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11 September 2008 @ 08:11 am
animal totem for INTJ  
If you had to pick an animal totem for the INTJ profile, what would it be ?

I mean this in terms of character and physical traits which in some way line up with the INTJ way of life/living.

I do not mean this in the American Indian spiritual sense, by the by, though the link is somewhat unavoidable.

Have a shot at the other 15 if it interests you.

I'm ENTP. I liken myself to the Octopus, infinitely flexible, somewhat alien to everyone else, I have eight arms so I can get into all sorts of different things at once, intelligent, curious, voracious, master of camouflage, mimicry and at a last resort capable of a big inky obfuscated escape.
 suitablyemoname on September 10th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't. Setting aside the "so incredibly sweet I'm feeing the onset of diabetes from even contemplating this question" thing, animals don't think or act like humans, and applying human traits to animal actions, while comforting, mostly serves to confuse things.
calusa on September 10th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
..but humans are animals.
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 10th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wulfmadchen on September 10th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - saeble on September 11th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wulfmadchen on September 11th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - saeble on September 11th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - novanglus on September 11th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
Eryndil: Moonwalkeryndil on September 10th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
But surely this is just an intellectual exercise. I can't see why it would be confusing.
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - abductedsed on September 11th, 2008 12:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wulfmadchen on September 11th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - saeble on September 11th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wulfmadchen on September 11th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - saeble on September 11th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 05:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - saeble on September 11th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wulfmadchen on September 11th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - saeble on September 11th, 2008 04:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sculpin on September 11th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
radiopore on September 11th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - radiopore on September 11th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - radiopore on September 11th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - suitablyemoname on September 11th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
Lokitricstmr on September 11th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
I probably shouldn't even add anything more here...
... because it appears that the brief brushfire of a minor flame war has played itself out...

.. but I'm a bit curious after reading all of these responses if your aversion to metaphor is more general or if it is animal specific due to ethical concerns.

For example, people have often anthropomorphized animals, but they anthropomorphize more than that.. they do it to everything.... weather, plants, mountains, the sun, etc etc.. (old-school-mythology).. and now they are likely to do it to complex machines of their own creation--cars, computers, computer networks, etc..

Are you equally opposed the use of metaphor in instances that involve these humanly constructed non-sentient things?

People have often spoken of INTJ's as if they were "machine-like" or "androids" or computers or what not when I think back.. and yet, such metaphors would be even more "confusing" by your own standards--because none of these things acts nearly as much like a human as even a cat would.. seeing that cats hunt, play, sleep, feed, mate, and snuggle...

Personally, I had a hard time coming up with an answer to this question. I love metaphor and analogy and it took a long time for me to come up with an abstracted enough version of an INTJ that I could apply an animal metaphor to... Because INTJ's are so cerebral, I had to abstract enough back to evaluate the ways in which we are cerebral and find an animal which displays similar kinds of traits for its physical capabilities.

My answer below is a cougar--it's adaptable, effective, wide-ranging, unassuming in appearance, independent, solitary, and overall capable.

Does this mean I think INTJ's are really cougars or that cougars are like the INTJ's and other types that have so reacently argued about this topic..

No. Obviously, this is just an abstraction--a metaphor--and I would assume--in my INTJ arrogance (but also from my reflected experiences of people's capacities on here)--that almost everyone here is just as capable of not letting any free-wheeling metaphor action that is going on in response to this question to affect their interactions with any actual pets that they have.

So back to the question--is it just an animal thing for you, or is it a more general aversion to metaphor...
that's fine.. - tricstmr on September 11th, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
M. Danson: skull modm_danson on September 10th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
"Please put tags on your posts. (All members can create and add tags.)
Please do identify yourself as a non-INTJ if you are one. (You are welcome here, this just avoids confusion.)"

You know this.

saeblesaeble on September 11th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC)
+bows reverently+
Kai Hamutirisenphoenixkai on September 10th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
House cat.

Because we can't be trained, we can't be controlled, and we don't give a crap about you other than food, water, body warmth, and maybe some personal attention, but when we feel like it, not you.
Mysteriamysticmysterya on September 11th, 2008 05:56 am (UTC)
This. Exactly this.
Mellyamellyjc on September 11th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
..Well, housecats can be trained. But then they'll turn it around and use it to get what they want from you, so it still fits.
sqrmoon on September 11th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
Ha! Ironically enough a friend of mine told me I was exactly like her house cat for those very reasons.
Molly: eyes!wulfmadchen on September 10th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
Heron is the first thing that comes to mind. Something about living at the intersection of multiple elements, patience, concentration, and decisiveness.
...: hmmbrewingtrouble on September 11th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
Raven. Intelligent problem solvers. High ingenuity. Wary. Adaptable. Pragmatic. Tool users. Comfortable in solitude or in pairs or small groups of their own kind. Often misunderstood and harrassed by other animals, these birds can give as good as they get, sometimes taking on hawks and other birds of prey.
Minimominimo on September 11th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
I'll go with housecat, too.
Lokitricstmr on September 11th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
Although I like both house cat and raven..
.. I think I'd vote for cougar.

Info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_lion

It's a generalist predator--more closely related to small cats than to other large cats.

It has the largest range of any wild terrestrial mammal in the western hemisphere--(we like to inhabit and consume a wide variety and range of ideas and facts)..

It will eat just about anything, is highly adaptive, its appearance is not spectacular, but it has strong physical talents.

it is generally solitary and often quite territorial.

Very independent and even despite human attempts to hunt it down and eliminate it.. it is starting to recover and recolonize territory.
Friedrich Nietzsche you fucking idiotnietzsche on September 11th, 2008 08:39 am (UTC)
wild boar: intelligent, mysterious, often misunderstood, vicious at times

house cat is a choice
Benhslayer on September 11th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
Owl. As much for its symbolic traits (thinking Athena here) as for its actual ones (rarely seen or heard as they go about doing what they do) but there you go.

I like the raven response, too.
Malterre: peacock_womanmalterre on September 11th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
Strangely, when I did a totemic test it came out as Fairy Shrimp.
But I agree with 1) adaptable 2) sensitive to the overall environment 3) strong survival instinct

But I can really identify with raptors.
Mellyamellyjc on September 11th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
More personally than by type, here, my friend looked up the totem of pig after I dreamt about one, and we decided for different reasons that it was quite fitting.

The pig is a mammal of stout body, short legs and thick skin sparsely coated with short bristles. Contrary to popular belief the pig is a very clean animal. Although their pig pens appear to be pig sties their mess is always an organized one. They don't like things within their territory to be moved or misplaced and can be quite animate about this. Those with this medicine need to be in charge of their personal space and will not tolerate others rearranging it.

Pigs have an uncanny intelligence... Behavior problems can arise when a pig feels fear or distrust in any situation. Usually docile, they can become aggressive if they think their safety is being threatened. They have strong reasoning power. Pig medicine people will not accept unjust acts of any kind. They can be overly trusting of others or have no trust at all depending on how developed the medicine is within the person. Learning to attain balance within these extremes is advised.

Domestic pigs demand punctuality and dependability especially at feeding times. A solid routine is important to this animal. Any thing that disturbs their routine creates deep emotional stress and can cause illness. A regular regimen of daily activities is beneficial for pig medicine people. Those with this totem usually have past life ties associated with undisciplined behavior. The pig teaches you how to remain focused and develop a solid secure foundation in your life.

The pig is swift in its movement. They intuitively know how to respond in any situation. They are good swimmers and have great strength. Their listening skills are acute. They actually "feel" sound frequencies and respond accurately to the vibration that it holds. Clairsentient and clairaudient abilities are two of the pigs strongest attributes.

Those with this totem are reminded to view things from a pigs perspective. When the pig appears in your life pay attention to its movement. If it is charging towards you, its time to stop procrastinating and take action in some area of your life. If a pig waddles slowly towards you its time to stop, reflect and listen to the sound of your inner knowing.
Eryndileryndil on September 11th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
I tend to use armadillo currently :)
Sidereasiderea on September 12th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
Hi, Saeble. I like your question.

We stuck with real animals?

- Isolating
- Lore-knowing
- Stuff hording
- Territorial
- With a weirdly mesmerizing gaze
- Heavily armored over very vulnerable hide
- Intimidating, if not awe-inspiring/terror-provoking
- Mostly keeps to self, but draws attention of assholes who pick fights just to prove themselves
- Vicious in combat.
- Not fool suffering.
- And...

*looks up-thread*

...Fire-breathing. Definitely fire-breathing.
M. Danson: intj lavam_danson on September 12th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
I'll go for that one!
(no subject) - saeble on September 12th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - siderea on September 12th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
lind3n_treelind3n_tree on September 13th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Mountain goat!
Oh, I like this thread!

I've actually considered this issue, myself, when my friends and I were on a hike. We decided that my ENFP friend was quite like a puppy or a retriever, but we got stuck deciding what my personality was like.

I've considered the goat, myself. The mountain goat has always struck me as a creature that was close to my inherent nature. The goat is extremely hardy, has excellent balance, is incredibly stubborn, and fights with it's thick skull. Mountain goats can be fairly aggressive, and often fight amongst each other, but they are generally peaceful grazers. They live in remote places in tight communities. Their appearance is also very deceptive, because while they appear to be goats, they are much more like antelope or cow.

The mountain goat embodies the decisiveness, personal strength of identity, and clarity of thought of the INTJ, and also the stubbornness and rarity of the type. I could go through and parallel each mountain goat attribute with an INTJ one, but I'm tired now, and most of them are obvious. XP
ursus_of_unrv on September 30th, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC)
Well, someone mentioned the owl because of its associations with Athene.

I'll mention the Ibis as it is the sacred bird of Thoth, the Egyptian god of Wisdom and Magic.
carrot_usagi on June 10th, 2012 04:00 pm (UTC)

Seriously, tho. I made a test, just to see how intj-ish my animal would be. And I got... a bat. I had never considered it before. But just look

"This is a decidedly nonconformist creature, for as an airborne personality, the bat tends to look down at the conventions of the ground animals. And yet, since it is not a true bird and has not mastered the art of smooth controlled flight, it often appears awkward in social situations (hence the phrase "acting batty"). But as compensation for this social ungainliness, many bat personalities sport a built-in radar which enables them to intuitively read the motivations of others. (See Ni?)

Identifying bat personalities is not difficult. Being nocturnal creatures, they come alive at night and can be spotted in underground clubs or dimly lit bars. They prefer the sanctuary of dark clothing and dark corners, and you'll never see a bat sporting a heavy tan. These are intelligent, spiritual, creative individuals who use their full range of senses (other than their poor eyesight) to carefully navigate their way through life.

Bats have a habit of flitting in and out of social situations, swooping down to interact briefly with others before quickly flying off to resume their bat lives. Unassertive and aloof, they'll take flight at the first hint of a confrontation to seek comfort in their personal spaces, generally decorated in unusual but expressive ways.

A sixth sense gives bats a number of advantages in their work, and their insightful nature enables them to understand others better than they understand themselves. This intuitiveness makes bats excellent psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and palm readers. They respond poorly to direction however, and function best as a sole practitioners in their own business. Preferring to work at night and sleep by day, a bat's job must be flexible enough to accommodate these unusual hours. A creative streak often finds them in the design and architectural fields, and their unique relationship with dark caves makes you a natural archeologist or spelunker.

Although the bat's spiritual side is always on display, they are not overly emotional. Because of their unusual and sometimes awkward approach to life they can sometimes have difficulty finding companions. However, bats respond well to anyone who shares their philosophical perspective, and they love spending long hours in deep conversation. Once they have successfully located a partner, bats prove to be both dependable and committed companions."

Also, a hawk maybe. Or a wolf would fit