This is what each position means (for the most part, according to Native American Custom):
The animal in the East guides you to your greatest spiritual challenges and guards your path to illumination.
The animal in the South protects the child within and reminds you when to be humble and when to trust, so that innocence will be balanced in your personality.
The animal in the West leads you to your personal truth and inner answers. It also shows you the path to your goals.
The North animal gives wise councel and reminds you when to speak and when to listen. It also reminds you to be grateful for every blessing every day.
The Above animal teaches you how to honor the Great Star Nation, and reminds you that you came from the stars and to the stars you will return. This animal is also the guardian of the Dreamtime - for your personal access to the other dimensions.
The Below animal teaches you about the inner Earth, and how to stay grounded and on the path.
The Within animal teaches you how to find your heart's joy and how to be faithful to your personal truths. It is also the protector of your sacred space, the place that is yours alone and is never shared except by invitation.
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This animal protects your male side and teaches you that, no matter where you turn, it will be your Father-protector within. This animal also carries your courage and warrior spirit.
This animal is the protector of your female side and teaches you that you must learn to receive abundance as well as to nurture yourself and others. The left-side animal is also your teacher about relationships and mothering.
The Right Side animal and the Left Side animal are always
with you. ALL of us carry male AND
female essences within us, and the two related animal spirits are with you at all
times. Not all people, but some
people already know
who these animals are, or who at least one of them is. During the revealing ceremony explained above, special consideration is given concerning these particular two animal totems. When it is time for animals of these Directions to be revealed, you may simply state aloud who they are, should you already, and without a doubt
, know which animal it is for which Direction. It is highly unwise and extremely disrespectful to proceed with a "ceremonial" revealing if you already know. If your feelings, truly, are not that
strong about it, then the wise thing to do is to put your trust into the ceremony (source: http://www.angelfire.com/ok/bobbiesues/pg8mwNINE.html
These are the animal cards I drew in my "ceremony"---along with a bit of information about the individual medicines:
Deer: Love, Gracefulness, Femininity, Gentleness, Sensitivity, Beauty, Peace, Spirituality, Cautiousness (follow this link
, to read more about Deer)
Porcupine: Innocence, Wonder, Faith, Trust, Playfulness, Curiosity (follow this link
, to read more about Porcupine)
Bat: Rebirth, Initiation, Illusion, Intuition, Dreams, Inner Depth, Communication (follow this link
, to read more about Bat)
Eagle: Swiftness, Strength, Courage, Wisdom, Keen Sight, Illumination of Spirit, Healing (follow this link
, to read more about Eagle)
Turkey: Sacrifice, Common Good, Awareness, Pride, Abundance, Fertility, Preparation, Generosity (follow this link
, to learn more about Turkey)
Rabbit: Creativity, Paradox, Fear, Intuition, Awareness, Wit, Cowardice, Acute Hearing, Fertility (follow this link
, to learn more about Rabbit)
Wolf: Teacher, Wisdom, Family, Loyalty, Wildness, Intelligence, Compassion, Intuition, Spirituality (follow this link
, to learn more about Wolf)
Left and Right
(The "Deer & Bear Dream")
My grandparent's house has been the setting for my most spiritual and significant dreams. It is an extremely old, large, white colonial, emerging at the end of a long dirt road, in a VERY small town in Southern Vermont. The house is also extremely energetic and haunted.
When I was eighteen, I had an especially vivid dream, in which Deer (Doe) and Bear appeared to me. Not much happened in the dream, except that I was first standing at the kitchen window, looking down upon the meadow below. There, standing in the tall grass and flowers, was Deer. She raised her head to look at me, still chewing her cud. Then she seemed to look past me, or rather behind me, and so did I. I was startled to find Bear standing on his hind legs, just on the other side of the patio door. I was neither scared, nor curious---I was captivated.
Then, abruptly, the dream ended.
Another important feature of this dream, which did not occur to me until much later, is that (relative to me) Deer was on my left side, and bear was on my right. I know now that they are my lifelong spiritual companions, and revealed themselves to me upon the start of my own journey into adulthood.
Dear: (see East)
Bear: Strength, Introspection, Bravery, Knowledge, Dreamtime, Motherhood, Freedom, Power, Transformation (follow this link
, to learn more about bear)
As it turns out, the cards validated some of the totem animals I was encountering, around the time of my reading. Wolf, Eagle, and Bat were the truly surprising. I am glad that I now know who they are, and what they might teach me along the path. The greatest benefit of knowing who your spirit animals are, is how easily and readily they can be invoked for a specific task/ purpose/ lesson.
Here are some additional links, to learn more about animal medicine and totems:
I am not Native American, therefore I have no first-hand knowledge of Native American Culture or Spirituality. In fact, you might say I'm exactly the opposite---or rather, I am a Native European American. My ancestors were part of a very small band of Pilgrims, who traveled here in the 17th century, upon a ship called the Mayflower---their only motivation was to escape overwhelming religious oppression in England. Despite modern confusion, Mayflower Pilgrims did not come here to exploit the New World, nor to profit from it; they certainly had no intention of decimating its native inhabitants.
Quite the contrary: the Pilgrims earnestly needed the support and teachings, offered to them by America's native people. Otherwise, they most certainly would have died of exposure and starvation. I believe I am taking an ancestral cue, by upholding thier tradition of openness and learning, in this time of Spiritual famine.
In conclusion, I highly recommend you seek authentic, expert guidance on such matters as Native American Mysticism, or its related rituals. I do not take it lightly myself, nor do I recommend it trivially to anyone else.