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Thread: Totem Animals

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Grug,

    I noticed your listed as being in Australia so let me appraoch it this way.

    I've read about Ayers Rock and the experience of going there. About the sacredness it holds to the aboriginal people's and the magic they performed there as well as the Spirits they called forth that are associated to the land. It's to my perspective a place one can read about but can never know or experience no matter how hard they try without actually going there. One can not learn and experience any facet of the Aboriginal people's conneciton to the rock without experiencing the rock in person.

    Yet you seem to imply that I can get a piece of Red Sandstone and be able to experience Ayers Rock because of having that item that is of the same material as Ayer's Rock. But seeing picture's of it, reading about it will never compare to breathing in the air there, feeling the sun and wind upon my skin, squinting my eyes against the glare of it and hearing the wind, chants and stories of the place carried on the wind at it. Nor can I ever trully know what it means and has meant to the aboriginals without experiencing with them, to know it the way they do.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Adelaide, Sth Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
    Yet you seem to imply that I can get a piece of Red Sandstone and be able to experience Ayers Rock because of having that item that is of the same material as Ayer's Rock. But seeing picture's of it, reading about it will never compare to breathing in the air there, feeling the sun and wind upon my skin, squinting my eyes against the glare of it and hearing the wind, chants and stories of the place carried on the wind at it. Nor can I ever trully know what it means and has meant to the aboriginals without experiencing with them, to know it the way they do.
    I'm not implying that at all. A year and a half ago I went to the US with a mate for a holiday. While there I experienced different aspects of American culture. Some I liked and some I didn't. I admired the way Americans seem to be so enthusiastic about just about everything, (I am generalising of course, I was only there for three weeks and only saw California and Las Vegas,) where Aussies tend to be almost apathetic at times. I didn’t admire the way every time I ordered a salad in a restaurant it was covered in cheese and bacon. When I came home I tried to learn from that experience. I tried to bring the enthusiasm into my life but ignored the cheese and bacon salad.

    Why can’t I do the same with spirituality? Why can’t someone have a look at the culture associated with totem animals and decide to implement the parts that they like into their own spiritual system?

    Just so you know, the politically correct name for Ayres Rock is Uluru.


  3. #23
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    Jul 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by grug View Post
    .. Why can’t I do the same with spirituality? Why can’t someone have a look at the culture associated with totem animals and decide to implement the parts that they like into their own spiritual system?

    Just so you know, the politically correct name for Ayres Rock is Uluru.
    Oh I'm not saying you can't for anyone can trully incorporate anything they desire. What I'm saying is that if all you pull is surface glamoury then you never really do know or understand the why of a thing. If you don't know the why of it then you don't know and understand it. I once knew a person who had a really interesting componet of thier practice they derived from observing a ritual, they freaked out when they discovered it was all about death and not life and happiness as they assumed. Sort of like an Irish Wake with its party and Gala events that celebrate the life and death of the person at his / her funeral. I

    t's like cheese and bacon on a salad it differes all around the States, even to the terms we use to describe it. It's like a Grinder is a Hoagie which is also a Sub depending upon where it is purchased. The main difference most times is where its purchased and occasionally what is placed upon it or what it is placed upon as bread type. Same as in one area we call it a Pop, another area its simply a Coke while in another its simply a cola and in some area's its simply a drink but its all indicating the same thing of a soft drink, area many times defining whether its a Coke, Pepsi or something else.

    There is a thing in Japan that many call a Japanesse Snow Man. It's sort of a globular looking head with two blank eyes in it. Around Christmas children will make a wish and color in an eyeball to mark the wish, then on the designated day if thier wish has come true they would color in the other eye. After Christmas you'd find them by the score in the trash with a single eye colored in. Something me and the wife though sort of interesting and purchased one for our own keeping. Yet it was not until years later that we discovered it was also tied to the Shinto practice of tying a wish up in a string and bow type presentation and hanging it upon some sacred tree near the shrine, occasionally we saw them at Buddhist Temples as well. Like the Snow Man counterpart those wishes would hang in the tree for some time and it was assumed that if ones wish was gone it was going to be answered by ones ancestors or some force. So in that regard it also tied into ancestor veneration and worship, acknowledging land wight and local spirits and thier influnce upon the living and things they could grant or bestow. It noted the overlapping and union of life, death and the unknown on a social scale. While it occured around Christmas it had nothing to actually do with the Christian Christmas though a lot of it passed off as Christian decorations and atributes.

    Yet none of that was really apparent when one simply looked at the surface representation of the ritual / ceremony and simply saw the Santa type Figure with its two empty eye sockets and its red head which I think is some sort of Buddha character.

    That's the problem with looking at any society that is animist or Totemnist (sp) in their practice and social beliefs. You see the visible and assume what it represents or indicates but seldom does one actually know and understand what it represents to the people and the reasons its used. I suppose in some ways its like watching a Kabooki (sp)play, you see the visible characters in their colors of red and white and know what they represent yet ignore the people in black who move the sets and are critical in the telling of the story but are supposed to be ignored by the audience, even though they are on the stage at the same time. Those unseen forces that move the world and influence the cast but remain unknown if you simply watch the surface.

    Now I just hope I have not side tracked this thread to far that it no longer helps or answers the OP's query.

    I knew the aboriginals called the rock Uluru but didn't realize Australia had gotten that politically correct about things that pertained to the Aboriginal peoples. That's nice to hear if its being encouraged.
    Last edited by monsnoleedra; January 13th, 2012 at 03:21 AM. Reason: additional material

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