Since I have been doing the Call of the Wild consults, which I love doing, and the messages are awesome, I have been getting questions on power animals, or totem animals.
There are a lot of terms out there, and there is much confusion. So I will try to explain in short what and how and the difference. Basically they are the animals that are guiding you or giving you strength on certain parts of your life.
Every culture has it’s own kind of system, so the same thing might have different terminology, don’t get confused about that. And with every culture, their own kind of animals show up. The animals native to Australia are very different than the animals in Northern Europe for instance.
But it is interesting to see though how every culture attributed the same kinds of traits and qualities to similar animals 😉 You would think the original tribes could all communicate with animals 😉
Animals you relate to are usually a sign that they are of some importance to you. Even the animals you are afraid of, or find repulsive one way or the other. There’s also a message in there somewhere. And I don’t mean your average irritation (mosquito’s, flies), but a real fear or even phobia, that can really paralyse you or even give you panic attacks!
So, the terminology, here it goes:
Associated with traditional and modern Western Shamanic practices. They are the animals that the shaman finds for you during initiations or shamanic journeys. They are used for guidance. They usually guide and protect you. Spirit guide or guardian spirit are also common used names. You can also see them on your own shamanic journeys.
The spirit of the animal can unite with the person it has chosen to guide in a more personal way. There will be similarities and synchronicity between the traits, personality, characteristics of the power animal and the person it has chosen. The Power Animal can be the same as a Spirit Animal, but it doesn’t have to be.
Basically they are also power and/or spirit animals, but usually more in the sense of the Native American tradition. They use the term totems. They believed the animals provide medicine. Not in the way of Western medicine, but in the form of lessons the animals are here to teach you, the wisdom they share with you. Your totem animal can also be linked to your birth date and season you were born in, and with the element you therefore hold. They are also linked to the medicine wheel, so if you start working with that you might also find your totem animal.
Another term for spirit animal, linked to your soul. I like this term 🙂
Some animals are there for your whole life, others are there temporarily, for a few days, a few months. Depending on what you are going through.
There are many lists to be found on the internet, and depending on what you are searching for you might find something different.
There is also much literature on spirit animals, what to choose…. I like the work of Ted Andrews a lot, but find out what speaks to you.
The most important thing however is that you start feeling what your animal might be. Start journeying, ask questions, look at signs in every day life. What animal has always had special meaning.
Don’t be too hung up on the written word by others, by traditional meanings. Don’t forget, they are personal interpretation by the writer and culture. Times are changing, so are the animals, so are we.
When I see a person sometimes I immediately see an animal with them, sometimes a wild animal, sometimes a domesticated. I believe that a domesticated animal, a pet even, can very well be your spirit animal, and definitely your spirit guide. There are books and teachings that say they cannot be because they are already in “service” of mankind. I feel that doesn’t do justice to domesticated animals. In fact, I feel that they are our biggest teachers, mirrors, guides, soulmates. Even the ones we don’t keep indoors, but more for production. In “service” of mankind suggests and supports the idea of superiority of people over the animals, and that is not my philosophy.
So, stay open to other possibilities. Read about it, look on the internet. But above all: find out what that animal has for personal message, just for you.
For instance, I have a few animals guiding me, two of them are always there. They are a stag and a bald eagle. But my birth animal is an Elephant. Not always visible, but always there.
Now the eagle lets me fly on it’s back. He never talks to me. He just takes me up on a mountain, sit for a while, look down at the chaos and then we fly above to get more clarity. But he never ever speaks to me.
The stag is the one that pushes me when I am doubting myself again. Sometimes he even pierces me with his antlers. But other times he is very very gentle with me. I know he is the one that is here to teach me about self care and self love, and still stand up for myself.
The fact that both the Stag and the Eagle are a he, has to do with me embracing my masculine energy, that I am denying.
This year Jaguar entered my life, he’s been with me for the past couple of months whilst changing my business from just another business to my soul business. He gives me a lot of strength, and insight on when exactly to make steps and when to sit back and relax.
Because I have a special bond and pact with the animal kingdom, there are a lot of animals helping me. A stampede out there.
But some people are more plant-types, tree-types, rock-types, Angel-types. There are a lot of helpers out there, a lot of guides. Feel what works for you.
I believe everyone has at least one power animal though. That was there when you chose to come to this earth, and will be with you when you leave again. Maybe that animal is not always so present.
And it can be any kind of animal, it doesn’t have to be a mammal or a bird, it can be anything really. Don’t refuse the animal that comes to you, just because you want a cuddly little koala instead of a big hairy spider. Find out about the animal that is coming to you, understand it, listen to what it has to say. Don’t deny it. You probably chose each other the moment you decided to be born again 🙂
Talking about superiority: Isn’t it strange that we need animals as guides or protectors and they don’t need us? Something to think about as closure to this blog 🙂
And have fun! There are a lot of lessons out there from the animals, but being in the hear and now and enjoying life to the fullest are very general messages 🙂
Love and light
Diana and the Animal Kingdom.