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    Critters and the circle of life

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    HigherLove

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    Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:22 pm

    I am on a break but feel inspired to start a thread about critters, but know I do not have time yet fully to articulate my intention. It's just that all sorts of critters have taken a place in my life since the snowstorm in February, my other-world experience while stuck, and all of the events that have transpired, since.

    While there are certainly spiritual implications for the role of all critters in our lives, I regard them also as simply "natural" (i.e. what can be learned from critters in a natural sense as the priority, then sift out any individualspiritual meaning, after -- if such a thing is even real).

    I do seek truth, but on occasion may dabble in what others consider to be ignorance or darkness -- even a complete waste of my time. This is not my intention. It is just part of my process of getting from A to B, and I think many of us have had experiences with critters that assist us with seeing much of what is hidden in plain sight.

    Since spiders have been so abundant these days, I shall start with them.

    As always, I am a work in progress. Feel free to add what you know. I just ask that I be free to explore this avenue without judgment, even if it seems I am headed for a cliff.

    Inspired by the thread: http://www.themistsofavalon.net/t2610-wounded-healers-a-personal-journey-from-a-z


    Last edited by HigherLove on Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:39 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:23 pm

    The Spider


    Yearly Cycle of Power: Spring, Fall
    Time of Power: Night
    Attributes: Patience, Grace, Precision, Readiness, Magic, Prophecy, Entrapment, Dependence, Weaving, Seeing Patterns

    There is not a person out there that would doubt the power of a spider. They strike at the very essence of our primal fear. A creature so potent and deadly that we, the human animal, 1000 times larger than it still cower in fear of its bite. Perhaps it is the spider bite that we fear. Perhaps it is the patience it has in waiting for its prey. Perhaps it is the dark wisdom that seems to follow it throughout cultures. The spider is part of the arachnids (containing also scorpions and ticks). There are over 30000 species of spider throughout the world, but they are all made up of the same pattern. They have 8 legs, and two body segments: a head and a belly, cephalothorax and abdomen. Many people incorrectly label them insects but this is false. Insects have three body segments and 6 legs. Spiders have 2 body segments and 8 legs. Their legs are quite amazing. They have bristles near their feet called scopula which help them cling to smooth surfaces like ceilings and walls. Other bristles are used for sense of tough and smell. Their legs have no muscles, so moving them is done purely with blood pressure. Spiders may also have up to 8 eyes. Their eyesight may be either fair (if they are a hunting spider) or poor (if they are a web building spider, or non existent (in terms of a cave dwelling spider). Spiders come in a variety of colours from grays, browns and blacks to yellows, greens and reds. They may be furry like the tarantula or sleek like the black widow. Spiders range in size from the size of a pin’s head to 25 cm long with legs extended (That is nearly 1 foot!). Spiders can live from one year to up to 20 years depending on the species and climate. Although spiders live in a variety of climates, they prefer it where it is a bit hotter and a bit more humid (although some like it dry and cool).


    One really special adaptation of the spider is its ability to weave spider silk. Spider silk is five times as strong as high-grade steel by weight. It does not dissolve in water and is the strongest known fiber in the world. This is quite incredible. Think about the practical applications if we could produce spider silk. We could build a car that we could carry on our backs. We could make tents that were many times stronger than any house built in the city. The spider uses special organs on its abdomen called spinnerets to produce spider silk. It uses these organs to weave silk and ultimately create the majestic webs we see all over the place. It can be used for other things as well. They use it to float through the air like hot air ballooning, to line their burrows, to make egg sacs, etc. Spiders have up to 3 different glands in their bodies to make three different types of silk. The silk it spins can be sticky or not. Spiders often weave it in patterns where only they know which parts are sticky. That is why they never get stuck in their own webs. The spinneret’s work much like a weaver’s fingers to manipulate the substance excreted from these glands. A spider always has a line of silk, which is called a drag-line. If it is in danger it can drop from its web on the drag-line until the danger has passed. The intricacy of the webs themselves is also quite amazing. Wherever a web is woven, you will find a perfect balance of tensions and stresses (including gravity). Many computer programs have tried to simulate more optimal patterns but they have failed: The spiders weave is always optimal. Some spiders live in their webs, situated to catch their prey in a high traffic area. Others live in a nest made in a folded leaf, underground, or under rocks or logs.


    Spiders are predators by nature. Some more patient than others. Their natural prey includes crickets, flies, bees, grasshoppers, moths and butterflies. Although the large tarantula can prey on larger insects or animals: big beetles, toads, frogs, small birds, snakes and lizards. Many spiders are web builders. These spiders patiently wait for their prey to come to them. When it does, they can feel where in the web the prey has landed based on the vibrations. They will then rush over and either devour their prey or wrap it up for later. Hunting spiders are quite different. They are predators in the more traditional sense. Wolf spiders chase down their prey. Jumping spiders pounce upon their prey. Fisher spiders walk on the water and eat water insects. Bolas spiders spin a sticky line and lasso their prey just like a cowboy! In whatever manner a spider catches its prey, all spiders they eventually kill and eat such prey. They generally kill prey with venom. Venom is injected into the prey through fangs. Most spiders have poison glands, but few have poison dangerous enough to harm a human. Even the feared brown recluse and black widow bites are not an immediate danger to ones health. Generally a bit from these spiders will just irritate the skin. A spider is very unlikely to bite a human anyway. They usually have to be agitated to bite. A spider sprays digestive juices on its prey and then sucks it up with appendages on its mouth that act as a straw. A tarantula can reduce a mouse to a pile of hair and bones in about 36 hours by digesting it in this method.


    Spiders have a few natural enemies: Birds, Fish, Frogs, Wasps, and other spiders. The wasp is among the deadliest of the spider’s enemies. It makes for an infrequent occurrence in nature. The wasp is the prey of the spider and the spider is the prey of the wasp. Spiders have many defenses and strategies to deal with predators. They can escape via their drag-line. They are well adapted in camouflage and can hide easily in their environment. As a last defense a spider will use its poison. Most poisonous spiders are brightly coloured to warn their enemies to find lunch elsewhere. A spider will only use its venom if it has no other choice.


    Most spiders live for less than a year, so courtship and mating are primarily important. They often have elaborate courtship procedures. Some males may vibrate the female’s web in a way to make her take notice. Others will move their legs in an elaborate dance. Others will bring a present (like a fly) for the female. Once she has accepted his advances, it’s a bit of a strange story. The male puts his sperm on a silk platform that he creates. The female then stores this within her body and makes eggs from it. She can continue to make eggs for many months as a result of this 'stored sperm'. Although it is a popular theory, it is very uncommon for the female to eat the male after mating occurs. She lays about 100 to 2000 eggs in an egg sack, which she makes out of silk. Some females die after this, some go on, and some are active mothers taking their babies with them. If the eggs are laid in the fall, they hatch in the spring. The spiderlings immediately have drag-lines and look like small adults. They molt as they grow, with a new larger skin replacing the old skin. Spiderlings sometimes migrate in an unusual way. They climb to the top of a large object and turn their spinnerets to the sky. The air catches the silk and pulls the spider into the winds. This method is called ballooning. Sailors have seen ballooning spiderlings more than 300 kilometers from land.


    From cultures across the world, the spider has a rich and diverse mythology. Universal to these cultures the spider is associated with weaving. With some it is simple weaving. Such is the case of Arachne who challenged the Goddess Athena to a duel of weaving and as a result was turned into a spider. Some see this as a punishment from Athena, but when you think of it, the spider thrived, so perhaps it was a way of making the weaver immortal. With other cultures the spider is seen as one who weaves the world into existence or as a weaver of fate. The latter is reminiscent of the Greek Lachesis the archetypal fate goddess and the Celtic Arianrhod who is rumoured to have her silver wheel linked to the spider’s web. Regardless time, fate, and pattern seem to be interconnected to the spider. With its eight legs you can almost see the spider as a living representation of the wheel of the year with a leg for each sabbat. It weaves patterns through time, fate through patterns. The spider is linked to other goddesses as well: Maya of the Hindu pantheon, Neith of the Egyptian pantheon, and the Native American grandmother spider. In this form, the spider is associated with wisdom archetypes, with magic and occult knowledge. The spider is associated with the knowledge of poisons and the occult. The spider is known as a wily teacher who often teaches by showing what not to do often resulting in pain or misfortune. On the flipside of this, the spider is also known mythologically to save some humans. There is a common myth of a man that is being pursued by his enemies when he takes shelter in a cave. A spider seeks to save him so she quickly weaves her web over the entrance to the cave. When the enemies approach they see a spider web and conclude that the man cannot be inside. This myth occurs in many cultures: Navajo, Islamic (the man was Mohammed), Christian (David), and Japanese. The spider is also attributed in many cultures with bringing fire to the people. Such is the case with the Cree and with the African Anansi, a spider god figure.

    A Spider Totem will be on of those people that when you come across them, you will not be able to figure them out. You will not know why they are saying what they are saying and you will not know why they are doing what they are doing. And that confusion is exactly where a Spider Totem would want you: off guard. The reason is nothing sinister, it is simply to be prepared for any action you would take against them. A person with a Spider Totem is always prepared for any contingency. But because of this social strangeness, the Spider Totem will be mainly a loner, preferring to have a few close friends and family. A Spider Totem will often develop strong ties to those that are considered family or close friends. They are the spiders 'drag-line' or 'escape route'. A Spider Totem will seek to always to be close to these people and have them solid and unwavering in their life. They are dependent on them and they need to know that when they venture into the world that they can fall back on their dependables. A Spider Totem will be the essence of patience as well. They are forever planning and forever patient. You can never pull one over on a Spider Totem as they have been planning about 8 steps ahead of you. They are patient as they know that their perpetual planning will lead to inevitable victory. If it ever seems like you have won a victory against a Spider Totem, do not be fooled. If it appears that you won, then the Spider Totem let you win, as their eventual triumph 3 steps in the future depends on that. A Spider Totem will be quite in touch with their bodies and movement. They would excel at activities like dancing, gymnastics, and climbing being quite agile at all they do. Spider Totems will have a knack for the arts as well. Specifically, they will be adept at arts that require repetition and pattern. Things like weaving, crochet, mosaics, quilting, and black smithing. A person with a Spider Totem will be adept at magical workings as well due to their ability to see patterns. Whether it’s a visual pattern in a spell or measuring spell components, the Spider Totem will be exacting, focused, and patient. Prophecy is another gift that would be common to a Spider Totem as prophecy is simply discerning of patterns that exist in dreams and visions. In terms of careers, a Spider Totem will enjoy work in something that they can either employ their use of patterns (web weaving), precision (poison), and motion. Unfortunately there is not a career that has all of these things. Some of the analytical careers have patterns and precision such as accounting or software architecture, but they lack the artistic side. A career as a Pharmacist or Holistic Physician would have similar appeal of precision and pattern. These careers would be fine for a Spider Totem, but they would have to bolster them with an artistic hobby like Ballet to balance their life. A career as a weaver, dancer, or blacksmith may equally appeal to a Spider Totem but their analytical mind would find it lacking. By bolstering these types of career with analytical hobbies like chess or astronomy, the spider could again find balance. Whatever the career, social interaction cannot be a strong requirement as that is where the spider is weakest. http://www.spiracanada.com/RavenDreamer/totems/spider.htm
    ______________________________________

    Spider totems


    Spiders are very delicate creatures that play an important role in the myths and lore of many peoples as the teacher of balance between the past and future, the physical and spiritual.

    To the Native Americans, Spider is Grandmother, the link to the past and future. In India it's associated with Maya, the weaver of illusions.

    With its gentle strength, Spider spins together the threads of life with intricate webs.

    Spider knows that the past affects the future and vise versa. It calls us to make use of our creativity and weave our dreams into our destiny.

    For many Native Americans, "spider woman" stories are important creation mythologies. One of the common feature of those are wisdom symbolized with spiders' webs (for example, she taught the human how to weave). Also generally accepted are the ideas that her "thread" connects the human world and the world of spirits or the "above world" and the "below world". Spider Woman also weaves the "relationship" of the Web of Life and all beings.



    "In the beginning, there was the dark purple light at the dawn of being. Spider Woman spun a line to form the east, west, north, and south. Breath entered man at the time of the yellow light. At the time of the red light, man proudly faced his creator. Spider Woman used the clay of the earth, red, yellow, white, and black, to create people. To each she attached a thread of her web which came from the doorway at the top of her head. This thread was the gift of creative wisdom. Three times she sent a great flood to destroy those who had forgotten the gift of her thread. Those who remembered floated to the new world and climbed to safety through the Sipapu Pole the womb of Mother Earth." http://www.animaltotem.com/spider.html
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:32 pm

    THE BROWN RECLUSE



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_recluse_spider

    The brown recluse spider or violin spider, Loxosceles reclusa, is a well-known member of the family Sicariidae (formerly placed in a family "Loxoscelidae").

    Brown recluse spiders are usually between 6–20 mm (1⁄4 in and 3⁄4 in), but may grow larger. While typically light to medium brown, they range in color from cream-colored to dark brown or blackish gray. The cephalothorax and abdomen may not necessarily be the same color. These spiders usually have markings on the dorsal side of their cephalothorax, with a black line coming from it that looks like a violin with the neck of the violin pointing to the rear of the spider, resulting in the nicknames fiddleback spider, brown fiddler or violin spider.

    ...

    Behavior

    A brown recluse's stance on a flat surface is usually with all legs radially extended. When alarmed it may lower its body, withdraw the forward two legs straight rearward into a defensive position, withdraw the rearmost pair of legs into a position for lunging forward, and stand motionless with pedipalps raised. The pedipalps in mature specimens are dark, quite prominent, and are normally held horizontally forward. When threatened it usually flees, seemingly to avoid a conflict, and if detained may further avoid contact with quick horizontal rotating movements. The spider does not usually jump unless touched brusquely, and even then its avoidance movement is more of a horizontal lunge rather than a vaulting of itself entirely off the surface. When running the brown recluse does not appear to leave a silk line behind, which at any rate might make it more easily tracked when it is being pursued. Movement at virtually any speed is an evenly paced gait with legs extended. When missing a leg or two it appears to favor this same gait, although (presumably when a leg has been injured) it may move and stand at rest with one leg slightly withdrawn. During travel it stops naturally and periodically when renewing its internal hydraulic blood pressure that, like most spiders, it requires to renew strength in the legs.
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:38 pm

    THE BLACK WIDOW
    Latrodectus





    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latrodectus


    Latrodectus is a genus of spider, in the family Theridiidae, that contains 31 recognized species. The common name widow spiders is sometimes applied to members of the genus due to the habit of the female of eating the male after mating, although sometimes the males of some species are not eaten after mating, and can go on to fertilize other females.[1] The black widow spiders are perhaps the best-known members of the genus. The injection of neurotoxic venom latrotoxin from these species is a comparatively dangerous spider bite, resulting in the condition latrodectism, named for the genus. The female black widow's bite is particularly harmful to humans because of its unusually large venom glands. Latrodectus bites rarely kill human beings.
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    Mercuriel
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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  Mercuriel on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:58 pm

    I always catch the Spiders and then release them outside when We start to bother each other...

    IE - If You're a Spider and You stay hidden in My House - You'll stay hidden in My House but If You're a Spider and You like to gallavant around the House or Cabin - I'll be catching You and putting You in a place with much more Food. Namely outside...

    That said - I like to protect the Spiders but as They can leave a heck of a Bite - I put 'em outside to be safe for the both of Us - Spider and Human alike...

    Wink


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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:40 pm

    Mercuriel wrote:I always catch the Spiders and then release them outside when We start to bother each other...

    IE - If You're a Spider and You stay hidden in My House - You'll stay hidden in My House but If You're a Spider and You like to gallavant around the House or Cabin - I'll be catching You and putting You in a place with much more Food. Namely outside...

    That said - I like to protect the Spiders but as They can leave a heck of a Bite - I put 'em outside to be safe for the both of Us - Spider and Human alike...

    Wink

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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:52 pm

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    The Spider Woman and The Twins
    A Hopi Legend

    Sótuknang went to that which was to contain Tokpela, the First World, and out of it he created her who was to remain on the earth as his helper. Her name was Kótyangwúti, the Spider Woman.

    When she awoke to life and received her name, she asked, "Why am I here?"

    "Look around you," answered Sótuknang. "Here is the earth that we have created. It has shape and substance, direction and time, a beginning and an end. But there is no life upon it. We see no joyful movement. We hear no joyful sound. What is life without sound and movement? So you have been given the power to help us create this life. You have been given the knowledge, the wisdom, and the love to bless all the beings you create. That is why you are here."

    Following his instructions, Kótyangwúti took some earth and mixed it with some túchvala (liquid from the mouth or saliva) and molded it into two beings. Then she covered them with a cape made of a white substance which was the creative wisdom itself, and she sang the creation song over them.

    When she uncovered them, the two beings, twins, sat up and asked, "Who are we? Why are we here?"

    To the one on the right, Spider Woman said, "You are Pöqánghoya. You are here to help keep this world in order when life is put upon it. Go now around all the world and put your hands upon the earth so that it will become solidified. This is your duty."

    To the one on the left, Spider Woman said, "You are Palöngawhoya. You are here to help keep this world in order when life is put upon it. This is your duty now: go about all the world and send out sound so that it may be heard throughout all of the land. When this is heard you will also be known as 'Echo,' for all sound echoes the Creator."

    Pöqánghoya, traveling throughout the Earth, solidified the higher reaches into great mountains. The lower reaches he made firm, but still pliable enough to be used by those beings to be placed upon it and who would call it their mother.

    Palöngawhoya, traveling throughout all of the earth, sounded out his call as he was told to do. All of the vibration centers along the earth's axis from pole to pole resounded his call; the whole earth trembled, and the universe quivered in tune. Thus he made the whole world an instrument of sound, and sound is an instrument for carrying messages, resounding praise to the Creator of all.

    "This is your voice, Uncle," Sótuknang said to Taiowa. "Everything is tuned to your sound.

    "It is very good," said Taiowa.

    Once they had finished their duties, Pöqánghoya was sent to the north pole of the world's axis, and Palöngawhoya to the south pole, where they were jointly commanded to keep the world properly rotating. Pöqánghoya was also given the power to keep the earth in a stable form of solidness. Palöngawhoya was given the power to keep the air in gentle ordered movement, and told to send out his call for good or for warning through the vibratory centers of the Earth.

    "These will be your duties in time to come," said Spider Woman.

    She then created from the earth the trees, bushes, flowers, and other plants. She created all kinds of seed-bearers and nut-bearers to clothe the earth, giving to each a life and a name. In the same manner, she created all kinds of birds and animals, molding them out of earth and covering each with her white-substance cape of wisdom, and singing over them.

    Some she placed to the right, some to the left, and others she placed before her and in back of her, indicating how they should spread to all four corners of the world to live.

    Sótuknang was happy, seeing how beautiful it all was: the land, the plants, the birds and the animals, and the power working through them all. Joyfully he said to Taiowa, "Come see what our world looks like now!"

    "It is very good," said Taiowa. "It is now ready for human life, the final touch to complete my plan."

    http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/TheSpiderWomanandtheTwins-Hopi.html

    ________________________

    A Cherokee Legend

    Now, when Earth was brand new, there was much confusion, for there was darkness everywhere. All of Earth's Peoples kept bumping into each other, and were often hurt. They all cried out for light, that they might see.

    Fox said that he knew of some people on the other side of the world who had plenty light. He said that it was nice and warm, but those people were too greedy to share it with anyone else. Possum said that he would steal Sun. "I have a beautiful, bushy tail," he said. "I can hide the Sun in all of that fur. Let me try."

    So Possum went to the other side of the world and found the Sun. It was hanging up in a Tree and lighting up everything. Possum took a piece of the Sun and hid it in the fur of his tail. But Sun was so hot that it burned all of Possum's tail hairs off. To this day, Possum has a bare tail. The people discovered Possum and took the piece of the Sun back.

    Buzzard said, "I will take the Sun myself. I will put it on my head, so that I can see where I am going with it." So he tried to take the Sun too. He flew to the other side of the world, and dived down to snare the Sun in his claws. But it was so hot that it burned all of Buzzard's feathers off of his head. To this day, Buzzard's head is bald and ugly. The people discovered Buzzard, and took the Sun back.

    Then Grandmother Spider said, "Let me try." First, she made a very thick clay pot, big enough to put the Sun in. Then, she spun a web which reached all the way to the other side of the world. She was so small and quiet that these people did not notice her at all. When she was ready, she quickly snatched up the Sun in her big clay pot, and hurried back home along her web. Now her side of the world had light, and warmth. Everyone rejoiced at Grandmother Spider's gift.

    Spider Woman brought the Sun to the Principal People, the Cherokee, but also the gift of fire. She also taught them to make pottery.

    http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/GrandmotherSpiderStealsTheSun-Cherokee.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider_Grandmother

    http://www.crystalinks.com/spiderwoman.html


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    Last edited by HigherLove on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:10 pm; edited 3 times in total
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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:53 pm

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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:00 pm

    THE OWL




    An owl totem or spirit guide symbolizes great insight, wisdom and maturity to the Shaman. Learn how to understand and work with an owl power animal.

    The Owl is recognized by Siberian Shamans as one of the great animal familiars, indeed Shamans with an owl spirit guide typically have powers of second sight and great sensitivity.

    Universal Owl Shaman Symbolism

    While different species of owl each have their own unique shamanic symbolism, there are also universal characteristics common to all owl spirit guides:

    The owl as power animal perceives truths that are veiled to many, thanks to its silent flight at night.

    An owl spirit guide is skilled in detecting untruths, thanks to its acute hearing which detects what others do not.

    The legendary intelligence of the owl is indeed a characteristic of the totem owl. A shaman with an owl spirit guide is an old soul with much wisdom thanks to this maturity.

    Thanks to its silent flight the owl power animal knows when to speak and when to keep its peace.

    The owl is a skilled hunter thanks to its great local knowledge. On a shamanic journey the owl spirit guide serves the Shaman with its detailed knowledge of the spiritual realms.

    Symbolism of Owl Species as Totem Animals

    In addition to the universal characteristics of owl spirit guides, each species brings its own special qualities to the Shamans they guide in the spirit world:

    The Barred Owl is a very vocal creature that will duet with its mate, correspondingly the Barred Owl is spirit guide to Shamans who are gifted in speech, and cooperative with others.

    The Barn Owl is a graceful and beautiful creature which can hunt at night using hearing alone. Likewise a Barn Owl power animal gives the Shaman the gift of clairaudience, excellent hearing and persistence in difficult situations.

    The Tawny Owl is an adaptable hunter, brave and bold. As an animal familiar the Tawny Owl offers ingenuity, courage and resilience.

    The Little Owl is a determined creature that will tackle prey many times its own size. Those fortunate enough to have a Little Owl as a spirit guide will enjoy natural persistence and optimism.

    Owls have long been associated with mystery, twilight and magic in many corners of the globe, and even, in some cultures, with evil and malevolence.

    To the shaman, the owl does indeed have many special qualities, though these are not to be feared as the owl is a noble and powerful spirit guide. Shamans fortunate enough to be blessed with an owl as power animal enjoy much wisdom and insight in their company on shamanic journeys.

    Related Articles
    Readers may also enjoy How to Find an Animal Spirit Guide, , along with learning more about Working with an Animal Spirit Guide in Shamanism. http://www.suite101.com/content/totem-owl-spirit-guide-a125556

    _____________________________________


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    http://wolfs_moon.tripod.com/OwlTotem.html
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:31 am

    The lizards and grasshoppers are stopping by to say hello (in the garage, of course -- that is my sacred space). Of course, as I have reminded others, if you see lizards, that means the snakes are out.

    A lot of this kind of stuff has to be due to location. I am in an agricultural area. What used to be orchards that surrounded us is now a field of hay. We are right in the middle of it, but the house surrounded by pavement. This is a nice buffer until certain critters decide they need shade in the day, or the warmth of the patio/garage at night.

    I just remember to stamp my feet when I walk, so they have some time to get away. :op

    I was wondering where all of the grasshoppers/crickets have been, and said so, aloud. I could hear them outside, but they have not invaded the house in a while (they come in by the dozen and you just have to let them be; they win). Anyhow, right after I said that, I went into the garage, and a cricket was staring me right in the face. As soon as I saw it, it left.
    ______________________________________________


    Grasshopper Symbolism

    A reader asked me for clarification about grasshopper symbolism and various symbolic/cultural roles this magnificent creature plays within the insect realm.

    As a cultural symbol, this insect is a prominent feature in Asian traditions. For instance, the Japanese connect its molting phases with the wax and wane of the moon. Further still, the Japanese cherished the song of this creature (particularly the long-horned grasshopper), and believed the moon coaxed the music from them.

    As a Chinese symbol, the grass hopper offers attributes of longevity, happiness, good health, good luck, wealth, abundance, fertility and virtue. In fact, grasshoppers were thought to be fertility symbols; specifically omens of the birth of a son (hence, another reason for its good luck symbol status as sons are considered prized gems within the setting of the family).

    In certain regions of China, grasshoppers were kept as family pets and it was believed grasshoppers embodied the personalities of family members who were deceased. Keeping these reincarnate souls in the form of grasshoppers insured prosperity amongst the family members.

    In Ancient Greece the grasshopper is a status symbol. Athenians would adorn themselves with golden grasshopper hair combs and brooches as an indication of nobility. The grasshopper is also a symbol of immortality as we see in Greek myth when Zeus grants immortality to Tithonus, who was later transformed into a grasshopper (who of course, lived forever).

    In Native American Indian symbology and tribal lore (specifically the Iroquois nation) grasshopper symbolism deals with messages of glad tiding. In this context, the grasshopper is a harbinger of good news. Indeed, when this creature is seen on spirit walks, it is a sign that the seer will receive profoundly joyful news that will benefit the entire community.

    Here's a quick-list of grasshopper symbolism:

    Lucky
    Stable
    Virtue
    Vibrant
    Content
    Intuitive
    Fertility
    Patient
    Peaceful
    Creativity
    Abundance
    Insightful
    Messenger
    Connected
    Courageous
    Resourceful
    Forward Thinking

    As an, animal totem ( http://www.whats-your-sign.com/animal-totems.html )the grasshopper appeals to artists, musicians and dancers. To wit, the lilting song this creature emits is an inspiration to our muse; its skittering and jumping is divine choreography. The artist within us all easily recognizes the grasshopper making its own dance steps, and grooving to its own special melody.

    The grasshopper moves to its own rhythm and tune, indicating this creature is a advocate of intuition and listening to our inner voices. The grasshopper encourages us to listen to our own stirrings – those beautiful chirping lullaby’s that sing in our hearts are indications of our inner beauty and creativity. The grasshopper totem reminds us these inner musings must never be silenced – rather, they should be nurtured, and always remain as the background music to the performance of our lives.

    As with most insect totems ( http://www.whats-your-sign.com/insect-animal-totems.html ), the grasshopper keeps itself to the ground. As such, this is a grounding totem, and the grasshopper can teach us stability, patience, security, and solidarity.

    The grasshopper chooses those of us who are innovators, forward-thinkers, and those who progress in life by unorthodox methods. This is because grasshopper symbolism recognizes tremendous leaps of faith, impressive jumps in progress and consistent forward momentum. Those with this totem are likely to aim high, and achieve amazing feats – they take great leaps where others fear to tread (or jump, in this case).

    Another special feature of the grasshopper totem is that it calls to those who have natural clairvoyant abilities. Just as the grasshopper uses thousands of tiny eyes to formulate the “big picture” so too do those whom the grasshopper is called. In other words, those with this totem are visionaries. They see things intuitively, seeing beyond what the concrete world holds, and they use this special vision to see the world with a childlike wonder.

    We can call upon the grasshopper when we need a sense of adventure in our lives. When we feel stuck in a rut, the grasshopper can bounce us into magical viridian worlds filled awe and joy.

    The grasshopper can also help us when we need a little creative inspiration. If muses kept pets – the grasshopper would certainly be a first choice.

    Take the time to connect with the grasshopper. Here are some suggestions in doing so:

    Consider the spaces in your life that need a little extra-sensory vision and call upon the eyes of the grasshopper for a grandiose view.

    Visualize some amazingly good news hopping your way on the back of the grasshopper

    Invoke the grasshopper’s help in making forward-motions in your life with great leaps of courage and faith.

    Ask the grasshopper if it might share its antennae with you – see yourself with a pair of antenna – sensing out your environment, detecting the energy around you, and gaining new clarity with your new sensory organs.

    Recall the summer songs of the grasshopper that lift from warm grasses like a background fragrance. Tapping into grasshopper song can be incredibly uplifting, as well as inspirational.

    Consider the earthy grounded-ness the grasshopper represents when you need some anchoring and stability in your life
    I hope you have enjoyed these observations on grasshopper symbolism and grasshopper totems. This is truly a magnificent creature capable of expanding your horizon to new heights.

    I've written more about grasshopper symbolism on my blog here.

    http://www.whats-your-sign.com/grasshopper-totem-and-symbolism.html

    __________________

    The appearance of Cricket in your life heralds an awakening of sensitivities and finding light within the dark.

    Dreams become more clairvoyant.

    Trust in your intuition – it is more accurate than you believe.

    Make sure to stay grounded and balanced while exploring your intuition and psychic abilities. The appearance of Cricket might also be a reminder that you are using psychic powers without proper grounding.

    In China, the Cricket symbolizes a fighting spirit.

    In England, it is considered good luck to find a cricket on the hearth.

    Crickets were believes to be familiar who watched over and guarded the home's occupants.

    http://www.linsdomain.com/totems/pages/cricket.htm

    __________________________________

    TAGS : totem, medicine, shamanism, cricket

    This information is shared by Joe/Bear Smiles, please look into Grasshopper as well if you are interested in this Medicine, they are related.

    The Cricket

    Crickets are scavengers and feed on organic and decaying plant material. They live under rocks, logs, in meadows, pastures and along roadsides. Because they are active at night, ancient myth associates the cricket with the lunar energies of intuition and sensitivity. When this medicine is fully developed in man logic is balanced with intuition. If underdeveloped the individual takes everything that happens around them to heart and sets them self up to become a victim of circumstance. Emotional discord follows. If the later is true pull in your energy field and do some form of aerobic exercise. This will help strengthen your emotional core and ground your physical body.

    Known as natures musicians, crickets can be heard chirping loudly especially during mating season. Their chirping sounds are made by rubbing together their 2 front wings. Attracting a mate with only a chirp can be tricky especially if the females are far away. The cricket not only joins in unison with other males trying to be as loud as possible, but it is also uses its ingenuity to find a mate.

    In Africa the tree cricket uses leaves growing on plants to make a megaphone. The cricket chews a pear shaped hole in the leaf and sticks his head through the hold, the leaf bends around his head in a bowl shape like a speaker baffle. Then the cricket presses his sound making wings against the leaf and chirps. These leaf amplifiers increase their sound by up to 10 decibels.

    Not only do crickets teach us how to be resourceful and use our ingenuity to acquire a desired outcome they also serve as a weather barometer. Crickets are cold blooded. As the temperature rises on a summer day their metabolism and behavior speed up. The hotter the temperature gets the faster they chirp. When they stop singing altogether it means a storm is approaching. Those with this totem should heed the crickets warning. Storms are symbolic and can indicate that an emotional, mental or physical challenge is coming your way.

    The crickets hind legs are modified for jumping. They leap over difficult situations effortlessly always choosing to land in a more pleasing environment and can teach us how to do the same. A powerful ally that embodies the qualities of faith and trust the cricket serves us well. All we need to do is follow its lead.

    Sending Smiles
    Joe

    "One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star"
    ---
    Nietzsche

    http://spiritlodge.yuku.com/topic/883#.Tfyq1zAy1go

    ______________________

    HOW TO FIND YOUR ANIMAL TOTEM: http://www.animaltotem.com/find-your-totem.html
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:53 am

    THE LION


    The lion carries all the traits of fierce independence, of the fighting warrior when cornered or threatened, and of the ability to see clearly what it looks at, that are shared by all members of the family of big cats. However, the lion is unusual because it lives in families called "prides". Its home is Africa, and if you carry the lion as a totem, you should read about and understand the physical terrain of Africa; especially the environment and balance of life on the savannas there.

    The lion is definitely a totem for the power of feminine energy. While the male lion sits around looking beautiful with his great mane, it is the female that is the worker, the hunter, and the killer. When you hear the mighty roar of the male, know that he is only using that big mouth to scare game in the direction of the female who is lying in wait. It is she who feeds the group; who cares for the young, and who is the nurturing force in the pride.

    While the male is the protector of the group, even he does not seek out confrontations or attack needlessly. He will act when challenged, and will fight to the death to protect, but he much prefers the calm and peaceful life. Is your temper in check? Do you lash out at others with no cause? Better take a lesson from the lion. :)

    If you are attracted to the lion, examine how you act and inter-act in groups — not only your own family, but your working situation and your social activities as well. What is your role in each of these groups? What do you contribute? What do you get from each? Are you carrying your own weight in the group effort?

    A lesson of lion that will serve you well is to learn the secrets of silence, and of watching for the proper moment to take action that is important to you. Like the fox, the lion is stealthy and can disappear into its surroundings to get its bearings, to learn where the strengths and weaknesses lie, and to watch for its opportunity to take full advantage of a situation.

    Learn the proper use of power, force and strength from lion. Be calm, quiet and secure in your power but, when necessary, don't hesitate to fight for those things that are dear to you.

    http://www.fortunecity.com/millenium/bertisevil/537/projects/totems/lion.htm

    THE COUGAR

    http://wolfs_moon.tripod.com/cougartotem.html

    Spectral figure
    prowls the night,
    your yellow eyes burning bright,
    as you watch the story
    of Humanity unfold

    Wisdom garnered
    through experiences faced,
    a proud lineage of courage traced
    back through the haunting canyons
    of Time untold

    Your chilling scream
    pierces the veil,
    the resonating echo leaves a trail
    that speaks to us
    of a soul that stands alone

    Emissary & messenger,
    of the planes you travel between,
    though rarely heard and seldom seen,
    our souls respond in resplendent joy
    when you guide us ~Home~


    _______________________________

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cougar


    The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as puma, mountain lion, mountain cat, catamount or panther, depending on the region, is a mammal of the family Felidae, native to the Americas. This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere,[3] extending from Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in every major American habitat type. It is the second heaviest cat in the Western Hemisphere, after the jaguar. Although large, the cougar is most closely related to smaller felines and is closer genetically to the Domestic cat than to true lions.

    A capable stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include ungulates such as deer, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, horses and sheep, particularly in the northern part of its range. It will also hunt species as small as insects and rodents. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but it can also live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and persists at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While it is a large predator, it is not always the dominant species in its range, as when it competes for prey with other predators such as the jaguar, grey wolf, American Black Bear, and the grizzly bear. It is a reclusive cat and usually avoids people. Attacks on humans remain fairly rare, despite a recent increase in frequency.[4]

    Due to excessive hunting following the European colonization of the Americas and the continuing human development of cougar habitat, populations have dropped in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for an isolated sub-population in Florida. However, in recent decades, breeding populations have moved east into the far western parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Also, transient males have been verified as far east as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Illinois, where a cougar was shot in the city limits of Chicago.[5][6][7]
    ______________________________

    CALIFORNIA COUGARS: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/wildlife/cougar.html
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:52 pm

    THE HORSE



    The horse has long been a symbol of freedom, grace and strength. Those who have the horse as their animal totem or power animal are well aware of the powerful spiritual medicine associated with this noble and beautiful animal. For hundreds of years horses and humans have shared an alliance, one in which the horse helped provide transportation, pull plows or carry burdens. But even in this role of working for humans, the horse has within it a type of untamed power, one that harkens back to its wild ancestors. It is this wild, untamed spirit that lends so much magic to the medicine of the horse totem.

    Shamans throughout the world recognize the wisdom within the horse, a wisdom that is associated with such things as astral travel, intuition and freedom. As with other animal totems some people will have the horse as their totem throughout their life, or it may appear on occasion in order to bring a lesson or message. If horse wisdom is appearing in your life, whether during meditation, dreams or appearing symbolically during your day, it is wise to listen to the messages and teachings that it brings. The messages that the horse brings can vary so you'll need to ask yourself some questions to better understand their meanings and lessons you need to take from them.

    For example, because horses are herd animals and depend upon the cooperation of the group for survival, the lesson coming your way may be one of working together with others or learning from the group. Horse medicine is also associated with courage and independence, so the lesson may be one of taking risks or finding your own personal power. Other lessons and powers associated with the horse totem include:

    Friendship
    Adventure
    Stamina
    Psychic abilities
    Warning of possible danger
    The importance of self-care
    Finding your place in the world
    Spiritual freedom
    Joy
    Perseverance
    Creativity and expression

    People who have the horse as their personal totem tend to be fiercely independent individuals who greatly cherish the ability to freely express themselves. They can also be intuitive and compassionate people who can be good teachers, leaders or healers. Because of the strong independent streak in the horse, people with this totem may find themselves resenting authority figures or resisting rules so for this reason it's important to maintain balance and remember the importance of cooperation.

    On the other hand, if a horse totem person becomes overly cooperative and giving, they may find themselves feeling emotionally, physically or spiritually drained. If this is the case it's important to remember the importance of self-nurturing and personal empowerment.

    As you can see, the horse is a complex and powerful totem. By keeping yourself connected and in tune with the energy and gifts that it brings, you may find that your spirit will gain much wisdom and strength.

    http://www.lestout.com/article/religion-spirituality/spiritual-journeys/animal-totems-spirit-horse-totem.html

    ___________________________________________________


    Several years ago I happened across a program on cable about non-violent horse “breaking.” I don’t recall the trainer’s name, but I still recall the method: The horse was in an arena with a high wall, no visuals to the outside; the trainer stood in the center with a long rope. The trainer kept tossing one end of the rope over the horse’s back, which caused the animal to gallop and move around the edge of the space. According to the trainer, it would take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour for the horse to start giving in and communicate information using its body language. When the horse paused and turned toward the trainer, the man turned away — signaling he was not a threat — at a forty-five degree angle from the horse. The animal walked up to him and touched his shoulder with its muzzle, a sign it had accepted him as the higher-status creature and was willing to be partners with him and start working.

    How does this relate to the Horse as totem? It is clearly indicative that the horse as animal is at service to humans and it can be made to understand this of its own accord. It is a natural partner in the things that humans need from it, such as travel, portage, and working the land. This quality is part of the essential spirit of the horse because it is a universally shared trait in all domestic horses (I am excluding the ones who have been so badly treated they cannot be helpful to their owners/ handlers). It is part of the Horse totem and is passed from it as a common, shared essence to all horses on the physical plane. It is part of what makes a horse a horse.

    I have worked with a Horse as my totem. Its primary function, what made it happy to do, was carrying me to the spirit world when I was seeking a vision. The Horse provided passage for me as a partner in my sojourn. Apart from that transition, it did not participate in my experiences. It was distinguishable from an imaginary horse by the fact that I saw it after I intentionally began my search for a totem animal; it appeared with a feather attached to its mane, and its coloring was not like a physical animal: oxblood red and white piebald. Several people have said to me, “Oh, it’s an archetype you’re contacting.” This is a blithe, presumptive view that is based in what seems to be a misunderstanding of an archetype.

    Webster’s online dictionary defines “archetype” as “1: the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies . . . 3: an inherited idea or mode of thought in the psychology of C. G. Jung that is derived from the experience of the race and is present in the unconscious of the individual.1” The most common understanding of an archetype is as an “original pattern” per the first definition, and that all others are copies; this does not fit the Horse totem in that the spirit Horse does not look like Eohippus2, any more than do the horses in our everyday world. Eohippus was the original, but evolution has altered and changed it to the point that horses are no longer copies.

    So, strictly speaking, the Horse totem is not an archetype. The third Webster definition references Jung’s theory of inherited racial experience; in that sense, the Horse totem is a better fit. Its suggestion, however, is that of karma (learning from past lives) and so leads to the notion of animals having souls which can learn over long periods of death and rebirth. It would be the only way that race experience could affect the horse’s mode of thought and perception of itself. Since we are not exploring that theory (and its implications), then we are left with the definition of “race” as it applies only to human beings and the soul’s karmic lessons. In that context, the Jungian reference does not apply to animals at all and animal totems, such as the Horse, are not an archetype.

    The Horse is not a deity, since a “deity” is a god or goddess, a Supreme Being, or of divine character3. Horses are beasts of burden and work. A god or goddess is no servant. Animals can be symbolic of deities: The Horse is Epona’s symbol (and the Grey Mare is symbolic of Mala Laith, the Scottish Moon Goddess), the Raven is symbolic of Morganna, the Bull for Zeus, the Goat for Pan, and so forth.

    We have established that the totem is not an archetype, nor is it a deity. Then where in the pagan cosmology would it fit? I postulate that it is in the middle ground of spirits along with faeries, elves, gnomes, undines, angels, demons, etc. As a totem it is a class unto itself, just as the other spirits I mentioned are in their own classes. To refer again to our dictionary definitions, a totem is: “1 a: an object (as an animal or plant) serving as the emblem of a family or clan and often as a reminder of its ancestry . . . a usually carved or painted representation of such an object. b: a family or clan identified by a common totemic object. 2: one that serves as an emblem or revered symbol.” The etymology is Ojibwa, oto·te·man, “his totem,” ca. 17764.

    In the sense of the first definition, a good example is the Lakota Sioux, who know themselves as the “People of the Horse.” Yet the usual definitions fall short of delineating the totem as a living being on another plane of existence that can, and does, connect directly with those who seek out the totem that relates closely with him or her. For example, a person who meditates with the intent of finding his totem might encounter the Dragonfly. Such a totem indicates imagination and creativity, but also flightiness. A person who receives such a totem, and who is not particularly creative, may need to find those qualities within himself; the Dragonfly totem is there to show him what he must do at that time. Flightiness may also be part of the person’s psychological makeup, or it could be a problem later, so the seeker may have to work on being more stable, committed or focused.

    I mentioned ‘intent” in regard to finding a totem animal, and that is the vital difference between imagination and hallucination. The seeker deliberately, with purpose and conscious effort utilizing learned meditation techniques, sets about the task of attracting a totem animal to her. Through meditation she enters the spirit world; by keeping an open mind and an attitude of expectancy a creature of the natural world will approach, showing itself to the seeker in three different viewpoints (front and each side), which is how one recognizes the true totem animal. Anything else will indeed be imagination or a flight of fancy. A seeker must allow the totem to approach — no chasing after it! — and to gratefully accept whichever animal has decided to assist her in the work. A seeker skilled at carving may create a representation of her totem, known as a “fetish,” to keep in the meditation area as a home for the totem’s spirit and energy.

    Many people like to “dance” their totems after they have arrived, to create unity with them and to give them energy so they will be happy and will stay. Dancing a totem means moving the way it moves and making the same noises: growls, snuffing, lumbering about as a Bear if that is the totem; buzzing and flying motions for Bee or Fly; hopping and croaking for Frog, and so forth. Some people will go out into the woods and dance their totems to the extent that they will run and leap and give each spirit animal the freedom to be itself, using the seeker’s body as its vehicle. Totems have been known to leave if they are neglected.

    These spirit animals are there to help the seeker learn more about herself, so if you are looking for one or you have one already, make sure you meditate with it so you can gain intuitive knowledge from it. Why is it with you? What do you need to learn from it? What is it willing to show you? It is necessary to keep an open mind, for it might have surprises in store. It is not always a comfortable experience but it is fruitful if you can accept the unpleasant sides of yourself as well as the positives.

    Even if you are dancing your totem, have carved a fetish for it, and have meditated with it to glean what information it may offer, your totem animal still might leave you. There is nothing that can be done about this, for it simply means that the animal has nothing more it can teach you or help you with and it must move on. You may then seek another totem, one that is ready and willing to help you with your next stage of learning.

    To return to my Horse: I was, at the time it came to me, seeking passage to the world of visions, to learn more about myself. After the piebald spirit showed me it was my totem, it indicated it wanted me to get on its back, so I did. It then carried me to the Underworld where visions happen. The entire venture was a success, and I have traveled there several times since.
    As a helper for journeying, the Horse is swift and certain as long as you, its rider, keep in mind where you want to go. Intent and goal are its guides, much as a bridle and reins. The Horse comes when the seeker has gone into meditation as preparation for journeying. It will invite the seeker to mount up by presenting itself sideways and moving closer; if the seeker is slow to understand it will turn its head and “point” with its muzzle to its side — a directive to climb on board. The rider keeps her goal of the Underworld firmly in mind. The Horse will start galloping and will go into the Earth tunnel to take its rider safely to the perceived destination. After emerging into the spirit world, the rider dismounts to continue her intended work. The Horse remains where it is, usually grazing, waiting until it is time to bring its rider back to the everyday world. I like to reward it with a nice, big apple and a couple of carrots as a way of saying thanks before I come out of my meditation.

    If you wish to try attracting a Horse totem to yourself so you may work with it as a journeying aid, I suggest going into your meditation with that purpose in mind. Make sure you visualize that you are carrying treats for it. Focus on Horse in general, not a specific breed, color, build, etc. In a sense you are “calling” the spirit animal to you. If a Horse totem chooses to respond, it will do so and show itself to you in three different views as I have mentioned above. Allow it to approach you; offer the treats and if it accepts them you have your Horse totem to ride as a journeying partner.


    http://www.rendingtheveil.com/horse-totem/
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:29 pm

    THE PARROT



    The parrot family of birds ranges from the mighty and majestic king of the jungle airways to the tiny budgie; all from the collection of birds known as "hookbills". They have very long lifespans, and often outlive their owners. If you have a member of the parrot family as a pet, better plan on someone to leave him to in your will. :)

    Parrot brings you messages about the power of the sun, and the healing energy of color therapy. If you're attracted to the parrot, you feel energized and motivated on bright, sunny days, and grey/rainy/overcast days drag you down if they linger too long. You are also sensitive to color: tones, hues, harmony, blends and the moods that can be created with the use of color. You probably have a touch of bright color on your clothing or in your hair no matter what you may be wearing. You may be intrigued with interior decorating, fashion design, costuming, special effects and lighting, the visual arts, and all those magical endeavors which rely upon the creative use of light and color.

    Parrot also has the unique ability of understanding and communicating with both the animal world and the human world. You have been given the gift of language — both spoken and written — and fully understand the power of words. Parrot people are the master communicators. Here we find actors, politicians, ambassadors, orators, great writers, and even advertising and marketing experts. Chances are that clever commercial that keeps running in your head was designed by a "parrot" person.

    If you carry parrot medicine, always be mindful that you have the power of words that can influence others with a lasting impact. Combine those words with the effective use of color, and your message will not be forgotten. Take care to choose those words carefully so that they are supportive, encouraging and positive. To use your gifts in a negative way can have a devastating and destructive effect. Speak with careful thought. Your words are a reflection of your inner spirit.

    http://www.mrkay.org/projects/totems/parrot.htm

    ______________________________________

    With its brightly colored feathers, the parrot is considered a bird of the sun. The attributes of color and association with the life-giving sun are what gives it its magic. Parrot feathers can be used in prayer sticks for powerful healing rites and also to invoke the energies of the sun at any time of the year.

    Some parrots are taught to mimic humans. Because of this ability, the parrot is considered a link or bridge between the bird kingdom and the human one. In this sense, parrots can be viewed as ambassadors, diplomats, or interpreters for the bird realm. They have a magic that can awaken a diplomacy within and enable you to understand others more effectively.

    In the Pueblo tradition, parrots are associated with the gathering of salt. Salt was a precious commodity, and the places where salt was found, were considered a gift from the sun. Since the parrot was a bird of the sun to the Pueblo, there is that correlation. But the most noticable attribute of parrots is its bright colors. Anyone with a parrot as totem should study colors and their effects. Thus the parrot can be a wonderful teacher of the power of light and color.
    (from Animal Speak, by Ted Andrews)

    http://critters.50megs.com/parrot_totem.htm

    ________________________________

    http://www.wildspeak.com/totems/parrot.html

    _________________________________



    Parrot teaches listening to all of nature and awakening to the language within using intuition for more open communications. They bridge understanding and will show you a deeper subtle harmony inherent in all things. Parrots show intelligence, good temperament and a sense of diplomacy. Do you have color and spice in your life? Are you listening to discernment in communications? It is time to be creative and express your ideas and make life vivid either by being bold and vocal or being quiet. Parrot will teach the quality you need to capture the color, the joy, the magic in life's endeavors.

    http://www.starstuffs.com/animal_totems/dictionary_of_birds.html
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    THEeXchanger

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  THEeXchanger on Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:58 pm

    i once had a very bad bite by a spider ...
    and, NOT long after, i had a lucid dream, actually, it was way beyond just lucid, it was real

    where i was visited by a black/gold/silver spider
    who towered way beyond the ceiling of my bedroom
    and, was as big as my bedroom
    (which was about 600 sq feet)

    and, in the dream
    she gave me, a box, and, it glowed
    and, when i took a hold of it
    it was 'etheric' - like an energy box
    it run into my hands - and, disappeared

    and, she said something about
    one day, i would open the box
    and, what was inside would sprout legs
    and, run to all corners of the earth

    spider bites; are a lot like snake bites

    i remember, when i got biten by the same snake twice
    although, i know something happened then too
    i have NOT yet remembered it
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:09 pm

    THEeXchanger wrote:i once had a very bad bite by a spider ...
    and, NOT long after, i had a lucid dream, actually, it was way beyond just lucid, it was real

    where i was visited by a black/gold/silver spider
    who towered way beyond the ceiling of my bedroom
    and, was as big as my bedroom
    (which was about 600 sq feet)

    and, in the dream
    she gave me, a box, and, it glowed
    and, when i took a hold of it
    it was 'etheric' - like an energy box
    it run into my hands - and, disappeared

    and, she said something about
    one day, i would open the box
    and, what was inside would sprout legs
    and, run to all corners of the earth

    spider bites; are a lot like snake bites

    i remember, when i got biten by the same snake twice
    although, i know something happened then too
    i have NOT yet remembered it

    That gives me goosebumps. My spidey-sense is tingling. Crazy Happy

    I have not been bitten (and I am immune to poison oak), but I have had a snake strike at me, after its head had already been severed and buried.

    It was not my doing, but someone beheaded a rattlesnake near the house, and they put the body in a fridge in the garage. I have no idea how that bundle of nerves did it, but it raised up and tried to strike me when I opened the door. No head. No eyes. No alleged senses, but it knew I was there.

    Are you still waiting for your dream to come to fruition, or can you sense it happening, now?
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:13 am

    THE DOLPHIN





    The Power of Breath and Sound

    A Dolphin totem can show you how to enter
    the waters of life and then with breath and sound
    call forth what you most need or desire.



    Sounds are a part of dolphin life, and therefore, if you have this totem,
    they need to be a part of yours.
    Sound is the creative life force.
    Learn to create inner sounds so that you can create outer manifestations.

    The dolphin, along with the whale, are the other sentient beings of our planet.
    They too are self-aware and have souls.
    Accordingly to the Michael Teachings, they are on their fourth cycle,
    while most of mankind is on its eleventh or twelfth cycle.

    If a Dolphin totem has shown up in your life,
    ask yourself what your words and thoughts are creating.
    Are you getting outside and into the fresh air? Are you holding in tensions?
    A Dolphin reminds us to get out, play and most of all, breath!

    http://www.linsdomain.com/totems/pages/dolphin.htm

    ___________________________

    The beautiful, graceful, sleek dolphin carries many messages for the two leggeds. Even though it is a mammal, its home is the sea so it has mastered the art of breath control. Since water is the symbol of all life - of creation , passion and even sexuality - dolphin brings us teachings from the waters of life.

    It is playful, and is a reminder that time to play is a crucial element in walking in balance. It moves through the water quickly and with great grace, ever moving with the flow. Dolphin tells us to move with the ebb and flow of life, and not to search for brick walls to smash into. To spend our energy fighting the current gets us nowhere. We remain stuck in that negative and bad place filled with frustration and despair. To slip through the bad times with our energy intact leaves our awareness open to spot the way out when it shows itself, or to create our own way when none appears. Being constantly at war with others, with our surroundings and with circumstances we cannot change destroys the spirit, eats away at hope, and consumes the joy of life.

    By being aware of our breath, and using rhythmic breathing, we can lessen stress and fatigue; we can use deep cleansing breaths to "flush" our lungs and respiratory system; we can even tap into the power of breath to journey into altered states of awareness. Take a deep breath and hold it. Try to touch your elbows behind your back. Hold that position as long as you can. Then slowly blow out all your breath until your lungs are empty. Then relax your arms. Do this exercise a few times whenever you think of it, and you will feel the muscle tension in your body relax. Breath control is truly dolphin power.

    The awareness of tone is also dolphin power. If you are sensitive to the tone of someone's voice (as much as the words spoken); to bass drums; bells; chimes; Tibetan bowls - all forms of beautiful tones, you carry dolphin medicine. It is not so much the melody or music, but rather the tonal scale that touches your senses. Use this awareness to be always alert to the sounds around you. We learn much when we close our mouths, open our minds, and really hear the sounds of our world. You will learn to sense when something is just "not right" as an alert to take care. You will hear the joy in a bird's song, and the symphony of rustling leaves. Listen to the roar of silence — dolphin is calling.

    http://www.mrkay.org/projects/totems/dolphin.htm

    _____________________________________

    Dolphins are beautiful, playful animals. They live in water but are actually mammals that need to breath air through a single nostril also known as a blowhole located on top of their head. Normally dolphins surface approximately every two minutes for air, but are capable of holding their breath for several minutes when making rapid deep dives.

    Dolphin comes when we need to break emotional barriers and communicate truth. Dolphin will then guide us to find harmony by moving forward with our life.

    If you want to make a deeper connection with your Animal Totem, fill your environment with images of the animal to let the animal know it is welcome in your space.

    http://www.animaltotem.com/dolphin.html

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    HigherLove

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    Age : 52

    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:25 pm

    I am pleased to announce that I spotted my toad in the garage again, last night. I thought perhaps he had disappeared, but he let me know he was there.

    Indeed, we were near triple digits with the temperature yesterday. As soon as I stepped out of my car, I turned the water on the yard. After it became dark, I just stepped out into the garage like it was another day, and realized that all sorts of critters went scrambling.

    "Snakes"! I thought to myself. "Be more careful".

    I am glad I did not go out the back door, because once I stood still, I was aware that the back porch was teaming with life. All sorts of critters were hopping up and down, and running all over the place.

    This may be due in part to the hay being mowed down in the field just a couple of days ago (it must send entire families of mice and bunnies running for their lives).

    More, later. Just wanted to announce that my toad is sticking around.

    :)

    Gregg says they all love me, because I created a safe space for them.

    Shucks.

    geek
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:34 pm

    THE ANT





    Patience, Order, Discipline

    A person with an ant totem is active,
    community-minded who sees future needs.
    You are a planner
    but content to build your dreams slowly over time.
    You are content in knowing that everything will come to you in time.


    The ant teaches you how to become the architect of your life.
    The greatest success comes with persistence.
    The ant shows you how to work with others.

    Ask yourself if you are making things harder than they need to be.
    Are you being patient with your own and others' efforts?
    Using discipline, you can lay a foundation for success.

    The ant is the promise of success through effort.

    http://www.linsdomain.com/totems/pages/ant.htm


    The power of ant medicine is teamwork.

    Each ant will do its part to ensure the survival and health of the whole colony, regardless of the role it has been assigned. If ant has to fight, it will; if ant has to dig tunnels, it will; if ant has to carry leaves for miles, it will, all for the good of the community.

    The ant is very industrious. Some ants are solitary but most are part of a large community. Within the community there is a repertory of activities and behaviors. Their activities include gathering and hunting. Within a community each ant knows its place and performs its duties with total loyalty to the whole.

    Worker ants are excellent architects and can show us how to construct our dreams into reality. Ants are very persistent and can teach this skill as well.

    Ants are selfless servants always looking out for their fellow ant. They focus on the best outcome for the community and teach the art of self sacrifice and true service. The queen ant has wings and the ability of flight until fertilized. Once fertilized she pulls off her own wings sacrificing her own flight for the birth of a newborn. Although there is a caste system within the ant community all ants honor and respect each other and work for the common good.

    Ants are tireless workers and hunters and teach the art of perseverance and patience in all that they do. Those with this totem will find that many of their life lessons will involve the mastery of patience in some way.

    Ant medicine is subtle yet powerful. It teaches us how to release our egos and aligns us with the virtue of equality. Imagine what the world would be like if humanity held and applied the values that the ant expresses. The next time you step on, squash, injure or kill an ant intentionally, ask yourself why you are choosing to destroy the unconditional love that the ant shares so freely. Valuable insights about yourself and your history can be learned from this tiny little totem.

    http://www.petandwildlife.com/animal-totems/ant-totem.html

    What does the Ant Totem teach us?

    Oh surely the Ant doesn’t work with lessons in Native American Totems, you say. Yes the tiny little ant can teach us much wisdom. It can give us many lessons but the strongest message is the one of patience. Let us find out today about the tiny little creature…the Ant.

    An Ant can carry a leaf over hundreds of miles just to get it back to its anthill. There are ants in Africa that will strip a forest bare if their food is scarce. It might take them a year to do it but they will get it done. The medicine of Ant is the strategy of patience. Ant shares characteristics of many of the other animal totems. Like Beaver, ant is a builder. Ant can be aggressive like Badger. It can match Elk in stamina and knows scrutiny like Mouse.

    There is a group mind in every anthill as all of the ants work for the Queen and the hive itself. Self-sacrifice is a part of Ant medicine but patience is by far the strongest of its gifts.

    People with Ant medicine are active and community minded people. They are planners of great magnitude and are quite content to see their dreams being built slowly and methodically over time. There is a trust in Ant that the Universe will provide and that whatever is yours will come to you in its time.

    If you were drawn to this message today, what is Ant telling you? Ant says it is time to show some trust and patience in a life situation. Have you forgotten that you will always receive what you need at the time you need it the most? This thing that you know you need but isn’t just around the corner for you, do you need to use some strategy to get it closer?

    Also, Ant always works for the good of the community. Are you? Remember the universal community wants goodness for you and it will be provided. It just takes some powerful patience from you at times.

    Have you ever looked at Ant this way? I know I had not. Society usually looks at Ant as a nuisance. So, this lesson reminded me that respect of all creatures is important and that we all have a purpose on Mother Earth. I know I will never look at Ant in the same way after having researched how it falls in the Native American Totems.

    ~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We ARE all related

    http://native-american-totems.com/animal-totem-medicines/what-does-the-ant-totem-teach-us/
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    Brook

    Posts : 3447
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    Age : 64

    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  Brook on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:40 pm

    Okay Higherlove...I have two power animals. One is the falcon..the other is the monkey. can't wait to see what you bring with those two. I have some ideas and have researched it myself...but the Falcon is sometimes my eyes...and the Monkey...well..he just loves to point the way. That is when he's not on my shoulder grooming me...hahaha
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    HigherLove

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    Join date : 2011-01-27
    Age : 52

    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:11 am

    Brook wrote:Okay Higherlove...I have two power animals. One is the falcon..the other is the monkey. can't wait to see what you bring with those two. I have some ideas and have researched it myself...but the Falcon is sometimes my eyes...and the Monkey...well..he just loves to point the way. That is when he's not on my shoulder grooming me...hahaha

    Okay. Let me see what I can find. Heheheee

    scratch
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    Arrowwind

    Posts : 191
    Join date : 2011-03-16
    Location : Idaho

    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  Arrowwind on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:39 am

    Once while living in the desert I took a drive on back roads.. there I saw a cluster of magpies, relative to my power animal at the time. Their medicine is slighly different and I asked them in my heart if they could help me on my medicine journey. An hour or so later when I came back down the road in the exact same spot there layed a dead magpie with wings open in the middle of the dirt road. No other vehicles had been by. He had not been shot but was fully intact and was still warm. I took his wings for may sacred bundle and medicine work and left tobacco in their place. I believe some animals can read our thoughts and intentions and seek to serve us.

    A few weeks later I was gifted the wings of my main power animal from a co-worker who had found him on a desert road also. He knew not the meaning of the gift to me.
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:30 am

    Arrowwind wrote:Once while living in the desert I took a drive on back roads.. there I saw a cluster of magpies, relative to my power animal at the time. Their medicine is slighly different and I asked them in my heart if they could help me on my medicine journey. An hour or so later when I came back down the road in the exact same spot there layed a dead magpie with wings open in the middle of the dirt road. No other vehicles had been by. He had not been shot but was fully intact and was still warm. I took his wings for may sacred bundle and medicine work and left tobacco in their place. I believe some animals can read our thoughts and intentions and seek to serve us.

    A few weeks later I was gifted the wings of my main power animal from a co-worker who had found him on a desert road also. He knew not the meaning of the gift to me.

    Thank you, Arrowwind. I love to hear of others' experiences, as well as learn how to handle such situations in a sacred manner, as you did with the magpie, and the gift of tobacco.
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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:40 am

    THE FALCON


    I will post this in stages, as I did this earlier, and my browser crashed before I could save the work. :op
    ___________

    Mental Speed, Agility
    and Grace



    Falcon teaches control of speed and movement.
    It shows how to recognize opportunities and act upon them at only the correct moment. Watching a Falcon will show you to fully commit and when to act
    to achieve success.
    People with Falcon totems like to be a position where they can see everything around them. Study Falcon to use your mental facilities more effectively and more patiently
    to attain what you most need and desire.

    People with a Falcon totem also might want to explore past-life connections;
    Kings and royalty handled Falcons and there might be a past life connection.
    Totems often come into one lifetime and then stay for many more lives after that.

    http://www.linsdomain.com/totems/pages/falcon.htm
    ____________________

    The Falcon animal totem comes to us when we require higher vision, or higher knowledge in solving current dilemmas in our lives.

    The Falcon is a solar emblem for success, victory and rising above a situation.

    Further evidence of its solar influence, the Falcon was symbolic of the rising sun in Egypt. It is also the king of all birds where many gods were shown with the head or body of the Falcon (including Ra).

    In European tradition, the Falcon represents the huntsman and is associated with the Germanic sky-gods Wodan as well as Frigg and the trickster Loki. In European culture the Falcon is considered a warlike symbol.

    At its core, the Falcon animal totem represents visionary power, wisdom, and guardianship. This powerful bird awakens visionary power, and leads you to your life purpose. The Falcon carries with it a message of transition and change - perhaps in your vocation, work, career, etc.

    A quick-list of falcon animal totem attributes:

    Superiority
    Spirit
    Light
    Power
    Focus
    Prophecy
    Freedom
    Aspiration
    Intensity
    Determination

    The Peregrine Falcon lives up to its Latin name: Falco Peregrinus which means foreigner or stranger because it is a migratory bird rather than sedentary - it is found throughout the world and tends to travel great distances.

    The Peregrine is most often used in falconry due to its keen intellect and incredible ability to calculate or judge its prey.

    Falcon animal totem s encourage us to calculate and strategize. If we have a goal, Falcons beckon us to make plans and strategies to obtain these goals. Falcons are all about focus - strong, one-pointed focus. When they show themselves to us, we are being called to focus on our desires and our goals, and do what is necessary to bring our desires into our reality.

    The fact that the Falcon is a solar creature could mean there is something in your life that you are highly passionate about, and the Falcon is asking you to take action on this passion. But be smart about it - don't jump into something without doing research and planning. Make your passion a reality by persuing it methodically and as stratigically as the Falcon would persue his hunt.

    <iframe width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/McuNZVUBGaM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Lastly, invoke the spirit of your Falcon animal totem in your meditations, during quite/relaxing times, and just before sleeping. When you calm yourself and call upon the spirit of the Falcon, the Falcon is then able to come through your consciousness and provide you more details about what you must know.

    Animals are always willing to provide us with profound messages - it is up to us to listen, and allow their messages to come through. I hope you found this Falcon Animal Totem page meaningful to your Path.

    Also check out more Falcon Meanings on my blog here.

    And don't miss my Peregrine Parable on Token Rock with some thoughts about flying out of our comfort zones.

    http://www.whats-your-sign.com/falcon-animal-totem.html
    _______________________

    http://wolfs_moon.tripod.com/birthtotfalcon.html







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    HigherLove

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    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  HigherLove on Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:46 pm

    THE MONKEY



    Help me to see truth in all situations
    With my spiritual eyes.
    Teach me to hear Otherworld messages
    With my spiritual ears.
    Bring to me food for the soul from the gods
    That my spiritual body may be nourished.


    Dark and Light

    The Monkey represents the dark side of the human psyche,
    but also holds the key to right living.
    See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.

    The ability to see both the dark and the light may unexpectedly enrich and strengthen.

    The Monkey totem is creative and imaginative.
    It can lead you into a deeper study of the origins of the human species
    and the examination of ancient wisdom.
    Its agile mentality provides you with inspiration and insight when you most need it.

    http://www.linsdomain.com/totems/pages/monkey.htm


    ________________________________________
    The jungle will never see a more agile and graceful creature than the Monkey. Chinese legend tells us that the Monkey is a splendid communicator and is said to be able to converse with sprites, fairies and sorcerers. They are quick minded, mercurial animals that own many admirable virtues.

    The long tail of a Monkey enables it to hang from branches and stay safely off the ground and away from predators. Their clawed hands and feet allow them to move quickly through the jungle and climb fast; they are limber and agile and can jump quickly from tree to tree. They continually move from place to place, stopping to take in their current environment and situation. They are unpredictable and highly intelligent. It is no wonder they are considered the cleverest creature in the animal kingdom.

    Monkeys are said to possess keen insight and many cultures and tribes portray them as great communicators who posses special insight and clarity. The old adage applied to Monkey’s “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” is considered to be the key to right living on earth and these quick and clever animals are seen as the personification of how to live a noble life. Monkeys see dark and light in all things; they weigh all avenues and see things from all angles and possible outcomes.

    Monkey’s are amiable creatures and enjoy socializing and being with others of their kind. They also exhibit a curiosity for other animals and will often perch high above watching other animals and their habits. At times they will even emulate their actions and movements. Their minds are as quick and agile as their bodies and they are fast learners who display high intelligence.

    The Monkey is depicted in a story called The Monkey King a Buddhist tale that teaches compassion, understanding and kindness. The tale tells a the wise and sacrificing King of Monkeys who teaches a human King the importance of selflessness and loyalty the pitfalls of greed and anger. They Monkey still has much to teach humans about these virtues.

    The Monkey possesses many virtues that are powerful and valuable and which any person would be wise to emulate or divine. One who has the power of the Monkey will see enhanced grace, wisdom, intelligence, energy, inspiration, dexterity and self exploration. The Monkey has powerful magic, the ability to learn things quickly, and they have keen intuition.

    The amiable Monkey Totem possesses the following virtues:
    Imagination, ancient wisdom, agile mind, clever intelligence, increased powers of communication, insight, enhanced social skills, dexterity, curiosity, the ability to see things from all angles, adaptability, creativity, cunning, occult-mastery, grace, unpredictability, and right living on earth.

    Monkey Animal Pearls are said to impart their particular magical virtues to their owner. Monkey Pearls are characteristic of its host animal; they possess all the awesome characteristics that may be seen in the Monkey itself; the agility and grace of this animal is contained within the pearl waiting for its proper owner to bestow its inner magic to that unique and fortunate individual. For century’s shamans, priestesses, spiritualists and practitioners of the occult have used Monkey animal pearls to transfer the powerful magical energy of the Monkey to themselves and to others in need of this commanding animal magic. Monkey pearls are highly sought after by any wishing to absorb Monkey virtues into their lives and develop stronger mental abilities such as those embodied by this energetic creature. The owner of a Monkey pearl will see their lives, spiritual energy and mental clarity imbued with all of the virtues attributed to the cleverest of the jungle, the Monkey. The Monkey animal totem is a strong spirit indeed and its magical properties equate to an influential animal totem. Solidarity, agility of mind and body, excellent communication skills and so much more can be integrated into the spirit of the possessor of this magical pearl and the Monkey totem.

    http://www.manizone.co.uk/monkey-animal-totem-a-24.html

    ______________________________________

    Monkey: Monkey spirit challenges the dreamer to beware of false-hearted associates who will befriend us only to advance some personal agenda. The lesson with monkey is to be playful, self-reliant and light-hearted. Monkey's gift is the heart of our inner child. The key is to recognize the wise fool who waits in silence until the moment we release it from the chains of our conditioning. Thus, monkey medicine brings great freedom to the dreamer.

    http://www.cathyginter.com/TOTEM.html

    ________________________________________

    The monkey is represented differently by various cultures. Some cultures consider monkeys to be devilish, whereas other cultures cherish monkeys for their playfulness and imagination.
    Everyone has heard the saying See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil that is associated with three monkeys covering their eyes, ears, and mouth. These proverbial monkeys remind us not to listen to or spread rumors, and also not to be so quick to judge the things we see, because things are not always how they seem on the surface. These are good lessons.

    Monkey totem teaches us not to rely on the physical senses (sight, sound, and speech) for spiritual truth but to develop our sixth sense of knowing.

    http://healing.about.com/od/animaltotems/ig/Animal-Totems-Photo-Gallery/Monkeys.htm

    _________________________________________

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    Brook

    Posts : 3447
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    Age : 64

    Re: Critters and the circle of life

    Post  Brook on Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:56 am

    OH WOW!!!

    I was busy yesterday getting ready to start canning my garden crop. I was pleasantly surprised to see this Troy. Thank you..and so much detail!

    It all tracks too. These power animals do exist for anyone who seeks to find them. I fond mine when I created my sacred space. The monkey was first then the falcon. and they guide me everywhere. Together they are a powerful awakening to who I am. Never underestimate your guides...particularly the power animals. They are there because you chose them in the first place and they are always there....whether dormant and silent to you..they are guiding you in the most gentle ways when you are ready.

    Thanks again Troy, that was fabulous work!

    Last I'd like to add...they bring you to unimaginable worlds you had no idea existed. Worlds of a magical states of being that one can chose to deny or accept and hold close to their hearts....JRR Tolkien was guided by his inner guides to describe a world when he wrote of the world of Hobbits and Lords of the Rings.

    Thanks again Troy!




    Ahh yes...adding my monkey looks more like this...



    He climbs high in the trees and guides my steps,...points the way...leads me to things Wink

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