Now that I have broached the topic of totems, I want to make a few points about the concept. Different cultures and historical traditions call the beliefs by other names and have developed rituals that differ; however, the reason for each of them is the same. We humans have always had a tendency to drift away from the connection to and lessons of nature the more “civilized” we become. This has been true throughout history.
Connections with Nature and the study of her not only helps illuminate our inner person but also gives us insight into eternal Spirit, imbued in all.
Therefore, when folks face those times of questioning, seeking, exploring, and discovering, no deep, abiding, full answers will be had without Nature as a part of that. The energies of life in all of this Universe, in all of this physical, manifested realm, can be accessed by us. Shamanism or other traditions that focus on our interrelatedness with the natural and animal realm opens wonderful doors of discovery.
The understanding and acceptance of totem animal energies in our lives is an awesome, insightful process of enlightenment as the “animal becomes a symbol of a specific force of the invisible, spiritual realm manifesting within our own life (from Ted Andrews’ wonderful book Animal Speak: The Spiritual and Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small — (Andrews 2)).
I would like to share another story like last night’s; I have many. Last fall, Eastern bluebirds started showing up in the ‘hood. Of course, my neighbor, who I referred to last night, feeds the birds every morning, and I share in that. He had been trying to lure bluebirds for years, so he put out mealworms for them.
Finally, we began seeing bluebirds in the morning at one of the feeding trays — not frequently — and we had to really wait and look. Many times we thought we would see a streak of blue, but we weren’t sure.
Last fall, though, one evening — I have a couple brief videos of this — I heard insistent, almost annoyed birdie chatter. I looked to the other side of my house and four bluebirds were engaged in some little territorial dispute. It ended up fine, and one of the birds stayed and alit on my fence much closer than the others, who were now vanished. I spoke to him and asked him if he had a message for me. I tried to be calm, but a thrill coursed through my body. I knew, but I asked for assurance that if he had a message to leave me a feather.
I really didn’t think that would happen because he flew into the oak tree right over my head without leaving a feather before flying off. However, the next morning I went out, looked up to the branch where he had perched, and my eyes were immediately drawn to the ground at my feet — energy. The feather lay there, a gift from Spirit.
So what? This is what. I had no idea what Bluebird symbolized. I knew, though, I needed to learn. I went to Ted Andrews’ book and found this: “If a bluebird has come into your life, look for opportunities to touch the joyful and intrinsically native aspects of yourself that you may have lost touch with” (Andrews 121). That made me reflect on how I felt emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and brought up issues I realized I needed to deal with and heal over concerting my inner child — another story, another time.
I cannot tell you how wonderful it is when I call for help or when I’m sending out energy of which I am not consciously aware, and my bird totems show up, remind me, provoke me, or comfort me through reflection on their significance. Their energy resonates with my Heart, my highest Self. Gotta tell ya, it’s a meaningful, affirming connection with eternal Spirit and all of creation.
Think about it, and be blessed as you do!
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!