Encyclopedia of Totatema or Totatemopedia

(a full guide to the Spiritual Totatema project’s illustrative meaning).

“Our bodies are made of the same elements that form the substance of the earth and of the farthest stars.”

-Edmund W. Sinnott

Totatema Spiritual Meaning:

Totatema project is focused on encouraging the society in their search for a better living. It teaches to love nature and to pay more attention to what was originally given to us. Totatema project is a reminder of what we had destroyed in the past in the process of our development. As an author of this project I am not judging anything. I am playing the role of a communicator. From my personal point of view, every change was an important step in forming who we are now. By the means of this project I am suggesting to take a moment and spend as much time as needed to think about who we are now at this exact moment, what is our purpose in the global context of the universe. By listening to our inner selves we will improve our spirits and come to a better future together.

This project has no religious or cultural attachments. It is for everybody and for every one of you.

Totatema complex meaning.

1. The Development of Human Society :

(listed from the bottom)

The “origin”. It represents the birth of the universe, nature. It is the place where we all originally came from. It is our safe comfort place with provides unequivocal understanding and constant care. It the first step in the development of human society.

The “past”. It represents the period of war and struggle in the human development process. It the period of the technological progress and its inequality that led to rivalry.

The “present”. The visual effects of war are hidden. The society changed the actually was with a silent one. Something is hidden from the ordinary eyesight. “War” masks were replaced with the “entertainment” ones. That is still not changing the main purpose of the mask – to limit the eyesight. We are potentially happy about our present, but still expecting some difficulties with “breathing” the fresh air into our hungry lungs.

The “future”. Totatema project suggests “back to the origin/ back to nature” concept of the human race development. By a change in the lifestyle now for a healthier and more natural one, the society is on its way to purifying.The shape of “future” horns repeats the shape of the “origin” arms in order to complete the circle of life. The difference is that arms are way more sensitive than horns. So by transferring the shape of the arms to the horns I am aiming to show how the time made us less sensitive to the nature and to ourselves.

2.  The Four Elements:

(listed from the top)

– AIR. Air is a cleaning power. It sweeps away everything old, stinky and musty, bringing freshness and sweetness.  A symbol for the principle air are wings, as a metaphor of the immaterial, and they also stand for thoughts, the mental power, the intellect, also for communication, freedom, wideness, boundlessness, as well as the spiritual, the heavenly realm. So in all cultures angels are shown with wings.  Air is the element of the East, connected to the soul and the breath of life. If you’re doing a working related to communication, wisdom or the powers of the mind, Air is the element to focus on. Air carries away your troubles, blows away strife, and carries positive thoughts to those who are far away.

– WATER. Water is a feminine energy and highly connected with the aspects of the Goddess. Used for healing, cleansing, and purification, Water is related to the West, and associated with passion and emotion. In many spiritual paths, including Catholicism, consecrated Water can be found – holy water is just regular water with salt added to it, and usually a blessing or invocation is said above it. In Wiccan covens, such water is used to consecrate the circle and all the tools within it.

– FIRE. Fire is the element with the highest vibrations. It is the only element with the power of transformation. Fire is a purifying, masculine energy, associated with the South, and connected to strong will and energy. Fire both creates and destroys, and symbolizes the fertility of the God. Fire can heal or harm, and can bring about new life or destroy the old and worn.

– EARTH. The element earth means matter, the material substance, low vibrational, heavy, manifested in many shapes and colors and of various consistency. Earth has cleaning power, because the microorganisms of the soil are transforming dead organic material and poisonous substances into fertile humous soil, which will bring forth new life, new nourishment. Connected to the North, Earth is considered the ultimate feminine element. The Earth is fertile and stable, associated with the Goddess. The planet itself is a ball of life, and as the Wheel of the Year turns, we can watch all the aspects of life take place in the Earth: birth, life, death, and finally rebirth. The Earth is nurturing and stable, solid and firm, full of endurance and strength.

Meaning of bits and pieces.

First of all I want to explain my decision to use animal skulls.

Skull. Celtic skull symbol meaning include time, power, divinity, creation, initiation and concentration.Some of the celtic texts point to the skull as the house of the soul or offer divine clarity and renewal for the soul. Moreover, there are three major openings in the skull (two eyes and a mouth), and three is also a sacred number to the Celts. It signifies a progressive dance between banal and cosmic, ultimately birthing a new direction in perception. More interestingly is the triangular lay-out of these three human portals. And the triangle is another strong, prolific motif among the Celts, reinforcing themes of transition, magic and creation.

Teeth. I want to attract your attention to the fact that only the bottom part of the Totatema, the origin, has no teeth, only tusks which are not looking aggressive and providing a good protection. Teeth only appear in the period of war as a supporting element to hold the gas mask. Then in the present they have been developed in a more aggressive way in prodder to show our struggle at a crossroads. The future teeth looks like human teeth which is giving a sign of hope for the future.


(the “future” in the society development; air element)

Moose. As a spiritual animal, moose represents unpredictability, spontaneity, confidence. For Native Americans it represents the magic of life and death and expresses the joy of accomplishment. It gives you a sacred and unique energy. Associated with the maternal forces of the world, moose is the primal feminine energy. The moose power can be awakened through water or the sea, the womb of the life.

Why do you want to be a moose person? Moose people always know the balance: when to use gentleness, when to use strength. The moose teaches us to use the power of gentleness, to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings that are in our lives. It shows a new innocence and freshness in life. Stamina, strength and nobiliary are among the main features of the moose.

The Totatema moose is giving a birth to a new generation with a pure way of thinking. It is giving strength and confidence in our future. Whereas the facial part of To has no actual eyes it is still has an ability to see double meaning in things through two eyes of the owl on both of its “shoulders”. That is showing its close connection with nature as To relies on it as its eyesight. Larger horns have wooden texture to represent it closeness to nature. Smaller horns have a hair texture which is saying that moose is the head of the totem, the future of thinking, the brain. “Hairy” horns also represent confidence, creative thinking and our future well-being. (Read a more detailed meaning of a tree and hair in the additional features.)

TO Additional features:

Owl. The owl sitting on the “shoulder” of the moose represents wisdom, intelligence, mystery, protection and transition. Native Americans associate the meaning of the owl with wisdom, foresight and keeper of the sacred knowledge. It is also considered to be a messenger of secrets in the west african culture. The owl of Totatema is keeping the nature’s secret of a better living and understanding.

Tree. Tree of life or family tree. In Vedic philosophy, the symbolism of wood claims this element as the primal material of the universe. Tree invite us to absorb their essence entirely. Tree symbolism is a way of classifying, identifying and organizing the array of energetic knowledge they contain and incorporating this array in our daily life. Trees are uniquely dispositioned for bestowing secure knowledge. Trees are vessels, containing strata of revolutionary wisdom. On the top part of the illustration we can see wooden pattern twice. On the very top are the horns which are considered to be natural anthenals, joining the heavens and the earth. The repetition of a tree pattern is used for a “branch” on which the owl is seating. It is placed on the intersection of the present and future which illustrates the wisdom the humanity gained through the course of its history and the wisdom of nature, the wisdom of the “future”.

Feathers. Symbolic meaning of the feathers is spiritual revolution to a higher plane. Native American Chiefs worn them to symbolize their communication with Spirit. In dreams feathers mean travel or the ability to move more freely in life. They also represents truth, speed, lightness, flight, ascension. The feather detail of the Totatema is telling us that today we can move more freely in life, but we are not completely free yet. It is a symbol of transition of our present to our future.

Owl feathers are traditionally kept for wisdom (woman’s feather) and Eagle feathers are kept for courage. I have given both type of feathers as our “present” needs courage to move forward to the “future”‘s wisdom. That is why they are place in between TO and TA.

Dream catcher.According to Native Americans, dreams that humans have while they sleep, are sent by sacred spirits as messages.  According to their Legend, in the center of the Dream Catcher there is a hole.  Good dreams are permitted to reach the sleeper through this hole in the  web. As for the bad dreams, the web traps them and they disappear at dawn with the first light.  For some, they try to determine what messages are being past onto them and what the message represents. On Totatema the dreamcatcher was giver to “present” us by the wise owl of the future to help us gain a better understanding of our true selves. Its initial purpose is filter all negative of the past in order to avoid bringing it to the future. In addition, scattered beads throughout the web represent good dreams that may have been caught throughout the night. A feather represents a symbol of breath (new breath of the future) or air which is attached so it hangs from the center of the ring. It is essential for life.

Hair. Hair is more than protein molecules growing from follicles. It gives a few pieces of biological information, but only a few.  Apart from science, hair is an outer expression of the inner self. Hair is a symbol of power, confidence, spiritual, mental and physical well-being. Healthy hair symbolizes healthy mental activity and indicates creative thoughts and ideas springing from the mind.

Horns. Because horns have grown on the head, they show spiritual as well as supernatural power. A symbol of hardness and the ability of getting through. In many mythology carrying of horns symbolized a high rank. In addition, horns in the dream have a protecting and at the same time an aggressive aspect.

Piercing. Pierced nose and an ear. Piercing is a form of self expression. People have been getting piercings done since the beginning of civilization. Nose rings and earrings are mentioned in the Bible as gifts for women. For everyone with piercing, they might actually mean something different. But it is certainly a form of expression or art, one way or another. In the case of Ta, the “future” character, its piercing is a reminder of the “present” and the “past” eras of gadgets. It has been added to the illustration in order to show that we won’t be able to able to forget the effect of the past (war). While being un-natural it is worn with proud and respect to the whole development process of our society.


(the “present” in the society development; water element)

Grizzly bear.As a spiritual animal a bear is a symbol of strength, introspection, self-knowledge. It was one of the first animals to be revered by humans. The Power of the Great Spirit lives throughout the bear making it a symbol of deepest inner wisdom, of the dreamtime and transformation and giving it a natural power of healing. It speaks with the plans and gives advises to medicine women, Bear is linked to the trees (read the meaning of the trees in the TO section). Bear is active day and night, not like other animals, symbolizing his connection with solar energy, strength and power, lunar energy and intuition. The bear is a free spirits the great wind and has a quality of unpredictability.  Being an honored spirit of a warrior, the bear is also a symbol of successful hunt.

In Totatema’s meaning, the grizzly is a result of human struggle through wars. It is a warrior who is constantly fighting for its existence. It is our present. The growing “horns of the present” are showing our ability of getting throughout the hard times and our determination of the change. Horns are a natural way of protection. (read more on horns symbolism in the TO additional features section).

TA Additional features:

Facial Hair. I want to repeat myself that hair is our outer expression of inner selves. That shows that the appearance of facial hair on the TA character illustrates the fact that we are rediscovering our true selves in the present. (read more on the hair meaning in the TO additional features section).

Fish. To fully appreciate the symbolic meaning of the fish, we must consider their watery domain. Water holds ancient symbolic meanings dealing with the subconscious and depth of knowledge. Water contains the mysteriousness of the unknown. Water has also been known to be a womb symbol and as such, an emblem of birth and fertility. The fish has similar symbolic meaning and its prime features are fertility, eternity, creativity, femininity, good luck, happiness, knowledge and transformation. Ancient African creation myths tell of Mangala, the creator, planting seeds in the cosmic womb. From these seeds two fish erupted, and were set forth into the cosmos upon the waters of creation. The fish element such as the pattern of fish fins was added to the “present” TA character surrounding it from both sides. It is telling that we are facing the future, which is unknown. Even being protected with the diving mask, we are still scared of the dark waters of the future but we have knowledgeable fishes as a guide through our transformation.

Mask. Masks hide things. They can often link to the devious and manipulative behaviour.Yet they can also show that you are hiding and pretending that things are going well when they are not.

Diving mask. In Totatema project the diving mask represents the feeling of protection and security. We have protected out eyesight / vision with it from the one side, but from the other we closed the eyes on our problems. To achieve a rapid development of technology and industrial development we forced ourselves to forget about nature. We are constantly changing our cities in order to gain more comfort, but this comfort should be coming from the inside. We are putting ourselves into an urban trap and we need extra gadgets to breathe. The pipe from the diving mask is going all the way up to the “future”, seeking for a fresh air in the same way we are changing our present and seeking for a better future.



(the “past” in the society development; fire element)

Monkey/Gorilla. Monkey symbolizes dark and light. It represents the dark side of human psyche, but also holds the key to right living. That is why this animal was chosen to represent our “past” and the transition to the “present” in the Totatema project. It also represents war as in some cultures monkeys are considered to be devilish. Monkey totem encourages to embrace the unknown fears and doubts. It provides observational clarity and ability to see what is hidden. Monkey has such symbolic meaning as playfulness, aggression, intelligence, energy/action, seriousness, distance, mobility, protection, community, good luck, untamed nature, swiftness, instinct, honor, domination.

Gorilla symbolizes strength, nobility, generosity, solid and steady. It is helping to stay grounded and handle responsibilities. Being powerful, compassionate and wise, gorilla represents those who kept peace through aggression, working with the death. Gorilla is a sign of action. Its totem asks several questions: Are we too materialistic? Are we looking out for our own needs? Are we being too assertive?

With the eye wide open the TE character has entered this world as a new born child and was playing with every given thing in the same way the humanity was adapting nature for their own needs. The development process gave us such “toys” as weapons which led to the outbreak of aggression. Nevertheless, the strength from the gorilla guided humanity to the stability.

TE Additional features:

Mask. (read more on mask symbolism in the TA additional features section)

Gas mask. The gas mask in Totatema project shows that the damage that been caused by human development can no longer be handled by nature. It symbolizes the start of the era of gadgets, technological revolution and worldwide competition. The flitters of the gas mask are replaced with flowers which is confirming nature’s blessing and overall protection.

Flower. In general flower is a symbol of life, beauty, coming of age. It represents innocence. A flower is usually considered female, and the blossoming of the flower usually refers to the blossoming of a young girl into a woman.In the case of Totatema flower meaning, it is a warning sign as I am referring to it as a fire-flower. Fire-flower is a nature’s representation of danger. The “origin” is giving us a warning as shown on the illustration. But because of it’s misinterpretation, that pure flower kindles the flames of war in the “past” (read more about the “past” meaning in The Development Of Human Society section)

Butterfly. The butterfly is a symbol of transformation because of its impressive process of metamorphoses. The unwavering acceptance of her metamorphosis is also symbolic of faith. Butterfly also represents resurrection, transition, celebration, lightness and time. In many cultures the butterfly is associated with the soul. Totatema’s soul-butterfly is a cosmic creature that was sent by the universe to observe the process of the human development and how Homo sapiens will handle its greatest gift of nature and freedom. It seats in the basement of the totem on a wooden hand’s finger.

Tree. Wooden texture. In this case it is referring to the close connection between the “origin” and the “past”, nature and human being. (read more on tree symbolism in the TO additional features section)



(the “origin” in the society development; earth element)

Mammoth (elephant). Elephant is a wise totem which embodies strength, ancient power and royalty. It gives the insight into the power of the three feminine energies: maiden, mother and old wise woman. Symbolic elephant meaning is stability and patience, knowledge and understanding, ancient wisdom, determination and loyalty, reliability, dignity, pride, advanced sensitivity and social connection. The elephant is considered to to be a chinese symbol of happiness, longevity and good luck. Some asian cultures also believe that the elephant is a cosmic creature and it carries the wold upon its back. There is a belief the elephants can communicate telepathically. People with this power animal often have a very strong sex drive. Elephants show us to support and love one another, honors the elders of our community and nurture the youth.

Mammoth, the ancestor of the elephant, was chosen to illustrate the powerful birth of nature. Its destiny is to teach the ways of nature, communicate with human beings and maintain the balance in the universe. For this purpose multiple hands were given to it. The hole in the head of the character represents its purpose as a container where the universe is storing its gifts. It is dark and unknown. The hole in the mammoth skull also represents the womb of the universe.

MA Additional features:

Ganesha. Ganesha is the god of luck, fortune, protection and is a blazing upon all new projects. Ganesha in all his magnificently vibrant glory, is intent on bulldozing obstacles on you behalf. Ganesha’s large head represents great wisdom. His large ears represent listening and attentiveness to all of his devotees. Ganesha’s tun represents discrimination and ability ti discern the difference between good and evil. His broken tusk represents the sacrifice necessary for learning and the pursuit of wisdom. Ganesha’s ample stomach contains all knows and unknown universes. Ganesha’s symbolism compliments the meaning of Totatema’s mammoth. MA character represents a new beginning, that is blazed from its origin. It is telling us that the society will always have the support of nature energy in all the beginnings.

Two. Two tusks. In numerology, two (dual) symbolism include attributes such as balance, choice, contrast and justice (a scale).

Hands. In Asian cultures the left hand is symbolic to yin energy and the right yang energy. Hands folded together or clasped in Asian illustrations is iconic of allegiance and friendship. Symbolic attributions for the hands in pars right/left, passive/aggressive, justice/mercy, lunar/solar, emotion/logic, receiving/giving, unconscious/conscious. in Celtic language of symbolism there are references indicating hand meaning in connection to power, rulership, and authority. Hands were also thought to harbor energetic power. In Buddhism as well as Hinduism hand positions known as mudras were keenly important in expressing transference of divine power. Hands shown in various positions had symbolism of inherent energy such as meditation, receptivity, unity, wisdom, etc. The hand has long been thought as a conduit of power – transforming unseen energy into the world of form.

Tree. Wooden texture and tree roots and the basement of the Totatema represent a reliable foundation for the human race development. Nature support us no matter what, it is its unique ability of forgiveness, understanding and acceptance of the existence as it is. (read more on tree symbolism in the TO additional features section)

Leaf. A single leaf is an ancient heraldic symbol that represents happiness. In the bile the leaf signifies truth. Leaves are nature’s food factories thanks to their ability to use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. Totatema leaves represent what was given to us by nature, how complex the nature is.