Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Wolverine – No! I don’t mean Hugh Jackman!

Friday, November 14th, 2014

I thought I would continue with more about some of the totems that I work with. This is just a short… ok short for me discussion of the Wolverine and some of the things that I have learned and experienced with the Wolverine. I think it is important to learn about the nature of the animal you are thinking of working with and its environment as well. It gives you a fuller picture and opens you up to understanding better the nature of the creature you are working with. It also helps you to know how you can help the animal if like the Wolverine it is a threatened or endangered species.

 Gulo 1

After doing some study there are many things that I learned about the wolverine. Though the Native Americans often view the Wolverine as a trickster there are many more positive traits to the Wolverine. The Wolverine is considered to be a messenger between the physical world and the spirit world. I think that in this sense the Wolverine teaches me the skills that it takes to move between the spiritual and the mundane and aids me by helping me to keep a better balance as I do so. This help moving between realms helps me in my desire to be a spiritual teacher and to grow in my own faith and spirituality.

Interestingly enough Wolverine babies are born blind and are very tiny (less than a pound at birth.) However despite being blind and so very small they have a great sense of smell and touch. This enables them to find food and know their enemies even when they are so very young. They are known to be very intelligent and have strong intuitive senses. This makes a lot of sense to me. Having had the opportunity to observe a Wolverine in the wild on more than one occasion I think that this is likely one of the ways that the Wolverine helps me personally. The sense of intuition combined with the intelligence encourages me to continue to develop not only my “brain” intelligence but also to work on developing and trusting my intuition.

The colour of the Wolverine helps it in camouflaging. You would be surprised at how hard it can be to see one in the shadows and even when out in the open it can blend in to seem like part of its surroundings. The First Nations people from the Northern Ontario region view the Wolverine as a type of shape shifter. They see the Wolverine as being of the “medicine of space and time.” I think that in this way the Wolverine helps me to move from situation to situation being what I need to be for that particular situation. But also like I mentioned above it helps in having a successful move from the physical to the spiritual realms and back again.

Wolverines are also noted for being very cunning. Technically the definition of cunning can indicate shrewdness, slyness, or even deception but it also means the ability to do something with great skill and agility. I think that the Wolverine totem aids me by drawing in the skills and abilities that I have and helping me to hone them into a more practical and helpful tool for my growth. I am not saying that the whole idea of cunning as in being shrewd or sly or even deceptive is not applicable but for the most part that is not a trait that I try to draw upon in my life. However there are times in my life (as with anyone else) where there may be the need to show those traits in order to help protect oneself and make sure that one survives difficult situations. I know that in dealing with this situation with Daniel that I have had to incorporate some of these traits in order to get out of the situation and stay safe. So there is a place for these traits that the Wolverine brings as well.

Having seen a Wolverine hunt, attack and kill I know firsthand how ferocious, tenacious and strong this creature is. The Wolverine does not give up the hunt easily. It takes on the challenge and sees it through to the end. This animal is completely focused on its task and one should beware of getting in its way. I think that the Wolverine has a particularly strong impact on me in this way. One of the things that almost every friend that I have would say is that I finish what I start, I don’t (or rarely) quit and that I can bowl others over in my intensity and single minded focus. I think that the Wolverine helps me to be strong and tenacious (ok maybe stubborn in some cases would be a better word) and that when I “sink my teeth in” to something that I want or need I will not often be persuaded to let go until I achieve my goal. I think that the Wolverine brings the gift of endurances and an attitude of “never give up – never quit!”

This animal is one of the most wild and ferocious in North America. I think that when it appears in one’s life that it is time to be active in striving after what it is that I seek. Whether that be hunting down the dreams and goals that I have laid aside or seeking wisdom and knowledge I think that the Wolverine totem encourages me to fight for it – tooth and nail if need be. I think that like the Wolverine who is not known for ever backing down that this totem is encouraging me to stand up for what I believe in, what I want in my life and not bow to the desires of everyone and be the person that I want to be.

On the other side the Wolverine power and energy can be completely overwhelming and I think that this is the warning of the Wolverine – to find the balance. Know when to use your power and when to hold back. The Wolverine seems to have an innate understanding of what to do and when. It seems to walk the balance very well. I think that this totem helps me to know what to do in the moment and helps me to keep to the path.

I found an interesting website and I am going to list here the “Wisdom” that the Wolverine is said to have/bring. I think that they are all very appropriate from what I know of the creature and from the experience I have had working with it over the last few weeks.  I could go on into a further discussion of what these particular ideas mean to me but I think that at this point I have touched on the ideas that are most relevant to me.

Wolverine’s Wisdom Includes:

  • Last phantom of the wilderness
  • Hyena of the North
  • Master of the Forest
  • Trickster hero
  • Magical link between the material and the spirit worlds
  • Revenge
  • Craftiness
  • Understands how to satisfy appetites
  • Ability to travel in very cold places
  • Understanding aggression
  • Protection against attackers
  • Multilevel protection
  • Standing your ground
  • Fierceness
  • Elusiveness
  • Gluttony
  • Cleverness
  • Strength
  • Non-retreat
  • Endurance
  • Effective attack
  • Courage

Learning from the Cicada

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Cicadas have been a totem for me long before I even knew what a totem was. People have often told me that Cicadas cannot be totem animals – well granted they are not really considered animals but insects. However I know what I have learned about and from them and believe that the Cicada is probably one of my life totems.09fa03_cicada

I have been keenly aware of cicadas ever since the summer I turned 13 and spent time on my grandparent’s farm. I found that their song was comforting to me even though many people find them annoying. Cicadas are known for their loud and rather conspicuous songs. I am surprised to find out that most people that I have talked to don’t know what a Cicada looks like and also don’t know that that loud, high pitched sound that they here when the weather is hot and dry is the sound that a Cicada makes. This past year I have had more than ten Cicadas on the fence that surrounds the parking space at the back of the house and have seen 5 or 6 of them in the tree in the front yard.

The first thing that I think about when I hear the Cicadas is about how they make the noises that they make. It is all about vibrations. This made me more aware of the different vibrational levels that we deal with on a daily basis and the fact that I am striving to attain higher more spiritual levels. I’ve been wondering if in my struggles the past number of years I had lost that connection to higher spiritual vibrations as well as the fact that I have become disconnected with my own natural vibrational level. I think that the interference that I have allowed from others has created some disharmony within me in this regard. I think that it is also telling me that my personal vibrations have now moved into a more positive energy.

I know that they have been around to encourage me to improve my communication skills. They have been telling me to speak my heart and to be heard. At the same time they remind me of how I communicate. I know that when I am hurt or upset I can speak harshly and often sarcastically, they remind me to use my voice in a positive way. I think that the Cicada teaches me to find ways of communication that are beneficial to myself and others and I think they inspire me in my music and in my writing.

After doing some reading about the Cicada as a totem there seems to be an agreement that people with Cicadas as their totem can sometimes either be reluctant to know themselves or in a hurry to find out who they are. I think perhaps in some ways throughout my life I have been in both camps on this one. I have vacillated from one extreme to the other. For the last 4 or 5 years the desire to know myself has become almost fanatical at times but thankfully the Cicada totem as well as the Goddess has brought about situations where I have had to sit back and stop the mad pursuit of the depths of my psyche and who I am meant to be and let life progress in a more normal pace. Though this totem lends itself to unearthing the hidden and discerning the differences between reality and illusion it also speaks of patience and doing things in the timing that is appropriate.

I think as well that the Cicada helps me in my becoming. By that I mean that the Cicada aids me in understanding who and what I am; bringing all that I am out of the shadows and into the light or at least into my own awareness. I think that this can manifest itself also as bringing to surface some past life stuff as well. Giving me an awareness not necessarily of the past lives but the lessons learned that have been buried right under the surface and how they affect and influence how I am in the world.

In addition the cicada spends most of its life underground. They live in either 13 or 17 year cycles where they come up from the ground and emerge into the world. I think that my awareness of them being all over the place this past summer has shown me that it is now the time for me to come into my own. It is time for me to come above ground and to live life. No more hiding away from the world, no more avoiding my dreams, goals and wishes. It also has made me aware of the fact that I need to uncover the hidden truths about me, about life and to look beneath the surface – I need to come up and live in the light without fear.