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Within: Turkey

As the name implies, the Within Totem Animal is the keeper of your most precious and personal space. The Within Animal shows you how to set the appropriate boundaries so that only those you choose to have there may enter into that special place. Studying the Within Animal will help you to realize that which truly makes you happy and how to achieve it. Finally, the Within calls to us to stay faithful to that which our inner voice knows as truth.


When the United States as a young and new country was looking for a symbol of the country newly formed Benjamin Franklin put forth the recommendation of the Turkey. Although the Bald Eagle was the final choice, there wasn’t scoff and laughter at Mr. Franklin’s suggestion either. In fact, some native peoples call the Turkey the “Give-Away Eagle” or “South Eagle.” Turkey’s significance is still celebrated in American popular culture today. Many a Thanksgiving Day table’s centerpiece is a turkey, cooked to perfection, ready to sustain the family through his sacrifice.

Some native peoples felt that brother Turkey, who so often made the ultimate sacrifice so that man could live, was the medicine of mystics and gifted shamans. Turkey energy is many times that of sacrifice, but it is also the energy of the gift of giving. Turkey energy is giving and loving, not binding and confusing. Turkey energy speaks of always having enough. Turkey also speaks of gifts. The gift from Turkey may come in a variety of ways. You may win the lottery, you may always be able to have “just enough,” it may be as simple as a glorious sunrise that gives you a whole new perspective, or something so major it changes your entire life. But Turkey energy is bound to be full of abundant joy.

Native to the Americas, Turkeys have a long history of being associated with spirituality and the bounty of the Earth Mother. This tie is represented in the average life span of the turkey which is twelve years. Twelve is a number associated with Gaia, the Earth Mother. It takes twelve months for the earth to complete a yearly cycle around the sun. In Her annual cycle around the Sun the Earth Mother shows us all her faces and all her bounties. Turkey features prominently in many of the Native American tales and mythologies. It was Turkey who helped create the world (yet another association to the Earth Mother). It was Turkey who showed man how to grow corn so that man could more easily enjoy the bounty of the Earth. Turkey, in her selflessness gives of her body so that man may live.

The wattle (that funny looking red thing that flops down the side around the male turkey’s beak) is linked to the idea of the Third Eye and the ability to utilize the inner vision. To have Turkey as your Totem means that you have easier access to the you within than many others. The Third Eye speaks of the higher vision and being able to go beyond the veil into the dream time. Turkey is capable of flight which is contrary to the popular belief. A being of earth and air, Turkey flies when the need occurs, but normally struts along the ground looking for tidbits to eat.

Turkey’s are prolific eaters. One of the favorite foods of the Turkey is the acorn. The acorn has long been associated with wisdom and knowledge. The acorn is a seed and thus emblematic of new ideas and new beginnings. Turkey will even steal the carefully collected stash of Brother Squirrel should she find it.

Those who have been chosen by Turkey must beware to not let their generosity have strings attached. Turkey gives of herself freely, asking nothing in return. Her feathers are used from headdresses to down. Her meat, succulent, juicy and rich sustains man. Her symbol of bounty is reflected in her being the centerpiece of Thanksgiving tables.

Turkey bounty goes back to the pre-Columbian tribes of America. Archealogical evidence has shown that Turkey was raised by the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. For these cultures Turkey provided not only sustenance of her meat and fat of her skin, but her feathers were used for decoration by both these civilizations. Turkey bone whistles found in gravesites over a thousand years old still work.

Turkey reminds us that all life is sacred. That we are all interrelated with one another. Turkey energy is of sharing and giving willingly and freely. Turkey speaks of abundance through sacrifice. Those with Turkey totem know that there will always be enough. Turkey doesn’t squawk and flap her wings worried about her food. Turkey finds it easily, willingly eating foods difficult for other beings to digest for they are her favorites. By transferring the energy of the hard nuts and roots to the nourishing meat of her body Turkey’s celebrates in her place in the cycle of life.

Turkey energy is best when shared. It is not unusually to see an old Tom Turkey with several hens in his clutch. Turkeys have even been known to share a communal nest. This is another example of Turkey’s shared energy. The Turkey holds sway strongest in the autumn when the young have grown to near adulthood and turkey is more easily seen as the foliage drops from the trees. Turkey speaks of sharp-scented fall afternoons with dust hanging in the air, leaves and twigs scrunch underfoot and there’s not a care in the world. With Turkey energy you know that if you stay true to your inner self what you need will be there. The warning of Turkey is that when that inner voice calls to serve the greater good, it is a call that should not be ignored.

Although modern man is no longer as reliant on Turkey’s largess, she is still honored in our culture. Remember when you walk with Turkey Energy you walk with an open and giving heart. Receptive to helping others just for the sake of helping others, those with Turkey Energy understand that in sacrifice there are rewards untold.

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