In Weekend Pro Episode 106 – Totems and Angels, we probe a little more deeply into the spiritual side of our relationship with the animals and plants who share the planet with us by exploring the role of familiars, fetishes and totems in cultures from all over the world. Is there a way to enlist the help of these beings to reconnect the natural and the spiritual, or maybe even rediscover how they’ve been connected all along?
Jeff leads us in an exploration of familiars, fetishes and totems through a study of their history and etymology, drawing on examples from indigenous cultures, Christianity and modern American civil religion. We look at how familiars evolved from helpful household companions into domesticated demons, and the role that fetishes and totems play in offering alternatives for building meaningful community relationships outside of kinship hierarchies.
In an excerpt from his groundbreaking book, Becoming Animal, David Abram draws parallels between the religious iconography of angels and the very real guidance, protection and inspiration that avian familiars offered to our primate ancestors. In a series of articles on deep ancestral totemism, Lupa invites us to seek out ways of reconnecting with our own animal natures by seeking guides for our repitilian, old mammalian and new mammalian brains, and Ali wraps things up by turning our attention to the importance of trees and cultivated plants as the quiet but transformative members in our family of earthly beings.
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- Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, by David Abram
- Deep Ancestral Totemism, by Lupa
- A Druid’s Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine by Ellen Evert Hopman
- American Indian Myths and Legends (Pantheon Fairy Tale & Folklore Library)
- Original photography by Alison Leigh Lilly
- Thanks to ~ Essence of a Dream ~ for the background texture!
Tags: angels, animals, David Abram, familias, Lupa, plants, symbol, totems