(This is a reproduction from my former blog. I originally did the reading in May of 2012, but I revisit this information often and it still feels exactly right.)
I did a totem reading yesterday using the MEDICINE CARDS deck, to find my lifelong totem animal guides.
A little bit about totem/power animals, if you don’t know.
From what I could find, it seems like “common wisdom” that each person has 9 animal spirit guides.
In the reading I did with the MEDICINE CARDS deck, I had to choose 7 cards, each one representing an animal guide who has chosen me; the last two of the 9 “spaces” are inhabited by the guides we choose, usually because they’re animals we’ve always been drawn to. When you choose the 7 cards, you’re supposed to open your mind and your heart, and trust that the cards that present themselves do so because they’re your animals. So, yes, if I did the reading today it would probably be different – that’s the trust thing.
It turns out that as a unit, my animal family is a lot like me: introspective, with the potential for great power but prone to being hindered by over-analyzing things; creative, transformative, walkers between worlds.
They’re not all animals you’d see on an epic belt buckle, but for my spirit, these are the right guys for me.
Meet my animal family!
Bear (introspection) guards the Eastern door, the entrance gateway. This animal guides you to your greatest spiritual challenges and guards your path to illumination. Bear hibernates to reflect on the truths of the year, guarding the Dream Lodge, the space of inner knowing where our ancestors sit in council and advise us on pathways that lead to our goals. Bear is the guardian of rites of passage and Bear’s femle receptive energy lights the path to inner knowing. Bear shows us how to turn our dreams into concrete realities, and to truly know ourselves.
Horse (power) guards the Southern door. This animal protects the child within and reminds you when to be humble and when to trust, balancing innocence in the personality. True power is wisdom found in remembering your total journey. Horse teaches that compassion, caring, teaching, loving, and sharing your gifts, talents, and abilities are the gateway to true power.
Mouse (scrutiny) guards the Western door. This animal leads you to your personal truth and inner answers, and shows you the path to your goals. Mouse may be fearful of life but very well organized, with a compartment for everything. Mouse teaches us to look at the bigger picture, not just what’s staring you in the face. See things for what they truly are, and act accordingly. Pay attention, but don’t overanalyze!
Grouse (sacred spiral) guards the Northern door. This animal gives wise counsel and reminds you when to speak, when to listen, and to be grateful for every blessing, every day.Grouse embodies personal vision and enlightenment. Imagine a tornado that takes you to its center. Grouse reminds us to analyze the way we move through the world. Grouse medicine is an invitation to join the dance.
Spider (weaving) guards Above. This animal teaches you how to honor the Great Star Nation, and guards the Dreamtime – your personal access to other dimensions. Spider teaches us to understand that webs of fate, webs of illusion, are things we can get caught in, believing we cannot take action to change our lot in life and being consumed by our fears and limitations. Spider embodies female energy and creative force, teaches us to see the expansiveness and interconnectedness of the eternal plan, and encourages us, like her, to create!
Snake (transmutation) guards Below. This animal teaches about the inner earth, about how to stay grounded and on the path. Snake medicine people are rare, for they must endure bite after bite and successfully transmute poison into healing. Snake medicine is creation: sexuality, psychic energy, alchemy, reproduction, immortality. Snake embodies the cycle of life-death-rebirth, visibly so in the shedding of its skin. Snake teaches us that transmutation can help us achieve wholeness as a universal being.
Badger (aggressiveness) guards Within. This animal shows you how to find your heart’s joy, and how to be faithful to your personal truths. It is the protector of your sacred space, which is impenetrable by any save through personal invitation. Badger’s keystone is its willingness to fight for what it wants. Badger is the totem of many powerful medicine women, because it is the keeper of medicine roots. Badger is quick to express feelings without caring about the consequences. Badger does not sit back and wait for the world to deliver, but seeks what it wants, drawing strength from its certainty and tenacity.Badgers are solitary, comfortable being alone, comfortable in their own skin, and VERY self-reliant.
Fox (camouflage) guards my Right Side. This animal is the protector of the male spirit within, carrying your courage and warrior spirit. Fox is the master of vanishing, adaptation, stillness and quick-footedness. Fox’s ability to be unseen allows it to protect itself and its family. Fox observes undetected, without making others self-conscious, and observes actions rather than words. Fox teaches the art of oneness through understanding of camouflage of all types.Foxes live on the between-times – on the edge of territories, at dusk and dawn.
Crow (law) guards my Left Side. This animal is the protector of the female spirit within, guards relationships and mothering, and teaches you to receive abundance, nurturing yourself as well as others. Crow is the gateway to the supernatural, the keeper of Sacred Law, which is higher than human law. Crow can shape shift; understanding the Higher Law, she can bend the world. Crow is an omen of change, merging light and darkness, seeing both sides of reality. Crow knows that human law is artificial, and has firsthand knowledge and understanding of a higher order of right and wrong. Crow teaches us to walk our own walk, speak our own truth, know our mission and stick to it, bending the world around us to shape shift into our best self.