These Animal Spirits are known as the ~Messenger Totems,~ and as the name implies, they are exactly that, Messengers from the Elders, the Ancestors, the Great Spirit.
When we begin to recognize that there is a unifying thread between all things, when we initiate and establish a connection to the Animal Spirits and express our thanks (in word and deed), we are embarking upon a wondrous Path of Understanding. We begin to recognize that there is a rhythm which flows through all avenues of our life here in physical, that there is a deeper meaning to all of life`s experiences and ~challenges.~ Then, as those bonds to the Animal Spirits deepen and we nurture our connection to the Earth Mother and all that dwell upon, above or within Her, give thanks to the Great Mystery for all that is given, and show our respect and reverence for all life, we are establishing a link through which the other planes of existence might contact, guide and teach us.
One of the most effective ways that the Elders have of contacting the open and listening heart, is through the Animals. Therefore, one who is deeply attuned to the Medicine of all living things, understands that we are never truly alone, never disconnected from that place which we may think of as ~Home.~
When the Great Spirit desires to send us a message, the message will frequently arrive in the form of an animal. By tuning into the messages that this animal is presenting to us, making note of its color, species, even the direction from whence it makes its appearance, we will learn much about situations we are currently encountering, or about to encounter, and are thus being forewarned or advised.
For instance, suppose you are out for a walk in the woods and you encounter a rabbit scampering across your path in front of you. Lets imagine that the rabbit hopped in from the West and stopped directly in front of you at the South. The fact that he/she approached from the West is significant in that perhaps you have been in a time of quiet introspection which is symbolized by the West Wind/Direction, or the ~Quest Within.~ As he stopped at the South, perhaps he is bringing you the message that it is time for you to step outside of yourself, that you have done enough ~inward journeying~ for the time being and you are to simply ~Recall Your Inner Child,~ as symbolized by the South Wind/Direction.
Of course, the species would also point to a message being delivered from the Ancestors and would be incorporated into the Direction. For instance, when rabbit crosses our path (amongst other things), it can indicate that this is a time to be tender and compassionate, yet to rely upon our intuition and think quickly on our feet. Most of all, Rabbits appearance would indicate this is a time to strengthen the intuition. By combining the Wisdom unique to that specific Animal (in this instance Rabbit), along with the Direction that Rabbit stops in front of you (South) the message would seem to indicate that by recalling the inner child and having "childlike" faith, your own sense of timing and intuition will grow stronger, both in aiding yourself, and for assisting Others.
Additionally, there are the "silent messages" that the Animals bring to us, yet in order to hear those whispered thoughts and images, we must have an open heart and trusting soul that we may answer the call of our Ancestors.
Yet, as we begin to pay closer attention to the environment, animals, birds and all life about us, their messages become clearer, and a life-long rapport with all living things may blossom and lead us ever forward on an amazing Journey of Wonder and Discovery.
***To return to the Roles of the Totems main page, please click here***