845-887-3156 debra@debracortese.com

TOTEM ANIMALS – What are they saying?

Manatee Waters #3














I have realized that over the past couple of years,

that I’ve been honored by some very personal contact

with the energy of several animal totems:

Dog, Honey Bee, Baltimore Oriole, Iguana, Cat

and Manatee have all visited me in ways that

speak loudly of energy I can not ignore. 


I’m a nature lover (you can tell that instantly

from my art, and I believe in an energy that

connects everyone and everything.

Even though I am often caught up in the all

too human game of ‘too busy, too much to do,

not enough time’, I know when to stop, to pause…

and listen with my heart. So, when an animal or new

plant comes into my life, especialy in a brash or unusual

way, when it arrives with such an impact that

I must notice its presence… I acknowledge that I am to

pay attention to the message of this particular energy.


Over the years, I have always relied on the insight of

“Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews.

Here you can read about ‘The spiritual and magical powers

of creatures great and small’. This is an excellent resource

for animal energies. For plants, I’ve come to rely mostly on

my intuition. Since my art has centered around the devas,

nature’s energy for so long, I am able to sense and know their

messages for me. If I am not clear though, I will often

go to my library. Some of my favorite plant reference books are:

Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan, Audubon Society and

Peterson Field Guides, American Medicinal Plants,

The Magic and Medicine of Plants, Native American

Animal Stories by Joseph Bruchac, and The Wise Woman books

and volumes of information from Susun Weed.


I’ll be posting some of the stories and more of the related

art in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear about

your experiences with animal and plant totems.


Here’s a link to see a larger view of Manatee Waters #3