paleo: Dire Wolf skull (Default)
[personal profile] paleo2011-10-30 08:40 pm

The Blood is Their Life: a Look at "Vampiric" Totems

Happy Halloween to all! I know this community has been uber-quiet lately, but I thought I'd share this essay.

Those who may have problems reading about blood are politely warned to skip reading this essy )
lyonesse: (Default)
[personal profile] lyonesse2011-05-29 07:14 am

a totemic sort of poem i liked

(i posted this in my personal journal, and it occurred to me that y'all might enjoy it too. it was written by sylvia plath. for me this describes something not unlike how i felt about my black squirrel and heron encounters :)


Black Rook in Rainy Weather

On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain.
I do not expect a miracle
Or an accident

To set the sight on fire
In my eye, not seek
Any more in the desultory weather some design,
But let spotted leaves fall as they fall,
Without ceremony, or portent.

Although, I admit, I desire,
Occasionally, some backtalk
From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain:
A certain minor light may still
Leap incandescent

Out of the kitchen table or chair
As if a celestial burning took
Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then ---
Thus hallowing an interval
Otherwise inconsequent

By bestowing largesse, honor,
One might say love. At any rate, I now walk
Wary (for it could happen
Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); sceptical,
Yet politic; ignorant

Of whatever angel may choose to flare
Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant

A brief respite from fear
Of total neutrality. With luck,
Trekking stubborn through this season
Of fatigue, I shall
Patch together a content

Of sorts. Miracles occur,
If you care to call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's begun again,
The long wait for the angel.
For that rare, random descent.
lyonesse: (coyote)
[personal profile] lyonesse2011-05-26 08:36 am

animal encounters?

i just wanted to ask, how do people feel about framing their physical encounters with actual animals in totemic terms, as opposed to intentional spiritual meetings? waste of time, or openness to reality? :)

encountering animals unusual to me often has a great emotional impact (recently a melanistic squirrel at my barn, and a great blue heron in the forest). i haven't tried to think about this in totemic/spiritual guide terms though, but am wondering if/how i might...

i routinely "dwell with" coyote (as you might guess from my icon :) and coyote encounters in our forest are both relatively common and always resonant for me, though it's usually signs (scat, footprints, vocalizations) rather than a direct sighting. but that may just be habit on my part.

(no subject)

Does anyone find that the personalities, such as they are, of totems are more expansive and complex than of individual animal spirits? That's generally been my experience, simply because totems are "made of" the many physical animals of their species, as well as the relationships those animals have with other species, including humans (which also brings in mythology and folklore and....yeah...you get the run-on idea).

How about the rest of you?