Your Totem Animal

If you were an animal, what particular animal would you be? If nothing comes immediately to mind, wait for it to come when you call for it. Bring the animal clearly into focus in your mind’s eye. Consider this to be your Totem Animal. For the remainder of this exercise, allow yourself to become the animal. The following questions are directed to you as the animal. Answer them as the animal you now are.

Do not force any of the answers to these questions. Simply wait, allowing them to arise within, to emerge from the silence, to come to you from “out of the blue.”

  1. What kind of animal are you?
  2. What is your name?
  3. What do you like best about being this animal?
  4. What do you enjoy doing most as this animal?
  5. Where do you like to spend your time?
  6. What are your ambitions—what do you want for yourself?
  7. What are your hopes and dreams about?
  8. What are your greatest fears or concerns?
  9. Upon what does your happiness depend?
  10. What do you need most as this animal?
  11. Where do you go to be nurtured and strengthened?
  12. What motto do you live by?
  13. What burdens do you carry?
  14. What gifts are yours to give the world?
  15. What do you think of the other animals?
  16. What do the other animals think of you?
  17. What would you like to tell the other animals?
  18. What do you think the other animals would like to tell you?
  19. What strengths do you have as an animal that you could use in your life as a human being?
  20. What message do you have for your human side?

As this exercise comes to a close, become yourself again and thank your animal for its presence and its place in your life. Your animal has a gift to offer you. Receive the gift from your animal, and present your animal with a gift in return. Promise your animal, if you mean to keep the promise, that you will invite her or him to visit you again in the near future. Say goodbye for now and return to your life in apparent, normal reality. What did your animal give you? What did you give your animal? Spend some time this week considering the gifts and what meaning they might have for you.

You might decide to make your Totem Animal a part of your life by purchasing, or painting, or creating a likeness of your animal. Perhaps a stuffed toy, or a pottery sit-about for a shelf or a table top. An ever-present symbol of the animal that is ever-present within your Psyche, and always has been.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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