I first learned that Catalysts had dolphins as their "animal
totem," I thought "Ogod how corny." I mean, I'm
just not ga-ga about dolphins/kitties/bunnies like some people are, and
this seemed like a sappy choice. I was reminded of the dolphins' heroic appearance at the end of the "Hitchhiker's
Guide to the Galaxy" series by Douglas Adams, and kept thinking, "42!".
Dolphins seemed more like cartoons than totems to me.
get me wrong! I don't have anything against dolphins
personally. Probably the biggest reason the dolphin didn't appeal to me was because of their
typical association. After all, dolphins are often portrayed
performing in Sea World shows, jumping through hoops and
bouncing bright balls off their nose on demand. Eue! That kind of behavior is
anathema to me. I didn't want to be compared to a trained
animal! (I'm too intellectually independent for that!)
heard somewhere that David Keirsey originally assigned mythical creatures to the
iNtuitive Temperaments. Griffins
were appointed to Rationals,
were appointed to Idealists.
Unicorns! That would be cool. After all, I'd harbored an
obsession with unicorns for a number of my teenage years. Someone in the know
told me that pressure was brought on Keirsey to assign real (not fantasy) totems to these
two Temperaments because it wasn't fair to have it otherwise. In
response, David assigned Rationals the wise old owl and Idealists acquired the
resistance to dolphins representing INFJs slowly waned as I sat through a
workshop that employed these creatures to describe the Idealist (now
Catalyst) Temperament. We were asked to
share everything we knew about dolphins... and the similarities
were startlingly uncanny.
a moment now to think about what traits you associate with dolphins (besides
performing in Sea World shows, of course). Can you come up with
with their built-in smile and merry-looking eyes.
They get along with everybody.
-- they are rarely alone, but congregate in "pods."
They cooperate in accomplishing tasks. Some dolphins will act as
"midwives" during birth, and mothers spend two years raising
their calves (while sometimes babysitting others).
frequently engaging with other creatures (including humans).
their nose to guide or nudge in a gentle fashion.
and initiating relationships -- with each other and with other
creatures, including humans.
Using their nose, they can cause fatal internal injury to a
shark by gouging them in a vulnerable spot from underneath.
power to bear on personal encounters, improving disorders such as
you don't know these:
skin is very similar to human skin -- thin and bruises easily.
take care of each other, making every effort to rescue an injured or
sick member of their party by holding it above the water for air.
in general, are the only species besides humans who mate for
"fun" and not just procreation. (In fact -- and this
will make you laugh -- "Sex play is frequent and is initiated by
any individual toward any other, without regard to size, age, sex,
relationship, or even species; approaches to human beings and to
turtles are common.")
are capable of imitation and memorization; they demonstrate foresight,
learn from observation, communicate experience, solve complex
problems, perform elaborate tasks, and learn multiple procedures
simultaneously. Their so-called training is in fact a discipline
structured around play; using their natural behavior as the basis for
involved maneuvers, they appear to perform primarily for their own
enjoyment. In situations of great stress in captivity they have been
known to commit suicide by starvation, battering against walls, or
scientists claim that dolphins can alter
a person's DNA. Dolphins
have even become a key figure in the New-Age
movement that preaches happiness under influence of the higher state
of consciousness provided by dolphins.
you consider the traits people associate with dolphins, it's not that
far different from the qualities that are frequently associated with
Catalysts! I invite you to revisit the list above, and think of
INFJs as you consider it. If you substitute "empathy"
for "echolocation," it starts to look eerily similar.
Catalysts, dolphins may be found everywhere in the world. They
aren't strictly sea mammals -- several species of river
dolphins exist. There even used to be dolphins in the Mississippi
clinched it for me was when I discovered
there were PINK
dolphins. How could I resist them any longer?
last time I visited Las Vegas, I made a point of visiting The Mirage to
see the Dolphin
Habitat (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.). If you go on Wednesdays, it's
only $5 admittance instead of the usual $10. Rather than feeding
slot machines, I
spent several hours there, feeding the dolphins, watching them
"perform," photographing them, and studying them through the
underwater windows. I figured since we were "cousins"
after a fashion, I ought to try to "connect" with them in some
way. And I confess, they truly charmed me. (It's hard for
someone who prefer iNtuiting to stay connected to a Sensing activity like this for so
long. I had to really work at it, but the effort was ultimately
worthwhile.) If you get a chance to observe dolphins for a time
this way, the experience will leave you feeling "lighter" and
more at ease.
here I am hand-feeding 2 wild dolphins at
the Tangalooma Resort
on Moreton Island off the coast of Australia
about a dolphin stuck in a tree employs the dolphin totem to teach
appreciation for personality differences.
is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned
English (up to fifty words used in correct context) [even higher since
Sagan died] no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese. -Carl Sagan
* * *
Below is a 1-minute video of dolphins playing with air bubbles.
Below is a whole pod of dolphins -- very impressive!
mysterious, unpredictable ocean tends to bring out superstition in people.
Gods of wind and sea were thought to determine the course of seafarers.
Dolphins, as denizens of the ocean depths, were often connected to various
myths. Let's explore some of their many mythological associations over
the ages and throughout the world. (By the way, this has nothing to do
with INFJ other than providing enjoyable information.)
A psycho pomp guiding souls to the isles of the Blessed; it has both solar
and lunar associations.
"Diviner than the dolphin is nothing yet created; for indeed they
were aforetime men... but by the devising of Dionysus they exchanged the
land for the sea and put on the form of fishes." - Oppian. Halieutica
Christ as savior of souls and as bearer of souls over the waters of death.
A tribute to Isis.
The soul's journey across the sea of death to the Blessed Isles.
Associated with well-worship and the powers of the water.
on, I'll revisit the dolphin totem in conjunction with
symbols. I also feature some dolphins on the "Humor"