Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Totem Animals

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by grug View Post
    All of the good books in this general field that I've read, whether they be about spirituality, tarot cards, psychic development, ect, have all said that if something fells right but contradicts everything the so-called experts say, it's right for you. I feel that we are each a God or Goddess and that everything we perceive in our universe is created by our own consciousness. Therefore, I believe that totem animals, spirit guides, ect, are our own creations. If you read about them in a book and it feels right to you, it is right for you. Even if the book is just filled with whatever the money-hungry author could get their hands while doing the minimum amount of research possible. Things like totem animals do not feel right to me, but if they work for you, I say go for it.
    That's a cop out statement. It's the same statement that's been used for years by those who want to pick and choose what feels right and ignore everything else that doesn't feel good or is seen as the negative side of many practices. Frequently used as a justification for lifting or cherry picking parts of pathways or many first nation spiritualities and justifying to themselves why its ok to do so.

    While I can see it in some instances, lets face it a Rakasha for instance just does not fit into a Lakota based Spirituality, in most instances its a fail. But that is my opinion only so others may see it differently.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
      That's a cop out statement. It's the same statement that's been used for years by those who want to pick and choose what feels right and ignore everything else that doesn't feel good or is seen as the negative side of many practices. Frequently used as a justification for lifting or cherry picking parts of pathways or many first nation spiritualities and justifying to themselves why its ok to do so.

      While I can see it in some instances, lets face it a Rakasha for instance just does not fit into a Lakota based Spirituality, in most instances its a fail. But that is my opinion only so others may see it differently.
      I understand why a lot of people would think the way you do.

      I grew up in a Catholic family and went to Catholic primary and secondry schools. That really put me off the whole idea of following the set rules, or even the specific guidlines, of a particualr faith. I haven't found a path that has a system that I believe in 100%, and as my own belief system is constantly evolving I'm more than happy to take the bits and pieces that work for me. But I've observed that for a lot of people the specific structure works for them, so each to their own, I guess.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by grug View Post
        I understand why a lot of people would think the way you do.

        I grew up in a Catholic family and went to Catholic primary and secondry schools. That really put me off the whole idea of following the set rules, or even the specific guidlines, of a particualr faith. I haven't found a path that has a system that I believe in 100%, and as my own belief system is constantly evolving I'm more than happy to take the bits and pieces that work for me. But I've observed that for a lot of people the specific structure works for them, so each to their own, I guess.
        Bold mine,

        I think you actually identify the problem in the bolded areas, that being those peoples or socities who incorporate Totemnism, Animism etc in thier belief systems do so on a cultural and social level. It's not part of the religion only, its not part of their spiritual practice only, its not even part of their belief system only for its a facet of everything that makes up thier socities. It is their society and everything that makes it up, its the way they see the world, thier place in the world, the way they interact with the world. It's a facet that can not stand alone nor support itself without the complete structure. Yet most modern pagan practices lift a notion or concept but never take in the full factor that makes it part of those peoples practices.

        I'll be 53 in March. In all those years one thing I have seen over and over and over is the failure of ones practice when they take a piece here and there and do not develope it. It's like going to the dinner table and eating only desert. At first its great and one feels really good about it, then you start to suffer and notice you are missing something but no longer really recall what it is. You hunger for something else but can't explain what it is, only wandering about asking why it no longer fills you. Why the gods / goddess no longer speak to you? Why your left feeling empty? Its day after day of why's. Then its often tied to the notion of not admitting you were wrong as they fought to get away from the established meals they claim didn't sustain them.

        Go to any pagan site on the net and it seem's like their are miles and miles of threads about why it stopped. Why they feel empty now. How can they recover what was lost. How can they regain the lost sense of connection to their gods / goddesses. Why their ceremonies no longer do anything for them. Why their lives seem to hold no energy and they are just going through the motions. In every instance where I have spoken to those people later its always been because they selected what parts they wanted but never what all the parts were that was needed until it failed them. Only then did they go back and actually see what their pathway's were not what they wanted them to be.

        Well that or they left it with disgust or bitter taste in their mouths about it and went running home to thier original belief systems. For they finally came to understand what thier own beliefs systems really were and what they were about. Ironically I suppose in that many of them returned to Christanity and finally understood what it was about not what the structure tried to pass itself of as.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
          Bold mine,

          I think you actually identify the problem in the bolded areas, that being those peoples or socities who incorporate Totemnism, Animism etc in thier belief systems do so on a cultural and social level. It's not part of the religion only, its not part of their spiritual practice only, its not even part of their belief system only for its a facet of everything that makes up thier socities. It is their society and everything that makes it up, its the way they see the world, thier place in the world, the way they interact with the world. It's a facet that can not stand alone nor support itself without the complete structure. Yet most modern pagan practices lift a notion or concept but never take in the full factor that makes it part of those peoples practices.

          I'll be 53 in March. In all those years one thing I have seen over and over and over is the failure of ones practice when they take a piece here and there and do not develope it. It's like going to the dinner table and eating only desert. At first its great and one feels really good about it, then you start to suffer and notice you are missing something but no longer really recall what it is. You hunger for something else but can't explain what it is, only wandering about asking why it no longer fills you. Why the gods / goddess no longer speak to you? Why your left feeling empty? Its day after day of why's. Then its often tied to the notion of not admitting you were wrong as they fought to get away from the established meals they claim didn't sustain them.

          Go to any pagan site on the net and it seem's like their are miles and miles of threads about why it stopped. Why they feel empty now. How can they recover what was lost. How can they regain the lost sense of connection to their gods / goddesses. Why their ceremonies no longer do anything for them. Why their lives seem to hold no energy and they are just going through the motions. In every instance where I have spoken to those people later its always been because they selected what parts they wanted but never what all the parts were that was needed until it failed them. Only then did they go back and actually see what their pathway's were not what they wanted them to be.

          Well that or they left it with disgust or bitter taste in their mouths about it and went running home to thier original belief systems. For they finally came to understand what thier own beliefs systems really were and what they were about. Ironically I suppose in that many of them returned to Christanity and finally understood what it was about not what the structure tried to pass itself of as.
          But isn’t casual experimentation a good way to introduce yourself to new ideas? If you’re interested in the idea of totem animals and start to use some of the associated culture, you can learn whether that particular system is right for you. If it feels right you can slowly introduce more aspects of it into your life. If it doesn’t work, at least you tried and you’re wiser for the experience.

          I’ve always found that finding out your current system is wrong to be a liberating experience because it frees you to discover new systems.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by grug View Post
            But isn’t casual experimentation a good way to introduce yourself to new ideas? If you’re interested in the idea of totem animals and start to use some of the associated culture, you can learn whether that particular system is right for you. If it feels right you can slowly introduce more aspects of it into your life. If it doesn’t work, at least you tried and you’re wiser for the experience.

            I’ve always found that finding out your current system is wrong to be a liberating experience because it frees you to discover new systems.
            Wow, that's the same BS line we used to feed to the establishment in the 70's with the drug usage. We were expanding our minds in truth all we were doing is getting high and passing life by and avoiding anything that seemed hard or responsible. Wiser for the experince of it? Not hardly. Had fun and took no responsibility for it, You bet. Start off doing it because it was the in thing to do, later kept doing it as a justification to ones self about learning and expanding thier horizons and experiences.

            To me its more like trying to learn a new language. It's learnt the best when you immerse yourself in it not by cherry picking parts of it and trying to pass it off as actually having experienced it. It's a matter of walking the walk, talking the talk and doing it not reading a book and thinking you have it from that. To read a book or someones experince does nothing to show you what its like if you have not walked in their path as they walk it. I can describe all day long what its like to be at sea and walk upon the bulkheads as the sea tosses you about but until you've done it and been there you'll never really know.

            Watching a Gojira (Godzilla) film will show me quite a bit about Japan but it's nothing like having lived there for 6.5 years and lived in the society, lived it, breathed it, and experienced it within the society. To trully know what a totem or other guide, etc is like you have to experience it within the cultural content is derives from.

            Comment


            • #21
              Grug,

              I noticed your listed as being in Australia so let me appraoch it this way.

              I've read about Ayers Rock and the experience of going there. About the sacredness it holds to the aboriginal people's and the magic they performed there as well as the Spirits they called forth that are associated to the land. It's to my perspective a place one can read about but can never know or experience no matter how hard they try without actually going there. One can not learn and experience any facet of the Aboriginal people's conneciton to the rock without experiencing the rock in person.

              Yet you seem to imply that I can get a piece of Red Sandstone and be able to experience Ayers Rock because of having that item that is of the same material as Ayer's Rock. But seeing picture's of it, reading about it will never compare to breathing in the air there, feeling the sun and wind upon my skin, squinting my eyes against the glare of it and hearing the wind, chants and stories of the place carried on the wind at it. Nor can I ever trully know what it means and has meant to the aboriginals without experiencing with them, to know it the way they do.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
                Yet you seem to imply that I can get a piece of Red Sandstone and be able to experience Ayers Rock because of having that item that is of the same material as Ayer's Rock. But seeing picture's of it, reading about it will never compare to breathing in the air there, feeling the sun and wind upon my skin, squinting my eyes against the glare of it and hearing the wind, chants and stories of the place carried on the wind at it. Nor can I ever trully know what it means and has meant to the aboriginals without experiencing with them, to know it the way they do.
                I'm not implying that at all. A year and a half ago I went to the US with a mate for a holiday. While there I experienced different aspects of American culture. Some I liked and some I didn't. I admired the way Americans seem to be so enthusiastic about just about everything, (I am generalising of course, I was only there for three weeks and only saw California and Las Vegas,) where Aussies tend to be almost apathetic at times. I didn’t admire the way every time I ordered a salad in a restaurant it was covered in cheese and bacon. When I came home I tried to learn from that experience. I tried to bring the enthusiasm into my life but ignored the cheese and bacon salad.

                Why can’t I do the same with spirituality? Why can’t someone have a look at the culture associated with totem animals and decide to implement the parts that they like into their own spiritual system?

                Just so you know, the politically correct name for Ayres Rock is Uluru.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by grug View Post
                  .. Why can’t I do the same with spirituality? Why can’t someone have a look at the culture associated with totem animals and decide to implement the parts that they like into their own spiritual system?

                  Just so you know, the politically correct name for Ayres Rock is Uluru.
                  Oh I'm not saying you can't for anyone can trully incorporate anything they desire. What I'm saying is that if all you pull is surface glamoury then you never really do know or understand the why of a thing. If you don't know the why of it then you don't know and understand it. I once knew a person who had a really interesting componet of thier practice they derived from observing a ritual, they freaked out when they discovered it was all about death and not life and happiness as they assumed. Sort of like an Irish Wake with its party and Gala events that celebrate the life and death of the person at his / her funeral. I

                  t's like cheese and bacon on a salad it differes all around the States, even to the terms we use to describe it. It's like a Grinder is a Hoagie which is also a Sub depending upon where it is purchased. The main difference most times is where its purchased and occasionally what is placed upon it or what it is placed upon as bread type. Same as in one area we call it a Pop, another area its simply a Coke while in another its simply a cola and in some area's its simply a drink but its all indicating the same thing of a soft drink, area many times defining whether its a Coke, Pepsi or something else.

                  There is a thing in Japan that many call a Japanesse Snow Man. It's sort of a globular looking head with two blank eyes in it. Around Christmas children will make a wish and color in an eyeball to mark the wish, then on the designated day if thier wish has come true they would color in the other eye. After Christmas you'd find them by the score in the trash with a single eye colored in. Something me and the wife though sort of interesting and purchased one for our own keeping. Yet it was not until years later that we discovered it was also tied to the Shinto practice of tying a wish up in a string and bow type presentation and hanging it upon some sacred tree near the shrine, occasionally we saw them at Buddhist Temples as well. Like the Snow Man counterpart those wishes would hang in the tree for some time and it was assumed that if ones wish was gone it was going to be answered by ones ancestors or some force. So in that regard it also tied into ancestor veneration and worship, acknowledging land wight and local spirits and thier influnce upon the living and things they could grant or bestow. It noted the overlapping and union of life, death and the unknown on a social scale. While it occured around Christmas it had nothing to actually do with the Christian Christmas though a lot of it passed off as Christian decorations and atributes.

                  Yet none of that was really apparent when one simply looked at the surface representation of the ritual / ceremony and simply saw the Santa type Figure with its two empty eye sockets and its red head which I think is some sort of Buddha character.

                  That's the problem with looking at any society that is animist or Totemnist (sp) in their practice and social beliefs. You see the visible and assume what it represents or indicates but seldom does one actually know and understand what it represents to the people and the reasons its used. I suppose in some ways its like watching a Kabooki (sp)play, you see the visible characters in their colors of red and white and know what they represent yet ignore the people in black who move the sets and are critical in the telling of the story but are supposed to be ignored by the audience, even though they are on the stage at the same time. Those unseen forces that move the world and influence the cast but remain unknown if you simply watch the surface.

                  Now I just hope I have not side tracked this thread to far that it no longer helps or answers the OP's query.

                  I knew the aboriginals called the rock Uluru but didn't realize Australia had gotten that politically correct about things that pertained to the Aboriginal peoples. That's nice to hear if its being encouraged.
                  Last edited by monsnoleedra; January 13th, 2012, 02:21 AM. Reason: additional material

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X