Totem Animal: Flying Squirrel

What a goofy, little critter. These strange creatures are unique from other squirrels as they have a flappy membrane from there front to their back feet called a patagium. This is what allows them to fly, or rather glide, through the air. They are clumsy creatures on the ground so the will try to hide until they can return to the tree tops for safety. Another trait that makes them unique is that most of them are nocturnal. The fact that they only come out at night led to the recent discovery that certain species glow under UV light. Their underbellies glow a vibrant pink. After learning about this, I had to draw one for my next totem piece, even though I’ve already completed a red squirrel.

The drawing came out so bright and crazy! It’s very different from my other totems. The pink is so vibrant, I wanted to make sure I captured that unique trait the best I could! The blue and pink work well together. It was a lot of fun creating this piece and I can’t wait to try even more wild colors in the future! Now on to the symbolism!

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FLYING SQUIRREL SYMBOLISM

Flying squirrels over all have the same lessons to teach as all squirrels. You can read general squirrel symbolism in a post I wrote a while back first if you like. Then come back to this one for a cherry on top.

Because they are nocturnal, the flying squirrel is connected to the moon. The moon is a strong symbol for feminine energy and the flying squirrel is known for fertility in some Native American lore. These little critters also teach us about balance. Perhaps it is time to balance our energies in order to glide, effortlessly, though our day to day. Maintaining balance will help us remain fertile in life, not only meaning family but in joys and riches as well.

Flying squirrels have huge, buggy eyes in order to see better in the dark. Make sure that you are aware of your surroundings. Dangers could be right in front of you but if you refuse to see them, they will get you! Just like a hungry owl gets the flying squirrel. You may also want to check out Owl symbolism to see what could be lurking in the shadows.


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I hope you enjoyed my latest totem and were able to gain some insight from the flying squirrel. Have you ever seen a flying squirrel? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by this week!

Glide on, free spirits!

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Sources:

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Rhino What You’re Thinking!

Hey Everyone! I uploaded the Rhino Totem to my Society6 and my Redbubble. The designs came out really cool! I am enjoying the Redbubble editor. It is so easy and user friendly. It doesn’t take forever to load like Society6 and I can change the color of the background on the editor which gives me a lot of options. I really like the red with the Rhino design.

Society6 has some awesome products though that Redbubble does not. I really like the yoga mats and the furniture is really neat too!

Make sure to give both shops a glance. They are each unique and different like these notebooks. The blue one is from Society6 and the red one is from Redbubble. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get! Plus the prices vary between the products. Sometimes one of my shops will be having a sale and the other won’t.

I hope you enjoy the Rhino Totem. There is so much available in the shops it’s crazy! Let me know what you think about each store and what you favorite products are. Do you prefer Society6 or Redbubble? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Growth is key! Thanks for your support! All profits go right back into my art for supplies, equipment and helps keep the blog running! And remember….

Save the Chubby Unicorns, free spirits!

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Related Posts: Rhino Symbolism | For Sudan and Northern White Rhinos

Totem Animal: Coyote

The Coyote Totem came out very nice. I had a lot of fun with the different tangles and matching them with the coyote’s natural patterns. The colors were also fun to play with, using the different shades of copper, tans and yellows. I also added more of a background this time. With such a great pose from the coyote, I didn’t want it to look like the coyote was floating in mid air. The background is a design I came up with to represent the tall grasses the coyote will hunt in.

Coyote Symbolism

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The coyote is a very unique totem from the others I have studied so far. The coyote is a trickster. So much so that they will even fall for their own tricks. They symbolize self sabotage and making things more difficult for one’s self. If Coyote has presented itself to you be sure that you are not blinded by the obvious. You may be caught in disbelief of a stampede coming towards you that you allow it to trample you. Not believing what just happened, you’ll look again only to get struck once more by the same stampede. It is time to be aware of your surroundings. Are you being fooled by someone? Are you fooling yourself or others? Make sure you have not beguiled yourself and others into believing you know what your doing, when in fact you do not.

Do not be alarmed if Coyote has came across your path. Yes, Coyote’s medicine can be perceived as good or bad but it is still medicine. Coyote holds a great wisdom. Seek out this wisdom when you are down about yourself. Coyote wants you to be able to laugh at yourself. It may be laughter from pain or it may genuinely be funny. If you feel as though you have a flaw, shrug it off and chuckle about it. No one is perfect. If you wish to change that flaw then take the action needed to do so but do not fool anyone into thinking your perfect. Own up to who you are and do not let it bring you down.

Beware. Coyote could also be a sign that something may backfire on you. Perhaps you feel like everything you touch is going to sh*t. Or perhaps someone you have tricked in the past is looking to get you back. Keep a keen sense about you, like Coyote, to ensure you can escape any traps laid out for you. Especially be careful not to fall into your own trap! Do not play tricks on yourself and set yourself up for failure!

They are related to everything whimsical and everything funny. They teach us to stay light hearted and remember to laugh. The reason I chose to do the coyote totem next was because I heard them singing in the woods one night. When a coyote calls it may be because things are becoming too serious. They remind us to remain playful and view the world as if through child eyes. The world is a wonderous place and Coyote teaches us that anything is possible.

If you would like to dive deep into Coyote lore, I suggest checking out the book Native American Myths and Legends by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz. There are many great stories in it about Coyote’s magical feats and incredible powers. They are the masters of many skills. Although, they will often seek out ways to benefit without having to use those skills. They are not lazy, quite on the contrary. Though they come off as crazy and foolish, they can also adapt to any situation they are in and any environment as well. They are swift and have many tricks up their sleeves (if they had sleeves) to get out of trouble urgently.

Summary

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Coyote is the wise fool. They have powerful magic that can get them out of any predicament. Though remember that magic doesn’t always work. Do not fall into traps made by yourself and do not fall for anyone else’s either. If you are known to prank others, there might be someone around the corner waiting to get you back. Stay aware of the obvious and do not second guess what is right in front of you! Use your skills to adapt to your surroundings. Remember that we are all flawed, to err is human. So learn to laugh at yourself when you make a silly mistake. Embrace the true you and stop tricking everyone into thinking your perfect because you’re not. No one is. We just are. So have fun, stay playful and fill your eyes with wonderment. Just remember to not let that wonderment turn into a vale over your head.

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I sure learned a lot from Coyote! They couldn’t have showed up at a better time. Did you know their howls can be deceptive as well? When they yip and yap through the woods, their call will bounce off the trees. This makes one coyote sound like two and two sound like four and so on. Many believe this is a tactic used to intimidate potential threats that may be close by. Just another tricky prank they like to pull!

I hope you enjoyed Coyote’s Totem piece and were able to take some Coyote wisdom with you as well. Prints are available in both my shops @ Society6 and Redbubble! Thanks for stopping by today!

Keep laughing, free spirits!

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Related Posts: Coyote WIP

Sources:

Ice Bear WIP

I had so much fun making this one. With each piece that I do it becomes easier and easier for me to “let loose”. I have always set up “rules” for myself, forcing myself to stick to a made up guideline when it came to my drawings. Since working with zentangle and my totem animals though, I am feeling more like a free spirit than I ever have before and my work is better because of it! This piece was fluent. I have been wanting to do a polar bear for a while now but unintentionally waited until winter time to create it. I am still lacking in black ink since inktober happened and so I decided to go with blue. This is the first time I have used a color other than black for the outline and I think it came out pretty cool. I wonder what kind of affect I will get when I add the colored pencil.

Although, I have to say, it looks good in the black too. What do you think? Should I experiment more with different color outlines or just stick with black? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by today! Check back later this week to learn about polar bear symbolism and to see the finished drawing!

Take care, free spirits!

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

 

 

Zen Reindeer WIP

 

BW Reindeer WM

I finally finished the ink for my reindeer totem. It felt like it took forever. I could have kept going too but I stopped myself. Sometimes I get too carried away with the ink that the color turns out funky. Either that or the color takes away from the ink. Neither are good.

I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with this piece, though I never do. I did know I wanted it “decorated” to incorporate Santa’s sleigh. I started out with a fancy harness in mind and just went from there. This is the result.

I rushed the body. Their hair is so fine and smooth; I wasn’t sure how I wanted to incorporate it. I attempted a braid-like pattern which I feel I could have down a lot better on. I spent so much time getting the face the way I wanted, though, that I didn’t want to take another day or two to finish the body. So I will have to practice this more in my spare time.

I hope you enjoy the piece so far. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by. Check back soon, my next post will showcase the completed totem piece and the symbolism behind the reindeer.

Take care, Free Spirits!

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If you like the Reindeer, you may also like Deer and Moose!

Totem Animal: Skunk

Skunk WM

This totem drawing is unique from my others. I was really worried about the black over powering the tangles or the entire image in general. I didn’t want the skunk to turn into a blob so I incorporated different colors, shades of blue and purple. I like how it adds to the “flower” look and it helps break up the skunk’s body. When I first started this piece I wasn’t confident, especially when I had to scrap the first attempt and start a second. Then, with the color, I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. It just kind of happened. Sometimes you have to let them ride out that way and in the end, it’s worth it. Plus, it makes it exciting to bring art to life piece by piece. With that being said, let’s see what guidance the skunk has to share with us.

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Skunk Symbolism

The skunk is a symbol of self-respect. Everyone knows skunk. Everyone steers clear of skunk. This respect seems effortless on skunk’s part. The skunk is nonchalant; it struts around without a care in the world. Skunk has asserted itself in the world, confident. The skunk shows us we must carry ourselves in a way that demands respect. By carrying ourselves in a confident manner, our energy resonates to others around us and respect will follow naturally. The skunk has no need for violence and aggression. It can live a playful and carefree life because it is assertive and has self-respect.

Skunk has the power to repel and attract others as it desires. The same scent that repels creatures that mean harm also attracts a mate. The skunk represents sensuality and sexuality. Use your power to attract like-minded individuals while warding off the people who will only drain you of your energy.

Skunk teaches us how to control our energy flow. Be careful not to portray yourself as “available” if you are not. If the skunk has crossed your path, you will be attracting the attention of others. Make sure you are aware of where your energy is directed. Use it constructively to assert yourself, instead of wasting it on energy vampires. You have the skills, that’s why people are attracted to you. Stop worrying if you are “good enough”. It is up to you to walk the walk and show that you deserve that respect, respectfully.

The skunk is peaceful yet steps aside for no creature. At first, many would literally turn their nose up to them but they are a strong totem to have. I now understand why the skunk has been following me all year. Assertiveness, self-worth and self-respect is something I have been working on. I’ve made great strides by using my art as my voice and I am thankful I have the skunk to guide me through my journey.

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I learned a lot from skunk. It’s funny how in the beginning of this piece I was not confident in my work but by the end, I felt really good about what I had created. Coincidences like this just make me want to study animal totems even more! I hope skunk was able to offer some insight on your journey as well. Thanks for stopping by this week! Check back often throughout December for a month filled with Christmas and winter related totems!

Beati pacifici, free spirits!

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Sources:
Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson

 

 

ZenSkunk WIP

 

BW Skunk WMI just finished the ink for my latest totem, the skunk. I am very pleased with how this one came out. Though, this is actually my second attempt. My first attempt was not working at all. The tangles were messy and rushed. The drawing was not flowing and I couldn’t “see” what I wanted to do with it. It stunk! (see what I did there) So I accepted defeat and started a new one. This is the result. Much better. I used flower related tangles because I always think of the skunk from Bambi:

“He can call me flower, if he wants to.”

Next is color, what little color there is. It will be more or less shading. That makes things easy yet difficult. It’s easy because there is not much to it; it’s difficult because the detail can get lost in the black. I will share the finished piece later this week and we will check out the symbolism of the skunk. I am very interested to learn skunk. I have never looked it up in the past and I see them frequently. I wonder what lessons are in store for us!

What do you think about skunks? Have any funny stories? Share them in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.

Cura te ipsum, free spirits!

Totem Animal: Turkey

Color Turkey WM

Today is the day to honor the turkey. I am happy with how this piece turned out. I used prismacolor markers along with colored pencils on this one. I think it turned out a lot better than my past totems. The colors pop and the shading was easier to accomplish. I’m surprised it took me this long to incorporate my markers. I am going to start using them with all my pieces from now on.

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Turkey Symbolism

The turkey is a huge symbol for connecting with nature. It is known as the Earth Eagle. The males have fleshy growths that hang over their beak called “snoods” that they use when challenging other males. This “snood” represents for the third eye. It is time to open our own third eye. Mother Earth will share her wisdom and guidance. Turkeys are a symbol of the harvest and using the land properly to nourish ourselves. Turkeys live in large groups representing abundance. They live full lives with full bellies and we should be doing the same along side our family.

It can be easy to get lost in the materialistic battle to “get ahead” but it is time to stop thinking that way. It is not about how much stuff you have but rather how many lives you have touched. Instead of focusing on personal gain and keeping everything to ourselves, we must share what we have with others. We shouldn’t be greedy but instead have an open heart and be sure that everyone is taken care of. 

The turkey is a powerful symbol for Thanksgiving. They are the biggest teacher of self sacrifice and giving. The turkey sacrifices it’s life to feed us. We must show respect for the turkey. We should be willing to make sacrifices, as well, to help others in need.

Let us remember to give this Thanksgiving and help anyone who may need it. The holidays can be difficult for many. It is important to look out for each other. Give away!

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Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have a lovely time with your family and get stuffed with yummy food! What is your favorite Thanksgiving food? Let us know in the comments below. If it’s turkey, remember to show your respect.

Until next time,

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

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Sources:
Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson
Ending quote by Maya Angelou

 

 

 

Totem Animal: Tiger

Color Tiger WM.jpg

I really enjoyed creating this piece. Tigers are one of my favorite animals. I have drawn a few in the past but none in color surprisingly enough! I didn’t put that many tangles into this one or any for that matter. Tigers, I feel, are a walking Zentangle all on their own. I didn’t need to add “patterns” to the drawing because their entire coat is a pattern. I didn’t want to take away from the tigers natural design; it’s fascinating as it is.

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Tiger Symbolism

When you see a tiger, the symbolism kind of screams at you! They are beautiful, visually striking creatures. They have highly contrasted stripes which represents the light and dark. The new moon and the full moon. The balance of opposites. They also are exceptional swimmers connecting them with the energies of water as well as earth. They are both sides of the coin. They take the good with the bad because balancing the two makes them tenacious!

The tiger is very powerful and strong. They are also sensual and represent passion. When they hunt, they are silent and slow. They mainly hunt at night. You may realize the same for yourself if the tiger has presented itself to you. To attain your goals, you must hunt like the tiger. Be slow and precise. Calm yourself when you strike to ensure a higher success rate.

Tigers are devoted mothers. They care for their cubs until they are old enough to feed themselves, usually until 16 months of age. The mother teaches them everything they need to know until they are fully prepared to live on their own. Other than that, they are solitary creatures. Take care of the ones who depend on you but make sure you take some time for yourself as well. You cannot take care of others if you do not care for your well being first. Tigers are very sensual. Perhaps you should follow suit, surrounding yourself with things that excite your senses.

Have you lost your passion for life? Are you feeling down about what you are trying to achieve? Tiger will show you the way. New adventures are in your future and you will be able to find your motivation again! Stay strong like the tiger and you will be able to attain any prey that is in your sight. Strike slowly yet confidently. Fret not, a passionate life awaits you so long as you have the strength to keep traveling towards it! Listen to your senses. You already know what is good for you! Allow yourself to be open to the pleasures of life.

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Thanks for stopping by this week! I hope the tiger was able to offer you some guidance. Check back soon for the next totem I’ll be going over, one that will test your sense of smell!

Until next time,

“Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.”

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Sources:

Animal Speak by Ted Andrews

http://www.spiritanimal.info/tiger-spirit-animal/

Ending quote from the movie, “The Sandlot”