Regarding the calling forth totem and spirit guides to help us in our daily walk, is it a power drawn from within, or from around?I had the immediate answer of "yes", with the statement, "It is a good question. The good answer depends on the person's existing frame of reference". I see this to be a question about power. The totems and spirit guides offer "power" in the form of guidance, assistance and more.
There are those who believe that power comes from the outside. Witness the saying, "Lord, give me your strength". Deities or beings (i.e. angels) are called to respond, lending their power to the person.
Other people seem to focus strictly on the use of personal energies. Healers often do this, drawing up their own inner resources to achieve outward goals. This is done at a risk to the health of the practitioner. The person who feels drawn to "heal the earth" may loose their life even as the earth heals.
The truth of the matter is somewhere in between these contrasting examples. Power is drawn from outside and focused through the person. A lens is a good analogy for this process. The lens does not project an image by itself. Instead it focuses and intensifies an existing image into a new creation. The lens and the original image must both exist to create a new image. I will give several examples of this.
The first example is one that I live on a daily basis. My Reiki training has taught me how to tap and channel a source of power from outside of myself. I don't have to draw upon my own resources. My intent/ability allows me to channel this power into healing. The power comes from around (source) and within (focus)
My second example(s) will draw from the Wiccan rituals. The first ritual is "raising a cone of power". This sounds like an action that draws power from around. It is more. From http://www.shadowplayzine.com/Articles/cone_of_power.htm, a summary of raising a cone of power is:
Center (at balance point of energy in body)Another neopagan ritual is "drawing down the Moon". This also insinuates an outside power. The truer story is that this power is a beautiful dance of both inner and outer. From the referenced website:
Ground (to object or to the earth at the center of the physical space you are whirling around)
Increase energy within your body
Focus (on purpose of work)
Direct (to place of sending, setting up resonance)
Release (at peak of cone)
Ground (residual energy)
Center (re-establish personal balance)
When the moon is drawn down, the high priestess often enters a trance in which the Goddess possesses her. Acting as the incarnate Goddess, the priestess speaks and acts as the Goddess. The circle's psychic power now becomes Goddess power.I hope these give a sense of the magnitude and mystery of power and "outside" assistance. The answer will be different for everyone. The experience will be the individual's.