||So...you want to know what
I think about totem animals? Great...get comfortable. No, this shouldn't
take too long.
There is a current in Wicca
that says stick to your own path...don't borrow from this Tradition or
that Tradition. My thought is that if it feels right to you and you have
done some research into the Path, then borrow. The idea of totem animals
is one that most people assume belongs to the Native (or as it is more
commonly referred to-- Native American) spirituality. This would be wrong
or perhaps that is more gently said...that would be poorly researched.
The idea of totem animals or spirit guide animals can be found in many
Shamanistic religions. Wicca is a shamanistic religion. See where I am
going with this? I thought you would.
One of my pet peeves is
that people will say that so-n-so is their spirit/totem animal. But, if
you ask them about habits, habitat or anything pertaining to that particular
creature, how often do you get blank stares or at best, pat answers? And....if
bear is your totem...which bear? Panda? Ring? Swamp? Black? Grizzly? Polar?
Each of these is very similar, but there are some differences to each.
Or what about Hawk? Are
you a Hawk person? I am. But, when I just page through the Raptor section
in my Peterson's Field Guide, I find that I am drawn most to the littlest
of the hawks...the Kestrel aka the Sparrow Hawk. So, why this one? Is it
because of the size? The colors? I am still not sure, but I know that Kestrel
speaks to me. so, obviously, this witch needs to do more research so I
can give a good answer when I ask myself, "Why Hawk? Why Kestrel?"
Some totems that I would
like to share with you are the Dragonfly
and the Hummingbird.
Told you this would be short.
And if you want to hear
from a Norse practitioner, read on!
I'm a Norse Pagan (Odian/Asatru) and I was going through your webpage to
gain some insight on Seithcraeft (A type of Northern European shamanism
that that involves astral traveling through the 9 worlds and the 24 pathways
that bind them to Yggdrassil, the world tree.It also involves shapeshifting,
sendings,cursing, herbalism, and channelling. Note: The Goddess Freya taught
this magic to Odin, whom in turn taught her the secrets of Galder, which
is a type of magic that taps into the 24 pathways of Yggdrassil as well
as the use of
the serpent power of paralyzation that Sigurd won from the Dragon Fafnir;
Aegishalmar translates to "Helm of Terror"). At any rate I found
it amusing that you had problems with ignorant people who state that "Totem
Animals" are unique to the Native American tradition. Well, I have some
good ammo that you can use. In the Germanic Heathen philosophy of the soul
their are many parts, one of these parts is the "fylgia". There are three
parts of the fylgia, your animal self, your oposite sex-self, and your
Berserkrs (which means Bare-coats, not "Bear" coats contary to
beleif) would chose a totem animal (a bear, a wolf, a boar; I chose a wolverine)
and would meld their consiousness with their animal part of their fylgia
and become possessed by it, taking on their ferocity and would become invulnurable
to attack for a short period of time. Seithkonas, or witches dedicated
to Ing-Frey or Ingva-Freya (The Lord and the Lady), would comunicate with
their fylgia (usually a cat, sow, or boar, after all the Goddess Freya's
chariot is full by cats. Witch's familiar?Hmmmm.) and send them out to
affect the outside world. They would also shapeshift into their fylgia
and go into the astral plane. Observances of German Gods show that they
too had "totem animals". Odin's totem animals are his ravens "Hugin and
his wolves "Freki and Geri" and has been known to shapeshift
a snake or an eagle. The god Ing-Frey (The Nordic Horned God of Animals,Trees,
Fertility, Elves, Peace, and Prosperity) rides a golden boar, in tales
such as Beowulf warriors wore boar shaped helms.So anyone who says that
totem animals aren't part of the Indo-European tradition is a moron, at
best! -Raven Odinsson