What are animal totems? Simply put, according to Native American theology, they are animals possessing certain abilities and powers that can guide you and help you as you journey through life. They can be living or of spirit. For example: If a Native American were walking along a river trying to resolve an issue or conflict and they saw a snake slide in front of them they would understand that this issue was an opportunity for great change and action if they so choose to stop being inert and simply take action or make a decision or choice.

In Dreamtime to dream of a dog meant to examine close friendships for perhaps a friend might need help or perhaps a certain friend may prove false. When rain was needed, the Medicine Man would ask for frog to call the rain in. Frog medicine is cleansing and associated with rain.  Once a dear friend of mine passed away suddenly. I was overwhelmed with loss. She was a beautiful soul that dearly loved animals. The night of hearing of her death I astral traveled and saw her on the other side of a country road standing next to a huge Kodiak Bear. To some Native people the bear is the guardian to animal heaven. She was beaming with joy. I knew that where she was she was among the animals she loved so very much.

Another time I was feeling anxious about a necessary move and thought I had found the perfect place. While driving with my husband we passed a hawk perched on a rail alongside the road. I told my husband that something would go wrong with the house we were thinking about buying. When we got there and inspected the house, my husband had discovered that all the piping had been removed! Needless to say that purchase did not happen.

You may know someone that has a cultural fear of owls as being bad omens of death. Other people associate the same with crows. But upon closer study one can appreciate the owl as a warning of danger and that the crow means something in the Natural Law of your life events is off kilter. You see, the crow is the keeper of Natural Law, not man-made law, but Natural Law. Call it cause and effect or justice/justification poorly delivered the crow indicates the both the problem and the solution if you know how to work with animal medicine.

When I was growing up my mother, being of “Island” heritage would tie a shed snakeskin around her neck for her arthritis pain. As I became knowledgeable, I realized she was calling upon snake medicine to create a physical change in her level of pain and for health. My mother, despite all her physical ailments and disabilities lived to the age of ninety-three!

If one of my cats is under the weather, I ask the Cat Goddess Bast to intervene. She is excellent for helping and finding domestic and feral cats.

Another interesting aspect of Animal Medicine is how it can affect one’s life path. I laugh now because the last thing I wanted to be was a teacher! Yet, in my adult life that is indeed what I literally fell into doing professionally in the field of mental retardation. Not only was I an excellent teacher, I grew to truly love teaching!  It was much later when I began studying animal medicine that I learned that Wolf was my life path animal totem. People that have wolf are usually teachers! So naturally, I became more interested in learning about animal medicine as time went on. The more I studied the more I was able to identify and develope relationships with my animal spirit guides. There have been times when I sensed a family member was in danger. I would always send my big cat spirits to fight for them and protect them and all would be well.

Animal Medicine is a beautiful medium for meditation as well. As you meditate if any animals saunter through your mind take note of what they are and afterwards look up their meaning. Ted Andrew’s book, ANIMAL MEDICINE is an excellent book for beginners and I highly recommend it as you begin to explore Animal Medicine and animal Totems.

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