Though these writing prompts are notorious for convoluting complex subjects into over-simplified questions, sometimes, I can't help but respond to them. Like this one for example. I have 4 of what they refer to as "animal spirit protectors" except in my world, I call them totem animals. And this question fails to address the fact that A) most people that have these totem animals do not *conjure* them, rather, they're an internal manifestation of our inner needs and desires. They're nothing more than a symbolic representation of various traits or qualities we need or want to possess.
The other thing they fail to address is the fact that you don't just pull these totem animals out of your ass at will. They're summoned from one's subconcious; a mental representation of concepts too vast or too complicated for us to deal with directly, so our mind creates these totem animals as a way to approach a difficult subject gradually.
I did not choose any of the animals that come to me. They came because they were needed, filling in the empty gaps, shedding light on darkened corners of my subconcious where things in my life were eating away at me. These animals are nothing more than my brain's way of helping me work through my problems in a way that is less psychologically damaging than confronting the problem head on, at face value.
But for the sake of the question at hand: I have 4. Fen, the lynx was first, and he taught me the magic of secrets. The power you can hold, simply by collecting information. He taught me to listen and to learn. He taught me patience and fortitude. Second was Romulus, the adolescent bull elephant, who taught me about memory and wisdom. He is symbolic of my transition from adolescence to adulthood. His lessons were about standing on my own and standing for myself in a strange and hostile world.
More recently, the last two came to me at the same time, Lark the wolf and Ursa the fearsome mother bear. Lark is my lesson in courage. He is my way of dealing with my social phobia. He is there to teach me to be ferocious when the need arises and to be courageous in the face of adversity. His lessons are about survival and longevity. About not being afraid to take what I need. Ursa is a protector. She stands in front of me when my courage fails me. She is my mental protection: the force that stands between me and the things in the world that might otherwise do serious harm. She teaches me about fearless conviction, about eviscerating the evil in my life so that my soft, vulnerable core (my cub, since this metaphor takes the shape of a bear) can grow and thrive.
I didn't choose them. They chose me. So, while I think the wording of this question is silly, because it assumes this phenomenon is a game or a fantasy, I think the core of the question is very important. One must look for meaning in the visits of totem animals. They might be imaginary, but that does not diminish their meaning. They're there for a reason, but it is your job, as the subconscious summoner of their existence, to search for the purpose of their presence.
Got out of going to the Carbon Pricing Conference. I'm still a little sad that I can't go, but eh. At least I'm not stuck in a situation that would be seriously financially inadvisable to me. I have more to talk about, but I have to go to Chem. More if I remember later.