Had you thought of the Peony as a possible totem in your life? Remember that a Native American totem can come in the form of an animal, a mineral, or a plant. We sometimes forget about the lessons or medicine that we can learn from our friends the plants of Mother Earth.
I don’t know about where you live but in my part of the world, the peony is a most lovely flowering plant that blooms during May. Whenever I encounter a flowering peony, I am taken back to my Grandmother’s home in a memory that makes me smile. As a child I was so drawn to her peonies every spring. They were simply breathtaking and I did not realize at the time that they may have attracted me as a totem. After doing some research for this post, I do have to wonder. I seemed to be drawn to writing about them today so my inner voice is telling me to learn something from this wondrous plant.
In past times when the old ways were followed more closely, many times the seeds of the peony were dried and then carved with something meaningful and then worn around the neck to ward off evil spirits and to provide protection for traveling.
It is believed that when you have peonies planted around your home that they will offer protection and also good health to any of the people who live in the household.
Besides protection and good health, what other lessons does the peony as a plant totem teach us? Well, just as a peony plant starts out small and then has the ability to grow into a large plant…so do we as humans. We all have the potential to grow in our spirit and be a success at what we attempt.
We are reminded by the peony totem to nurture ourselves physically and emotionally along with nurturing our hopes and dreams. When we do, we allow ourselves to flourish and blossom in our day to day journey.
One way to remind ourselves about the lessons of the plant totem, Peony, is to keep a reminder for the times of the year that this lovely plant is not in our vision but can still teach us to bloom forth with the strong and positive energy of the Peony and allow ourselves to become what we are destined to be.
~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related
Much like the turtle totem that we discussed in an earlier post, Chrysocolla as a Native American mineral totem represents two elements. If you look at this mineral after it has been tumbled and shaped into a sphere, it resembles the Earth as seen from outer space. Imagine the greens being the land of our planet and the blues being the water or oceans of the planet. Although, technically this mineral represents a balance between earth and sky.
It is said that Chrysocolla can be used to stimulate our attempts at reaching the highest realms of our
consciousness while it assists us in staying grounded to Earth. This characteristic of the mineral allows us to stay in a good balance with our earth and sky elements that are within each of us.
A healing stone, Chrysocolla can purify on all levels. It will aid the user in spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. We find that it helps to bring balance into our lives along with keeping us grounded. This mineral totem helps to gain a feeling of inner strength and well-being. It is known for creating stability and peacefulness into the lives of the people who wear it in jewelry or hold a Chrysocolla/Malachite Heart or stone in their hand as they meditate.
Chryscocolla is the birth mineral totem for the Frogs Return Moon that falls between April 20 and May 20 each year. In the Zodiac that would be in conjunction with Taurus.
~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related
The plant totem, yarrow, teaches us about cleansing and strengthening when it acts as one of our Native American Totems. It is the birth totem associated with the Corn Planting Moon which falls between May 21 through June 20. Although it may work with you at any time to discover your healing powers and your inner strength.
Yarrow is one of those unique plants where the entire plant can be used medicinally. Yarrow is terrific as a tonic. It has been used for digestive tract disturbances and as a blood cleanser. This herb can help to conquer the common cold and brings relief to flu sufferers. It is a good diuretic and opens pores to eliminate toxins through the skin. Yarrow is excellent for stopping bleeding and is a primary herb used to alleviate menstrual cramps. If used externally, yarrow acts as a local anesthetic and disinfectant. It also helps relieve mosquito bite itch and also toothaches. Yarrow can also aid the lungs, glands, and bronchial tubes.
I love to have this plant growing in my yard in a couple of different places, whether it is working with me as a totem or not. Yarrow is a perennial that stands upright and is drought tolerant. The plant is native to Europe but has naturalized itself throughout North America. The finely dissected leaves resemble those of a fern with a daintiness about them. The small mustard-yellow flowers are tightly compact forming a disc-shaped head usually affixed to a single stem. Yarrow prefers light and rich soils in full sun. Yarrow seeds can be planted in your garden for both beauty and as a crop for medicinal use.
You can also purchase an herbal supplement in many health food stores. It is important to know that one should not take or use Yarrow if one is pregnant. It is most wise to consult your physician before using this plant as a supplement or even externally.
Another name for yarrow is Bloodwort. Yarrow or Bloodwort has been used for centuries by many cultures including the indigenous peoples of North America after it started to appear from the Europeans arrival. I find it interesting that eventually it was adopted into the Native American Totems for the Corn Planting Moon.
~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related.
We are all familiar with the mineral turquoise. We see it in jewelry a lot, especially in jewelry of the Southwest. There is meaning in turquoise in Native American Totems. Turquoise is the mineral birth totem for the Big Winds Moon which falls during February 19 through March 20 which is the moon that we have just begun. Turquoise is also used as a general protection totem by many people.
The message of this mineral is protection and knowing the meaning of value. Turquoise is a male totem because of the protection aspect of it. Coral is the feminine equivalent as it provides nurturing. We often see the two worn together.
We find that this mineral provides protection on all levels of our being. Many believe that turquoise will protect the wearer from both injury and danger. The First People, Native Americans, often placed turquoise on their shield to ward off the weapons of their enemies.
We find it carved into fetishes and inlaid into objects. Had you ever realized that wearing this mineral was offering you protection? Probably not, you probably just liked the color and hadn’t thought about the meaning of the stone.
For centuries Native Americans have known the power of this mineral and understood that it promotes healing and can strengthen the healing abilities of people who have that gift.
Turquoise does not have to be your birth mineral totem to work. It is a gift of Great Spirit to all of us offering the protection we need in our daily lives. One might say that it has a universal place in Native American Totems for all to use both male and female.
~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related
Blue Camas is the plant totem associated with the Frogs Return Moon which falls between April 20 and May 19 each year. The totem lesson is to learn to sustain ourselves and others. This pretty little flower is also sometimes called Indian Hyacinth.
Native Americans used Blue Camas as a food. It was a very important food in their diets. Only the Camas with the blue flowers should be used! The yellow or greenish white flowers are deadly with poison.
A food staple, blue camas can be used to make pancakes, molasses and a sugar substitute. It has sustained people for thousands of years. Some reports find Blue Camas to be helpful in balancing blood sugar levels.
Many of the First People ate this plant raw, roasted it, boiled it, and fried it. They also dried it for storing and ground it for different uses.
As a totem this plant teaches us about creating movement when stagnation has set in. It gives us the message of providing sustenance and reminds us of the importance of discrimination in all walks of life.
I have not seen the Blue Camas plant in my area but I would love to as it is the plant totem of my birth and it sounds wonderfully sweet. Some of my research shows that a substitute plant totem for this moon would be wild clover. I’ll have to see if I can find some additional information about the clover and perhaps post about it another day.
~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related