Thursday, 30 June 2011

Shadow Totem Animals - Embracing The Fear Of Creatures In Nature


For many years now I have been looking at my life symbolically and I am a strong believer in life, showing us what we need through the outer reflections we meet across our path.
After studying shamanism for a while now I love how nature reflects the lessons I am learning, the awareness that is arising and the power within me growing and expanding. And while many people believe and take an interest in animal totems and power animals (the energy/spirit of an animal that brings certain strengths from inside us out into the open) many may not recognise the powerful wisdom in the shadow totem.

The shadow totem is the animal, insect or creature that we are most afraid of and tends to represent our deepest fears and yet also brings great resources to us when we are able to fully embrace this creature.

In my past I had one main shadow totem which I was able to embrace a couple of years ago through using EFT (emotional freedom technique). It was the wasp (and the BEE) and I also had a repulsion to many of the creepy crawlers and bugs in the world. But wasp (And Bee) I used to have an extreme phobic reaction to. So much so if a wasp or bee came into my home I would scream for Michael as I was immobilised by fear. I literally cried in terror, unable to think straight. The small flying creature meant me no harm but it's very appearance brought out a completely irrational response in me.


Now many of you who know me will know I love bees now and I like and sometimes love wasp. I even wrote a piece recently on my new-found love of bees (See :Here). I have this immense fascination with being in close proximity with bees and wasps. I photograph them up close. I talk to them, sing to them; I simply adore them.

CopyrightKellyMartin2011

A far cry from my previous response.

Bee and wasp was a power inside me I was unwilling to integrate and embrace in my life.
My personal feelings about bees and wasps when I feared them : Wasp represented a fear of death, being killed, powerless and trapped. Bee represented a fear of the unusual, quirky part of me, the alien me, the unknown me.

On some sites it is said wasps represent order, organisation and communication. This would make sense because I was afraid of communicating my essential authentic self and here I am 'Kelly Martin Speaks' on both writing, speaking on you tube and through my creativity - all communication.

The wasp is also a master architect and solitary. So my initial fear of being on my own is lessening as I spend increased time alone, Thank you wasp.

Again, bees represent communication. So I intensely feared communicating who I really was back when I had the phobia and indeed this matches my experience since embracing them.  I am now growing to love expressing my authentic self and in doing so love bee and learning to love wasp in the process.


Bees are the symbol of fertility and sexuality.

Its honeycomb, a hexagon, is the symbol of the heart and

represents the sweetness of life found within our own heart.

It is also the symbol of the sun and all its energies.

I love that bee is a miracle in itself for its simple flight process, specifically the bumble bee.
I also am in love with most of the creeper crawler species in the world now.  And if a fly or bug lands on my skin I feel immense love to the point I cry tears of love and joy for this intimate connection with who I am.

Little God/Goddess crawling and flying.

Now I have one main shadow totem to embrace. It brings up feelings similar to that of wasp before I embraced it and it is COCKROACH. Even a mere photo of the roach makes me feel nauseous, my skin crawls and I flee the scene. And so I post a photo here in readiness of embracing this primal aspect of me that needs my love.

(Posting this made me feel sick and irrationally nervous, especially as I chose one of the larger species).



God/Goddess as COCKROACH.

This creature has great wisdom to teach me and amazing strength and power within me.  To me cockroach (for what I feel at the moment more needs to unfold in my understanding) feels unclean (yet on reading about them they are not unclean at all, incredibly clean creatures) and the imagined sound of them gathering together and making noises brings up a lot for me. I have a feeling of what I am to embrace and it feels it is all to do with the changes I am opening to at this time in my life but for further info here is a little on cockroach.

From Lins domain (as above link)
The Cockroach teaches us how to use what we have available to us for survival.

To clean out the dead and useless aspects of our lives.

When the Cockroach appears as a totem,

our sensitivity to subtle changes will be magnified.

It appears it is about adaptibility, protection, being able to feel safe and being responsible for oneself. It also appears to be about being sensitive to changes in the environment. I am allowing this knowledge to come forth.  Go easy on me cockroach lol!

All creatures we fear are aspects of our essential nature. If we are able to bring love where there is fear the world is our oyster. Life's vividness flows through us. I welcome this now. It is time.

What animals, creatures frighten you? and what do you feel they may be here to show you?


P.S: Since posting the image of cockroach the fear has lessened when I look at it. Great beginning.


Top photo: Copyright  Robert Couse-Baker's Flickr photostream


About the Author
Kelly Martin is the author of When Everyone Shines But You – Saying Goodbye To 'I'm Not Good Enough' , a passionate writer and blogger questioning life's illusions. After what seemed like a decade of intense anxiety, feelings of failure and grief from the loss of her father she chose to take a mindfulness path and has not looked back since. Her writing style is down to earth, very human. She loves cats and adores coffee. You can find out all about her new book at kellymartin.co.uk or follow her on twitter at KellyMartin_UK
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