While enjoying a lazy relaxing day at Aaron's Beach, I noticed an odd bird swimming just off the shore. At first I thought the bird was a goose, but the neck seemed off- too long. Using the zoom on my camera I was able to get some shots and I was surprised to see that the bird was actually a mute swan. I was intrigued. The last animal I expected to come across was a swan. So I followed it's journey parallel to the shoreline trying to get better photos. Eventually, the swan disappeared as quietly as it had appeared and I went back to relaxing on the beach.
Some time later I began to wonder about the swan. I am someone who believes in signs. While I don't go looking for signs in every rainbow and 4 leaf clover, I do recognize when something happens that might be out of the ordinary. I felt that a lone swan appearing at the beach in front of me was certainly a sign I should look into.
Swans mate for life and because of this they are typically seen as a symbol of love and fidelity. Literature and Mythology is littered with stories about swans. The Ugly Duckling, Swan Lake, Children of Lir, Cear Ibermeith and The Wild Swans to name but a few. Many stories deal with women being transformed into swans and requiring a hero to fall in love with them in order to save them from whatever enchantment had been placed on them (I am, of course, paraphrasing). In Celtic mythology, swans are associated with music, love, purity and the soul.
What I was most interested in was finding out the meaning of a swan as a totem animal. So I'm sure some are wondering what exactly a totem animal is. Totems can be symbols for an individual's personal or spiritual identity. Most people have more than one totem animal that teaches, guides and sometimes protects them. Most totems remain with you throughout your life, though, a major life change could cause your totems to change in order to adapt to new circumstances. Sometimes people also have special helpers/protectors that show up for a limited amount of time in order to help you through challenges you must face (Check out Discover Your Animal Totems to find out what totems you may have).
So, I looked up swans and this is what I found: Swan as a totem represents grace, strength, and longevity. A swan showing up can indicate the one you are with, or someone you are soon to meet, is a soul-mate. The swan teaches that there is beauty in all things. As an archetype, the swan begins life as an "ugly ducking" and yet emerges into a beauty when full grown. This children's story is a tale of soul-growth and also teaches inner beauty. The swan's message may very well be that things are not as they appear outwardly. Look beyond the obvious. The Swan is one of the most powerful and ancient of totems. As you begin to realize your own true beauty, you unfold the ability to bridge new realms and new powers. Swan can show you how to access the inner beauty within yourself and in others. A Swan totem heralds a time of altered states of awareness and the development of intuitive abilities. Swan people have the ability to see the future, and to accept the healing and transformation that is beginning in their lives. Accept your ability and go with the flow. Stop denying you know who is calling when the phone rings. Pay attention to your hunches and inner knowledge, and Swan medicine will work through you. The Swan's call teaches the mysteries of song and poetry, for these touch the child and the beauty within. (borrowed from http://healing.about.com/ and http://www.linsdomain.com/totems.com ).
Unfortunately I can't really elaborate on how any of this might relate to me personally, but it does fit. Fits enough that I'm sure the swan is one of my totems.
Do you have a totem animal?
Ever had a weird animal encounter you thought might have some sort of meaning?