Cycle of Power

Animal Totems

Order "The Cycle of Power Animal Totem Book"

Animals on this page M-P

Magpie, Mockingbird, Monkey, Moose, Moth, Mustang-Horse, Octopus, Okapi, Opossum, Orca, Ostrich, Otter, Owl,
Panther, Parrot, Peacock, Penguin, Peregrine Falcon, Pig, Pigeon, Platypus, Polar Bear, Praying Mantis, Puffin

Totems:  A-B
Totems:      C
Totems:  D-G
Totems:  H-L
Totems: Q-S
Totems: T-Z

The Magpie

Related to the crow the magpie is an intelligent and adaptable bird.  Ancient folklore associated with the magpie suggests that when two or more fly into ones life good fortune is coming soon.  Since magpies are opportunists and seldom miss a chance to get something for nothing those with this medicine should pay attention to subtle omens that appear in their life then act accordingly so opportunities are not missed.  The magpie asks us to wake up and be conscious in every area of our life.

Magpies are curious and have a reputation for steeling anything that they can carry away.  They use whatever they find and teach us how to be resourceful.  Magpie medicine people have the ability to succeed in life.  Those with this totem are usually eclectic and able to draw on a variety of resources to assist them in their pursuits. Being able to adapt to different situations in a spontaneous way is one of the magpies strongest attributes. Those with this totem often find that their interests are varied which make master ship of any one thing difficult although not impossible.

Magpies are extremely vocal especially in groups.  They help those with this medicine learn how to use their voice to attract attention, attain desired goals as well as acquire respect from others.  This applies only if this medicine is developed sufficiently.  Otherwise the voice and its expression may need improvement for positive results to be obtained. Proper communication is one of the lessons that needs to be learned by magpie medicine people .

The black and white coloring of the magpie associates them to the world of magic, prophecy and witchcraft.  They know how to live within the light and the dark simultaneously and understand the pros and cons of both.  Magic is symbolic of creation.  Occult knowledge must be understood fully before it can be used in a beneficial way. Those with this totem have the opportunity of creating a new and better life for themselves once they develop their psychic gifts completely and use those gifts with pure intention and self less service. Past life ties regarding the misuse of magic are common amongst magpie medicine people.  The gift of a new creation will be offered to you only when you are ready.  When the magpie flies into your life, get ready, your about to embark into the world of opportunity.

The Mockingbird

The Northern mockingbird is approximately 10 inches in length with a long tail that twitches vigorously when excited. It has strong legs suited to scratching through dead leaves and underbrush for insects Although their dull gray color doesn’t impress the eye their various calls definitely demand attention. Known for their songs the mockingbird was given its name because of its ability to mimic the calls of other bird species. In Latin the word mockingbird means “ many tongued mimic.”

The song of mockingbird is a medley of calls of many other birds. They are master imitators and usually repeat an imitation several times before they start another song in rapid succession.  They are one of the few birds that sing while in flight. 

Mockingbirds hold a variety of teachings.  On a subtle level they show us how to mimic ourselves. What we mimic reflects back to us and helps us see what we truly are. Discovering oneself in this way can be a powerful transformational experience. Those with this totem should ask mockingbird to help them connect with their personal sound frequency. Once this connection is made healing on all levels takes place.

It is common for an individual bird to have as many as 30 songs in its repertory.  It can also mimic the sounds of barking dogs and cats.  They teach us about the power of the voice through song. Appearances are not important to those with this totem. They are always heard before they are seen, if they are seen at all. Those with this medicine can learn new languages easily and make excellent interpreters and spokesman.

Mockingbirds are fearless and will defend their nest and territory. Courageous birds they will dive and attack intruders that come too close.  They teach us how to develop confidence within ourselves, sing out our truth and stand up for what is rightfully ours.

The Monkey

Monkeys are fascinating animals to watch. Their acrobatic maneuvers hold the energy of effortlessness and grace. They twist, turn, jump, and hang with the greatest of ease. They crawl up and down tree trunks and leap from branch to branch extending their long arms outward towards the next limb. Once they arrive at their destination they stop, look around and contemplate what is in their immediate environment.

Moving in all directions, forward, backwards and sideways gives the monkey the advantage of seeing things from different angles. They have excellent vision and are able to see that which is hidden from normal view. Their master ship of movement and keen observation skills help them reach their destination safely. Those with this totem have the ability to know where they are going and understand where they have been. Through perseverance, focus and fluid movement their goals can be attained.

Monkeys are flat-footed animals. They walk around using all four limbs. When they walk their whole foot hits the ground at the same time. This links the monkey to the qualities of stability and sure footed. Their agility of movement is a reminder to us to maintain balance in all that we think, do and say. Leadership roles are often granted to people that hold this medicine.

Curious and clever a monkeys mood can change instantaneously giving them an air of unpredictability. A general theme for those that carry this medicine is to "expect the unexpected."

Monkeys are most active during the day. Their brains are large denoting a strong intelligence. After sexual maturity, male monkeys are at all times potent. This sexual potency is symbolic of birth, rebirth and new creation.

The monkey is a powerful ally to have. A master at shape shifting realities it prompts us to explore all aspects of who we are and who we choose to become. By learning from the monkey and applying its skills of power, grace and observation, foundations are created that give birth to our choices. Eventually these choices will manifest in our lives so if monkey is your totem be careful of what you choose.

The Moose

The moose is one of the most ancient and unique of the power totems. The adult male can stand 7 feet tall and weigh 1200 pounds. Male moose bellow loudly during mating and can be heard over 6 miles away.  When they hear a moose cow answer they run to her prepared to battle anything in their path.  The moose is courageous and determined and will make its presence known when it chooses to.

On the other hand, the moose has an uncanny ability to camouflage itself, in spite of its great size and power.  It can move silently through its territory and never be seen.  These contradictions help it survive in the wild.  It holds the teachings of invisibility and  the power of presence.  Shapeshifing abilities are tied to mythology and incorporate the teachings of shamanism and magic. For those with this totem the refinement of these skills is enhanced through these studies.

When you see a moose in the wild the energy it embodies is awesome. The massive antlers that crown  its head grow  larger then any other antlered animal. Ancient myth refers to these antlers as "The Crown of Courage."  These antennae are linked to the crown chakra in man.  As the antlers grow the crown chakra opens and expands giving those with this medicine a direct channel to universal knowledge.

Contradicting and majestic the moose can appear awkward as well as graceful. Its highly developed sense of smell and hearing is complimented by its excellent depth perception. Its appearance of ungainliness is misleading and deceptive and it is this deception, which enables it to survive so well.

Moose calves are born with their eyes open. Individuals who carry this medicine are born with their inner eyes already open and can see things with exceptional clarity.  Psychic awakenings later in life are uncommon.  The moment of birth is the moment of awakening for moose medicine people.  The most difficult lessons in life are during their childhood. Their courage coupled with their direct connection to universal knowledge gives them the tools necessary to strengthen their self esteem and discover their place in society. A powerful totem to have moose will uncover the depth of who you are and align you with your inherent wisdom.

The Moth

Moths live in all but polar regions. The wings, bodies, and legs of the moth are covered with numerous touch hairs that come off if it is handled.  Because of this the moth is highly sensitive to touch. They can feel, smell, taste and determine temperatures with their feathery antennae. The tiny pegs upon them serve as receptors. This gives the moth the ability to perceive everything with clarity.  Those with this totem usually have strong psychic and healing abilities. They must be careful not to pick up other peoples problems and carry them around in their own energy field. If this happens confusion and irritability can set in.

The process of metamorphosis is part of the magic the moth holds.  The egg stage symbolizes the birth of an idea.  The larvae stage indicates the  laying of a foundation.  The chrysalis stage represents  the process of creating, and the winged stage allows it to take flight  and explore new territory.

One of the most interesting characteristics of the moth is how it wraps its wings around itself.  When resting, they either fold their wings, wrap them around their body, or hold them extended by their sides.  This suggests a basic nurturing quality and those with this medicine often find themselves in some sort of care giving role.

The hearing ability of the moth is acute.  They are capable of detecting ultra sound because their hearing organs are found on their legs. These  enable them to sense vibrations emitted around them.  Paying attention to what is being said and what isn't being said is part of the teachings the moth holds. Observing the body language of others is helpful.

When the moth appears in our life it is asking us to pay attention to issues of sensitivity.  Are you overly sensitive or insensitive to those around you? Are you  involved in a situation that needs to be reevaluated?  Are you honoring the integrity of all concerned?

The transformative qualities of the moth are numerous.  It shows us how to develop and refine our psychic gifts.  The moth is an optimist and an opportunist. It can teach us how to release unwanted influences and fly into the discovery of our personal joy.

The Mustang/Horse

The horse represents freedom and power. There is a lot of myth and lore associated with this majestic creature. Once wild horses numbered in the many millions. Eventually their lands were taken and they were hunted for domestication. Although the horse became a domesticated animal their spirit for freedom remained strong. They can be a bit unpredictable and have been known to revert back to their wild animalistic nature.

Horses feel things deeply and have strong emotions. They can sense the energy field of others and respond to whatever that energy projects. This sensitivity is associated with psychic powers. Those with horse as a totem find comfort in being touched and benefit from bodywork.

Before this continent became so populated, it was well suited for the mustang. The best stallions had huge herds that they alone led. They had adapted themselves to live in harsh environments on diets that wouldn't sustain most horses. However their need for freedom made them unsuited to a country whose people seemed compelled to control and dominate everything. Slowly the herds started to die and presently there are only a few herds left in parts of nine western states. Horse medicine people require space to roam and the freedom to live their own truth. If dominated or controlled by another they will run like the wind and never return.

Horses helped transform a continent. They pulled the wagon trains that allowed the West to be taken by the Europeans. They helped turn the Lakota and other Native nations into the powerful mounted warriors and nomads that they became.

The horse then, is freedom and the power that comes with being free. A horse gives its rider the safety of speed. They gave the natives tremendous power to run, fight, send messages, hunt and move their villages quickly.

To steal a horse was to steal power from another tribe. If horse appears in your life you are being given the gift of safe movement and passage into the new. Horses are very intelligent and although they have been trained to perform a number of tasks they still carry a majestic quality about them. The horse is sure footed and serves as a messenger of hope and a leader into freedom for those with this totem.

The Octopus

Octopus live in dens, crevices on the sea floor, or holes they dig under large rocks. They are night predators and feed on crabs, sea snails, and other small fish.  An adult female has a short life span approximately one to one and a half years. . There are over 100 species of these solitary eight armed animals that live on the ocean floor.  They range in size from one inch up to 23 feet.

Adults lay 1000’s of eggs at a time. They watch over the eggs for several months without ever leaving the den. Exhausted by breeding and starved by the vigil over her eggs the female octopus usually dies before or shortly after the eggs hatch. In the world of the octopus the cycle of life and death is continuos. The Greeks believe the octopus represents the sacred spiral of life, always evolving and ever changing.  Near death and out of body experiences are common for those with this totem giving them the skills necessary to help others transition into spirit. They make excellent hospice workers and death and dying therapists.

The agility of the octopus is surpassed by none. Since they don’t have bone attached to the muscles in their legs they can squeeze through openings no bigger than a penny. If the octopus loses an arm it will regrow another one. Flexibility and regeneration are some of its teachings. The study and practice of Yoga would be an excellent therapy for those with this medicine.

The most unusual feature of the octopus is its 3 hearts.  One heart pumps blood through the body and the other two-pump blood through the gills. This attributes to their constant high blood pressure. Octopus blood is blue and a poor carrier of oxygen. The rare condition known as a blue baby is associated with octopus medicine. Because of these physiological oddities the octopus has poor stamina and an inability to struggle offensively or defensively for very long. Heart conditions are common in those with this medicine so caution is advised.

These unique creatures of the sea have excellent eyesight but cannot hear.  They are believed to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates.  Those with this medicine are clairvoyant at birth but have difficulty hearing or responding to the voice within no matter how hard they try.  When octopus swims into your life it is asking you to let go of your inefficiencies, stop trying so hard and focus on fine tuning the skills that are naturally yours.

Octopuses are experts in the art of camouflage and teach us how to utilize this skill for our own benefit. These fascinating creatures can change colors to mirror their surroundings and alter their skin texture to match the texture of sand, rocks or other surfaces they are on. They also squirt black ink into the water clouding a predator’s visibility so they can escape unharmed.  The octopus is a powerful totem to have. By following its lead we learn how to move through life safely, securely and without struggles.    

The Okapi

The Okapi is found in rain forests of the Congo region and was unknown to science until around 1900.  Because of its late discovery, its shy disposition and solitary lifestyle it holds the medicine of elusiveness. It is a member of the giraffe family and those with this totem should also study the giraffe.  The giraffe's neck extends into the sky giving it the ability to see into the distant future.  The okapi however, has short legs and a short neck and focuses its sight on the present and near future. Clairvoyant abilities are common for those that hold either one of these medicines.

The okapi can help those with this totem understand their present reality and their immediate future.  The giraffe however, should be called upon if information  relating to the future is needed. Although both the giraffe and the okapi are individual totems they often work as a team when necessary.

The okapi's coat is sleek with a deep brown, almost purple color.  Its buttocks, thighs and tops of its forelegs are horizontally striped with black and white and the lower part of its legs are white with black rings above its hooves.  These markings are symbolic.  The colors black and white are associated with  spirit and form, density and light and represent polarity on the earth plane. Those who hold this medicine often carry life lessons relating to polarity.  Learning detachment from rigid thinking, set agendas, right or wrong behavior patterns is part of the okapi's teachings.

Okapi's are able to stand in total silence without fear. What they hear increases their perception.  Within the silence truth is known. Listening and reacting are two different things.  Those with this medicine need to master the art of listening and let go of the need to react.

A master magician the okapi has the ability to move through life unnoticed. Its markings camouflage its presence in the wild.  When okapi medicine is fully developed those that hold this totem can slip through life unseen and unheard.  If this medicine is underdeveloped a person can appear clumsy, awkward and draw unwanted attention to themselves.

Unique in both its appearance and its habits the okapi "dares us to be different."  It asks us to break out of limited reality and explore the unconventional. Entering into a world that is not society's idea of normal serves as a catalyst for growth both in self and in others.

The Opossum

The opossum is a crafty animal that shows us how to play different roles. It knows when to act, when to hide, and when to show its true colors. Opossum is a master at recognizing truth as well as falsehood. When it wants attention it gets it. When it wants to be left alone it plays dead. It is a strategic animal that knows how to mold each situation according to its needs. It has the ability to decode hidden messages and read between the lines.

A supreme actor, the opossum can be aggressive or submissive depending on the situation. The opossum knows that each situation has commonalties as well as differences and reflects on them carefully before it responds. This links the opossum to the energies of practicality and ingenuity.

Always full of surprises and unpredictable opossums are masters at playing dead. When the time is right they can suddenly spring back to life. Playing dead is a self induced state in which the heartbeat actually slows and the pulse becomes minimal. This ability serves to confuse many predators giving the opossum an escape from life threatening situations.

Opossums are nocturnal and raise their young in a pouch on their mid section. The young are born blind and rely on their feelings to guide them to their destination. They learn to sense their way around at an early age developing strong instincts by the time they reach adulthood. These instincts are complimented by their inherent ability to disguise themselves. The opossum is a multi-faceted actor that continually changes its appearance. It does not allow its emotions to consume its actions and partakes in the game of life with strategic maneuvers. Part of what the opossum teaches to those with this totem is emotional and mental stability.

The opossum is a craftsman in the art of appearances. When it appears in your life it is telling you to wake up and pay attention. Things are not what they seem to be. By observing your actions, reactions, thoughts and feelings, deeper insights emerge. This emergence leads to self-empowerment. Congratulations and welcome home!

The Orca

The Orca is found in all seas from the Arctic to the Antarctic.  The familiar black and white coloring of the Orca is significant.  From a spiritual  point of view it represents lessons of a soul nature regarding polarity. Orcas assist us in acquiring balance within a world of opposites.

From a physical point of view it is a strategy of camouflage. Seen from above their dark back blends in with the darker water below them, while from below, their whiter bellies blend in with the sunlit waters above. This symbolizes the ability to move through life seen or unseen depending on the situation. Learning the art of camouflage is advantageous for those with this medicine. Proper action and reaction, observation and expression are all linked to this art.

The orca swims in formation either in a line or in rows.  This indicates good organizational skills and the ability to work cooperatively with others.

Orcas do not migrate in the same sense as baleen whales, but have seasonal movements which are tied into prey movement and environmental changes.  Two distinct sub groups of the orca are described as resident and transients.   Residents live in larger pods and have a matriarchal system in which two or three females and their descendants live together throughout their lives. Transient groups tend to travel longer distances and are known to hunt and kill other mammals.  The name killer whale originated when whalers and mariners observed transient orcas eating other whales.

Each pod has its own distinctive dialect which allow members of the same pod to recognize one another even if they get separated.  Those with this medicine are able to instantly identify members of their original soul group. Although personalities may differ a strong sense of family is known.  Life lessons as well as spiritual aspirations are similar. Reuniting with members of the same soul group can trigger a sense of great joy or it can awaken heart felt grief as memories surface about a previous loss.  Those with this totem should remember that once a reunion has been established, emotional support for one another will always be available.

Orca medicine people are very creative although they can have a tendency to keep their creativity hidden or allow their creativity to rule their lives. Those with this totem should pay attention to the way in which the orca appears to them.  If it is seen breaching out of the water it is asking you to surface from the depths of your inner reflection and express yourself outwardly in a grounded and creative way.

If seen injured or beached it could indicate a need to take care of your health.  Orcas often get parasites,  bacterial and fungal infections.  Hodgkin's disease has been recorded in killer whales.  From an emotional perspective this disease is linked to low self esteem and the fear of being accepted. The orca holds the teachings of fearlessness, beauty, power and balance.   It can awaken these same qualities within you. All you need to do is ask.

The Ostrich

The ostrich is the largest bird known to man and unlike others birds it cannot fly.  This is very symbolic. Flight signifies new and uncharted territory. Because the ostrich cannot fly it gathers most of its wisdom from the earth walk.  Almost half of its height is its neck. Because the neck symbolizes a link between heaven and earth, the ostrich can teach us how to use our physical capabilities to work with that of the ethereal mental realm in a practical and grounded way.

The ostrich has an ambiguous role in mythology.  The Egyptians venerated the ostrich.  Its feathers were a symbol of Maat, the goddess of truth and justice and were used in the judgment hall of Osiris to weigh the heart of the deceased.  Ostrich feathers were worn in headpieces of goddesses who upheld the virtues of truth and fairness.

This bird has excellent eyesight and can detect the undetectable.  Very little gets past the ostrich's keen perception. This can be both a blessing and a curse for those with this totem. The ostrich's eyes are actually bigger than their brains.  In man this symbolizes a  tendency towards dreamy  flaky thoughts. Using common sense is advised.

Some cultures believed the ostrich possessed clairvoyant abilities and worshipped it. Others were afraid of this all seeing bird.  Those with this medicine have the uncanny ability to know the truth of any situation.  They are not easily fooled by others.   Learning how to use knowledge in a non threatening way is one of the challenges an ostrich medicine person faces.

The ostrich can go without water for long periods.  Their diet consists mostly of plant matter although some meat is taken in.  They have been known to swallow stones, pieces of iron and other such debris without it affecting their digestive system.  Those with this totem have hardy constitutions and can eat almost anything without causing major physical problems.   A  healthy diet is recommended however.

Ostrich relies on its strong legs and feet, uniquely two-towed, with the main toe developed almost like a hoof to escape its enemies.  Frightened ostrich can achieve speeds of 40 miles per hour.  If cornered it can deliver dangerous kicks.  The ostrich is a visible bird.  To escape detection from enemies, chicks and adults may lie on the ground, necks outstretched with  heads buried in the sand.  This habit gave rise to the legend that they bury their head in sand when danger threatens. If the ostrich appears to you in this position it is asking you to become less visible, less vulnerable and protect yourself in some way.

The Otter

There are two kinds of Otter, the river and sea.  Delightful creatures to watch in the wild otters have a strong curiosity exploring every nook and cranny they can find just to see what's there.   Their curiosity reminds us  that everything is interesting if looked at from different angles.  They know how to float on the currents of life enjoying the beauty that it holds. Their relaxed attitude reminds us to laugh with life and not take things to seriously. They offer us the gift of  laughter, trust and playfulness.

Otters are agile and fast in the water. They are often seen floating on their backs with their paws extended out of the water,  sliding on their bellies playfully, or performing acrobatic maneuvers. Water has long been associated with the emotional energies in man. Otters glide through the emotional ups and downs of life with ease and can teach us how to do the same. They represent the creative, nurturing energies that live within us and show us how to honor them.

Otters are excellent parents and care for their young longer than most other marine mammals. They enjoy the company of other otters and are rarely seen alone.  Those with this medicine benefit by living on or close to the water and find comfort in group interactions.

The otter is very talkative.  When frightened their calls take on an erie piercing sound similar to a baby screaming. They have few natural enemies and are not afraid of humans.  During the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, otters were one of the few creatures that would allow humans to hold them without putting up a fight.  As the oil was wiped from their bodies the otter would lie very still in the arms of the one caring for it, unafraid and trusting.

When otter appears in your life it is asking you to let go of worry and pain, lighten up and enjoy what life has to offer.  Trust your inner knowing , develop trust for others and embrace the world with excitement and enthusiasm.  Life is what we make it.  The otter shows us how to create a joyful future. All we need to do is follow its lead.

The Owl

There are approximately 135 species of Owl, seventeen which are found in North America.   Their secretive habits, quiet flight and various calls from whistles, screeches and hoots,  have made them objects of superstition and even fear in some parts of the world. Some native tribes see the owl as a symbol of death while other tribes believe they embody the mysteries of shamanism and sorcery.   Individuals with this totem are private complex people and don't like others to know what they are really thinking. This can sometimes lead to misunderstandings especially in the area of personal relationships.

Owls have many abilities which set them apart from all other birds. Their wings which are extremely soft and thick, allow them to fly silently as they can swoop down on unsuspecting prey.  They are able to slip in and out of places unnoticed and can  teach us how to do the same.

Their eyes are large and forward facing giving them a wise appearance.  They have a greater range of motion in their necks than any other animal with a spinal column. Owls turn their heads rather than their eyes, which are stationary.  Their night vision is so powerful that they can see prey when the light is the equivalent of a candle burning 2500 feet away!

Their powers of vision are matched by their almost otherworldly hearing abilities.  In studies done with owls that were placed in totally light free rooms, the owls were able to locate a mouse by sound alone. Those with this medicine are usually gifted with clairvoyant and clairaudient abilities.  Souls who are born with this totem have chosen a path which suggests a need to refine and perfect these gifts for the aid of others. They make excellent therapists, psychologists and counselors.

Active at dawn and dusk owls are sometimes referred to as the night eagle, a messenger from the darkness and a guide through all the mysteries that it contains. It teaches us how to embrace our personal darkness without fear.  Owls are sometimes thought to come to those that are about to die.  This does not mean a physical death as much as it means the letting go of some part of yourself that is not serving you.  Owls with their spectral senses help guide us through the dark tunnels of fear, change and uncertainty to the brilliant  light shining at the other end.  If the owl appears in your life thank it for its willingness to guide you through its shadowy realm to the other side of promise and joy.

The Panda

Pandas are white and black bear like mammals found in the forest areas of west central China. Their coloring holds the energy of polarity. The panda reminds us to broaden our vision and not get caught in one side or the other. For those with this totem personal challenges relating to polarized concepts are common. Past life ties associated with the light as well as the dark forces is also indicated.

The giant panda grows to a length of five feet and weighs about two hundred pounds. It feeds almost exclusively on bamboo and is able to grasp the young stems and leaves of this plant with the aid of a special thumb like structure on its front foot. In metaphysics the thumb symbolizes will power. The panda teaches us that anything can be accomplished if the desire is strong enough.

Although the panda feeds on bamboo its digestive system is that of a carnivore and so the animal is unable to digest cellulose, which is the main constituent of bamboo. Consequently, the panda must consume enormous quantities of bamboo in order to obtain from this plant the nourishment it needs. Panda medicine people often develop problems with their digestive system so extra care is advised.

Pandas have a lumbering gait on the ground but are agile tree climbers. They prefer being up high watching whatâ??s happening on the ground below. From this vantage point the panda is able to maintain a spiritual connection with the seen and unseen forces.

Pandas live alone except when breeding, indicating a solitary lifestyle. Those with this medicine will be happiest when living by themselves. Relationships can be acquired and maintained but only if a partner respects the need for privacy and sacred space. Although relationship issues are common for those with this totem a panda medicine person will be forced to rely on their intuitive voice for nourishment and guidance. This aids them in developing a deeper understanding of who they truly are. From the perspective of spiritual growth this understanding is a fundamental requirement for the souls evolution.

Some might say that panda medicine is full of difficulties and others may see its true value. Whichever way you choose to perceive this ally one thing is certain. The panda is a powerful teacher. All that is needed by the student is a willingness to learn.

The Panther

The name panther is often associated with a particular species of leopard or jaguar and sometimes the cougar.  The black panther is smaller but more fierce than lions and tigers.  They are agile climbers and excellent swimmers.  Because they can sprint with great speed they hold the teachings of quick decisive action.

Panthers have over 400 voluntary muscles that can be used at will when the need arises.  This symbolizes an ability to shape shift realities using all parts of the body to perform a task. They can move gracefully in and out of situations as well as freeze and not be noticed.  Because the panther is not a good long distant runner those with this medicine should incorporate movement therapies into their life that enhance endurance. They need to learn how to pace themselves and not push to fast or hard on any one task.

The power of the panther is the power of silence. It is extremely quiet when hunting or stalking. It knows when to make its presence known and when to become invisible.  The panther holds the secrets of unseen worlds and is associated with lunar energies.  Within the darkness of night lies the truth of creation. Those with this totem hold knowledge of a galactic origin. They have a responsibility to care take this knowledge and caution must be applied when sharing it with others.  When the student is ready the teacher appears. If the student isn't ready the information received could be detrimental.

Panthers have acute sensitivity. The hairs on its body especially on the face pick up subtle vibrations. This is symbolic for those with this totem. It indicates a need to pay attention to their feelings and honor the messages those feelings convey.  Touch can be an important avenue to explore to awaken ones  hidden gifts. The black panthers coat, sleek, smooth and sensual has been linked to sexuality.  When panther appears in a persons life it might be asking you to resolve old sexual issues or to embrace your sexuality fully.

The black panther has great mysticism associated with it. It represents the life and power of the night.  It can show us how to embrace the darkness and awaken the light within it. When you experience the presence of panther one of its most noticeable features is its unblinking stare.  It appears to see right through the body. Those with this medicine use their eyes as a healing tool and have the potential to heal on a cellular level.

Author Ted Andrews states that in Egyptian rituals a panther tail was worn around the neck or waist to help protect and strengthen the individual.  It has been a symbol of the "Argos of a Thousand Eyes," who guarded the heifer IO who was loved by Zeus.  After his death, the eyes were transferred to the feathers of the peacock.  A powerful totem to have the panther always brings a guardian energy to those to whom it comes.

The Parrot

The parrot is an alert bird with a good temperament.  They are very intelligent and have been taught to mimic humans. A bird which can speak the human language is considered to be a link between  mankind's world and the world of nature. They serve as a bridge in which both can cross to gain a deeper understanding about one another.  This understanding allows both  kingdoms to live in harmony.

One of the most outstanding features of the parrot is its range of coloring.   Parrots invoke a sense of  hope and promise.  Just looking at its brilliant feathers gives us a feeling of excitement and wonder.  For those who identify with this totem opportunities to renew their dreams and visions are offered.

Parrots teach us the power of magic.  Their feathers are used in healing rituals to invoke the properties of color and light.  Color and light therapy have been used by many native tribes to heal the sick or injured.  For those with this totem the study of its colors will reveal a lot about yourself.

Parrots can be very vocal or very quiet depending upon the situation they are in.  In humans this indicates an innate ability to know when to voice ones opinion and when to be silent.  Lessons associated with discernment are always present in a parrot medicine person. The parrot is a feel good bird and is a great ally in healing depression.  When the parrot flies into your life it is asking you to recapture the magic of living.  It is time to enjoy your life and all it holds.

The Peacock

The peacock is a bird of the pheasant family. The male is actually a peacock and the female is a peahen, both are peafowl. The most distinct features of the peacock are its feathers and its eerie call. Two species of peafowl are the blue, or Indian peacock of India and Sri Lanka and the green, or Javanese peacock from Burma to Java.

These stunning birds hold an air of self confidence. Their train of tail feathers are brightly colored either a metallic green or blue and formed of the birds upper tail coverts which are enormously elongated. Each feather is tipped with an iridescent eyespot that is ringed with blue and bronze. These eyes represent their ability to see into the past, present and future and can teach those with this medicine how to awaken their clairvoyant gifts.

Peacocks have much lore and myth associated with them. Peacock feathers are believed to have protective powers and are used in Indian and Shaman rituals as an aid in healing. A tail feather is moved over a sick or injured person in gentle strokes to remove negative psychic imprints that have attached themselves to a person's energetic field. Those with this medicine are highly sensitive and proper maintenance of their personal energy field is essential. When an individual with this totem has acquired a strong and solid aura they have the potential to become powerful ritualistic healers.

In courtship displays, the cock elevates his tail, which lies under the train thus elevating the train and bringing it forward. At the climax of this display the tail feathers are vibrated, giving the feathers of the train a shimmering appearance and making a rustling sound. This display along with the eerie call of the peacock draws attention to it. They stand with dignity and demand to be noticed. Those with this totem often gain recognition for their talents and have the potential to be prominent leaders in their chosen field.

The peacock reminds us to see the beauty in all aspects of life. Its eerie call sounds similar to a laughing screech and reminds us to laugh with life and not take things so seriously. As it presents itself with confidence and awes us with its beauty it teaches us how to keep the ego under control and to set all vanity aside. Past lives associated with superiority has been linked to peacock medicine people. By observing the peacock we can learn to strut our stuff with dignity and grace.

The Penguin

The penguin is an amazing animal with unusual characteristics.  If you ever see one in the wild it will be hard to forget.  Highly specialized for their flightless aquatic existence their binocular vision is poor. Some penguins have no binocular vision at all.  A sideways stare acts as a method of focusing on threatening objects. They  see better in water than on land and their sense of smell is weak.

These unique animals exude an air of properness and good manners. Gathering in groups they walk bolt upright forming several lines denoting a sense of order and purpose.  They waddle with determination and focus.  Those with this medicine have the same inherent abilities.  If this medicine isn't fully developed call upon the penguin  to help you refine and perfect these skills.

Both male and female penguins bow to one another before entering or leaving the nest.  The bow is a behavior demonstrated most often in pairs. Penguins may also walk about the area while bowing.  Bowing is considered to be both a form of appeasement and a tool for maintaining social  bonds.  Penguin medicine people are either well mannered and polite or need to learn these abilities. This bird teaches respect to all who cross its path.

The penguins striking black and white attire suggests formality.  The Emperor penguin, the largest of  this aquatic bird, dressed in a tuxedo looks as if its ready for a dinner party.  Those with this totem are careful about their appearance and enjoy life styles related to high society.  They are social and feel at ease in any type of situation.  This gives them leadership qualities and denotes an air of self confidence.

Penguins are master acrobats.  While swimming their movements are graceful and fluid. They twist and turn in a variety of ways then shoot high out of the water landing solidly on their feet.  When traveling long distances on ice the penguin toboggans on its stomach using its fins to push it along.  They have been recorded at speeds up to 25 miles an hour. The penguin teaches us how to connect with our inner rhythm, honor our body and move with agility.

Because of their association with water astral projection and out of body experiences are  keynote. Their movements both in water and on land indicate an ability to glide easily from one dimension to another. Penguins have the ability to consciously go out of body.  They  teach those with this medicine how to embrace and understand all realms of  life. Individuals with penguin totems are vivid dreamers and often receive messages through the dreamtime or in a meditative state.

The colors of the penguin are also symbolic. The color black represents the hidden or the unknown and the color white reflects the light or awakened consciousness. The merging of the hidden with the known produces a balanced state of being.  Penguin teaches you how to blend, merge and balance the dark with the light.

Penguin is a powerful totem to have and helps you change your reality, move between the worlds and awaken full consciousness. If this master bird appears in your life get ready for a life altering course of mystery, intrigue and transformation. Once you have explored uncharted waters there will be no turning back.

The Peregrine Falcon

The peregrine falcon is a magnificent bird of prey. They are larger and faster then other falcons and are presently on the endangered species list. This is partly due to the buildup of chlorinated hydrocarbons in its food supply. These chemicals become concentrated in the peregrine's tissues and interfere with reproduction.

If this bird was not your birth medicine and has recently flown into your life, it can signify a need to guard your health with special attention given to environmental pollutants the glands, tissues and the reproductive organs.

All falcons are opportunists and act upon opportunity at the correct moment. They know when to act and how to commit to their actions for a successful outcome. Timing is important to the peregrine and patience is one of its virtues. Those with this totem will continually find themselves in situations where both of these skills are tested.

Peregrines stimulate a quick, graceful and agile mind using its mental faculties effectively and patiently to capture what it wants and desires the most. They are daylight hunters with bullet shaped bodies and long pointed wings that facilitate high diving speed. Strong and fast they fly high and dive with tremendous swiftness striking with clenched talons and killing by impact.

This bird is very adaptable and can withstand severe climatic changes. Peregrines build their nests high on ledges and cliffs in order to observe everything around them. They are incredibly focused and have strong concentration skills. Those with this totem would do well in any work pertaining to the mind. Meditation and disciplined spiritual studies would also be of benefit.

In the Native American traditions the peregrine falcon is associated with past life recall and can show us how to dive into ourselves without fear. It holds the medicine of precision, timing, grace, patience and acute mental perception. It teaches those with this medicine how to use their mental capabilities to the fullest, move in harmony with their own rhythm and strike with force when necessary.

The Pig

The pig is a mammal of stout body, short legs and thick skin sparsely coated with short bristles.  Contrary to popular belief the pig is a very clean animal.  Although their pig pens appear to be pig sties their mess is always an organized one.  They don't like things within their territory to be moved or misplaced and can be quite animate about this.  A friend of mine has a pig as a pet.  One day when she was cleaning its pen the pig repeatedly butted her. She finally got the message!  Those with this medicine need to be in charge of their personal space and will not tolerate others rearranging it.

Pigs have an uncanny intelligence and love the companionship of humans.  Domestic pigs are easy to train and make excellent pets.  Behavior problems can arise when a pig feels fear or distrust in any situation.  Usually docile, they can become aggressive if they think their safety is being threatened.  They have strong reasoning power and believe that the best defense is a good defense.  Pig medicine people will not accept unjust acts of any kind.  They can be overly trusting of others or have no trust at all depending on how developed the medicine is within the person.  Learning to attain balance within these extremes is advised.

Domestic pigs demand punctuality and dependability especially at feeding times.  A solid routine is important to this animal.  Any thing that disturbs their routine creates deep emotional stress and can cause illness.  A regular regimen of daily activities is beneficial for pig medicine people.  Those with this totem usually have past life ties associated with undisciplined behavior.  The pig teaches you how to remain focused and develop a solid secure foundation in your life.

The pig is swift in its movement.  They intuitively know how to respond in any situation. They are good swimmers and have great strength.  Their listening skills are acute. They actually "feel" sound frequencies and respond accurately to the vibration that it holds.  Clairsentient and clairaudient abilities are two of the pigs strongest attributes.

Those with this totem are reminded to view things from a pigs perspective.  When the pig appears in your life pay attention to its movement.  If it is charging towards you, its time to stop procrastinating and take action in some area of your life.  If a pig waddles slowly towards you its time to stop, reflect and listen to the sound of your inner knowing.

The Pigeon

Pigeons originally lived on the wild cliff faces of the European and Asian seacoasts.  Used by the Chinese for hundreds of years to send messages they also carried money exchange rates between banks in Canton and Hong Kong. Pigeons have been used extensively for delivering messages in times of war. Early navigators took pigeons to sea in hopes that, if they became lost the pigeon would show them the way to land.  Pigeons can fly for 550 miles in one day and can travel in bursts of speed up to 60 knots. They teach  us how to preserver and keep our focus on the goal at hand.

This amazing bird holds the qualities of home, security and maternal instincts.  Those with this totem often experience unsettling childhood's and will be challenged continually to acquire a solid secure foundation in all areas of their lives. The pigeon assists us in finding the stability of home that has been lost.

No matter where pigeon ends up or how it gets there, it knows the way home.  The Pigeons gift to us is the ability to accomplish.  They do not get lost because they are in tune with the natural ways of earth, and are always aware of their goals. They use all their senses equally and navigate their lives in a balanced way.  If Pigeon comes to you, it is asking you to keep your sights and sensitivities clearly set on where you want to be, and start moving.  Even if you don’t know exactly how to get there, by following your inner guidance you can find your way.

The Platypus

The duck billed platypus is a small semi aquatic mammal that lives in the lakes and streams of eastern Australia and Tasmania.  It is notable for having a broad flat rubbery snout that contains electro receptors enabling it to detect electrical fields produced by moving muscles of its prey.  When submerged in water the eyes and ears are closed by a fold of skin.  The sensitive muzzle of the platypus guides it while it swims blind.  Those with this totem have the ability to balance and ground energy currents as they move through the body.  For people who channel or work in any form of energetic healing this can be advantageous.  Platypus medicine people use their inner sight to guide them through life and are natural clairvoyants.

The platypus swims gracefully and expertly using the front feet.  The hind feet in conjunction with its flattened tail are used mainly for stabilization.  The tail also assists it in diving.  Water has long been associated with the subconscious and the secrets it holds.  Those with this totem are investigative, always searching for the deeper meaning of each situation they encounter.

The platypus finds its food chiefly in underwater mud and has an enormous appetite.  They emerge for feeding in early morning or late afternoon.  Foods grown below ground are often beneficial for those with this medicine.

Mating occurs in the water.  Poisonous spurs on the hind legs of the male are used to hold the female.  An unusual courtship precedes mating in which the male grabs the females tail and the pair swim in circles.  In ancient myth and lore a circle signifies wholeness. Those with this totem usually have strong karmic lessons associated with completion.  If this medicine is underdeveloped they find themselves unable to finish projects.

The platypus digs winding burrows with side branches in the banks of streams and lakes that it inhabits.  These burrows indicate its flexibility to move in different directions effortlessly.  It teaches us how to access the hidden chambers of our subconscious and move according to our personal rhythms.  The platypus is a powerful totem to have.  It is a unique animal in both its appearance and its abilities and can show us how to awaken our own uniqueness.

The Polar Bear

Polar bears are outstanding hunters.  They are the most aggressive and carnivorous of all bears.  They hold the same characteristics as other bears although the polar does have specific traits inherent to it.  Those with this totem should also read the information presented on bears in general for a deeper understanding of this powerful medicine.

The polar bear weighs up to 1600 pounds and can knock a 500 pound seal out of the water with one blow.  They are incredibly strong and more adaptable than other bears.  This adaptability compliments their excellent survival skills.  Those with this medicine have karmic challenges associated with flexibility, change and stubbornness and should ask the polar for help in overcoming these obstacles.

The polar will observe a situation completely before they act.  They know how to conserve their strength as well as their energy and use both at the most appropriate time for the best outcome.  This is one of the lessons that it teaches.  Those with this totem would benefit by learning the art of energy management.

Polar bears have no enemies in the animal kingdom.  Their only enemy is the human hunter.  They are intelligent and fearless.  Because of this native tribes throughout history have recognized the polar as a desirable ally and spirit helper.

The white color associated with the polar bear is very significant.  It represents "purity of spirit."  Since this bear is fearless and the energy of spirit only flows when fear is absent, the polar serves as a valuable ally in overcoming fear, both physical and mental.

The polar is known as the "Ice Man" in some native tribes because of its preferences for hunting on sea ice. The environment in which it appears to us is symbolic.  If the polar were spotted walking on ice its message would be connected to the frozen emotions stored within oneself and the need for allowing those emotions to express themselves.  If it is seen foraging for food, nourishment and replenishment of the body, mind and spirit would be its message.  It is important to watch the polar bear to understand what it is trying to tell you.  When it enters your life the awakening of your own true colors is at hand.

The Praying Mantis

The praying mantis has a great deal of myth and lore associated with it.  Its name comes from the manner in which they hold up the forepart of the body, with its enormous front legs, as though in an attitude of prayer.

Martial art forms in China have adopted specific movements of the mantis into their practices. These movements help the student reconnect with their personal chi or energy.  The discovery of how energy moves through our body, what it is projecting and where energy blocks are located can be a great aid in healing ourselves.   Those with this totem would benefit from prayer, meditation and martial arts.

These amazing creatures serve the earth and her people in various ways. They consume large amounts of insects helping to maintain ecological balance. Excellent hunters with an efficient attack strategy the praying mantis always knows the right moment for attack and for retreat. Time in the linear sense is irrelevant to the mantis.  They move according to their inner instincts and remind us to do the same.  Moving effortlessly between worlds the mantis is associated with time travel.
They help us break out of linear time and move according to our personal bio rhythms.

The praying mantis can remain motionless for an indefinite period. This ability helps them blend with their environment becoming invisible to predators. They hold the secrets of materialization and de-materialzation and awaken this ability in people who hold this medicine.  Perception through stillness is part of its teaching.

Patient, perceptive and focused this little totem holds a powerful message. When it appears in your life it is asking you to direct your energy, your thoughts or your actions in a different way. Asking the following questions can give you the insight necessary to motivate appropriate changes.  Have I lost patience with a particular situation?  Have I been too patient, and if so, has this had a detrimental affect on me?  Is my perception correct regarding a situation?  Have I become narrow minded? Am I focused on my objective?

The Puffin

Puffins brilliantly colored beaks of blue, vermilion and yellow plus their black and white bodies and orange legs give them a striking appearance.  Because of their colorful body costumes and growling call many cultures still refer to them as sea parrots or clown birds.
Excellent swimmers and divers, the puffin uses its wings to push itself along under water while using its feet as rudders. When on land or in flight however, the puffin is extremely clumsy. Those with this medicine would benefit by living near large bodies of water, particularly the ocean.  Without water in their immediate environment they could have difficulty finding their equilibrium in life.  Because water is associated with the intuition and all things hidden those with this medicine make excellent psychics and therapists.
Several legends are connected to the puffin.  When the puffin begins to take off in flight it holds its feet together suggestive of hands clasped together in prayer. Its black and white body has been associated with the black and white robes of catholic nuns. Some people believe that a puffin is actually a cross between a bird and a fish because of its superb ability to swim underwater.  In many cultures this belief has justified the right to eat puffin meat on lent and Fridays. The religious connotations surrounding the puffin are numerous and those with this totem hold past life connections relating to some form of religious devotion.  Maintaining a prayerful connection in this life can be helpful.

Puffins rely on body language to convey messages to other puffins. They will lower their head and walk rapidly through a colony indicating that they are just passing through.  This is useful because the colony is very crowded and a puffin often crosses another puffin's territory as it walks. Puffins are usually non aggressive except when mating or defending their  burrows and the ownership of them. These courageous little birds will stand stiffly erect with their beak next to their body and use slow exaggerated foot movements. When standing in a crowd of other birds puffin will stomp its foot in place if it is upset about something. When puffin feels threatened it will puff up its body and open its wings to look bigger. Puffins are masters of disguise and teach those with this totem how to disguise their true feelings and use body language to their advantage. After all actions can speak louder than words! 
When an aggressive encounter does occur between two puffins they lock beaks and attempt to topple each other in a wrestling match by using their feet and wings in a flurry of action. Usually this gathers a crowd of puffin spectators.  The combatants can become so involved in the fight they end up rolling off their rocky perch which ends the fight on an embarrassing note.  Those with this totem have a tendency to get caught up in hopeless situations where there are no winners.  By looking before you leap you can avoid unecessary struggles and embarrasing moments.

Some exceprts about the animals are quoted from Ted Andrews, author of Animal Speak. Thank you Ted


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