Understanding Spirit Animals – A guide to enlightenment
Shamanism considered a lot of animals as spirit animals. It also, teaches how one can harness the power of each spirit animal for the benefit of ones health and overall lifestyle. The spirit animals can be harnessed with mediation or with the help of totems.
A Spirit Animal acts as a teacher or messenger in the form an animal spirit that enters into the individual’s life to guide or heal. Spirit Animals are also known as animal helpers, spirit helpers, spirit allies, animal guides, power animals and so on. The Spirit Animals are not like Gods or other deities that you would worship. They choose you or may have already chosen you and would be watching you in hindsight. Focusing and communicating with your Spirit Animal can allow you to gain guidance, wisdom, protection and power. Shamans worldwide have been relying on the guidance, wisdom, and symbolism of spirit animals for over thousands of years.
In your lifetime you can benefit from the guidance and wisdom of several Spirit Animals. These Spirit Animals come to you when you are in need. You can seek their guidance and bring and maintain the much needed balance in your life. Different situations in our life, the hurdles we phase, the path or cross roads we are at and the timing; all these determine which Spirit Animal will comfort and help you conclude your task or journey in the most plausible manner that would bring you fulfillment and a sense of joy.
Your Spirit Animal can bring guidance and wisdom in many ways. You may cross paths with the actual animal who’s spirit you wish to seek guidance from or you could dream about this animal or the Spirit Animal will visit you as you focus and meditate. There is also a good chance that your Spirit Animal is a already your companion and resting in your house, barn or stable as a pet.
A Spirit Animal would often represent attributes and traits that you might see within yourself. Though you would not be able to communicate linguistically with your Spirit Animal you can have a basic understanding of the vibe of this animal and look at it as a archetypal figure or as a symbolic representation of you. For instance, you may not personally interact with a Tiger or Whale but you can isolate certain behavioural and character traits, habit, diet and social interactions of the actual animal with others of the same or different species.
If you look at Spirit Animals from a perspective of faith you can simply ask them to show themselves to you. Look out for repetitive interactions with an animal. These interactions can either be in physical or symbolic form. Generally, the animal appear to you over an over again making it obvious for your to notice. You may not have though of it on a spiritual level but there is a good chance that these chance encounters might be telling you something. It can be something as simple as turning on the TV, switching to the discovery channel and chancing upon a documentary on tigers. Meeting a new friend with a tiger on his shirt or a simple compliment on your tiger like strength. Every time ‘Rocky III’ plays on TV you hear the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and so on.
You have to let the Spirit Animal come to you. If you go chasing behind it is more likely that you end up on a wild goose chase.
Invite your Spirit Animal to come to you during any altered state of mind such as meditation or when in dream state. When in meditative or dream state set your intention or call the Spirit Animal to you. If you are at an advance level of the Mystic arts you can use Tarot for this purpose or a book. Though it is always advisable to use your inner voice. This is not an exact science and you want it to happen naturally rather than by force.
Meanwhile you can contemplate on the animals that have resonated with you since you were a child or animals you always felt drawn too. Is this pull without logic or reason?
To start you can begin with finding you birth animal. You can follow whichever Zodiac system you are comfortable with – Western, Celtic, Native American or Chinese.
There are 12 Western Zodiac signs and each has his unique traits. These signs are clubbed under four elements – Fire, Water, Earth and Air signs that represent an essential type of energy associated with them.
The Celtic system also consists of 12 signs that denote the cultural and natural influence that form the symbol and meaning of the animal.
Where other cultures have monthly cycles that represent different animals the Chinese Zodiac system has a twelve year cycle; each with a specific animal associated to it.
In Native American culture, animals have a special place as the same can be seen from the Native American horoscope that is denoted by Animal Totems. It was believed among the Native American tribes that the time of year a person was born into would directly influence the individual’s characteristics.
The Animal Totem is nothing but a symbolic representation of your Spirit Animal. These totems can be in the form of a totem pole, emblem, crest talisman or a kind of jewellery. The totem can simple represent like-minded people or belong to a family or an entire clan. The totem animals are believed to have a strong influence on the lives of the individual and you may feel a strong connection to that animal.
According to Shamanism, an Animal Totem represents the traits and skills that you are meant to learn and embody. Throughout human history there are references of Animal Totems being used in Shamanistic practices. Also, hunters and warriors that belonged to ancient civilisations would carve their prey on walls during ceremonies and seek blessings to ensure a good hunt and also as a show of gratitude towards the animal being sacrificed. Animals symbolism has been known to be a part of religious, traditional and spiritual practices of many Ancient tribes.
Many traditions are of the belief that your Totem Animal will stay with you throughout your life in both the physical as well as spiritual world. This one Totem Animal will be the main guardian Spirit Animal. You will seek assistance and may get guidance from other Spirit Animal during your lifetime but the Totem Animal will be there through out your journeys through thick and thin. This Totem Animal will guide you through all aspects of life be it mental, physical, spiritual or emotional.
9 different Totem Animals are believed to be connected to you throughout your life. These 9 animals include 7 for 7 different directions including, North, South, East, West, Above and Below. 2 animals are believed be flanking you on each side as you walk.
Animals can also be called upon as per the situation. There are Teachers like the Eagle, for accessing your own wisdom. Healers like the Snake, for healing emotional, mental and physical illnesses. Protectors like the Lion and the Advisors like the Fox, that help you make choices and guide you to the right path.