Can Totems Work To Connect People?

female deer Had you ever thought about this question? Is it possible for our animal totem spirits to work together to make sure that someone comes into our lives so that we can walk at least part of our journey together? I believe that they do on a more regular basis than we probably realize. Sometimes, this action of a single totem or perhaps two totems work together in such a way that there is no denying the connection. I am about to give you an account of what I believe was the help of an Owl totem of one person swooping in to connect with my Deer totem to make sure that two women began to walk on the Sacred Path of learning together.

Just last week a series of events took place that makes me feel that totems were very much at work in it all. Some of my followers may remember that I used to sign my posts with the Lakota phrase ~Mitakuye Oyasin ~ which means that we are all related. I have believed in that saying for as long as I can remember, even before I knew about the Lakota version of it. I believed it as a child when I first heard the song in Sunday School “Jesus Loves The Little Children“. I believed it when I first felt connected to the energy of the Stone People before I knew there could be such a thing. Somehow, my soul, has just known and embraced that we are all connected: people and all living things on this planet along with the spirits and energies of the universe.

I believe that a connection was supposed to be made between myself and an author I am about to introduce you to with the Owl as the catalyst. Last week, I wrote about the Snowy Owl on my blog about birds. That opened up my energies to owls which then allowed her Owl totem to swoop in and guide her to this blog. She contacted me and we have been emailing each other ever since. It is amazing just how connected our journeys have been. She asked me if I would write a guest post for her blog: Messages From The Animals. I felt strongly that I should share a story about Sister Deer and sent it off to her. This lead to a little more discussion and before the evening was over I had this uncontrollable need to read her book.

god is in the little things cover I highly recommend Patricia Brooks’ book entitled “God Is In The Little Things: Messages from the Animals” which can be purchased through her website God Is In The Little Things. I’m telling you that you will not be sorry that you read this book! It is her personal story of her journey to find her spiritual path and begin to walk on it. She shares her life in such a meaningful way that I think that most of you will be able to relate to all or part of her life. Patricia shares some tribulations that she went through and how God sent animals to help her learn the lessons that she needed to cope and to grow spiritually. I loved the way she explained what was going on in her life and then about different animals who came to her and then tells what the lesson was that the animal was bringing to her. She openly admits her fears and self-doubts and shows us how animals came to help her face those fears. The book is human, it is real, it is moving and it is definitely worth reading.

I also think that Patricia’s story is one that any woman can relate to. I especially recommend it for those of you who are just beginning on your journey and learning about the animal spirits who come to us to help learn important lessons. You will be able to see just how it can all work. For those of you who already work with your totems on a regular basis, you will be energized with another lesson of just how connected we all are and uplifted by her story.

I am not sure that either of us understand where our journey together is going to take us; but both of us are feeling blessed that this connection has been made. Patricia will be doing a guest post in February that I just know you are going to enjoy. As we are getting to know each other, we are finding more and more similarities and “connections” that are pretty mind blowing. If nothing else, the spirits want us to work together to spread the universal message that the Lakota put so aptly….Mitakuya Oyasin…we ARE all related.

Our Sacred Space

I honestly can not think of a time in my life that I did not know about my own sacred space. Even before I was taught the lesson, my inner self understood the concept. Before I knew it by the name, I knew it. Our Sacred Space  is  within us and around us and we define the boundaries. As a child I needed to go off by myself once in a while. I needed some alone time to think my own thoughts, to dream and to just listen to the sounds of nature around me. Without realizing it I was beginning to define my own Sacred Space. I had a special spot that I would go that was my place. My Mom used to accuse me of going off to hide and insisted on knowing what I was hiding from. When I tried to explain that I just wanted to go somewhere that was quiet; well, she just didn’t get it. I would hear her mumble about me being a strange kid. As an adult, I can feel sad for my Mom. I am not sure that she ever understood the sense of anyone’s sacred space, not even her own. It is really all about respect. Respect of our possessions, our ideas, our bodies…our own little territory, if you will. We have to have respect for our own territory and we have to respect the territory of others.

I am hoping that as we have entered into a new year and a new age in history that one of the changes in the way we perceive things is that we will all begin to recognize the importance of Sacred Space. Our own and all the creatures and living things here on Earth. Even a tree has it’s own space and we should respect it, it’s fellow trees do. Our animal friends understand territory and often have ways of marking it. The other creatures respect that territory and do not invade it unless they have been given permission. We humans are not generally that respectful of each other or the creatures around us.

Spirits of the Plains
Spirits of the Plains
by Maxine Noel at Allposters.com

We have a tendency to want to invade the thoughts of others. We show no respect for their possessions. We are often just down right disrespectful to each other. I would like to see us all start to work on that. We can start by beginning with ourselves. The way we treat ourselves is the way that others will begin to treat us and that manifests into a more respectful way of living in harmony together if we give and expect respect.

I still have that need to go off and be alone at times. And I still allow myself to do this. I am lucky that I am married to a man that understands and respects that need. All I have to say is, “I need some Bev time.”  and it is given.

This week I would encourage you to take some time to be in your own Sacred Space. Look around and weigh how important your space is to you. Are you allowing abuse? Decide that it is not acceptable and don’t allow it any longer. Define your boundaries and do not let anyone within those boundaries that has not earned the right to be there. Be kind to yourself and you will find that it is easier to be kind to those around you.

Beverly Two Feathers

Practicing What We Have Learned

We are rapidly coming to the date of December 21, 2012 when some believe that the Mayans predicted a Doomsday episode where the world would end. There is new evidence that explains better what that date meant. According to a new find a Mayan King expanded his reign over the people to this date in 2012 until a new reign would begin. That falls better in to place with other Native American prophecies of entering into a New World. Some say we will enter the 4th World while others say that it will be the 5th World. All agree that the new time will be a time of a shift in our way of living and thinking. This new world is to be a time of acceptance of our fellow man and the world we live in. There will be less tolerance for people who are not of a good heart.

So, I’ve been pondering about all of this in the last week. There do seem to be some signs that things are beginning to shift. Some pretty bad people have been exposed for their dirty deeds. I do not think that our world will be destroyed and have to begin over like the time of the Ice Age or of the Great Flood. Instead, I think this time it will be a major shift in the way we live our lives with kinder hearts and more respectful ways of treating each other. I don’t know about you but I welcome that kind of world.

shaw Dance Poster

Shawl Dance Poster
by klocke at Zazzle

I thought of the Taking of the Shawl this week and how that might apply to many of us as we begin to accept a better way of living a more sacred way of life. It will be a “coming home” sort of thing for many of us that have felt uncomfortable with so much of what has transpired around us.

I’ve been thinking about all of you and feeling that I needed to encourage you to study the lessons that your animal spirits have been working with you on. I feel that it is imperative that we all begin to try to live the medicine from our Totems. Now more than ever. If we all begin to show the example of walking the Good Red Road or a Sacred Path it will begin to effect and affect those around us. I believe this is how the shift occurs by people finally “getting it” about living a loving, compassionate and peaceful life. If you look at any of the lessons from any of the totem animals the message is always about being a better human being. Each animal spirit may address a certain part of it but they are all basically teaching us the same message…Be good to yourself and be good to others.

I am asking you all to take some time this week to reflect on those messages and begin to really embrace them.

~Beverly Two Feathers~

Life Lessons From People

We talk a lot about the lessons and medicines that we receive from the animal spirits and other living things on Mother Earth. We rarely talk about the medicine and lessons that we get from living humans and I think it is important that we talk about that today. My heart is a little heavy as my family had to say goodbye to someone who  was very special in our lives along with so many others that she touched as she walked her earthly journey. She has now crossed over to the spirit world and I feel that she will still be looking after all of us even from there.

This special woman that I speak of was not of my blood but married into my Mother’s family some 61 years ago. So, I don’t have a memory of her ever not being in my life. Oh, but the memories she has left with me and everyone else who ever met her. She was a hard working woman who helped her husband farm their land while keeping their house warm, cozy and clean. She was a mother to three daughters and a friend to many. She was a caregiver in the deepest sense of the word. She was not trained to do this as a profession, she just offered herself to give care when it was needed. As unselfish a person as anyone could ever be. I don’t recall ever hearing her ask for something for herself. She was a living example of how we all should live our lives.

Chief Joseph and Family Members, Circa 1877

Chief Joseph and Family

I have such fond memories of spending time on my Aunt and Uncle’s small little farm. She always made me feel welcome and I had so much fun playing with my cousins while experiencing life on the farm. As I reflected on those memories this last week, I remembered that I was not the only child who experienced her loving care. Just about every child in our family spent time in their home over the course of a summer. We all experienced her work ethic, heard her laugh and enjoyed her wonderful cooking. Teaching us by doing and not meaningless words.

If someone needed some help with canning, cleaning or other household duties…she was there. She would take people to a doctor’s visit when they needed a ride. Once she had battled cancer herself she often took others to their Chemo treatments because she understood how they felt and the questions they had. She did this for my own Mother when she was fighting pancreatic cancer. She gave her time and showed her compassion time and time again.

She was an example of someone who “walks the walk” without being strong on “talking the talk” if that makes sense. She did not brag about what she did for people, she just acted on what she knew people needed. As we gathered the evening before the funeral, the room was packed with people who came to pay their respects to those who are left to mourn her passing. For four hours people kept coming. At the funeral there were so many people that the funeral home had to open up another room. As I sat there a midst all those people I said to my own daughters, “It is quite a testament to the life one has lived to have this many people come to say good-bye”.

Sometimes we are blessed with a soul like hers in our lives. If we are lucky we get to be with that soul for many years and others only walk our journey with us for a short time. The time span does not matter as much as the gifts of learning do. We see by their example the way that we are supposed to live our lives with joy, giving, compassion and peace.

Dear Aunt G, we are richer for you having been in our lives and as much as we will all miss you we find comfort that you are now in a place where there is no pain and no indignity of illness. We will all watch after Uncle J as we know he will miss you the most.

~Beverly Two Feathers~

Receiving My Indian Name

I mentioned in my last post that I had recently traveled with my husband to a place that was held sacred by different tribal traditions for centuries before the Europeans came to this continent. While I was there I received my Indian name. That may sound odd to some of you and will make absolute sense to others. Suffice it to say, receiving my name was very significant and healing for me. I have been humbly asking for quite some time for my special spirit name to be revealed to me and for the longest time, I felt that I was being answered with silence. The silence was not something that bothered me because I knew that the ancient elders did not feel that I was ready to know my spirit name. So, I have tried to be patient and trust that when I was worthy, it would be revealed.

I should also explain that this place that I went to is a place that has called to me for a very long time. There was a longing in my heart to go and at times I would weep feeling such a strong pull to go to this sacred ground. There were times when I would share with people close to me that I needed to go to this place because there was something waiting for me there. I wasn’t sure what, just certain that I would know it when I saw it or felt it.

Two Feathers
Copyright Owned By Beverly Owens Not To Be Copied Without Permission

As I walked among the ancient stones one day, absorbing the energy that they give me, I had a thought that this was the reason I had been so drawn to come. I said a silent little “thank you” to the spirits for guiding me to them. As I looked down to the ground to make sure that my footing was in a good place, I saw two feathers and I picked them up. I walked back to my husband and the couple that had taken us to this spot. “Look what I found!” I said with a joy that even I didn’t quite understand.

The man, my husband’s cousin, smiled so big and said, “Well, look at you little Miss Two Feathers!” I felt an almost jolt shoot through my body. It was a joyful energy that I can not even properly explain with mere words. I knew, I knew that my prayers had been long last answered. I had my name!

Now, you might be thinking I have lost what little mind I had but let me explain the significance of those two feathers. The number 2 is telling in and of itself. Two represents a feminine energy. A soul that is associated with the number two is diplomatic,  gentle and understanding. The shape of the 2 looks as if it is bent on one knee with the head bowed in an act of humility. Two also represents a survivor (people who know my life story will know the significance of that symbol and me). My birthday is a double 2…the 22nd.

The feathers have a symbolism, too. Feathers are associated with spiritual evolution. Many of the Chiefs of different tribal traditions wore feathers to signify their connection with Spirit. Feathers are associated with truth, with lightness in weight and the sky gods.

It does not escape me that the feathers are from a wild turkey which also has a meaning. Turkey gives the medicine of giving. Turkey teaches that life is sacred and that the Great Spirit resides in all peoples. The medicine of turkey gives us the message that all that we do for others we do for ourselves. When turkey comes to us it is a sign of a gift that can be spiritual, material, or intellectual. The gift? My name!

From this time forth, I will be signing my posts with my spiritual name:

~Beverly Two Feathers~