I love seeing a hawk fly over heard or a raccoon scoot by on my bike ride through the park. I enjoy this connection to nature.
Native Americans referred to messages from animals as “totems” and valued them for bringing insights into their lives.
A few days ago, it was my birthday. I always get profound understandings around this time. I’m not sure if it is because I put attention on my life and goals or the stars are aligning for me, but something unexpected always happens.
Two animal totems made their appearance. One came on my birthday, and one came the day after when I fixed a long-time problem with a tooth.
On my birthday morning, as I sat on the veranda with my tea, I put my attention gently on the new year and looked out the window at the pond.
Suddenly an otter crawled out of the water and scurried up to a patch of dirt. He wiggled around playfully on his tummy for a few moments and then crawled back.
I had never seen an otter in the pond before.
I grabbed the book, “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams and David Carson. The otter totem had a message for me:
“If you have drawn this symbol, Otter may be telling you to become the playful child and to simply allow things to unfold in your life. It may be time to stop your addiction to worrying. In looking at how you can learn from Otter’s habits, you might look at the joyousness of the receptive side of your nature….Become Otter and move gently into the river of life. Flow with the waters of the Universe…this is the way of the balanced female-receptive energy. Honor it!” (page 70)
Strong words. I got it. It was time in my life to do exactly just this. This was enough of a message to last a year. But I wasn’t done receiving the birthday gifts.
The next morning, I had to go to the dentist about a tooth. I worried that I might lose it.
This new dentist had replaced my former dentist. He walked in smiling and gently asked me some questions as he probed the tooth lightly. He took an x-ray and then shaved a hairbreadth of the crown off in different places. “This should remove the pressure,” he said. “It should feel better after a couple of days.”
I felt immediate relief. I’d been walking around with a poorly crafted cap on my tooth for a year. It was hitting my lower teeth improperly and causing all kinds of disruption to my jaw, my cranium, and the tooth itself.
I drove home. As I walked towards the front door, a large black snake wiggled across my path into the bushes at the side of my home. This had also NEVER happened. They mow so much near us, that only small baby snakes are seen. Rarely big ones.
I went to my faithful book to look up snake. I recognized more birthday gift wisdom:
“The power of snake medicine is the power of creation…. It is the energy of wholeness, cosmic consciousness, and the ability to experience anything willingly and without resistance. It is the knowledge that all things are equal in creation, and that those things which might be experienced as poison can be eaten, ingested, integrated, and transmuted if one has the proper state of mind.” (page 61)
Powerful medicine indeed!
I hope you share some totems that have walked or slithered across your path. It’s enlightening and fun!