If I Could Talk To the Animals
Article ID: 4305
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,229
Times Read: 5,794
Author: Aurora Rose
Posted: May 12th. 2002
Times Viewed: 5,794
I was initially introduced to Wicca through my friend Duamuteffe, who practices a blend of Shamanism, Christianity, Wicca, and Hinduism. Due to her early influence, my spirit guides have always been animal totems. My first animal totem is Tigress. I honor her by placing a small statue of a tiger my shaman friend gave me on my altar. When I want to speak with her, I light incense in front of it and meditate. She is my guide and my protector through all meditations. When I 'descend the stairs' in trance, she is there with me. I can reach out with my right hand, lay my hands on her warm, soft fur, and let her lead me to what I need to see. I discovered her by asking myself questions: what was my favorite animal when I was a child? What type of animal would I like to have as a pet? What characteristics do I have in common with members of the animal kingdom? When I was little the best part of any zoo trip was seeing the big cats. They were exotic, graceful, powerful and beautiful. I started seeking in my mind for my 'inner animal.' In the stillness, a face appeared before me, an orange and white face with black stripes. I instinctively knew that the entity I was speaking to was female. Duamuteffe was my medium for calling her into my life, because at the time I hadn't learned very much about ritual at that point. Since then I have strengthened the bond.
I feel that I embody the protective qualities that tigers are reputed for, for example the phrase, 'as fierce as a mother tiger protecting her cubs.' My younger sister has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and the characteristics of autism. The only fight I have ever been in was defending her. I was about ten years old, and one of the boys in my class said, 'You're a retard, just like your sister.' I sank my fingernails into his forearms and raked, like a tiger. We were both sent to the principal's office, and when I told that good man what the boy had said, he just sent me back to class. No one ever made fun of my sister, at least within my hearing, again.
Tigers symbolize ferocity, sensuality, royalty, fearlessness, authority, the warrior aspect, a lack of procrastination and will power. These are some qualities that I have, along with some that I need help developing. I once asked my totem why I have a Fire totem when I am an Aquarius, an Air sign in every sense of the word. She replied 'Because you need a fire lit under your *ss to get anything done!'
Recently, a new animal spirit has entered my life. Grandmother Spider was called to help me through a difficult time, making the decision to leave a boyfriend and graduating college. I first noticed her presence because every time I visited my special place outdoors, I saw many spiders. I called her by going into a trance and casting a circle there and asking for her support. I left the window to my room open and I was answered when I spider crawled in and began making a web over my altar. What I am learning from her is that we are responsible for the feelings of the people around us. Every human being is connected by a web of light and spirit. We have to take care of each other's hearts, to concentrate on bringing the people around us happiness and comfort and not anger and pain. When one thread of the web is plucked, the entire structure suffers, including the person who did the plucking. She also represents the Crone aspect of the Goddess to me; the aspect of the Goddess I have the most trouble grasping as a person in my twenties, where the mystery of death seems very far away. Where Tigress is a friend and companion, Grandmother Spider is more of a teacher and guide.
I have also called other animal guides as part of quarter calls, and influences of other totem spirits have taught me lessons over my 4 years of being Wiccan. Once during a time of stress at college, I went to the grove near the creek and traced a circle in the fallen leaves. I was reading Ted Andrews' book Animal Speak at the time. I asked for help and guidance from the four quarters. At the East, a robin came to represent Air. Robin told me it's okay to leave a bad situation; it doesn't make you weak or inadequate to admit that you need a break. Robin's lesson was in migration: if it's too cold, head South! In the South, Tigress came and simply said, 'I'm here, as always. Listen for me, and I will guide you. But I can't help if you won't listen.' At the West, a large turtle came. His message was about protecting myself. He said I could go in my shell and stay safe for a while, as long as I remembered to come back out of it. In the North, a bear came to offer me help. I told Bear that I missed my home and my family, I felt safe with them. Bear reminded me that I carry their strength with me, and those hills and river around my home are more than scenery, they part of the Mother's body, and she is everywhere and always with me, keeping me safe.
My spirit guides have been with me all my life, even before I ever heard the word Wicca. When Tigress first spoke to me, I realized she sounded like my mother. Sometimes when I was about to make a big mistake, I would hear my mother's voice in my head telling me why it was wrong and that the action I was about to take would be harmful from me. Tigress said, 'I have always spoken to you, in whatever way you could accept hearing me.' When I was very small, I would look for fairies and gnomes in our yard. The northern end of my parent's yard always has 'fairy circles' in it in the spring. I would leave them gifts, usually a cookie or sometimes a sandwich crust. I used to think that I did that because I saw one too many episodes of 'David the Gnome' on Nickelodeon. (Great show!) I realize now that it was because children see all the possibilities more readily than adults. They haven't lost their imagination yet.
Spirit guides thrive on imagination. Creating detailed images, whether mental or actual, will bring you into closer contact with them. I had a poster of tigers in my bedroom at college, as well as the statue on my altar. A stuffed white tiger has a place on my bed. At some point, I plan on getting a tattoo of a tiger, and one of a spider. While to non-Wiccans, this may seem crazy or childish; it also follows magickal theory. The Talking Self creates symbols to communicate with the Younger Self, who can communicate with the Deep Self and create change. The animal totem is a symbol the Younger Self can cozy up to. The more clearly you can visualize the symbol, the better it works. But an animal totem is more than a symbol. It's a tool, a teacher and a friend to be respected and honored.
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Author's Profile: To learn more about Aurora Rose - Click HERE
Bio: Aurora Rose is a solitary Wiccan from the Allegheny National Forest region of Pennsylvania. She has been practicing Wicca since Imbolc of 1998. She would like to say hello and thank you to Duamuteffe, The Kitchen Witch, and The Butterfly Maiden. Being Solitary doesn't mean not having great friends! Her most recent and greatest accomplishment is graduating from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford with a B.A. in Communications.
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