Many may not know this and what I mean by “this” is a recent or maybe not so recent change in my totem animal or spirit animal. There is an interesting story behind this little transformation that I wanted to share as I have been prompted to do so, so here it goes!
When I was just 7 weeks pregnant with my youngest daughter (who is now 2 and a half) I attended a shamanic journeying with a very skilled Shaman by the name of Misha Hoo. During that experience, I had a rather intense, some might even say sobering experience which led me to believe that the Salmon was indeed my power animal. I thought that is was rather ironic, that I, an individual with particular allergies to seafood could have a… well… fish as a totem. But like all things, once the realisation set in and I made my peace with it, I rather enjoyed the idea that the Salmon was indeed my totem and went out of my way to connect with it. And connect I feel like I did.
I was at the time studying aspects of the Welsh Goddess Cerridwen and naturally came across passages referring to the Salmon of Wisdom. I liked the sound of this Salmon of wisdom and well, just went along with it. The problem was, that the more I explored the Salmon, the less I connected to it. It was odd really and not something that I understood at the time. And since I am your typical stubborn Taurus, I kept charging forth until eventually there was no connection at all. Just the memory of a remarkable albeit fleeting experience.
Now rewind back to the night of that journey experience with my Shaman friend Misha. That very night, after our journey we headed to the kitchen of the establishment we were in for the purpose of this workshop to partake in a little practical grounding, ie, food. As I was there Misha said causally to me “You know, I could have sworn I felt Raven energy around you during your second journey”. I must confess that I was rather dismissive of this opinion, mostly because of how my journey with the Salmon made me feel. I mean, I was fucking emotional, that journey rocked my world. There was also another reason for which I was rather dismissive of the idea of Raven and that secondary reasoning was that it felt typical. It seemed everyone had a connection with Raven in one way or another, It seemed a witch stereotype. Aside from that, here I was, a Witch in Far North Queensland Australia, a place devoid of Ravens (devoid of Salmon to I might add) how was I meant to proceed? At least with the Salmon, it felt relevant to the pantheon I was at the time studying and also the narrative of the goddess I was working with. But Raven made no sense to me, in fact, the concept of Raven as my totem felt rather ludicrous.
As it turns out, if your totem animal is far, far out of your reach, IT WILL make its way to you. One way or another, it will connect and bring to you the magick that you are bound to. Fast forward almost 3 years and wouldn’t you know, Raven made it’s way to me. And yes, there is a little story about that too.
My Coven held a rather intense Samhain ritual gathering at a power place in the night by a natural body of water. The Goddess Morrigan was the centre of attention that night. Now I am not a devotee per say of the Morrigan but I am also not ignorant of her narrative. As we journeyed and Trance Danced in a circle of fire in the still of the night with the sound of running water and the smell of incense permeating the crisp night air, Raven came to me. Giant at first, big enough to ride, magnificent. At the time, however, I believed that the raven was connected to the ritual and to the Goddess Morrigan. I accepted the experience and marvelled at the beautiful feeling and left it at that.
Looking back to that night, I recognise how accepting I was of the experience. My guard was lowered, I was clear and open. I felt safe with my Coven sisters and rejoiced in our celebrations. There was no resistance to be found, it was just easy, in the flow. It felt perfectly natural. Of course, these observations came much later on, but such is the case with twenty, twenty hindsight.
Fast forward a few weeks after my Coven’s Samhain Ritual and a surprise package came in the mail. I had no idea it was coming nor was I aware of its content. All I know was what was written on the package which clearly outlined that the package had come from Tasmania and it was on the larger size. Curious to my core, I got that package home and unwrapped it on my kitchen counter. I manoeuvred the package around in order to remove all the packing tape, I remember thinking “It’s very light”. Once I had opened it, I had to make my way through all the padding which was made up of shredded paper and there it was. A complete black wing, I was blown away. When I read the lovely letter I discovered that the enormous black wing belonged to a Forest Raven native to Tasmania. There was a beautiful story to go with the wing, a story that I greatly appreciated knowing. The Raven to which the wing belonged was known to the individual who had sent it. This individual explained that the Raven had passed away from natural causes and that the wing was harvested kindly. This individual said that as she was harvesting the wing, she had an overwhelming urge to send one of the two wings to me. She thought I would appreciate such a gift and appreciate it I did.
A few months after this Raven wing appeared in my life, feathers and Raven’s skull followed. Most recently and I mean as recently as today, I unwrapped a Raven creation. Once again, here I am, a Witch in Cairns’ FNQ Australia and I now have Raven all around me. Feathers came to me through the kindness of loving strangers, wings and skull too. Jewellery and crafts that made me believe in magick even more. Each one beautiful, each one part of a much greater story.
Shortly after the Raven wing arrived and the skull also, I headed to the tablelands to make a shamanic drum with my Shaman friend Misha and a group of interesting strangers. She facilitated another underworld journey to meet our power animal in preparation for meeting the spirit of the drum connected to the various hides we had chosen. And there it was, the Raven, towering over me, mighty in its stance, immense in its presence. On its wings, I was bought to meet with the Spirit of the Deer. And in a surprising turn of events, my Raven battled the Deer spirit connected to the hide I had intuitively chosen. It was an unexpected primal clash that really took me by surprise. The next day when I stretched out the wet Deer hide which had been soaking overnight under the stars, I was so excited to feel the many scars on my Deer Hide. I mentioned how scarred my Deer was and other’s in the group came over to see. It was pretty impressive and they all agreed that something special happened to me during that journey.
It has taken a long time for me to get to this point with Raven and I know that I still have such a long way to go. But unlike my experience with the Salmon, the less I do with Raven, the more Raven makes its presence known to me. There is a clarity and connection with Raven that I didn’t experience with Salmon. I should also add here that I discussed the Salmon/Raven issue with my Shaman friend Misha and she explained that during a journey it isn’t uncommon to connect with the animal totems of loved one and blood relatives. I meditated on this extremely activating piece of information and came to the conclusion that Salmon belongs to my youngest daughter, the one that was growing in my belly at the time of that very first journey.
I would like to thank the BEAUTIFUL SOUL from Tasmania who has gifted me with more than she may have realised. That wing set off a chain of events that have lead me to this very moment. It wasn’t just a gift, It was a sign, the deepening of a connection that has been in the making for a very long time. And I would like to also thank the beautiful Maria from Crowraven Hollow for bringing to me a most precious gift at a time of great motion and for also being the reason that I finally shared this story. My Raven has come to my aid and my defence at a rather challenging time. If you would like to know about this challenging time then just take a look at my recent blog post titled Challenges of a Tarot Creator. I wrote it just yesterday. apparently on a roll!
Much love and many blessings,