Sometimes when I am contemplating the medicines to be learned by my own Native American Totems, I will work on a craft that will help me reflect on what I am supposed to learn. Recently, the craft of choice was crochet. I really had a difficult time finding a crochet pattern that I thought represented even a somewhat Native American theme. I have been crocheting for several decades now; so, I designed my own crochet pattern for an afghan to have in our home.

I decided to create a pattern that honored the Medicine Wheel by using colors found in the wheel and by separating them with a complimentary color that represents Father Sky where the winds of direction blow.

You might be thinking what does crocheting an afghan have to do with totems, Bev? Well, remember that a totem is the spirit of an animal, mineral, plant, or living part of Mother Earth that works with us to give us medicine or a lesson about life. It is not enough to come to realize that a totem or spirit is working with you. Once you realize that you have lessons to learn and areas to work on in your life, you need to work with the spirit and reflect on what it is you can work on to be a better person.

One of my totems is telling me to take it easy or relax more and not work so hard. One of the ways for me to relax is to crochet. It is very therapeutic for me, personally. I enjoy creating something from nothing and while crocheting I usually ponder some of those thoughts that are crowding my sub-conscious.  After I designed the pattern for the Medicine Wheel Ripple Afghan and started to work the design with the yarn, I found myself meditating on the directions of the Medicine Wheel and what we learn or the medicine we receive from each. It was a way for me to clarify and comprehend some paths that I need to walk on.

Crocheting may not be your cup of tea and that is OK. What I am suggesting to you is to recognize a totem that is walking with you right now and then think of an activity that you can do that will allow you to meditate on the medicine it is trying to give you. I think you will find that you will be more at ease with your inner being if you do.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

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