Saturday, May 25, 2013

What's Your Animal Totem?: A Guest Post by H.B. Bolton

Please welcome H.B. Bolton to the blog! Touring with her newest book in the Relics of Mysticus series, The Trickster's Totem, H.B. is here to share with you some of the myth behind the story!

What’s Your Animal Totem? 

Animal totems instruct and protect each of us as we learn how to navigate through our life’s journey. They are with us for a period of time and then are replaced by another animal, depending on the direction we are headed. The notion of our being guided by an animal is not limited to Native American beliefs. In fact, similar totemlike beliefs have been present throughout much of the world, including Africa, Arabia, Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and the Arctic polar region.

Animal totems play an important role in The Trickster’s Totem. Not only is the featured Relic shaped like a coyote trickster, but every person in the Native American Spirit World can transform into his/her personal animal totem. This comes in handy when the young Brave, Chayton, needs to soar over the desert sand. It’s no coincidence that his name is Sioux for “falcon.” And things really get interesting when Evan and Claire learn what their animal totems are.

One Winged Totem with Clouds - photo credit

Discover which animal guides you by asking yourself these questions:

1. What is your favorite animal, bird or insect?
2. Is there an animal that you use in your artwork, are in the books you enjoy, or decorate your room?
3. Is there an animal that you see a lot of in your daily life?
4. What animal are you currently interested in learning about?
5. What animal do you find most frightening or intriguing?
6. Is there an animal that recurs in your dreams? 

Two Totem with Clouds - photo credit

Here are some totems and what they symbolize:

1. Alligator/Crocodile – Fearless, quick, protective of young, adaptable, strong, keepers of ancient wisdom, aggressive and vengeful.
2. Bat – Perceptive, able to pick up the unheard and read between the lines, secrecy, social, and encourages one to release fears and let go of old ways.
3. Bear – Powerful, courageous, natural healer, connection to the moon, protective, wise, fearless, devoted and overconfident.
4. Bee – Aware, hard worker, organized, efficient, clean, compulsive, productive and wise.
5. Bull/Cow – Strong, courageous, passionate, proud, patient and warns against being bull-headed.
6. Cat – Fortunate, mysterious, independent, protective, wise, self-assured, searcher of hidden information, creative, natural healer and observant.
7. Coyote – Trickster, cunning, easily adaptable, instinctive, intelligent, playful, enjoys laughter, plays tricks on people, and is able to hide sadness with humor.
8. Crab – Protection, lucky, shy, sensitive, defensive, having deep emotions, difficult to trust others, nurturing, can be overly cautious and crabby.
9. Dolphin – Kind, wise, happy, playful, having deep emotions, harmonious, communication, empathetic, trustful, aware, generous and curious.
10. Dragon – Honest, courageous, strong, peaceful warrior, mysterious and magical.
11. Dragonfly – Carefree, imaginative, flighty, might have vivid dreams, aware, and encourages one to make changes in one’s life.
12. Dove – Messenger, peaceful, harmonious, gentle, healing abilities and sensitive.
13. Eagle – Intelligent, good eye for seeing the truth, observant, risk taker, courageous, likes adventure and personal freedom, visionary, and puts ideas into action.
14. Falcon – Signifies new beginnings, likes adventure, passionate, leader, focused, determined, quick, and patient with others.
15. Fox – Quick-witted, likes solitude, adaptable, cunning, independent, self-reliant, intuitive, clever, observant, swift, and very good hearing and sight.
16. Horse – Goddess of the land, likes freedom and travel, strong, graceful, loyal, truthful, adventurous, encourages one to follow one’s dreams, and is able to see the good and the bad in others.
17. Ladybug – Love, good fortune, offers protection, cheerful, creative, has strong family ties, social and communicative.
18. Lion – Strong, courageous, leader, protective, family oriented, high energy levels, gentle and patient.
19. Mouse – Quiet, shy, wise, sociable, adaptable, determined, cautious, modest and faces his fears.
20. Owl – Bird of magic, insight, freedom, silently wise, has powers to heal, honest, connection to the moon and night, observant, mysterious and perceptive.
21. Rabbit – Curious, territorial, fertile, cautious, quick thinkers, fearless and self-confident.
22. Snake – Impulsive, wise, representative of transformation, has healing powers, intelligent, aware, patient, and symbolic of a new life cycle about to begin.
23. Spider – Protective, enjoys own company, always busy, fragile, creative, clever, cunning, intelligent, patient and against acting in a manipulative way.
24. Tiger – Strong, high levels of energy, powerful, outgoing, willful, passionate, devoted, ambitious, adventurous, might prefer the night rather than the day, bold and daring.
25. Wolf – Loyal, intuitive, intelligent, sociable, strong family ties, protective, cunning, quick, observant, wise, generous, compassionate, friendly, communicative and faithful.

A magical part of H.B. Bolton’s childhood was being swept into worlds of enchanting characters, fantastical creatures and extraordinary powers—simply by picking up a book. As a mother and a teacher, she was compelled to create imaginary worlds of her own in order to share them, not just with her children, but with all children. H.B. Bolton lives in Florida with her supportive husband and two highly spirited children. Shh, can you keep a secret? Not only does she write books for the young-at-heart, adventurous sort who yearn to dive into a good young-adult fantasy story, she also writes spellbinding, heart pounding women's fiction. These particular books are written under the name Barbara Brooke, but that's another story, altogether.
Books by H.B. Bolton:
The Serpent's Ring (Relics of Mysticus, Book One)
Breaking Down (a short story)
Hungry (a short story)
Coming May 1, 2013
The Trickster's Totem (Relics of Mysticus, Book Two)

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