My totem animal, at the moment, is the hawk, but I can feel eagle pressing forward lately. Totem animals come and go dependent on whether we feed them or not, whether we recognize them around, and what we need at the time. I’ve often had snake as a totem animal, and owl, and even dragon, which occasionally starts out as snake. Don’t ask why, because I’m not sure I could tell you. I’ve also had coyote come to me when needed. And raccoon.
While growing up in the woods, I remember my first totem animal being deer: a quiet urging toward new experiences. Over the years, deer has gone on to others. I often think children have deer as a totem animal. Deer are often gentle and shy in a very important way. My dad possessed bear for many years, but also had groundhog and squirrel when he needed them. The rest of my family don’t speak of these things, but I could often see a totem animal around them when we were together…in the ways they expressed themselves.
A good friend of mine has worked with snapping turtle for years. He’s a great, quiet man until you piss him off, then it’s full force and head first! Knowing this about him makes it easy to be around him. And that’s what I propose, is that we recognize our own totem animal whenever we can. Feel free to call on them when needed. You want a raise at work? Call on cougar: be stealth, but focused, and don’t be afraid to pounce when the time is right.
There are books about totem animals, but one of the most efficient ways to learn about them is to read about their habits and habitats. Read about whether they mate for life or not, whether they hibernate or save for the winter. Notice how they treat their young, and what they eat – definitely what they eat, because having a totem animal show up in your life might mean you need to change your diet.
The idea of totem animals works for me. It allows me to focus on where life is helping me. I recommend everyone try to notice such things. It may help you become more aware.
Terry Persun writes in many genres, including historical fiction, mainstream, literary, and science fiction/fantasy. He is a Pushcart nominee. His latest poetry collection is “And Now This”. His novels, “Wolf’s Rite” and “Cathedral of Dreams” were ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalists in the science fiction category, and his novel “Sweet Song” won a Silver IPPY Award. His latest science fiction space opera is, “Hear No Evil”, his latest fantasy is “Doublesight”, his latest mainstream/literary novel is “Ten Months in Wonderland”.