Monday, December 19, 2011

Animal Totems

It is said that we have several animal protectors that come to us in times of need to teach us lessons in life. These totems can be found through meditation or through the frequent appearance of them in your life. If you keep stumbling across an animal, either in real life or virtual life, it could be that totem is trying to tell you something. Pay attention!

Skunk has been with me since childhood. I never paid much attention to him until a few years ago. I stumbled across the meaning of a skunk totem and I was taken by him:

The skunk is a very powerful totem with mystical and magical associations. It teaches how to give respect, expect respect and demand respect. This totem helps you recognize your own qualities and assert them. Skunks are fearless but very peaceful. These are two wonderful qualities that you can learn from your skunk totem. If you have skunk medicine will find that the use of fragrances will elicit dynamic responses in the people around you. Your sexual response will be heightened and you will have a greater ability to attract people. Individuals with a skunk totem must learn to balance the ability to draw and repel people. Skunks remind us that there is a time to be with people and a time for solitude. Skunks are silent animals and through their silence, they teach us not to brag --it will push people away rather than attract. People will notice you without any help.

A few years ago I saw a dead skunk on the side of the road. I pulled over and made my daughter pick him up for me. He's in my freezer right now but in a few weeks I am going to a brain tanning workshop and he's going with me. I WILL come home with a tanned skunk pelt to put on my altar. I cannot wait!

Swallow has flown into and out of my life since childhood as well. Every spring I eagerly await their arrival and the day they no longer fly through the air around our barn my heart feels a little heavy. I could just stand and watch them fly around for hours. They are so carefee and joyful, dipping and swooping. Their ability to take bits of mud and dried grass to build a nest on the rafters is amazing. 

This totem heralds the arrival of summer and brings warmth and protection to your home. It also tells you to pay close attention to conversations - are you saying more than you should? Are you listening closely to what others have to say? Swallow also brings a warning to not let small things get to you - don't let the mundane activities of life take up all you time and prevent you from moving forward. Rise above the small stuff and you will gain a better perspective on your life. The key is objectivity.

 Our cat once caught a swallow. He was still alive so I was able to rescue him and let him fly away. The colors of his dark feathers was brilliant and iridescent. Nature has a way with colors! This month I am pondering the meaning of these two totems and seeing what lessons I can learn from them. Learning and accepting their medicine brings me closer to my true self.

What totems are you learning from?

descriptions from:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Plant Healer Anniversary Edition

It's hard to believe it's already been 1 year since my friend Kiva started the Plant Healer Magazine yet, this issue marks the 1 year anniversary!

This issue is 264 amazing pages of articles from well known herbalists, up and coming herbalists and even kid herbalists! There are lots of drawings, color photographs and art work pertaining to herbs. It is published quarterly and features a variety of articles including monographs about plants, herbal marketing, herbal medicine making, herbal birthing, the roots of herbalism, herbal botany and many more topics that are of interest to the traditional herbalist.

You'll also find stories, cartoons, poetry and a variety of herbal posters to amuse and delight yourself!

I had the pleasure to write 2 articles for this issue in addition to offering a full paged drawing titled 'Harvest' to contribute to this beautiful publication. It has to be one of the most beautiful and informative herbal publications that can be found.

To celebrate the anniversary issue, Kiva and her partner Jesse Wolf Hardin are offering some amazing bonuses to go along with the usual subscription rate, including a discount to attend the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference in September 2012 at Mormon Lake in Arizona! The discount will only be available for the next few weeks though so if you're interested, you need to grab it up soon. Click on the banner to head on over there:

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