I try my very best to teach people the important differences of a
Clan Guardian or Totem Animal and a personal Spirit Guide.
Here I will try to explain:
The Guardian of you family Clan is your Clan Totem:
If you are a person from a traditional =indigenous culture, in all likelihood you and all your family members have a Clan Guardian, a spiritual entity independent of your personal Guardians and Guides.
If your family is patrilineal all kids have dad’s Clan, mom however has a different Clan.
All the different Clans have a long history, certain rites, maybe ceremonies and also certain responsibilities towards the other Clans in the web of the tribal community. As a member of the Clan these responsibilities are your’s as well.
You can not marry a person from the same Clan as your own = dad’s Clan. In some tribes, you can not marry a person of your mother’s Clan either.
That taboo also goes for a person from a Clan that is of a different people but has the same Clan Totem = Animal or Plant Guardian.
For example: I am a member of the Wolf Clan of our Siberian tribe. BUT ALL members of all Wolf Clans everywhere are my family members and so I could not marry another member of the Wolf Clan of the Haudenosaunee or any other Wolf Clan anywhere on Mother Earth.
The Haudenosaunee Clan system is matrilineal but still!!!!
From my maternal Grandmother and her female ancestors I am an Usari = Bear Clan so I sit with the Bear Clan people of the Longhouse, because they are matrilineal.
Bear is their Totem = another word in Algonquin language for Clan Guardian.
BUT iffff then a none First Nation person comes and tells anyone of us about their Wolf – or Bear or Mouse Totem – or whatever they feel their “Totem” is or has appeared to them, we all get offended. It is NOT their Totem, unless they are Wolf -or Mouse Clan!
It is maybe their – or your personal Guide or Guardian Animal –
But for them – or you to use the word Totem is wrong and insensitive. For some people it is even quite insulting. People using the word totem indiscriminately are becoming “bad weather” right then and there!!!