Honoring Animal Totems
White Buffalo Calf Woman is the Legend of the Lakota tribe. Two warriors from the Black Hills of South Dakota were out hunting some 2,000 years ago. They saw in the distance a huge animal walking towards them. As it came closer it appeared as a White Buffalo and as it approached even closer to them the Buffalo turned into a beautiful young Indian maiden. She told them to gather the people and she would appear in four days time with a scared object. The warriors gathered the Elders, the Medicine men and all the people of their tribe into a circle and awaited her coming. It is said a huge white cloud appeared in the sky and out of that cloud stepped the young maiden carrying a sacred bundle.
As she walked into the circle of the people she sang a sacred song and offered the sacred bundle to the people. She stayed with the people for four days teaching them seven sacred ceremonies. The Sweat Lodge or the Purification ritual, the Child naming, the healing ceremony, the wedding ceremony, The Vision Quest and the Sundance ceremony which is for all the peoples. There in the bundle was the sacred clay Peace Pipe in which was to be used in all the sacred ceremonies.
Buffalo Woman told them that she would return when the White Buffalo Calf is born. She said to always perform these ceremonies as they were the caretakers of the earth, the sacred land. She talked of the ceremonies and spoke of the sacred path. She said that the tribes of the people will never die if they honored the way. Then the maiden said she would return and at that time she would purify the world as it would be in much need to be restored to harmony, balance and the path of spirituality.
When the teaching was over as she left the circle she handed the sacred bundle to the keeper of the bundle, to be known as the Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe, which today is Chief Avrol Looking Horse. It has also been said as she walked away she lay down on the earth, rolled and came up wearing a White Buffalo coat and she walked into the cloud and disappeared.
Several years ago in 1994 a White Buffalo Calf, named Miracle, was born in the USA. The sign that the young maiden spoke about is here according to Joseph Chasing Horse. He and many tribes have said that we all must face trails before she returns. Are we ready? Have we honored our earth, the land, the plants, animals and mountains?
One way to honor the earth is to embrace your animal totem. Wear it as your talisman; place it on your altar or around your home. This will aid you with the connection to your animal. The relationship to animals is often mystical as well as physical. They have lessons to bring us, gifts to impart, symbols to guide our way. Your animal totem can bring you closer to nature and we will be in touch with the land once more with reverence to creatures great and small we may touch the intimate soul of ourselves.
I make friends around the world online, using chat to get to know each other. Last night I was talking to a new friend in Canada. I mentioned this article on Animal Totems and she asked me what her totem was? I said, “May I ask you this, what animals are you attracted to? As she wrote, I wrote, “And don’t choose a domestic animal like a cat or dog.” Of course her response was cats! She loves her two cats, a Burmese and a Siamese. “That’s great and Cat can surely be a totem, however, lets look at the wild kingdom as this will allow us to have a relationship with nature.” We can feel how nature expresses itself and in this way honor the earth. Nature has a rhythm, a pattern and magic. We who live in cities or are just too darn busy with life and have lost the ability to listen to her, our earth, our home. The Animal Totem is often called a spirit guide, as it awakens your spirit to your own inner truth. The animal can teach you how to recognize your hidden talents, character defects and empower us and protect us.” She said, “I like Puma or Black Panther.” I told her that Puma brings the gifts of Power, coming into your own power and the power of assertion. The graceful balance of the Puma is also a gift and I asked her if she needed balance in her life? Yes, she really needed balance. I also asked her if she ever was too assertive in her words and tended to attack rather then listen. Yes, she said that she often gets into trouble with her words. Puma can teach the way of gentle assertion so that our natural tendency to defend our position, as the Puma when threaten will go for the most vulnerable place. I then asked her if she likes the night and thought of herself as someone with Psychic vision, someone who explores the mystical aspects of death. This is Black Panther’s medicine, no she said, not at all. I asked her if she had any paintings or items around her to represent the Puma. She said now that she thought of it, she has a Lalique crystal spotted panther on her table outside where she works every day. She had her Totem sitting there all along and had not made the connection. I advised her to read, to study these animals, and browse the web for more information. To pay attention to what she sees daily. Funny, as we were talking she saw a photo of Michelle Obama on Yahoo; she was dressed for Halloween as a spotted Panther/Leopard. Your animal totem is there all the time it wants to speak with you, all you need to do is pay attention.
May you honor the sacred land, the earth and be the caretakers who restore us to harmony, balance and spirit.
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