moonvoice: (totem - brolga)
So happy to have this one finished. :)

Red Kangaroo as a Totem Represents:

Desert Warrior. Responsibility. Desert Wisdom. Endurance. Movement. Avoidance of Excess. Swiftness. Instinctive Movement. Pride. Family and Hierarchy. Tight Focus. Assessing Obstacles Instinctively. Postponing Childbirth. The Multi-Tasking Mother.

read the full totem essay here.

Red Kangaroo as Totem
Original @ Etsy / Prints @ DeviantArt

larger image and photos under the cut. )
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(originally posted in the Axis Mundi e-zine.)

Totems for the New Year

So often, totems are treated like accessories, animals that we show off to our like-minded friends, and that’s where the connection tends to end. But totems (of any kind) can have meaningful benefits outside of basic research into an animal’s meanings and behaviour.

Consider aligning yourself to animal totems or guides for the year ahead. What are you wanting to achieve? The messages of our animals friends are more than able to support us on our goals, and suggest new ones to boot.

rest of the article )
moonvoice: (Default)
I have updated my wildspeak website with about 60 new animal totem files. Everything from maned wolf, to pipistrelle, to velvet worm, to oriental small-clawed otter (and a few mainstreamers like jaguar too). These are keywords only, or keywords and general descriptions; but still, progress!

This brings the total number of animals represented on my website - which is totally free, and costs nothing more than bandwidth - to about 150. Sheesh.

Yet another thing I can gleefully cross off my to-do list. Man, I am so fucking sick of HTML right now. Lol.
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The other day, I was writing a comment in response to someone's post on Livejournal; I can't remember who off the top of my head. Essentially - to paraphrase - they constantly had totems in their life that pushed and challenged them, and didn't always have the energy to be challenged. Sometimes it was just comfort, or reassurance they needed. I have seen this sentiment expressed before, in many places, so I asked them if they had ever thought of just searching for totems or spirits who would simply offer comfort, and reassurance. They hadn't, and so I think they began their search.

Spirit helpers and totem animals can help with a lot of different things. They can be the energies that take you apart during an initiation, they can be the ones to tell you to 'get your act together!' and the ones to give you a metaphysical kick up the backside to get you back on track, they can be the ones to offer advice in a difficult situation, or offer silence to remind you that you really can figure it out on your own; honest. They can be the creatures we are terrified of, or the ones we adore and admire, and they can be animal energies we didn't know we could appreciate until they came into our lives.

But they can also be the energies that simply love us for who we are, and soothe us when things are hard. Who offer comfort without us 'working' for it. Who take us in when we are broken and overhwelmed and give succour in exchange.

Heron, actually, is the animal energy that offers this to me. It's quite strange, really, because although I have always loved herons, I have mostly seen them as bold, powerful, graceful animals. Not ones I would immediately associated with softness and love. But then - as some of you probably know - animal totems never just fit into a box of select keywords. I mean sometimes they do, but very often they don't.

The heron that comes to me is large and grey/white, essentially a super-sized white-faced heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), he very rarely says anything, only comes into my life and lays his wings upon me when I think I cannot go on; when I think I cannot keep loving and caring for myself; when I just need some help. He doesn't ask for anything in return, though he has my love and gratitude always, and he has never pushed me away.

That said, I do not work with him as much as I could, because accepting comfort, and reassurance, and unconditional love is - of itself - very challenging for me, and for many of us. It's why so many of us don't even think about searching out or asking if there are any energies in our lives that would offer this to us. And no wonder, when so many of us struggle to offer comfort and succour to ourselves when we most need it. We are so often pushing ourselves past the next frontier, throwing ourselves into the next challenge, worrying we won't be good enough, or simply forgetting that accepting love, peace and comfort (from ourselves, as well as from spirits) is a form of valid spiritual nourishment; just as giving others love and comfort is as well.

For those of you who work with spirits of any kind, are there any who simply offer you comfort, love and reassurance? Did they come to you at a tough time in your life? Or did you have to search them out? If you have no spirits of energies in your life that could offer this, why do you think this is the case? Do you think you would benefit from knowing there was someone other than human who you could approach for succour?
moonvoice: (Default)

I was describing the story of the emugirls, as I had learnt them, to a fellow artist and user on DeviantArt, and it occurred to me that it wouldn't hurt to share them here too.

I first met a solo emugirl by a stand of sheoaks or casuarina trees. She was hiding in one of the lower branches, and materialised wild and shaggy. Her eyes were bright, large and lucid. Her mane of hair continued down her back and flared out at her hips, like that of the actual emu. And like the emu, her feathers were doubled onto one shaft.

She didn't say anything, but smiled with her impossibly wide mouth. The smile widened and I saw she had no teeth. I smiled back, and she nodded, and I nodded, and we went out separate ways. I felt warmed. I had never read about emugirls anywhere and to this day I don't know if they exist, and I don't claim that they are real to anyone but me. I often wonder what would happen if someone else tried to contact them in the otherworlds.

Recently, in the semi-rural suburb I find myself living in now, I travelled in a journey-state across the lands and came to a plain of kanya, balga, lechenaultia and grey sands. There, I saw 9/10 emugirls, slight and frail, but shaggy and wild all the same, come together in a circle under the stars, and begin singing to the stars. It was the strangest song I had ever heard, filled with the bass 'OOM' sounds that emus make, but also high-pitched girl's voices in unison and harmony. They didn't sing any song I knew, but the melody was simple and soaring. I wanted to know what they were doing, but out of respect I left them alone and cherished that I had witnessed this event.

I don't know if there are emuboys, I don't know if there are emuwomen and men. I don't know much at all. I only know that when I communed with the land-wights of Koondoola and they suggested I honour them through my gift of artwork, emugirl was the second spirit who immediately came to mind.

I hope to meet her, and others, again some day.
moonvoice: (Default)
In other weird news:

Red kangaroo totem likes The Presets.

So no TV in the background of this one, just grindy, thumpy music.


I'm being a bit more experimental with my own 'as totems' pictures. Yay. I missed this.

Drawing red kangaroo has made me realise how much I love red kangaroo totem energy. Ho boy I LOVE it.

I've actually already written a file about red kangaroo here:

I've also drawn red kangaroo as totem twice before. The picture on the website is my very first, on cartridge paper, in fineliners and coloured pencils. One of my favourite pictures that I've ever done. It sat on my wall for years.

I don't talk much about my connection to macropods in the spirit world and this world, and I've mentioned Western brush wallaby more than red kangaroo... but their influence in my life is just... I can't describe it.

There are some animals out there which just have a presence that take your breath away when you really start communing with them in the otherworlds / this world.

And for me, red kangaroo and macropods in general (except maybe the smaller hare wallabies) have always exuded this to me.

Are there any animal totems that - for you - leave you feeling kind of breathless or hit hard when you see them? Animals that despite how they act around you, how gentle they seem, something about their energy just packs a whole lot of oooomph?
moonvoice: (Default)
Working with Plant Spirits - Nuytsia floribunda

I have a working relationship with the local Nuytsia floribunda, also known as the Christmas Tree, or the kanya. And some of you know that it is the world's largest plant parasite, growing as a self-sufficient tree, with a massive root system that parasitises other trees and, alas, telephone wiring. Heh.

Anyway, the local kanya have been willing to 'feed' on some of my crap for some time, and in exchange, offer a simple easing of that crap, or an active energy exchange. When they are in flower, as they are now, they are much more generous and willing to 'give back,' and so I did a short amount of energy work today to re-establish my connection.

I need to be careful what I offer the kanya, because they will take 'too much' without asking. That's not their fault, that is simply their nature. My responsibility in the working relationship is to consciously monitor what they're feeding on, and make sure they provide a fair exchange.

I didn't want them to take my feelings away, but I did ask that they thin out the feeling of being blocked that I have. I see this as a mound or wall inside of me, that doesn't really have much of a purpose. Immediately, some of their tendrils latched onto the wall and I got a 'yes, we can feed off this,' response.

In exchange, they lay one of their flowering tendrils inside of me, which promptly flowered and fed me some of its warming, orange energy. A young female plant spirit was the main entity I talked to and interacted with in this exchange. It is the first time I've really seen a kanya 'spirit' that wasn't just 'the plant.'

She was green, with orange tips on her hands and toes. She had no actual fingers, but instead a shaped flat pad, which reminded me immediately of their thick, fleshy tendrils that they send up before they sprout 'leaves.' She had no hair, and her eyes were unusual and pretty (orange).

As we were doing the energy exchange, I became aware my reflux was still hurting and got distracted by that. Abruptly, she slapped her 'hand' on my stomach and rubbed very quickly, almost like how I'd scratch a mosquito bite, except her palm was flat. The reflux / nausea went away, and I could focus on what she was doing. I asked what she'd done, and she said, 'your wolverine had a little bit of pain I could take away. Everything is food to us. Don't worry, I only took excess.'

I hear 'I only took excess,' from the kanya a lot. I think it's their way of saying 'don't worry, I'm not taking away the functional pain / this won't harm you / I don't want to hurt you.' Spirit kanya is very concerned about not taking too much, as wild kanya are too. They parasitise from so so so many plants in order to keep each one alive. The effect they have on their hosts is negligible. So a kanya won't try and take too much, too fast. Nor will they give too much too fast.

Anyway, I started up this energy exchange to see if it will help me feel a little bit more energised to the point where I can at least rest better. I think one of the problems with my sleeping right now is that I am so so overtired that I can't actually rest properly anymore. So we'll see.

I'm working in conjunction with other plant spirits, and if this works, I will offer a big thank you to the kanya at the end in terms of literal plant food and water as well.
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Working with Plant Spirits - Casuarina or sheoak

I first established a connection to the Casuarina family, or the sheoak, many years ago now. Before then, I had never really noticed them because Eucalyptus and Banksia tend to predominate the lands around here.

The first time I noticed them, I was walking through Koondoola during a hot day, and desired shade. I passed through two groves of trees, not feeling right, before I felt this 'come here, we can shelter you, but you cannot stay' feeling. I ended up in a grove of tall, ancient sheoaks. Their long, needle leaves whispered stories, and their allelopathic natures meant that I could stand close to them without disturbing an understory. I stood and listened, and my mind became clear and calm. I hadn't done much plant-spirit work at this point, but I felt a connection, not unlike the connection I feel to the Karri.

I went on my way. Next time I felt pulled back. I stood there and listened to the wind ruffle through the needle leaves and thought of the ocean. And the sheoak spirits there calmly told me that their leaves are like the feathers of the emu, because the emu royalty and emu warriors come to rest at sheoak groves, and are born again as stately sheoaks. That, if you listened closely enough, you could hear the lives of many emus, and emu-warriors in the whispering, as well as the ocean. After some time, I was gently pushed on my way again, 'nothing can stay here,' they said. I went on my way.

Three months later, I learnt a strange story. That if you were to conceive in a grove a sheoaks, you would give birth to a great warrior. Who would have the fleet speed of the emu, and the stately strength of the sheoak.

About six months later, intermittently using this grove for shelter and peace, I had a dream. And in the dream a Casuarina spirit came. S/he was like an emu, but not. I cannot describe a proper form, since as with many spirits, nothing 'fixed' appeared to me. I can tell you I felt an impression of male AND female (which makes sense, considering how that specific species of Casuarina reproduces), an impression of emu and not emu, an impression of height. S/he wore orange moths in their hair, which I later found to be the swift/ghost moths that feed upon the Casuarina.

In the dream, I heard many things. Many stories. I did not remember them all. But I remember the amused, gentle, almost empty expression as I was told that no animal or plant (except for the mistletoe) is meant to permanently use the shelter of a grove of sheoaks; but a grove of sheoaks is designed to shelter all things. It is one of the few true 'time outs' in the bushland and forests of Australia. It is one of the few places where you could hide from everyday fears and darker, more malignant fears. But no one is meant to hide from these things forever, therefore no plants grow beneath the sheoak tree, and no animals are meant to stay under its shade.

It is very auspicious to live near stands of sheoaks however, and I don't believe it is coincidental that sheoaks are one of the most popular kerbside / roadside / park trees to be planted again once land has been cleared.

In the end, I came to know these stately sheoaks as the Emu Trees. It's what I still call them today. Standing beneath them, one will often - if open - find a clarity and peace that can't be found elsewhere. But it never lasts. Eventually the nudge to move on gets stronger and stronger, an 'I know you want to stay, but you have to go away now. Other animals cannot come and shelter here if you are here.'

Emu tree spirits are hard to piss off, they are very strong; and resist being bossed around or bargained with. They have their laws/lore, and they stick to them, and have ways of enforcing that others stick to them as well. Whether male or female, they stick to the same patterns, though female sheoaks let people stay for longer. Male sheoaks do not.

Note: The connection of the Casuarina to emu spirits I could never verify in my research into Indigenous culture. But I later found out that other Oceania cultures with sheoaks believed them to be the spirits of great warriors; and that some Indigenous people believe this to be true as well.


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