THE SWAN – totem animal

The keys words for swan medicine are grace, confidence and fidelity. Swan moves with infinite grace on the water as in the sky. This is the outer sign of the confidence which resides in this graceful water bird. In First Nation’s spiritual world the swan is associated with the medicine of shamanic journeying, these journeys into the unknown where we must sometime dive in without knowing what we are going to find in the whirlpools of energy which separate the various spiritual worlds and dimensions.


To understand this medicine, let us quote the beautiful story written by Jamie Sams in her book THE MEDICINE CARDS.

Little Swan flew through the Dreamtime, looking for the future. She rested for a moment in the coolness of the pond, looking for a way to find the entry point to the future. This was a moment of confusion for Swan, as she knew that she had happened into the Dreamtime by accident. This was her first flight alone and she was a bit concerned by the Dreamtime landscape. As Swan looked high above Sacred Mountain, she saw the biggest swirling black hole she had ever seen. Dragonfly came flying by, and Swan stopped him to ask about the black hole. Dragonfly said, “Swan that is the doorway to the other planes of imagination. I have been guardian of the illusion for many, many moons. If you want to enter there, you would have to ask permission and earn the right. Swan was not so sure that she wanted to enter the black hole. She asked Dragonfly what was necessary for her to earn entry. Dragonfly replied, ‘You must be willing to accept whatever the future holds as it is presented, without trying to change Great Spirit’s plan.’ Swan looked at her ugly little duckling body and then answered, ‘I will be happy to abide by Great Spirit’s plan. I won’t fight the cut-rents of the black hole. I will surrender to the flow of the spiral and trust what I am shown.’ Dragonfly was very happy with Swan’s answer and began to spin the magic to break the pond’s illusion. Suddenly, Swan was engulfed by a whirlpool in the center of the pond. Swan reappeared many days later, but now she was graceful and white and long-necked. Dragonfly was stunned! ‘Swan, what happened to you!’ he exclaimed. Swan smiled and said, ‘Dragonfly, I learned to surrender my body to the power of Great Spirit and was taken to where the future lives. I saw many wonders high on Sacred Mountain and because of my faith and my acceptance I have been changed. I have learned to accept the state of grace.’ Dragonfly was very happy for Swan. Swan told Dragonfly many of the wonders beyond the illusion. Through her healing and her acceptance of the state of grace, she was given the right to enter the Dreamtime.  

This is the attitude we need to enter into the space of sacred dreaming. We can learn to dance to the rhythms of the universe. Swan teaches us how to go through all levels of consciousness without resistance and to rely on the protection of Great Spirit. Those who have swan medicine have the capacity to see the future, to give way to the power of Great Spirit and to accept the healing and transformations that are offered in their lives.

We all have a divine essence. Swan medicine symbolizes our confidence in this divine light. This aspect of us is complete and unchanging, inalterable, indestructible and remains thus for eternity perfect. It contains within us the original instructions which makes us gods and goddesses of mother earth if we take time to learn what nature is and co-create, cultivate our gardens and family domains. We are in essence the creators of paradise if we respect the laws of nature. Because of the confidence in this divine essence, the symbolism of swan accompanies certain dreamers, who learn to travel with confidence in other dimensions and parallel worlds. This confidence in the divine allows them to move resistance and to feel safe everywhere.

Beyond the dream, those who have swan medicine develop awareness in altered states of consciousness and in developing to an important degree their intuitive skills. They often have the ability to see the future and to accept it, which allows for powerful transformation in their lives and the possibility of showing grace into the lives of those who go towards them.

We all have to a certain degree the ability to see the future. To call upon swan medicine, without resistance, with relaxation, allows to increase this ability. This medicine teaches us to go to flow with the current, to be attentive to our intuitions, to those messages our body passes on to us, and to honour our feminine and intuitive aspects.

This confidence and this stability, which on an outer level is perceived as grace and a grace stance in life allow people with swan medicine to remain with the same partner throughout their lives. There is no greater happiness nor measure of stability than to live with a person whom we trust and who trusts us. Thus those who have swan medicine make very good parents who know how to instill to their children confidence in themselves and confidence in life. Thus endowed these children move, grow and evolve in their lives with grace.

Blue Eagle

5 thoughts on “THE SWAN – totem animal”

  1. My aunt just gave me this deck for my 50th birthday a I am now in Scotland and just celebrated my 51st year. This deck is magical and I am so grateful for the wisdom in the cards. I love when I pull the same card two or more days in a row. The cards always speak to me. Thanks for sharing. xx

  2. Have been reading Jamie SAMs everyday for over ten years. Didn’t know anyone else who knew of her. So excited we share her wisdom and love.
    Beverly Taylor
    New Hampshire, USA


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