Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Totems, Spirit Guides, and Power Animals (Inklings Prompt 11/8)

Opening Question

Q: What do Inception’s Totems, the Penguin from Fight Club, and the Patronus Spell from Harry Potter have in common?

A:They all have their roots in ancient beliefs.


Helpful Definitions

Totems support larger groups than the individual person. In kinship and descent, if the apical ancestor of a clan is nonhuman, it is called a totem. Normally this belief is accompanied by a totemic myth.

In Inception, totems are figurines used by the characters to make sure they can distinguish between reality and dreams

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Power animal, is a broadly animistic and shamanic concept that has entered the English language from Anthropology, Ethnography and Sociology. A tutelary spirit guides, helps or protects individuals, lineages and nations. In the shamanic worldview, everything is alive, bearing an inherent virtue, power and wisdom. Our power animal(s) represent our connection to all life, our qualities of character, our power.

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Spirit guide is a term used by the Western tradition of Spiritualist Churches, mediums, and psychics to describe an entity that remains a disincarnate spirit in order to act as a guide or protector to a living incarnated human being.

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Poem Portion


Write down what your totem (Inception Style) would be, and how’d it help distinguish between dreams and reality

Write down what your power animal/spirit guide would be and why you selected it

Now to write one of three poems

-A conceit (extended metaphor) about the totem or metaphor as it relates to you

-An epic (narrative story) about the discovery of your totem/spirit animal

-An apostrophe (direct address or questioning of) to the totem or spirit animal

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