SPIRIT GUIDES - Part II

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Manataka American Indian Council

SPIRIT GUIDES
By Takatoka

INTRODUCTION TALK TO THE ANIMALS MENTAL OR SPIRITUAL? ANIMAL WORSHIP TYPES OF ANIMAL GUIDES PREPARATION - THE JOURNEY

TERMINOLOGY POWER OF ANIMAL SPIRITS FINDING YOUR ANIMAL TOTEM MEETING YOUR ANIMAL GUIDE OTHER SUGGESTIONS

ANIMAL TOTEMS
ANT ARMADILLO BEAR BEAVER BUFFALO BUTTERFLY COYOTE CROW DOG EAGLE FALCON ELK FOX HORSE HUMMINGBIRD LIZARD LYNX MOOSE OTTER OWL PUMA RABBIT RAVEN SKUNK SNAKE SPIDER SQUIRREL TURKEY TURTLE WEASEL WOLF WOLVERINE

ANT
The ant is a very hard worker and conscientious in every detail of its work. They live in huge communities where most tasks are delegated to individuals who form work groups to carry out various activities of hunting, gathering, nesting and nursery, habitat construction, and protection. The ant accepts its position within its community without question and is totally dedicated and loyal throughout its lifetime to the entire community. ANT MEDICINE The ant people are wonderful builders and architects. They can show us ways to build a reality based on our dreams. Ants are determined and relentless in pursuit of their mission. If the ant

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people come to visit you, it may be this quality they will teach. Solidarity and collaboration are keys to the success of the ant. Every individual in the community does its duty to ensure the welfare of the whole colony, regardless of its personal safety or how long it must labor. The ant spirit teaches us teamwork and loyalty. Ants are unselfish and sacrifice themselves to benefit the community. Learning this valuable lesson of the ant can be the greatest of all gifts. Honor and respect are the hallmarks of the ant people. Ants are tireless workers and hunters and teach the art of perseverance and patience in all that they do. Those with this spirit will find that many of their life lessons will involve the mastery of patience in some way. Ant medicine is subtle yet powerful. It teaches us how to release our egos and aligns us with the virtue of equality. Imagine what the world would be like if humanity held and applied the values that the ant expresses. The next time you step on, squash, injure or kill an ant intentionally, ask yourself why you are choosing to destroy the unconditional love that the ant shares so freely. Valuable insights about yourself and your history can be learned from this tiny little totem.

ARMADILLO Brother armadillo has a passive style of defense and its medicine comes from its own body. The 'digger' is called the "Little Armored One" because of thick bony plates and horns that covers its back. It teaches protection and ways to move through dimensions.

ARMADILLO MEDICINE The armadillo rolls into a tight ball when threatened to cover its vulnerable underside. Brother Armadillo's medicine is to teach ways to expose your inner-self and allow natural defenses to protect you. People who are too paranoid, 'hard-shelled' or cover their feelings unnecessarily may need the spirit of the armadillo. Armadillos are territorial and regularly patrol their boundaries to sniff out intruders and potential threats. If the armadillo comes to visit you, it may be time to examine your boundaries, or artificial limits placed on your abilities, time, or space. Is someone invading your space? Medicine from Brother Armadillo is strong and tenacious. It teaches how to protect yourself from potential threats. The armadillo is slow but persistent in its daily tasks and ignores most non-threatening activities around it. These traits will help one who follows the armadillo medicine to realize when they may be negligent of a persistent problem or avoiding issues. Brother Armadillo is a solitary dweller and does not have many friends. Pay attention to the shell of our armored friend when he enters your meditations and find new ways to join with others in social activities.

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The armadillo digs for its food and makes burrows to sleep and have its young. The digging aspect of its behavior indicates that you may need to work harder at finding the morsel of sustenance in your life to bring more spiritual awareness. Brother Armadillo understand the necessity of spiritual purification and loves water. He is a good swimmer, floats very well and can swim under the surface for long periods. Armadillo readily crosses any stream or river with ease. These traits give people of the armadillo spirit an understanding of the power of spiritual cleansing and ability to move with fluid easy movement between dimensions.

BEAR The Great Bear is found on every continent and comes in many sizes and colors. The bear is revered on every continent, especially North America where the indigenous people who believe it was once human and Great Mystery lives in the spirit of bear. Many American Indian tribes have bear clans and bear ceremonies. Bear people use herbs and other plants in healing. Bear medicine is powerful and without peer among the animal people. The bear is a guide to the river of meaning. BEAR MEDICINE Bear is spirit keeper of the West, the place of darkness, maturity and good harvest. From this place, Grandfather Bear gives strength, introspection and knowledge. Bears are active during the night and day. This symbolizes its connection with solar energy, that of strength and power, and lunar energy, that of intuition. It enhances and teaches those with this totem how to develop both within themselves. Grandfather Bear is a solitary dweller and master of his domain. This teaches us the importance of independent thinking and to seek peace in quite meditation to Bears are sensitive to Mother Nature's cycles. They sleep long hours in the winter living on fat stored in their bodies. It teaches us how to go within and find the resources for survival and how to remain balanced amid change. This medicine is a reminder of the great circle of life and rebirth, renewal and fresh beginnings. The stars above in infinite meadows of heaven show us the Great Bear in the Sky, Ursa Major, as a sign of the greatness and infinity of bear wisdom. Bear is the embodiment of strength and is fierce to a threat on its lair. It is not wise to come between the mother bear and her cubs, teaching us ways to always protect those we love. The bear holds the teachings of introspection. When it shows up in your life pay attention to how you think, act and interact. Use

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BEAVER The beaver spirit is never defeated. A gentle nature makes the beaver a friend to all creatures within its domain. Beaver is an industrious neighbor with its unbelievable resolve and tenacity. People who work with the beaver spirit will learn great lessons of life that will bring many blessings of strength, security and trust.

BEAVER MEDICINE The beaver is a tremendously complex, yet simple totem - Complex because their abilities and talents are many, and simple because most qualities of the beaver can be emulated by humans. They are master architects and are among the few animals on earth, that alter their environment to meet their requirements. As an expert builder, beaver medicine strengthens the foundations of ones life and can help to build new ones. Beaver can show us ways to be in harmony with our environment even as that environment changes. The beaver is an excellent swimmer, able to hold its breath under water for 15 minutes or more. As a water creature the beaver spirit is deep within where dreams past and knowledge flow in the subconscious warehouse of our mind. This medicine can help us to call those inner waters to the surface where they can be used to build a better life. The beaver's fur is highly prized because it is both waterproof and soft, teaching us to repel afflictions of life in a good way. The beaver is practical, quick-witted and resourceful. All these qualities are brought forward and understood while working with the beaver spirit. The beaver's large teeth are among its most prized possessions and they continue to grow until the moment of death. This prominent feature of the beaver is a reminder that the tools we use to improve our lives must continually honed and sharpened. Beavers are very industrious, hard working, and tenacious in what ever project they undertake. People who work with his spirit are reminded to work hard to achieve their goals and they will never be defeated by a lack of initiative. If you feel overcome or overwhelmed by life's challenges, ask the beaver for help. Beaver has a kind and gentle spirit. We should all be like the beaver.

BUFFALO The great bison or buffalo of North America is a very powerful symbol to American Indians. Though best suited to cooler climates, buffalos roamed virtually in entire continent. The smaller woodlands buffalo and its bigger cousin, the plains buffalo were revered and honored in ceremony and every day life. To the plains Indian, our Buffalo Brother meant sacred life and the abundance of the Creator's blessing on Mother Earth. BUFFALO MEDICINE The buffalo is powerful medicine that is a symbol of sacrifice and service to the community. The buffalo people agreed to give their lives so the American

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Indian could have food, shelter and clothing. The buffalo is also a symbol of gratitude and honor as it is happy to accept its meager existence as it stands proud against the winds of adversity. The buffalo represents abundance of the Creator's bounty and respect for all creation knowing that all things are sacred. The buffalo represents a manifestation of the divine aspects of our being. Because of its size, speed and sharp horns, buffalos can be dangerous when threatened. People who hear the message of the buffalo spirit are reminded to temper their power in dealing with others and allow the tranquility and peace of the Buffalo Brother to enter their lives. Those with this totem need to remember to see the good in all things and not let their frustration store up inside them. Unlike the European domesticated cow that places its rump toward approaching cold and faces away, the buffalo turns its head to face and stand firmly against raging storm. This quality reminds us to have courage and face problems head-on. Buffalos unite against danger as buffalo cows defend their young, old and sick by forming a protective circle around them and the bulls form a circle around the cows. If you see the buffalo circle in dream or vision, it may mean someone around you requires your strength to defend and honor them. Or, it is a call to unite with others to bring about positive change. The huge head of the Buffalo Brother signifies higher mental abilities that is grounded to Mother Earth by their tough bodies. The buffalo teaches us how to eliminate our burdens by directing our energy in a balanced way.

BUTTERFLY The butterfly is great admired among American Indians and is a bringer of joy and peace. Cultures all over earth revere its delicate and colorful beauty. Most butterflies live very short lives, only a week or two, except for the Angle Wing and Monarch live about six months. They experience stages of development from egg in the cocoon to caterpillar to adult butterfly. BUTTERFLY MEDICINE The short life span and beauty of the butterfly is symbolic of early spiritual growth. Lessons of life will be shown during sometimes difficult formative years and come to light as the butterfly spirit begins to fly. They hold the gift of transformation and soul evolution. The butterfly is reminiscent of freedom and creativity. Butterflies have a pair of large compound oval eyes made up of thousands of individual lenses. They can see a single image clearly and are able to perceive ultraviolet wavelengths of light. This suggests clairvoyant abilities for those that hold this totem. The antennae of the butterfly has small knobs on each end which is said to play a role in orientation. When one antennae is missing the butterfly will fly in circles unable to find its way. Those with this medicine need to stay consciously connected to spirit at all times in order to arrive at their desired destination.

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Butterflies are not very organized, often return to the same flower many times before they realize it, and cannot remember relatives. This trait shows us to be better prepared for life's challenges and relationships. The butterfly represents the process of transformation and shape shifting. When butterfly shows up, make note of the most important issues confronting you at the moment. What state of change are you at in regard to them? Butterflies remind us not to take life so seriously. They feed on flowers that they help pollinate, thereby further spreading beauty. They represent the element of air, quickly changing and ever moving, so gracefully. Butterflies are messengers of the moment. They come in a variety of colors. To understand the message that the butterfly holds for you a study of its colors can be helpful. Whenever an eco system is damaged, butterfly is usually the first to leave. They are especially sensitive to the harmony of earth. If butterfly comes to you in a hurt, trapped or ill way, you are being asked to stop disturbing the natural design of life and to flow with events in a more gentle, natural way.

COYOTE Coyote is subject of many American Indian stories, songs and ceremonies and if often referred to as the Trickster. Coyotes can adapt to almost any environment, but prefer the prairies and low foothills. They live in undergrounds dens or sometimes caves. Coyote is a survivor. Hunted to near extinction, coyote populations are slowly rebounding in areas where they are least threatened. COYOTE MEDICINE Coyotes usually mate for life. This favorable characteristic of Coyote reminds us to be loyal in all our relationships and especially those of a spiritual nature. Roaming from relationship to relationship, without direction or stability should be avoided. Coyote is a cunning adversary. He sniffs the air and surrounding plants and stones looking for the scent of prey. Once a scent is located he stalks with great stealth and circles the area in which prey is located to understand possible escape routes and determine the best area suitable for an attack to take place. The spirit of coyote shows us ways to fully understand the circumstances surrounding situations in every day life and to develop reasonable plans to achieve our goals. Coyotes slyly hunt small game and move very slowly into position before pouncing on their prey. Applying this lesson in life, we can learn patience and ways to move forward at the best possible times. Coyotes are excellent teachers, providers and protectors of their families. They will go to extreme lengths to insure the safety and well-being of their offspring. Visions and dreams in which coyote spirit makes itself known may bear a message of duty and responsibility to ones family, community or employment.

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Coyotes work well with its brothers and sisters to develop a strong community. Like the coyote we can work with others to get what we want in life. Followers of coyote medicine put other peoples needs before their own. Coyote is always on the look out for traps set by both humans and other animals. They move cautiously through their environment ready in a flash to move out of dangers way. Thank the coyote spirit for showing you ways to avoid life's pitfalls.

CROW MEDICINE Crow is the left-handed guardian. Crow knows the unknowable mysteries of creation and is the keeper of all sacred law. There are several species of crow. Raven is one of these and magpies are another. Crow medicine people are masters of illusion. Do not try to figure crow out. It is the power of the unknown at work, and something special is about to happen. Crow is also the guardian of ceremonial magic and healing. In any healing circle, Crow is present. Crow guides the magic of healing and the change in consciousness that will bring about a new reality and dispel "dis-ease" or illness. You can rest assure when ever crows are around, magic is near by and you are about to experience a change in consciousness. Crow can give you the courage to enter the darkness of the void, which is the home of all that is not yet in form. They are territorial and won't give up an area without a fight. They are loners, seeming to like to spend time to themselves. If you have a crow as a totem, you need to be willing to walk your talk and speak your truth. You must put aside your fear of being a voice in the wilderness and "caw" the shots as you see them. Crow is an omen of change. If he keeps appearing to you he may be telling you that you have a powerful voice when addressing issues that you do not quite understand or feel that they are out of balance. Crows are the bringer of messages from the spirit world, and is thought to dwell beyond the realm of time and space. When you meet crow, he could be telling you that there will be changes in your life and that possibly you should step by the usual way you view reality and look into the inner realms …walk your talk…be prepared to let go of your old thinking and embrace a new way of viewing yourself and the world. Crow is the sacred keeper of the law. Crow medicine signifies a firsthand knowledge of a higher order of right and wrong than that indicated by the laws created in human culture. With Crow medicine, you speak in a powerful voice when addressing issues that for you seem out of harmony, out of balance, out of whack, or unjust. When you learn to allow your personal integrity to be your guide, your sense of feeling alone will vanish. Your personal will can then emerge so that you will stand in your truth. The prime path of true Crow people says to be mindful of your opinions and actions. Be willing to walk your talk, speak your truth, know your life’s mission,

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and balance past, present, and future in the now. Shape shift that old reality and become your future self. Allow the bending of physical laws to aid in creating the shape shifted world of peace.
http://www.birdclan.org/crow.html

DOG Dogs have one of the best totems or spirit guides because they are well attuned to the nature of humans and understand the best ways to guide them. Throughout history the dog has been known as man's best friend. There are hundreds of varieties, sizes and shapes found on every continent. Certain breeds of dog are designed for specific functions. DOG MEDICINE The dog is a protector and guardian. Their acute hearing and keen sight forewarned their masters of impending danger. They serve selflessly never asking for their service to be praised. They hold the energies of unconditional love and teach us its true meaning. Domesticated dogs are faithful companions to humans and enjoys being useful by serving human friends. Their sense of spirit and the ability to love even when abused is incredible. The dog teaches those with this totem how to give and receive love unconditionally. It also carries the energy of forgiveness. People with dog medicine would do well in service oriented jobs. Dogs are intelligent and sensitive. They are able to sniff out dangerous situations accurately and guide us into safety. Psychic gifts have long been are associated with the dog because of their ability to detect subtle energy frequencies often unknown to mankind. If dog suddenly appears in your life pay attention to your immediate surroundings and let the dog guide your footsteps. Certain breeds of dog were designed for specific functions. The study of the breed and its purpose can help you define the energy associated with it. Since wolves and coyotes are its descendants these should be studied as well. The behavior of a dog often reflects the personality of its owner. Through its observation and constant interaction with you it anticipates your next move, and serves as a mirror image of who you truly are. The dog is a great teacher for those who are willing to be loyal students. The choice is yours.

EAGLE American Indians see the eagle as a sacred messenger that carries prayers to the Creator and returns with gifts and visions. We use eagles feathers to connect to this majestic and powerful spirit guide as we know the eagle feather holds cleansing and healing powers. The eagle is seen by many cultures as a symbol of courage, vision, strength and endurance. EAGLE MEDICINE

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Eagles need isolation in the wild to propagate and prosper. This teaches us that we have a singular walk in life and must face life on its terms. Freedom is vital to the survival of the eagle and this teaches us that all people must be free to choose their own paths; to worship as the Creator leads them; and to respect the freedom of others. As a lesson in balance and equality, both female and male eagles care for their young. The Eagle teaches how to master the art of patience and how to move through life without material attachments from their ability to sit for long hours perched on a limb in meditation. Eagles have excellent hearing and can hunt as much by ear as by sight. To those to whom eagle comes, the ability to hear spiritually and psychically will awaken. Eagles have sharp beaks and strong jaws that can remove a finger in one snap. The eagle tells us to mind our words and how they affects others; to speak kindly without sharp rancor. Eagles are renowned for their superior vision, ten times greater than human eyesight. This quality is a gift of vision and clarity that should be used to help others through dark and troubling times. One who seeks the eagle spirit views situations and other people from a broad perspective for better understanding just as the eagle sees the world from a its great height. The eagle is a creature of the air, but has strong legs to walk on the earth and often lives near the water for food. These qualities of the eagle teach us to maintain balance in all dimensions to achieve inner-growth. As we soar to spiritual awareness, we remain well grounded in reality as we purify ourselves with the cleansing waters. The eagle teaches us to have the courage to strive for greater heights of spirituality. The Eagle is seen by American Indians as a connection to the Great Mystery - The Creator of all things. ELK Elk can run forever. They have great stamina and are powerful beings with excellent reflexes. Elk are very unpredictable too. They can be friendly one moment and angry the next. The Elk is sensitive to signs of danger and when threatened, may stand and fight to the end or the herd may run in every direction to confuse predators. Elk live in large herds, but a lone elk can often be seen. Elk graze during the day only -- never at night. But if disturbed, such as by humans during hunting season, they will feed only at night. An adult bull elk with antlers is a formidable opponent against any animal, including mountain lion and bear. During the "Rutting Season", adult bulls attack each other with their antlers to determine which among them is fittest to mate. Elk are found in many states (including but not limited to: Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin) with the largest herds being in the Rocky Mountains, Yellow Stone and Canada. Elk teaches us how to become more observant of subtle energies. Elk demand space to roam, but occasionally need time alone. It teaches us to seek sacred space. Those with Elk medicine are reminded to maintain emotional balance to keep aggressive tendencies in check. This medicine teaches survival techniques in all types of environments. Elk people demand respect and have great pride in their professional and

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private lives and must be continually on guard against becoming to egotistical. Those who know Elk medicine stand tall with a strong self-image and must seek to be humble. When Elk appears it often comes with a message to stand strong with pride and to use ones gifts to show others of its power. Main Attributes: Stamina Strength Freedom Agility

FALCON The Falcon is a bird of prey that possesses great powers of speed and precision. They are found throughout the world except in Antarctica. Falcon are 15 to 21 inches long with a wingspan of 40 inches. The female is slightly larger than the male and both have long pointed wings. They like to nest in cliffs, tall trees and on tall buildings and eat other birds. Falcons live about 15 years and travel great distances during migrations. FALCON MEDICINE The hunting technique of the falcon relies on spectacular "stoops," in which the birds fold their wings and go into a dive that ends with a midair strike. Depending on the size of the prey, they either grab hold with their talons, or knock the kill out of the air and descend to pluck and eat. The medicine of the falcon spirit often emphasizes swift movement or aggressive action. The falcon rides wind currents searching for movement in the sky or on the ground. When falcon comes to perch near you, the message may be to search for new ideas, take a broader view, or look at a situation with a fresh perspective. When on the hunt, falcons will often dive for prey prematurely and miss the kill, indicating they may be somewhat impatient. Examine your actions to see if you are acting in a similar way in a situation that requires more patience. It's beauty, regal stance and aggressiveness marks the falcon as a leader among the bird people. Search for ways to be a role model. Frequently, the falcon, like the hawk and owl, is a messenger spirit guide and will come and leave quickly during an event and make a powerful statement or whisper quietly in your ear. Falcons need freedom and stimulation in their lives. Possibly this is the message they bring to you. FOX The Fox represents cunning, observation, and wisdom. slyness, stealth,

The Fox can take on human form according to Chinese and American Indian beliefs. The Hopi, Cherokee and other tribes know that Fox

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Medicine brings healing power. The Apache say the Fox brought the first fire to the people. Other cultures such as the ancient Egyptians thought the Fox brought blessings of the gods. The Incas deified the Fox. There are 23 species of omnivorous canid Foxes worldwide and is found on nearly every continent. In the Bengali language the Fox is known as "huacka-hua." The French call the Fox "Le renard glapit." The Japanese say, "konkon." Foxes tend to be smaller than other members of their family such as wolves, jackals and domestic dogs. They have slender, slightly flattened skulls, pointed muzzles, moderately short but powerful legs, large ears, and long, bushy tails. Unlike many canids, foxes are not pack animals; they are solitary, opportunistic feeders that hunt live prey (especially rodents) by stealth, cunning and surprise. With great dexterity and a pouncing technique practiced from an early age, they are usually able to kill their prey instantly. Foxes also gather a wide variety of other foods ranging from grasshoppers to fruit and berries. Foxes have been successfully employed to control pests on fruit farms, leaving the fruit intact. Foxes hold individual territories and generally remain within them except for the mating season. Young foxes are called kits. Males are known as dogs and females are called vixen. A group of foxes is a skulk. FOX MEDICINE The Fox also has a highly developed sense of smell. As an animal spirit guide, the Fox will help you to recognize subtle things in life and make you alert to unpleasant situations. A Fox is very quite and blends into its surroundings becoming almost invisible. Being in harmony with ones surroundings is important to people who carry this medicine. For those with this animal spirit guide, try being very quiet and practice blending in without notice - especially if you have a powerful presence around others. The body of the Fox is quite small in comparison to its cousins, but its ample fur offers good protection and appears to be much bigger than it is. There are several things that may be learned from this good trait. The Fox has super-sensitive hearing - so you may also be able to hear Spirit. Listening is often more important than speaking - a good lesson to remember. Mr. Fox comes out of hiding at dusk-twilight the time and often hunts under the cover of darkness. His keen eyesight is a gift that may teach you too see beyond your present situation and to be able to see Spirit. By living between light and darkness, the Fox looks into both worlds. The Fox is physically and mental quick and extremely agile which can teach you ways to respond quickly to situations by using the power of inner instincts and knowing. A Fox teaches good eating habits - not from what it eats, but from the way it eats. The fox eats small amounts frequently. The Fox is not a picky eater and readily accepts whatever is available. The Fox packs a lot of medicine and good teachings into its small body. Knowing the Fox and its ways will help you maintain balance and harmony in your life.

HORSE Speed, strength, and grace are the finer qualities of this noble animal. The horse lived on the North American continent for thousands of years, but mysteriously disappeared and was

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later reintroduced by Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500's. American Indians quickly mastered equestrian skills and found the spirit of the horse to be a valuable asset in learning ways of leadership, safety in movement and freedom. HORSE MEDICINE Even though the horse can be domesticated, it's spirit forever roams into the far reaches of freedom. The horse meant ease of movement for indigenous people who quickly learned they could hunt and move into new territories as never before. For those who seek the spirit of the horse, the idea of freedom may be a predominant theme. To the American Indian, the horse symbolizes freedom and the power that comes with being free. If horse has come in your dreams or visions, there may be a promise of safe travel ahead. Movement or a new adventure, whether it be physical or spiritual is near. People knowledgeable of horse medicine know that taming the wild, freedom seeking aspects of its personality is not easy, but the benefits of gentleness and tolerance is attainable with patient kindness and continual training. The horse spirit is intensely independent that often creates conflict in personal and professional relationships. People who walk with the horse spirit are often independent leaders who forge new paths of awareness. The power and strength of the horse spirit is able to take its rider to new spiritual territory. It reminds us of our inner power and gives us courage to move forward. The strong legs and back of the horse remind us to remain solidly grounded in our spiritual walk our earthly experiences and to carry the burdens of life with dignity.

HUMMINGBIRD

In numerous cultures, the hummingbird has powerful spiritual significance. These magical beings are most often viewed as a symbol of joy, happiness and love and come to awaken us to the beauty of the present moment. Many people develop a mysterious bond with this tiny creature. According to the Quechua people of Peru, the hummingbird is a symbol of resurrection. This is because each hummer becomes lifeless and seems to die on cold nights, but it comes back to life again when the miraculous sunrise brings warmth. The hummingbird is the creature that opens the heart. When we assume hummingbird consciousness, our life becomes a wonderland of sensuous delights. We live for beauty, delighting in flowers, aromas, fine mist, and delicate tastes. The hummingbird teaches us to laugh and enjoy the creation, to appreciate the magic of being alive, and the truth of beauty.

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Hummingbirds awaken us to the beauty of the present moment. As they dance the four directions, they awaken us to the medicinal properties of plants. Hummingbirds teach us how to draw the life essence from flowers. "They can teach us how to use flowers to heal and win hearts in love." Hummingbirds teach us fierce independence. They teach us to fight in a way where no one really gets hurt. They teach us simple courage. The twittering, vibrating sounds of the hummingbirds bring us an internal massage that restores health and balance. Hummingbirds also inspire us to protect the environment and to preserve old traditions that are in danger of being lost. When American Indian ways were being destroyed by the expanding Euro-American culture, the Ghost-Shirt religion was established to try to bring back the animals and old ways through dancing. The leader of the dance was a hummingbird. Hummingbird Symbolism The fluttering wings of the hummingbird move in the pattern of an infinity symbol. They are a symbol of eternity, continuity, and infinity. By observing the Hummingbird, we see they are seemingly tireless. Always actively seeking the sweetest nectar, they remind us to forever seek out the good in life and the beauty in each day. Amazing migratory birds, some Hummingbirds are known to wing their way as far as 2000 miles to reach their destination. This quality reminds us to be persistent in the pursuit of our dreams, and adopt the tenacity of the Hummingbird in our lives. The Hummingbird animal totem is a messenger of hope and jubilation. Hummingbird Animal Totems offer attributes like: · affection · agility · energy · healing · infinity · joy · persistence · peace · playfulness · loyalty · renewal · sincerity · vitality

LIZARD Lizards are ancient brothers who are found in warmer climates all over the earth. There are five general families of lizards and literally hundreds of species, the largest being the Komodo Dragons weighing in at more than 350 pounds

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and the smallest is the Beata measuring less than three quarters of an inch long. They have many descriptive names such as the Australian Bearded Dragon, Yellow Spotted Gecko, Iguanas, Salamanders, and Horned Lizards who squirt blood from their eyes. Many American Indian tribes recorded their relationship with the lizard in images on pottery, petroglyphs, effigy bowls, figures, and shells and portrayed lizards in their ceremonies and stories as symbols of strength. LIZARD MEDICINE Some Southwest Indian tribes believe horned lizards can cure the sick by asking for the lizard's strength in song and chant showing their respect to the animal. The Lizard is often seen laying peacefully in the shadows of rocks or seen skittering around in dark holes, between light and darkness and is thus referred to as the 'dream walker' or one who lives in the dream world. Dreams are important to the human psychic and depict subtle messages from deep within the mind. Lizard medicine reveals these hidden messages during the dream state. Proper interpretation of these dreams often requires the assistance of one trained in the ways of the lizard medicine. The psychic characteristics inherent in the lizard teaches those with this medicine how to awaken their own abilities by making choices that honor every part of ones life. When lizard appears it signifies a need to go within and analyze your present reality and once done, move with confidence and conviction out into the world of new beginnings. A powerful totem to have, lizard reveals your weaknesses, your strengths and prompts the energy of change. The lizard is very sensitive to ground vibrations, they have keen eyesight and superior hearing. Those who feel the spirit of the lizard can learn ways to use their enhanced sensory perceptions to connect with their deeper psychic and spiritual awareness. One power of the lizard is its ability to escape from danger by leaving its tail behind and growing another. When lizard slithers into your life, it may mean a need to move quickly to avoid danger and be prepared to leave something behind.

LYNX The Lynx is an exquisitely beautiful member of the cat family know by its short, strong body and long legs, bobbed tail and tufts of fur that sprout out a the top of each ear. Their coats are thick and luxurious in the winter to protect them against the icy winds that prevail in the high mountainous regions of Canada and Alaska. Having large, padded paws the lynx is sure-footed on ice and snow while chasing its primary prey, the snowshoe hare. Like most cats, the Lynx will spend much of its life alone. The lynx has powerful eyesight and great abilities of stealth and cunning are formidable. LYNX MEDICINE

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It is said the ancient Greeks believed the lynx could see through mountains and American Indians tell many stories about the hypnotic eyes of the lynx with their captivating powers seduction. These and other unique characteristics have encouraged ideas that the lynx has supernatural qualities. The lynx is a patient hunter and its messages often entail serenity, tolerance, understanding. The lynx helps us to endure waiting for long periods to achieve a necessary goal. The lynx is very territorial and will go to great lengths to protect its hunting grounds. If lynx is in your dreams and visions, you may be in need of spiritual or mental protection. The lynx keen nose can warn against negative invasions. As a solitary animal who hunts and lives alone much of its life, the lynx often comes to those who are loners by desire or design. Lessons of independence and self-reliance are part of its offering, but sometimes the message may be one to console a lonely heart or spirit. Because of its coloring, size and stealth, the lynx is able to blend and sometimes appear to disappear in its environment. This medicine is valuable in moving unseen between planes and remaining in the background, unobserved and not up front in relationships and events. Once the lynx has successfully tracked its prey, he will sit and quietly observe the whole environment before moving for the kill. Watching for intruders, other prey and passersby, the lynx will absorb all the various activities and weigh all the options before taking action. These characteristics are valuable lessons life in general terms for humans. Silent observation is a great power that allows one see things unnoticed by others. As we follow the power of good silence, we are able to hear the higher purpose intended by the Creator.

MOOSE Our powerful moose cousin is a symbol of courage and determination. Those who know the moose spirit proudly walk with grace and have universal knowledge. The power of their presence is awesome and inspiring. MOOSE MEDICINE Moose calves are born with their eyes open. Those who follow the moose medicine see life situations with clarity and can see into the beyond. The moose's huge antlers protect it during battle and represents the tree of knowledge. This teaches us to shield ourselves from life's many adversaries with truth and spiritual understanding. The adult male can stand over 7 feet tall and weigh 1,200 pounds. Its size and lumbering appearance is deceiving because the moose is agile and fast. Moose spirit guides bring these same qualities to the individual who seek their wisdom. Despite its great size, moose can camouflage itself very well and can move silently and quickly through its terrain. This teaches us ways to become invisible when necessary and not allow our powerful presence to become

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overbearing to others. The bellow of the male moose can be heard for many miles. This trait shows us that our great presence can be known to all when necessary. The appearance of the moose is both awkward and graceful at the same time. These traits are translated in human terms as instruction in ways to be gracious and relaxed in our dealings with others. Moose have a keen sense of smell and hearing. The spirit guide of the moose will often bring messages of future events yet unseen. The sheer power and strength of the moose is tremendous. Those who walk with the moose know the value of good self esteem and quickly discover their walk in life.

OTTER There are thirteen species of otters divided into two living environments, the river and sea. Otters grow to be around four feet long and males weigh over sixty-five pound and the female over forty-five pounds. Their hearing is excellent and they can see very well under water. Otters have flipper-like hind feet for propulsion and their whiskers can sense movement in the water. The retracting claws on the front paws are cat-like and otters have an excellent sense of touch. The otter has a long stream-lined body, small ears and a broad muzzle. Their extremely thick fur that keeps them insulated in frigid waters. They are the one of the very few animal known to use tools. OTTER MEDICINE As otters are very territorial they tend to live alone. This medicine teaches independence and self-reliance for our needs. Otters are very playful and are frequently seen They are often seen floating on their backs with their paws extended out of the water soaking up sunrays, sliding on their bellies playfully, performing water acrobatics or chattering to their neighbors. Their relaxed and happy attitude about life reminds those to whom the otter spirit splashes to laugh and enjoy life to its fullest. Otters are curious about everything in their domain. They will touch or sniff every object within sight. No stone, plant, critter or other object will escape the otter's appetite to know, "who or what are you?". This special medicine reminds us to always look at situations, events and people from different angles; to always be open to new challenges. Otters are agile and fast in the water. Water is the element of emotional energy in man. Otter spirit teaches us how to swim through problems and emotional upheavals of life with ease. Otters are very good parents and nurture their offspring longer than most marine mammals. The relish the company of their neighbors Otter medicine emphasizes nurturing energies within us and the creative and interactive, comforting associations with other beings. The otter likes to talk and they are often heard chatting away to anyone or anything within earshot. When frightened their calls take on an eerie piercing sound similar to a baby screaming. They have few natural enemies and are

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not afraid of humans. If the otter swims into your life the message may be to rid yourself of fret, worry and pain. Enjoy the blessings Creator has provided and follow the otters lead.

OWL There are about 135 species of owl across the world and 18 are found in North America. The owl is a silent flyer, extraordinary vision and the best hearing of any bird in the world. Grandmother Owls can rotate their heads three- quarters of the way around rather quickly giving the illusion of a complete turn. All owls are predatory and some owls hunt during the day but most hunt at night. Some species, like the Screech Owl and the Great Horned Owl, live in one place year round; others, like the Saw-whet Owl and the Short-Eared Owl and the Burrowing Owl will travel long distances. It is illegal to capture or kill an owl in the United States. Contrary to superstition, owls pose no threat to humans, physically or spiritually. OWL MEDICINE The secretive habits of the owl, its quiet flight and various calls from whistles, screeches and hoots, have made them objects of fear and superstition. The Creator made no evil creatures. Individuals to whom the owl speaks are very fortunate because messages of the owl are deep, far reaching and complex. The varied and remarkable abilities of Grandmother Owl to fly silently and to quietly move from place to place offer lessons of stealth and poise to our every day lives. The wise appearance from their large eyes, stout bodies teaches those people who hear the call of the owl to find deeper reasoning in relationships and events. The vision and hearing of Grandmother Owl is very powerful. Those with this medicine are can be gifted with the ability to see into the human psychic and become clairvoyant listeners. Owl often visits those who are teachers, therapists and counselors. Because most owls are active between dusk and dawn, they are sometimes called 'Night Eagles, or messengers from the dark side. If Grandmother Owl comes and sits nearby, it may indicate a need to peer into the darkness and face our fears. Or, a great mystery that is unfolding will be revealed by looking deeper in to its meaning. Grandmother Owl is often thought to come to those who need to let go of some part of their life that is no longer needed. As a guide, the owl teaches us to see and hear past shadows, beyond fear and darkness, though to the other side that promises light, happiness and knowledge.

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PUMA / PANTHER The puma is also known as jaguar, panther, cougar, mountain lion, cheetah, leopard and more names than just about any other mammal. Male pumas are solitary cats and their domain vary in size between 30 to 125 miles, but ranges do overlap the ranges of the smaller female. Pumas 'communicate' with each other by leaving feces, urine, scratches on logs or in the dirt or snow. Only females make a den and males tend to roam. Pumas are powerfully built and have sharp paws and large paws. Even though they can run very fast and have a flexible spine to help them maneuver around obstacles and change direction quickly, pumas are mostly ambush hunters. Pumas have been known to down large elks and moose. American Indians successfully lived beside the puma and appreciated their power and grace. PUMA MEDICINE Though the puma is smaller, some species are more fierce than lions and tigers. They are expert climbers and swimmers. Their speed hold the teachings of quick decisive action. Pumas are graceful and fast runners, but not for long distances. If puma arrives at your doorstep it may be a reminder to measure or pace your movements according to the goal to be achieved and not run too hard. The puma have over 410 voluntary muscles that can be used when the needed. This characteristic symbolizes the ability to move into different realities. Pumas have built-in sensors that enhances its ability to see and feel its prey. The whiskers and hair on its face can detect faint vibrations at long distances and its sense of smell is phenomenal. If you sense puma in your dreams it may mean there is a need to be more sensitive the people and situations around you. Becoming more perceptive of ones surroundings is sometimes needed to achieve a heightened sense of spiritual awareness. The Puma spirit represents power, grace and stealth in darkness, but its real power lies in the silence of its eerie, unblinking stare that seems to bore deep into one's soul. This teaching can help us to discover the benefits of concentration, deep contemplation and prayer. As we peer into the darkness of the unknown to feel its power, we can be guided by our puma friend to the light on the other side. The puma is extremely quiet during the hunt. It knows when to be invisible and when to make its awesome presence known. Silence is its sword and power. Silence is highly respected among American Indians and is seen as a holy state of consciousness as we quietly behold the grace and glory of the Creator. It is said that silence speaks words of the Great Mystery. When the student is ready, the puma teacher may bring knowledge of this powerful medicine.

RABBIT The rabbit never goes far from its burrow as it timidly searches for

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vegetable foods to supply its growing family. There are over twenty four species of rabbits in America and many more around the world. Rabbits serve as a perfect example of nature's balance as nearly all predatory animals eat rabbits, but because they multiply so fast, their numbers are kept fairly constant. Quick reflexes and keen observation skills are its two most important traits. RABBIT MEDICINE Little Sister Rabbit teaches us through its timidity, to be gentle with ourselves and others at all times. The rabbit is a fearful animal and expends much of its energy nervously twitching its large ears from side to side listening for potential threats, quickly hopping from place to place and then suddenly running away at lightening speed. The rabbit spirit begs us to study its movements so we may learn to move in concert and harmony with our environment and the Creator. Little Sister Rabbit has excellent observation skills and sensitive reflexes to help it survive in a world surrounded by danger. They are fast, agile and instinctive. They disappear in an instant. These traits of rabbit will help us to learn skills related to natural and unprompted movement so can always know which direction to go in an instant. As humans we too are in constant danger and need to be alert and ready to move quickly. Or conversely, we may need to take advantage of some passing opportunity before it is gone. Fear is a dominant feature of the rabbit and this reminds us to examine our own fears to determine if they are hindering our progress, either spiritually or physically. Are your fears preventing you from accepting a new challenge? If so, Little Sister Rabbit may make herself known to you. Rabbits lives are short and they take advantage of every waking moment to fulfill their destiny. The times rabbits are most often seen is during early dawn hours or at evening dusk. These are times when the visible becomes invisible and the invisible becomes visible. In this teaching we are reminded that things are not always as they appear and to study patterns of movement in relation to time to discern reality from fantasy.

RAVEN Ravens are the largest songbird in North America. Raven are often referred to by some indigenous tribes as the 'secret keepers' and are the subject of many stories. Their ebony black color is sometimes associated with darkness. Ravens are very intelligent and are able mimic the sounds other birds and can squawk out some human words. Ravens are found in many different regions and climates. RAVEN MEDICINE The raven spirit guide is not chosen by those who seek its wisdom. The raven only comes to those to whom it may speak in private and share its secrets with

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the knowledge its mysteries will be well guarded by one who already possesses wisdom. The raven is known as the 'Secret Keeper by some native tribes because of their way of silently perching near people and 'listening' to conversations then flying away in a flutter shrieking an eerie sound or mimicking a human word. Because of their inky black color they are linked to a place where fear and secrets are kept. When sun shines on the ravens shiny body it sometimes reflects many colors is therefore sometimes said it has the ability to transform itself, especially when it makes the call of another species. If the raven is seen in dreams or visions it may mean significant changes are about to take place. Ravens are intelligent and can be seen in the wild 'instructing' other birds and animals. From the raven we may learn ways to become better teachers and understand the languages of many. Regardless of common European belief, the raven is not an omen of death and should never be feared as its messages are those that can benefit the listener. The Creator did not make any evil creatures on Mother Earth. Because of ravens ability to make a variety of sounds and high pitched vibrations are known to alter consciousness, the raven is sometimes credited with the ability to transform, move into other dimensions or to shape shift. We may expect frequent changes if the raven is perched on your shoulder.

SKUNK Skunks are a member of the weasel family and in North America, there are four types of skunks. About the size of a house cat, skunks are active at night but are also seen during the day. Their habitat is in clearings, pastures, prairies and at the forest edge where they dig burrows or live in any convenient covered area. Skunks prefer to eat meat and insects but also dine on vegetation and any food with a strong odor. Of course, it's most famous characteristic is its horrendous defense system, skunk ink. SKUNK MEDICINE For all recorded time, skunks have been respected and feared. When threatened, the skunk raises its bushy tail, stamps its feet, stiffens its legs and the hair on body raises up and it hisses like a angry cat. It these tactics do not work to frighten the invader, the skunk simply turns its rump and sprays up to 10 - 14 feet with accuracy. This disgusting musk liquid irritates the eyes, temporarily blocks vision and stuns other senses of its victim such as smell and touch. What the skunk spirit teaches with this display of power is unknown to this writer as we have never ventured close enough to find out. Regardless, we can surmise the skunk 'medicine' teaches us to take heed when a warning presents itself. When our instincts tell us there is danger or trouble facing us, we should not allow our brain to get in the way, but instead follow our senses and take appropriate steps to move in another direction. If we respect the instinctual part of our being we can avoid problems before they develop. If our stinky little friend appears, take heed - a smelly situation or

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danger is not far away. Skunks are solitary creatures (no doubt), slow moving and walk with an air confidence and pride. If you get a whiff of skunk spirit in your dreams, it could be signal to emulate his message to improve your self-esteem and honor yourself as a sacred being. Skunks are quiet creatures, not totally unsociable, but reserved and unobtrusive. Should our odorous little friend visit you as spirit, it may be to remind you that being egotistical, self-righteous, boisterous or overbearing creates problems. Follow the way of this animal guide (about 20 feet away) and learn to be humble and gentle with others. It is said the white stripe from the head to tail of the skunk is a sign of creativity and good medicine.

SERPENT/SNAKE There are 2,267 species of snakes living in the world today. Snakes have essentially the same organs as humans, but they do not have eyelids or ears. Usually, females are larger than males and most can travel three to five miles per hour. Some snakes are born fully formed, while others hatch from eggs and snakes in captivity have lived over thirty years. Snakes are fascinating creatures that deserve respect. Throughout history the snake has had many legends associated with it linking them to creation, fertility and transformation. SNAKE MEDICINE The snake has many symbolic meanings among various cultures across the world. In the Middle East, snake is seen as Mother Earth and immortality. To Christians, the snake is portrayed as evil, lust and temptation. In Asia, the snake is the life force awakened. To American Indians the snake is a friend who shares its secrets of the water element. Altogether, the tremendous symbolism placed on the snake makes it a powerful and worthy spirit guide. Snakes regularly sheds its outer skin as it grows and a new layer of skin develops. Crawling out of its skin is an important aspect of snake medicine because it symbolizes ways we must move away from old and useless habits and thought patterns as we grow spiritually. It symbolizes death and rebirth. A snake does not have ears or eardrums but instead has small bones in its head that conduct low frequency vibrations that travel through the earth. Among all creatures of earth, the snake is best equipped to hear the heart-beat, or magnetic resonance of Mother Earth and is therefore able to continually communicate with and be in perfect harmony or balance with Mother Earth. As a symbol of renewal and transmutation, land snakes do not require food to generate body heat and they lay motionless and soundless against the earth absorbing the heat of the sun and the earth. To those lives to whom the snake slithers into, be aware of its subtle and silent messages. Before this may be possible, it is necessary to become balanced in your path and ground yourself to Mother Earth and all of its elements.

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Just before the snake begins to shed its skin, its eyes turn pale blue or opaque giving it a trance-like appearance as if the snake is looking right through you. Snake spirit guides teach ways to look into the hearts of others and find ways to help them along their spiritual paths.

SPIDER Grandmother spider is a wise old teacher and weaver of many stories. Her unique tapestry of life offers many paths to the center of oneself and creation. Her medicine speaks of connections and unity of spirit.

SPIDER MEDICINE Spiders are light, delicate and not hostile to humans unless threatened. To those who require this special of the spider, it teaches us to maintain a gentle and kind nature. A poisonous spider signifies death and rebirth. As the poison of age and life's perils threaten our life, we use the venom to ward off future attacks or die. The spider's web connects itself by silky threads to physical objects creating a net creating its home and place for harvesting food. The web reminds us of our connectedness to all things on earth - that we are related to everything in creation. The spokes of the web remind us to build links between ourselves and the Creator and all things. When the spider appears, it is a sign to connect with the ways of spirit in the ways designed by the Creator. The eight legs of the spider are unique from other insects who have only six legs. And unlike other insects, their bodies are divided into two parts instead of three. Two represents unity and a union of polarities. In American Indian tradition, the first dream catcher was made by Grandmother Spider to catch the bad dreams of children. This legend reveals our belief that negative elements of ones life may be screened out if we remember to keep the links between the Creator and ourselves strong and to always remember that all things in creation are one.

SQUIRREL Mr. Squirrel gathers and prepares for long winter nights. As a friendly, quick and industrious worker, he knows the ways to survive. On a spiritual plain, Mr. Squirrel brings us many gifts and lessons to help us gather the blessings of life for our journey into the next dimension. SQUIRREL MEDICINE Mr. Squirrel is fast at everything he does and remains in constant motion during three seasons of the year. For those who hear or see squirrel in dreams, the message may be to 'get busy' with your life and stop waiting for good things to happen. The squirrel is a reminder that good things come from our honest labor. Squirrels do not always remember where they store the hard earned food and

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forget the best routes to travel to retrieve their stores during winter. If you see squirrel, it may be time to slow down and concentrate on the task at hand. Squirrels are playful, friendly and chatty. As a sociable animal, the squirrel continually chatters sometimes to the annoyance of his neighbors. If you hear squirrel, it may be a lesson to seek silence or to speak slowly and distinctly. Squirrels are skittish and at the same time trusting. They will often eat from your hand and come very close to bring a gift. This wonderful quality of the squirrel teaches us to trust one another in personal relationships and trust the Creator in all things. Creating trust where none exited builds on this special medicine. The squirrel teaches us to gather our energies for the important tasks in life and honor the future by preparing for change.

TURKEY Wild turkeys lived almost ten million years ago and are native to North America. Between 5,000 and 6,000 feathers cover the body of an adult turkey. Related to pheasants, gobbling of turkeys can be heard a mile away. Wild turkeys have excellent vision during the day but don't see as well at night. Turkeys can run at speeds up to 25 mph, and can fly up to 55 mph. Wild turkeys like open areas for feeding, mating and habitat. They use forested areas as cover from predators and for roosting in trees at night. A varied habitat of both open and covered area is essential for wild turkey survival. TURKEY MEDICINE A wild turkey is a clean bird in many respects and considers its appearance important. A turkey's colorful metallic iridescence glittering feathers provide a variety of survival functions - they keep him warm and dry, allow him to fly, feel and show off for the opposite sex. Turkey feathers were used American Indians to stabilize arrows and adorn ceremonial dress, and the spurs on the legs of wild tom turkeys were used as projectiles on arrowheads. If the spirit of the turkey struts into your life it may be to remind you that hygiene and appearances are important to self-respect and respect for others. Turkeys have very good hearing and can see in color and tiny movement almost a hundred yards away. The message of the turkey spirit could be to closely examine our actions and how they relate to our spiritual path. Toms and sometimes hens have black, hair-like feathers called beards on their chest. Turkeys’ heads change colors when they become excited as both defense and warning to other turkeys. If your spirit turkey shows you these characteristics, it is time to sit up and take notice of your own actions that may hinder your spiritual growth. You may also need to look at people, situations or events around you. Wild turkeys eat whatever is available in the immediate terrain including nuts, berries, green foliage, insects, and lizards. This habit has been seen in vision given by a spirit turkey and was interpreted to mean to make good use of the talents and resources, to waste nothing and give thanks daily for the bounty and blessings given by the Creator. Turkeys fly powerfully for short distances but have difficulty in sustaining great speed over a long distance. If you see turkey flying into your life in this way, its
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message may be to start redirecting your spiritual energy in a more balanced or efficient way. Quick bursts of enthusiasm or energy can lead to undesirable results. The wild turkey is a resilient bird and survivor. After heavy, uncontrolled hunting by European settlers and American hunters, the turkey almost vanished to near extinction by the early 1900's. But, through conservation turkey populations have rebounded and are growing. Wild turkeys almost vanished from North America largely due to greed and disrespect. To American Indians the wild turkey symbolizes renewal and rebirth that must take place for all nature in order for humans to survive. The turkey also symbolizes the spirit of freedom that must be respected by all people.

TORTOISE/TURTLE You can help but admire turtle and tortoises. Their ancient wisdom, unfaltering character and physical characteristics make them among nature's most interesting creatures. The turtle is a creature of both water and the land. Because of its great age and its slow metabolism the turtle is associated with longevity. The oldest known tortoise died in 1965 in Madagascar at the age of 188. The largest living species is the Galapagos tortoise weighing in some cases, over 570 pounds. Stupendemys geographicus was a prehistoric turtle that was 10 feet long and probably weighed 4,000 to 5,000 pounds. Turtle medicine can teach new perceptions about time and our relationship to it. It can also help us grow old gracefully and in harmony with our environment. When the pace of life becomes too hectic the turtle shows us how to slow down and go with the flow. TURTLE MEDICINE The turtle has its own built-in house on their back. The upper shell is composed of about 50 bones, including modified ribs, vertebrae and bony skin plates. The shell is very much alive and not dead tissue. If turtle has crawled into your subconscious, it may carry the message to remain mobile and flexible in your spiritual walk and not to acquire more possessions that you need. The burden of possessions can slow our spiritual journey. Growth rings ( scutes or scales) on a turtle/ tortoise shell cannot be used to determine its age with any degree of accuracy. In most cases, the rings are determined largely by environmental conditions. The size, color and other physical adaptations of the turtle are also largely determined by its environment. The turtle teaches us to accept the world we live in and to adapt to changes when needed. Grandfather Turtle has amazing survival skills and strategies. They sense vibrations in the water through their skin and shell. If turtle comes with a message for you, it may be interpreted to mean that you should listen closely to your physical and spiritual senses and vibrations and move slowly and cautiously to adapt. Water turtles come ashore to lay eggs and bury them in the ground. After the eggs hatch, the baby turtles crawl to the water. This characteristic is a significant sign in pointing out connections, especially for the purpose of reproduction, between the elements of water and earth. Turtle may be telling

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us to combine the deep emotional and spiritual qualities of the water element with the strong and solid grounding qualities of Mother Earth in our search for balance. When the turtle negotiates uneven terrain and its weight causes it to flip over on to its rounded shell, it uses its strong neck to right itself. This ability when communicated by messages from the turtle may be a sign to use the tools at your disposal to use your inner senses and knowledge to correct the problem when your life becomes upside down. When old turtle slowly crawls in to your dreams and visions, it is time to get connected to your most ancient heart and delve deeply in to the shell you have constructed around yourself. Peer deeply into that shell. The turtle cannot be separated from its shell and we cannot separate ourselves from who we are. We can develop ways to emerge from our shell to interact and take sustenance from the world around us, and at the same time, allow that emergence to be a blessing to all around you and your spiritual walk on earth. The slow moving plod of the turtle does sooner or later get them to where they are going. The turtle is famous for getting things done in its own slow-moving way and winning the race. Could this be a sign for you to slow down and enjoy the blessings gifted by the Creator?

WEASEL Weasels are very quick ground dwelling meat eaters. They are solitary night hunters, often killing more than they eat. Rodents and chickens are its favorite diet. Weasels are also known as ermine in cold regions and are related to ferrets, mink and polecats. The weasel is agile, hard-muscled and has a cunning, yet sometimes playful mind. They are stealthy, fierce and relentless hunters. WEASEL MEDICINE People who know weasel medicine have exceptional opportunity to learn powers of close observation. Searching out the meaning and cause of events, situations or problems is a positive trait of the weasel. Seeing beneath the surface of things enables the weasel spirit to contemplate deeper meanings. However, sometimes this trait can have a negative affect because seeing too deeply can be burden. Weasel teaches us to trust our instincts to achieve higher awareness and quietly seek resolutions to problems. The long, thin and lustrous body of the weasel allows it to move easily in small, narrow places. Part of the medicine of the weasel spirit is to help you find ways to negotiate through difficult, tight conditions. As solitary hunters, the weasel relies on cunning, graceful and silent movements to move close to its prey. This medicine is a gift of patience, knowledge and peace. Weasel often overestimates his abilities during the hunt and becomes

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vulnerable to counterattack and defeat. Walking with the weasel spirit teaches the power of discernment and modesty. Weasel is a fierce, relentless and sometimes reckless warrior who is often saved by its great agility and speed. As a fearless warrior, a weasel grabs the throat of its victim and quickly severs its arteries with sharp teeth and strong jaws - teaching those who seek the weasel to be less aggressive in relationships and show mercy in word and deed. It is said the weasel is a loner who has no code of honor as they often kill more than they can eat and sometimes steal the food of others. This medicine teaches us not to be wasteful and careless of others feelings and to respect the rights and property of our neighbors.

WOLF The wolf has been much misunderstood and maligned in history and is not the vicious intruder of western fairy tales. The wolf is a shy, yet very sociable creature with strong rules of behavior. Fear of the wolf is perhaps born when its eerie howl raises the hackles on our neck and in our souls. Maybe we do not fear the wolf at all, but only the wild nature within ourselves. To American Indians, the wolf is said to be "teacher" medicine. We study wolfs ways of hunting and their social structure. The wolf is associated with the Dog Star, Sirus and some cultures belief humans came from this distant star. Wolf populations are threatened in the lower 48 states, but abundant in Alaska and Canada. Wolf has much to teach us, if only we will listen. WOLF MEDICINE Wolves live in a communal structure like humans. The Alpha male and female lead a strict social order. Next in the order are Beta wolves who do not breed and serve as nursemaids for pups of the pack. The Omega wolf is at the bottom rung and is the 'scapegoat' in situations when the pack is being attacked. Often the Omega wolf is forced not to eat when food is scarce. If wolf has entered the forest of your mind, it may be to teach you that all things in nature have order amid chaos and to accept your duties in life, whether they be leadership roles or otherwise, with humility and strength. The wolf spirit teaches us to have balance between your personal needs and those of the family and community. Wolves are absolutely committed and loyal to the pack and find their place within the group. If wolf exhibits these traits, it may mean that you must examine your function within the community and loyalty. It may also be a sign to bring better balance to the varied interests of self, family and community. The hunting techniques of wolves served as an example for many tribes who copied them. Members of the pack form 'tag teams' who take turns chasing prey to exhaust the prey before themselves. Packs are known to have run over thirty miles a day in pursuit. Cooperation in achieving a common goal is the message conveyed here.

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Wolves have developed many ways to communicate by body language and vocally. Facial expressions, tail and ear movements, body posture, teeth bearing, eye squinting and scratching are part of their vocabulary. Vocally, a wide variety of growls, yelps, whines and howls make up a sophisticated system of communication. Wolf language helps the pack to identify and locate its members, establish territorial boundaries, give instruction, request assistance, sound warnings, teach the young, and generally to bring cohesion and unity to the pack. If a wolf or wolves have entered your physic, you are fortunate to have an animal spirit to knows the importance of communication and one that will find many ways to make their messages know to you. This ability to communicate may be a sign to hone your own speaking skills to effectively relate your feelings and ideas in a good way - to pray, sing and dance in praise of the blessings of the Creator. When a lone wolf is seen the wild it symbolizes freedom. When seen in a pack it represents community. If wolf appears to you alone or in a pack it is asking you to acquire the same within your own life. The primal and piercing howl of the wolf sometimes is marking their territory boundaries. If you hear a wolf howl it might be telling you to stand your ground and defend your boundaries. Wolves have great stamina and strength. They do not fight needlessly and often avoid fighting whenever possible. Wolf teaches to know who you are and to develop strength and confidence. Wolf is associated with the lunar influences and energies that rule psychic perception. They teach us to respect our emotions and face the darkness within. The wolf is ritualistic. It knows the importance of regular lunar howling ceremonies and daily social rituals designed to communicate needs and express feelings. The message of your wolf spirit may be to honor the forces of spirituality and connect with the life forces of Mother Earth. WOLVERINE Ferocious, Strong. Cunning. Some Indians say the wolverine as a trickster, probably because of its quick cunning ways. The Wolverine is also considered as a messenger between the real world and the spirit world. As a burrowing trickster, the smart and wily wolverine moves between the underworld and the upper world with ease. Wolverine babies are born blind and can often weigh less than a pound. All their senses develop quickly, so their keen smell can detect food and enemies as tiny ones. Even though they are blind, baby wolverines have a highly developed sense of feel. Their intelligence and intuitive senses increase rapidly. If your totem spirit guide is the wolverine, it can teach you to respond to challenges of life with great focus. Part of the wolverines ferocious way is its tenacity and persistence. Once the wolverine grabs on to something, it digs in with its sharp, long claws and sinks it teeth in and seldom lets go. This tenacity will help guide you

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to a deeper understanding of you personal spirit. The medicine of the wolverine is powerful, sometimes too powerful for the situation. It can teach you to regulate your relationships to maintain an even hand, not too hard and not too soft. Learning how to utilize your power in a balanced way is one of the teachings the wolverine. Because of the wolverines cunning, focus and tenacity, it arranges its energies in a straight, balanced line. This alignment allows them to know the exact moment they should act and when they should retreat. Knowing how and when to respond to any given life situation is what makes the wolverine such a worthy and capable guide. The wolverine is a loner most of the year. It can travel thirty to forty miles a day in search of prey. The endurance and strength of the wolverine teaches us to have a stick-to-it attitude in life and go the last mile to get what we seek. The coloring of wolverines allows them to be unseen in the shadows and out in the open as well. They can wrench and wring their bodies into various shapes that allows them to wriggle into small cervices. This characteristic is reminiscent of the old Indian medicine way of shape shifting and therefore serves as a guide to the medicine of space and time. The fur of the wolverine is extremely durable and it resists the build up of ice and snow. This favorable characteristic can teach us to weather any storm that comes our way. Wolverines are slower than most of their prey, but their cunning and willingness to be a scavenger suits them and keeps their bellies full. They are known to be nature's best survivor by all who know them well because wolverines can make-do with whatever nature provides. The primary traits of the wolverine teaches us focus, clarity, endurance, emotional and physical balance, and spiritual understanding. The wolverine is a master of its domain and its skills and behavior is a great teacher.
BACK TO INTRODUCTION TO ANIMAL GUIDES

Spirit Guide Books
CP504 ANIMAL-SPEAK: The Spiritual and magical powers of creatures great and small by Ted Andrews Learn how to speak and understand the language of the animals in your life. This book helps you meet and work with animals as totems and spirits. It provides techniques for reading signs and omens in nature so you can open to higher perceptions and prophesy. Paperback, 400pp $19.95

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CP790 POWER ANIMAL MEDITATIONS: Shamanic Journeys with Your Spirit Allies by Nicki Scully A collection of guided journeys and meditations to help the reader connect with and learn from power animals and spirit allies. * 50 unique power animal and spirit guide meditations. * Illustrated by the award-winning artist of Medicine Cards, Angela Werneke. * 7 more journeys going to new levels added since first edition. What can the hawk teach you about your life purpose? What does the salmon know of fertile dreams, goal setting, and self actualization? Calling upon the magical wisdom of nature, Nicki Scully guides us into the spirit world of sacred totems, oracles, and animal teachings from many cultures, including Africa, Egypt, and North America. Encounter the archetypal wisdom teachings of Cobra, Eagle, Dolphin, Lioness, White Buffalo, Coyote, Cedar Tree, and many others. Each totem is exquisitely illustrated by Angela Werneke, the awardwinning illustrator of Medicine Cards. 6 X 9, Soft Cover 280 pages. $16.95 CP652 The POWER OF EAGLES by Twyman L. Towery Nature’s Way To Individual Accomplishment Author, Towery, has in a unique and interesting way shown us principles of living in both our personal and group lives drawn from the special characteristics of the eagle. 5.5 X 9. Hard Cover. 160 pages. $22.95

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CP653 The POWER OF WOLVES: Nature's Way to Organizational Success by Twyman L. Towery In this book, author and speaker Twyman L. Towery responds to the resurgence of respect for the wisdom of the natural world with a guide to assist people today in meeting one of their greatest challenges: to find a balance between work, family, and personal living. With the modern-day emphasis on leadership and the growth of family values, it is not always easy to remember that the "strength of the wolf is the pack, and the strength of the pack is the wolf." This book will remind even the most corporate-minded that individual growth and potential lead to the strength of the organization, and that the strength of the organization leads to the strength of the individual. The reader will be inspired and motivated by well- researched stories depicting the fascinating organizational life of the majestic wolf pack. Woven together is a unique combination of poignant quotes, personal anecdotes, organizational examples, provocative questions, and lessons from nature's way that illuminate timeless principles in each of the following chapters: Teamwork, Patience, Unity Through Uniqueness, Curiosity, Attitude, Failure, Perseverance, Communication, Strategy, Play, Death and Survival, Loyality, and Change. This book reveals fundamental truths through unique stories that are not only fun to read but also serve as powerful metaphors for the human spirit. 5.5 X 9, 159 pages Hard Cover $22.95

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