Benefits of Knowing Your Power Animal*
Spirit Animals can:
- Help you identify parts of yourself that could be developed further and to understand yourself and your purpose more clearly.
2. Help to open your mind and heart.
3. Lead you in the right direction when making important decisions.
4. Connect you more deeply with earth, nature and your own instinct.
5. Make you feel comforted and supported. This is my favorite benefit and one that’s happened for me with each of my Power Animals. Once you acknowledge your Power Animal you will begin noticing it’s presence in your daily life. When I’m having a particularly hard time or difficult day and all of a sudden my Spirit Animal pops up in some form I feel better. It makes me smile and know that I am protected and being watched over. After that encounter I am able to deal much more effectively with any problems that come my way.
Ways to Identify Your Power Animal
First let me say that in my experience Power Animals come in and out of your life based on what you are going through and what you need in your life at the time. Throughout your life you may have many animal guides. To date I’ve had a Spirit connection with Owls, Hawks, Foxes, Hummingbirds and Dragonflies. I love them all, I’ve learned from them all and I expect to meet many others on my journey. Here are some methods you can use to find your Animal Guide:
- You may already be familiar with your Power Animal! Have you always been particularly drawn to a certain animal or feel some kind of connection to them? Perhaps you’ve just always been intrigued or drawn to its Spirit for some reason. Revisit this affinity by trying to define what it is that draws you to it. Study this creature: watch it in its natural habitat if possible. If not then do some research on its habits and see what it can teach you.
- Set an intention to meet your spirit animal. You can do this by saying or writing just that each day when you wake, “Today I intend to meet my Spirit Animal.” Then, stay open and alert to your surroundings and notice what images, feelings or animals show up. Give this process a few weeks to gel.
- Before you go to sleep, ask to meet your power animal in your dreams. I would spend about 5 minutes requesting this. While doing this requesting you may start having animal images appear even before you’re asleep! When you wake in the morning write down the dreams/images that came to you (even if the dreams are not animal related) and see what comes up.
- Spend some time outside preferably in a natural setting like a forest or meadow. If this is not possible just a walk outside somewhere will be fine. While outside, be aware of your surroundings. Notice all stimuli hitting your senses: smells, sounds, sights, etc. See what, if anything speaks to you or if any patterns emerge.
- Try automatic writing. Simply sit down with pen and paper at the ready, close your eyes for a few minutes and set your intention to have your spirit animal totems revealed to you. Open your eyes and start writing. Let the pen flow. If you’re feeling stuck you can start with something like: ‘I’m sitting down to do some automatic writing with the intention of meeting my Spirit Animal.’ and just keep going. You may start writing about things seemingly not related to animals. That is ok. Go with the flow.
- Experience a Shamanic Journey specifically a Quest to Find Your Spirit Animal. Here is one short Journey that you can start with.You can find others on line too if this one does not speak to you.
- Come in for a Reiki Healing and prior to and during we will work with intentions surrounding the emergence of your Power Animal. Lots of Magic happens on the Reiki table!
- You can identify what it is you are needing at this time and then search for an animal that exhibits that quality. For example if I am in need of courage right now I would search ‘spirit animals that exhibit courage’. Several will turn up (Tiger, Lion, Panther, Eagle, etc.) note which ones appear and start learning about each one to see if any resonate with you.
- Take a free on-line test or 2 and see if the results make sense to you. Here’s one you can try. Most of them require your email to be supplied for results.
Once You Identify Your Animal
Once you have made a connection with your Spirit Animal you can strengthen the bond between you. Here are some ways you can do this:
Keep your Animal in mind daily. To help you do this you can add pictures of your Animal in the spaces of your life: your car, your work place, your home, etc. Here are some of my personal reminders:
Wear clothes and accessories that bring you closer to your Animal. If your Guide is a bird you can wear some feather earrings or pin a few feathers somewhere on your jacket/shirt. If your guide has Fur you can get a faux piece to attach to a collar or something or add the Animal’s colors or fur patterns somewhere on or around you. A rabbit’s foot key chain is an example.
Study the lifestyle of your Animal and if possible act like them in some way. If your Animal is a snake you can get down on your belly and see the world from that perspective, slither around a bit!
Come to a private Yoga Class and we can create a pose or 2 or 3 dedicated to your special Animal. If your Animal is a Wolf we might incorporate some howling at the moon or if an Eagle we might to some flapping of wings and flying!
Write and/or recite a daily prayer to your animal. Here is an example to the Badger (which is my husband’s guide at this time-ahh, I’m scared. He is fierce!):
If you’re interested in learning more this is a basic yet thorough book that will get you started: Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews. You can also just google Totem or Power Animals/Spirits and learn, learn, learn!
*As you read more you will see that some people differentiate between Spirit, Power and Totem Animal definitions. These differences do not concern me but may be of interest to you. I see them all as magical connections to spirit.
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Lisa Hassett, Reiki Therapist, Life Coach, CYT
Healing For Body, Mind & Spirit
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