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Animals had always been a very important place in Native American life.

The word totem is derived from an Objibway word.
The word "odem" refers to the mystical bond that united spirit to a place, to a nation. Totemic animals were often assigned by a vision or just the decision of the board of the tribes.

For example among the Mohawks, there are three clans whose totems are the bear, wolf and turtle. Similarly, Objibways, following the arrival of Europeans, it was decided to create two new clans for the children of the nation who had English blood or American.The totem animal for these two nation are lions and bald eagles, which are actually iconic animals for both countries.

In many American Indian nations when young people want to know their totem animal,they go on a vision quest. They were to spend 4 days and 4 nights in the mountains or in the forest without eating or drinking.  Meanwhile, they pray the Great Spirit to kindly let them see a vision...Often they finally see a "true vision" of an animal who become after all their "animal totem"

This totem had to bring them protection, courage and wisdom throughout their lives.

Similarly, they also attribute the characteristics of the animals to their own personality.

Among the Indians of the plains, especially the Sioux and the Chippewas, they use to invoque the power of the bear before doing war.The men painted their faces with black design that look like bear claws and there go fight with double-edged knife with sleeves carved into the jaw of a bear.

For the last year, a new way of finding your animal totem had appear.

Now you can find it with cart and astrology...

It's an easy way, very far away from the real technic use by native American.

It is a method somewhat in the image of our society, fast and without involvement for some...

amerindien.e-monsite.com/pages/les-amerindiens-et-les-animaux

A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol of a tribe, clan, family or individual. Native American tradition provides that each individual is connected with nine different animals that will accompany each person through life, acting as guides. Different animal guides, also called spirit guides and/or power animals, come in and out of our lives depending on the direction that we are headed and the tasks that need to be completed along our journey.

 

Native beliefs further explain that a totem animal is one that is with you for life, both in the physical and spiritual world. Though people may identify with different animal guides throughout their lifetimes, it is this one totem animal that acts as the main guardian spirit.

 

With this one animal a connection is shared, either through interest in the animal, characteristics, dreams, or other interaction.

 

This Animal Guide offers power and wisdom to the individual when they "communicate” with it, conveying their respect and trust. This does not necessarily mean that you actually pet or spend time with this animal, more that you are open to learning its lessons.

 

For some, knowing what is their totem animal is almost an innate process. It’s as if they’ve always known, inexplicably drawn to the animal or having a special feeling for the animal’s energy. For others, they wonder how to tell what their animal totem is.

 

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering what your animal totem is:

  • Have you ever felt drawn to one animal or another without being able to explain why? This could be any type of living creature, including birds and insects.

  • Does a certain kind of animal consistently appear in your life? This doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical appearance, it could be represented in other ways, such as receiving card and letters with the same animal pictured over and over, unexplainable dreams of a particular animal, watching television and seeing the same animal featured time and time again, or, actually having the animal show up.

  • When you go to the zoo, a park, wildlife area, or forest, what are you most interested in seeing?

  • Are there any animals that you find to be extremely frightening or intriguing?

  • Is there a particular animal that you see frequently when you’re out in nature?

  • Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal?

  • Have you ever had a recurring dream about a certain animal, or a dream from childhood that you have never been able to forget?

  • Are you drawn to figurines or paintings of a specific animal?

If you still need more help ask the Universe for a dream or a vision to see if anything comes up. Also ask the animal to show itself to you and pay attention to what you begin to see from all sources -- television, books, billboards -- it doesn't have to be the actual animal. Does one animal begin to appear frequently?

 

One thing to remember is that you cannot choose your totem spirit, rather it chooses or has already chosen you. The Spirit chooses you and they decide to whom they will reveal themselves. Much of the process of identifying your spirit animal is paying attention to both your past and your present. It is a process of developing your inner knowledge and spiritual understanding.

 

The totem itself is a symbol that represents this animal. This could be any number of items - a crest, a totem pole, an emblem, a small figurine, and engraved or painted stone, or anything else that depicts your animal guide.

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-totems.html

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