Friday, March 28, 2008

Totems and Synchronicity

I believe that there are times when certain ideas or impulses flow in thought currents around the world. It’s what Jung called “synchronicity” or the Buddhists call “auspicious coincidence”. For me, it’s a tap on the shoulder by the universe, calling me to pay attention to something unseen but meaningful.

After writing yesterday’s post about my bird friends, I visited some other favorite blogs. At camera-obscura, I discovered Billie and some other folks were also discussing birds. Billie mentioned Ted Andrews’ book, “Animal -Speak”. He describes the meanings associated with various bird and animal totems and spirits. “A totem is any natural object, being or animal to whose phenomena and energy we feel closely associated with during our life,” according to Andrews.

Since I was starting a new relationship with the chickadees, I looked up what he had to say about them. I discovered that they are cheerful, fearless and get along well with other birds. Andrews says chickadees can help us “learn to express truth in a manner that heals, balances and opens perceptions. Truth is shared in a manner that adds cheer and joy to your own life and the lives of others.”

I’ve got a lot of birds in my life right now. My mom feeds them every day under the big pine tree in the front yard. We have many ravens in our pasture, which I learned from Andrews are here to “stir the magic of life without fear”. Last Saturday, we had a convention of robins, at least 20 of them, eating dinner at the same time in front of our back door. Robins symbolize new growth and creativity and encourage you to sing your own song. The barn swallows in Silk’s stall are telling me that this is a protected place where we can rise above irritations and become more objective.

And what does my own favorite totem, the horse, signify? Andrews says, “No single animal has contributed more to the spread of civilization than the horse….Horse brings with it new journeys. It will teach you to ride into new directions to awaken and discover your own freedom and power.”

Good thoughts to ponder on a rainy day. Do you have a totem animal? I remembered an article written by Rachel Naomi Remen about synchronicity. She says, “Perhaps the real meaning of synchronicity is more universal than personal, with every instance simply pointing to the possibility of a hidden pattern underlying the events of this world….Synchronicity is always an experience of the unknown…. a reminder to wake up and pay attention, because the mystery of the heart of life can speak to you at any time.”

Especially if we listen to the birds and the animals.


Rising Rainbow said...

Mine is definitely the horse. And horses have definitely taught me how to "ride into new directions to awaken and discover your own freedom and power." I think that's what attracted me to them in the first place.

billie said...

I've been reading a lot about synchronicity over the past few years, outside of Jung, who I read back in my twenties.

In an interesting bit of synchronicity, I came upon a quote one night in a free magazine I picked up while waiting for a friend in a coffee house. The quote was intriguing and very relevant to the novel I was working on, and I came home and researched online to find what book it came from. Went to Amazon to order it and then realized I needed to run to the bathroom first. On the back of the toilet seat was the book - my husband had bought it months earlier and had left it in the bathroom.

These kinds of incidents make me think of that bigger pattern that we mostly only get glimpses of.

It looks like we have a few rainy days rolling in, so it's good to have these things to ponder!

Kim said...

Another lovely post, thank you.
I always wanted my totem to be a horse, but found out it was actually a kestrel, so still pretty cool :)

Kim x

Grey Horse Matters said...

I would definitely say my main totem would be the horse. My horses have taught me to take different directions in my life and to also find freedom from some insecurities. They have given me confidence to start new journeys, where once I never would have thought I could accomplish what I have. Simply by having horses in my life I feel I have become synchronized with the universe. My other totem would be dogs, I wonder what they represent.

Victoria Cummings said...

MiKael - I didn't realize it at the time when Silk came into my life, but that's what I needed too.

Billie - What was the book? You and I are almost always in sync!

Kim - Thanks! As you know, Andrews says kestrels represent speed, agility of mind, grace in movement and wide vision - Great traits for a totem.

Arlene - He says that dog in your life is protection and a sign of nurturing and caring - So, maybe you have two totems? It also depends on what kind of dog - but he recommends that you listen to your dog and note it's moods because they will tell you what you need to do or add to your life.

billie said...

LOL - it was Dean Radin's Entangled Minds.

More synchronicity with him/his book - after reading the book I happened to mention to my husband (several months later) that I wanted to use the quote at the front of my novel and I wondered if Mr. Radin would let me. Husband responded: "I'll ask him. He and I correspond."

That knocked my socks off.

Just last month my husband told me that Dean's birthday is also on Leap Day.

I just think it's funny and so intriguing when things string out like this.

Which they do all the time.

Gypsy at Heart said...

Victoria, as always, you never cease to amaze and teach. I loved this post. It had been a while since I had visited your blog and so, I've got a bit of catching up to do with regards to reading you but, I am so happy my return brought me to this lovely and insightful bit of writing. I have no idea what my totem animal is but you make me wish that I could tell you I have one.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Lovely post, Victoria. Sting would have a lot to say about these "connecting principles linked to the invisible," I'm sure. As for me, it's my turn to head on over to Amazon to order this book. Many thanks - great post. Debi @ GHT

Anonymous said...

mine is the dog, though I'm continually drawn back to horses all the time. I think I may have read that article about synchronicity ... it's ringing some pretty bells in my ol' grey cells. This was yet another very thoughtful post -- thank you.