Animal Totem/Guide/Spirit Gathering and Workshop

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Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:37 am
Burning Since: 2005
Camp Name: Camp IAMU
Location: Washington D.C.

Animal Totem/Guide/Spirit Gathering and Workshop

Post by kilowack » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:10 pm

Hello all!

My name is Ninjaneer, and I am with camp IAMU/Village Home Rule at 4:15 and C. I am giving an Animal Totem/Guide workshop on Thursday of Burn Week, 7:30-9PM. You'll find it in the events guide. I've attached a supplemental text regarding it below.

And for anyone who is actively expressing their animal totem through dress, behaviour, and mindset, I am creating a gathering of "Human become Animal." to wander and experience the playa as our respective totems. I invite those of you who want to unleash this aspect of yourself that you may find difficult to verbalize or have the space to express to come with me.

I also have an art project called the Tiger Temple that I am building on playa. I am Vietnamese, and unfortunately, between the French, the Americans, the Chinese, and worse of all, the communist/socialists, my ancestral history for the worship of the Tiger as a Demi-God got wiped out (China also wiped out their reverence for the Tiger when Mao created the Cultural Revolution and declared the Tiger as an enemy of man, and used every method possible to assure it's extinction. Thankfully, they've realized that was an awful path to walk.) I've spent the last year researching and finding ghosts, whispers of the past of ancient temples to the Tiger in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, and I am attempting to recreate a bit of that at the Burn for the Radical Ritual Theme. This is where we will convene the Animal Totem/Spirit Gathering.

Y'all know where to find me.

Animal Totem and Spirit Syllabus for Ninjaneer's Spirit Animal/Totem Workshop, IAMU/Village Home Rule 4:15 and C, Thursday 7:30-9PM.

Various cultures throughout the ages looked to Nature for guidance, wisdom, and understanding to
human existence for millenia. From the Native American Spirit Animal, the Asian zodiac system, to the
Southeast Asian lycanthropic deification of animals, the use of animals as embodiment of psychology,
behavior, and spirituality is a natural human calling.
In this human framework, there are several commonalities that you will find across all cultures and
ethnic groups.
• A deification of the animal to demi-god status or god status. Examples include the Tiger in
Southeast Asia and Asia, the Hindu pantheon of gods, like Hanuman (monkey), Ganesh
• A personification of the animal as a representation of aspects of human behavior, psychology,
and emotional representation.
• A positive or negative characteristic of the animal that represents a positive aspect of human
behavior. For example, in China, the snake represents wisdom and grounded ness, since the
snake lays on the earth, to the American Southwest, where the coyote represents the Trickster,
due to its wiliness and ability to evade pursuers.
• Some cultures pattern dance or martial skill movements after animals. In China, there is the
Five Animal System of Kung Fu, where combat techniques are modeled after the Leopard,
Tiger, Snake, Crane, and Dragon. In India, traditional cultural dance movements are modeled
after the cobra, to Indonesian gamelan music and dance.

In each framework, the use of the animals survival and behavior to survive is seen as representative of
ancient wisdom that is transferred and communicated across generations. At least it was, until the
present modern day era.

In the modern day era, due to modernization, much of this ancient cultural and ancestral wisdom is lost.
And yet humanity used this animal wisdom so survive and prosper for hundreds of thousands of years.
In this workshop, we will do the exercises and thought processes to recover and re-incorporate back
into our lives that ancient wisdom.

Structure of the workshop
1.) Talk about the ancient history of animal spirits, guides, and totems across cultures and history
2.) Incorporate the mind of the animal with a 5 minute meditation to visualize the animal, and then to transform the mind into the animal.
3.) Much akin to the Shaolin Monks who developed the Five Animal System of Fighting, we will spend
the next 30 minutes adapting and incorporating the animals movements into our body movements in the form of dance or combat techniques.
4.) Conclusion, and the assignment of a homework task – Go to Deep Playa, and spend 30 minutes to
one hour wandering the desert as your designated animal guide/totem to help understand how the
animal would behave in different situations in the magic of the playa.


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