Totem Animal: Reindeer (Caribou)

 

Reindeer WM

This became one of those pieces that is better with color rather than black and white, in my opinion. It really pops with the color and it has the depth I was looking for. I was able to fix up the body, as well, and “neaten” up my tangles. I really enjoy using my prismacolor markers. I am finding myself wanting more colors to use. Maybe Santa will drop me off some. So what do Santa’s steeds have to teach us?

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Reindeer (Caribou) Symbolism

Reindeer symbolism was tricky to pinpoint. There are many creatures in the deer family, all sharing general qualities. If you would like to read some of those first you can check out my Deer Totem here. So what makes the reindeer special from all the rest besides being a part of Santa’s team?

The Innu, indigenous inhabitants of northeast Canada, tell a story about the Caribou Man. An Innu man fell in love with a Caribou woman and had turned into a Caribou himself. He was the protector of all the animals in the forest and gave permission for them to be hunted. The Innu made sure to show great respect towards Caribou Man. If proper hunting traditions were not followed, he would hide away the animals and create famine.

Reindeer migrate twice a year. They have a system to traveling and do it regularly. If you have come across a reindeer it may be wise for you to follow the same path. Travel somewhere to recharge your batteries. Take a trip to somewhere warmer and build up some fat for the winter, like the reindeer do. Don’t worry about putting on those winter pounds! Just tell everyone it’s part of nature!

For traveling long distances, reindeer have big sturdy hooves that keep them sure-footed on rocky, mountainous surfaces. They also act like a shovel for snow, as they can spread their toes and forage for food. They are resourceful creatures and know how to survive. They also have an increased amount of blood vessels in their nose that help keep them warm and also keep them from over heating. Because of the extra vessels pumping blood, they can actually become a red-nosed reindeer giving some truth to everyone’s favorite Christmas classic! These noses also warm the air they breath before it reaches their lungs. These amazing talents show us that we need to be resourceful. Reindeer are survivors and it’s time to ensure that we are too! Use what tools you have available and you will get by just fine.

One last thing the reindeer has to teach us is stamina. They have the tools but they also have the pace. You can’t travel long distances if you blast all your energy straight out of the gate. Reindeer show us to pace ourselves and to realize it is the sure way of reaching our destination.

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I had a lot of fun learning about reindeer. I discovered many new things about them that I didn’t know before. I also enjoyed creating this piece. It really got me into the festive spirit. How about you? What does the reindeer mean for you? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by this week! Check back soon for my next totem, the polar bear!

Take care, free spirits!

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Related Posts: Deer Totem | Moose Totem
Resources: Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson
http://www.native-languages.org/caribou-man.htm
https://www.whats-your-sign.com/symbolic-reindeer-meaning.html

 

 

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