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In Regards to Totems
chaitea
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Post: #1
In Regards to Totems
I’ve noticed that a lot of people can mix up a possible kinship with their totem animal when first awakening and I was wondering why that might be? Is it because one is searching for their animal identity and the totem happens to be a close spiritual influence so it’s the first possibility that’s grasped at. Or maybe something else.

Also, is it possible to have mental shifts into one’s totem?
And if so, might people who don’t identify as otherkin be able to experience such?

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2008-06-04 7:45
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Elinox
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Post: #2
Re: In Regards to Totems
I think people mistake their therioside with a totem because when in meditation, the two can seem very similar. It takes practice to differentiate between what's in your soul and what spirit is meeting with you. I think people often assume that the first animal they meet in meditation is their inner spirit becuase A. they're eager for answers and B. it was the first thing to approach them. I think that after awhile, some people discover that the first animal wasn't correct so they keep searching. And there's nothing wrong with being mistaken, it takes awhile to learn something like this about yourself. I also think a lot of people that are new to therianthropy gravitate to wolves because that's usually the first "were" creature they're ever exposed to so they simply stop searching once they come to the conclusion of wolf. Other popular animals are big cats and foxes. I think some people are just drawn to predatory animals and then add a bit of wishful thinking to come up with their conclusions. I personally don't see anything wrong with being a mouse therian as opposed to a lion therian but to some people, size and power matter. Plus, it's not like you can pick your soul!

chaitea Wrote:Also, is it possible to have mental shifts into one’s totem?

Mental shifts as your totem I'm not sure about, but I don't see why it wouldn't be possible. It's a form of shamanism to take on the attributes of your totem animal so you can get a better understanding of that animal from its own perspective. I've never done it, but I have experienced a phantom dorsal fin from Dolphin when she wanted to get my attention to work with her.

chaietea Wrote:And if so, might people who don’t identify as otherkin be able to experience such?

This seems very likely in my mind. If someone wants to learn how to not take any crap from someone, they could do work with Badger. Or to be cautious they could call on Rabbit. It's a learning tool to better yourself through working with animal spirits. Taking on attributes of an animal can help you learn how to act in certain situations which can be very helpful. I know that lupa does a lot of work with totem animals and while she's a wolf therian, she has often shifted to other various animals to learn more about them. She may be able to add more insight into this.

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2008-06-04 14:01
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Taiaka
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Post: #3
Re: In Regards to Totems
I'm not a therian, but I experience mental shifts into my various totems. I've had some wonderful and some frightening 'visions' (for lack of a better word) during these shifts. I do not like to meditate in the traditional sense of the word so I use these shifts to focus and center myself.

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2008-06-04 18:05
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Nousagi
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Post: #4
Re: In Regards to Totems
chaitea Wrote:I’ve noticed that a lot of people can mix up a possible kinship with their totem animal when first awakening and I was wondering why that might be?

I mixed up the two. And I have to agree with Elinox; I was too eager and just settled with the first thing I saw. Dumb, but a very easy mistake to make.

chaitea Wrote:Also, is it possible to have mental shifts into one’s totem?

Definitely. I think the most common term for this is totemic shift. Totemic shifts also encompases all types of shifts, as far as I'm aware. This confused me further, because I experienced shifts from both my totem and my therioside, and blended the two. It's super important to really pay attention to what's going on. Oops. :/

chaitea Wrote:And if so, might people who don’t identify as otherkin be able to experience such?

I don't see why not.

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2008-06-04 18:53
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Archer
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Post: #5
Re: In Regards to Totems
Could someone give a rundown to the uninitiated (eg me) on what a totem actually is?

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2008-06-04 19:24
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Elinox
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Post: #6
Re: In Regards to Totems
Archer Wrote:Could someone give a rundown to the uninitiated (eg me) on what a totem actually is?

A totem is a spirit guide or helper that comes into your life to teach you something. Sometimes the totem is for life, sometimes totems come and go as the person needs them. I've noticed that people often use the terms animal totem/spirit animal/spirit guide/spirit guardian interchangably. And depending on who you ask, you can meet your totem (or totems) any number of ways: through meditation work, if the same species of animal appears in your life several times (ex: always seeing ravens on the way to work, etc.), having a strong attachement to a certain species, etc. I'm a fan of the meditation technique myself.

Some people don't feel they need a spirit animal while others actively seek their totem out. And I'm of the group that feels that a person can have as many totems as are necessary for them. Although some people will tell you that you have only one at a time.

But the basic totem concept is a spirit animal who comes into your life to teach you something. Examples: how to stand up for yourself, how to be a leader, how to know when to shut up, etc.

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2008-06-04 19:41
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Meirya
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Post: #7
Re: In Regards to Totems
There's also some very good information on totems here from a traditional tribal shamanism point of view (as opposed to the neoshamanism/core shamanism/neopagan point of view).

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2008-06-05 23:47
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Elinox
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Post: #8
Re: In Regards to Totems
Meirya Wrote:There's also some very good information on totems here from a traditional tribal shamanism point of view (as opposed to the neoshamanism/core shamanism/neopagan point of view).

Yes, Moonvoice is awesome and knows her stuff. Feel free to post this in the links section too!

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2008-06-06 13:14
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DischordianJoy
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Post: #9
Re: In Regards to Totems
My totem for the last seven years or so has been Raven, I've even got him tattooed on me, lol. But I can't say that I ever thought I was a Raven therian, nor have I ever had any mental shifts of any kind. It was difficult for me when I realized I had wings, though, because I immediately thought I was angelic and that both derailed me and helped me find out what my kintype really is. (My current theory for my wings is that I simply lived a lifetime as a Raven and liked them so much I added them to my astral form.) Raven's lessons are difficult for me, because he is teaching me that death isn't as scary as I'm inclined to think it is.

I've also had Butterfly and Panther come to me, Butterfly because She wanted to teach me that sometimes, even when we're afraid, change is a necessity. Panther came to me to teach me that there is darkness inside each of us, and sometimes we do things out of instinct that we might not do in our conscious mind in order to survive.

I do think I'd love to experience a mental shift, though, just to see what it's all about, to feel what other people are talking about.

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2008-06-06 14:41
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Post: #10
Re: In Regards to Totems
Oddly enough, I've never gotten a totem simply because I don't want to be a bother.

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2008-06-06 16:44
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