<^otter^> I would like to start with a prayer from the Old Testament
about Totems, and we will end with a Sioux Chant.

"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee,
and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee,
Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee,
and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee." Job 12:7-8, KJV

In ancient times... an initiate, seeker, or person needing guidance
would come before their tribes elders...the elders were usually 6 in number
and sat at the North of the sacred wheel.
The elders were not wise because they were old.. or that they had
led a long life... but because they knew and heard the voices of the earth
and her spirit children, the animals. They understood the Wolf trails
of the mind, for the wolf is the teacher of the clan.
They experienced dreams and visions.. most of which carried powerful
voices from the animal Guardian Spirits.

Today, in a chaotic life.. one where technology has replaced traditions
and time for communion with earth and the animal teachers..
It is of great value within ourselves to reach out to the animals
and their lessons. Most of us have some recognition of the spiritual value
of totems by their representation as symbols in most spiritual traditions..
and personally most of us at one time or another have dreamed
of specific animals or felt a deep and profound connection
to one or more animals. These are ones own spirit totems, or guides..
I even go so far as to say they are guardian spirits, angels if you will.

Most of us will find we have up to nine prominent totems,
although other totems may speak to us when their lessons are needed.
Each animal of spirits kingdom has it's own set of lessons to teach us,
and of course, our own spirit totems shall have the most to teach us
as they have been given to us by Wakan Tanka as our special guides.

My nick, otter, is my personal primary totem.
Everyone will have one animal totem that carries the most significant
lessons. It is said that the totem will be representative of many
of the qualities of the person to whom it connects.
For example, in my case with otter, otter is representative
of playful feminine energy..
Most of you who know me would certainly say that is apt<g>.
It is also the totem of water woman..
I am a quadruple pisces so again this is not surprising in the least..
In addition it is totem of a healer, usually empathic in nature.

Most tribal medicine men and women carry otter medicine
in their totem guides. If you talk to many healers you will find
they too have met and connected to otter totem, if you help them examine
their dreams and reactions to watching animals.

Anyone have any questions so far?
<Ganesha> How do we know what are primary totem animal is?
<^otter^> Ganesha good question!
<Ganesha> Am I an elephant?
<^otter^> have you had dreams of animals?
<Ganesha> yes
<^otter^> If you have connected to elephant than indeed it is the primary totem..
<Ganesha> snakes, elephants, peacocks
<^otter^> it is not native to our continent, so you must look deeply at
elephants behavior and manner to garner it's lessons..
<Ganesha> yes
<^otter^> animals that are native to this continent there is much writing
about the lessons the animals have..
but if an animal is not part of tribal culture than you must be your
own elder as you connect to the guiding spirit lessons the totem has to teach.

<Arianna/Susanrose> ^otter^, I'm curious...
Are the favorite totem guides put on them for a community ceremony?
<^otter^> Totem poles have several meanings.
Tribes or clans, just as individuals, have totem animal guides or spirits.
These clan totems usually are given to the elders at a sweat lodge ceremony.
These totems are the teachers and protectors of the tribe.
Totem poles are made only by certain tribes, not all use them.
Their purpose is one of protection, as well as a calling by the tribe
to the animal teachers to send lessons, healing and prosperity to the tribe.
<Arianna/Susanrose> thank you ^otter^
<^otter^> yer welcome dear Arianna!

<^otter^> Any other questions?

<Arianna/Susanrose> My daughter dreamed of an eagle coming to her rescue,
and a patient of mine also told me about an astral projection
where he rode on the back of an eagle. What is the meaning of the eagle?
<^otter^> Arianna those would be potent totem spirit visions!
The eagle soars above all...
The eagle is a seer, can see beyond into other realms dimensions.
<^otter^> It is the totem of Shamans.
<star7> The eagle is a connection to God.

<Ganesha> what about the hawk?
<^otter^> hawk has similar powers as eagle, and teaches similar lessons,
however it's "sight" is more grounded in nature..
<Ganesha> sharp eyes etc?
<^otter^> Yes, extremely sharp eyes..

<seashel> ohhhh and the owl?
<^otter^> The owl is not called "Wise" for nothing..
It represents quiet wisdom, is also a power totem of dreams.
<Ganesha> never misses a trick...
<^otter^> It is a totem of the elders of the clan..
<seashel> thank you otter

<mikron> may I ask otter, what lesson the lion may represent for one?

<^otter^> lion is not tribal indigenous but we may find similarity
to the cougar, let me look it up as I do not know that one from memory..
<^otter^> cougar is the totem of leadership,
<Ganesha> lord of the jungle;
<^otter^> indeed.
It is totem of chiefs, often why many plains tribes chiefs carried
cougar claws in medicine pouch.

<seashel> What if an animal is special to a person for a while and then fades?
<^otter^> seashel that is not uncommon...
Our primary totem stays with us for life.. but the others may change
throughout our lives as medicine is learned or new medicine is needed.
Has anyone seen the movie "The Crow"?
<Ganesha> no, I haven't
<star7> No is it good otter?
*lilo saw the Crow.
<^otter^> the reason I mention it is that was a beautiful example
(although hollyweirded) of a totem animal..
<^otter^> a primary guiding spirit..
<lilo> Kinda like a familiar?
<^otter^> indeed lilo!!
<mikron> I thank you otter, my entire life since childhood,
I've been connected to them ,always trying to learn more insight!
<^otter^> excellent example, a familiar
Crow is interesting medicine
In the movie The Crow, the storyline is about justice.
Crow is totem animal of the law... it is honor totem, and of judgment.
<star7> I am going to rent that otter, crow is my totem.
<Lil0> Is there a forest law? Hmm I guess there is.
<^otter^> The writer made a conscious connection there I think!
there is a plains or forest power hierarchy indeed
but no totem has more power than another, just different lessons.
In shamanic practice the primary totem or "spirit guide" is called upon
by what is known as "dancing the animal". The shaman chants,
sings to the spirit of the animal...and calls it to him/herself...
then in order to become one with the guide the shaman dances
with the spirit until he/she has meshed with the spirit, this is a trance
That is when the shaman will have all the power of the totem
and performs what appears to be magic...
<Ganesha> wow otter
<^otter^> when in fact the shaman has opened up his/her healing energy..
as guided by the spirit
<^otter^> Ganesha, not dissimilar from Reiki, eh?
<Arianna/Susanrose> :)
<^otter^> same otter, same webbed fingers
<^otter^> hehe
<Ganesha> not disimilar...just different methods
<Ganesha> :)
<^otter^> Yes Ganesha, all holistic healers I believe tap
the same source of healing, just via different practice
<Ganesha> but there are different vibrations of Universal
Light Energy but basically it is the same :)
<^otter^> yes I think so

<^otter^> does anyone have additional questions?
<Arianna/Susanrose>^otter^ do you find any similarity to schools
who pick out a mascot such as the Nittany Lion for Penn State,
to aid their sports teams? (smile)
<^otter^> interesting Arianna I have not thought of that actually..
but I think there may indeed be a connection on some level.
All people and symbols are connected .

<Ganesha> do you know of any good books to read
on the subject otter
<^otter^> yes Ganesha I do

<Ganesha> a book that spells out the different aspects and
qualities of totems
<^otter^> I would suggest anything by Jamie Samms
Definitely get the medicine animal cards by Samms and Carson
if you are interested in working with spirit totems

<mikron> otter these energies you speak, totems and their connection
to people, seem similar to archetypal energies that people have
in their dream state!
<^otter^> yes mikron, they are totally connected<g>
<^otter^> any thing that discusses shamanic practice
would discuss totem animals as well
<star7> Yes otter I have them and I love them.
<Ganesha> the connection of the group mind at different vibrational archetypes, animals, gods, and goddesses...myths too
<^otter^> but the very best of all, IMHO is to find a native American
teacher, and of course learn directly from the animals themselves
<^otter^> Yes ganesha!!! Exactly!

<Ganesha> so I wonder what the "totem of our group is tonight???
<^otter^> let me meditate for a moment and it will come to me
<Ganesha> probably an airy animal as we are in cyberspace
How about "the bee" the primordial Om connection and the buzzing
from flower to flower? We buzz from channel to msg to drinking
the nectar of knowledge here.
<Arianna/Susanrose> Ganesha.. I like the bee too...
buzzing with the vibration of the electricity running
though our lines of connection...

<^otter^> I think our group totem is dragonfly tonight
<Ganesha> oh cool...tell us please about the dragonfly otter
<^otter^> GrinnZzzzzzzz Ganesha, YES!
Ganesha, your description suits dragonfly too..
The dragon fly has multicolored wings
It flits along drinking the water (spirit) knowledge in bits and pieces
across a great body of water (knowledge)
<Ganesha> so drinking of the inner space consciousness
<^otter^> yes!
<Ganesha> very beautiful
<^otter^> Water is always of the spirit. soul, unconscious mind..
The dragonfly eats little, but drinks much for its tiny body
<Ganesha> also water is emotional
<^otter^> we drink much wisdom and learning from spirit and each other
<Ganesha> unconscious mind = the moon...
moon beam consciousness and illumination
<^otter^> yes and Dragonflys wings are "luminous"
<Ganesha> like the moon
I envision nighttime and the moon...unconscious, intuitive path...
buzzing...monlight illuminating the water

<Arianna/Susanrose> ^otter^ how has your connection with
your totem animal guides had a practical benefit in dealing
with every day life?
<^otter^> My connection has taught me of my true nature
and the ways I can use myself to help others better...
<gandharva> that gives us pause
<mikron> in other words otter, you speak of a master
who knows how to use the energy in an active way!

<Aten-Ra> has the centipede only been a totem to the evil mayans?
<Ganesha> the Celestine Prophecy 10th Insight Book
that just came out talks alot about totems.
<Aten-Ra> or are cobras and scorpions okay for India and the middleeast
<^otter^> Aten totems of course are native to different cultures,
depending on the native animals
<^otter^> all animals have lessons to teach if we are only willing
to observe and listen and learn them
<mikron> perhaps the lesson for all to become more connected,
to earth and all its kingdoms, one with the world !
<mikron> thanks ganesha, and otter, we will all become aware
more as we awaken to out true selves !!!!

<^otter^> you are most welcome mikron!
<Ceridwen> perhaps all to provide an inner path to connect with ALL
<^otter^> Ceridwen yes!
<Ganesha> well, it is interesting to find a group totem and see what
people are experiencing themselves with the group totem
<mikron> we truly are all connected !
<^otter^> So in closing, watch the animals, invite them to you,
listen when they speak, then pass on the knowledge or use it
for the good of others..
That is Wakan Tankas way!
<Ganesha> Oh so wonderful Otter!!!
<Ganesha> Thank-you for your presentation

<^otter^> "Out of the earth I sing for them, a horse nation,
I sing for them, Of the earth I sing for them, the animals,
I sing for them. Teton Sioux Chant
<star7> Thanks otter the best Gaia friends I have been to.
<Ceridwen> :) yes
<Arianna/Susanrose> in asking the animal kingdom for their advice,
we humble ourselves and admit to the wisdom of other living things... :)
<^otter^> absolutely Arianna!!!
Thank you for allowing me to share with you,
thank you for your presence here tonight and for the wonderful lessons
your friendships teach me!
<Ganesha> wonderful interactive program!!!
we all got feeling of the different animals.
<seashel> otter, thank you for sharing with us
<Aten-Ra> Yes thank you for sharing us.
<gandharva> we thank you and are buzzing with anticipation
of communication and fly off on diaphanous dragonfly wings.
<Ganesha> we can focus on our own intuition better by bonding
to the animal archetype and the lessons that are taught

<Arianna/Susanrose> Thank you for your presentation tonight ^otter^!
<^otter^> you are welcome Arianna, it is always a privilege and an honor
to be asked
*Ganesha sends dragon fly moonlight nectar to the channel

<MornStar> I see the dragonfly. I am looking at her and smile
because she makes me happy. The dragonfly looking back at me,
is smiling too. May I walk happily and lightly with her.
<MornStar> Thanks Otter
<^otter^> You are welcome my lovely Mornstar
<mikron> I can only say otter, much Light for your sharing,
this information. It helps me bring about a more grounded understanding
about energy specific to me; much honor to you !!!!!!!!,
<star7> We are grateful to you otter.
<Radiance> thanks water otter ;P
<^otter^> {{{{{{{{{{{{Dear Light Friends}}}}}}}}}
<Ceridwen> thank you ^otter^
<mikron> thanks ^otter^
<star7> Good night good people.
<Arianna/Susanrose> Good night all!
And many thanks again for your wonderful presentation tonight ^otter^!
<^otter^> you are welcome Arianna, it is always a privilege.