We always make a decision. I type these words and you will decide what they mean to you. It doesn’t have to be deliberate. We are conditioned if we aren’t instead mindful. It will happen one way or another.
The world shows you how you relate to it if you reflect. This is why the reflecting pool is a good symbol. You may very well not see it while you are going about your ordinary day, thinking in the ordinary way, but when you calm your mind and settle like a still pool of water, the world doesn’t go away and your understanding doesn’t go away either. It actually comes to you. You are more approachable, and if you are willing, the world will show you anything you really need to know. It’s eager to do so.
I can see that natural items would be a fit as we are also natural beings. But is it possible for crafted items to be a totem for us, like a pen or something? Actually yes, a thing can only come into being if it has a spirit, no spirit, no existence. So even though something might be a crafted item, what inspired its creation is also a spirit as much as any natural item. Though these spirits are not always friendly and sometimes not very well in touch with life.
Hence I think your weapon was often chosen for that in the old days. Your sword reflected your spirit? Exactly, and even in that case, the elements involved in creating the weapon added to its spiritual strength. That the iron was taken from a specific mountain, or that the fire was built with a specific wood, even that the hilt was wrapped in a specific type of hide.
Today some people have cars for totems. The guy with his Mustang. Which is a car with a totem all by itself, a mustang being a horse. Remember I said earlier that spiritual power is shared and received from other sources.
A Navajo elder told us to take care of our cars because that metal came from mother earth. That is fully in keeping with shamanism. There is even a newer division of shamanism called techno-shamanism. The nature based shamans discovered a way to explore the self and the world, and understand nature and strength and growth based on how the forces and events of nature affected them. The techno-shaman doesn’t exclude nature, but adds the discoveries of science and technology to the same kind of understanding of the world. They would see the Second Life virtual world as a real spirit world, and would concern themselves with events in Second Life much like the old shamans concerned themselves with dreams.
Marketers tap into this when naming their products. They steal power. This is also why the economy is unstable. Nature wants it back. It’s not that they can’t have what they took, they just didn’t and don’t show respect. Craftsperson’s have always added a connection to nature and spiritual forces to some degree, less so these days. But originally the craftsperson who was going to etch a crane into a sword blade would spend time communing with the crane, contemplating it and the meaning of its spirit and presence, before they ever tried to produce its image.
Disney artists do that as well, drawing from live lions. Yes, and they show great success because of it.
Like a Thangka painter says mantras with each dot of paint. Exactly.
It’s not that nature doesn’t want us to create things or have technology. We just weren’t supposed to go blind, become forgetful, and consume everything.
So feel like you can explore your connection to the totems? Whether I identified them correctly or not, that was my intention.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.