Wednesday, March 5, 2014


"These creatures, I said to myself, were to the men of the nameless city what the she-wolf was to Rome, or some totem-beast is to a tribe of Indians."
H.P. Lovecraft, The Nameless City

"The word (totem) is from the Algonquian and signified originally a brother-sister blood relationship. As used by anthropologists, it may denote any one or all of a number of related concepts and associated customs stemming from the nuclear idea of a blood covenant between the human and the animal species. Primarily, the anthropological term denotes (1) a mythological identification of the ancestor of a given human family, clan or tribe with the ancestor of some local animal species; but it has also been used to signify either (2) the identification of some particular animal with the guardianship or heraldic sign of some social group or class or (3) the recognition of some particular animal as the guardian, servant, or alter ego of an individual-which is more properly known as nagualism, from the Nahuatl noun nahualli ("sorcerer").
Joseph Campbell, Historical Atlas Of World Mythology

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