Animal Totems


The following is from Animal Speak by Ted Andrews

Begin the process of discovering your animal totems by examining the animals you
have been most interested in & the times of your life that interest was piqued.
Use the following questions to help determine which animals are probably totems
to you in your life.

1. Which animal or bird has always fascinated you? (We are drawn to that which
most resonates with us. Those animals which fascinate us have something to teach

2. When you visit the zoo, which animal do you wish to visit the most or first?
(esp. children)

3. What animal(s) do you see most frequently when you are out in nature? Have
you had encounters with animals in the wild? (The animals we encounter, in their
city environments or in the wild, have significance for us. We can learn from
them, even if only about survival within that environment.)

4. Of all the animals in the world, which are you most interested in now? (Our
interests in animals change. Yes, we usually have one or two that are lifetime,
power animals, but others become prominent when there is something importance or
specific to teach us.)

5. What animal most frightens you? (That which we fear the most is often
something we must learn to come to terms with. When we do that, it then becomes
a power. Some shamans believe that fears will take the shape of animals, and
only when we confront them without fear do their powers/medicine work for us
instead of against us. Such an animal become a shadow totem.)

6. Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal? (Historically, if a
shaman survived an attack, it was believed that the animal was the shaman’s
spirit totem and the attack was the totem’s way of testing the shaman’s ability
to handle the power.)

7. Do you have dreams with animals in them or are there animal dreams you have
never forgotten? (This is especially important if the dreams are recurring or if
at least the animal image in the dream is a recurring one. Children often dream
of animals, & attention should be given to these animals. They will often
reflect specific spirit totems of the child.)