New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism


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More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd, Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Seller Inventory zk Book Description Llewellyn Publications, Seller Inventory M Book Description Condition: New. Publisher: Llewellyn Publications , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Discover Three New Models of Animal Totemism Explore three new personalized approaches to animal totemism unlike the usual totem dictionary full of stereotypical meanings.

Buy New Learn more about this copy. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. New Paperback Quantity Available: 1. Seller Rating:. Published by Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd Revaluation Books Exeter, United Kingdom. Published by Llewellyn Publications New Softcover Quantity Available: 1. Brown Bear is often considered to be a healing totem because brown bears among others dig for roots, mushrooms, and the like, some of which are medicinal. Yet what are these fungi and plants the bears feast upon?

Some are primarily valued for being edible, like fireweed and acorns, with no major medicinal applications.

Others, like juniper berries and the hen of the woods mushroom, have additional qualities beneficial to human health. Can we explore their importance, not just in their physical manifestations, but through their totems?

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Review: New Paths to Animal Totems

What can the totems Juniper and Hen of the Woods tell us about working with Brown Bear, and vice versa? Much of the work was already done for me, as the animal totems often led me to notice the plants and fungi they relied upon. It was then up to me to pay better attention. If working with fungi and plants is old hat for you, hopefully.


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I felt the need to share it with you; may your explorations be at least as fruitful as mine! What fewer people realize is that plants and fungi also have totems that watch over us and moderate our relationships with other beings in the world. More often the spirituality and magic associated with plants deal with dried leaves, roots, and flowers, and the only fungi that ever get any attention are a handful. I find this to be a shame; just like the complex places in this world, the totemic ecosystem offers many fascinating things to explore, and animal totems are but one part of that.

Human nature may explain part of why many people never get farther than working with the animals in the totemic ecosystem.

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People most often feel comfortable connecting with animal totems because we ourselves are animals. So we resonate most easily with that which is most familiar; totems of big, impressive mammals are some of the most common totems people work with. This leaves us with only part of the story. Other pages linked to it include other ethnobotanical information that may be of interest as well.

I began working with animal totems on their own in the mids, and over time the animals led me to their other neighbors in their habitat, the plants and fungi, and the waterways and mountains among others.

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Plant and Fungus Totems, then, is the next step in a progression through the totemic ecosystem. Also, while I will touch on more common topics like herbalism and working with individual plant spirits, this book predominantly concerns the totemic representatives of entire plant and fungus species.

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Meditation B. This is because the most basic ways in which I work with animal totems mirror the most basic ways in which I work with plant totems. The Archetypal model delves deeply into your psyche to connect the totems to some of the deepest, most ancient human experiences and ways of being. The Bioregional model brings the focus back out into the natural world around us, whether the elk in deep wilderness areas or the ants walking on blades of grass in the cracks of urban sidewalks. The Correspondences model uses symbolism to bridge the gap between inner self and outer environment, allowing for personal interpretation along the way, as well.

I did try to make these books complementary to each other. For the benefit of those who have not read my earlier book, I covered the basics again in brief at the start of each chapter. I completely rewrote and in some cases updated the material, rather than copying and pasting! While each model can be used on its own, keep in mind that all three of them were derived from my own practice, and so the ideas and concepts were originally developed as one single integrated system.

After that will be some supplementary material you can incorporate into any of the models and elsewhere.

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Even though I spend time extolling particular virtues of some fungus and plant totems, please do not view these as anything more than personal examples—they are just some of the things I have learned while working with these totems. While there are a few authors who have written their own dictionary-style books with their own meanings and keywords for different plant and fungus totems, the definitions are far from universally true.

Your experiences may be very different, and I encourage you to make your own relationships with these beings. As with all my books, there is value in reading this one in order. I have a particular rhyme and reason for organizing the book the way that I do, a story of how I work with the totems. You can always go back and read the rest for context.

There are numerous exercises throughout this book, just as there were in my last book. I recommend reading the entire book before trying the exercises; this is mainly so that you have more understanding of why I include these practices, and how and why they work. Some of the exercises are meant to be done in order because the skills and observations from an earlier one may contribute significantly to a later one, so make sure you read through each one before trying them out, especially if you intend to skip any. I always encourage you to experiment. You might try out each of the models in turn and then get some good ideas for a model of totemism all your own.

Just for the sake of thoroughness, try to give each model a try for at least a month. This gives you time to get used to that model, and also allows you to understand it enough through practice that you may feel more comfortable taking it in new directions. I suggest keeping a journal to record your results from the exercises you try and other thoughts as you work through the book.

This way, you can keep track of your progress and discoveries, and if you decide to try a particular exercise a second time, you can compare the old and new results. Plus you can use your notes to reflect on what worked best for you, and help you come up with ideas for future work. Even people with very good memories may appreciate having written down minute details that slipped out of their minds over time.

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Consider my work a starting point, a cache of ideas to play with. Finally, I will be discussing herbalism and related practices in a few places in this book, though mainly in a theoretical manner. Just in case it needs to be said, nothing in this book is provided as medical advice, nor is it meant to replace instructions given to you by your chosen medical professionals.

Spiritual practices do not offer a license to forgo common sense and critical thinking. What Are Plant and Fungus Totems? The basic answer is that a totem is a spiritual being that embodies the qualities of a given species of animal, plant, fungus, etc. But the totem is a being of spirit, meaning, and connection that watches over those physical beings of its species. There are wild daffodils, but they are watched over by the totem Wild Daffodil. I tend to work with totems of individual species, too, so rather than just working with Oak Tree, I might instead work with White Oak or Post Oak as individual totems.

We can interact with totems for a variety of reasons: to ask them for help or guidance, to learn more about their species and how to help them, to connect more deeply with their ecosystem-at-large, and so forth.


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  6. Opinions differ as to whether totems are individual spirits that are particularly powerful among their kind, or larger, archetypal beings akin to deities, or elements of our own psyche—or combinations thereof. Authors such as Pam Montgomery and Eliot Cowan tend to emphasize honoring the spirit of an individual plant in magical work which I feel is a definite improvement over just tossing some dried herbs in a spell pouch and calling it done! Thea Summer Deer is one of a number of writers referring to these spirits as devas, hearkening to the nineteenth-century Theosophists who used the term to describe any nature spirit.

    On the other hand, the conception of a deva used in the Findhorn intentional community is an overarching being that moderates the activities of individual spirits of a particular species. Like the Findhorn residents, my work with totems has revealed them to be archetypal beings that embody the qualities of their given species, as well as the myriad relationships they have with other species of plant, fungus, animal, and their environments in general. I also consider them to have a dual existence; totems are their own autonomous beings outside of our minds and imaginations, but they also have deep roots within our psyches that also significantly affect who and what they are.

    You are welcome to disagree with me on the fundamental nature of totems; just adapt the practical material in this book to suit your worldview. This includes the mythology and folklore we tell about them and their children, as well as what we learn from personal experience. It gives us a common ground to work with.

    Cultures throughout history and around the world have had totemic systems of one sort or another, some including plants and fungi as well as animals. Often, though not always, these would be more group and community-based; you might have a totem that watches over your family, and another your greater tribal community.

    New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism
    New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism
    New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism
    New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism
    New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism
    New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism
    New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism
    New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism
    New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism

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