The Jaguar Totem

The medicine that we learn from Jaguar as a totem is of integrity and impeccability. The spirit of this sacred cat eats away at the unclean aspects of human behavior. Brother Jaguar teaches us the punishments of our inappropriate behavior toward our fellow humans and other creatures of Mother Earth. He will also offer rewards of good medicine to those of us who walk in their personal integrity while walking in an impeccable manner in our journey through this lifetime.

If you find that the totem of Jaguar is entering into your dream world or your real world it might be rewarding you for upholding your integrity in a situation where you could have abused your authority. You might have chosen to not be self-serving in a situation or you might have decided not to be judgmental against another person. Perhaps you were kind to someone while others were cruel or performed a good deed when it was not expected. If you are hearing the roar of Jaguar due to rewards for good behavior let yourself be filled with well being and continue to serve your fellow humans with compassion and the integrity of an open heart.

A Close View of a Captive Jaguar, Panthera Onca

A Close View of a Captive Jaguar, Panthera Onca
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Brother Jaguar reminds us to not waiver in our resolves to be our own personal best at all times. To remember to maintain our dignity, devotion, and compassion no matter what contrary influences surround us is another lesson we learn from the totem spirit of Jaguar. The totem of Jaguar teaches us that personal integrity will always allow for mistakes, embraces forgiveness, and to humbly make corrections of self to keep a balance in our spirit.

The Mayan peoples believed that the totem of Skygod was Jaguar and even after the death of this god-like being that Jaguar would roam the dreams of the Maya and their priests looking for dishonorable behavior.

~Mitakuye Oyasing~ We are all related

Native American Fry Bread

I would venture to say that not many people would consider Native American Fry Bread as a totem but I would disagree slightly.  A totem gives medicine or teachings in our lives and Fry Bread, to me, does have a lesson that we can learn from.

Many non-natives consider Native American Fry Bread as a traditional staple of the different tribal traditions of the Indigenous People of North America.  However, it was not until the 1800’s when the American people began to force the Native Americans onto the reservations that it even became a part of their diets. The rations that were given on the reservations consisted of flour, salt  and lard which was not something that the women were familiar with or used when feeding their families.

Fry bread was created out of necessity to keep the Native Americans from starving. It was a symbol of poverty and the humiliation of having to live confined to an area that was not their homeland. The Native American women began to feed their families with this fried bread by combining the flour, salt, baking powder and water and literally frying it in the lard. It became a symbol of survival.

Recently, my husband and I attended a Fry Bread Contest at the Eitlejorg Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a wonderful afternoon where different tribal representatives made frybread in their traditions for us to taste and vote on. We tasted Pottawatomie, Navajo, and Pueblo versions of this wonderful fried bread and heard the history of the bread.  They were all delicious and I would be hard pressed to decide which one was my favorite.

I came away that afternoon with “good medicine” with the lesson of survival and determination from those women of 150 years ago. They took ingredients that were so totally foreign to them and created a staple to feed their families, to save their children. Now, each time I make fry bread or eat frybread of another tradition, I will be thankful for the totem medicine of these women and I will honor their memory. Out of hardship they found a way to sustain life.  So, even though Fry Bread is not a traditional Native American Totem in the truest sense; it does give me a lesson and good medicine to live by.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

South Shield: A Sacred Path Lesson

To continue with the cards of the Four Directions Spread that I first posted about on last Monday, it is time for me to share about the third card in the reading.  This card represents the West direction and shows me how to find the inward answer that introspection brings. In order to reach my goals I need to seek my own truths about what I desire, how I plan to fulfill that desire, and what my purpose is in meeting that goal. The card that falls in this position of the spread gives the tool that will assist in finding those truths.

The card that came up for me in the West Direction was the South Shield. The lessons of the Sacred Path that pertain to this card are of Innocence and the Inner Child.  So the tool I need to use to get back on my Sacred Path and begin a balance again is my Inner Child and the Innocence of that part of me.  I am to let myself return to the child like parts of Self that need no support from my ego. I need to balance work with play and sacredness with irreverence. Basically, the card is telling me to “lighten up” so that I can continue on my journey. It is telling me that I have been way too serious and that is what part of the block has been.

The South Shield is telling me to let loose and laugh more so that I can break up the high-minded garbage that has clogged up my energy source. I need to stop holding on so darn tight and remember how to trust like a child.

If I take time to reconnect with my Inner Child, I should be able to find some of the lost magic that every soul needs. I am reminded that playfullness heals a world full of woes.  Yes, the South Shield is the perfect tool for me to get back on my Sacred Path.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

Council Fire: A Sacred Path Lesson

The other day I posted about working with my own journey on my Sacred Path and a card spread that I did with my Sacred Path Cards to determine why I was feeling out of sinc and blocked with my writing. I promised that I would explain the results of the Four Direction Spread and how it fits with what is going on in my life and the answers I feel I received.

The first card to be placed in the circle is the East Card.  The card that falls in this position tells me of the Spiritual Door that is now opening in my life. The card that I picked from the deck will act as the spiritual seed that needs fertile ground and nurturing.  How I accept the role of nurturing greatly depends on my present situation and my state of mind.

The card came up “Council Fire”.  It is all about decisions.  It has been the custom of Native Americans  since ancient times to call a Council Fire when decisions need to be made that effect the whole Tribe or Nation.  It was a great honor to be chosen as a representative of the People and sit at Council. Many facets would be looked at before a decision was made by a Council. All Sacred Viewpoints of those affected by a decision would be considered and treated with respect.  How was the situation handled in the past and does it apply now? A Council Fire was never taken lightly by the indigenous peoples of North America.

So, why did the Council Fire card show up in my East Direction? I have been pacing back and forth and trying to make several decisions about my life and where I want it to go from here. My Spirit Keepers seem to be telling me that I must make a decision and move forward.  It will take some courage to make some of these changes and I know that no change occurs without first having made the decision to change.  The card very much fit into a door that is opening and I must make a decision to go through the door.

My decisions:

  • Take time each day for my own Spiritual growth. My inner energy is thirsty and I need to water it daily to bring it back to life.
  • Begin the process of getting out of the antiques business. I give myself one year to accomplish this. The clutter of the massive inventory is preventing and blocking my progress as an individual. I can see now that its time in my life is done and it is time to move on.
  • Sacrifice less of my time for the benefit of others and concentrate a little more on my own needs. I don’t mean for this to sound selfish, I’ll continue to give of my time because that is important to me.  I just need to balance it out more.
  • Embrace my need to write.  There are stories I must tell…I think I’ve always known that. I need to break down the walls that I have built and let those stories come out. I must begin in earnest to let the writer in me out.

My next post will be about the South card that I drew and how it plays out in my Sacred Path.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

Medicine From My Sacred Path

Lately, I’ve been a little remiss with concentrating on my own Sacred Path and the Medicine that I can receive from the teachings of our Ancestors.  So much so that I found that I seemed blocked in writing posts for this blog about Native American Totems. I read about that a lot, writers getting a block and not being able to put their thoughts down or able to come up with something to write about. For the last month, I have not been able to come up with something to post and it bothered me a great deal. After some reflection the other night, I realized something significant. I’ve been so busy taking care of obligations to others and the needs of others that I forgot about taking care of Bev. We are not to be selfish and only think of ourselves’; however, we do need to have a balance of working with our own spiritual needs and growth while also working with and for others.  It makes sense, doesn’t it? We can’t truly be a help to others if we are not in balance with ourselves. We can’t teach others about being on their Sacred Path if we are not paying attention to our own journey.

The other night, I took some time to meditate on my writers block. As I sat in the quiet with my sage candle burning and holding my medicine bag in my hands, I began to weep silently. I softly asked Great Spirit why I was feeling so lost, empty, and voiceless. Gently, I smoothed the fringe on my medicine bag made from the softest deer hide as I humbly waited for an answer.  I chose this particular medicine bag because Sister Deer is my power totem for my North direction. She offers me wise council when I need it.  She didn’t make me wait long for an answer. A strong thought came into my mind asking me if I had looked at my Four Directions on my path lately. I knew then what I needed to do.

I took my Sacred Path Cards out of my medicine bag and did the Four Directions Spread.  This is a very simple spread of the cards laying them in each of the four directions of the wind. East, South, West, and North in that order.  The East card tells us the spiritual door we are now opening. The South card tells us where our faith should be placed at this time. The West card gives us insight on how to find the inward answer to reach our goals and find our own truths. The North card shows us the wisdom we will gain if we follow our true course.
My spread was:

  • East Card – Council Fire (Decisions)
  • South Card – Shawl (Returning Home)
  • West Card – South Shield (Innocence/Inner Child)
  • North Card – Medicine Bundle (Allies/Support)

In my next post, I will explain the cards in the spread I did further. It is absolutely amazing how these really fit and how it opened up the writer’s block as I began to study the medicine of each card.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related