Traits: Survival, Stealth
- The alligator’s primal energies are Birth, Motherhood, and Initiation.
- It is the keeper and protector of all knowledge.
- People with this totem can develop new wisdom, being careful, though, not to be consumed by this new knowledge
- Energy and patience needed to complete work
- Communal living
- Storing for the future
- Understanding the conversation of death
- Value of strong survival skills
- Ability to leap over obstacles
According to the Correspondence: Animals of the Bible by John Worcester, regardless of the type of antelope, ” they are light and elegant of body, their limbs are gracefully slender, and are furnished with small cloven hoofs. The tail is never of any great length, and in some species is very short. The horns, set above the eyebrows, are either simply conical, or are bent so as to resemble the two horns of the ancient lyre. (Natural History, Antelopes)” (page 63).
“It is not so much because it yields savory meat as from its swiftness, grace, beauty, and gentleness that the gazelle is best known…. It is by far the most abundant of all the large game in Palestine..” (page 65).
- Understanding your personal boundary
- Respecting the boundaries of others
- Carrying your protection with you at all times
- Understanding your vulnerabilities
- Defense of family
- Sacred to the God Thoth (God of wisdom)
- Sacred to the God Hapi (God of the Nile)
- Keeper of stories
- Bold Self-Expression
- Antidote to passivity or victimization
- Persistence in the service of a mission
- Knowledge of the earth
- Earth magick and wisdom
- Creative action in a crisis
- Protection of rights and spiritual ideas
In the Bible Animals: Project Gutenberg by J. G. Wood, it is estimated that “nearly all the references to the Badger occur in the book of Exodus, and form part of the directions for constructing the Tabernacle and its contents. The first notice of the word occurs in Exodus xxv. 5, where the people of Israel are ordered to bring their offerings for the sanctuary, among which offerings are gold, silver, and brass, blue, purple, and scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, rams’ skins dyed red, badgers’ skins, and shittim wood—all these to be used in the construction of the Tabernacle. Then a little farther on, in chapter xxvi. 14, we find one of the special uses to which the badgers’ skins were to be put, namely, to make the outer covering or roof of the tabernacle. Another use for the badgers’ skins was to form an outer covering for the ark, table of shewbread, and other furniture of the Tabernacle, when the people were on the march.” (page 80).
“In all these cases the badger-skin is used as a covering to defend a building or costly furniture, but there is one example where it is employed for a different purpose. This passage occurs in the book of Ezekiel, chapter xvi. 10. The prophet is speaking of Jerusalem under the image of a woman, and uses these words, “I anointed thee with oil; I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badger’s skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain upon thy neck, and I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.” (page 80).
“So we have here the fact, that the same material which was used for the covering of the Tabernacle, and of the sacred furniture, could also be used for the manufacture of shoes. This passage is the more valuable because of an inference which may be drawn from it. The reader will see that the badger-skin, whatever it may have been, must have been something of considerable value, and therefore, in all probability, something of much rarity.” (page 80).
“In the present instance, it is classed with the most luxurious robes that were known in those days, and it is worthy of special mention among the bracelet, earrings, necklace, and coronal with which the symbolized city was adorned. If the reader will now refer to the passage in which the children of Israel were commanded to bring their offerings, he will see that in those cases also the badger-skins were ranked with the costliest articles of apparel that could be found, and had evidently been brought from Egypt, the peculiar home of all the arts; together with the vast quantity of gold and jewels which were used for the same sacred purpose.” (page 80).
- Shamanic death and rebirth
- Pollination of new ideas
- Viewing past lives
- Understanding grief
- The use of vibrational sound
- Ability to observe unseen
The Bible Animals: Project Gutenberg by J. G. Wood references the biblical text of Isaiah ii. 20, when analyzing the attributes of the bat. It reads, “for example, it is prophesied that when the day of the Lord comes, the worshippers of idols will try to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord, and will cast their false gods to the bats and the moles, both animals being evidently used as emblems of darkness and ignorance.” (page 16).
It is added incidentally, “the Hebrew name of the Bat is expressive of its nocturnal habits, and literally signifies some being that flies by night, and it is a notable fact that the Greek and Latin names for the bat have also a similar derivation.” (page 16).
“Nocturnal in their habits, they cannot endure the light, which completely dazzles them, so that they dash about at random, and fly blindly towards the torches in their endeavors to escape.” (page 16).
The final example mentioned here is from the “apocryphal book of Baruch, [Chapter VI], the bat is used as a lively image of something peculiarly repulsive and hateful.” (page 16).
- Maintaining the ability to be productive in all ways by not limiting your options
- Being persistent
- Using available resources
- Using alternate ways of doing tasks
- Master builder of all things
- Not damming the flow of experiences in life
- Achievement through completion of tasks
- Understanding dynamics of group work
Traits: Service, Gathering, Community
- Connection to the Goddess Diana
- Understanding female warrior energy
- Communication with the dead
- Helping earth-bound spirits move on to their proper place
The bee reminds us to extract the honey of life and be productive while the sun shines. It is also the symbol of achieving the impossible because, aerodynamically, its body is too large for its wings and in theory it should not be able to fly – but the bee still does, and is always productive.
So, learn from the bee and make your life more fertile, pursue your dreams (no matter how great they are), and always be a “busy bee”. Like the bee, you too can accomplishing anything you put your mind to, even the (now seemingly) impossible!
Beetle, Lady bug
- Carries the Golden Strand that leads to the Center of the Universe
- Past lives
- Spiritual enlightenment
- Death and Rebirth
- Astral travel
- Guardian energy
- Symbol of the feminine
- Understanding of death
- Reclaiming ones power
- Ability to know the dark
- Death and rebirth
- Keeper of the circular time continuum
- Gatekeeper to the Unknowable
- All wisdom listed above for Jaguar
According to Mayan beliefs, the journey of the sun across the sky and the darkness of night stood for the eternal journey of human consciousness and its transformations. The sun at midday was compared to the Eagle, flying high in the sky. Then it plunges below the horizon, just as we plunge into the dark where we face our spiritual challenges and are transformed. The hidden sun was said to be Jaguar, whose spotted skin symbolized the stars glittering in the night sky. Thus, it was called the “Jaguar Sun.” Jaguar is the earth father. As earth father, he presides over the sacred power in the earth and the animals who live upon it. The force that lives within the mountains, which gives them their volcanic and transformative power, is the same underworld source of power and energy as the Jaguar Sun. The Mayan word for Jaguar is IX (pronounced eesh).
Blue Jay, Jay
- Understanding how to use power wisely
- Ability to check on future trouble spots
- Earth Creativity
- Feminine courage
- Sharing work
- Giving for the greater good
- Formulating beneficial plans
- The power of the whirlwind
Traits: safety, endurance, persistence,
- Learning to walk in the shifting sands of time
- Understanding the vastness of space
- Ability to save for future use
- Understanding the value of water as a life force
- Transforming the burdens we carry
According to the Correspondence: Animals of the Bible by John Worcester, “the camel is fitted for its desert life especially by its power of storing nourishment in its hump and water in one of its stomachs, so that for several days at a time it can journey comfortably with small supplies of both.” (page 49).
The stern gravity of the camel’s character is most strikingly shown by its young, of which it is said that it is not one whit more playful than its parents. Unlike almost all other animals, the camel seems to have no idea of play, and even the young camel of a month or two old follows its mother
with the same steady, regular pace which she herself maintains.” (page 52).
- Understanding the power of the wind
- Finding your soul song
Traits: Travel, Mobility
- Connection to home over long distances
- Power of wandering
- Protection while traveling
- Social skills
- Retention of ones power in group situations
- Ability to go long periods in the dark
Caribou/Reindeer teaches endurance, strength, fortitude and perseverance in going the distance. He will teach the power of adaptability in adversity, caution in surroundings and tenacity to get things accomplished.
Reindeer/Caribou will show how to keep moving onward and flowing with and within the social group. This totem is all about travel and mobility, persevering and enduring to accomplish inner peace and your station in your journey through life.
- Ability to focus intently on something for a short period of time
- Accelerating time
- Keenness of sight
Chicken, Rooster, Hen, Cock
- Power of voice
- Understanding language
- Pecking out the answers that escape others
- Awakening powers at sunrise
- Protection of family and community
- Hearing your inner voice
Cougar, Mountain Lion
Traits: Power, Life force, Sexual Potency
- Using leadership power wisely and without ego
- Balancing power, intention, strength
- Gaining self-confidence
- Freedom from guilt
For the Zunis of Turtle Island (Southwest United States), Cougar was the Master Hunter, known for its high intelligence, its knowledge of other animal and life forms, its physical prowess, its strength of will, and its intuitive ability. Cougar sees the maintenance of its territory as essential for its survival. Poshaiankia, the father of the Medicine Societies, designated Cougar the duty of carrying messages from humans to the higher spirits, because of this animal’s personal power, superior knowledge, strength of will, and steadfastness. Therefore, Cougar represents the link between ourselves and the most powerful spirits in Zuni Mythology: Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Originator of All.
- Understanding that all things are sacred–yet nothing is sacred
- Teaching that only when all masks have fallen will we connect with the Source
- Singing humans into being
- Childhood trust in truth
- Teaching us how to rear our young
- Brings rain
- Ability to laugh at one’s own mistakes
- Placing the North Star
- Teaching balance between risk and safety
- Ability to escape by moving sidewise
- Understanding the power of dance
- Ability to move through water (emotions)
- Male aspects of community
- Finding new uses for the seemingly useless
- Protection of home space
- Maternal protection
- Connection to the earth mother
- Protection from manipulation
- Understanding deceit
- Revenge through patience
- Understanding weather
- Access to ancient knowledge
- Guardian of the place before existence
- Ability to move in space and time
- Honoring ancestors
- Ethics and Ethical behavior
- Carrier of souls from darkness into light
- Working without fear in darkness
- Guidance while working in shadow
- Moves freely in the void
- Understands all things related to ethics