Discover Your Animal Totems

Totem Animals

Totem Animals

There is much that can be learned from our companions in the animal kingdom. Every animal has strengths and weaknesses, talents and habits that help us to learn more about ourselves by studying their example. You’ll be happy to know that just as every person has a multitude of personality traits, they also have many animal totems. There are those animals that stay with us for just a short time, while we overcome an obstacle in our lives. There are also who will walk (fly, crawl or swim) with us through life. How do you know which animals are calling to you? This article is just a short description on how to discover some of  your totems. There are not only many, many books written on this subject but also oral traditions that vary from tribe to tribe across the world. Most of the information I’ve compiled comes from Ted Andrews book, “Animal Speak.” It is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more on the subject of Animal Totems.

Totem Discovery Meditation

Enter a space where you will not be interrupted, a secluded spot somewhere in nature would be best but is not mandatory. Relax by taking several deep breaths. Clear your mind.  Begin by lighting a white “Spirit” votive or pillar with the focus of finding one of your animal totems in the forethought of your mind. You may even want to ask Great Spirit or God to bless you and oversee the meditation with divine guidance.

Sitting comfortably, begin to visualize a landscape. Some people will see themselves in a forest; others the desert or sea. It’s okay. Don’t worry that you are “making things up.” Imagination is a gift and a tool. Whatever comes to you is has entered your mind for a reason. Trust this guidance. However it is important to not have any preconceived totems in mind. Let your animal choose you. As you wander your landscape, note the time of day or night. Is it chilly or  can you feel the warm sun shining on you? What do you smell? What do you hear? As you continue your  walk  allow yourself to be open to whatever creatures come to you. Don’t discount the tiny creatures like ants and spiders. Don’t forget to look in the trees or sky. If you feel compelled to turn over a leaf or crawl in a cave, do so.

You will come upon an living creature. This is one of your totems.  Introduce yourself. Do not force interaction, simply let the moment settle in. Thank this totem for making its self known to you. When you are ready begin to come back to a state of consciousness and open your eyes.

Now that you know one of your animal totems, begin your research! Animals can teach us so much about ourselves and how we react to others if we would simply listen. Some things to ponder: Where does this animal live, what does it eat, what eats it? What kind of shelter does it seek? The more you learn about your animal the better. It is important to establish a link to your totem not just through learning about its habits but also learning about its place in mythological lore. To gain a stronger link to this animal you should also have small talismans (like a found feather or bone… however if that isn’t possible at the time being, hanging pictures of it or small carved stones work too). You can keep these on your person or in the areas of your home or work that seem most appropriate. Earth Lore carries small carved stones of many different animals starting at $3.95. We also have a selection of larger statues available for altar use. Having reminders of your totems will greatly increase your connection to these animals. Also, be sure to check out our new and used books about totems, shamanism and animal lore.


1 Comment

  1. Cari said,

    November 6, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    If you’re searching for your Totem Animal(s)/Animal Spirit Guide(s), then I must say that Animal Speak by Ted Andrews is a truly amazing book that you’ll find indispensable on your journey. There are also The Animal Speak Workbook & The Animal Wise Tarot (both also by Ted Andrews) which are great companions to the original book itself to aid in focusing with even more clarity on finding your animal totem(s).

    Just as Kate states in the above article, I’ve personally found plenty of times (depending on what I was experiencing on my life-path at that particular time) during which a new ‘visiting’ animal spirit has graced me with its presence by coming along to walk by my side & guide me with their particular attributes. With their insight, those ‘visitors’ have often helped me through some very difficult times by truly listening to them, studying their attributes, & coming to realizations of what I needed to change in my life in order to heal.

    When you truly tune in to Nature, She will speak to you. Sometimes it’s simply a soft whisper, so my advice is to make sure you’re always listening & when you hear the call or see the signs of the animal that’s trying to speak to you, please heed that call & find out what that animal is trying to help you with. Please never forget to thank that animal spirit for helping you on your life’s journey–be it through a simple acknowledgment of your gratitude for its help or even by finding out more about that helpful creature’s conservation status & volunteering or donating to the conservation of that species or its native environment. For example, when one of my ‘visitors’ with a guiding message has happened to be a creature found in my suburban neighborhood, I always make sure to leave food offerings to them in my yard (bird feeders, squirrel feeders, etc) as one way of saying ‘thank you’ for taking the time to come to my assistance with their message(s).

    Animal Speak by Ted Andrews has been an absolutely indispensable resource for me (I’ve owned it for years), both for my original research into my Totem Animal & for researching when a ‘visitor’ animal spirit guide has shown itself to me at a particular time in my life’s journey.

    Blessed Be,


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