As I’ve been slowly exploring Shamanism and how I can apply it to my growing practice of hedge witchery, I’ve been trying things mentioned in books. One of the first was journeying to find my totem animal. I wasn’t sure what to expect as who can say what will become your totem animal? I admit curiosity, how do I know it? What will it be? The books I’ve been reading lately consist of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Shamanism (it’s a fantastic book on giving the overall feel of Shamanism) and Hedge Riding. Both seemingly share similarities which make it easier to move between books yet keep the vein of understanding and thought moving forward.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I thought to try it before I went to sleep – this is when I am at my most relaxed – right before the raging thinking begins (have you ever noticed how much you tend to think before going to sleep?), if I could keep that at bay I was hoping to move forward with the journeying experiment. I centered my mind and imagined a tree with a door, upon entering the door I was in a field surrounded by woods and forests, there were many animals in the field but none that spoke to me (literally and figuratively).
I felt a bump on my palm and looked down to see a rather large black panther. This was my animal. I knelt down and it rubbed its face all over me, booping me (a term I use for what my baby girl Mojo does) and generally being very friendly. I took this as a sign because when cats rub themselves on you, besides being an affection thing, they are marking their territory, marking you as their own.
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The Panther told me her name was Lehaine/Lahaine – not completely clear on the right spelling as yet. It was the strangest thing for me because when I was a child, I would wake from random astral projection (which I can’t do anymore unfortunately – when I was a child it was simple, I would go to sleep and then project, I would only know I had because of slamming back into my body) there would be a big black cat in front of me – every time. It seems even then my totem animal was protecting me. I actually thought part of her name was Luna, but after doing some research I believe she was telling me she was a lunar creature.
So what is the meaning of having the Black Panther as a totem?
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The Panther, Leopard or Jaguar is a very ancient and powerful totem.
It embodies aggressiveness and power but without solar influence.
A Black Panther’s power is lunar.
People with a Panther, Leopard or Jaguar totem have the ability to do a variety of tasks at the same time.
They tend to be loners, very comfortable with themselves and are often drawn to other solitary people.
You must learn to pace your work and not push too hard. Women with Panther, Leopard or Jaguar totems often find themselves raising their children alone, whether it be through divorce or just circumstances of the job.
Panther, Leopard or Jaguar people can develop clairaudience, the ability to hear communications from other forms of life or dimensions. They should trust their thoughts and inner visions as they are based in reality.
A Panther, Leopard or Jaguar totems gives you a guide to help you on your path – in the form of a real person – a mentor or teacher.
The Black Panther is endowed with great magic and power and this power will increasingly be experienced.
The strange thing is, part of this really does ring true. I am a loner and comfortable with my own company, I don’t need copious amounts of people around me – in fact I tend to avoid situations where there will be a lot of people if I can. I prefer the night to day, I do on occasion hear things that are not there (very faintly) and I am really hoping for a teacher, some one to connect with on the physical plane who shares my passion for witchcraft.
During this journey I went to visit Morgana Pendragon in her hut in the woods; however the hut was more of a cabin with extensive gardens. Before you think I’ve completely lost my mind, she was symbolic of what I would like. To meet some one who has knowledge and power within the Craft, it also represents my desire to continue to grow and learn the Ways of Old. In Merlin, Morgana is a HP of the Old Religion and so therefore practices the kind of Craft I do, the traditional form that embraces light and dark, but of course my own practice is missing the special effects and telekinesis (oh what I wouldn’t give). The message at this point was to come back, also moving forward to focus on my dreams and to immerse myself more in my Herbalism. It will be interesting going back to see what comes next.
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My first experience was interesting, tiring though. I was completely knackered when I finished, I slept well which was a bonus but I think for now my trips will be short, at least until I’m a little more experienced.