Ancient tribes acknowledged the power of animal spirit guides and the importance of our harmony with these fellow creatures.
Shamanic traditions around the world believed that every animal carries a unique energy and spirit, and one can call upon the power of an animal to help, protect and heal us on this life journey. They serve as an ally, guide, teacher, and a source of power, throughout the person’s life.
“One thing to remember is to talk to the animals. If you do, they will talk back to you. But if you don’t talk to the animals, they won’t talk back to you, then you won’t understand, and when you don’t understand you will fear, and when you fear you will destroy the animals, and if you destroy the animals, you will destroy yourself.” ~ Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh
Shamans often fall into trance states where they communicate with these creatures. In certain practices the Shaman will find a animal spirit guide that is best suited to you or bring back one that has been separated from you.
It’s important to know that you do not pick your animal spirit guides but it picks you. Power animals most often come to individuals in meditations, dreams, visions and initiations.
Power animals are a reflection of your deepest self and symbolise the traits which are often concealed.
Types of Animal Spirit Guides
“I think of animals more as spirits that come and go. They enter our lives at a particular time and they leave at a particular time. The whole glorious history of animals with people is about joy and connection. It’s about loving this creature and letting this creature love you.” ~ Jon Katz
This guide comes to deliver a specific message or a lesson, be it of spiritual nature or a warning, and leaves as soon as it has been understood.
This animal spirit guides represents the shadow self or innermost fears that you have to overcome in order to progress on your path. It reminds us of the unhealed aspects of our being which have been suppressed and needs attention.
This is a powerful spirit guide and keeps changing throughout your life depending on your progress. You must learn to respect and understand your shadow energies.
This animal spirit guides will come to you when you are at a crossroads in your life, and you need to take an important decision to choose a path.
This guide will helps you through that particular journey and represents the challenges and rewards. It will help you choose the best possible path at that time and guides you when you are lost.
Life animal guide
This life guide reflects your inner spiritual self. This guide is always with you whether you recognize it or not. It is like your arch angel always looking out for you, and reminding you of your innermost abilities and strengths.
Shamans would call upon the guiding spirit of a particular animal, bird, fish, reptile or an insect. Each creature had a special meaning and message:
Land Animal Guides
Land animals are usually associated with groundedness, and physical and mental stability. They are filled with great intuition and awareness.
They represent freedom and cleansing. They are also a symbol of the universal unconscious that reveal things to us through dreams and the subconscious mind.
These guides are symbols of new transitions in life, assisting us in matters of higher knowledge. They have an excellent foresight.
Unsurprisingly they are a symbol of adaptation, being incredibly intuitive and independent. They are a reminder that every situation can be turned into one that is conducive for growth.
These guides bear the gifts of patience, non-attachment and tenacity. They are communal, progressive and proactive. Similar to reptiles, they are also quite adaptive and are the first ones to survive massive disasters!
Finding your Animal Spirit Guides
“Animals are not only beholders of great beauty, but they are also beholders of ancient wisdom.” ~ Molly Friedenfeld
There is a sacred practice to find your animal guide. It may not happen in a day or two as it requires longer periods of focus. Before doing a visualization meditation for this, try and focus on it through the day.
Repeat to yourself, “I am ready to find my spirit guide.” and “I am open to receiving all it has to share.”
Be attentive to what animals crop up in your life. They could be totems or little signs or the animal itself. Do not rush to try and interact with it. It is better to just be present in a spirit of pure being. This process has to be approached with humility and intuitiveness.
An Animal Spirit Guides Visualization Meditation
- It’s important to be in nature for this, away from the everyday trappings of technology.
- Now, sit or lay down on the bare ground beneath you with your eyes closed. Allow your body to sink into the ground. Focus on the direction of the wind and the sounds of the birds, leaves, animal calls around you. Let your thoughts pass, without any resistance. Do not identify with any, just as if you were watching them on a screen, disconnected.
- Focus on your breath, let it take its natural rhythm. As you breathe out let your body sink deeper and deeper into the ground.
- Then, visualize a doorway in the forest before you. With each breath in you walk closer to it.
- Finally, open the door when you are ready. The sound and feelings change.
- You are now in a deep void. It may be scary and just when you start to feel lost you suddenly feel a presence along with you.
- This presence feels familiar, safe and a guiding energy. It has come to introduce itself to you, and remind you that you are not lost. It offers its protection. You understand now that it is your animal spirit.
- Is it small or large? Young or old? Reach into your pocket and you find a flashlight. Take a deep breath and turn the light on. For the first time, you can now see your spirit animal.
- What does it look like? Is it a bird, a type of fish, a mammal, insect or reptile? You reach out your hand to touch it.
- Spend some time bonding with it. Let its presence and wisdom illuminate your being.
- Take as long as you need until you feel it’s time to open your eyes.
Listen to a guided version of this meditation.