A friend of a friend posted something about animal totems, and I feel obligated to respond.
First, if anyone has not read Clan of the Cave Bear, I highly recommend it. The book has a strong reverence to all things nature, and digs deep into humanity as a whole and personal strength. To me, it was a first eye opening experience to the symbolism of animal spirits within ourselves.
I once knew this person who was a raven. For all that is good about that statement, and for all that is bad, this person was. A raven in mythology has many meanings. They are sleek, black, mysterious and cunning. Some consider it good, however, there are many other translations. It is also a carrion and a harbinger. It surrounds the dead and eats the flesh. A raven is a messenger and an omen. But a raven also is in essence a reality. This raven in particular helped me to realize my sign, as well as the signs of the people around me.
Everyone I know is really an animal underneath it all. Strip the clothes and the flesh and all that remains is an essence of character. Animals are character. We are animals.
Another animal that had an influence on me was a burrowing owl. She was beautiful, and my time spent with her was not long enough. She knew enough about the world to observe it, but to not take it too seriously. She was flexible in her manner and accurate in her attempts. She worked hard, still does in fact. And the love she has for her family was one to be admired.
I also know a few horses. They amble around with the highest curiosities for life. They love to travel and play in the sun. I have a sincere love for all horses, and I hold these people close to my heart.
My mother is a Rooster. My sister is an Ox. My father is another Horse. This is pure Chinese astrology, but its symbolism works as well.
Myself, I am a snow leopard. How arrogant that must seem, but I can not for the life of me think as to what else I would be. I am, after all, an Aries Tiger, but that in itself is not enough. I have an Aquarius moon and a Libra rising.
Hocus pocus, some may think, but this too is a lie. If you have never had your charts read, you should do it. The moon sign is how you perceive yourself, the rising sign is how the world perceives you, and the sun sign (the one you probably know)is just general characteristics you may have (though it may not be enough to formulate an entire picture).
As for the snow leopard part. Well. There aren't very many of us, and you wouldn't catch anyone else running around on the mountains like we do. Chances are that you have never seen one, but they have probably seen you. You would be surprised.
Oh, and Happy New Year everyone! It's 2011! Now what?