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Some of the links for the 197 pages in this Totem Animals section
are below. For the rest please go HERE
*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Armadillo stands for one's personal defense mechanisms.
*Bobby Lake-Thom/Spirits of the Earth:
"...one time my wife Tela and I were traveling through
Florida and Louisiana heading back to California.
We saw an Armadillo alongside the road at sunset. We knew it
was a messenger, but we didn't know
what it meant. At a later date I did some research on the Creek
and Seminole Indians' mythology and
learned what that animal meant to them in terms of a symbol,
a meaning I did not understand at the
time. So even now I still find myself being forced to study
a new encounter, to analyze a new natural
symbol, to discover new things in order to expand the depth
and breadth of my knowledge of Nature's language."
*note...he did not explain the meaning of Armadillo though!
*Timothy Roderick/The Once Unknown Familiar:
Key Words: Protective, watchful, purposeful
Magical Influences: Protection of others, discovering secrets,
Personality: This is a feisty but slow-moving animal. Those
who naturally align with this power would be
proficient in battle when push comes to shove, but generally
they stay out of the way of others.
*Jamie Sams and David Carson/Medicine Cards:
Boundaries. Armadillo wears its armor on its back, its medicine
a part of its body. Its boundaries of
safety are a part of its total being. Armadillo can roll into
a ball and never ben penetrated by enemies.
What a gift it is to set your boundaries so that harmful words
or intentions just roll off. Your lesson is in
setting up what you are willing to experience. If you do not
wish to experience feeling invaded, just call
on Armadillo medicine.
A clue to how to proceed is to make a circle on a piece of paper
and see it as a medicine shield. In the
body of the shield, write all that you are desiring to have,
do, or experience. Include all things that give
you joy. This sets up boundaries that allow only these chosen
experiences to be a part of your life. These
boundaries become a shield that wards off the things which are
undesirable to you. The shield reflects
what you are and what your will is to others on an unconscious
level. Outside of the shield you may put
what you are willing to experience "by invitation only,"
for example a visit from a long lost relative, or
criticism from friends, or people needing handouts.
If Armadillo has waddled into the cards you chose, it is time
to define your space. You may have been
too willing to let your home become a bus station. You may find
that you cannot say "no" even when
you know that you will have to cancel plans to be obliging.
This routine can get old in a hurry!
It may be time to ask yourself the following questions:
1) Am I honoring the time I need for my personal enjoyment?
2) Do others treat me like a doormat?
3) Why do I always get upset when I'm taken for granted?
4) Is there a reason for me being a *yes* person?
All of the answers to these questions relate to setting up boundaries:
what you will and won't do; what
makes you feel uncomfortable and what is comforting to you.
How you react in any circumstance has to
do with your ability to be objective. You cannot be objective
if you cannot tell where the other person's
personality stops and where yours begins. If you have no boundaries,
you are like a sponge. It will seem
as if all the feelings in a room full of people must be yours.
Ask yourself if you are really feeling
depressed, or if this feeling actually belongs to the person
you are talking to. Then allow Armadillo's
armor to slice in-between, giving you back your sense of self.
Contrary: Go ahead, roll up and hide. This, sarcastically, is
the message of reverse Armadillo. You may
think the only way to win in your present situation is to hide
or to pretend that you are armor-coated
and invincible, but this is not the way to grow. It is better
to open up and find the value and strength of
your vulnerability. You will experience something wonderful
if you do.
Vulnerability is the key to enjoying the gifts of physical life.
In allowing yourself to feel, a myriad of
expressions are made available. For instance, a true compliment
is an admiration flow of energy. If you
are afraid of being hurt and are hiding from feeling anything,
you will never feel the joy of admiration
The key is in allowing Armadillo to help you to stop hiding,
and to use Armadillo's armor to deflect
negative energies. In this way you are able to accept or reject
any feeling, action, or energy flow without
having to hide from it.
The underside of Armadillo is soft, but its armor will protect
this softness if the boundaries are in place.
Hiding from your true feelings and fearing failure or rejection
will amplify your need for cast-iron
protection. You have the power to rid yourself of these doubts
and to touch the deepest part of
beingness. You will know you are doing the right thing. Whether
it is communicating, or painting, or
surfing--the creation belongs to you.
The only real rejection is in not trying to break out of the
armor you have used to protect yourself. Is the
armor now becoming a jail and your fears the jailer?
Jamie Sams/Dancing the Dream:
...lessons in Armadillo Medicine, or boundaries, which shows
us how we feel when our own boundaries
are not honored as well as why we should honor the boundaries
of others. If a person does not feel
comfortable being asked to discuss personal information, that
boundary should be honored without any
comment that could make the person feel ill at ease. If we are
actively embracing our own healing
process, there are times when we may feel vulnerable or ultrasensitive.
It is totally inappropriate to
force anyone who is feeling that raw to interact with others
in loud or boisterous activities....we are
asked to develop our intuitiveness and sensitivity to the degree
that we can respectfully observe the
boundaries of others in this manner. These boundary lessons
are a part of honoring the Sacred Space of
others and respecting our own physical and emotional boundaries
Keynote: Personal Protection, Discrimination, and Empathy
Cycle of Power: Year-round
Armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one." It
is a burrowing animal whose armor is the shield it carries
on its back. The armor is comprised of overlapping bony plates,
covered with horns. The undersides are
ordinary hide and are its most vulnerable area. The armadillo
and those with it as a totem are most
vulnerable when they expose their undersides, or inner workings.
Armadillo teaches how to protect
yourself and when to let your defenses down.
The armadillo is actually a member of the sloth family. It has
no canine teeth or incisors, but it does have
80 or more molars that never stop growing. It lives in burrows
that are really multi-chambered dens.
These dens can be as much as five feet below ground. Its claws
are excellent for digging, reflecting an
ability to dig through the surface of things to see what is
beneath. The armadillo teaches discrimination.
All animals with armor of any kind have connections to the European
knights of medieval lore. The
armadillo can be a past-life link specifically to the 16th century
Spanish conquistadors, probably best
known for the conquering of Mexico and Peru. Chivalry, strength,
and protection were often the ideal
qualities to be developed by the European knights. This is reflected
in the fact that the armadillo's best
offense is a strong defense.
The early armor was often heavy and made it awkward to move
in, in spite of the protection. The
armadillo teaches how to carry your protection with you and
how to use it only when it is necessary.
They have an ability to protect without causing undue harm to
others. The armadillo can reflect past-life
connections to the knights, or the need to develop the same
qualities and characteristics that the
The armadillo links those with it as a totem to other animals--including
those which prey upon it, and
these should be examined as well. The armadillo is often preyed
upon by big cats and coyotes. They will
often flip them over to expose the underside. The armadillo
will also sometimes bask in the sun during
cold periods. They tend to fall asleep at such ties, on their
backs with their undersides exposed. They are
thus more vulnerable. Along health lines, the armadillo teaches
those with this totem to be extra
cautious in dress and covering during times of cold, or there
will be a greater susceptibility to illness.
Again there is the issue of protecting against exposure to certain
The spotted skunk and the burrowing owl benefit from the armadillo.
Both will make their homes in
abandoned armadillo dens. It is not unusual to find that an
individual with an armadillo totem will have
friends who have skunk and owl totems also. There is a positive
relationship. The Aztecs called armadillo
"rabbit turtle." the qualities of both are somewhat
embodied by the armadillo--especially in its
appearance. An armadillo as a totem can also reflect a past-life
connection to the ancient Aztecs.
The primary diet of armadillos is invertebrate insects. In one
summer it can consume 200 pounds of
insects. Ants and earthworms are a large part of its diet, and
the qualities of them should be studied as well.
When threatened, the armadillo will roll itself up into a ball,
covering all its vulnerable areas. If an
armadillo has strolled into your life, you should be asking
yourself some questions. ARe you not
protecting yourself as you should? Are others around you needing
protection? Are you being too
sensitive and protecting yourself from attacks that are not
there? Are you imagining attacks or being too
sensitive to the energies of others?
The armadillo has a tremendously powerful sense of smell. It
can smell insects six inches underground.
This strong sense of smell has ties to higher forms of discrimination
and psychological stimulations.
Anyone with the armadillo as a totem would do well to work with
aromatherapy and development of
their own sense of smell. Do things just not smell right? Do
people or situations smell fishy? Learning to
trust what you smell is part of what the armadillo can teach.
The sense of smell also has ties to the sexual energies. It
is a strong stimulant to the sex drive. The
armadillos only pair for mating, and then they go on their way.
the usual gestation period is around
eight to nine months, just as with humans. Unlike humans though,
if distressed, the armadillo can delay
giving birth for up to two and a half years.
This reflects much about the energy that comes with an armadillo
totem. It usually signals that the
opportunity for a new birth is coming within the next 8-9 months.
It will be important, though, not to
roll ourselves up and hide from the opportunity for fear we
may be vulnerable. On the other hand, if we
are too worried and stressed to act upon the opportunity, its
movement can be delayed for up to two
years or more. Armadillo can show you how to adjust your rhythms
so that what you wish to create will
occur at the safest time.
The armadillo can move fast if it needs to. it is also a good
swimmer. It will swallow air and inflate its
intestines until they are able to float. Other times they will
hold their breath and walk on the bottom of
streams and other natural water sources. They can hold their
breath for up to six minutes.
This and their ability to dig reflects the ability of the armadillo
to teach you how to move from one
dimension to another. It can teach you how to move through all
elements. This can be linked to specific
forms of mediumship, in which the individual is able to move
consciously into new dimensions and stay
protected all the while. It hints of an ability to explore and
walk the threads of life and death, and work
with the spirits of the dead.
It also hints of the ability to explore the emotional sides
not often exposed, even though individuals with
this totem may be reluctant to do so. if in the position, they
can explore many emotional and mundane
aspects of themselves. They often try to keep these more sensitive
aspects of themselves protected and
hidden. It will be important for those with this totem to learn
when to expose these more subtle sides
and when to cover them up. This is part of what armadillo teaches.
Oftentimes individuals who are extremely empathic will have
an armadillo as a totem. An empathic
individual's body will become a barometer for whatever is experienced.
If around someone with an ache
or pain, empathics will experience it within their own body
as if it is their own ache or pain. This can lead
to an actual manifestation of the problem. Empathic individuals
are very susceptible to outside
influences--physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. This
heightened sensitivity needs to be controlled
and balanced. Armadillo can teach you how to do this or show
you how to help others in this position.
From my notes:
Armadillo represents shielding, protection, and boundaries;
secrets and empathy; discrimination
and determination. By using parameters you can make the choice
of what will or will not be
acceptable to you. Through discrimination you can decide what
issues belong to others and those
that are yours to face. This allows you to maintain control
as you would in the centering process
in critical situations.
Note: They do carry leprosy.
Empathy is felt in the stomach; the area that is the seat of
your emotions. Armadillo will teach
you to read them and you will learn when or when not to expose
yourself. You will recognize the
vulnerability of others and understand you need only be as vulnerable
as you choose to be. The
curling up is a form of protection but it is not one done out
of cowardice. Understanding this will
allow you to see others who are being taken advantage of and
help them as well. It is a method of
knowing when to stand and fight or when to avoid confrontation.
In this way Armadillo will
teach the art of shielding and making shields for repelling
the unwanted and enfolding that you
The ability of this creature-teacher to powerfully dig through
the Earth and burrow or find food
teaches you to utilize these skills in discovering the truths
and secrets that lay hidden. By being
discriminating you will know instinctively when to go after
thing in this manner. It will also
teach you the art of swimming and burrowing, the ability to
shift into the dimensions of Water
and Earth. your sense of smell will become heightened giving
you a tool in alerting yourself to
danger and the need for protection.
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