How to Discover Your Spirit Animals
Totem Animals, Familiars, Power Animals, and More...
Have you ever noticed that animals tend to bring out our compassionate nature? I've observed that people often treat animals better than they do other humans. There is just something about them that compels us to know and better understand them.
Animals and animal symbolism have been part of the history and traditions of numerous cultures. Throughout time, man has revered animals and looked to them with great wonder and amazement. Animals have a great deal to teach us about ourselves and about our connection to this Earth and all living beings. I believe many traditions were born from our desire to better understand ourselves and our world through the observation of Earth's creatures.
Whether you believe in totem animals or animal spirit guides specifically or not, the animal lessons and wisdom can still bring you greater insight, inspiration and understanding.
Look at the behaviors of an animal you feel particularly drawn to; what habits do they have that you could stand to develop? Perhaps they embody other characteristics that are challenging and symbolize lessons for you to grow through. The possibilities are endless.
As a child I was always afraid of, yet fascinated by bees. Bees are such interesting creatures. They have amazing communications abilities and they work well within their community to assure the survival of everyone. Bees represent teamwork, effort, communicating well with others and survival.
In my life, I love writing. I started writing as a means of survival, having grown up in a household where verbal abuse was common. I often tend to be reclusive and would likely do better being part of a larger community.
I believe that writing (communication) has the power to influence others – for better or for worse. Simply looking at the habits of the bee shows me a lot of important things about myself as well. They demonstrate to me qualities that I have and areas where I could improve.
I have also learned to further respect and revere honeybees in particular, because of the vital role they play in humanities quality of life. Without the work of the bees, our plant life would die. Without the plants to provide us oxygen and food, we wouldn't be long for the world either. That tiny little bee commands greater respect than many of the “power animals” people feel drawn to.
There is power in humility, and all beings can impact life on a large scale through small actions.
So what are totem animals?
Totem animals can be any animal under the sun. A power animal is typically with you for life and embodies the greater lessons and skills you came here to learn. A shadow totem is an animal guide that helps you to address and conquer your fears. Other animal totems may come and go throughout your life to help you with a particular thing before moving on.
Discover Your Power Animal
A power animal does not have to be a big and mighty animal at all. It doesn't even have to be an animal, it could be a bird or an insect. Everyone claims the popular animals “wolf” “tiger” etc. Any creature can be a power animal; so let go of the mindset that “bigger is better” here.
Some of the greatest power animals are the tiniest of creatures. For example, the honeybee I spoke of previously. This meager little creature who bears great responsibility for the process of life itself. Without them, the planet would be in grave danger.
Another favorite of mine is the seahorse. These unusual creatures are nothing like what they seem. They mate for life and the father bears the young! They are also diligent creatures who can work themselves to exhaustion. They come up for those with unusual roles in life, who are vibrant, hard working and truly unique.
Let go of preconceived notions and think about animals you have dreamed about in the past or ones that you have always felt drawn to. Have you seen a particular animal appear around you a lot? (not necessarily in person).
For example my power animal is the Great Horned Owl. They show up around me a lot usually nesting near my home. I also see them regularly in a variety of locations and at unusual times. They tend to catch my eye when I am wandering around in stores, or sometimes people who don't know me or my totem will send me something with an owl on it. I have found many interesting antiques and vintage items that are quite rare with these owls on them also. Wherever I wander, they tend to show up.
Before I knew that owl was my power animal I would dream of them often. When I was growing up I remember their distinct low hooting call and waking up to that and feeling a bit unnerved by it. I realized that owl has been with me on my entire journey and embodies many of the characteristics I have worked to develop over the years. Their medicine has also shown me how to conquer many fears by facing my dark side with courage and honesty. When we face ourselves in this manner; it allows us to break free from prisons of the mind and grow spiritually.
As you work to discover your totem; think back and take note of any animals you've had appear around you frequently. Come up with a list of a few animals that you think may be the right one. Look up those animals and learn about their habits and how they live. Does it resonate with you? Do you see them as having some qualities you need to develop further? Or, do you see them as sharing unique traits that you also embody? If so, this is a good sign you are on the right track.
You can also do guided meditations and other activities to attract your animal to you if you are uncertain. You can learn more about these techniques and other exercises you can use to discover your totems and draw them into your life via the Totem Wisdom link below.
I have developed an entire website geared towards Totem Animals. Learn more about how to connect with your animal spirit guides, get a free totem reading and discover fun and interesting facts about the animals you may not know at TotemWisdom.com
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© 2011 Christin Sander
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