Man has wondered many a time what an animal would say if they could speak. Well I am here to tell you they can speak, we just need to learn how to listen. They speak without words. They speak with actions, grunts, growls, hoots ect. Each sound, every movement, means something specific to them. Deer will flip their tail up as a warning to the other deer around that there is danger present. A wolf pack has pecking orders, and contrary to popular opinion, wolves mate for life. A lesson humans could learn from them. Beavers slam their tails down as warning of danger. Rabbits prior to flight will thump their feet in warning to other of their kind. Even the reptilian family has sounds/actions that can speak if a person knows how to listen. If you are walking through a field, and smell watermelon, and know there is none around, look around. There is a snake close by. He is warning you he is there. A rattlesnake is so named because they will rattle as a warning to something larger than them that they are there. If you will just stand still, dont move, the rattlesnake will go on his way.
As I had mentioned in another thread here some time back, animals can also foretell inclement weather. And tell you what the winter will be like.If you pay attention to fur bearing aniumals throughout the year, you will notice their coat changes. As winter approaches it will get thicker to protect them from the climate. The thicker the coat, the harder, colder the winter will be. The earlier this coat starts getting thicker the earlier the winter weather. This applies mainly to outside, wild animals of course, but domestic pets will do the same a lot of times.
In the following posts I will write information about what we can learn from the animals, and what the animal totems are and what they mean. Most of this info will come from the book "Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews. He is a fantastic author who has written a number of books about the Native American ways, and the shamanic paths. Since this is a group about animals though, I will limit the passages to his animal information books.
Feel free to put in your own comments and any information you might know about what people can learn from animals.
By studying and reading about the animals, birds, fish, reptiles, insects, ect that you encounter in your life, you can understand more about the circumstances you also encounter. You can learn much about the kind of energies you are most likely to confont and those you are most able to manifest within your own day to day life circumstances.
Do you know what your animal totem is? What animal or bird or other creature has always facinated you?When you visit a zoo, what animal do you wish to visit the most or first? What animal(s) do you see most frequently when you are out in nature?Of all the animals in the world, which are you most interested in now?
As you go through life, your animal totems can and may change, or you may add more. I will give descriptions of some of the animal totems, what they mean to us, what their lessons are for us to learn. If you do not see your particular animal mentioned, put it down and I will look it up for you.
Reading animal signs
Nature speaks to us constantly. Through its shapes, colors, textures, smells, and varied expressions of animal life. It communicates to us about the world and our life, if we will listen. The symbolism of nature will vary according to its context, so you must come to know its natural context.
Every animal has distinguishing features, movements, shapes, and colors. Each has its own unique relationship with humans. Some of these relationships will be outlined in the following post entries. If you know some descriptions such as I will be posting, feel free to enter them as well. Knowledge is a shared subject and is learned from passing on.
There are many superstitions about certain animals, and we will discuss them as well. Which ones are based from some fact, and which ones are pure folly. How about the famous superstition of a black cat crossing your path being bad luck? Does anyone know where it originated, or why? And is it just a wive's tale, or based on some fact?
What other superstitions involving animals or creatures do you know about?
So glad you started this thread Delbert. I used to study quite a a bit about Native Americans and animals. Had the Medicine cards and have read Ted Nadrews but have fogotten a lot. The Bear is one of my totem animals so would love to be reminded about that. Had to get rid of most of my books when I moved.
I did want to say for those living with cats - they also have their pecking order and the need to be higher than another... it's quite fascinating.
Since Val has mentioned that one of her totems is the bear, we will start out with the bear.
Keynote:Awakening the power of the unconcious
Cycle of power: Spring and summer
The bear is a powerful symbol and image in both myth and lore. Stories abound of individuals turned into bears, bears into humans, and bears as gods. It has stirred imagination so much that even a constellation was named for it- Ursus Major, The Great Bear. Seven stars of this constellation are probably the most easily recognized in the northern hemisphere. These seven stars form the Big Dipper, and they have links to the seven great rays of light of the Divine.
All bears are astonishingly swift. The black bear and grizzly can reach running speeds of 35 - 40 mph for short distances. All bears including the polar bear can climb. Only the size of the tree will discourage the climbing. Bears are often associated with trees. Nature programs love to photograph bear cubs high up in the trees or adults scratching themselves against them. There are even "bear trees", trees marked with claws as signposts along the well-worn and travelled path of a particular bear.
The tree is a powerful and ancient symbol, just like the bear.It is a natural antenna, linking the Heavens and the Earth. Different trees do have different meanings but in general, it represents knowledge. It is a symbol of fertility, of things that grow.
As bear teaches you to go in and awaken the poterntials inherent, the tree serves as a reminder that we must bring what we awaken out into the world and apply it. anyone with a bear totem should keep the cub in themselves alive and occasionally climb trees - if only to get a clear perspective.for those with the bear as a totem, it is important not to hide away and try to hibernate all year round. You must come out of the den.
The largest of the bears is the Alaskan Brown Bear. A relative of the Grizzly, the Brown Bear is relatively solitary. The Grizzly has long been known for its strength and ferocity. Although it can be quite fierce, it is not naturally aggressive.
By far the most outstanding hunter of the bear family is the Polar Bear. This white bear has no fear. It is the most carnivorous and aggressive of all the bears. It is at the top of the food chain and has no enemy other than humans.
As you notice these descriptions can sometimes get rather long. I have left out a lot on this one, but the full descriptions can be found in Ted Andrew's book Animal Speak. I will probably only do one or two a day of these as they are quite long and take up a lot of room.
Does anyone else have a suggestion for animal totem? Bear in mind that animal totems also include birds, reptiles, insects. Feel free to make suggestions. These descriptions are based on Native American ideology, but other cultures are welcome as well if you know any or happen to run across them.
Thanks Del - appreciate that! Have a great Bear day!
What seems to be one of the more popular totems is the Eagle. I guess it is mainly because of its majestic stature, and regal beauty. Anyway here is its description.
Eagles- Keynote: Illumination of Spirit, Healing, and Creation
Cycle of Power: All seasons and during daylight
The Eagle is one of the greatest and most adfmired birds of prey. It has served as inspiration to many societies. Their ability to soar and hunt amazes and thrills those who are witness. Eagles, in fact, are so good at getting food they spend very little time hunting. The fact that they are good at feeding themselves from the land and still soar to great hieghts in the sky reflects much about the hidden significance of the Eagle who comes as a totem. They will teach balance, of being of the earth but not in it.
There are 59 species of Eagle, and they are often divided into one of four catagories. (1) Fish and sea Eagles, (2) Snake Eagles, (3) Harpy or Giant Forested Eagles, (4) Booted Eagles.
Fish and Sea Eagles obviously are those who live primarily upon a diet from the sea. In the North American Continent, the Bald Eagle is part of this catagory. Those who have a Bald Eagle as a totem need to look at the symbolic associations of water. Water and fish are often symbolic of the psychic aspects of life and the creative energies. Water is also an area that separates land from the heavens. thus reflects an awakening ability to learn to walk between worlds.
Snake Eagles often have a crest of feathers upon their head. Their toes are short and strong to enable them to grasp and hold onto wiggling snakes. Those with a snake eagle as a totem would do well to study about snake totems as well. The snake eagles swallow the snakes whole, reflecting the swallowing and digesting of higher wisdom - the serpent knowledge.
The Harpy Eagles are the largest and most powerful. None of these are found on our continent. They have huge claws that can used for grabbing larger prey, including deer.
The Booted Eagles, in general, usually have a majestic mantle of of feathers on their head and neck, and their legs have a heavy covering of feathers so that they look like they are wearing boots. The feathers of eagles are sacred to the Native Americans, and since the eagle is protected by the United States Government, it is a felony for anyone to possess such who is not of Native American blood.
Both the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle have come to symbolize heroic nobility, and divine spirit. These eagles are the messengers from heaven and are the embodiment of the spirit of the sun.For thosewith Eagle totems, new vision will open. This vision will be far reaching to the past, within the present and to the future as well.
In reading one of Jade's petitions, I noticed a "preacher" making a comment about a lion being a symbol of Satan. So I thought I would give the description for a lion today.
keynote: Assertion of the feminine and the power of the female sun.
cycle of power: Year round
The lion has been symbolic of a variety of energies through the years.It is a symbol of the sun and of gold. It was a symbol for the sun-god Mithra. The Egyptians believed that the lion presided over the annual floods of the Nile. Early Christians believed it to be the earthly opponent of the Eagle.
The lion is unusual among members of the cat family in that it will live in groups called prides. If a lion is your totem, you can expect lessons and issues dealing with community and groups to come to the surface. There may be a need to examine your own role in the group.
Within the pride, the females are the best hunters. Although most lions are clumsy hunters by themselves, they have developed an excellent cooperative hunting technique.
The lion does not fight for the sake of fighting. It avoids confrontation and will leave the scene of danger if possible.
Again this is just part of the excerpts from Ted Andrews' book. Typing this I have learned a few things about a lion that I did not know.
Thanks Delbert for posting what a lion is because I am a lion borned in july. I also learned more about lions now, very intresting
Ive found it at last!!
I see you have mentioned that petition about the lion being caged as a sign of SATAN!
Ive really enjoyed reading about each animal.
my totem is tortoises but i think that is because i have a tortoise but before that i think that if i went to the zoo the first one that i would go to would be a tiger??
Can you purchase that book because i really find this fascinating!!
Thanks ever so much Delbert!!!!
just found the book its bout £11.70 on amazon i didnt know if i cud get it in the uk but i can ill be getting it asap!!
Great info - lots to read! and type I know so thank you for the time and effort.
Keynote: Passion, Power, Devotion, and Sensuality
Cycle of Power; Nocturnal- Full Moon and New Moon
Tigers are magnificent and stir a feeling of awe in all who see them. There are a number of varieties of tigers- Bengal, Siberian, ect.-and each should be examined for their own characteristics. All tigers are known for their ferocity and power. They are also excellent swimmers, unlike other large cats.All tigers also display great motherly devotion with their offspring. The mother raises the young and teaches them to hunt. Most tigers are solitary, and come together usually only to mate. They also have immence territories.
Most tigers hunt slowly and silently, a tactic beneficial to learn for those with this totem- regardless of what is being sought. They can be selfish with their kills, and have the power to drag a several hundred pound carcass over a quarter mile, just to hide it.
Tigers are nocturnal hunters. Individuals with this totem will find their most effective work accomplished at night.
The sleek and powerful muscles, and the soft thick coat of the tiger stimulates thoughts of sensuality. All cats stretch languorously and rub up against other cats and objects. For those with this totem, there will ber awakened a new sensuality- a sensitivity to touch.
I am sorry but this book does not have a discription for Tortoise. It only mentions it in passing along with the turtle in as much as it is landbased where a turtle is waterbased. I guess the characteristics would be much the same.
wow apart from the hunting parts i think it reflects me quite well. although with me and hiding my food... i dont hide all food just chocolate no one ges their hands on my chocolate!! he hehehehehee!!
Thanks somuch Delbert, your a very interesting person!!!