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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Power Objects

This article was written by Amber Wolfe on May 29, 2002
posted under Shamanism

It has been said, power is effective energy. In the shamanic philosophy all aspects of the universe have energy, which has potential use and power. Developing a relationship with objects in Nature, or in Spirit, to use their energy is called developing a totemic relationship. Power objects are totems for the shaman.

It is important to remember that power is not confined in an object. The power of any totem comes from the trusting, interactive relationship between the object and the shaman. Of all power objects, the shaman knows that the Self is the most sacred. Totems provide a symbolic link between the shaman and the highest aspects of Self, Nature, and Spirit.

Power objects are found in a variety of ways. Most often, objects such as rocks, feathers, herbs, or other items from Nature appear in a way that seems special, unusual, or meaningful to the follower of the shamanic path. An object that has potential as a totem will make you feel strongly attracted to it. Like people of kindred spirits, the shaman and the totems are drawn together.

In the case of power animals, sometimes called allies, the first connection is often made in a dream or a meditative state of consciousness. It is an old tradition in shamanism, that an object that has true totemic potential must reveal itself in four different ways to the follower of the shamanic path. These ways may include dreams, visions, gifts, Nature encounters, and showing up in unexpected places. The key is that the attraction between the object and the person is strong, positive, and immediate.

Another way to develop totemic relationships is to examine connections you have already made with an object or spirit. To deepen this connection and to initiate trusting communication, you may perform a gentle ceremony to help strengthen your ties with the object. A simple ceremony can consist of "honoring the directions" by calling in the energies and attributes of each direction: South, West, North, and East. This is done to bless and awaken the effective totem energies in the power object.

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