First I think the important abilities for each spec need to be reworked into regular spells somehow like earthgrab,tremor and fire elemental. I think one of the biggest problems with totems is the fact that sometimes we have to choose. To help this problem and general problems with all totems like health, I think totems should work like this:
1 for each element,each with 20% of the casters health (monk statues get a boatload of health),each with 1 passive ability and one activate ability and you can only have 2 active totems at a time. I'm not saying it would be exactly like this but essentially what I'm doing is combining the most important totem abilities to one.
Examples: Totem of earth
Activate effect: Grants the shaman earthen skin reducing damage taken by 40% and providing immunity to silences and interrupts but reduces movement speed by 20%. Lasts 5 seconds.
Passive effect: Every 10 seconds, the earth totem pulses granting the shaman an earth shield absorbing 10-15k damage. (the absorption is so low because the effect will stay active for the duration of the totem.
Totem of fire
Activate effect: Every 2 seconds the totem pulses sending out waves of fire damaging all enemies within 10 yards. (low to moderate damage.)
Passive effect: The totem will launch searing fireballs at up to 3 targets within 20 yards and will continue to attack unless destroyed or called into the earth.
Totem of air
Activate effect: The air totem calls wind beneath the shamans and all allies within 10 yards feet, granting them movement impairing immunity for 6 seconds.
Passive effect: Winds flow around the totem redirecting the next spell at the shaman back to itself. This effect will only occur every 45 seconds. 20 yard range.
Now,with that I'll explain why 2 of these are sufficient and what scenarios they could be used for.
Obviously, the earth totem is more elemental pvp based,while the air totem is more enhancement based. However, in pve scenarios the enhance shaman might want to swap the air totem for the earth totem to increase survivability and maybe protect against bosses who use silence. Ele could swap the earth for air on bosses who snare and maybe cast redirectable spells.
Totem of water
Passive effect: A constant stream of healing waters surges thru nearby allies healing them every 3 seconds. ( basically healing stream totem.)
Activate effect: call to the plane of the water spirit to rescue you and allies. When used, this ability instantly casts empowered riptide on up to 5 nearby allies, tripling the riptide effect and granting all healed allies earthliving healing effect.
Resto could take water and earth in pvp and over scenarios or switch to fire if they want to help with a little aoe. Ele and enhance could take water, but they'd be losing on more helpful dps abilites. Each totem would have a 5 minute time limit, but the activate abilities would each have those own cds based of balance.
They would more epic too. Like thralls or bloodhoofs on the cata hots.