Do you ever feel like you’ve lost touch with your wild nature, vitality, or life force? In the modern world, it is easy to become disconnected from the very elements that make us feel powerful and truly free. We have lost our wild ways. There is no need to ever leave your home. People shop from laptops, connect to friends in their internet worlds, have meals delivered from their smart phones and scarf food without reverence or presence, quickly, while watching TV. We stay inside to avoid the chaos of the streets because the natural beauty gifted us by God, has been replaced by the madness of our modern world. And so we hide. Forests and wild places are diminishing and we are becoming as domesticated and subdued as our animal friends. There is a great call to honor our true nature, the earth and the animal kingdom. And spirit animals, ancient guides traditionally revered by native peoples, are stepping forth to introduce themselves to the modern world. It is time to remember the wild within you.
But what are spirit animals?
They are guides and protectors from the spirit world that help you tap into powerful parts of your unique nature, unlock aspects of your being that you're currently ignoring, traverse difficult life situations, bridge the gap to your wild nature, offer protection, warnings, and a deep comforting bond. These beings connect you to both earth, and spirit. Traditionally when one lost their vitality, drive, and connection to life, it was the village shaman who reunited the tribe member with their animal guide. Now, power animals take the spirit animal idea, one step further. Some individuals have had a natural attraction to a specific animal, since early childhood. There is an intensely strong bond to this animal. You may feel a synchronicity with this being, as if this animal lives within and through your spirit. Their sole purpose is empowerment. This is more than a guide. This animal is a part of you for life.
There are 4 types of spirit animals: LIFE, MESSENGER, SHADOW AND JOURNEY.
Life spirit animals come in when the time is right, and you are ready to hear their wisdom. This animal remains with you as an overseer, for an entire lifespan guiding and directing you, remaining present while other guides make short term appearances during specific life lessons. Messengers, on the other hand, come in with important warnings and messages. They come urgently and usually stick around no longer than 2-3 months. As soon as you receive the message consciously or on a soul level, they are gone. Their purpose is done. The third type of animal is the shadow spirit guide. These are the most interesting and dynamic of all the guides. At first, these guides appear as predators. There may be an initial fear associated with them upon first meeting. However, they are not dark. Their role is to bring awareness to a part of your nature you are suppressing. They give light to what you suppress, urging you to see what lies beneath. Shadow spirit guides challenge you. If you rise to their challenge the bond is everlasting and uniquely beautiful. Finally, we have the journey spirit guides. These beings come in for a specific chapter of your life, for a season perhaps. There is no set time limit with the journey group. They oversee certain challenges and transitions, however long they may last.
How do I find a connection to my spirit animal?
1. Set the intention to connect with your spirit animal.
2. Listen. Do not chase. Just as with life, work, and even dating. Be confident and let your guide come to you. Have faith. You do not get to choose your spirit animal. They choose you. Have respect for the process and the guides by deepening your ability to listen. Start meditating regularly. Slow down. Moving too fast, acting without grace, and consistent attempts at controlling your environment, communicates that you do not need guides or help. If you want a teacher, be a good student. Students are quiet and respectful in class. They listen. Would a teacher want to instruct a student who cannot sit down, be still and quiet, or pay attention to the lesson? No. It would be an inefficient waste of time. Have the discipline to meditate. Meditation is how you open yourself to higher realities. If you don't know how to meditate, start to research! There are many available sources these days. Find a class, teacher, app, download mantras etc.
3. Observe. There are signs all around us. You’ll begin to see signs in dreams, in the physical world, and everyday life. Start studying animals and observe which one’s you're drawn to. Are there any animals that pop up consistently for you? Start a dream journal and take note each morning if any animal guides appear. Be patient and open. Eventually your spirit animal will make itself clear to you.
4. Tools to connect: shamanic drumming in meditation, relaxing music, guided visualizations.
Okay, so I’ve found my spirit animal. Now what?
1. Learn as much as you can about your animal. Imagine it. Feel it. Watch documentaries on it. Are there any interesting secret traits or habits?
2. Make a list of all attributes you associate with your animal. Do this without thinking too much. Allow for instinct to kick in, post research.
3. Now, take your list and look at these traits in comparison to your own thoughts, feelings and habits. What resonates? What do you have resistance to? Both are important for learning. You are likely suppressing any attributes to which you have resistance.
3. If you could talk to your animal? What would you say? What would it say?
4. Meditate with the intention to connect to your guide. As you start to relax, speak to this animal, and then listen to the divine communication.
How do I deepen my connection to my animal guide?
1. Make art associated with your animal.
2. Decorate your altar with totem symbols.
3. Wear animal jewelry.
4. Work with animal rights campaigns, eat organic, hormone and cruelty free meats if you eat meat. Pray over your food with reverence honoring the spirit of the being who nourishes you.
5. Spend more time in nature. Go for a hike, find a quiet spot to sit and connect with your guide.
6. Live in a way that shows compassion towards the animal and plant kingdoms, and mother earth.
Remember, always display eternal gratitude for these glorious beings. The more reverence and respect given, the more medicine, visions and communication you will experience from these master guides. Good luck! And remember to heed the call of the wild. The wild within you is your freedom, your true nature, and your birthright. Blessings.