READ THIS!

Welcome to the Therian Guide forums.

You really have to follow these instructions! Instructions will update as you progress.

If you wish to post on, or access most of the content of our forum and our community, please click here to register first, then follow the instructions below. If you have already registered, please log in, in the above "Hello There, Guest!" box.

Thanks for understanding and see you around.



Post Reply 
An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons
elinox
Therian Guide Staff
Member is Offline
Blaidd Drwg
Theriotype: Lupine & Cat
Experience: Therian, Otherkin
Connection: Psychological, Spiritual
Reputation: 193
Contribution: tick tick tick 
tick tick tick 
tick 
.$team.

.
Post: #1
An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons
Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas, Daemons, etc. may seem similar, but they’re actually different concepts. The below was mostly taken from my TG interview on Therian Talks.

Totems and animal spirits are the most similar in that a totem is a representative of a species as a whole. Animal spirits, similarly, are individual representatives of that totem. So, you could have Dog the totem (capitalized ‘D’) and then perhaps work specifically with a beagle, as a representative of Dog. Or you could simply work with the idea of ‘dog’ and what that means to you; things like loyalty, obedience and silliness can be associated with dogs as spirit guides.

Both totems and animal spirits fall under the category of Animism.

Similarly, a shadow totem embodies something you fear, or is actually an animal you fear or dislike strongly. Common shadow totems for many people would be things like bugs and spiders, snakes or sharks.

A Tulpa is intentionally creating a mental construct. Sort of like inventing a conscious persona that you can talk to in your head. It’s my understanding that tulpas are like an imaginary friend: you talk to them, bounce ideas off of them, ask for advice, etc. within your own mind. It’s not a separate entity, but rather an extension of your own consciousness.

Daemons are like tulpas in that you intentionally create a useful thoughtform to work through ideas or problems with. Daemons were made famous though as being external entities, like totems, in Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials where they appeared as an animal, alongside their human counterparts. Totems and daemons are not the same thing though.

Tulpas and daemons are internal mental constructs, whereas totems and animal spirit guides are external entities.

Also, depending on who you ask, you can have either one totem for life, or you can have more than one that can change depending on where your life’s journey takes you. I tend to believe that totems come into your life to teach you a lesson, unless you reach out to them first.

Finally, totems, animal spirits, tulpas, daemons, etc. are not the same thing as therianthropy. Therianthropy is what you are, inside. Whereas totems are external forces that are independent from you and your identity. Many therians have totems that are completely different species than what they identify as so if you’ve found and worked with totems, that doesn’t automatically mean you are that same species. However, there are some therians who do work with the same species as their animal guide. But it’s not necessary for the two groups to be the same.

If you’re new to the idea of therianthropy and have yet to figure out what animal you are, it can be helpful to reach out to a totem or animal spirit directly to try to learn more about yourself. However, meditation takes practice and to get the most honest answer it’s recommended you repeat the process many times before coming to any one conclusion.

And as a warning, take what you learn in meditation or in working with a totem and animal spirit with a grain of salt. You need to make sure to do research into the species itself and pay attention to your own habits and behaviors before coming to any absolute conclusions. Identity is a learning process and it takes time!

[Image: sGaXcqG.png]
lupine (werewolf) & cat | 40 | writer & published author | scuba diver | chaotic good | Hufflepuff | INFJ | eclectic Wiccan witch
2019-12-02 15:08
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
Saoirse Fiain
Member is Offline
Fiáin Mac tíre
Theriotype: Werewolf
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological, Spiritual
Reputation: 51
Contribution: tick tick tick 
tick 
.$team..$team..$team.

.
Post: #2
RE: An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons
Wow this is very helpful Eli, thank you so much for making this thread. I've been trying to find a straightforward answer to what these things are for months! I'm definitely going to have to do more research, especially on the different totem animals. I strongly suspect mine has, or at least had something to do with a salamander.

[Image: xulffsmall.png]
Celtic Werewolf|Watcher of Birds|Signature by @Xulff
◈ The truth is out there ◈
2019-12-09 18:02
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
Shapeshifter
Member is Offline
Fly on the wall
Theriotype: Shapeshifter
Experience: (therian?), (otherkin?)
Reputation: 1
Contribution:

.
Post: #3
RE: An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons
I do have some experience with tulpas- Back in...2012, I believe, I tried to create my own tulpa. I spent weeks doing research out of fascination, which eventually led to a few months of actually bringing my tulpa "to life". The experience was, in all honesty, a bit overwhelming because of how new it was to me. But I kept my tulpa around for a year or two until I just kind of stopped paying attention to it.
Anyhow.

Very informative and thought-provoking, what you have posted. Thank you for this intro thread.

[Image: 3VKPJMI.png]
2020-01-27 3:25
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
Teivor
Member is Offline
Selkie who likes mountains
Theriotype: Andean mountain cat, Selkie
Experience: Therian, Otherkin
Connection: Spiritual
Reputation: 0
Contribution: new

Post: #4
RE: An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons
Some objections

Tulpas are sentient, seperate peope, nothing like imaginary friends.

I have heard conflicting reports on if daemons are sentient but they are definetely more than a decision tool.
2022-09-29 14:24
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
elinox
Therian Guide Staff
Member is Offline
Blaidd Drwg
Theriotype: Lupine & Cat
Experience: Therian, Otherkin
Connection: Psychological, Spiritual
Reputation: 193
Contribution: tick tick tick 
tick tick tick 
tick 
.$team.

.
Post: #5
RE: An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons

(2022-09-29 14:24)Teivor Wrote:  Some objections

Tulpas are sentient, seperate peope, nothing like imaginary friends.

I have heard conflicting reports on if daemons are sentient but they are definetely more than a decision tool.


Mental constructs are not necessarily the same as imaginary friends. Similar, but not always the same thing.

That said, tulpas ARE mental constructs designed for an individual to purposefully compartmentalize their thoughts. Like having a representation of your conscience. A good example is the classic devil/angel appearing on your shoulder to offer advice. Both are you, but the tulpa gives you the ability to sort of look outside yourself at the situation to make decisions and sort through problems.

Another good example is Bing Bong from Inside Out: as an imaginary friend, he was there to help Riley figure stuff out as she grew up. He was individual in his own right, but still ultimately a part of Riley's mind.

Tulpas, like daemons, ARE you, they are not a separate individual presence within your mind.

That said, entities in your mind that are separate can be walk-ins (usually here temporarily) or part of a multiple system (usually permanent residents). Both are people/creatures from outside the physical body that have somehow attached themselves to the mind of the physical body (often called the host).

What you're describing @Teivor is either a walk-in or part of a multiple system.


[Image: sGaXcqG.png]
lupine (werewolf) & cat | 40 | writer & published author | scuba diver | chaotic good | Hufflepuff | INFJ | eclectic Wiccan witch
2022-09-29 15:22
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
Thorn
Member is Offline
Therian Territory
Theriotype: Black Phase Wolf, Betta Fish
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological, Spiritual
Reputation: 65
Contribution: tick tick tick 
tick 
.$team..$team..$team.

.
Post: #6
RE: An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons

(2022-09-29 15:22)elinox Wrote:  Tulpas, like daemons, ARE you, they are not a separate individual presence within your mind.

That said, entities in your mind that are separate can be walk-ins (usually here temporarily) or part of a multiple system (usually permanent residents). Both are people/creatures from outside the physical body that have somehow attached themselves to the mind of the physical body (often called the host).

What you're describing @Teivor is either a walk-in or part of a multiple system.


Ever looked into the term "endogenic system"? Any system (a body owned by more people) that aren't created due to trauma, are endogenic systems. Tulpa systems are usually considered endogenic, but it is surely a form of plurality. In the tulpa community, tulpas are surely considered sentient entities, which is what separates them from imaginary friends. They share your body and physical brain, but they have their own mind and opinions.

Which is why it's recently considered wrong to assign a task to the tulpa consciously, as it may cause them harm if they're not able to live up to it. If you want to "use" a thoughtform for an actual task, it's better to use a servitor. They will not get such crisis because they're not meant to be sentient.


~Thorn

[Image: 200-px.png]

"Some men see things as they are and say 'why?',
I dream things that never were and say 'why not?'."
(This post was last modified: 2022-09-29 15:31 by Thorn.)
2022-09-29 15:30
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
elinox
Therian Guide Staff
Member is Offline
Blaidd Drwg
Theriotype: Lupine & Cat
Experience: Therian, Otherkin
Connection: Psychological, Spiritual
Reputation: 193
Contribution: tick tick tick 
tick tick tick 
tick 
.$team.

.
Post: #7
RE: An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons
I think we're confusing sapience with sentience.

Sentience means feeling. Like can a bird feel pain. Yes, then the bird is sentient.

Sapience means the ability to think and reason on your own. Like can a human child figure out how to solve a math problem in school.

(Side Note: I feel that most, if not all, non-human animals have some level of both sentience and sapience.)

Tulpas are actually from a school of religious mysticism created in the early 1900's. The term was created to refer to a type of imaginary friend. They can be sentient to a level like I described with Bing Bong above, but are, ultimately, still a part of the individual.

If there are other beings inside the physical body, not part of the resident mind, that's a walk-in or part of a multiple system.

I'm not saying someone cannot have more than one individual inside their mind, I'm just trying to explain how the terminology is correctly used.

Tulpas, daemons, etc. are created, either intentionally or not. Walk-ins, multiples, etc. are external entities.

[Image: sGaXcqG.png]
lupine (werewolf) & cat | 40 | writer & published author | scuba diver | chaotic good | Hufflepuff | INFJ | eclectic Wiccan witch
2022-09-29 15:44
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
Bagera
Member is Offline
Long Licker
Theriotype: Drehgora
Experience: Therian, Otherkin
Connection: Psychological, Spiritual
Reputation: 18
Contribution: tick 
silvertick 
.$team..$team..$team..$team..$team..$team..$team.

.
Post: #8
RE: An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons
Interesting post. I'd also like to add a bit from my own belief system, as it differs from this one, which is most commonly seen in more western cultures. This is specifically for totems and spirit guides though, I've little experience with tulpas.

In my belief system, totems are archetypes. My understanding of them is more psychological than anything, though there are some belief systems which see an actual spirit as an emblem even though they do not communicate with it directly. They are often used to represent person(s), family groups, or places. A clear example would be america having the totem of eagle to represent itself. Or russia having the bear. China, the dragon. A totem is a representation of an animal (or plant, fungi, etc, they're not all animals!) This is also why I dislike many books out there on animal totems and meanings and things, as a totem is supposed to be based on the personal views of the one utilizing it.
Some traits of a totem could be seen similarly by many people, but others aren't. For example, one person might see a hyena as a bloodthirsty and cruel scavenger, and see it as a totem represented with such traits, and another would see them as protective of their clan, and intelligent hunters with a knack for problem solving. Those two people see two different things and thus would draw power in two different ways. When people just read meanings from books, they are applying -someone else's- idea of that totem. It can be helpful as a guide but ultimately hinders a persons ability to form a true connection with the totem.

Likewise, in my belief system, spirit guides are -not- the same thing as a totem. I know that this can be really difficult for people to understand me on, like ones from western cultures, and especially people who have not actually been dragged between worlds through a death/dismemberment type event. I loathe to use the generic umbrella term here, shaman, but that seems to be the one people most understand so I'll stomach it for now.

Spirits are often sapient beings and can communicate, albeit in strange and unusual ways. There are spirits of plants and animals and stuff yes, and there are spirits of inanimate objects, emotions, and even abstract concepts. Some of them one could wonder if they're truly sapient, or just the pure spiritual embodiment of a force (my experience has shown some level of awareness in these beings but it's hard to say). And they can communicate. Not often with words but with flashes of images, emotions, colors, waveforms. One I interacted with spanned my entire field of view looking akin to the skin of an octopus. It seemed to communicate in changing colors and undulations in its form.

This is also why in many animistic cultures, communication with spirits required the help of someone bridging the worlds (shamans), vs totems being able to be utilized by anyone. We wouldn't need shamans if they were the same thing.

I just wanted to present this here as an alternative belief systems view, to have a wider perspective on the subject than just a singular groups belief. I'm not trying to say that anyone else's understanding is wrong, and my intention here is not to step on anyones toes. I also understand that different words and phrases have different meanings in different languages and cultures. For some people, the misunderstanding simply comes down to verbiage.

Fire tempers steel. Chaos tempers will.
(This post was last modified: 2022-09-29 16:54 by Bagera.)
2022-09-29 16:53
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
Teivor
Member is Offline
Selkie who likes mountains
Theriotype: Andean mountain cat, Selkie
Experience: Therian, Otherkin
Connection: Spiritual
Reputation: 0
Contribution: new

Post: #9
RE: An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons

(2022-09-29 15:44)elinox Wrote:  I think we're confusing sapience with sentience.

Sentience means feeling. Like can a bird feel pain. Yes, then the bird is sentient.

Sapience means the ability to think and reason on your own. Like can a human child figure out how to solve a math problem in school.

(Side Note: I feel that most, if not all, non-human animals have some level of both sentience and sapience.)

Tulpas are actually from a school of religious mysticism created in the early 1900's. The term was created to refer to a type of imaginary friend. They can be sentient to a level like I described with Bing Bong above, but are, ultimately, still a part of the individual.

If there are other beings inside the physical body, not part of the resident mind, that's a walk-in or part of a multiple system.

I'm not saying someone cannot have more than one individual inside their mind, I'm just trying to explain how the terminology is correctly used.

Tulpas, daemons, etc. are created, either intentionally or not. Walk-ins, multiples, etc. are external entities.


Tulpas are sapient, they can think on their own and reason on their own, calling them mental contructs also does not take into account the ammount of spiritual tulpas out there. Tulpas are part of a system.

2022-10-03 8:22
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
VividThief
Member is Offline
Rawr >:3
Theriotype: Bengal Tiger
Experience: Therian
Connection: Psychological, Spiritual
Reputation: 6
Contribution: tick 

.
Post: #10
RE: An Intro to Totems, Animal Spirits, Tulpas & Daemons
This conversation is reminding me of many things in terms of pagan beliefs surround spirits and the world, it's intriguing to see the similarities and differences of everyone's ideologies on these topics. A mixed grab bag of culture and religion and spirituality. I also appreciate the learning experience ^w^

The only one you owe in this life or the next is yourself.
Live like you mean it

EyeGrr
2022-10-03 13:24
Save
Quote
Give Thanks
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)