In ancient times we must understand that we were merely a part of Mother Earth. I assume everyone knows the spirit tells us that we came from Mother Earth and that is where our material bodies will return. It is part of completing the great circle of life. It is a great victory for us spiritually.  A lot of people think that hu-man (Divine Mortal) is not the most important on Mother Earth, yet others think different. We are only a small part of Mother Earth, only a part of Mother Nature, only a child of Mother, only a part of Spirit. When we separate from our body we will be 100% spirit then we will be able to do anything, fly, walk through walls, astral travel, move at the split of a second anywhere we want to. No we have this body to hold us into check since we are on a journey within the circle. Our body is mortal and also a biological substance that was derived from Mother Earth by the Creator.
    We used to know and respect Mother Nature and killed only what we ate and used only the skin of what we killed and ate. We did not waste life nor disrespect our animal spirits but honored and thanked them for providing us with life, nourishment, and comfort. You must become one with them and try to harmonize with our animal brothers and sisters if you are to find your totems.
    In the earlier days of our Native Nations and some different cultures we gave recognition to the power of the animal spirits by wearing skins, masks, mimicking, singing praise, and prayers to certain animal totems.  We painted on our tipis, caves, and even our death chambers. We asked the Great Spirit to guide us to the animal that we had consumed and bless the spirit of the animal that we killed. We are predators in the part of Natures food chain, as humans we are at the top of the predator’s food chain. We are also predators of all there is on Mother Earth. Animals and plants.  We should honor our animals and plants we consume and give thanks to them that they gave their lives so that we might survive. They know that they are honoring us to be able to help us to live.
    By performing these acts we become eligible and honorable to help we remain linked to our animal guides and totems and to accept the power they offer us in lessons, in life and in death. This should remind us that all animals large or small, all creatures, are our sisters, brothers, and cousins and most of all our teachers and our friends.  It should remind us that we are all animals with the spirit. Everything animal or plants should be looked at as medicine and spirit.
    The power of nature and animal totems has not been lost. They still hold the power and knowledge we can use if we believe. We must become one with Mother Nature and watch for the spiritual messages that she or the animal totems bring forth to us.  Each of us may receive a different message. We must be all that is, all that has been, and to communicate. Our ancestors of the past understood this message and connections to the animals and totems. If we want to be truly spiritual then we must learn to communicate with our animal totems. We must not lose this connection now that we are cultured within today’s society, our gathering, our tribe, and it must always be a spiritual gathering of our Tribe. First of all we must remember that we come first to nourish our spirit and learn of him, secondly then we enjoy our feast and conversation with each other.
    We should be with the spirit or we will not exist or survive.  What was will always be and all those nations and cultures could not have been wrong.  We must learn to communicate spiritually with our totems.  There is a reason that the Great Spirit has put us together, has given us so many healing stones and different areas, has given us medicine for the body, and spirit. We must remember we are all one. Using animal totems or messengers will allow you to see and love the Creator or God, or Great Spirit, Mother Earth, to know the life better, to know yourself better, and commune better with Mother Earth and the Great Spirit or the spirits of others. You can be healthier, happier, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in understanding and honoring your animal totems.
    Animals sometimes come to us because they have a lesson we need to learn a power they are willing to share with a friend or companion. They want to communicate with us and realize our connectivity even before we do.  They watch for us and seek to give us a gift of understanding, universal love, energy, and knowledge. To look at another way is to realize animals remind us that we are part of Mother Earth; each creature has a place; that each creature has a skill of its own; that we have instincts given to us from Mother Earth, wisdom born to us that we must awaken the spirit of it within ourselves or our lives.
    This totem or animal that comes offers you power and wisdom if you learn to communicate with it with respect, trust and understanding.  You just don’t walk into your totem’s life and expect to communicate instantly. They choose you.  Your totem must get to know you and you must learn to study them as much as they learn to study you. Developing a relationship with a live animal or totem takes time, practice, patience and could be very dangerous.  Having an animal totem does not mean you are to pet the animal or be with it physically. Having an animal totem means that you have lessons to learn and a powerful spiritual friend.
    Each animal totem has its own special powers and message, for each animal has a powerful spirit and an inherent skill or meaning a certain quality. Animal spirits choose a person to be a companion, a friend to, not the other way around. They choose you if you are ready and watching and listening to the spirit. You can think, Oh look here how cute this wolf is, it likes me, maybe they want to be my totem and I like what it represents and it will be my totem.  It doesn’t work like that. No the animal will choose you and make itself know to you.  You will only need to pay attention to discover what your totems are.
    People usually make a mistake and think of animals as non-spiritual, uncultured, and less intelligent than humans.  Some people do not even think animals have a spirit.  Not so - an animal is close to spirit and is spirit because it has never been taught any different. They know the truth.  Animals are truly usually happy creatures, think of these things to remind us about animals.  Think on how they have to live and survive in today‘s society and geographical areas.

Could you for your whole life without tools or weapons, even survive in the wild?
Could you weave a bird’s nest or spider web?
Could you catch a fish with your hands to feed your family daily?
Would you know how to migrate without a compass? Or even when it was time to migrate?
Can you carry things ten times your own body weight?
Do you know what you can and can’t eat in the wild?
Can you go through life happy like animals do?
Could you get along with five to twenty other beings for your entire life and remain in the herd.
Could you for hours simply resting and in contemplate (Meditate perhaps, perhaps talk directly with Spirit)?
Do you take hours a day to just be with your family and to simply play and hug like most mammals?
    Remember don’t look for natural meanings but for spiritual messages through actions of your totem messenger. You have to relate what the totem is doing, noticing everything it does and try to determine the spiritual message it is trying to give to you.  Try to notice everything thing it does even if it doesn’t seem important. Sometimes the least important thing is will become the most important spiritual message. Notice what time it is, where it is, what way it is acting, turning its head, how the wind is blowing, if it is facing East, West, South or North.  The actions can also be related to the directions and what they mean which are described in the Medicine Wheel. If you think you cannot remember the actions or movements of the totem, then try writing it down so you can relate it to you own life and spirit of the Medicine Way or Medicine Wheel.
    You can have as many as you want. It is your life and your totems. Don’t expect to get the same message as I do.  Everyone gets a different message because we are different spirit beings.  We are not humans with spirit, we are spirits in human.  Spirit was first and Spirit is eternal. Human is not. To be human is to err or deviate from the way. We were born into error. We have dis-eased when we are born one way or another. Genetically or by association with others who are at dis-ease.  We must complete our cycle in the Circle of Life and then spirit goes on eternally.  Have you heard the old song? Will the circle being broken? There are so many things in life that tell us of our ancestry and where we came from.
    I can only speak of things that I have studied, things of possession, things that happened to me or things that are born into me genetically. Everyone should try to pass on his traits to his siblings and others who will listen if they are of value. Things and beliefs that are spiritual are eternal; money and other possessions will pass away with the body.

Four Totems
    While looking or discovering your totem you must recognize and understand if the totem is a Life Totem, A Journey Totem, Shadow Totem, or a Message Totem. All totems are powerful but the meaning that the totem will vary on your action depending on what type of totem has come to you.

Life Long Totem
    Your Life Long Animal Totem works with you throughout your entire life or until such time that you no longer need that animal totem.  It is always there when you need its powers.  Always reminding you of your power and connectivity between its spiritual message and your spirit.  You may have one or a few life totems. Other life totems may want to become your life totem but for now try to focus on one life totem.  The messages that your Life Totem brings are a hard reminders from Mother Earth.  Your Life Totem is always there for you and generally reflects your inner spiritual nature.  Many people call your Life Totem your Spirit Totem.  For example if your Life Totem was a  Penguin you would be a person who should be very spiritual since the penguin moves better in water  than it does on land. It manifests itself by being able to leap out of the water up to (six feet) which represents the ability of out of body experiences.  It is also important to understand which type of penguin is your animal totem since some have additional habits that are important to consider.  I have used the penguin; your totem might be something else.  Whatever your totem is you have to study its characteristics and habits in every way you can and learn from its ability.  Its actions will influence your inner-self or your spirit.

Journey Animal Totem
    A Journey Animal Totem reflects a period of time.  Not just a day but weeks, months, or maybe years, the time it takes you to walk the path that the Animal Totem is reminding or guiding you on.  During this journey you will find that this animal is always showing up in your life or that several animal totems will appear in your life all to guide you on the path.  When you find one, two or three animals all of a sudden making an appearance and the      nature all has the same basis then you have found the basis of your path. 
Message Animal Totem
    A Message Animal Totem usually is bringing you a self-growth, spiritual message, or a cautionary warning.  It is often a wakeup call or slap in the face.  It will usually be a very unusual experience making it very powerful at that time.  A Message Totem is a brief period of time, a day, a week, but can be immediate for just a few hours.  Sometimes a Message Totem is not bringing you a message but causing a delay in your life.  This delay, such as when you are trying to leave to go somewhere, is often in assistance for you; to be sure you are not in a place at a certain time so that you avoid an accident or can catch a phone call or meet someone you are supposed to run into. (Some people call it Da-Ja-Vu).

Shadow Animal Totem
    A Shadow Animal Totem is those totems that test us.  They have great power for us but will put us through tests before they will let their power work with and for us, instead of against us.  In all of nature there is prey and predator.  In the spiritual or Shadow World there is the same.  The Shadow Totem is one that initially you fear. The Shadow Totem is to be respected because he represents inner fear that you must overcome.  You may have even been attracted by the animal’s very vivid test to see if you are ready to accept the power of the animal totem. Until you face the fears of the Shadow Animal Totem its powers will work against you, not letting you soar high in your spiritual world.  When you overcome the fear of the Shadow Animal Totem you bring it into the Light World as a Spirit animal totem and they become one of your most powerful Animal Totems.  Your goal with a Shadow Totem is to learn the lessons and incorporate that animal into your spiritual life.  If you are scared by something over and over then you still have not accepted the lesson that animal has for you. 
    Everything that happens to spirit and body has a message on Mother Earth. It does not necessary have to come from Mother Earth, it does not necessary have to come from animals. It may come from a friend, relative, stranger, or a member of the tribe.  You should always be alert when someone tells you something and try to relate it to your inner self of spirit of life.
    This information is for educational purposes only.

Walks With Hawks/BSNH