Animal Totem

Animal Song

ANIMAL SONG: What does it mean to be an Animal Song Carrier?

A person who has been gifted the role of Animal Song Carrier fully embodies the medicine of that Totem. The Animal who chooses to offer its song to you declares in doing so that it gives you permission to access its magic, and that it trusts you to hold its energy and bring it forth into the world. The Animal Guide who invites you to carry its song empowers you with its medicine so that you can, together, co-create alchemy on the Earth plane. The Animal totem, after all, has a purpose and wisdom all its own, and by sharing its song with you, invites you to enact its vision into reality.

Working with Animal Totems is a significant component of my medicine and my discovery of Animal Song began (subconsciously) when I was very young. I have felt a deep connection with animals for as long as I can remember—in fact, my very first memory of this lifetime features the dog that my parents had when I was born (my parents are nowhere in this memory). As a child, when walking in the woods, wild deer would gently step out from between the trees to look at me before moving away into the dappled shadow. I remember visiting a flock of swans and watching them aggressively chase away other children who approached, and yet they allowed me to walk among them and sit peacefully in their midst.

The idea of connecting with animals in the energetic realm always made sense to me. My favorite stories growing up involved talking animals, and I read every book of Native American folk tales I could get my hands on because animals were featured as powerful, intelligent beings with a purpose and wisdom completely separate from human motivations.

I experienced my first Shamanic journey to discover my Spirit Animal when I was 14 years old. The Totem that revealed itself to me made its presence known in my life in a beautiful, supportive way, and I still receive the benefit of her guidance, even 15 years later.

As I deepened my relationship with Animal Guides, I discovered that I had many. I devoted myself to meditating with my guides, learning their medicine and honoring their wisdom. I found that some guides work specifically with certain situations and energies, some are present for short periods and others are lifelong totems.

Eagle is one such governing Totem in my life. In 2012, while offering blessings to a pair of bald eagles, they told me: “Eagle Song is more than the cries of the bird—it is the BEING of an eagle. It is the movement of air over feathers and the flexing of powerful feet and talons. It is observing without being observed. It is intensely knowing your body and valuing every part: there is no waste, only maximum efficiency for flight. But there is a part beyond our physical selves: that which lives between the layers and flies to the sun and back. This, too, is Eagle Song. Our wisdom comes from intimately knowing these parts and uniting them in our Highest Selves. We—and you, too, Child of Earth and Light—are far more than our physical bodies.”

In 2015, I participated in a traditional Native American dance ceremony, during which the Eagles told me that I am an Eagle Song Carrier. It was then that I truly delved into the essence of Animal Song and learned the enormous magic that comes from receiving such a gift. Being a Song Carrier for an Animal Totem is both an honor and a responsibility. By answering the call of the Spirit Animal who entrusts you with its Song, you effectively create a soul contract with that archetype to actualize its energy on the physical plane. You offer yourself as the vessel through which the medicine of this Animal Guide may flow as it works its own brand of magic for the well-being of Earth.

I carry other Animal Songs as well, but Eagle was the first to initiate me into this medicine. As such, I honor this totem through my work, and help others align with the Song of Animal Totems through private sessions, journey work and events featuring a particular Animal Guide.

It is my honor to facilitate another such event this Sunday afternoon (January 29), during which we will connect with Wolf Song. Wolf medicine is very strong in its cycle of power at this time and wishes to share its magic with the Earth plane for the benefit of all. Please join me this weekend to tune in to this powerful wisdom and let us together honor Wolf Song. Event information here.

Image by EntheoNation

Image by EntheoNation

"What's Your Animal Guide?"

“What’s your animal guide?”

People often ask me this question after I introduce myself as a Shaman who works very strongly with Animal Medicine. In the context of a quick conversation, my short answer usually sounds something like, “Oh, I have many animal guides, and so do you,” but this brief response does nothing to illustrate the infinite layers of complexity and magic that come with delving deep into working with Animal Totems.

“My animal guide is an otter, because I’m very lighthearted and I like to play.”

I love that Animal Medicine has worked its way into popular consciousness! Many people share with great certainty the identity of their animal guide and an attribute of this guide with which they resonate strongly. However, as soon as I ask follow-up questions such as, “How else do you work with otter? What other aspects of its medicine do you find particularly impactful?” Most people answer that they haven’t really done anything further with their totem.

To me, this is akin to meeting your new best friend and powerful ally, learning their name, shaking their hand and then never speaking to them again. Imagine if you were at a party and the host tells you that a friend of theirs wants to meet you. The host leads you over to this person and you immediately perceive a strong energetic connection. You find yourself drawn to this person and feel excited to know them, and perhaps a bit honored to receive an introduction. The host goes on to offer further explanation of why this person was interested to meet you, and you find out that they are a wealth of talents, knowledge and power. This new person smiles glowingly at you and you shake their hand, feeling a surge of energy at this new, profound connection! Then, someone else calls your attention away and you make mental note to return to speak with this amazing new friend again, but you never do. You leave the party without exchanging information or making plans. You never reach out to the host to ask to put you in touch. From this point on, you recall with fondness the memory of that one time at that great party that the host introduced you to this amazing, glowing person with whom you felt such a strong connection, even though you never spoke again.

What if this potential best friend is still out there for you, waiting for you to rekindle the connection? What if this powerful ally has been waiting for you to reach out and ask to know them better? What if this amazing, magical being has been watching you, witnessing your life, ready to offer their teachings as soon as you are ready to receive that wisdom?

Throughout my many years of working with Animal Totems, I have witnessed time and again the magic and profound lessons that come from diving deep into animal medicine. To date, some of my most powerful initiatory experiences made themselves known through Animal messengers appearing for a dramatic introduction.

And yet, the introduction is exactly that: the first step in claiming your relationship with a powerful ally. The work that follows holds the real magic of depth, subtlety and power. By stepping into relationship with your Animal Totems, you cement a bond with their medicine that can last a lifetime and support you in your continued unfolding of joy, love and purpose.

Do you already know the identity of your Animal Guide and want to delve further into your personal connection with its medicine? Even if you don’t know its identity, do you feel your guide out there, waiting to meet you?

Magic & Medicine is an in-depth, four week long journey of discovery with your Animal Totem. This experience includes:

  • The Meeting: Welcome the new Totem into your energy field.
  • The Messages: Learn why this Guide is appearing to you and how it wants to reveal its teachings.
  • The Merge: Bring your Animal Totem to life within your own body and make its energy actionable on the Earth plane.
  • The Manifesto: Delve into the purpose of your work with this Totem and solidify your mission together.
  • And more! Learn the details of Magic & Medicine here.

Contact me for a free consultation and begin your Magic & Medicine journey with your powerful animal ally today.

An Offering for Elephant

Originally published on Eagle Song September 14th, 2015.

Elephant

Wise mother, North-holder, tribe guardian.

Thank you for blessing me with the wisdom of your medicine. I am so happy and grateful to feel your thick-skinned feet teach my small human form what it means to pulse with deep Earth vibration. The rhythm of your walk and swaying of your head echoes in my own heartbeat, and I feel my dance slow to match your deliberate strength.

Feminine sage, keeper of knowledge, partner of accountability.

I surrender to your teachings. I trust that my embodiment of your energy works in highest service to Self and Spirit. I thank you for your guidance in returning to the wisdom of the Mother, creating the Sister Tribe, building community based in vibrational and emotional intelligence. I hold in my cells the memory of safe passage to water and the oasis of the Divine.

Delicate strength, discerning pleasure, fine detail.

I embrace the sensitivity and dexterity of your complex trunk! I spin and whirl in perfect precision, savoring soft strokes and sweet, sparkling sensation. I am safe. Thank you for teaching me that, even in great expansiveness, no detail is lost. Your luxuriant eyelashes offer their evidence.

Earth ambassador, beloved teacher, honored guide.

I am grateful to remember the infinity of connection, even in the empty moments.

Animal Guides: Spider

Originally published on Eagle Song September 3, 2015

About a month ago, Spider announced herself in my life in a somewhat startling, then very beautiful way.

On the night of the last Super Moon at the end of July, I brought all my crystals outside to soak in the moonlight. I joined them on an air mattress and was sleeping relatively peacefully, until sometime in the middle of the night when I awoke to feel a spider bite my top lip, right in the center. In my half-asleep, bewildered state, I announced to the spider, “That hurts! Who does that?!?” I rolled over, already feeling my lip swell under my fingertips. I managed to fall back asleep fairly quickly, thinking that the spider had some nerve biting me (on my lip, no less) while I was minding my own business, sleeping.

The next morning, my upper lip was swollen to several times its normal size. I endured a few hours of talking strangely and drooling a little bit, but with my magic natural detox, my lip looked pretty much normal by midday. I filed the incident under “Unusual, but not significant,” and moved on.

Two days later, I participated in a traditional Native American dance ceremony. At some point in the late morning, I noticed some very tiny spiders appear on me. I escorted them down to the safety of the grass, only to discover more and more baby spiders show up throughout the next several hours. They appeared as if out of nowhere to crawl on my body and my clothes, and I gently transported them to the grass and nearby plants where I wouldn’t accidentally smoosh them with my movements. I asked both of my dance neighbors on either side (about 5 or 6 feet away) if they had any tiny spider visitors, and I felt surprised when each of them told me that they were completely spider-free. Apparently there had just been a hatching immediately over my head. The rain of baby spiders continued through the early afternoon, and while I thanked Grandmother Spider for sending me her grandchildren and tried asking her what I was supposed to learn, I was sufficiently distracted by the dance ceremony itself (read about it here) and did not have enough attention for an answer.

When I eventually did get to meditate with Spider energy a few days later, the information that came through resonated deeply with me:

Spiders are the weavers of life. Through their weaving, everything is connected. They help form the bridge between the past and future, the subconscious and conscious, male and female, waking and dreaming life, physical and spiritual realms. They embody infinity, and their webs’ spiral shape represents the First Cosmic Key of the Universe, from which all other forms manifest.

Research from outside sources revealed that Spider is the keeper of ancient languages and alphabets, and that the geometric shapes found in a spider’s web became the first symbols of written language. Spiders are storytellers! How cool is that?

It blows my mind that I could be so deeply connected to Spider without consciously knowing that I work with her energy. Maybe that’s why she sent one of her children to bite me in my sleep, on my lip, infusing me with a strong dose of Spider medicine to aid in my own storytelling of weaving the bridge between human and Divine realms. (I even use the term “Thought Spiral” when I’m describing the long, multidimensional path an idea takes when it pulls together many seemingly unrelated concepts that ultimately connect to form a complete and cohesive picture. Thank you, Spider.)

All that said, working directly with Spider medicine has not felt completely intuitive to me. Some animals (generally mammals and birds) are so much easier for me to jump right into a very embodied understanding of what it means to access their energy. Maybe it’s partially due to cultural conditioning, maybe it’s because their movement and body shape are so unlike my own, but I definitely need to sink deep in order to fully honor this guide and do her justice.

That’s partly why I’m so excited to teach my Animal Dance workshop next weekend in Portland, OR. While I guide others through the process of discovering their Animal Totems and moving into a place of embodied understanding, I plan to do the same with Spider. I am so grateful for the opportunity to facilitate this journey! Working with my own Animal Guides has been a rich, truly educational experience that helps me discover more and more layers of my own consciousness and personal evolution. I can’t wait to help others access the wealth of knowledge and powerful wisdom available to them from their Animal Guides.

If you would like to register for the workshop, please do so here.

Workshop information here.

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