Animal totems are found throughout all of history. Within religion, martial arts, politics, on and on. Commonly throughout the ages, such totems are used in an esoteric sense. This is not what I will be writing of. I will write in a tangible, psychological way. For at the beginning of such thought, and at the end, viewing this in the sense of western modernity, one must understand why we seek such representations as animals.
First and foremost: The human animal is broken. Our minds are fractured from what we are. Society has created an extreme disconnect within the world around us. We have become weak. Are ability to express ourselves in an unclouded way has been stripped. Yet, when we view the behavior of animals, we view something raw. We view unfiltered emotions, emotions of a pure, spiritual if you will, primal nature. We see a truth that we do not see in other humans. Humans have extreme difficulty in expressing their emotions. Whether emotions of war or love. We are clouded. This is not because we do not experience the same feelings within us. It is because for many reasons we are caged in expressing them. In love. Love of self, love of mate, love of children. Such difficulty many seem to have in expressing themselves. The disconnected fractured relationships of modernity are ripe and many. The relationship of self. For when one has difficulty feeling oneself, how can you feel another. The same is said of war. The clouded childish anger men compute in their minds, filtered through a flawed ego of weakness. An expression of war disconnected from the human animal. A weak expression. Emotions that often bring ruin to self and others. Ruin due to flawed upbringing, flawed indoctrination of weakness. Overall confused states of extreme emotion. In both love and war, you never see an animal confused. This is an inspiration to us. For who displays love as deeply as animals, raw emotions unclouded by the destruction of self within society. In war, who displays such wrath as animals, those who are willing to fight, as not all animals feel this way when threatened. And thus we associate ourselves. From single countries, to individual selves. We see something pure we have lost.
In choosing a totem, or the totem choosing you, it is best to remain honest with yourself. Your psychology, your desires, your inspirations. For how often does one claim Lion-ship? How often does one lie to self? The list goes on and on. Never allow another to choose a totem for you, unless the relationship is a sincere one were all parties wish each other to grow. Men are jealous and insecure creatures before any other trait. Be careful who you choose as teacher or comrade. Be careful that you are not simply a body to satisfy another mans ego, such is often found within martial arts. Always know your own growth, and put yourself before other men. This is the way of the world, and you must protect yourself, for ultimately you are the only one who will protect you.