help determine which animals are probably totems to you in your life.
Animal Totem Questions • Which animal or bird has always fascinated you? (We are drawn to that which most resonates with us. Those animals which fascinate us have something to teach us.) • When you visit the zoo, which animal do you wish to visit the most or first? • What animal(s) do you see most frequently when you are out in nature? Have you had encounters with animals in the wild? (The animals we encounter, in their city environments or in the wild, have significance for us. We can learn from them, even if only about survival within that environment.)
Animal Totem Questions • Of all the animals in the world, which are you most interested in now? (Our interests in animals change. Yes, we usually have one or two that are lifetime, power animals, but others become prominent when there is something of importance or specific to teach us.) • What animal most frightens you? (That which we fear the most is often something we must learn to come to terms with. When we do that, it then becomes a power. Some shamans believe that fears will take the shape of animals, and only when we confront them without fear do their powers/medicine work for us instead of against us. Such an animal becomes a shadow totem.)
Animal Totem Questions • Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal? (Historically, if a shaman survived an attack, it was believed that the animal was the shaman's spirit totem and the attack was the totem's way of testing the shaman's ability to handle the power.) • Do you have dreams with animals in them or are there animal dreams you have never forgotten? (This is especially important if the dreams are recurring or if at least the animal image in the dream is a recurring one. Children often dream of animals, & attention should be given to these animals. They will often reflect specific spirit totems of the child.)
Helpful websites: • American Totem Pole Project: • http://missmax.netfirms.com/nativeamerican/totempoles/1_totem_project04.html • Native American Animal Symbols • http://www.whats-your-sign.com/native-american-animal-symbols.html
TOTEM POLES:An Exploration (Pat Kramer) • http://users.imag.net/~sry.jkramer/nativetotems/default.html • Use this and other websites to search for your list of top 10 interesting totem pole facts. • **be sure to include sources (website addresses)
SOURCES USED: • http://www.kelsohighschoolartdept.blogspot.com/ • http://www.starstuffs.com/animal_totems/