epsilon_pegasi: (spirit: eternal serpent)
[personal profile] epsilon_pegasi posting in [community profile] the_animist
Is anyone here working with synthetic and man-made totems? I've been getting strong feelings about Road (general, not a specific road), having worked with a lot of roadkill and car accident victims as a psychopomp it's been a presence in my life for a while now, but lately I've been receiving a stronger pull towards working with Road itself more closely. I'm not really sure how to approach it though? I've worked with animals, plants, rocks, rivers... but never something created by humans, so I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to form a relationship with Road as a totem.

Date: 2012-10-17 12:15 am (UTC)
gryphesgallia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gryphesgallia
Huh... That's a really interesting idea, actually. I know the Road has been a recurring symbol for me as well. Maybe you're on to something?

You might want to check out the song Roadkill by Faun Fables. It discusses the road and roadkill in an almost animistic fashion, and there's a nice line that draws a parallel between the grey road and the Ouroboros.

Date: 2012-10-17 02:37 am (UTC)
paleo: a beautiful full moon with clouds (moon)
From: [personal profile] paleo
My personal definition of totem only includes beings who represent and oversee organic, evolving life. *However* I do believe that every idea and concept has an archetypal being attached to it, many of them reaching very powerful status. I fully believe the Road would exist and that it would beckon various individuals to work with it. All places, whether made my Nature or Man have their own spirit and Road would be the overseer of all of them and would incorporate human mythical ideas about roads as well. Heck, we even have the phrase "the call of the road". What if we really mean "the call of the Road"? :-D

I've been meaning to write a large essay about animistic working with "man made" beings for a loooong time now, just haven't had the patience and energy to do it recently.
Edited Date: 2012-10-17 02:41 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-10-17 03:14 am (UTC)
nicanthiel: All knowledge is worth having (Default)
From: [personal profile] nicanthiel
It's interesting, because The Road can also, in a broader sense, encompass natural ways as much as man-made ones - deer tracks, ocean currents, river courses, etc. What type of call/work might be done with each one under the auspices of the Road?

Date: 2012-10-17 07:20 am (UTC)
paleo: Dire Wolf skull (Dire Wolf Skull)
From: [personal profile] paleo
Road normally means a path made or improved by humans, although this definition isn't 100% set in stone (heh).

To include other paths of travel used by animals (and possibly water and/or air) along with human made roads, the archetype I'd turn to would be Path.

Date: 2012-10-17 09:50 am (UTC)
moonvoice: (calm - the hidden forest path)
From: [personal profile] moonvoice
*nods* I tend to agree on this matter. The Path seems more adequate or appropriate for animal-created walkways, and I believe that the specific paths created by animals has a name, but I can't remember it right now. I'll have to track it down in one of my animal encyclopedias.

Date: 2012-10-17 04:40 am (UTC)
spider_fox: (Default)
From: [personal profile] spider_fox
Man-made/synthetic beings, yes. As an archetypal totem though, no.

Buildings like houses, or a particular place like a garden, along with things like sculptures I have noticed being alive in some way. Since those are case-by-case situations, I can't consider them ever having an overarching "totem meaning". A house where someone was murdered will be different than a house where happy families lived, and the people who built such structures or works of art will be influencing them as well.

I'm guessing a particular road caught your attention. Maybe focusing on that specific road and its history will help, rather than trying to do "Road as Totem". Because "Road as Totem" will be the same as "Road as a Symbol", which has books written about it already, so focusing on the immediate presence of your road and why THAT road is getting your attention may be helpful.
Edited Date: 2012-10-17 04:44 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-10-17 09:49 am (UTC)
moonvoice: (calm - sun path)
From: [personal profile] moonvoice
I work with synthetic / man-made devas/beings/spirits a fair bit. Like [personal profile] paleo, I tend to restrict the term 'totem' to the organic, but that's a terminology issue.

Generally I tend to go with specifics (i.e. a specific building, house, road, computer, car and so on) rather than 'Road.' But I do like and respond well to specificity, especially taking into account that roads throughout the world are made with different substrates to take into account weather issues, as well as the whims of local government.

So, like [personal profile] spider_fox, I'd suggest starting with a specific road, or network of roads, rather than 'Road as Totem.' Consider researching the history of the road, the substrate it's made from, how long it's been in existence (were they created recently, or did they follow older forms of man-made road?)

As for approaches, there are two immediate ways that come to mind. One is to locate or print out a map of that particular section of road, or roads, and use that as an anchor point in which to invite the spirit of these roads to communicate with you. Consider vocally inviting the spirit to communicate with you, and then leave yourself 'open' over a period of time - maybe a day, a week, etc. not just for clear-speaking totem responses, but also for feelings, signals, and so on.

The second method is to actually *walk the road*, either alongside it (if footpaths are safely available) - which is probably the second-best method after being able to walk *on* the road (something that's not always possible or safe on high-transit thoroughfares) - or actually visualise the road in your mind. As you walk the road, where is the spirit trying to take you, and what does it want you to see? Does this road attract more roadkill than others, does it have more mature trees, where is this road situated in the ecosystem and within the greater ecosystem of land spirits? If you're using this as a trance technique, consider inviting a manifestation of the road to walk alongside you, to share in your journey and your perspective.

Date: 2012-10-23 08:01 am (UTC)
tsukikokoro: Unknown source (White Noise)
From: [personal profile] tsukikokoro
Have you ever thought about working with Road as an essence rather than a totem? Shaped by the perception and interactions of those that have paved It, walked along It, crushed It, been crushed on It, etc. I mean, we all are shaped by those things, and maybe it's through our common essences that we can communicate with a spirit as abstract as Road.

It's just a thought; I've been brewing on essences lately.

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