Characteristics of your Animal Totem

The characteristics of a specific animal are often rubbed off on those who have it as a totem. We often harness the natural power and energy of our totem. This energy may come in many forms, but is often closely associated with the attitude and habitat of the animal itself. The relationship you have with your totem also depends on its energies and attitude. Relationships with your totem animals are strongly based on the emotional, spirituality, physicality, and psychological characteristics of the animal you are dealing with. Each totem has inherant skill and power. Each totem has inherent blindness and weakness. This will be represented by the inner energy and spirit of the animal you are dealing with. To find the different aspects of your totem ask yourself some questions and read up on the animal. You can learn from how the animal acts in the wild and the traits it exhibits. Begin by asking these simple question about your animal: What is my totem's physical build? What does my totem eat? How does it get it's food? What are the skills of my totem? Where does my totem live? When does my totem sleep? Where? Does my totem hibernate? When? Where? How? How does my totem mate? How does my totem interact with others of its kind? How does my totem react to other species? What does my totem fear? Love? These questions will help you build a base attitude for your totem. These traits will help you learn the lesons that your totem will present to you, as well as give you insight into yourself and others.

Traditional Animal Characteristics
Many Animals have traditional meaning which are associated with them. Authors like Ted Andrews, D.J.Conway, and Silver Ravenwolf have written books on this very subject. While I do not agree with every interperation that is offered by these authors, I find their overall despcription and basic interperatation helpful and a good starting point. I, however, do not follow all of their interpretations of totem animals. Through observation and a lot of research, I have come up with a fairly loose guide of animal charateristics when they are associated with totem animals. I have done research on both recent and ancient views of the animals, as well as their habitats and attitudes while in nature. I encourage you to do the same when discovering your totem animal. Use this as a rough guide and let your heart, mind and soul tell you where to take the information you do know.

Animal Correspondences
Alligator-- Rough, stern, stealthy, basic survival Antelope-- Graceful, speed, quick to start, jumpy, easily startled Badger-- Does not relate well to others, self-reliant, a teacher rather than a student, has earth knowledge Bat-- Initiation into magickal practices, long lived, facer of fears, finder of hidden messages, divination Bear-- Introspection, inner strength, protective of their young, thought of as wise and gentle, keeper of hidden wisdom

Beaver-- A builder, talkative, likes structure and building, story teller, short lived, makes dreams a reality Bee-- Hard working, social, follower, communittee oriented, can be obsessive Bird (general)-- Needs freedom, unity of fellow creatures, open minded, can be overbearing in beliefs and views Bobcat-- Solitary, has spiritual force residing within them, will often carry the burden, manifestation of power and control Buffalo-- Healing, good fortune, abundance, slow witted but kind, easily persuaded, keeper of medicine Bull-- Insight into the past, might rush into parenthood and family, ill-prepared, fertile Butterfly-- Transformation, accepting of others, graceful, indecisive, likes to be noticed and stand out in a crowd Caribou-- Traveler, mobile, can adapt to surroundings, prefers to keep moving and have freedom Cougar-- Leadership, physical strength, quick tempered, quick witted, agressive, keeper of inner strength, will be quick to anger and slow to forgive Coyote-- Humorous, tricky, looks out for itself, willing to laugh at itself, committed, scavenger, keeper of magick Crane-- Royalty, proud, balance, inner meditation, lucky, likes movement and travel Crow-- Resourceful, greedy, tolerated, loud, willing to council others, opinionated Deer-- Gentle, sensitive, generally peaceful, passive, slow reactions, easily startled Dog-- Faithful, inner loyalty to a fault, make good friends and family, will protect those they care for Dolphin-- Harmony, joyful, swift, passionate, meditative, likes company, keeper of self Dragonfly-- Restless, refined, ever moving, skilled, acrobatic persoanlity Eagle-- Illumination, majesty, adeptness, potency, power through knowledge, often arrogant and self assured Elephant-- Long lived, doesnt listen to insults, tough and agressive, strong but peaceful Elk-- Pride, beauty, ageless wisdom, keeper of the forest Fish-- Agile, mobile, sly, generally open minded, but quick to change its mind Fox-- Clever, subtle, agile, swift, uses discretion, not outgoing, willing to hide Frog-- Growth, inner child, clensing, emotional healing, poor judgement of character Goat-- Dilligence, willing to work to the top, unbending, no foresight Goose-- Love of home, returns to place of belonging, friendly and caring, ever searching Gorilla-- Powerful, wise, inner sadness and emotional self, represents those who keep peace through agreesion Hawk-- Awareness, inner truth and contemplation, hidden talents, a watcher Hedgehog-- Defensive, self preservation, abrasive personality, loner Horse-- Loyal, inner power, freedom, safety in movement, beauty through strength Hummingbird-- Agile, quick movements, easily distracted, abundance of energy, often has a sweet tooth Lizard-- Relaxed, knows when to back off, hidden defenses, elusiveness Lion-- Strength, pride, agile, family motivated, willing to sacrifce self for others, strong channeling energies Loon-- Serenity, good communicator, judgemental and uncaring Manitee-- Slow but graceful mover, control of elements and though, open experience and destiny Moose-- Unpredictable, slow to temper, stands up for what they believe in, abrasive Mouse-- Hidden emotions and movements, illusive, charming, prepared, knows when to run away Nightengale-- Soft tempered, good speaker, smooth movement and voice, keeper of the night Octopus-- Multifacited, skilled in many things, like to know everything, can be overbearing and controling Otter-- Playful, joyful nature, likes games of all sorts, bring laughter whereveer they go Owl-- Insight into the unknown, clear vision, can see all influences around them, hidden hunter Panther-- Hidden emotions, silent thought, careful decisions, quick movemnts, stealthy Penguin-- Family oriented, emotionally cold exterior, non-expressive, adaptive to many environments Prairie Dog-- Swift, industrious, readiness, doesnt like cold, builder Porqupine-- Knows humility, inner innocence, appears to be scared and defensive, kind private nature Quail-- Works best in a group, creates harmony and group tolerance, protective, likes children Rabbit-- Safety in numbers, needs to conquer fears, quick minded, emotional, physically weak Racoon-- Borrower of skills and items, hidden enemies, hidden skills, lurker, mischief maker Rat-- Can adapt to anything, quick witted and hard working, scavenging when needed, likes luxury Raven-- Mysterious, ingenuity, distant watcher, keeper of the unknown

Rooster-- Vain, likes gifts and attention, early to rise, will go after the best Salmon-- Determined, persistant, strength through desire, trusting but not trust-worthy Seagull-- Versitile, loud, abnoxious, carefree, inventive but lazy, open minded Seal-- Contentment, peaceful, over-emotional, playful but hard worker Skunk-- Wanring, dangerous, misunderstood, respectful and worthy of respect, carefully judgemental Snail-- Perserverance, although stern and cold on the outside has a soft hearted nature Snake-- Sexually potent, solitary but likes pleasing others, inner power through passion, keeper of the life force Squirrel-- Thrifty, well prepared for any disaster, trust worthy, knows how to survive Swan-- Beauty, elegance, nurturing nature and open heart, sense of calmness and inner retrospection Tiger-- Mothering nature, Strength through determination and inner power, fickle personality Turtle-- Protection, love of life and nature, healing powers, inner knowledge and thought Walrus-- Trickster, loner, likes to be an individual, has little respect for life and others, vain Whale-- Intuitive, wise, graceful, inner beauty, communittee preservation, gentle but will attack when provoked Wolf-- Teacher of skills, loyalty, independant but likes others, strong willed, easy to anger, holds a grudge Yak-- Ancient wisdom, higher being and understanding, self doubt, lack of emotional control Zebra-- Indecisive, hidden aspects, confuses others, can be emotionally up or down rarely in between