The Invisible Web

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Archive for June 25th, 2008

Why Did the Chicken Cross My Mind? An Update on Food Totems

Posted by invizweb on June 25, 2008

For Rending the Veil, LUPA wrote:

A couple of months ago I wrote about food totems – animal totems of those species whose relationship to humans is primarily based on how edible they are. One of my recent efforts has been to work with less common totems as a way of breaking free of the Big, Impressive North American Birds and Mammals (BINABM). There’s nothing wrong with, say, Wolf or Eagle, but other animals like Banana Slug or Sea Urchin tend to be largely ignored.

I’ve managed to breach the initial communication barriers with several of the totems. I’ll admit I haven’t worked with them as often as I’d like, though a lot of that has been because the past several months have been pretty rough in other areas of my life, taking up a lot of the time and effort that I’d put into magic. Despite this, we have managed to have a few good conversations.

Chicken, for example, asked me the other night what was the first thing that I thought of when the word “chicken” was mentioned. I realized, rather guiltily, that the first image to pop into my mind was that of a decapitated, footless, defeathered dead bird fresh out of the oven. However, I moved beyond that thought and began visualizing chickens scratching in a barn yard, observing them as they went about their business. I admired the colorful plumage of the birds in my mind – and remembered that while they might not be as flashy the peacock or parrot, they still come in some lovely colors.

Read more.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out LUPA’s newest book, DIY Totemism: Your Personal Guide to Animal Totems, which is ready for pre-order.

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