and how to find yours
Within Shamanic traditions it is believed that everything is alive and carries a signature of wisdom and power, from rocks to trees, animals and the elemental forces of nature. Within this philosophy is the realm of Power animals or spirit guides.
Power animals are spirit guides in the form of animals which are considered valuable allies who can help you navigate through your journey of life with it’s rites of passage, challenges and transitions. You can consult with these trustworthy oracles for advice and counsel on any questions or concerns. They are exceptional teachers who will can aid you in learning from both the spirit and the natural world.
Shamans believe that everyone has power animals which reside with each individual enhancing their power and protecting them from ailments. Each power animal that you have increases your power so that illnesses or negative energy cannot enter your body. The spirit of the animal also shares its wisdom.
Power animals may appear to you in meditations, visions, dreams, shamanic journeys, or on the earth in their physical form. They can be wild animals the roam the earth, the spirit of extinct creatures and also mythical creatures such as unicorns or dragons. Animal spirits power is drawn from their instinctual and wild nature, so it is rare for domesticated animals such as pets to be power animals.
Once you connect with a particular power animal it is not uncommon to frequently sight them in the material realm, take it as a guide you are following the right path, confirmation of some sort, a sign they are with you and watching over you or they are showing you something.
In many cases people often find that their power animal is a reflection of their personal characteristics. For example I have a hawk-like nose and connected with Eagle spirit in Shamanic guided trance journeys.
Here are a few examples of Animal Spirit Guides and their associated powers.
Horse spirit represents your inner strength and driving force in life. A typical symbolism for the horse is one of an animal representing physical strength, vitality and psychological or emotional ability to go on in life and pursue your goal no matter what may stand on your way.
Horse spirit is also a strong symbol for sexual expression. If you’re dreaming of riding a horse and moving harmoniously with the animal, the dream is likely expressing strong erotic desires in a positive way. If the horse is getting out of control, your erotic desires or the ones of somebody else in your life may feel overwhelming or need to be expressed more carefully. If the horse is strongly attached or in reins, look at what is holding you back on how you express your sexuality.
Wolf spirit symbolizes instinct, intelligence and appetite for freedom. This animal can also symbolize fear of being threatened and lack of trust. When the wolf shows up in your life, pay attention to what your intuition is telling you. The wolf represents a strong connection with instincts and is a reminder to keep your spirit alive and trust your instincts to find the way that will best suit you. Wolf spirit encourages you to live your life more freely.
Eagle spirit has a great power of vision and intuition in your daily life, seeing situations from a higher perspective, using the power of observation, and focusing on the task at hand. It’s a good companion to develop spiritual awareness. This power animal is often considered as a messenger who brings messages from the spirit world and the unseen. When Eagle spirit flies with you, it is time to be less distracted by the details and focus on the higher perspective, guided with the ability to see what is ahead clearly and defy any obstacles that may be on your way, allowing the eagle energy to guide your action.
Owl spirit symbolizes a deep connection with wisdom and intuitive knowledge. With Owl spirit flying alongside you, you’re likely to have the ability to see what’s usually hidden to most. When the spirit of this animal guides you, you can see the true reality, beyond illusion and deceit. The owl also offers inspiration and guidance necessary to deeply explore the unknown and the magic of life. It also symbolizes the ability to cut through illusions and see the real meaning of someone’s action or state of mind. When the owl shows up in your life, pay attention to the winds of change. Perhaps you are about to leave some old habits, a situation that no longer serve you or bring something new in your life.
Hummingbird spirit symbolizes the enjoyment of life and lightness of being. Inviting you to enjoy the sweetness of life, lift up negativity wherever it creeps in and express love more fully in their daily endeavors. Hummingbird encourages you to open up your heart and expose yourself more to joy and love. The hummingbird is one of the most fascinating birds because of its ability to move its body swiftly, change direction quickly and smoothly, seemingly gliding from one place to another. By affinity with this power animal, you can be encouraged to use or develop a similar skill.
Dragonfly spirit carries the wisdom of transformation and adaptability in life. When the dragonfly shows up in your life, it may remind you to bring a bit more lightness and joy into your life. Dragonflies start to grow in water and then move into the air and fly. When this spirit animal shows up in your life you may be called to transform and evolve. Symbol of metamorphosis and transformation, it inspires those who have it as a guide to bring about the changes needed in their lives in order to go to reach their full potential.
Whale spirit is the earth’s record keeper for all time. The whale teaches you about listening to your inner voice, understanding the impact your emotions have on your everyday life, and following your own truth. Whales are amazing communicators able to connect and coordinate with other whales over thousands of miles of ocean. The whale supports us in communicating clearly from our hearts to bridge large distances with others. Whales are also very family oriented, so the whale helps us bridge any gaps that are keeping us from connecting deeper with our loved ones. Whales support us in speaking our truth with emotion, vulnerability and power. Just as the whale can dive into the depths of the sea and endure immense pressure, people holding the whale spirit animal also are able to endure both emotional and physical pressures. But not forever, just as the whale must surface to take new breath, so must you. If the whale is showing up this could be a powerful opportunity to remember, let go and forgive. Making space to give birth to your fullest expression and flowing creativity.
Dragon spirit is more rare and brings swift change and transmutation. If you’ve been in a stale spot in your spirituality or mental growth, the dragon has come to you to show you a new path and help you in your transformation from the mundane to a more elevated plane. Keep in mind the idea that the dragon was thought by ancient cultures to breathe fire. This associates this beast with the element of fire and so the purifying and fortifying element. Dragon spirit is powerful and protective in nature, befriend your dragon, do not fear this spirit.
Snake spirit is powerfully connected to life force and primal energy. Snake spirit brings forth healing opportunities, change and important transitions. If you see the snake as your spirit or power animal, be sensitive to your healing abilities towards yourself or others. Cultivate sources of energy and support, especially as they relate to the earth and nature. The snake can symbolize spiritual guidance. The presence of the snake in your life often means that you are in a period of transition and it points to ways promote your personal growth. Snake spirit could appear when you are stepping into the unknown and need support to move forward. This animal is typically close to the ground and can remind you of staying grounded as you move through changes.
There are many more spirit animals, these are just a few examples, more can be found from the many good books and tarot card decks that have been published in recent years, a walk into any good esoteric or crystal shop should be the perfect place to find these.
I would highly recommend a shaman guided drum journey or similar as I have found these short ceremonies wonderful ways to connect with power animals and learn from their guidance.