Animal totems- or the art of receiving messages from wild animals truly saved me during a time in my life when I had to find my way in the dark. I am eternally grateful to the Beasties for their love and guidance. I’m sharing an excerpt from my book with the intention that it illuminate this path for those of you who are seeking it! Peace and the courage of at least 3 honey badgers, Sarah
An excerpt from the book What the Walrus Knows.
A totem is any natural object – it could be a wild animal (insect, reptile, bird, mammal, or extinct or mythical Beastie), a plant, a rock, or even a planet – that bears a special significance for an individual. I use the word Beastie because it includes everything from a dragonfly to more mythical beings like unicorn and basilisk. A totem is a source of strength and insight that the person would not have without it. Another way of saying this is that a totem’s vibrational energy is aligned with the person using that totem. The more you honor and consult with a totem, the more strongly aligned and higher your own vibration will become.
There are two basic kinds of Beastie totems. The first I like to think of as a Guest Beastie. They’re around for a limited time. They come to stay with us for a moment or a month, or even a year, to bring a message or share some wisdom. Guest Beasties arrive to guide us through something important that’s going on in our life. They’re basically saying, “Hey! Over here! Notice me, because I’m trying to tell you something that’s important for you to know.”
Guest Beasties may come to us when we’re outdoors, whether in the woods or on the way out to the car. But there are many other ways they come to us, and they all count. They may come into your awareness through a television or computer screen. Someone may give you a card with a cartoon of a Beastie on it. Maybe you see a carving of a Beastie in a museum, or a logo on a shirt as you’re doing the laundry. Just by paying attention to what shows up in your awareness you can begin to tune in to these Guest Beasties.
The other kind of beastie we’ll explore is what I like to think of as a Core Beastie. Other writers refer to them as guardians, power animals, or protectors. As I began to teach and share Beastie wisdom with others, the word “power” often seemed to be thought of only as “intimidation” and “strength.” While it’s true that a Core Beastie does offer strength, it’s not the strength of being more powerful than others, but the strength that comes from being connected to your own self. The “Core” in “Core Beastie” is the core of YOU.
Core Beasties stay with us for many, many years – often for a lifetime. They’re usually a wild Beastie and they’re often a mammal, probably because we humans are mammals, so they’re most closely related to us. A Core Beastie is very protective and empowering. Having a Core Beastie is like having a wonderful mentor alongside you for your whole life.
Before we go further, let’s talk about pets. People often ask, “Can I do this Beastie energies work with my pet?” Sure. It’s a great way to start, particularly if you struggle with connecting to wild Beasties. But domesticated Beasties are in service to humans in some way, whereas a wild Beastie lives outside that impact of human vibrations. So know that even though you can use a pet as a way into working with Beastie totems, wild Beasties may offer you an even more powerful connection to positive vibrations.
Begin with Three Steps
Beginning to work with Beasties requires almost no effort at all.
The first step is simply to notice what Beasties show up as you go about your day – as you read the newspaper or watch TV, as you pick up the mail or walk down the street. Even notice mythical or extinct beasts, like unicorns, dragons, or dinosaurs, as the principles for working with them are the same.
As you notice what Beasties are showing up, also notice what they’re doing. What activity are they involved in? Are they flying, sleeping, hunting, or snuggling? Simply notice.
The second step is to notice what’s on your mind when the Beastie enters your awareness. Are you thinking about an issue you’re having with a business associate? Are you mulling over a big step you’re thinking of taking? Are you reviewing an incident with a friend? Or thinking about a relationship that needs healing? Again, simply notice.
The third step is to ask yourself: What insights does this exploration reveal or evoke in me regarding what’s on my mind? Was it literal (The Beastie is resting and reminding me to rest too?). Was it soaring and (metaphorically ) it feels like its time for you to “fly” too? What instant “Ah-ha!” do you get, if any? Maybe its just a knowing (like a message I received once), “That crow is telling me to quit whining,!”. If you feel stumped at first, I invite you to look for a resource you love to find out more about the Beastie you noticed. Explore the animal in a way that feels good to you. A resource that is handy is the app I helped to create.
If nothing clear rises to the surface … simply be patient and wait. Often, a significant insight will occur to you later. [end of excerpt of What the Walrus Knows].
P.S. The BEST person to interpret the significance of a Guest Beastie is YOU. If you feel stumped…feel free to ask trusted confidantes for their input: “If this was your situation and this Beastie showed up like this how would you interpret it?”. Trust yourself. You are brilliant! With love, Sarah
Ready to dig deeper? Jonesing to figure out who your Core Beastie is? Subscribe to my list in the box above and get a FREE download of a guided shamanic journey (I’ll talk you through the process) OR check out What the Walrus Knows