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A Dream Journey
The Living Things: Ancestors, Guides, Medicine
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The Living Things: Ancestors, Guides, Medicine
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Mammals: Animal Medicine
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The Living Things: Ancestors, Guides and Medicine

All My Relations
In the spiritual realm of energy you belong to a very great community. You know who some of these are, you have yet to meet others along your Dream Time of the waking life and yet others do not exist on this plain of awareness. For this reason, the spirits such as your guides and the ancestors can make themselves known to you while you are dreaming at night.

All things are living, the animals, plants and stones, from the very wind and stars to the very waters. All are living beings. These are your relatives. All life is sacred.

Animal Ancestor
In Buddhist and Hindu beliefs the animals are reincarnations of the ancestors. Among many Native American nations, the animals are also our ancestors in a way that this is the particular animal that a clan has evolved from. Such as man believes today that he has evolved from the apes. In this manner such as the Turtle, Bear or Wolf Clan, their ancestors are from Turtle, Bear or Wolf. This form of  totem memory can also be found abroad the ancient Europe and was a way many of our ancestors kept up with lineage and family lines before there were last names and DNA testing.

Totem has also come to mean ones own personal animal spirits, those animals most closely related to the spiritual self but there are differences here. One's animal spirit is the one that is the connection to the spiritual self, while one will have many animal totems come and go teaching their medicine or remain through the life journey.

The Aborigines of Australia believe the ancestors were once asleep beneath the ground in a time before there was anything. When they woke up they rose in the Dream Time as human, animals, plants and half-mixed beings. When the final creation of man from some of the formless ones was done the ancestors  transformed into animals, plants, stones or went back to sleep.

Universal Language
In long agos our ancestors also believed that man, in beginning, shared a universal language with all the animals, plants and stone. Man understood this language and could speak to all things but the more he left nature, the less he could understand of this language. Still, all the things continue to try to speak to man. They still remember the universal language and try to help guide mans way down the good road.

Faerie Kinds and Deva's
There is also belief that other spirits will take animal or plant forms and in dreams this can entail faerie kinds. They gather their origins in Europe where it is believed the faeries take these forms or like to live around these certain plants and places such as springs and meadows. Of the deva's my father believed in among faeries, he told me they are a spiritual manifest of these particular plants, stones and places as like a spiritual clan whole. (I don't have a name for this). Not everyone regards them as faeries and deva's or even as ancestors but everyone knows them and the stories of them can be heard abroad the world.

Spiritual Clan Whole
I should also note here that the animal spirit totem is not singular in the sense of one animal. Like the deva, they represent that entire whole of energy and life force that is that animal, plant or stone or place. This is also in the nature of the pulse of the spirit guide. Sometimes they can represent the whole of a singular energy such as not come to you as one of wolves but all of wolves in a single embodiment. I've heard this explained for different reasons, from how a deva rises from the garden and is the garden, to people explaining their spirit guides, to people explaining what it means by having an animal spirit in closest relation to one's own spirit. It is also recognizable to me about the Tai Chi - Pa Kua.

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Shapeshifter
 
The shapeshifter is one of our most ancient shamanistic mysticisms, since time ever began, deriving in such origins of belief that all things at one time shared in a universal language, animal ancestor clan totem and learning through the examples of the animals for survival, wisdom, the family unit and medicinal values. Such as knowing when the rains will come by the croaks of the frogs or crickets.
 
In far ancient time the ancestors would become particular animals for the particular wisdoms, knowledge and insights of that animals medicine to seek vision, healings, success and favor. A common practice among shaman in various cultures is/was to costume as an animal or mythic being and wear its mask in order to assist in evoking upon the animal spirit or being for these reasons and practition to the local community.
 
Maybe the best example there can be found among the most northern Native American nations like where they create masks representing this in an awesome way. A dancer may be wearing the mask of Bear and then opens the mask up to reveal a human face. Or such as the meaning of the Ute Bear Dance.
 
Among the Norse and Vikings men would wear the skins of Bear and Wolf to empower themselves with their strength and courage in battle. Some of these would become known as the berserkers who would go insane with invisibility and attack everyone in their path on the battle field.
 
Since far ancient time the practice of animal emulation has been used to bring the spirit of that animal into the being for its medicine, wisdoms and ceremonies. It was emulated to such as following the example of Wolf to trail only during the very early morning and late evening or to learn about the medicinal, nutritional or poisonous values of different plants. They have also been emulated in the teaching of bringing our dreams into awakening such as flight coming to man from the examples of the birds and insects.
 
Some animals are also believed to be shapeshifters, most especially corresponding to mysticism of invisible worlds and duality. While it is widely believed all of animal's truest form is human when no one is looking, there are animals especially attributed to shapeshift. Among such shapeshifters are Bear who can stand on his back legs as a human and is the keeper of the dream world. Also Coyote, Fox, Lynx and Jaguar.
 
Divinations
is derived from some of these areas where such as Voodooists perform ceremonies where the dancers use their bodies to host spirits of ancestors, deities and family members who have died, to join the dance or hear the peoples prayers and requests for healings and blessings. This also forms the branch of the modern day diviners who bring messages from the spirits and the dead to family members.
 
The negative branch of this area is demonic possession where it is believed into modern times a person or home becomes possessed by evil spirits, de-evolutionized and/or dissatisfied and debased spirits or human spirits that faced a very traumatic death. In more ancient times such as those suffering with epeleptic ceasures and forms of schizophrenia or possibly even manic depression were atributed to being demonicly possessed. Which seems to fall even into modern times as an easy accusation for things misunderstood.
 
Another branch of the divinations is of those such as in Christianity who "recieve the Holy Spirit" for jubilation, speaking in tongues, healings and prophetic messages.
 
Another form is known as Spirit Talk where one is inspired to wisdom and insight for others as their creative form from the endless source.

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Ecological Energy

All people, animals and plants encompass their own whole from environment, ecology, economy and harmony and balance with the earth to self well being, spiritual connection, family unity, social order, sharing, keeping and survival. When learning an animals medicine as one of your totems/guides take in consideration what they eat, where they live and who their allies and predators are. The animals allies, predators, prey and homes will be other aspects of medicine teachings to consider. Remember that these animals will come to you as a gift towards understanding, for instance you do not have to make a quest of 'finding the unknown animal spirit' if such as Coyote or Blue Jay is right under your nose.

Different kinds of people will also have their different kind of medicines and teachings to the self. Dreaming of a Native American shaman would not bring the same energies and meanings to you as dreaming of an Aborigines bushman from Australia or an business man from New York.

In dreams people, animals and so forth will foot themselves where ever best to represent. The will correspond to the specific alignment they have with your own understanding whether this is ancient/instinct understanding or stereotypical from distance, unfamiliarity or fear, repulsion and prejudice. The more understanding there is, the more meaning there will be. In turn they will also underline their own truth and knowledge from the stand point of their own being.

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Ecology and Prophecy

Animals and plants are extremely sensitive to the earth ecology and the awareness. Such as Frog can tell of the delicate balance of pollution in the water by growing six legs. A majority of the animals abroad the world are in danger of extinction from over hunting and human expansion. Also because of a lack for their natural predators and starvation yet other animals create surges of over population or pestilence. With this animals, plants and stones can also bring to dreams the warnings of need for ecological balance, taking care of the resources and respect for earth, our foods, ourselves ... all life and the things we create. In an ancient Aztec prophecy it was told how, because the people would not be responsible for their tools and take care of their material items, these crafts were to one day revolt and strike back at them. Perhaps one of the most inspiring stories towards the telling is Stephen King's: "Maximum Overdrive".

I've had many dreams like this myself from our belongings to all the plants, the animals, to roaming over the earth where zombies like the night of the living dead have taken over mankind and nothing is left of the earth but three of three or three thirds. Thrice times and a third left and a third restored. I have no idea what that means though. I've been trying to learn what I can about Hopi prophecy because I think it means something like that.

The first one I had was this dream about a toad who lived in a stump in the forest and was the keeper of a book like the movie: "Never Ending Story" only his was called "The Tales Trine". My leg was caught in a vine on the ground and water was beginning to pool so high I was about to drown when the toad brought out his book. From the three stories I had to choose the right path, like Alice in Wonderland. If I picked the wrong story all of the world would fall into shadow and be ripped up and scoured and raged by a dragon. If I picked the right one there would be a white ship with a nine on it instead and the world would be light and all the faeries would come out of hiding again.

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The Animal Medicine

As much as in our waking world, animals are our teachers and guides. Each of them carry a special medicine or teaching that one can bring into their own life by the examples. In dreams they bear much more than just a few simple meanings a sentence or even a paragraph could really cover very decently. Understanding as much as one can about this animal that has come to you either in dreams or waking life can assist you and help bring understandings in all matters from self and spirit to world, home and business. Some animals will mean more to the self than others.

To learn an animals medicine, teaching can bring up a wide variety and make the whole search an entire quest of wisdoms. The best understanding of any particular animals totem and medicine will come from the native/aboriginal and/or tribal peoples who have lived since the beginning in the same land as this animal does, entailing them into the folklore and even superstitions that they have. Also the best understanding can come from ones own research and observation.

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Animal Spirit Guide: Totems and Familiars
 
If you don't know what your personal animal spirit is that's fine. All animals come to us to relate their medicine or teaching. Really none of us have an actual just one, different animals are in tone with different aspects of ourselves. Some are life long, connected to us very spiritually and some come for just a little while, in seasons/cycles or just cross our path for a moment. In dreams there will also be these types of animal guides. There are ones who will always appear, others who only appear for special reasons or in seasons/cycles or others who will appear re-occurringly for just a few nights for a while. Yet others will be just kind of passing by to relate something to you and perhaps not return in a dream again.
 
The Season/Cycle Animal Guide
Possibly among the most important ones to listen to are the ones who always come and those who reoccur in dreams for a while, from a few days to a month or two. Sometimes doing this again and then again until they are rather seasonal, appearing to you in cycles for a reoccurring length of time.
 
These reoccurring ones might even go as far as to be seen in your waking life while you are having these reoccurring dreams about them. I dunno what you call it really. I refer to it as a power medicine or maybe even awakening totems, Jung would call them synchronicities. They know what they're doing if we don't at any rate. It is a time taken to understand this particular animals totem to the fullest and accept, adapt and particularly, understand the time/cycle/season. Thus far I've had this experience with quite a number. Some more powerfully than others.
 
No Such Thing as Coincidence
The best that I can relate this sort of totem thing is to Jung's Synchronicity. It is the best reason you never should get ahead of yourself and leave things you do not have a full understanding of, alone, until you do. It is as simple as dreaming with energy and relations. It is as simple as if you think to call someone and the phone rings with them on it. This is consciousness. This is Chi. This is dreaming with the animals who become present in the waking life. This is probably what drives me the most crazy. I do not believe in coincidence any more than I believe how evolution is proposed to be made up of mistakes. Everything has a reason ... and I suppose on a big scale that could make anyone a little - altered states. Maybe there are sometimes coincidences, and maybe there are none at all.

Links to Other Stories of Creation

Australia Dreamtime or Dreaming

The Beauty Way

Navajo Creation Story

Native American Stories

More Creation Stories

Tai Chi, Yen Yang

The 12 Creative Heirarchies