The Power of the Moose

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The Medicine Woman sat in the teaching circle surrounded by the women of the tribe. When the smoke from cleansing herbs cleared the room of all negativity, she began her lesson and said: “The moose totem carries the greatest strength for women. Long ago, before humans walked on the planet, all of the animals of this world lived in harmony. The gods created a woman to walk among the creatures of the earth. They told her to choose her life mate from one of the male animals; and that from this union the human race would be born. She asked for help from the animals she met as she walked through the woods. She turned down many suitors, and became saddened with the thought that she might die alone. But then she saw the glory of a male moose with majestic antlers that caused her heart to beat with anticipation. She made her choice and the human race was born. Remember always the strength and power of the moose. The male moose is the symbol of bravery and courage that can help you to overcome life’s obstacles. The female moose is the symbol of the strength of motherhood which is the spring form which all life emerges. Go in peace with strength in your heart.” This tale is based upon a creation myth of the Native American Potawatomi tribe.

Choosing a Spirit Animal

Dani sat before the Medicine Woman and said, “Since the moose is so powerful, should I choose it as my totem?”

The Medicine Woman replied, “You do not choose your spirit animal. Your spirit animal chooses you.”

“How will I know I am chosen?”

“Your spirit animal will give you a sign. If you encounter things in the world that require the strength of a particular spirit, you will know it has given you these experiences to bring you close to it. If you are attracted to a particular spirit, it is because that spirit is calling you. Your spirit animal is there to teach you lessons you need to learn. It will help you walk the path you must take in your journey through life.”

The Medicine Woman pulled out a box of intricate design and opened it. She said, “You can keep the power of the moose close to you even if the moose is not your spirit animal by keeping a piece of its antler close to your body. Here I have pieces of an antler shed by the mightiest moose of the wood many years ago. I give them only to those I know need the greatest strength to make their way through the world. I want to give one to you.”

Dani said nervously, “Why do you think I need such power?”

 “It is good for all women to carry a talisman of power.” The Medicine Woman extended the box toward Dani and continued, “Here, choose from among these pieces of the antler.”

Dani picked up a piece of the pale colored material and instantly felt its powerful vibration. She held it close to her heart.

The Medicine Woman said, “Take this piece to the carving artist and he will bring to life the spirit animal that chooses you.”

Dani looked around the walls of the room where she sat and saw intricate carvings sitting on shelves cut into the walls. She said, “I see many things that evoke deep feelings. Tell me about the animals I see.”

The Ravenraven moose antler 700x700

The Medicine Woman pulled out a cord that hung around her neck. A raven figure hung from the cord. She said, “Raven has always been here. He discovered the first humans hiding in a clam shell on the beach. He fed and nourished them so that they could walk in the world. But the world was dark until Raven brought us light.”

“How did Raven bring us light?”

“He wandered in the dark with the rest of us until he discovered a house where it was said that an old man hid a box that contained all of the light in the universe. He decided he wanted that box.”

“How did he get it?”

“Raven noticed the old man’s daughter came in the morning to get water from the river. He waited and transformed into a pine needle just as the girl dipped her hand into the water to get a drink. She swallowed the needle and Raven was born as a human baby. He begged the old man to allow him to pick up the box, but the old man was stubborn and refused. Finally, when no one was looking, he picked up the box and held it in his hands. Immediately, the boy transformed back into Raven. He took the box and flew into the sky where it opened and there was light for us all.”

“What does it mean to have Raven as a totem?”

“Raven is a symbol of transformation. He can be a great power, but he can also be a trickster. He is a great teacher and bringer of messages from the cosmos. He is an excellent guide for magical studies. If your path takes you in these directions, he will be important to you. Even if Raven doesn’t choose to be your spirit animal, he will be important as a harbinger of messages about important decisions in your life. If you see Raven, listen closely to everything around you.”

The Octopusoctopus moose antler 700x700

Dani pointed to a magical looking creature and said, “Is that a spirit animal?”

The Medicine Woman smiled. “That is the Octopus which is sometimes called the Devil Fish. Octopus is a very strong spirit, so strong that it once tricked the mischievous Raven.”

“How did Octopus trick Raven?”

“Raven was walking on the beach and Octopus was digging clams in a tidal pool. Raven asked annoying questions that distracted Octopus from his work. Octopus lured Raven into the sea so that he could not ask questions. Raven was overcome by the tide and almost drowned. Only the smartest of animals could trick Raven in such a way. Octopus is intelligent and creative. It is flexible and expansive. But it is also unpredictable. If it chooses you, listen carefully for its lessons. It would be a good totem for an artist or a teacher, but it could help anyone who wishes to expand the minds of those around them.”

The Buffalobuffalo moose antler 700x700

Dani picked up a carved buffalo that was set on the floor next to the medicine woman. She said, “What about Buffalo? What are its powers?”

“Buffalo is the spirit of thunder. It carries the power of sacred life and abundance. It has the strength and stamina to face all challenges. A person who carries the Buffalo totem will walk a sacred path honoring every aspect of life. They will have a deep connection to the Earth. They will show strength of character and independent spirit. Many great leaders carry the Buffalo totem.”

“I am but a girl. Could the Buffalo be right for me?”

“Women carry power the same as men. If Buffalo chooses you, you could be a great leader. It could also choose you to make others know the planet offers abundance to all. If you have Buffalo on your side, you will always be provided for and will understand and see the abundance offered by the planet.”

“What would Buffalo say to me to make me understand the abundance offered by life?”    “I will survive.”

The Wolfwolf moose antler 700x700

The Medicine Woman pulled a stone fetish from her pocket and handed it to Dani. It was a Wolf with its head raised.

Dani said, “The Wolf makes me shiver. He seems so real.”

The Medicine Woman said, “Wolf is a strong totem, but sometimes visits as a messenger. Never fail to pay attention to Wolf. He is a symbol of courage and strength. He is a connection with our future and our past.”

“How does he connect with our past?”

“Many tribes say our first ancestors were transformed from wolves. Many others say our ancestors were raised by a she-wolf. The Wolf has strong connections to the human tribe.”

“How is he connected to our future?” “He brings us messages from the future.”

“How does the wolf bring messages?”

“If you see the wolf, you must pay special attention to everything around you. Wolf may be an omen of something you’re not seeing clearly. Wolf comes to us to help with challenges. It is smart and strongly connected to basic instinct and intuition. Wolf is loyal. He is a part of his tribe but loves freedom. If you see wolf, trust in your heart and mind. He will help you find the way and communicate it to others.”

The Pantherpanther moose antler 700x700

Dani pointed to a depiction of an elongated animal painted on the side of a wooden drum. “What is that animal?”

“That is Panther. It is a powerful totem, very protective. It fills one’s heart with courage and valor. It usually comes to one blessed with a fierce guardian or a strong sense of guardianship.”

“Why is it painted on the drum?”

“I use the drum in ceremonies. Panther brings messages of death and rebirth, the cycle of life. He is helpful for travelling in the stars.”

“Do you mean astral travel?”

“Yes, flying to other worlds or in the sky above our world. Panther helps us build our intuition. He is a good totem for an artist or one who wishes to take the road to the sky.”

road runner moose antler 700x700The Roadrunner

Dani pointed to a series of hatched crosses stretching around the conical walls of the structure. She said, “What do those markings mean?”

Medicine Woman smiled. “Those are the footprints of our friend the Roadrunner. He is a great medicine bird who protects against evil.”

“Roadrunners move so fast.”

“Yes, Roadrunner is swift in movement and equally swift in thinking. He is a good totem for one who wishes to be a communicator. He can shift directions in thought and deed and make decisions quickly when needed.”



The Journey Begins

The Medicine said, “You have asked many questions. That is a good sign. Being curious about the world around us can save your life and the life of the tribe. Being curious about the spirit world can give you the strength to understand signs from the world. Understanding will give you the strength you need to continue your journey through life.”

“That’s good. I’m a very curious person.”

“But remember that the time always comes when you have all the information necessary or available to move forward. You must know how to pick the moment to stop questioning and act.”

Dani glanced around the room and saw no other animals. She decided her questions had been answered, but she didn’t want to leave. She enjoyed sitting with the Medicine Woman. She said, “How can you know that?”

“Only by listening to your inner voice.”

Dani nodded. She knew it was time to go.  “I think it’s time to go seek my spirit guide.”

The Medicine Woman smiled. “That is a good choice. If you wait much longer, the carver will not be there. You should walk to his residence now. He will help you uncover who will be your spirit guide.”







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