Turkey Spirit Animal Totem

Turkey Spirit Animal Totem

What is the spiritual meaning of the Turkey? Willingness

The Turkey Spirit Animal Totem teaches us that willingness is the fuel that achieves all goals.  Willingness is the Tao energy of pure interest that brings an effortless enjoyment to our endeavors.  Turkey Medicine asks if you are willing to engage the situation at hand or if you are resisting it.  While Dog Medicine teaches loyalty, Turkey Medicine goes even further and shows us the value of an even deeper willingness to follow an external guide with total devotion and commitment. 

When a baby turkey is born, the face they see first just after cracking open their shell is the face they will follow for the rest of their childhood.  Usually, the face a baby turkey sees first is their mother or father and the bond that is made in that moment is one of total devotion.  The baby turkey then goes about receiving instruction from their parent which prepares them for adulthood.  This egg-shell moment is called “imprinting.” Imprinting is a complete willingness to trust someone with your life.  This is easy and natural to do as children.  We really have no choice at that time.  But as we grow up and become self-sufficient, it becomes harder and harder to have the willingness of a child to learn and grow.  Turkey Medicine is asking if it is perhaps time to allow a childlike trust to enter into a given situation.  Or is it perhaps time for an adult perspective to guide an inner child towards a safer and more supportive bond with yourself rather than depend on the external world for guidance.

We have all experienced an ‘imprinting” moment in our adult life when we are inexplicably riveted by someone or some activity and we know it is our destiny to follow them down a path of exciting adventure.   Someone or something grabs us, holds us fast, and we must follow.  Even though it is scary to give over so completely, by allowing ourselves to be enraptured, we gain uncountable insights not only into who we are and what we prefer.  We also learn the difficult process of differentiation which enables us to shift back and forth between being self-sufficient and being open to growth and change. Self-awareness is a constant process of engaging and disengaging.  Letting someone into such an intense degree can feel dangerous and even foolish to grown adults.  But balanced Turkey Medicine knows the profound value in allowing the world in and allowing external forces to connect with us and change us.  Sometimes to gain clarity on a situation, we have to go “all-in” and let ourselves try on new beliefs and perceptions.  We may discover we disagree with what we have let influence us and decide it is time to disconnect.  And in so doing, we have deepened our own understanding of who we are and who we are not. 

The fixation energy we find with Turkey Medicine may seem like a negative quality we should avoid. But Turkey Medicine asks – when might it be useful to fixate?     

Fixating is agreeing to give over resistance for a time and to allow ourselves to be fully influenced (and changed) by someone or something.  When we are willing we let ourselves be swept up into deep attachment and dependence in order to learn that which we could not even imagine we could learn.  In so doing, we may get knocked about and we may have our heartbroken.  But we also discover just how deep our capacity to love is.  As well as our capacity to heal and recover.

A true master of any skill understands the need to fixate.  Turkey Medicine advises us to find what we love and let it consume us. We must obsess if we wish to lift ourselves up into the exceptional. We must find our interest not just interesting.  Sometimes it must become our whole world.  The ability to be willing develops unstoppable conviction, a key ingredient needed for stamina and mastery. 

If you have lived in autonomous independence for too long, your powers of self-sufficiency have left you isolated.  It may be time to reconnect with others and to step out of your self-sufficiency for a while to let another person influence you emotionally.  For a heart who has arrived at a hard-earned peace through the necessary process of separation, it can be nearly impossible to allow another person to influence us.  Why let them in?  We’ve reached a place of peace within ourselves so why disrupt that? Just stay safe and distant.  But the Turkey Spirit Animal Totem encourages us to trust vulnerability as the pathway towards an even richer life experience.  Trust that you are strong enough to survive another adventure.  Let yourself be influenced.  Let yourself need.

On the other hand, if Turkey’s lessons in the art of fixation are maintained for too long, you may start to feel bound to someone or some activity beyond enjoyment.  Being captivated does not involve feeling like a captive.  If enjoyment has left the engagement, it is time to reclaim your powers of independent autonomy.  All relationships are consensual.  There is an agreement by both parties to engage and learn.  When someone is not honoring the fundamental equality of the dynamic and demanding too much of your attention without returning equal appreciation or support, it is time to diversify your attentions.  Find other interests in this world and let those new interests take you away from the dysfunction.  Fixating on a broken dynamic will only waste valuable time in your life.  You do not need any one person to be your everything. Diversify your attention.  If someone in your life is incapable of reciprocating compassionate support and appreciation for you, it is time to separate and move on.  It is impossible to teach someone how to be supportive or compassionate.  Everyone finds their own way to that capacity.  Do not try to teach compassion by offering it to no end to someone who refuses to reciprocate. Some people are capable of being in a supportive relationship and some people are not.  Do not allow any external influence to keep you from your own maturation process. It may be time to self-empower.  Call on Snake to discover the sheer conviction to make the change you need to make.

Do not punish or judge yourself for being willing to give something a try.  That is how we learn and grow.  Turkey Medicine is showing us the innocent and vulnerable truth about our child aspects.  We will always have a childlike part of us who is never meant to “grow up.”  The child aspect is meant to stay in a state of curiosity, wonder, and vulnerability.  Child energy is the spirit of discovery that brings excitement and adventure to our lives.  Our willingness to open up and bond with someone or some activity and to let ourselves be influenced by an external force will take us on a journey of learning that will deepen our wisdom, clarify who we understand ourselves to be, and improve our connection to our own inner guidance.

When Turkey Medicine is balanced in your life it is time to let yourself go on a ride and get swept up into the rapture of a new adventure.  Turkey knows you will come out the other side and find autonomy again.  You will emerge even stronger than before.  When Turkey Medicine is out of balance it is either time to let someone in or it is time to reclaim your own independent perspective.

Another aspect of the Turkey Spirit Animal Guide can be seen when we observe the distinct differences between the male turkey and the female turkey.  Turkey Medicine is one of those Power Animal Totems that show two distinct teachings in the male and female aspects.  Like Elephant Medicine, the genders of the Turkey Nations express two quite different commentaries- fancy vs functional.  When we observe this lovely creature in the wild we see that the male turkeys dress up in fine feathers for the event of life.  They remind us to bring a decorative formality to the situation at hand.  The female, on the other hand, is quite practical and subdued in her appearance and could be called plain when compared to the ostentation of the male.  This fancy vs functional conversation can be seen over and over again in the Bird Nations where the male brings a stunning show to a receptive and more subdued female audience.  The muted, less dramatic display of the female is a refreshing and needed counterpart to the excitement the male turkey brings.

But every Medicine is a study in balance.  Too much time spent in unadorned functionality will lead the soul into a longing for color and decoration for its own sake.  Beauty is quite practical at the soul level.  But too much time spent in an excess of ribbons and bows will likewise diminish the impact of each lovely thing.  Turkey Medicine walks in balance between the beautiful and the functional. 

Beauty can be found in the purely functional and the functional can hold surprising beauty when we put down the impulse to compare.  Comparing myself to others is like racing cars on the highway.  None of those cars are going to the same destination so how can we be in competition?  Racing to get ahead of them in relation to where you are going is pointless because they are all going somewhere else. 

Turkey knows that comparisons are an exercise in unhappiness.  Holding yourself to a set of standards that have nothing to do with your function only serves to delay the precision with which you are able to hone your unique skills and express who you really are.  Turkey Medicine does not compare.  It appreciates and encourages differences.

Is it time to step out of those muted colors and dress up and embellish the situation at hand? Or is it time to put down your presentation and become an appreciative audience member for a while?  The show is all for you so enjoy it!  This Medicine is asking you to clarify what you find beautiful at this time? Is it subtle or is it sensational?  Either way, let that beauty enrapture you and take you on a journey to discover more about who you are. 

Animal Spirit Guides teach us that medicine is a movement.  Wellness is a Way, a path we navigate but never achieve once and for all.  We are always arriving at new heights and then departing to find even higher heights.  Turkey Medicine suggests we take time to stop and fixate on a fascination for a while and see what new skills we can discover when we let ourselves learn from others.  Are you willing?

About the author

About the author

Hi, I’m Jess.  I study and practice nature-based healing methods.  I offer healing arts workshops and life guidance in Los Angeles, California. Learn more about Jess…

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