Antelope Animal Totem Medicine

The lesson from Antelope is Action. It is said that when time was just beginning and the “Tribe of Man” was still small, Antelope could see that the two-leggeds were naked, hungry, and in danger of fading from existence. Our Ancestors could vanish from Mother Earth if action was not taken.

Antelope acted and went into camp.  He called all the two-leggeds together for Council.

“Great Spirit has sent me to teach you a lesson. The lesson is to do.  There is no reason to be fearful if you know what to do and then do it.”  Antelope said.

“And what should we do?” the People asked.

“If you are naked and cold, you should kill me and take my coat to keep you warm.  It is my gift to you.  Do it.”

“We will, ” said the People. “But what about our hunger? We are starving. What should we do to save ourselves?

“If you are hungry, you should kill me and take my flesh.  It will nourish you and make you strong.  It is my gift to you and a part of my evolution. It is my service.  Do it.”

You see, Antelope knew that the humans would survive the Ice Age if they learned to eat meat. Before the great mountains of ice began to move across Mother Earth, fruits and vegetables had been plentiful. There had been no need to eat from the bodies of the animals. The clans of the second world ate Antelope.  They took the wisdom and instinct of the four-leggeds into their bodies and learned from each creature’s essence how to survive.  They were taught never to waste or to take more than they needed. When they were in need the two-leggeds knew to take action.

Antelope taught humans to honor the gifts sent from the Great Spirit  and to avoid the indiscriminate destruction of life.

Antelope signifies knowledgeable action. Observing brother Antelope, you become aware of your mortality and the short time span you have on this planet. Antelope medicine is the knowledge of life’s circle. Knowing of death, Antelope can truly live. Action is the key and essence of living.

Antelope medicine gives you strength of mind and heart and the ability to take quick and decisive action to get things done.

“Do it now. Don’t wait any longer.” says Brother Antelope.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ 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

Dandelion of the Budding Trees Moon

Dandelion is the plant totem of the Budding Trees Moon which falls between March 21 to April 19 each year.  We sometimes give little respect to the dandelion and want to drive this weed from our lawns.  Little dandelion as a totem can teach us of the advantages of taking root as well as flying.

The dandelion has many uses for us two-leggeds here on Mother Earth. The root can be used as a substitute for coffee. Young leaves can be used in salads; while the older leaves can be cooked and eaten as greens. High in vitamins A, B, C, and G the dandelion also has calcium, phosphorus, iron, and natural sodium. Dandelion can be soothing, relaxing, and mildly sedating. It can help to purify and alkalize your bloodstream. It also has been used to balance the blood sugar levels in one’s body.

Dandelion reminds us of the necessity of exploration and experimentation in our lives. We are also reminded of the beauty of the different stages of our lives.

Native Americans used the dandelion as a remedy for hives and eczema. They boiled a tea to use for rheumatism, liver and spleen problems, gall bladder trouble, hepatitis, and headaches.  They didn’t look at this plant as a weed but as a helpful plant that gave both physical medicine and spiritual medicine.

~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related

Frog Totem Gives Message of Cleansing

Poison Arrow Frogs Card cardFrog may not be the prettiest creature on the planet but as a totem brother frog has a handsome message. Frog sings the songs that bring rain and makes the dirt of earth more bearable.  Frog medicine is related to water energy. We are taught by Frog to honor our tears because they cleanse our souls.  All of the water rites belong to Frog.

The body is cleansed and prepared for sacred ceremony by water.  We understand this element best while in the womb. Frog, like us humans, is a pollywog in the fetal waters and only learns to hop after it experiences the world of fluidity.

As Frog transforms into adulthood he prepares for the power to call the waters of the skies, rain.  Because Frog knows the power of water he can sing the song that brings the rains to Earth. Frog calls on the Thunder Beings to cleanse and replenish the Earth with water when our ponds become dry.  We are asked to be like Brother Frog and to know when it is time to refresh, purify, and refill the coffers of our souls.

Look at yourself today. Are you feeling tired, overloaded, harried, frustrated, guilty, nervous, empty, or weakened? If so, Frog is calling you to perform the cleansing that you need.

Take a break and allow your soul to bathe in the waters of Frog medicine.  You can do this by taking a long relaxing bath, disconnecting your phone, or just pausing to take deep cleansing breaths.  The main point is to find a way to rid yourself of the distractions and to replace the muddiness in your life with clear and clean energy.  This will help to replenish your dry spirit, body and mind.

Brother Frog speaks to us of new life and harmony through his rain song. His song calls to the Thunder Beings (thunder, lightning, and rain). His ribbet is the heartbeat that reaches harmony with Father Sky and asks for the needed replenishment.  So call to Brother Frog to find peace in the joy of taking time for yourself. This gift to yourself cleanses you of any person, place or thing that does not contribute to your newly found state of serenity.

~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related

Armadillo As Native American Totem

Lesson about Boundaries

You wouldn’t think that a creature that looks so prehistoric and let’s admit it, is rather homely, could give us a beautiful message. Armadillo does give us a wonderful and enlightening message when it comes to us as a totem in Native American beliefs.

Armadillo #2 (Postcard)
Armadillo #2 (Postcard)
by maryvandenberg at Zazzle

It’s message is about boundaries and the setting of them. Armadillo’s medicine is a part of his body, he wears his armour on his back. The boundaries of safety are a part of his total being.  He can roll into a ball and never be penetrated by his enemies.

Oh what a lovely gift this message is from Armadillo! Set your boundaries so that harmful words or intentions just roll right off of you! The lesson is to set up what you are willing to experience.

Make a circle on a piece of paper and envision it as a medicine shield. Inside of this circle write all that you are wanting to have, to do, or to experience. Be sure to include the things that bring you joy. You have now set up boundaries that allow only these chosen experiences to be a part of your life. The boundaries become like a shield for you that wards off the very things you find undesirable.  This shield reflects what you are and what your will is to those around you on an unconscious level.  You can also put the things that you are willing to experience by invitation only on the outside of your shield.  These would be things like criticism from friends, visits from relatives you haven’t seen in years, or even people who need something from you.

Armadillo helps you define your space by coming to you as a totem. He may be telling you that you have been too willing to let your home become like an airport terminal and that you have become too obliging to the needs of others.

There are four questions that you should ask yourself:

  1. Have I honored my time for personal enjoyment?
  2. Do I let people treat me like a doormat?
  3. Why do I get upset when I’m taken for granted?
  4. Why am I a “yes” person?

The answers to these questions will help you set your own boundaries.  What makes you feel uncomfortable? What brings you comfort? Are you letting the wants and needs of others bleed over into your own personality? Armadillo tells us to set the boundaries and allow positive energy to sustain us. Block the negative with your medicine shield.

~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related.