TOTEM in our tradition is known as ‘Hethna’, but most people will relate to the term totem. We are Australia based.
Now Totem for us is an incredibly important aspect of our Shamanic Practice, but as importantly, we see it as a gift. It is such a gift to know your Totem. For us, Totem is something that you are not necessarily born into as in a group or a clan, you are born into it, but it is totally your own thing. Your own unique energy. It doesn’t belong to anybody else; it is totally yours.
Why totem in the 21st Century?
In previous careers etc. we have seen many different profiling tools, philosophies and religions, and we see that many people don’t understand themselves; they wander through life at times not knowing where they belong, what their innate needs are and how to place that well in their community/universe.
Who is this work for?
This Totem work allows people to de-mystify/decode/conceptualise themselves in an entirely new way that suits the way they think and approach life. Some people are able to make the life changes they truly need, totem giving them the self-experience and conviction in their needs and the compulsion to push for balance, harmony and self allowance. Knowing you wider range of innate needs, you can place yourself well in life/community etc, so your needs are met, and finally create better conditions to thrive, and then explore and develop your own sovereignty.
After three weeks:
One client came to this work years ago. They were labelled as depressed, controlling and caused problems when they stayed around too long. They felt abandoned by their family. After doing the totem course and some integration (3 weeks), the client exclaimed one day, “I now understand myself and my totem “RAIN”. People are always happy to see me. This always confused me, because when I stayed too long, they hated me. I realise now, being rain, I’m a refreshing change, sometimes much when I’m needed, I’m greeted with elation, but if I keep contributing, I just sodden everything, and our work together literally gets boggy or bogged. I now see how to place myself in my different businesses, and too much of me does not aid either their growth or traction. I’ve been mis-diagnosed as depressed, this change in mindset has lifted and freed me from that unhelpful label!”
Totem Example: Quartz as Totem (Youtube new window)
More on Totem:
We are very keen that people divine it themselves so that it is not given to you, that somebody else doesn’t work it out for you. It’s not on a list on the internet; you actually divine what your Totem is. And there are some interesting Totems when people divine it themselves.
We have experienced some that are animals or plants in nature, something that is very tangible and then we have encountered others where they are conceptual. So, for example, “silence” or “surge” or “vortex”. These are what we would call a conceptual totem. So, there are many possibilities for your own Totem in our Shamanic Tradition.
For us, the Totem, as we said at the beginning, is an incredibly important part of our practice because we experience it as your unique reflection in nature. If you look or experience your Totem in some way, it is as if you are there in nature and you are here in this physical human experience. So, this real connection can be understood, created, set up, and experienced between you as a physical human being and then your reflection in the natural world.
And that for many people is something that they feel that they are missing. The world itself of humans is lacking. This connection to the natural world and understanding your Totem in this way, as a reflection of you, in the natural world, and that Totem is your reflection in the natural world is really something that can be incredibly fulfilling and meaningful really profound.
When we say that it is a gift, what we mean by that is that being able to look at yourself in nature can really help to identify aspects of the self and explain aspects of the self that are possibly causing you problems in your life or also can highlight the things that are very positive in your life.
For many people, when they are able to see outside of themselves, this, their Totem in the natural world or in the environment around them, they are able to get that reflection back so they can really see aspects of themselves. Because in a lot of spiritual and healing work that you will have experienced, that many people have experienced it is very internal so, and it very often difficult to see inside, so many people externalise, they go to somebody else to try and get that individual, or to something else whether it’s a book or to try and find themselves in that.
So, they sometimes need to look out and then be reflected back, so the Totem is a gift in this way. And there are many possibilities with a Totem.
So when you find out when you divine what your Totem is, you really start to understand it in relation to the way that you speak, how you think, how you live, the food that you eat, your relationships, your work. The way that you carry yourself in society, then you keep going, and you keep going, and you keep going, and you keep going, and you find out so much more, so much more.
So, for us, this is why for us the Totem is a gift because so many people want to know the meaning of their life, they want to know the purpose of their life, and they are, they try to look in, and then they look outside to have teachers or to do courses that can give them some insight into themselves. But if you can find out, divine your Totem yourself, not just somebody giving it to you, not just the general ones that belong to groups of Shamanic Traditions around the world, but actually your own, your own Totem and then you really start to investigate it and see how it applies to your life.
And see how you have enacted this Totem and know how you rely on this Totem and see how the Totem relies on you and so on and so on, you start to get this picture of yourself, and this helps you find the meaning of your life because to find the ‘meaning’ of your life is not the same as finding the ‘purpose’ of your life.
The purpose is a doing thing. What am I going to do?
But the meaning is the essence of your being! The meaning is that real, the impulse, the motivation, the real point of creation of your being – that is the ‘meaning’.
And that is what the Totem can give you.
Brad & Caroline