Totem Animals; Plain and Simple is a handy little book filled with information about 60 different animals from around the world.  Written so that anyone from any path or educational background can understand.  Some entries are longer than others, ranging from a couple paragraphs to a couple pages.  Gunn includes keywords for each animal, such as compassion, grace, intuition and hidden strength for horse.  Additionally, Gunn includes things such as cultural information including the fact that for turtles, in China their shells used to be used for divination. 

There are a couple chapters in this book, beginning with an introductory one and then moving on into how to find a totem animal, how to work with a child who has a totem animal, working with an animal and strengthening your connection with one.  Then the book moves into the chapter with the entries on symbolism for each animal. The book ends with a conclusion and then an index so it's easier to find the animal entry you're working with.  Some of the animals included are: hedgehogs, rats, spiders, grasshoppers and hares.  It is really refreshing to see some animals which are not traditionally liked such as rhinoceros and salmon.

All in all this is a lovely little book with an immense amount of information packed into it's few pages.  Due to how this book is worded, however, I find it may be better for more experienced practitioners.  I found it to be worded with an unfortunate slant towards "This is how it's done" instead of "This is how I do it, please take my advice while finding your own way," which can be detrimental for beginners.  Additionally, a list of sources of any kind would do this book well; Gunn has included a plethora of cultural and historical information, yet has not included a single source.  Due to these two things, while I do recommend this book for experienced practitioners, it is with a couple reservations that I do so.

~Review by Jessica Elizabeth

Author: Celia M. Gunn
131ppg; $14.95
Red Wheel Weiser; 2010

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