I've been answering a lot of questions of a persons totem and what it is and how to find yours, etc. I thought it was time to post about it so the information can be made solid.
First off, your totem is not a familiar. They are completely different.
A totem is an animal you find extremely close and personal connection to. It is not a real and actual single animal but rather it is the spirit of the animal. It comes to us in life when it feels we are ready to be approached by it. It will always choose us, never the other way around. It should never ever be viewed in anyway below us because it is our teacher and voice of Mother Earth. Its purpose is to bring balance to our human self. As human beings we have long been on another plane as the beasts of the earth. Their plane is pure and wild with all roots of their being drawn toward the earth. We on the other hand have roots constant between earth and Akasha. Because of that reason the Totem, or Totems, are the spirits of animals that give us wisdom of the pure earth. It is wisdom that we have forgotten.
Some have one and some have more than one. I myself have one, the Tiger. The Tiger has been my totem for as long as I can remember. It came to me in a dream when I was little telling me that I had long been a women of wisdom, in so many words. Perhaps from another life? Not sure. The Tiger to me is a figure, reminder, spirit that presents itself to me on the daily basis. Either through dreams, pictures, noises, etc. The spirit of the animal also has moments where it will present itself through the physical animal. This is a treat indeed and an honor.
If your wondering how to come in contact with yours, for the most part, it wont be up to you. You can meditate to open your mind and spirit to it but they will almost always come to you on their own choice. They are a life long teacher and voice of Mother Earth in your life.
If you have questions about them please email me or let me know in coven...I love discussing them. : )