'Totems' Chapter


In the shamans model of the world, the search for a totem was not to search for an object or even a symbol one could possess. The search for a totem was the quest to understand where one stood on the medicine wheel. The discovery of totems was a vital first step to giving the shaman the power to heal or strengthen you.

All existence is spirit, and there is nothing that exists that is not a spirit. The sharing of spirit was pretty much the same as the sharing of genetics. So in many cases, you didn’t have just a single totem, you had a set. Having only one totem or having a dominant totem was considered unusual. Besides discovering a totem in dreams, you could discover one in your experiences, and the shaman could see one in your behaviour.

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“You must be absolutely honest and true in the depicting of a totem for meaning is attached to every line. You must be most particular about detail and proportion.” Emily Carr (Canadian Artist and Writer, 1871-1945)

“Animal totems, like the tiger, come from the Other Side to protect us while we are away from Home.” Sylvia Browne

Shaman’s World View

I will start by asking, what do you know about totems or shamanism in general? I know something about shamanism working with animals and nature, and journeying. Are totems representations of spirits? The physical artifacts are representations, yes. They serve… Seek More

On the Medicine Wheel

In the shaman’s world, spirit wasn’t a thing you could possess for yourself. It was something shared like the air we breathe, and the life force we possess is shared with us by everything else in our world. Sort of… Seek More

Sharing of Spirit

In the shamans world view, all existence is spirit, and there is nothing that exists that is not a spirit. So the statement that you are what you eat had some meaning even to them. Thus you had to be… Seek More

Way of the Totems

I will ask you, how many ways are there of doing any single thing in the world? I am talking about focused tasks. There are only so many ways to get a fish, and only so many ways to find… Seek More

Your Place on the Medicine Wheel

How do you find your place on the shamans medicine wheel? Observation of behaviour and affinities with elements and animals? Yes. I will go there if you are ready friends. Ultimately, you find your place on the medicine wheel because… Seek More

Totem Hunt Process

I can use a leaf animal totem pool as an example of the totem hunt process. First clear your mind, relax, get into a listening state, and then sit your avatar on the leaf. Animal Vision Quest welcomes you to… Seek More

Examples of Totems

Do you see our totems? I do, and I do see badger in one of you, not really wolf. I do see racoon, and crow. I am thinking of taking the pen name of Crow. You are a burrower and… Seek More

The World Will Show You

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… Seek More