“Contemporary cultures also have totem animals, such as those for clubs or societies like the Lions Club… Or for sports teams such a such Chicago bears… Even Christianity has the totems of the lamb and the fish (352).”

I just wanted to note that as a Catholic, I always made a note to separate different practices and religions; however, I liked how I was taken aback by this note that even Christianity held totems. Totems is a larger umbrella for animals and their representation, and it was nice to learn that.

“Through the child’s belief in the [stuffed] animal she holds in her hands, she’s unwittingly calling in the spirit of the animal and its associated powers (352).”

I am pretty sure someone already used this quote, but I wanted to reiterate it because it reminded me of one of my favorite cartoons:

“Fairytales don’t teach children that dragons exist, children already know that dragons are real. Fairytales teach children that dragons can be beaten.” -G.K Chesterton

“The reality of spirit beings and their assistance to those in the physical has been part of every major religion (357).”

I think by this point I seem to connect many of these novel readings to my childhood teachings (Catholicism). In any case, I went to Catholic school for all of my childhood, so obviously the stories stuck with me. In particular, Daniel and the lions is what I recalled when reading how the Greeks, Native Americans, and the Bushmen of Africa all had animals reaching out to aid humans.


“It is related to pater (father) and Harry’s Patronus indeed takes the same form as that of his father’s animagus form (stag) (372).”

As we have been reading, it also makes sense why Severus Snap and Lily Potter’s Patronus (Patroni??) are identical, because of the shared spiritual connections that bind them.

“…just look at the tag on Tumblr and you’ll see hockey players, fictional characters, movie stars, “hipster animals” and hey! even a few animals (376).”

This was particularly funny to me because I was talking to one of my friends about this class about a week ago and when I was explaining how I would be discovering my spirit animal in this class, they called me out for cultural appropriation. At that moment, I honestly was not expecting it, and it makes sense since the one appropriating the culture is usually not ill-intended or has bad intentions. I immediately told my friend that we were not pulling the whole “tumblr spirit animal” thing and that  we were actually doing readings and educating ourselves on the background of this idea. Yet, as much as I tried justifying it, she said it wasn’t good enough because none of us had the correct cultural background. It was a fun discussion, to say the least. (I do not mean this sarcastically, I love arguments.) So I actually really want to discuss (in class) how we are not cultural appropriating and how this makes us different than Internet goers.


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