Lessons From The Dove Totem

I recently had a reader ask about the dove totem and what it might mean so I have meditated on this bird, studied some of my resources and am now ready to share the lessons we may receive from the animal spirit of dove.

mourning-dove-totem

Lore And Legend Surround The Dove

I think before we can talk about the totem of the dove we must first look at how other cultures besides the natives of North America saw this bird. Just about all, if not all, have the dove centered around feminine and motherhood symbols. According to the Greek traditions, a dove brooded the egg that Aphrodite came from. Alexander sought out council from the Oracles of Dodona which was founded by a dove. The Slavs believe that our soles become doves when we die. Christians embrace the dove as a symbol of peace and we could go on.

The Pueblo Indians honored the dove and often wore it’s feathers or used them in prayer sticks. When searching for water, they would listen for the mournful song of the dove knowing that it was an indication that water was near. Water is also considered a maternal connection. The song of the dove signified that watering holes or springs were close as the dove must return at dusk to drink.

When you, yourself, hear the song of the dove aren’t your emotions stirred in some way? Our emotions are our internal waters and respond to the call of this lonesome sounding bird.

Being a ground feeder, the dove reminds us to keep in contact with Mother Earth. We should always be mindful of the creative possibilities from the feminine energies that come from the earth.

I’ve talked before about the significance of the number 2 and feminine energy and it applies to the dove totem, also. Doves lay two eggs which falls in line with the traditional connection of feminine and creative energies.

Mourning Doves Plate
Mourning Doves Plate
by ellenlaurine at Zazzle

The voice of the dove might be compared to a rain song. It invokes new aters of life from its mournful cry. No matter what might be going on in our lives, the dove reminds us that new waters can still flow and new life is still possible.

The Between Times (dusk and dawn) are the best times to reflect on the song of the dove as it relates to you. It is at dawn and dusk that there is a thinning of the veils between the physical and the spiritual, the past and the future.

The dove totem reminds us that it is fine to mourn what has passed but to also awaken to the promise of the future. This bird of prophecy can help you to see what you can give birth to in your own life.

The mourning dove is also sometimes referred to as the turtle dove. I think that is also a significant connection to feminine energy. Many tribal traditions refer to North America as Turtle Island where life began from the waters.

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Bobcat Totem

bobcat totem

If the bobcat totem has arrived in your life it has come to teach you that there is true power and strength in silence. There will be people who will immediately understand that statement because bobcat has touched their inner being at some point in their lives. There will also be people who will not “get it” at all. It is perfectly OK if you don’t understand about the silence, all that means is that bobcat is not working with you. It may not be a lesson you are ready to learn just yet.

The messages that we receive in silence has been something that I have understood all of my life, even as a child. I would literally seek out quiet places to be. Many years ago, I had a conversation with my ex-husband. He was deceiving me at the time and my “whiskers” sensed the deception. I was sitting at our kitchen table, contemplating my next move in this situation when he walked in on me. He asked me what I was doing and I responded, “Just listening to the silence.” He looked at me with such a look of contempt and gave a dismissive gesture with his hands. As if to say, you can’t HEAR silence!

What he didn’t realize that through bobcat, my eyes could see what he was trying to hide. My whiskers were picking up images of what he was doing and my ears could hear what was not being said. Bobcat had shown me his secret!

Close-Up of a Bobcat (Lynx Rufus)
Close-Up of a bobcat

from Allposters.com

In that situation and in many others when the bobcat totem was walking with me on my journey, I learned to see the hidden agendas of those around me and to hear what was not being spoken. Not everything was what it appeared to be. I learned to trust my own senses; that if it didn’t “feel” right it probably wasn’t. I learned to trust that instinct even when there was not a logical explanation for the feeling.

Bobcat comes to me from time to time when I am in situations where there are many hidden secrets. He may come to you, too. Just learn to trust that your instincts are trustworthy. He is telling you to stay silent and observe.

Bobcat Poster
Bobcat Poster
by lolanimals on Zazzle

If you feel that bobcat has entered your life to be a spirit guide ask yourself:

  • Am I being too solitary? (Bobcats are a solitary animal)
  • Are there new learning opportunities I should be looking at
  • Am I dismissing my inner senses too easily
  • Am I allowing outsiders to sway me too much

Bobcat will come to you when it sees that you need to listen to that silence and the secrets that are hidden there.

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Woodpecker As An Animal Spirit Guide

woodpecker totem

Perhaps you had never considered that a visit from a woodpecker might be a message from an animal spirit wishing to guide you into some wisdom. Then again, if you have landed on this page you must have had some sort of inkling because you searched to see what the meaning might be if the woodpecker is working as one of your totems. My guess would be that if it is not a bird that you see often, if it came more than once or your dreamed about one that it is most certainly wanting to share some lessons with you.

In many American Indian traditions this bird, the woodpecker, is connected to the heartbeat of Mother Earth herself. The drumming of the heartbeat of earth has more than a few mystical connections. A couple that come to mind are the rhythms of new life to shapeshifting applications. Many a shaman has learned to ride the drum beats into a different dimension.

Obviously, there are many different kinds of woodpeckers in the world. Most of them are colored with black and white feathers and many will have at least some red on their heads. The black and white of the feathers tells us that we should be seeing the issues and aspects of our lives clearly. Sometimes, things can be pretty clear when we look at them in a black or white perspective.

red-bellied woodpecker

The red found on the head of many species of the woodpecker symbolizes the stimulation of mental activities and also the head chakra centers. It is associated with the stimulation and wakening of new mental faculties. New ways to look at things or new wisdom in general. Even the pecking that we associate with the woodpecker is a symbol of these same reflections.

We can associate the act of digging in to a topic for more analysis with the woodpecker, too. They peck holes into trees and wood to get grubs and other insects for a meal. When we dig into a book for knowledge we feed on the wisdom we find.

If you are being visited by the animal spirit of woodpecker there are a few things that you should be asking:

  • Are you looking at your life rationally?
  • Are the people around you discriminate? Are you?
  • Do you just jump into a new situation with no analysis of what is involved?

We might find that the woodpecker has pecked into our vision to stimulate new rhythms for us to dance to. Rhythm is a pretty powerful means of affecting physical energy. We humans, often, get so wrapped up in our daily mental and spiritual activities that we do not pay attention to our physical needs. That might be the reason for the visits from woodpecker. He might also be telling you to drum new changes into your life.

A good book to read about how the woodpecker lives in the wild along with images of different types of woodpeckers is the one below. Often, when we meditate about the real animal, it opens up or drums up the message that the spirit animal is trying to convey.


Woodpeckers of the World: A Photographic Guide

 

Many cultures have lore and myths that include the woodpecker. Most have to do with the drumming or the pecking rhythm characteristics of this bird. Europeans felt that the woodpecker was a prophet of the weather as it drummed out the message that change was coming. In Greek mythology the woodpecker sat on the throne of the god of thunder, Zeus. The Babylonians associated it with fertility.

Basically, woodpecker is the symbol of the rhythm of life and of discrimination. We should find our own beats of the drum to follow in our journey and do what is best for ourselves and not what others might tell us to peck at. Woodpecker comes with the message that you have the foundation and it is now safe for you to follow your own rhythms.

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Ram Totem – What it tells us

ram totem

I thought perhaps this would be a good time to talk about the Ram totem since we are about to enter into the Year of the Ram according to Chinese tradition. 2015 will be the year of the Ram, sheep or goat depending on which interpretation you want to use. We are also (at the time I am writing this post) approaching the astrological sign of Aries which also has a ram as its symbol.

The ram, sheep or goat have been a symbol in many societies over the centuries. Often they are a symbol of sacrifice and the real animals were killed in a ritual for a number of reasons by different cultures. Our minds do not have to go very far if we consider the phrase “sacrificial lamb”.

ram figurine
Bejeweled Goat Statue, Ram Figurine for Year of the Sheep 2015

What does the Ram totem teach us?

When the ram totem is working with you it is a sign of being the season for seeking new beginnings. It is a time for some examination of where you are and where you are going. Rather than just thinking about the possibilities it is time to initiate new endeavors.

Are you taking full advantage of the opportunities that are presenting themselves to you? As you make new leaps are you also staying in balance? Are you initiating your new pursuits appropriately? Are you talking about new ideas or are you actually acting upon them? These are all things that Ram will work with us on so that we can be in touch with the powers of our minds and our imaginations. Tapping into those will take us to new heights and new adventures.

The horns are one of the first things we notice about a ram. When he is one of your totems those horns can stimulate a great deal of mental activity. People with this totem have an active imagination and a natural curiosity that needs to be fueled and those seem to get stronger as they grow older each year. This isn’t unlike the horns of the ram which grow larger each year.

In real life, the mountain goats and bighorn sheep have a unique thing about their hooves. They actually have toes that can pinch. This aides them in climbing and keeping a good foothold. Did you know that a bighorn sheep only needs about 2 inches of space to keep their balance on a mountain? Remember that a new beginning may have a very small opening but if acted upon it can still be secured, much like the ram who can secure itself in very little space.

During the autumn of each year, young rams will test their strength in what resembles the child’s game of King of the Mountain. These young rams will spin, lunge and head butt each other for the right to mate with the ewes. If you have the Ram totem, autumn may be a perfect time for you to assert your strength and move on to new challenges of your own.

totem book
Totems: The Transformative Power of Your Personal Animal Totem

You Might Also Enjoy:

Antelope Totem
Elk Totem
Deer Totem
What Is Your Birth Totem?

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What Do We Learn From The Coyote Totem?

Careful, You Are About To Be Tricked Into Some Knowledge

coyote totem Are you feeling like Coyote is trying to tell you something? Well, he probably is but it may not be in a way that you will appreciate as his message will come in the form of a trick. He is the ultimate in pranks that often show us the folly of our ways. He will make us laugh, although sometimes in a painful way; but he always teaches us a lesson about ourselves.

I am going to flat out admit that in the past I have been a little prejudice against this sacred animal spirit. Perhaps that came from the fact that I don’t particularly like to be tricked, as I’m pretty sure most people don’t. I have consciously passed over sharing the lessons of coyote because I just felt a little repelled by the animal. That was unfair and probably a way for me to live a little longer in denial of the importance of his message.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been drawn to this animal totem and finally got the message that I have some work to do. I also got the strong message last night that someone else who reads my blog needs to hear what we learn from the Coyote totem.

Coyote And Self-sabotage

Just like that funny cartoon character, Wile E. Coyote; we all from time to time do things that are self-destructive in nature and we usually don’t see what is coming from our actions. Kind of like when the coyote of the desert tries to catch the Road Runner by using dynamite and he doesn’t realize that he is going to blow himself up in the process.

When Coyote comes to play in our daily lives, we need to ask ourselves some questions. What are we really up to and most importantly why are we up to it? Are we playing jokes on ourselves? Is there someone we are trying to fool or is someone trying to deceive us?

Perhaps we have been conning ourselves and all around us into believing that we really know what we are doing. We’ve played that trick so long we have become tangled up in our own machinations. So, here is the thing, we need to stop and look at the acts of self-sabotage as the tricks that they are and find some humor in it all. That is right, laugh it off and change your course. Recognize the silliness that you have created, wipe off the dust and move forward.

coyote Coyote comes to us when things have gotten entirely too serious. We have to learn to laugh at ourselves or we lose the game. The real medicine is laughter and joking around because through it all we can find new viewpoints and live a much happier life. Sometimes we need to do something silly just for the sheer joy of it. I don’t mean playing harmful tricks on people, but something fun and silly.

Once, I began to reflect on the magical medicine of Coyote, I realized that it isn’t something to push away but instead enjoy with a vengeance. Quit being so stuffy, don’t try to fool yourself into thinking you are something you are not, move forward with the whimsical and silly things that we encounter in life and grow.

Although, this book isn’t necessarily about the Coyote totem specifically, it is a good source for alternative ways to make our minds and bodies healthier.

coyote medicine
Coyote Medicine: Lessons from Native American Healing

You might also enjoy:

Coyote And The Ducks

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