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THE REST AND CLEANSING MOON

OTTER

The Rest and Cleansing Moon (January 20 to February 18) is the second moon of Waboose position on the Native American Medicine Wheel. The stone for this moon is placed midway between the northern and eastern stones. Silver is the mineral totem for the Rest and Cleansing Moon, the quaking aspen is the plant totem, the otter is the animal totem, and silver is the color. The Butterfly Clan influences this position.

People experiencing this moon are considered as valuable as silver, as lighthearted as the music of aspen leaves, and as playful as the otter. The otter position can help you truly to like people, yourself included, and to be more humanitarian in your views. This is a time when you excel in communicating, in developing your intellect, and in romance. The Rest and Cleansing Moon can help you both to develop your psychic abilities and to uncover the clever, bold, humanitarian, and gentle aspects of your own being. Although otter people have the potential to be noble and loving, they need to guard against dreaming so much that none of their noble ideas ever become reality.

ANIMAL:

Otter is the animal totem associated with the Rest and Cleansing Moon. The otter is one of the most playful animals in the wild. Both river and sea otters exist in the United States.

Otters are members of the weasel family who depend on water for their existence. River otters are found in most of the large lakes, marshes, and rivers of the western United States. Sea otters are larger than those of the rivers are. They are now only found off the northern California coast. The sea otters almost became extinct early in this century because hunters massacred most of them for their fur. The sea otter now spends most of its time in the ocean eating, sleeping, sunning, playing, giving birth, and raising its young.

All otters have large appetites. One of the few animals who can utilize tools, they use rocks to open up their shellfish dinners. Otters have a wide vocal range consisting of chips, squeals, screeches, hiccups, chuckles, and hisses when they are angry. Some of their calls carry for as far as a mile. When otters are not eating, hunting, or sunning they are most often playing.

Otters have warm and active home lives. both parents assist in raising the young who stay with them longer than the young of most wild animals. Otters are ardent companions to each other. A mate will mourn the death of his or her companion.

Because of the otters' exemplary home life, nobility, curiosity, inventiveness, and playfulness, Native people recognized the power of the otter. Some of the most powerful medicine bags in certain tribes were made from the fur of otters. Otter medicine is so strong to some tribes that it is secret until you reach a certain degree of initiation.

Working with otter can teach you about playfulness, nurturing, originality, inventiveness, nobility, curiosity, humanitarianism, companionship, and child rearing.

PLANT:

Quaking aspen is the plant associated with the Rest and Cleansing Moon. The leaves, bark, and buds of this tree can be used for a tonic or tea to help with liver or digestive disturbances. Quaking aspen has also been used as a relaxant, for faintness, for hay fever, for internal organs, and as an astringent. Used daily, quaking aspen has helped with skin conditions such as eczema, ulcers, and burns. The powder scraped from the bark can be used as a deodorant and has been said to help treat cataracts. Teas and tonics from quaking aspen can help prevent congestion in the body, hay fever, asthma, bronchitis, and toxicity. Being near quaking aspen trees, with the bell-like song of their silver leaves, increases you sense of play and belief in magic.

 

MINERAL:

Silver is the mineral totem associated with the Rest and Cleansing Moon. Silver has long been considered one of the earth's most precious minerals because of its luster, beauty, and sheen. Silver is malleable and has been shaped into many art forms. It has magical properties, allows proper emotional energy to flow, and helps to release any congested spiritual energy.

Silver encourages intuitive, telepathic, and visionary qualities. This mineral can help you awaken to your own highest nature, and can help to heal your highest self.