There is no death. Only a change of worlds."   

Chief Seattle











































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Animals & Medicine Pouch

Native and tribal peoples believe that all living things have lessons to teach us. By observing the characteristics and behaviors of our creature and feathered relatives, we can become aware of these lessons. Many native peoples carry or wear carvings of animals or birds (fetishes) as a reminder of the wisdom, experience, understanding and medicine power of that animal or bird. These likenesses honor these teachers, as well as inspire us toward a clearer understanding of our own strengths and remind us of where we may need to concentrate more effort in our own lives. Your Spirit Guides and Angels can send you signs with the help of these animals. You just have to open mind and ask for the signs and you will receive them!


Animal Totems and Symbols:

: patience, stamina, community-mindedness
Antelope: knowledgeable action, speed, rapid growth, grace
Armadillo: knowledge of boundaries, objectivity
Badger: aggressiveness, persistence, centeredness, tenacity, courage
Bat: releasing old habits, new growth, rebirth, underworld
Bear: strength, introspection, self-knowledge, teaching, stamina
Beaver: balance, alterations, building, shaping, creative, artistic, determined
Bee: service, gathering, community, industrious, single-minded, fearless
Bird: unity, freedom, community
Boar: cunning, ferocious nature,
Buffalo: abundance, prayer, healing, good fortune
Bull: strength, potency
Butterfly: transformation, courage to change, balance, grace, teach freedom
Caribou: travel, mobility
Cat: grace, independence, sensuality, psychic vision
Cougar/Mt. Lion: balanced leadership, cunning, wisdom

: contentedness, defending inner child, providing daily needs
Coyote: humor, trickiness, adaptability, reversal of fortune
Deer: gentleness, sensitivity, alertness, peace, swiftness, keen scent
Dog: loyalty, courage, unconditional love, strength, companionship
Dolphin: harmony, love, wisdom, connection with self, dreams
Dragonfly: refinement of skills, illusion, need for change, relentlessness, ever-changing life
Elephant: memory, learning ability, health, good luck
Elk: stamina, friendship, pride, power, majesty
Fox: cleverness, adaptability, cunning, subtlety, discretion
Frog: emotional healing, cleansing, peace, communicator
Goat: tenacity, diligence
Gopher: gathering, preparation for the future
Hare: movements for divination, transformation, receiving hidden teachings and intuitive messages
Hedgehog: self-preservation, appreciate life more
Horse: inner power, freedom, safe movement
Lion: association with the sun, courage, nobleness, prosperity

Lizard: caution, regeneration, renewal, growth
Lynx: subtlety, silence, secretiveness, elusiveness, can help with divinatory skills and development of psychic senses, can symbolize the need to look deeper within yourself and see what is hidden
Manatee: serenity, gentleness, trust
Moose: self-esteem, confidence, strength, spontaneity, unpredictability
Mouse: scrutiny, caution, success, awareness of danger, illusion, charm
Opossum: peaceful alternatives, deception
Otter: playfulness, efficiency, female energy, healing power of laughter, inquisitive, strong protector who helps with gaining wisdom
Pig: symbolic of spiritual food necessary to the shaman
Porcupine: self-protection, memory, security, innocence, humility
Rabbit: conquering fear, safety, gentleness with self
Raccoon: curiosity, skillful investigation, playful energy
Raven: prophecy, clairvoyant vision, magic, mystery, exploring unknown
Salmon: determination, persistence
Seal: contentment, bright, inquisitive
Skunk: reputation, self-preservation, respect
Snake: transmutation, fertility, regeneration, life force, sexual potency
Snake-Adder: wisdom, reincarnation, cunning
Spider: creativity, balance, interconnectedness, industry
Squirrel: planning ahead, playfulness, trust, heralds changes & adversities
Tiger: caution, appropriate timing, stealth
Turtle: protection, grounding, longevity, healing, symbol of the bounty of Mother Earth
Weasel: stealth, seeing beneath the surface, supernatural power
Whale: intelligence, self-expression, intuition, creativity
Wolf: eliminating weakness, commitment, family loyalty, teaching skill


: power, alertness, community



Bird and Feather Totems:

Blackbird: understanding of the energies of Mother Nature, imparts mystic secrets
Bluebird: modesty, unassuming, confidence and happiness
Blue Jay: proper use of power
Canary: power of song and voice. heightened sensitivity
Cardinal: renewed vitality through recognizing our importance
Catbird: language and communication
Chickadee: cheerful expression of truth
Chicken: fertility and sacrifice
Cock: sexuality, watchfulness and resurrection, optimism, power to dispel negativity
Cowbird: parent and child relationships, resolving old issues
Crane: longevity, creation, magic, shamanic travel, learning, secrets, reaching deeper mysteries
Crow: magic, creation, spiritual strength, council, intuitive knowledge of universal law, assertiveness
Cuckoo: heralding new fate, intuitive ability
Dove: feminine energies of peace, maternity, prophecy and promise of future, love, gentleness
Ducks: emotional comfort and protection, female-mothering energy, male-coping with stress
Eagle: spiritual enlightenment, clarity of vision, transcendence, messengers, healing and creation, strength
Falcon: accuracy, rapid progress, restraint
Finch: energy of variety and multiplicity, increased potentials
Flicker: rapid growth and trust, increased healing love, new sensitivity of heart
Goldfinch: awakening to the nature spirits- fairies, elves and divas
Goose: call of the quest, travels to legendary places, search new dimensions, safe return, love of home
Grackle: overcoming excess, dealing with emotions
Grouse: completion, sacred spiral dance, fulfillment
Grosbeak: Healing the family heart
Guinea Fowl:  Protection, warning, spiritual watch-dog and protector
Hawk: Awakening visionary power, guardianship, awareness, truth, messenger, truth seeker, clear vision, heightened awareness


Heron: Aggressive self-determination, self-reliance, grace, patience
Hummingbird: Tireless joy, accomplishing the impossible, beauty, agility, joy, spirit messenger
Kestrel: Mental speed, agility, grace, control
Kingfisher: New warmth, sunshine, prosperity, and love , luck, patience, agility
Loon: Lucid dreaming and re-awakening of old hopes, wishes and dreams, peace, tranquility, communication
Magpie: The proper use of intelligence, familiars, and occult knowledge, omens and prophecies.
Martin: Good luck and community peace, peaceful living energies
Meadowlark: Cheerful journey inward, discovery of intuition, innate abilities
Mockingbird: Finding your Sacred Song (soul purpose) and recognition of your innate abilities
Nuthatch: Grounding of faith and higher wisdom, teaches true path to realization is learning to manifest the spiritual within the physical
Oriole: The weaving of new sunshine, opens positive relationships with all members of nature realm
Ostrich: Becoming grounded
Owl: The mystery of magic, omens, wisdom, and vision in the night, insight, psychic vision
Parrot: Sunshine and color healing; teaches power of light and colors
Peacock: Resurrection and wise vision (watchfulness)
Pelican: Renewed buoyancy and unselfishness; teaches how not to be overcome by emotion
Penguin: Lucid dreaming and astral projection
Pheasant: Family fertility and sexuality
Pigeon: Return to the love of home, loving energy, romantic love, loyalty, peace, innocence
Quail: Group nourishment, protection, protectiveness, group harmony
Raven: Magic, shape shifting and creation
Road Runner: Mental speed and agility
Robin: Spread of New Growth in a variety of areas of life
Sandpiper: quickness, foraging, scavenging
Seagull: observation, swift action, opportunity, carefree attitude, versatility
Sparrow: Awakening and triumph of common nobility; shows how to survive
Starling: Group behavior and etiquette; clear communication
Stork: Birth and unspoken communication
Swallow: Protection and warmth for the home and proper perspective
Swans: Awakening the true beauty and power of the self, grace, faithfulness, commitment, interpretation of dream symbols, transitions and spiritual evolution.
Swift: Speed and agility in the great quest; responding to opportunity
Swisher: Awakening to the Fairy realm
Turkey: Sharing blessings, setting limits, appreciation, renewal, willing to sacrifice to help others.
Vulture: Purification, death and rebirth, new vision, resolution of problems
Waxwing: Gentleness and courtesy
Woodpecker: The power of rhythm and determination; stimulates new rhythms
Wren: Resourcefulness and boldness, messenger of the deities.

Animal Totem References:

Animal Speak, by Ted Andrews

Understanding Northwest Coast Art, by Cheryl Shearar

Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power through the Ways of
Animals, by Jamie Sams, et al







A Medicine pouch can be used to increase spirituality, protection and sacred power to any person who wants it. The pouch can be used in prayer, meditation, healing, religious ceremonies and psychic communications.

These pouches have been kept for thousands of years by all types of Healers, Shamans, Medicine Men and Women and spiritual people around the world. In 1991 a prehistoric man was found in the Oetztal Alps on the border the Austrian border with Italy, whom had been frozen for over 5,000 years. In his possession was a medicine pouch containing medicinal plants, ritual objects, a copper headed axe and a small net similar to a dream catcher.

Native Americans had medicine bags that contained objects that had special meaning to the person who owned the pouch. Medicine pouches were made up of personal affects and good medicines such as, sage, sweet grass, tobacco, cedar, small stones (called Grandfathers) or other objects considered to be power objects. Each item in the bag is essentially a talisman and is representative of sacred power.

Medicine pouches are often painted, beaded, or quilled with native designs or symbols.  It can be a simple leather pouch, made of broad cloth or it may be as big as an otter skin. The medicine pouch is sacred and the objects held inside have a special meaning or power to its owner. Medicine pouches and bundles were taken on spirit quests by Native Americans. During this quest the seeker may have been given a vision or wisdom. The seeker will place ritual objects in their medicine bag to remind him or her of  the sacred knowledge and spiritual power of the quest.

All of us are on our own spiritual quest every day. Use the objects around you to remind you of a lesson, wisdom of an elder or friend or something that gives you joy and power. We have significant objects all around us in daily lives. It may be a photo of a loved one who crossed over or of a special object that someone we admire gave to us.

An individual’s power objects they may wish to keep in a medicine pouch may include:

Herbs: such as Sage, Sweet grass, Cedar, Tobacco, Lavender, etc. (Used for ritual purification and medicinal uses.)

Stones and Crystals: (Each stone or crystal has its own vibrations and energy to aid the owner of the pouch. A small stone from a special visit or memory)

Charms: (Crosses, or beads)

Jewelry: (Something that has a special significance to you or was given to you)

Animal bones or Claws:(Each animal has special qualities and meanings)

Feathers: (Each bird is a totem and their feathers have special significance.)

Seeds, Cornmeal or Tobacco: (Used as an offering to the Spirits and God.)

Fetishes: (Usually a carved stone symbolic of an animal or bird totem.)

Lock of hair: (Human or animal)

Souvenirs: ( A souvenir of a special occasion)

Anything that signifies medicine, power, wisdom or love to you.

What you put in the bag should be of personal significance. You may find a special attraction to a stone, crystal or feather. This item has a healing property or vibration that will help align your own soul energy. The color or shape of the object may have power for your spirit. If you require strength you may place, a cougar claw, bear fetish or strength totem for your bag for example. The vibrations of these objects will protect you and help you grow spiritually!

Ted Andrews says that when we pay attention to and acknowledge a nature totem, we are honoring the essence that lies behind it and opening up and attuning to that essence, we share in its power or “medicine”. Nature totems, especially animals, are symbols of specific kinds of energy we are manifesting and aligning with in our life. By studying the totem and then learning to merge with it, we are able to call upon its archetypal energy whenever needed.      

You may have a strong attraction to a particular type of animal or bird as a teacher. By carrying the totem in your medicine pouch, it will remind you of the lessons you would like to learn from the animal. For example the Eagle may be one of your totems and you place an Eagle fetish or some type of small replica of an eagle to remind you of the Eagle’s spiritual enlightenment, clarity of vision, transcendence, healing and strength. The medicine pouch also represents a bag of lessons for you to carry with you to help you learn more and become wiser.

Other items you may like to put in your medicine pouch are items you may have found a special attraction to or has a special meaning with in your life. You may pick up a special souvenir such as a small stone, seed or charm on a spiritual trip or at a happy time in your life and decide to include this article in your medicine pouch to keep some of that special energy, power and memory with you. You may carry a carved animal fetish such as the Navajo and Zuni Indians create to remind you of your totem animal. You animal totem has gifts and qualities that you would like to ad or obtain in this life. Seeds such as a kernel of corn or a dried bean can connect you to the abundance and healing of Mother Earth. A pinch of sand from the beach or from the home of your birth may have special significance to you.

There are many types of pouches that you can make or buy. You may want to select a simple leather pouch and decorate it with symbols or words that are special to you. Some pouches have various charms and beads hanging form them. They can be made of the fur of your totem animal and have animal teeth or claws hanging from them or affixed to them. Some pouches are incorporated from a turtle shell. There are beautiful examples that have fine beadwork or stitching on them.

It doesn’t matter what type of pouch you select as long as it speaks to you. You may want to search the internet for styles you like and try creating your own. There is a wide variety of kits available on Native American crafts sites. Ebay is an excellent source for ready made bags that range in price of a few dollars for simple leather pouches to hundreds of dollars for antique and historic Native American pouches.

The items that you choose for your medicine pouch should be cleansed by smudging and by praying to the Great Spirit to bless them. The pouches can be worn around the neck, on belts, in pockets, kept in purses, briefcase, and keepsake boxes.

Use your medicine pouch to aid you in your meditations and connecting to God, your Spirit Guides and Angels as well as your loved ones who have crossed over. Wear it to protect you and remind you of the path you have selected for yourself. Keep it close to you so your mind, body and spirit can receive the healing vibrations of the objects in the pouch.

This pouch is sacred and not be opened by anyone else. The owner of the bag can take out items out to show others if so desired. Stones and other items can be taken switched out as to the owners needs. The bag should never be opened by anyone else. This bag is your connection to your God, guides, angels and higher self or soul.


The Friendship Pack, Grey Wolf & Andy Baggott.

Spirit Healing, Mary Dean Atwood.

The Medicine Bag, by Dorthea Horton Calverley

Medicine Bag, by Maggie Wahls  






















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