Animal Totem

Black Swan - Following Lilith's Past Life Tracks

Today I share West's Black Swan Dreaming of her past life Lilith story. These stories are often keys that unlock the door we are craving to open to come home and be with others again, to be whole again in ourselves. Our Lilith stories are our memories of the Wild Feminine and how she became outcast - it is a story we often feel but find it hard to express in words. The Black Swan comes to journey with the Lilith story and it is her gift for story and words that help you to find your own mythic tale and the lyrics to sing back your long lost Wolf Sister.

Thank you West for sharing your heart and words, oceans of love to you and your wild sister as you journey together now. You can read more about these sessions here.

As the journey started I walked into the forest the green light blurred. I looked up, the foliage had disappeared and a thin green membrane was above me, held up by hundreds of solid black tree trunks that disappeared into the murkiness. I started to walk into the forest but as I walked, I moved backward; every step I took dragged me back. Eventually I was blown back and I realized that the forest I was in was actually a dragon’s eye. It was Lilith’s eye. The trees were veins and the green the membrane was her skin. As I realized this I tumbled out and came face to face with her.

Lilith had the most beautiful face. In fact, as I looked upon her I knew that there was no woman who would ever be as beautiful as her. Her features were long and elegant; dark eyes, soft lips and a sharp jaw. She wore a dark blue cloak. However, the longer I looked at her I started to notice her features were morphing; fading in and out. Lilith was a Shapeshifter. Sometimes I could see the bones clearly underneath her features. Her eyes became the eyes of a wolf. She had antlers, a horse’s mane and nose, paws with feathers and wings made of quill arrows – ready to fire at a moments notice. Her legs were that of a lion and her feet were those of an eagle; strong and sharp. Yet underneath all of these morphing animal features, the woman remained; composed and peaceful. I only ever saw the left side of her face, the rest remained in shadow. “That’s just how it is.” she said. “The darkness just is.” she said. “Forget the names of good and evil, forget the names of darkness and light. That is just how it is.”

As we walked she donned a giant wooden mask, half wolf and half horse. The mask was stylized, thick lines and blocks of colour – red, green, white and blue. She wore a cloak made of moss and sticks. She stalked like a shaman steeped with magic; dancing her way through the night. We were crossing a frozen tundra together. We were in the Arctic. There was an ice-wall ahead and the Aurora Borealis danced wild green above our heads.  She whispered that the Aurora Borealis were the ghost of the forests that had been. Suddenly the sky cracked and an ice-water waterfall flowed down; glacial shards piercing the tundra like flesh. The world peeled away. I found myself alone and looking in to a dark pool. The air was painful on my skin. Lilith was looking back at me from in the pool. I wanted to ask where she had gone; how had she got to the other side of the water? I missed her but I was scared. Suddenly, a white paw shot out of the water and dragged me down into the pool. The pool was a portal.

Once again I stood beside Lilith on the tundra however, I knew we were on the other side of the pool; like stepping through the looking glass, I guess. It was daylight now and the air sparkled with the cold. Looking up I saw we had broken the ice-wall. Just our presence changed things. Lilith was a Shapeshifter and Shifter of Shapes; a catalyst for change. Lilith and I walked on through the ice crevices. I marveled at the whites and blues. The next thing I knew I was looking down at a grave; my grave from a past life. The grave was open and it was all bones and dirt and a mess of long black hair. Some of the leather clothing remained but it was stained red. I looked down at the broken and dry bones with curiosity and compassion. Lilith stood beside me in reverent silence but I could sense her silent howls. She wanted me to get going. What was I to get going on? I looked down at the bones of the young girl’s hands, my hands, they were clutching a brilliant ruby red heart. If you caught the heart in the right light you could see a foxes face in the ruby. 

I looked behind me, rows of Polar Bear Clan people and polar bears stood watching from afar. Some turned their faces away. A great sadness resonated through the crowd, only the bears stood strong. This Wildling girl had been of the Polar Bear Clan. There had come a time where in order for the clan to survive, to assimilate to the new ways, the Clan had needed to freeze and hide the magic. The girl was furious. I was furious. Lilith was furious. How dare they deny us? I ran. I took the magic with me. I dug my own grave with blooded hands. I froze myself along with the magic. I would not breathe without the magic. So, there I lay for thousands of years, talking to the dirt about death. I listened to the poetry of the fallen hearts rumbling in the soil. Gods came and went. I learned how nothing ever ends, just transforms. All transformations are magic. All transformations are sacred. Dirt is sacred for it transforms, and magic never leaves us, it just waits...

I snapped back out of my old life. Once again I was looking down at the bones. Lilith and I started to breathe life in to the skeleton of my old self. The wilding started to take form, wrapped in furs and weapons. We helped her stand, her eyes frantic. I held her tight, I kissed her bloodied knuckles, her blood was my blood, was Lilith’s blood. I and lent the wildling my warmth. A pack of wild beasts huddled around us; their fur keeping us safe. Lilith leaned in and with her bite, the Wilding was healed – the shock of pain telling her: “You are alive, even in death, you live on.”

Once she was warm I looked down to discover my abdomen was cut wide open and I was bleeding black. I was bleeding Lilith’s blood. This is where Lilith raged through. I was bound to this beautiful Wildling Girl with black dripping seaweed that came from this wound. The Wildling raged and tugged, she wanted to be free to run. I was in pain and my chest ached. I was guided to turn to Lilith for a sharp tool to cut the seaweed binds. However, Lilith handed me a duckling. The duckling ate the seaweed and grew into a large adult black duck. The duck waddled around my wounds, healed them and then waddled off… just doing what a duck does. “Beasts just are as they are.” Lilith said. “Never, never underestimate their medicine, no matter the form… no matter.”

Once I was healed I came face to face with my Wildling Self. Lilith watched over us as we stepped into one another and merged – becoming one. In the background was my Polar Bear Clan, they just watched. I loved my Polar Bear Clan but I could never return. I was too different. I needed to find my own clan. I needed to run wild. I needed balance of togetherness and aloneness. I could not pledge to any person. However, the Polar Bear Clan had promised to always protect me from a distance. Their protection and power echoed down through history affording me great strength and safety. I was marked with the paw. This taught me about forgiveness, letting go, and love.  

I had a sudden feeling of being home. My whole body relaxed... she was home. We were home; the medicine of death, of threshold and transformation, wildness, and creation shining brilliant in my heart, Lilith at my side ready to return. And so the next journey begins – to know my medicine, to honour it well, and to be with others when the time is right while taking the time to hibernate with my beasts, the bones, and the soil when needed… and to run thresholds…  to celebrate the my darkness, to realize and embrace myself and embrace Lilith.

Animal Spirits: Patricia Ariel

Animal Spirits: Deer
Patricia Ariel 

 Our dear sister Patricia Ariel has been creating these beautiful Animal Spirit paintings over the last month. Patricia has created so many of the artworks you see in our healing space and in our Swan Blessing including our mandala. She is available for commission work and you can see more of her beauty here. You can see the full series of Animal Spirits and what she still has for sale at her StorEnvy site too. Love you Patty! You always inspire me xx

Animal Spirits: Hummingbird  
Animal Spirits: Cat 
Animal Spirits: Dragonfly
Animal Spirits: Crow

A Spirit Sister for Summer Solstice

Custom Spirit Dolls for Summer Solstice - I am taking the last orders now for dolls to be made handcrafted for you or a loved one in time for solstice or christmas. These dolls are made with your intentions, animal totems and plant medicine - they come with a reading from your Spirit Sister. 

$100 including postage - send me a message to place your order. 

The Weekly Familiar - Koala

The Weekly Familiar - An animal message from Tony

KOALA: Koala is a marsupial that lives high up in the gumtrees and is native to only Australia. The koala teaches us about the importance of rest and sleep. It's medicine is of the Dreamer. It comes to us when we need to take time out of 'busyness' and relax. If the Koala has been making itself known to you through dreaming and meditation it may be because there has been too much worrying, which can make the mind race in circles and lead to exhaustion. Let the Koala show you how to step back from your worries and just BE. Not all problems can be solved through the mind, some of our greatest breatkthroughs in difficult situations come through our Dreaming. Koala would urge you to rest - can you make time for a nap today or even better, embrace in a long, deep period of sleep.
Be Wild!
These photographs were taken last year at the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Victoria an incredible volunteer animal shelter run by Colleen Wood and her amazing team who work without any funding or assistance from the government. Colleen is the leading expert on koala care and welfare in Australia and she would be so grateful for any assistance and donations you can spare to help care for these beautiful animals that are unfortunately in so much danger due to expanding urban environments and man-created diseases. Did you know that you can sponsor one of these gorgeous creatures for just $40?! Colleen's aim is to help as many koalas come to full healing and be returned again to the wild. You can find out more about the work of Southern Ash at their website and on their Facebook page.


Clan Totem Talisman

daily otter

Otter is the totem animal of my clan, of my ancestors. Here she is dancing in the waterfall. Revelling in the meeting of the elements of water and stone. Hello Sister Otter, sister of my wild heart. What animal feels closest to your own spirit? An animal that was known to your ancestors and is given as a gift to you? Trust your knowing and intuition, ask for your Clan Totem to make itself known in your meditations, reverie and dreaming.

Ask for a symbol from this animal and from your clan. A symbol that with love and intention can become a potent talisman for you on your journey. Something that can be etched into jewellery, sewn into clothing, written on paper, and perhaps even inked onto your skin. A totem talisman to help you to remember who you are, who came before you and the natural gifts that are your birthright to express again.

The Weekly Familiar - Kangaroo

The Weekly Familiar - an Animal Message from Tony

This Week's Familiar is KANGAROO.

Kangaroo: The kangaroo has come through this week to show us how to let go of stress. We can often let stress build up in us over issues and events that aren't as important as we think they are. Here is an exercise taught to me by kangaroo: imagine a large kangaroo standing in front of you and focus on what you are feeling stressed about. Begin taking very deep breaths. With every exhale see the kangaroo in front of you growing larger and larger as you let the problem go. When the kangaroo has taken the feeling of stress from you it will turn and jump in enormous leaps - releasing the energy of the issue with every jump until it is completely clear. This is kangaroo's gift to you.

Be Wild!


Sacred Familiar - the Sugar Glider

The Sacred Familiar - an Animal Message from Tony Esta

The Sugar Glider

Sugar Glider teaches us to take a leap of faith without any fear. The Sugar Glider leaps from tree to tree to create it's own path where there is seemingly no path at all. It likes to be at the highest part of the tree and at that height has a much greater perspective than other creatures. It will take a chance to jump onto a new tree when it wants the change. When the Sugar Glider comes to us it's medicine is helping us to try new ways to change the old. It encourages us to have faith and confidence to reach new heights. 

The Sugar Glider is a wingless creature that can fly through the air - have you been told that you don't have the skills or gifts to achieve your dreams? Be like the Sugar Glider and believe in yourself, take yourself to the highest vantage point and leap!

We create our own adventure.

Tony Esta 2012

The Weekly Familiar - Emu

The Weekly Familiar - an Animal Message from Tony

This week's Familiar is EMU.

Emu: The emu is a very inquisitive bird. It's message is one of constant learning and searching all avenues. For emu, it does not matter who is teaching as long as we are learning, therefore the emu shows us that we are all student and all teachers in one way or another. The emu shows us there is never just one way to go, not one path but many. By gathering and learning as you go, you make your own path to follow. Treat everyone and everything as a teacher and embrace learning, in doing so you will create a path that is right for you and will become the teacher for yourself. The Emu.

Be Wild!


The Weekly Familiar - Koala

The Weekly Familiar - an Animal Message from Tony

This week's Familiar is KOALA.

Koala: The koala has come in this week with it's message about relaxation. Koala is one of my totems and has taught me about the importance of relaxing and just taking it easy. This message is reminding us to set aside time to do nothing and let the world go by for a change. The koala helps us to de-stress as stress can often be a major cause of illness. How much time are you giving to stressing about the tiny details of your day? Is your mind racing constantly? Are you taking time for yourself? What is it that relaxes you the most and can you make time to do this more? The irony is we are more productive when we are relaxed. So make time to embrace the energy of the koala today and let go, relax and be. The Koala.
Be Wild!
These are the beautiful koalas at The Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter - you can sponsor a koala for just $40 and they need our love and help. Here is a link  to sponsor a koala.