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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Totemists' LiveJournal:

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Monday, September 26th, 2011
1:35 am
Real quick--I was working on writing the Bioregional Totemism chapter of Neopagan Totemism, and I realized that in working with totems, totemism, and totemists over the past 15 years, there's a weird trend--not only do many people not ever see the physical counterparts of the animal totems they work with, but they often don't even live in the same geographic area. (Wheee, globalization!)

So, indulge me with a few quick answers. These will NOT be in the book (beyond maybe "I asked this to corroborate my previous experiences); I'm just curious for curiosity's sake.

--What totem(s) do you work with? Not just "life" or primary totems, but those that may drop in for a time.

--Where do you live? (You don't have to be any more specific than you're comfortable.)

--Where are the physical counterparts of your totem(s) found?
Saturday, May 21st, 2011
11:19 pm
So, dusting this community off--

Does anyone find that the personalities, such as they are, of totems are more expansive and complex than of individual animal spirits? That's generally been my experience, simply because totems are "made of" the many physical animals of their species, as well as the relationships those animals have with other species, including humans (which also brings in mythology and folklore and....yeah...you get the run-on idea).

How about the rest of you?
Thursday, March 3rd, 2011
4:20 pm
Dream help
Cross-posted on my journal and at totem_animals

This one has me completely puzzled. I've thought about it all day, and I've looked up what little information I can find on earthworms and shrimp -- but I still can't make heads or tales out of it. I'm hoping someone here might offer suggestions for research.

The only bits of the dream I can remember are that my aunt and I were trying to grow plants as part of some group. My planting trays -- which actually looked like dissecting trays -- were completely void of plants. One tray had a mass of earthworms crawling all over each other. The other tray had what my brain/my dream-self explained was a spider but actually looked like a shrimp from deep in the sea that was mostly colorless but had a slight pinkish/orangish tinge to it. Its legs were a light magenta. My aunt had several thriving trays of tiny mushrooms of various colors and shapes. I looked at her trays and then looked at my trays -- one of wriggling earthworms, one of a "spider in an attack stance" (that was how my dream-self described it) -- and said to my parents and my aunt, "I can only grow things that thrive in the dark and the wet."

Current Mood: confused
Sunday, December 5th, 2010
6:20 am
Hello, I am planetsalign.

I am nearly completely new to this Totem in the modern sense and practice of the topic.

I do know of and understand the older more classical Native American veiw and practice of totem.

Seemingly, my animal or totemic affinity is with the crow, I don't know why or how, or even what it means or what they are saying, showing, teaching etc... Any help with this would also be appreciated as I also study and research the great information this community has made apparent to me.
Thank you All!
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
1:53 am
Crows, Jackdaws, and Magpies, oh my
I recently traveled to Ireland -insert soul deep joy here- and among the awesomeness of the experience was a bit of stalking. By birds, that is. I'm pretty familiar, being from the USA (living in Shanghai currently, for those curious), with the typical American Crow. I adore crows and they like to come and go in my life rather frequently, sometimes to herald changes...others I think they're just checking in since one of the two goddesses I follow has the crow as one of her symbols. I've met ravens once or twice in Cali, but the UK cousins were a first.

While out by the Howth area, first jackdaws (http://birdsolutions-southeast.co.uk/images/JackDaw.jpg) started to show up and seemed to fly by and follow as my friend and I explored. Intermixed were what I've determined were Hooded Crows, which seemed to take an even bolder interest. Those of you who've been around crows are likely familiar with that knowing stare they like to turn on one. Lastly, as we made our way up from the town to the bluffs, magpies made their presence known. First one, then a second away to the other side of where we stood. As we headed back down, one would land upon the wires above or a similar spot as we passed by. Even back in Dublin itself, we saw one while waiting for a bus.

I've poked a bit around the net, but Jackdaw and Magpie are not as easy to find it seems (in any real depth) as Crow. I intend some meditation and the like to see what messages they have, if any. But I am curious if anyone has had experience with Magpie or Jackdaw, and could share? Furthermore, for those that deal with or have dealt with Crow, do you find great differentiation between subspecies? For example, between the American Crow and the Hooded? (As a sidenote, Ireland is also the home of my matron, so the Hoodies may've been Hers)

I appreciate any input as I'm always curious to see others' experiences with animals I've encountered. Apologies if this is a bit rambling, a long flight and 24+ with no sleep will make me a bit wacky.

Current Mood: awake
Sunday, May 16th, 2010
9:36 pm
a vulpes post
Foxes. What have they got in their pocketses?

What experiences have you had with Fox (either as an overarching totem, or a specific species' totem)? What has Fox taught you, or if you haven't worked with Fox, what do you think Fox might teach?

Remember--make your reply to this post BEFORE you look at others' replies, so you aren't subtly affecting your own answer without realizing it, or worrying too much that you'll give the "wrong" answer.
Thursday, February 11th, 2010
4:15 pm
Spirit animal, or innocent victim? - GREAT post on not mistaking the map for the territory when it comes to totemism and other forms of animal spirituality.
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
1:19 am
Just wanted to say hi. Hi!

I don't think many others are actually posting much on animism, so I kinda wanted to toot my own horn a bit. I'm posting daily (or, very close to it) on various aspects of a neo-animist tradition.

And, in case anyone cares, I've got a close relationship with Spider.

Best wishes!
Thursday, January 21st, 2010
6:52 pm
Another noob says hello
 Yo! I found this community by accident. I guess I should say hello and give a mini intro.

I'm Bard 23 and I'm more or less a 'European shaman', I lean towards Asatru and Druidry yet I am more of animist, I really don't have a patron actually. 
I actually know lupagreenwolf around the therian community and I've always admired her essays, so I want to say kudos to her. The primary animals I worth with totem wise are Rat and as of late Cockroach. I've worked with Bee and Beetle and a long time ago I was guided by Owl. I am hoping to meet more totemists and exchange ideas.

So hello :3 

Current Mood: nervous
5:57 am
Totems for the New Year
(originally posted in the Axis Mundi e-zine.)

Totems for the New Year

So often, totems are treated like accessories, animals that we show off to our like-minded friends, and that’s where the connection tends to end. But totems (of any kind) can have meaningful benefits outside of basic research into an animal’s meanings and behaviour.

Consider aligning yourself to animal totems or guides for the year ahead. What are you wanting to achieve? The messages of our animals friends are more than able to support us on our goals, and suggest new ones to boot.

rest of the articleCollapse )
Friday, December 4th, 2009
1:11 pm
what is it with the damn spiders?
cross posted from my personal journal:

All the past year, we've had an increase in spiders. I couldn't even tell you what kinds, though I think I've seen a wolf spider and I killed a black widow.

At first it was just tiny little baby ones that were mildly beige in color (nearly translucent if possible; damn hard to see unless they are moving).

Then I started noticing bigger ones. Black colored ones.

We have several outside, natch; but the inside ones are disturbing. They started appearing last fall in fact
I just unearthed a box I used to haul my totemism stuff to a class I did more than a year ago. (April 08, yahoo group search function ftw) As I was repiling stuffies back into it, a small, dime sized 8legger scuttled away, trying to hide...I squished it. I don't do well with being startled. Normally I let them go their own way, but wow. And last I knew, I had a larger black hiding in one of my statues...

When I clean the patio a couple weeks ago (weekend before Thanksgiving), that's when I whacked the black widow. I do not need poisonous 8leggers around me and mine. Curious kitties and a tiny bank account are NOT on the wheel.

Aside from me checking out the animal dictionaries, anyone got a clue about what spiders are trying to tell me? As I sit here and think about it, I get an overwhelming feeling of darkness and damn near something akin to EVIL - which is not normally what I associate spiders with. but considering my year, I'm not really surprised.

some rambles about spiders, from my perspectiveCollapse )

Any suggestions?
Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
11:00 am
(ok, so I lied a bit...but this is so unusual for me that I had to take the time to post something)

Ok, last night some big and dark owl takes off from my neighbor's mailbox, this morning the wolf spider from the door is actually out and about despite the rain (so I said hello), and as I walk down the porch steps, there lies a mouse (species unknown), dead and frozen from the icy rain. Laying there plain as day. I put it in a bush under leaves so my mom wouldn't freak and start calling exterminators.

My first thought was "oh, the owl left a present for me", but that doesn't make natural sense, lol.

I'm still digesting the experience, which was a little unnerving, but I'd like to know what others think about this.
Sunday, November 15th, 2009
6:51 pm
Monday, October 26th, 2009
12:35 pm
My apologies for letting this community go; school takes up a LOT of time.

I asked this over on my personal journal, and now I'm asking you! They're pretty basic questions, but I find they're good to revisit every so often.

What animals do you work with, or have worked with before? Are there any you would like to (or otherwise feel compelled to) work with? Tell as much or as little about it as you like.
Monday, September 14th, 2009
3:48 pm
Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
8:27 pm
Gah--sorry things have been so quiet here. Grad school = crazy-making.

Just posted an essay on my shamanism blog about totems and categorization--and why I think it's a bad idea to try to label totems as "healing" or "trickster" or other "types" of totem.
Saturday, July 18th, 2009
3:56 pm
Trickster Tarantula

I'm new here! And I have a question for the community. For a long time I had known that Cat is a totem of mine, but then I found an exercise on Moonvoice's website, Wildspeak, and decided to do it for fun. To keep a long story short, she suggested that it is a trickster spider from the way it was acting during the meditation. So I tried to do another meditation with Tarantula last night, and got odd results:

ExperienceCollapse )

However, I don't feel like Tarantula was trying to hurt me in any way, or that he was angry with me. But I found the entire experience to be incredibly odd, and with my fear of spiders, it frightened me as well.

So my question is: what exactly does this mean? I'm sort of afraid to go back and see him again, even though I know I have to (and will eventually). Also, I'm curious if other people have any experiences with trickster tarantula as well.

Thanks for your insight.

Current Mood: anxious
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
8:08 pm
Just wanted to give folks a heads-up--I have a short but sweet column on animal totems in context over at the new issue of Rendin the Veil ezine.
Friday, May 8th, 2009
2:38 pm
Rabbit as a totem.
Another totem post! This time about Rabbit. (Or if you wanna go crazy and add Hare in there, go ahead.) The usual template:

What experiences have you had with Rabbit (either as an overarching totem, or a specific species' totem)? What has Rabbit taught you, or if you haven't worked with Rabbit, what do you think Rabbit might teach?

Make your reply to this post BEFORE you look at others' replies, so you aren't subtly affecting your own answer without realizing it, or worrying too much that you'll give the "wrong" answer.

(Also, I was thinking it could be a good idea to tag posts with the animal of their subject - so newcomers can check through previous discussions and be less likely to ask the same questions - and maybe have a tag for these totem posts too?)
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009
11:05 pm
It's been a while since I've torn apart something in a review...click the link to see what happened:

The Hawaiian Oracle: Animal Spirit Guides From the Land of Light by Rima A. Morrell
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