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-   -   Spirit Animals vs. Totems (http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=32451)

RiversLady 20-03-2012 01:13 PM

Spirit Animals vs. Totems
 
There seems to be quite a bit of confussion about spirit animals acting as your guide.
Are spirit animals guides the same as totem animals? Not really. A totem animal was
usually the symbol for a group or clan within a tribe. People in the group proudly
displayed their totem animal for all to see. In many Native American tribes you were
born into your mother's clan. Marriage could get you into another clan.
In some tribes certain clans could not intermarry. This was a way to stop inbreeding
between close family members. Some groups adopted members, while other
groups only took in those who passed a test or initiation. Totem poles were placed outside
of a home or village to show what group or groups lived there.

Spirit animals are another thing. They are extremely personal and a source of secret
guidance and power. YOU NEVER TELL ANOTHER PERSON WHAT YOUR
SPIRIT ANIMAL IS!! There are several reasons for this. It is considered bragging
by some. If you go around telling people that Bear is your animal when the next battle
comes up, Bear will abandon you for disrespecting him and take his strength with him.
To be abandoned by your animal guide is tantamount to death.

Another reason goes along the same lines as keeping your name a secret. If a powerful
Shaman got ahold of your name, they could work magic against you or enslave you.
Knowing what your spirit animal is works almost the same way. A Shaman can have several
spirit helpers, and they could gang up on yours to cause trouble.

The bond between you and your SA is strong and should never be taken for granted.
Normally you went on a vision quest ALONE to find your SA. They wanted to be
alone with you, not part of a group. You did not come home and say who you found,
only that you did find someone. You could say some of what they told you, just not who
told you.

With all the New Age re-tooling of Native American beliefs going on, it is important
to weed out ideas that are so very misunderstood. It is dangerous
to not know what you are doing in an adopted religion. People
who are not Native American don't have the passed down knowledge and have
to get guidance from others, many of whom are equally ignorant. In fact, many
native peoples today don't know their heritage. How can they teach others when
they don't understand the subject themselves? I hope this clears things up and
helps others to think about the path they are on, and with whom they are walking.

earthprowler 20-03-2012 01:27 PM

good information to know.

but i do have a question. if a Shaman does a soul retrieval on you to repair damage, can't they see all of this? and if so, who do you trust?

Wisa'ka 20-03-2012 01:44 PM

Exactly.

Personally I would never openly reveal my spirit helpers as there exists those who would use such personal information to cause one harm or to steal an individualís personal medicine.

Truly I am amazed at the amount of people freely revealing such, but what would an Indian upon a traditional spiritual path know of such anyway ?

Wolves, Eagles, Buffalo seem to be the most popular, but many of these spirit helpers appear as creatures as small as a frog, wren, moth or even a gnat. Not so large and popular as the above mentioned, but just as if not more so helpful and powerful than those others.

Sometimes they appear as something totally unrecognizable.

RiversLady 20-03-2012 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by earthprowler
good information to know.

but i do have a question. if a Shaman does a soul retrieval on you to repair damage, can't they see all of this? and if so, who do you trust?

Nope. A Shaman is going after YOUR soul. He doesn't have to see who communes with it.
A better question would be why did your spirit animal allow this to happen. Did you do something to allow it to let this happen? They are usually very protective, sometimes to the point of jealousy. Now if your Shaman told you that a spirit animal was the one to cause "loss of soul", you have a real problem. Try to get the Shaman to interceed on your behalf, and see if all concerned can reach a comfortable balance.

RiversLady 20-03-2012 01:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wisa'ka
Exactly.

Personally I would never openly reveal my spirit helpers as there exists those who would use such personal information to cause one harm or to steal an individualís personal medicine.

Truly I am amazed at the amount of people freely revealing such, but what would an Indian upon a traditional spiritual path know of such anyway ?

Wolves, Eagles, Buffalo seem to be the most popular, but many of these spirit helpers appear as creatures as small as a frog, wren, moth or even a gnat. Not so large and popular as the above mentioned, but just as if not more so helpful and powerful than those others.

Sometimes they appear as something totally unrecognizable.

Sometimes the smallest voices say the most important things!:hug:

Wisa'ka 20-03-2012 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RiversLady
Sometimes the smallest voices say the most important things!:hug:


Sometimes they say nothing at all, but can get a point across with only a movement or by just appearing.

Glad to see someone who has a bit of knowledge concerning such matters.

earthprowler 20-03-2012 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RiversLady
Nope. A Shaman is going after YOUR soul. He doesn't have to see who communes with it.
A better question would be why did your spirit animal allow this to happen. Did you do something to allow it to let this happen? They are usually very protective, sometimes to the point of jealousy. Now if your Shaman told you that a spirit animal was the one to cause "loss of soul", you have a real problem. Try to get the Shaman to interceed on your behalf, and see if all concerned can reach a comfortable balance.



i was just asking in general about a shaman healing holes in you soul, i should have been more specific. tell me how a totem animal protects you when you are 9 to keep your father from repeatedly molesting you. did i do something to allow that to happen??

but i do know which animal totem that protects that part of me while she sleeps.

Tanith 20-03-2012 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RiversLady
Sometimes the smallest voices say the most important things!:hug:



I know what you mean; one of my guides is adorably small but surprisingly deadly in its physical form.


But another question. What if your totem is blatantly obvious to those around you? In more sophisticated terms, what if you are connected so strongly with your totem that your friends and family recognize this, whether you tell them so or not?


I tend to have no problems revealing my totem because anyone who has known me knows what my totem is. It has been a co-existance since I was too little to really know what totems and spirit animals were. Obviously I wouldn't go up to complete strangers and say, "Hello! My totem is such and such!" But as I said people who know me tend to discover my totem quite easily.

It is the same with one of my more powerful guides. I recognize only one totem but many spirit guides. Everyone around me knows what this particular guide is, even those who don't believe in this kind of spirituality recognize a sort of relationship between myself and this animal.

RiversLady 20-03-2012 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by earthprowler
i was just asking in general about a shaman healing holes in you soul, i should have been more specific. tell me how a totem animal protects you when you are 9 to keep your father from repeatedly molesting you. did i do something to allow that to happen??

but i do know which animal totem that protects that part of me while she sleeps.

You said your soul was MISSING. Boy, dems some mighty big holes and I can see why. First question - Did you have a spirit animal at the tender age of 9?
If you answered yes, did you talk to it? If the answer was yes, what did it recommend?

Wisa'ka 20-03-2012 03:43 PM

"With all the New Age re-tooling of Native American beliefs going on, it is important
to weed out ideas that are so very misunderstood. It is dangerous
to not know what you are doing in an adopted religion"

True.

Just like those people in Arizona who tragically died in someoneís contrived conception of a sweat lodge.

Then there is the uncertainty of the spirit world and calling in something harmful or else offending particular spirits.


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