A totem is an object that is considered a revered symbol. Totems also served as an emblem of a family or clan. Often people used the totem to serve as a reminder of their ancestry. With the level of the totem being so strong as to have it sacred to the person, it brought much energy into that person just from the thought of having this totem on them. You see, all in Spirit is contrived through Thought. We are much the same down here with the thought being the first event, then followed by the action. So thoughts could be quite influencing if there were strength derived from an additional source to "enhance" it.
Having a totem meant many things to many people. It brought "luck" which is much like a placebo effect without ingesting it. What it did actually was make the person more receptive to having good feelings, which translates into having more vibrations radiating into them. Totems were something which were taken from animals, plants or natural elements of the earth and usually worn on the person. They are objects of which the person felt strongly akin or close to what it represents.
Many cultures felt good about having a totem, as they derived satisfaction and peace from having it with them. It waylaid fears basically, which in truth is where it all originated from--fear. Fear of the unknown. Therefore, by having a totem on them this would alleviate that fear, --the fear of the unknown. If the person wore the totem which could be just about anything, they felt it would bring them luck, support and blessings, however, did it? Or was it really the person's own Higher Self coming into the situation with them here feeling less worry. Fear does indeed block the Love Energy, that's why when they would carry a totem on them, they had this "invisible shield" from that said totem to "protect them".
Let's start from the beginning here. Generally speaking, totems worked in order to make the person feel more "at ease", more protected by this unknown fear. A totem of someone's ancestry showing their tribal beliefs meant that they were to use the energy of their ancestors also to alleviate their fears and be protected, thus being supported by them. Being superstitious people, those of the past worried about negativity from both dimensions, the Earth Plane plus the Spirit Realm causing them harm. They were fearful of such things as spirits possessing them, animals attacking them, etc. and many would carry around in this totem bag slung around their necks or midriff objects that they felt had a positive effect. For example, carrying a tooth or claw of an animal such as a bear would thus have the animal's spirit protecting them from attacks by another bear. Now we know that this really can't happen actually, as that is all in God's divine hands, but having this bear claw or tooth would lessen and thereby aid the person's own worries and anxiety about it, thereby making them more clear-minded. You see, if you cloud your mind with anxiety over anything, that anxiety blocks the Love and Light Vibrations, and thereby makes the person more prone to make a mistake just due to the distraction by the worrying. Outdoors in rugged country, even if there aren't wild animals in close proximity of the person, there are always other dangers, as well such as falling. If the person could be more surefooted, for example, then their changes of survival would be higher, especially in climbing. Having an item of a "sure-footed animal" would make them also feel "sure-footed" and more at ease on rough terrain and hostile environment. It was a "cause and effect" type situation going on for thousands of years. So you see, by having a totem that protected you from outside or out-world dangers meant you were feeling like there was a higher protection going on just because of that little pouch you carried. You can imagine with such thoughts about how their totems worked, losing their totem pouch meant serious anxiety over it. Shamans would have to recreate another totem assembly (sometimes to an elaborate degree) just to make that person feel wholly protected and good again.
Another reason why a person carried a totem in their medicine bag on their person was also to have "more" of what they themselves felt they needed. Courage would be represented for example with the claw or tooth of a bear or a violent predator. If they felt they needed keener perception, they would carry around an eagle or hawk's claw or perhaps a feather. If they wanted "more" wisdom, (and again here, this is just a basic example, they would have owl's feathers in this pouch. You can see that the object was a type of "reminder" to them about the basic necessities that they were lacking in their personality. In that respect, again, it did work to a degree, because of the chain reaction of having a reminder alongside them of their need to be better in any given area, which caused them to think more about it, and then do something initially themselves. This reminder gave them the impetus to show that this totem was "working", which in effect it was their own minds doing the clearing of their fears, and the sharpening of their minds.
Often if a person had a vivid dream or was going through a crisis in their life and had a vision of a certain animal which represented symbolically something that would aid them in this circumstance, they would seek out what they saw and place a token of that animal in this pouch. So for example if they witnessed an eagle soaring in a dream, it would bring them good vibrations to seek out an eagle's feather to have as a token. These people could be guided in dreams by Spirit Guides to go a certain path just through the use of totems. It put them in the mind frame of making choices in their life whereby they would learn and grow in wisdom and perception. Eventually, if they were decidedly adept at making good choices, others, too, would notice this, thereby making these people good candidates to be Elders in their tribe later in life.
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