The Personal Totem Pole – Eligio Stephen Gallegos

The Personal Totem Pole: Animal Imagery, the Chakras and Psychotherapy
Eligio Stephen Gallegos
Moon Bear Press, 1990
183 pages

If I had to pick one book as the most important one in my Top Ten Most Underappreciated Books on Animal Magic list, this would be it.

The author had, prior to this book, no real experience with animal imagery, though he had some experience with meditation technique and the like. He discovered totemic animals associated with each of his seven primary chakras quite by chance, and created a wonderful system of it. The book deals not only with how to find these totems, but also how to interact with them and supports his findings with anecdotes from patients.

The real value here is that A) he acknowledges that these totems have independent existences rather than simply personifying the energies of the chakras, and B) describes pathworking that involves holding councils with the animals. Additionally, he notes that the animals evolve as the patient grows.

Be aware that this isn’t some spoonfeeding text. He doesn’t actually give a how-to, step-by-step procedure. However, it’s pretty apparent to anyone with any magical experience whatsoever what it is he’s describing in the text; both my husband and I were able to independently figure it out without any problem. If you’re looking for a totemism 101 book, check out some of the other reviews I have in the Animal Magic category on the left sidebar for suggestions. Then come back and get this book!

I have used this book to good effect, and I highly, highly, highly recommend it for pathworking. I’ve also used it as a source in my first book, and sincerely hope that the pagan and magical community recognizes “The Personal Totem Pole” for the true gem that it is.

Five pathworking pawprints out of five.

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