Receiving The Spirit Helper During The Vision Quest

Receiving The Spirit Helper During The Vision Quest
The spirit helper is usually received during the vision quest. Before initiates embark upon their ordeal, tribal elders and Medicine priests tutor them for many weeks on what to expect and what is expected of them. Most important, they are made to understand that while they are on their vision quest, they are to fast, exhaust their physical bodies, and pray to the Great Mystery at least three times a day, asking that their spirit guide appear to them.
One of my spiritual mentors, a man who was reared in the Winnebago tradition, told me that the shamans advised his group of supplicants that after a few days on the quest a forest creature would be likely to approach them, as if to offer itself as a guide. A friendly chipmunk might nudge against their legs; an inquisitive crow might land on their shoulders; an especially curious deer might come forward to sniff at their faces.
The initiates were forewarned by the tribal elders that the temptation to accept the first animal that approached as one’s spirit helper would be great; but if they were able to endure continued hunger and exposure, the Great Mystery would be certain to send them a more powerful spirit helper, one especially destined for the individual. The Medicine priest instructed the supplicants to thank each animal for its coming and to tell it of its beauty, strength, and intelligence, but to also inform it that they sought one even greater.
If one endured, according to some traditionalists, the true spirit helper would appear as if it were glowing, as though it were composed primarily of light.
As my mentor told me, “I don’t think there was any way that we could have fooled the tribal elders. They knew when we had a true and real experience.”
“One important thing we were taught: We must never call upon our guide until we had exhausted every bit of physical energy and mental resource possible. Then, after we had employed every last ounce of our own reserve, we might call upon our spirit helper and it would appear.”
Totems
The Transformative Power Of Your Personal Animal Totem
Brad Steiger
ISBN 0-06-251425-3
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Ambassadors to the Animals

Ambassadors to the Animals:
What Pagans Need to Know About Spiritual Creatures and Human-Animal Relations
by R.J. Stewart
If you are involved in magical and spiritual work, you are already an ambassador for humanity. You are standing to plead on behalf of those humans who are unwittingly aggressive and destructive. You are declaring to the infinite range of living beings, phsyical and metaphysical, that not all humans are stampeding blindly to oblivion. Ready to join up? Do you want to know more?
We are doing more, I trust, hope, and invoke, than just dressing up in robes and going to Renaissance Faires. So this article is a call to arms…not the kind of arms that profit the cronies of government, but open arms that reach out and embrace our fellow creatures.
As responsible people of spirit and magic, one of our tasks must involve improving human relationships with the living creatures of our world. Without them we are nothing; we would have no basis for our manifest existence. Yet we have abused, ignored and plundered them for centuries. Only those with a talent and a discipline for spiritual magic can change this. Our bad relationship with these others orders of biological life epitomizes the human rage, anger, greed, and self-destruction that we must seek to transform.
The primal magical traditions, world-wide, all have methods for working with other orders of life, with spirit beings and living creatures (i.e. birds, animals, fishes, insects, and all orders of life that have a biological manifestation in form). In this context, the faery and UnderWorld traditions of Europe and the Mediterranean and North Africa, have much in common with the Native American and shamanistic traditions. These traditions, be they shamanistic or not, all share this perspective: Humans cannot survive alone, and must co-exist and cooperate with the other orders of life, rather than coerce and exploit them. Fortunately for us, there is much wisdom and learning available from ancestral traditions, if we are ready and willing to work and thoughfully adapt it for contemporary use. This article contains a few loose ideas on how we might proceed. It is not intended as a rigorous philosophical or procedural document…but as a few signposts on the Way Back Home.
Who Wants Toad?
One evening back in the mid-1990s, I met with a Lakota elder, Grandmother Kitty, who had a reputation for being strict and fierce. We did what all good people involved in magic and spirit do when they meet, which is to drink beer and crack jokes. Yet, there were serious things moving underneath our laughter and shared stories. Among the many things that we talked about was the current obsession with Power Animals, Totem Beasts, or, as I prefer to call them, Spiritual Creatures. Neither of us could understand why, at a time when biological species are dying out hourly, thousands of people seem perfectly willing to ignore the crisis, yet are willing to spend time and money to go to seminars and courses to find “power animals.” We noted and confirmed that in the Gaelic and Lakota traditions power animals are always associated with living organisms–and, equally importantly–are never symbolic.
As we talked, we confirmed that there were a few fundamental truths of working with Spiritual Creatures that we shared, but which seem to differ from the popular view.
“Everyone wants to have the wolf, the bear, the stag,” said Grandmother Kitty, “as if that gives them merit.”
“But what if the one that comes is the toad?” I replied, and she gave me a long hard look.
“Why would that be so?” she said at last, testing.
“My teachers told me that small is powerful, and that the ones that choose you, even if you dislike them, are the most powerful for you, no matter what you think you want.”
She nodded, and we drank our beer and sat in silence for a while, knowing that we were in agreement. She then changed the subject, whish is what you do after talking about something powerful. We came back to it later, sideways from time to time, which is often done in traditional cultures.
Three Truths About Spiritual Creatures
Here are a few of my conclusions from experience, most of which were discussed in that long evening with Grandmother Kitty. They are three typical problems about our revival of interest in power animals, or Spiritual Creatures.
1. “Power animals” are NOT possessions. How many times have you heard someone say “my power animals are…” and then a list? Such an attitude betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of such Creatures. They are powerful and independent living beings, who associate with us through choice, not on command. When I hear the words “animal helpers,” I burn with anger and chill with sorrow.
In traditional magic, one hardly ever speaks about non-physical allies. In some ways of working it is strictly forbidden to even mention them. That summer evening, when I intuitively mentioned Toad to Grandmother Kitty, it suddently occurred to me that this was one of the creatures that she worked with. But I knew better than to ask her outright–that would have been crassly insensitive.
2. Living Creatures are NOT symbols. The second great falsehood about these Creatures arises when they are regarded as “qualities” or “attributes” that the individual “needs,” in order “to develop.” Thus someone who wants strength “chooses” the ox, or who wants power “chooses” eagle. Attitudes like this reveal a sad truth: for many, “power animals” are only the symbols of egocentric fantasies of personal empowerment. It is shocking but true: exploitation has invaded the spirit realm as well as the physcial one.
Such attitudes of ownership and objectification are only marginally removed from the gross materialism and consensus culture, in which living beings are viewed as little more than products. Not only do global corporations now claim to patent genes and seeds, but humans claim to own the spirit power of the Living Creatures. Hubris might be an appropriate word, but it is far too lenient.
But maybe some of this widely published and practiced nonsense over power animals arises because we are so cut off and isolated from actual living creatures. In all ancestral wisdom traditions, without exception, the power animals are associated with, identical with, at one with, actual living creatures in the natural world. They are never symbolic.
3. Spiritual Creatures are NOT pets. If we work with traditional methods, we understand that the creatures choose us, even if we do not like them. There is no room for a romanticized self-identification; traditonally, a creature will work with you during a certain phase of your life, or for certain tasks. Then they, and you, move on. It is a working relationship, not a sentimental one, and has nothing at all in common with our relationship with companion animals.
Just as Grandmother Kitty was sceptical of people who “had” the wolf, the bear, the deer, I am tired of people who “have” dragons. Why does no one have Frog as their ally? Or Prairie Dog, Gerbil, or Snail? An infatuation with animals perceived to be cute and/or aggressive reveals much about the shallowness of these supposed relationships.
A good example of a more healthy attitude comes from a completely different tradition, that of the Hindu deity Ganesh. His power animal is the mouse or rat. A small, persistent, hungry rodent, the rat shows us how we should be hungry for wisdom, dig in hidden places, and endure against all odds. In ancient times, the rat was sacred to Apollo because of its UnderWorld attributes. Not Apollo in his chariot in the heavens, but Apollo in the UnderWorld, where the hidden Sun is found by secret ways. What better creature to lead to wisdom than the Mouse?
Solutions from Tradition
Very well, I hear you say, you have given us a list of problems to think over, but how about offering some solutions?
During thirty years and more of spiritual practice, I have found that most questions are answered simply within folkloric traditions. By this I mean the traditions handed down by our ancestors, grass roots traditions that have endured through centuries. I do NOT mean our revival traditions of Witchcraft and Paganism. Our revival traditions draw upon the folkloric ancestral traditions, but they also create new material that has yet to withstand the test of time, dream, and memory.
There are many practical examples from ancestral European sources which have parallels in many traditions worldwide. When I discussed some of these practices with Grandmother Kitty, we found a number of similarities between the Lakota practices and the ancient European. Not, I hasten to add, because they are all “shamanism” but because they all embody ways in which the various ancestors related to the living world around them. At this level, the older traditions share much in common. How could it be otherwise?
Really Want to Commune with Spiritual Creatures? Try This.
1. Open to Dreams. When you go to sleep, form an intention that when you awaken, you will be open to the presence of a spiritual creature or power animal. When you go out of your door at dawn, look up, then down, and then all around you. The fist living creature that you see is your spiritual creature. If this is a slug on your doorstep, so be it. Form a relationship with the first physical creature that you see, and develop it in dreams, visions, and meditations. This method was used extensively by the Scottish and Irish seers, and by the peoples, priests, and priestesses, of the ancient Mediterranean cultures. It forms, among other things, the spiritual basis of the ancient art of augury (not, I hasten to add, that you should sacrifice your slug upon a tiny altar and try to read its entrails).
2. Read Folk Tales. In many traditional tales of birds, beasts and fish there is great truth. In my book Celtic Myths, Celtic Legacy, I wrote about the Breton tale of N’oun D’oare, the Wise Fool. The Wise Fool is a boy who sets out on a mysterious quest to find a girl that he loves yet has never met. On the way, he saves a small bird, and then a small fish. Each little creature he saves, turns out to be the king or queen of the birds or the fishes, and each helps him in his quest. Eventually he progresses from these small, apparently insignificant beings to the many-horned Lord of the Animals, Griffescornu, who has a horn upon his head for each day of the year. But N’oun D’oare could not have come to the presence of this mighty power of nature, redolent of Pan or Cerne, without his foolish-wise love and care for the Living Creatures that helped him upon the way.
Please be aware that there is no sentiment in such stories: they are about mutual respect and cooperation. There is, however, deep wisdom for us in such stories, in our quest to improve our relationships with our fellow creatures, in a world that is under threat.
3. Become Aware of Birth–and Death. We are so cut off from these processes that many of our ideas of non-human beings and their lives are almost entirely idealized. Be aware that real living creatures die all the time, as do we; that they are reborn ceaselessly, as are we. You cannot work with power animals without working consciously with death. One of the great secrets of traditional magic is that the physical creature, your ally, has a spiritual presence in the world beyond death, in places where you, as a living human, may not go.
In your work with Spiritual Creatures, it is important to think long-term and ignore egocentric fantasies of self-development. That is not what working with Spiritual Creatures is about. Think of the living world, and of a long-term expanding relationship between humans and every other organic life form.
Ultimately we may become true beings, complete inhabitants of Earth, by building a Threefold Alliance. Two parts have been discussed herein: human and creature. The third part is, of course, faery. A complete being on Earth is a harmonious relationship between human, faery, and living creature. What are you waiting for? Your potential friends, mighty allies, mentors, companions, are out there. The slug on the porch, the mouse in the bushes. Oh, and, of course, the stag in the forest and the bear raiding the dumpster.
–R.J. Steward is a Scottish author, composer, and musician, living in Washington State. He has forty-two books published worldwide, and has composed and recorded for feature films, theater, and television. His latest book is The Well of Light, From Faery Healing to Earth Healing, which includes a CD of visualizations with original music. Incidentally, he is not the R.J. Stewart who produced Xena: Warrior Princess.

The Dugong – Animal Guides/Totem Animals

The Dugong

The dugong is a large marine mammal that spends its life in the sea. It inhabits shallow coastal waters from the Red Sea and Eastern Africa to the Philippines, New Guinea and Northern Australia. Although aquatic, it breathes air through lungs and gives birth underwater. Birthing a human child underwater has been investigated in our present society with good results. Because water symbolizes the emotions in man a human child born underwater has the opportunity to connect with their deepest emotions immediately upon birth. Scientists are finding that babies born underwater grow up to be healthier with a more balanced temperament.

Dugongs are slow moving giving them little protection from predators which include sharks, salt water crocodiles and killer whales. Those with this totem should study each predator to gain a deeper understanding of this medicine. Dugongs graze on green algae and marine grasses. A diet rich in chlorophyl will benefit those with this medicine.

The dugong lives in pairs or groups of up to 6 individuals. The number two in numerology represents conscious emotional interrelationships. The number six understands the energies of compromise which serve a broader interest. Both numbers symbolize the characteristics of the dugong. The study of even numbers can awaken deeper insights about this totem.

The dugong has a large tapered body. Its forelimbs are rounded flippers. It has no hind limbs. It moves in a forward motion and asks those with this totem to do the same. When it appears in a persons life it serves as a reminder to let go of procrastination and swim into the waters of new beginnings.

Ancient myths surround this creature. When resting, the dugong may “tail stand” in water of proper depth, keeping their heads out of the water. Sightings of dugongs by early seafarers are believed to have given rise to the extensive mythology of mermaids.

The dugong holds great symbolism and is a complex totem to understand completely. Because of this the dugong nudges us forward into a wide range of possibilities. It asks us to study symbols of different origins, compile the information acquired then grow into expanded consciousness. If your goal is to achieve wisdom the dugong will be happy to accommodate you.

Author Unknown

Deer – Animal Guides/Totem Animals

Deer
Among all Native American tribes who had contact with the deer, the graceful creature was considered a sacred totemic animal. The Medicine doctors of various tribes believed that the deer had a keen sense of determining which plants yielded the greatest curative powers, and a great deal of time was spent stalking the deer for its ostnesible knowledge of pharmacology as well as its flesh.
The Native American zodiac names deer people as those born from May 21 to June 21 and says that they are generally of a good disposition, but they sometimes appear to be creatures of perpetual motion.
In numerous cultures throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, the male deer, the stag, was regarded as a symbol of regeneration because of the way its antlers are renewed. In certain mystical traditions, the horned deer is also linked with the Tree of Life because of the similarity between its antlers and the branches of a tree. Consequently, the horn contained great magic, whether worn intact, broken in pieces, or ground into powder.
Very early in humankind’s religious observations, the stag became the Shamans’ Horned God, the sacrificial consort of such goddesses as the huntress Diana/Artemis. With the spread of Christianity across Europe, the Horned God easily became a representation of Satan; but in nearly as many instances, the stag was idealized as a symbol of Christ, for the deer, as did Jesus on the cross, gave its blood (flesh) for humankind. St. Withburga has the doe, the female deer, as her animal symbol.
If the deer has come to you as your totem animal or if you have felt drawn to the animal through a dream or a vision, your spirit self is now in the company of one who has long been cherished as an intermediary between the Great Mystery and humankind. With the deer as your totem, you will feel an acceleration of your powers of intuition. Many Shamans attribute the greatest psychic sensitivity to the Deer People.
With the deer as your spirit helper, you will find that you have and increased desire to spend more time in the Silence and in nature. You will also notice that your dreams have become more enriched. Among the lore of some native tribes is a regard for the deer as the Lord of the Dream. To focus on the deer before falling asleep, according to some, will bring prophetic dreams that may be shared for the good of your family and/or your community.
Dreams
If you continue to trust in the Great Mystery, good news and financial gain are on their way to you.
Totems
The Transformative Power Of Your Personal Animal Totem
Brad Steiger
ISBN 0-06-251425-3

Duck – Animal Guides/Totem Animals

Duck
The Native American tribes of the northeast admired the duck as a marvelously resilient individual. In tribute to the hardy fowl is the tale of Shingebliss, who dared to defy the very spirit of the north wind.
Shingebliss lived alone in his lodge, hardy and fearless. He would venture out on even the coldest days, find a hole in the ice, and dive into the water for his fish. In this way, he always had plenty to eat while others, less hardy, were nearly famished. While they sat in their lodges nearly starving because they did not dare brave the cold, Shingebliss could be seen returning home with strings of fist.
Kabibonokka, the spirit of the north wind, had watched the boldness of the little duck with growing annoyance. How dare the feathered fisher ignore even the most severe of his icy blasts? To teach the duck a lesson, Kabibonokka sent forth tenfold colder blasts and drifts of snow, so that it was nearly impossible for any creature to live in the open. But still, Shingebliss went about his daily fishing, seemingly unmindful of the terrible cold.
The spirit of the north wind decided to pay a visit to the duck in his lodge. There he found Shingebliss happily frying fish over his fire. Kabibonokka entered the lodge, anticipating that his very presence would turn the duck to ice. But Shingebliss merely built up the fire until Kabibonokka could no longer bear the heat and fled his lodge.
As Kabibonokka left the lodge, he heard the duck chanting: “Windy god, blow your coldest breeze / Shingebliss you cannot freeze. / Ho, for life! Ho, for bliss. / Who is so free as Shingebliss?”
At last the spirit of the north wind gave up. “He must be aided by some powerful manitou,” Kabibonokka said. “I can neither freeze nor starve him. I think he is a very wonderful being. I will let him alone.”
If the duck is your totem animal, be advised that just as the physical representation of its energy swims upon the water of lakes and ponds, so does the spirit representation of its energy swim and dive into the pool of creative energy hidden in your subconscious. The duck will also assist you in building emotional stability and will enable you to face daily challenges with a stronger emotional balance. Just as their physical counterparts bravely navigate through the stormy waters of their often hostile enviroment, so will the spirit essence of the duck help you to find your way through the sometimes rough emotional wave of your physical enviroment.
Interestingly, just as contemporary artists and storytellers have often depicted the duck as an amusing and daffy character, your spirit helper will also teach you to be able to laugh at yourself and to discover the strength in a good sense of humor.
Dreams
You may rely upon a friend whose faithfulness you had questioned.
Totems
The Transformative Power Of Your Personal Animal Totem
Brad Steiger
ISBN 0-06-251425-3

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The Duck

The duck is a short necked large billed waterfowl. The legs are placed rearward resulting in a waddling gait. They are swift fliers leaping upward on noisy wings before attaining level flight, usually in compact flocks. Ducks are hatched with a complete covering of down and can take to the water as soon as they leave the nest, usually within 24 to 48 hours.

Ducks are at home on the water. Since water is linked to the emotional rivers of mankind it reminds us to honor our deepest emotions and nourish ourselves adequately. Those with this totem have a tendency to look for emotional solace in others. Although emotional support from another is comforting, true emotional strength must be acquired within. Those with this medicine often have specific lessons to learn about balancing emotional discord. They, like the duckling, plunge into the waters depth at an early age to gain understanding about their inner chaos.

Past lives associated with low self esteem is often reflected in present day life for those with this medicine. They are highly emotional and sensitive to everything around them. Sensitivity can be an attribute if it is balanced with logic and reason. Otherwise it can cause chaos and confusion in our lives. Developing a stronger sense of self is part of the teaching duck holds.

Most ducks pair only for a season. Those with this totem often find that long term relationships are difficult to maintain and restlessness within the relationship is common. Learning how to take flight and spread ones wings without destroying the foundation of that relationship is one of their greatest challenges.

Ducks come in a variety of shades from iridescent to bold colors. It is important to understand the significance of this. Iridescent colors represent a fine line between reality and imagination. Bold colors are solid and hold the qualities of strength and perseverance. If your personal duck has iridescent colors examine your emotions carefully. Are you getting lost in the imaginative side of self and creating more chaos than necessary? If strong and bold it is time to take charge of your life and become the master of your emotions.

Affectionate and community oriented duck medicine people love and are loved deeply. They often feel a great need to be of service and make excellent healers. Because the coloring of ones personal duck is symbolic, healing with color can be beneficial.

Ducks are graceful as they glide through the water reminding us to be gentle with ourselves as we heal, learn and grow into our perfected self.

Author Unknown

Dove – Animal Guides/Totem Animals

Dove
In ancient and classical worlds, the dove was associated with such goddesses as Aphrodite and Astarte and considered a symbol of sexual passion. In India, the dove was a symbol of lust, the paravata. It was the dove that bore the ambrosia form the goddesses that kept Father Zeus immortal.
The Pleiades, the Seven Sisters in the night sky, were also known in Greece as “a flock of doves,” the daughters of Aphrodite.
Sophia, the Goddess of Wisdom, descended upon her chosen human vessels in the form of a dove. In various traditions, including Gnostic Christianity, Sophia represented the female soul of God, the source of his power.
Xochiquetzal, in the legends of old Mexico, is a combination of love goddess and madonna, who become the mother of all races after a great flood. Taking pity on her human progeny, who lack the gift of speech, her spirit in the form of a dove descends upon them and creates the languages of the world.
In the Hebrew tradition, the dove became a symbol of peace and innocence when it returned to Noah’s ark with the olive branch from the Mount of Olives in its beak. The dove is also used an image of the shekhinah, or Divine Presence.
The dove is a common symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christian and Muslim traditions. It was a dove the the Holy Spirit descended on Mary to proclaim her blessed among women and on Jesus at the time of his baptismal rite at the hands of John the Baptist. A dove fell from Mohammad’s ear, thus convincing his followers that he was receiving guidance directly from the Holy Spirit. In Christian folklore, the dove is considered so holy that even Satan, the most accomplished shape-shifter of all, cannot disguise himself in its image.
Four Christian saints are identified with the dove-St. Ambrose, St. David, St. Gregory, and St. Samson.
Among Native American tribes, the dove is thought to be the form that the dead may take immediately after their transition from flesh to spirit. The feathers of the dove were often used on prayer sticks.
If the dove is your totem spirit, you may have been a troubled and angry individual who needed an infusion of peace in your life. On the other hand, you may have been a person who has been devoted to bringing about peace, love, and harmony to the best of your mortal ability. In either case, your spirit helper will bring the infusion of sacred energy that you require to assist you in accomplishing your mission and purpose on the Earth Mother.
This totem spirit can also assist you in establishing a more secure love relationship with your lover or spouse. By focusing on its energy, you will find yourself becoming more at ease around members of the opposite sex and more responsive to their moods and emotions.
As a spirit teacher, the dove can move you back through the mists of time to absorb the ancient wisdoms and help you apply these essential truths to your contemporary problems. As a guide on your spirit journeys, your dove totem will always see to it that all goes smoothly and harmoniously.
Dreams
Continue to maintain your peaceful attitude and a spiritual revelation may soon bring you enlightenment.
Totems
The Transformative Power Of Your Personal Animal Totem
Brad Steiger
ISBN 0-06-251425-3

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The Dove

The dove is a member of the pigeon family and both hold the qualities of home, security and maternal instincts. Many with this totem will experience unsettling childhood’s and will be challenged continually to acquire a solid secure foundation in all areas of their lives.

The legends and lore surrounding the dove associates it with many goddesses and it is considered the embodiment of the maternal instinct. The brood of dove consists of two eggs. Two represents the creative and feminine energies. Home and family are important to those with this totem and life lessons will be most predominant in these areas.

Since the dove is a ground feeder and eats mostly seeds those with this totem would benefit from a diet rich in wholesome seeds, nuts and grains. They would also do well in any health profession relating to nutrition.

The dove’s song is its most distinctive feature. It can be heard throughout the day. The mourning coo of the Dove reflects hidden emotions stored within those who carry this medicine. How you perceive its sound often reflects the energies that are playing out in your life.

When dove appears it is asking us to go within and release our emotional discord, be it of the past or the present. It assists us in releasing trauma stored within our cellular memory. Humming can aid in this release.

Doves hold the energy of promise. When inner turmoil is cleared from our thoughts, words and feelings, the possibility of good fortune awaits us. In order to receive the gifts the doves bestows on us healing on all levels is paramount.

Author Unknown

Donkey/Ass – Animal Guides/Totem Animals

Donkey/Ass
Ancient people revered the ass because it was so important for their survival. Rather easily domesticated, wherever the beast of burden was found throughout the world, it was highly esteemed as a faithful friend to humankind.
In India, the sacred king Ravana had ten crowned human heads surmounted by the head of an ass. In ancient Egypt, the ass was a symbol of the sun god, Ra. Set, one of the Egyptian dynastic gods, bore the head of an ass on his shoulders, and his kingly scepter flourished a pair of ass’s ears at its tip. In Greece, the animal was considered sacred to Dionysus.
The mighty Hebrew hero Samson slew the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. And after Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the colt of an ass, the sturdy four-legged beast was held sacred by the Christians. According to old folk legend, the dark cross of hair the donkey’s shoulders was thought to be an everlasting reminder of its role in the passion of Christ.
If the ass, the donkey, is you totem animal, your spirit helper may have assessed as one of you basic needs the necessity of getting down to serious business regarding your mission on the earthplane. You may discover that you are becoming much more conscientious about the small details that you may previously have tended to ignore, and that you are learning to be more practical and goal-oriented in your various earthly pursuits.
The donkey also comes to the workaholic and cautions against too much work and not enough time wisely spent in recreation, family activities, and spiritual searching. As a spirit helper, the donkey will present you with solid, sensible advice on your quest to higher awareness.
Dreams
You must learn to control your emotions. You have been quarreling with people far too often lately.
Totems
The Transformative Power Of Your Personal Animal Totem
Brad Steiger
ISBN 0-06-251425-3

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The Donkey

The donkey is an unsung hero that has often been misrepresented and misunderstood. They were first domesticated approximately 4,500 years ago and were considered to be a status symbol for there owners. Versatile and willing workers with a gentle intelligence donkeys have been known to live for 40 plus years.

Donkeys come in a variety of colors from gray to brown. Most have white muzzles, eye rings and light bellies. Some donkeys have a marking on their back that appears to be a cross, leg stripes are also seen. There are various myths and fables of how the donkey obtained the cross on his back. Some cultures believe that the donkey carried the Lord on his back and received its leg stripes from walking through the palm branches that were laid in his path in honor of the burden he was carrying. Other stories suggest the donkey was God sent and the Prophet was carried to the heavens on its back. The donkey embodies the qualities of perseverance and servitude. They are tireless workers with a strong dedication to spirit.

The characteristics of donkey are noted in those with this totem, spiritual dedication, undying faith in the creative force and a willingness to take on the responsibilities and burdens of others. Helping others is a wonderful trait although taking on more than one can comfortably carry can lead to physical and emotional problems. Learning how to say no and being responsible for ones own well being is a life lesson.

Donkeys are not fond of change and often appear stubborn. If they deem something as dangerous, they simply won’t do it. Its not because they are stubborn its because they respect their own intuitive senses. They are smart enough to know when they can or cant handle something and teach us how to honor and abide by our own personal knowing.

The donkey evolved in the desert. The rugged terrain in which they lived taught them how to move with caution.. When frightened the donkey would simply freeze or run a little way out of danger then stop and look at what startled them. They learned how to navigate their way out of difficult situations and as a result developed cunning and crafty survival skills. When donkey appears in our life it asks us to stop and look at what is challenging us and find a way to move forward safely.

The ears of the donkey are big and funnel like and can detect sounds from a far distance. Donkeys understand the messages each sound carries and teach us how to listen and awaken our clairaudient skills. This amazing animal is a master teacher. When it appears in your life it is asking you to awaken, develop or apply your own inherent gifts in one or more areas of your life.

Author Unknown

Dolphin – Animal Guides/Totem Animals

Dolphin
Demeter, the ancient Greek goddess of fertility, chose the dolphin as her totem animal, thus representing her position as Mistress of the Sea. The serpent symbolized her majesty as Mistress of the Earth.
Since the earliest days of sea lore, dolphins have been credited with saving the lives of shipwrecked humans. In both old Roman and early Christian art, the dolphin was depicted as the guide that would bear souls of the dead across the waters to the Blessed Isles.
For Mediterranean Christians, the dolphin, King of the Fishes, came to represent Christ, King of Heaven. A rather common Christian image was that of the dolphin together with an anchor, representing salvation firmly anchored on faith in Christ.
For the Native American tribes located on coastal regions frequented by the dolphin, the aquatic mammal was indentified as a special messenger of the Great Mystery.
If the dolphin is your totem animal, you are allied with a spirit helper that has come to you from another realm of being. There is a playfulness associated with this totem animal that can be misleading for those who would be satisfied with superficial teachings. Always ask this spirit helper to take you deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the other realm from which it originates.
You will quite likely find that the dolphin will increase your respect and love for all living things and assist you in developing new levels of compassion. Be prepared to begin looking at the world from a very different perspective as your “dolphin eyes” consider all beings around you as elements in universal harmony.
Dreams
Be prepared for great surge of creativity.
Totems
The Transformative Power Of Your Personal Animal Totem
Brad Steiger
ISBN 0-06-251425-3

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The Dolphin

Dolphins live in groups of up to 100 individuals. Females give birth to a single young. Several Dolphins surround her to assist with the birth. They will pull the newborn out by its tail and protect it from harm. Injured and sick Dolphins are cared for by others who will lift them to the surface to breathe.

Dolphins spend large portions of their day playing. They live their life in joyful harmony with each other and their world. They seem to have learned the lesson that love is the most important part of life and can teach those with this totem how to love themselves and their world more. The power of Dolphin is community in balance.

Dolphins use a variety of clicks, whistles, grunts and body postures with which they communicate. Each Dolphin has an individual whistle that it calls itself, and it uses other Dolphin’s personal whistles to call their attention. Those with this totem would benefit from some form of work or activity that uses the voice as a healing or communicative tool.

Some people believe that Dolphins are more intelligent than humans. They have a large brain and a great intelligence and are often associated in mythical lore with higher forms of consciousness.

Dolphins have been known to inexplicably beach themselves in large numbers. Perhaps they are following a sick or injured Dolphin to try to aid it. There was a story told to me about a man who singled out a dolphin from its group and killed it. The remaining dolphins beached themselves over and over and eventually died.

Dolphins have a purity of being which touches our inner nature. If Dolphin swims into your life, follow its lead and open yourself to the energy of love, harmony and balance. Express your inner truth and follow your inner joy. Dolphin asks you to return to the depths of your being and rediscover the love that you truly are.

Author Unknown

The Dingo – Animal Guides/Totem Animals

The Dingo

Many authorities regard the dingo as a sub species of the domestic dog. Because the dingo is similar to the dog in structure and habits the dog should also be studied. The dingo was introduced from Asia during the later immigrations of the Aborigines about five thousand to eight thousand years ago.

The dingo is stout with short, soft fur, a bushy tail and erect pointed ears. Clairaudient gifts have long been associated with the dingo because of their ability to detect subtle energy frequencies moving through the earth. This gift can be fully developed by those with this medicine by spending time in nature and learning from the elements.

Dingo’s hunt alone or in small groups. They are independent animals bold and suspicious in their habits. The Aborigines sometimes capture and tame them. Those raised from puppies may become affectionate pets.

Dingo’s normally yelp and howl, but when domesticated they can also imitate the bark of a dog. The dingo can teach us how to use various forms of sound to enhance our lifestyle. Different pitches and tones convey subtle messages. The dingo is a master at knowing what these subtle messages mean and can teach us how to respond to them for our benefit.

Those who hold this medicine often have an uncanny ability to know things without having a logical reason of why they know it. They can excel while speaking or have difficulty expressing themselves depending on how developed the medicine is in the person.

The dingo represents duality. Domesticated or wild it adapts to any situation and can teach us how to live in balance and harmony within all realms of existence. They are extremely intelligent and can change their behavior patterns to accommodate any situation. This trait reminds us to be flexible in our undertakings.

When the dingo appears it serves as a reminder to lighten up. The dingo is a master at shape shifting their behavior to accommodate the reality in which they live. They see life as a game and invite you to play. The choice is yours.

Author Unknown

Butterfly – Animal Guides/Totem Animals

Butterfly
The Greek word for both “soul” and “butterfly” is psyche, and it was once believed that human souls assumed the form of butterflies while they searched for a new incarnation. Throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas, butterflies have maintained their standing symbol of the soul and rebirth.
To the Chinese, the butterfly is a symbol of joy and conjugal happiness. A Chinese bridegroom would endear himself to his new wife by presenting he with a jade butterfly, which represented the union of their souls.
In the butterfly’s unique lifecycle from dead and dried chrysalis to vibrant and soaring entity, the early Christians found a ready symbol of the resurrection of the human soul and the resurrection of Christ. Certain Christian sects, however, perceived the lovely, but fragile, butterfly as a symbol of the transient and perishable nature of the flesh.
In Dakota tradition, the butterfly represents the Door of the East, wherein appears the splendor of dawn, the dwelling place of the Great Mystery.
To other Native Americans, the butterfly was a living fragment of the rainbow, a beautiful creature that floats with soundless wings above wild flowers on sunny currents of air.
If the butterfly is your totem animal, you are probably a very lively person with rather exotic tastes who loves beautiful and colorful expressions of clothing, decor, art, poetry, music, and self. Although you are a high-energy person, you are also a visionary, so you have little difficulty in settling down in a quiet place in nature or in your own home and going deep into the Silence of meditation.
The butterfly totem will aid you in achieving depths of inner and outer exploration far beyond the ordinary. As a symbol of personal transformation, your spirit helper will hover ever-near to assist you in all those changes within yourself and within your environment that are necessary for you to attain the highest levels of enlightenment.
Dreams
Your spirit helper may be preparing you for an act of unfaithfulness on the part of a lover.
Totems
The Transformative Power Of Your Personal Animal Totem
Brad Steiger
ISBN 0-06-251425-3

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The Butterfly

Throughout history the butterfly has been admired for their delicate beauty. Most adult butterflies live just one or two weeks except for the monarch and angel wing which can live for six months or more. This is very symbolic. It suggests that a person with this medicine will experience tremendous soul growth in their earlier years. A difficult childhood is common. Life lessons are revealed to the consciousness while in the womb of the mother – the cocoon stage – and are completed when the caterpillar emerges into the butterfly and takes flight. Butterflies are symbols of freedom and creativity. They hold the gift of transformation and soul evolution.

Butterflies have a pair of large compound oval eyes made up of thousands of individual lenses. They can see a single image clearly and are able to perceive ultraviolet wavelengths of light. This suggests clairvoyant abilities for those that hold this totem.

The antennae of the butterfly has small knobs on each end which is said to play a role in orientation. When one antennae is missing the butterfly will fly in circles unable to find its way. Those with this medicine need to stay consciously connected to spirit at all times in order to arrive at their desired destination.

The butterfly represents the process of transformation and shape shifting. When butterfly shows up, make note of the most important issues confronting you at the moment. What state of change are you at in regard to them?

To the Native Americans the butterfly is a symbol of joy. They remind us not to take life so seriously. They feed on flowers that they help pollinate, thereby further spreading beauty. They represent the element of air, quickly changing and ever moving, so gracefully. Butterflies are messengers of the moment. They come in a variety of colors. To understand the message that the butterfly holds for you a study of its colors can be helpful.

Whenever an eco system is damaged, butterfly is usually the first to leave. They are especially sensitive to the harmony of earth. If butterfly comes to you in a hurt, trapped or ill way, you are being asked to stop disturbing the natural design of life and to flow with events in a more gentle, natural way.

Author Unknown

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From 2007
Scientists celebrate butterfly return

Wed Jul 25, 8:39 PM ET

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Though the surfers, skaters and beachgoers might not notice the butterflies fluttering by, conservationists are celebrating the return of the endangered El Segundo blue to its native habitat along Santa Monica Bay.

The insects, with a wingspan of about an inch, are thriving in plain sight at beaches in Redondo Beach and Torrance after scientists nurtured their dwindling population in three fenced-in nature reserves for years. It had been decades since the critters had been seen in their native habitat.

But thanks to an effort to restore native vegetation to the area, buckwheat, source of the butterflies’ preferred nectar, now blankets bluffs that had been overgrown with invasive nonnative ice plant.

Still, scientists were surprised the El Segundo blues, thought to be too lazy to travel long distances, returned home without the help of human hands.

They have been on the nation’s endangered species list since 1976.

“No one figured that they would just do it on their own,” said Ann Dalkey, co-chairwoman of the Beach Bluffs Restoration Project. “You can see them like crazy. They’re everywhere.”