Have you discovered and / or faced your shadow / Contrary totem?
In many of the notions and ideas one encounters while searching across the web one often comes across the concept of the totem and / or power animal. This is truly nothing new as the concept of power animals and totems have been inclusive in many societies to be found about the globe. Those creatures that service to guide us and at times inspire us to new heights. Creature's that maybe anything from the smallest of field mice to the largest of land or sea creatures.
Go to nearly any site dealing with almost any type of shamanic notion and they are to be found. Heck, today they are found upon many sites that claim to simply be Pagan in nature or in other earth based religious / spiritual practices. One finds pages upon pages of animal medicine and what each is used for and how it teaches it lesson. Almost always seen in a positive or loving light and they readily come when the person goes on a quest for their animal totem or power animal.
Yet have you met or discovered your shadow totem on your journeys? Have you gone on journey to find your totem or power animal only to be faced with some dark terror that rises from the grass or steps out of the darkest forest? That creature that just inspires dreaded fear in you, even the very though of it making you shudder or give you nightmares?
Well chances are that creature that fills you with such dread is your shadow totem. A totem which maybe with you for a few days, months, year’s or until such time as you face it and overcome the lessons it has to teach you. That creature that serves to teach you the darker, perhaps the weaker side of yourself. Those creature's that are reflective of our deepest fears at times and hold the lesson to overcome them.
For many years one of mine was snake. Of all creature's that could have come to me or did come to me none bothered me more than snake did. Snake scared me whether I encountered it in dreamtime or in real time. The simple site of snake was enough to quicken the beat of my heart and make me shutter in my very steps. One of those things where you couldn't really say why it did just that it did.
It took me a long time to realize that snake bothered me for snake always was the thing with lying or revealing skins. It changed its skin to become new and grow yet it also left behind the old skin to mark its passage. Long after it was long gone did it continue to send shivers up the spine when I found them. The very images of that old skin enough to fill my mind with what ifs and where was it now thoughts.
Today snake and I are on better terms and I understand both it and myself better. The ability to grow into the new does not mean what one sees in one skin is always the truth or that lies lay beneath the layers. Snake is not the hidden terror or fear that lies beside the road just waiting to strike. It is not just the primordial fear that is instilled in the Christian myths of the serpent and Garden of Eden tales.
Nope snake is so much more though at times its lessons are difficult to learn, especially when snake is also a shadow totem and the manifestation of what you fear.
The thing one has to remember is that our totem / power animals serve to guide and teach us. They often appeal to our individual strengths and represent many of the things we see in ourselves on some levels. Most of their lessons are straight up and easily understood and recognized.
The shadow totem is almost the opposite of all that. They are almost contrary in the manner they teach and show things to us. They tend to slap us, often in the face, with our own weakness and fears. Yet they do so in a contrary manner, almost like the jesters of old that made fun and humiliated society in the nonsense manner they did it. One might even say they are the opposite of everything we think of the particular creature.
To some rabbit is a creature of family, strength in numbers and a fighter that is willing to fight when needed but run in others. He is a symbol of sexuality and breeding. Yet as a shadow he is symbolic of weakness and fear. He runs blindly and with no sense of direction. Flees when he should stand and stands when he should flee. Produces regardless of the land’s ability to support and eats beyond his home’s ability to sustain his life. Endangers his family from sheer numbers.
So on one hand shadow shows what is desired and strong on the other hand teaches the same lesson but in the opposites of its strengths. Granted there is more to it than just that but that gives you an idea.
So next time you go looking for that animal that is to be your guide or totem, give pause to the creature that appears on the fringes or in the shadows it just might be your shadow totem come calling.
Edited by monsnoleedra, 12 April 2014 - 03:07 PM.