Native American Horse Totem

It has been said that the Horse was the first animal medicine given to¬†civilization. And if you think about it all humans owe a great deal of gratitude to the gifts and medicine that Horse as a totem and animal has given us. In Native American traditions, the Horse totem is a lesson in power. At one time many tribal traditions had a saying that was in the order of “Stealing horses is stealing power.”

The horse has given a physical power to humans since the first adventurous soul mounted the back of one and domesticated it. Suddenly the burden of carrying heavy loads became lighter. A trip to see a relative that might take several days on foot, became easier to make on the back of a horse. If we think about it, Horse decided to let that human on its back to give the human a power like he or she had never known before.

There is a story of a medicine man who was traveling a far distance to visit a particular band of his tribe. He was on foot, carrying only his pipe and what few belongings he possessed. The feather in his hair pointed down to the earth which marked him as a man of peace.

He was greeted by a herd of mustangs as he walked. A black stallion approached him and told him, “I am from the Void where Answer lives. Ride on my back and know the power of entering the Darkness and finding the Light.” The man thanked the stallion and agreed to visit him when his medicine was need in the his Dreamtime.

Band Of One zazzle_print
Band Of One by PhotoJunkyGeno online at

Yellow Stallion approached the man, next. This horse offered to take the man to the East where he would find that illumination lives. The man would learn what to teach and illuminate his people with. Again, the man humbly thanked the horse and promised to use these gifts while on his journey.

The man was playfully approached by the Red Stallion who explained the importance of balancing work with joyful experiences. Humor could be used to hold the attention of those he wanted to teach. The man thanked the Red Stallion for his gifts.

The man was then approached by the White Stallion who was the message carrier. Instinctively the man mounted the White horse as he represented the wisdom in power. “No abuse of power will ever lead to true wisdom, ” the horse shared with the man. “Power is not given lightly but awarded to those who are willing to carry a balanced responsibility.”

The medicine of Horse teaches us that true power is the wisdom found in remembering our total journey. You might be interested in reading my thoughts of the horse and it’s part in the Old West.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

Eagle Art

When a creature teacher is working with us to give us totem medicine we are often directed to many different forms of that Animal Spirit. One way that Eagle may try to get your attention is in Eagle Art. I mentioned in my last post that I have been watching the Decorah, Iowa eagle nest via the camera installed above the nest, a calling for me, I think.

I am already aware that Eagle walks with me along my journey here on Earth. Brother and Sister Eagle keep me grounded as one of my power totems and Eagle is also my personal Spirit Keeper. So, I’m not surprised when I start to get strong messages from this majestic creature. My instincts say that if you have been drawn to this post that you are also being given some needed medicine from Eagle.

A fellow Eagle enthusiast who visits the chat room at the Decorah eagle camera has created some wonderful Eagle Art. My hunch is that Eagle works with him, too. John Proffitt has created some wonderful art honoring Eagle.

The above image is from John’s work. It is his tribute to Mother Eagle from the Decorah Nest. He has captured her essence so well. I notice that he even shaded her eyes which is one way that we can tell which parent is on the nest at any given time, by their distinct eyes.

When John isn’t watching the nest or creating Eagle art, he is a singer and songwriter. He also loves to do oil paintings of landscapes as he states on his website. He also graciously donates a portion of his sales of his eagle prints to the Raptor Resource Project.

John also painted a tribute to Father Eagle that I think is remarkable.

I love how he has Dad in a pose that appears that he is about to swoop down and grab food for the nest. Father Eagle is a very good hunter and brings all sorts of items to the nest during the day. Fish, squirrels, and rabbits are lovingly brought in to feed his little eaglets and Mom. It is so sweet when we see him offer Mom a morsel, too.

I would like to publicly thank John Proffitt for taking the time to honor this wonderful pair of Eagles and hope that you will take a look at his website to see his other Eagle art.

For centuries the Indigenous Peoples have honored and learned from Eagle. This creature teacher tells us that we can achieve a state of grace through hard work, understanding, and completing tests of initiation. By trusting our connection to Great Spirit we earn the right to use the essence of Eagle medicine. Through the highs of life and the lows of life we are initiated into a most precious connection to our Creator. Thank you Brother and Sister Eagle for working with me and so many others.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

Native American Face Paint

The Native American face paint and body paint is so often presented in the wrong light. Many people often think of the painted face as being war paint. Although some Native traditions used warpaint it was more to frighten the enemy and to add to the Warrior’s expression of bravery.

The painted face is used in two types of personal medicine, the face paint of the warrior and his special gifts and the Ceremonial Paint which celebrated the individual spirit to all others of a tribe. Basically the ceremonial painted face was a form of self-expression. Never used as a way to disguise one’s identity but rather to make their identity known in a much more personal way.

The warpaint was used on the warrior and his horse to show their team spirit of working together. The medicine shown in the painted face and body was also used on the horse to protect it with the same medicine as the rider. A warrior would receive his special battle medicine from a medicine dream.

Hupa Dancer, C1923

Hupa Dancer,…
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Whether the painted face was presented in a battle or for ceremonial use the colors used and the symbol used had special meaning to the individual wearing the paint. Made from powder pulverized from specific clays for color the powders were mixed with bear grease or Buffalo tallow to make the paint. Sometimes grasses and herbs were used to give a specific color to the clay powder.

Traditional colors of red, black, white, and yellow are normally found in the Native American face paint which represent the colors of the Four Directions. The colors of blue and green were not a normal color choice because they were more difficult to make with natural materials. If one was able to make the colors they represented Father Sky in the color blue and Mother Earth in the color green.

A face that was painted totally black indicated the loss of a loved one and the wearer was in mourning. Eye sockets painted black tells the ones who see them that the person acknowledges the direction of West, he/she sees the truth, they are a fair judge, are as strong as a bear, and they would make a good adviser of the People.

A red line down the middle of the nose could mean two separate things. One meaning would be that the person wearing the line trusts the path they are following. Our nose leads us in every direction we go so a red nose would indicate a leader who has gained the trust of the People.

Each symbol of one’s personal medicine will be painted in the color of the direction that brought the knowledge to them. Most traditions use yellow for East, red for South, black for West, white for North, blue for Above, green or brown for Below, and green for Within.

The Native American face paint indicated the gifts that person was given by Great Spirit and shared the knowledge of those medicines with his People as a form of self-expression.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

Black Panther Totem

The totem or medicine of the Black Panther reminds us that darkness is the place for both seeking and finding answers. It is a place to accept healing. The darkness is a place for us to access the hidden light of truth. Through our dreams, Sister Panther teaches us to delve into the places within ourselves to find the things in need of healing. Just as a Black Panther we must track the unfamiliar territory of self-discovery and to be as fearless as she in facing the unknown.

If Black Panther is working with you as a totem she may be telling you not to worry about the future. She could be reminding you that you need to trust that you are not supposed to “figure it out” right now. It might be a time for you to confront your fears of the unknown. Do you fear being less than you truly are? Are you frightened to just BE yourself? Sister Panther says to let go of the fears because they are obstacles in your growth.¬† Embrace your unknown and flow with the unfolding journey of your life.

Black Panther

Black Panther
Frank Mcintosh Buy This at

When working with Black Panther, or should I say when she is working with us, we need to let go of the negative people and limiting thoughts. There is no reason to fear being alone. When we are out of balance we have a tendency to allow the shadows create demons of fear in us. Trust Black Panther to guide you in the darkness.

Snuggle into Black Panther’s dark fur and let her guide you into the emptiness of the void. Do not let the shadows overcome you but instead embrace the unknown and trust that what is coming is good and right for your personal journey.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

Lessons From Chief Seattle

Along with the medicine and lessons that we receive from our Native American Totems from the animal, mineral, and plant kingdoms; we can also be blessed by the totems or lessons from our ancestors or the people who came before us. Chief Seattle is one of those remarkable men who taught while he was on Mother Earth and continues to teach today with his wisdom.

He once said, “Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”

As we walk on our Sacred Path it is important to take heed of Chief Seattle’s words. The actions we make each day not only effects us but those around us. Each one of us can do good for the web of life or we can do harm. We can spread positive energy throughout or we can spread negative across the many strands. Our choices make a difference for today and for generations to come.

Chief Seattle with Basket

Chief Seattle…

Chief Seattle of the Duwamish tribe saw his world through many changes. As a young boy he watched as the Europeans first came to his peoples lands. He was an incredible leader of his people, an excellent orator, and his keen senses allowed him to see what the white settlers really had in mind. He worked with the Europeans to try to get what was best for his people as the influx of settlers began to take the land away from the tribes in the area of Puget Sound.

His choices made a difference for his people at the time. Although, it would have been better if they didn’t have to give up any lands, Chief Seattle realized the inevitability of what was coming and negotiated a little better treatment for those he was responsible for. He worked with what he had before him and tried to make it the most positive result. Although, forced to figure out the lesser of two evils; I believe he chose the best course of action he had at the time.

As you progress into the following days, remember the wisdom of Chief Seattle…we are but a single strand in the web of life…our actions make a difference for the whole of the web.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related