A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe. The totemic symbol may serve as a reminder of the kin group's ancestry or mythic past.
Since time immemorial, animals have served as harbingers of personality traits humans all aspire to achieve. This makes animals some of the most powerful symbols in the spiritual world. Animals afford humans visions of how their lives could be if they lived more simply and lived with purity of thought and emotion. Therefore, incorporating animal totems into their lives affirms their spiritual goals.
By focusing on the attributes of their totems, their internalize these traits and thus begin to externalize the very character they absorb from their totems. Totems also serve as the source of power for Shapeshifters, more specifically benevolent Shapeshifters. Once a Shapeshifter has seen one of the animals, they tap into the spiritual power of said animal, and in the process gain its characteristics and attributes but on a more enhanced level that surpasses the animal itself.
A Werewolf is actually related to a Shapeshifter due to their totemistic nature. They are believed to be cousins along with Changelings. Although werewolves mainly tap into the spiritual power of the wolf while Shapeshifters gain power over the primary animals in the Spiritual World.
However, not all Totems serve as benevolent. These Totems also possess dark personalities of which benevolent Shapeshiftes avoid, while others do not. These characteristics are often attributed to rage, distrust, greed, and others.