INDIGENOUS NATURE-BASED WISDOM TRADITIONS
The Medicine Wheel is an ancient symbol of the Sacred Hoop of Life or the Circle of Life. The Spirit of the Medicine Wheel is the interconnectedness and interdependence to all there is, as cycles and spirals of energy. The Medicine Wheel represents the stages and cycles of life, the seasons, time, the power of the natural and supernatural worlds, seasons of the year, aspects of life, elements of nature, and a person’s path to personal growth and wholeness. We are Members of a Sacred Family, who each has a place in the Circle. To discover that we are connected to all things is to discover the power and beauty of relationship that flows through the Circle. In the Circle Way, we call upon all our relations for strength, guidance, wisdom, and protection. There is harmony and balance in the energy of our connections.
A totem, representing an individual, family, clan, or tribe, is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol. Native American tradition teaches that each of us is connected with multiple animals which accompany us through life, acting as guides. Also known as spirit guides and/or power animals, these different animals come in and out of our lives depending on our current life’s direction and point us to the tasks that we must complete along our life’s journey.
It is said that people may identify with different animal guides throughout a lifetime, but one animal known as a totem animal is with you for life, both in the physical and the spiritual world. This one totem animal acts as the primary guardian spirit with which we share a deep connection. If open to the lesson’s that the animal guide is offering, one’s animal guide will offer wisdom and power when respectfully approached in communication.
The chart to the left represents birth totems. What other totems might you have?