Welcome to The Totem Pole, a community devoted to the discussion of shamanism and totem animals. We welcome all to the community, from the experienced to the curious. No matter your spirituality and personal beliefs, you are welcome here, for shamanism (working with totem spirits) is not a religion, but a way of getting in contact with the spirits of animals. Whether you are pagan, Christian, Buddhist, agnostic, or eclectic, you are welcome to learn more about shamanism.
However, all members are expected to adhere to basic rules of netiquette, as well as some more specific rules:
1. We have no way of knowing and being able to successfully convince others that our own views, ways, paths, and beliefs are the One True Way. With the ephemerality of spirits and guides, this means it's important to respect that to someone else, what you believe to be impossible may very well be the other person's truth. Of course, there'll always be the fluffs that talk out of their tailpipe, but it's rather easy to tell them, and they usually don't stick around long after they realize no one is impressed.
2. Discussion is welcome. People are welcome to question in order to learn more. Saying, "That's one of the craziest ideas I've ever heard!" is NOT a flame; it's an expression toward an idea. But saying, "You're crazy if you believe that!" IS a flame. Remember, we're here to learn new ways of looking at the world, not trample on each other. Just don't flame.
3. Because discussion is such an integral part of a community like this, posts must have comments enabled. Your position looks very shaky if you make powerful statements but refuse to allow others to reply directly to your words. You might have a very valid point, but if you don't allow comments and therefore the opinions of others, your post will be deleted.
4. Terminology is a very odd thing, and a very human thing. We need to name things in order to understand them or control them, but the names often occlude understanding. Totems, spirit guides, guardians, etc., have very specific meanings to some, and are used interchangeably by others. Please don't snap at someone for what you see as a misuse of terms; ask them to clarify what they mean instead, and you might find that what they said makes sense with the terms clarified.
5. Please keep posts on topic. An occasional off-topic post is forgiveable if it has something to do with animals, spirituality, or the like, but don't come in here to promote a ratings community.
Right now the community is open, so that anyone can join. The maintainers are honehe and leopardwolf.