Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009


We have been in contact with Jan for ages, and it is with great pleasure that we welcome her aboard, not only as a guest blogger, but as a Co. Durham representative for the CFZ. With Davy Curtis already at the helm in the country, the two of them will make a dream team par excellence...

According to Wiccan tradition, it is wrong to mix-and-match different traditions, and you should stick to your own culture and your own Path. I’m not Wiccan, and I believe that if it feels right to you and you have done some research into the Path, then do it. Many people believe that totem animals Native American spirituality, however they can be found in many Shamanistic paths, including Odinism.

I get annoyed with people who say that a particular animal is their totem(or spirit) animal. But, if you ask them anything about that particular creature, they don’t know. And....if snake is your totem...which snake? Cobra? Anaconda? Grass snake?

If Cat is your totem, which type? Domestic? (if so what breed); Scottish Wildcat? Puma? Siberian Tiger?

Each different species bring different qualities as a totem animal.

My personal totem/spirit guide is the serpent – actually the British Adder. It is our only venomous snake, and is secretive, sensuous and can hurt if it gets pi*sed off! I don’t know if the serpent figures strongly in the Old Path, but it feels right.

Odin's totem animals are his ravens "Hugin and Munnin" and his wolves "Freki and Geri"
The god Ing-Frey (The Nordic Horned God of Animals, Trees, Fertility, Elves, Peace, and Prosperity) rides a golden boar.
Does anyone know of other examples?

Jan Edwards, Head of Animal Care
Farplace Animal Rescue - the no-kill animal sanctuary
Farplace, Sidehead, Westgate, County Durham, DL13 1LE

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