Do I Have an Animal Guide? Some believe that each person has one and possibly more (one guide being the most commonly held belief), personal animal guides that they can rely on. Most also believe that they can access other animal guides for help in areas where their personal guide(s) are not as strong. However there are also some who believe that anyone can access guides for help, but each person does not have a specific one. Believe whatever feels right to you. Before you decide that this is a wonderful idea and that you should have 365 personal animal guides, one for each and every day of the year, and want to run out and meet them all, think about this.
I was once told that those who meet many personal animal guides in their life are not to be envied for they are the ones who need the most protection and guidance. However that does not mean that you cannot call on different guides for help when you need the specific type of help they can offer you. It also does not mean you can can’t have more than one personal guide. I just wanted to throw in a word of warning; too much candy can make you sick after all. So if you suddenly find a flock of animal guides at your side at all times, look at what you are doing and where you are going in your life. Perhaps you have some decisions to make.
How Do I Meet My Animal Guide?
Patience, patience, patience… Animal guides are not owned by anyone, even if some might be called pets. It is their choice whether or not to make themselves known to you at any particular time. You may ask nicely, but you can never force a meeting. Most often your guide will reveal itself in its own time. Just because they do not appear the first time you try to contact them doesn’t mean you should give up. Keep trying every so often and when they feel the time is right they will show themselves. There are three ways you can meet your power animal or discover which animal medicine is right for you.
First, you could just wait until the guide decides that it is time for it to show itself. Second, you could write and perform a ritual to call and ask for the assistance of the animal that would best assist you in your present magical workings or be of help in resolving a conflict in your life or simply ask that a guide make itself known to you. Finally you could opt for the method of entering a meditative state (for example a shamanic trance, astral travel or lucid dreaming) and meet the animal in the spirit world. When the ritual technique is used, you will most likely see the animal in its natural form or it may appear in your life through seeming coincidences sometime after the ritual. There may be a synchronistic conversation where the topic is of the animal, or you find a book about the animal, images of it keep popping up, etc. When you catch that first glimpse of that particular medicine, you will know it in your heart. If you meet the animal in the meditative astral state, converse with it and ask its help.
Anything is possible in the astral, so ask questions and get to know your new partner. If you have seen the animal after a ritual, plan sometime to go into the meditative state to cement your relationship, get to know the animal and the wisdom it represents. It is important to remember that in many cases, we are chosen and not the one making the choices when it comes to the alliance with an animal spirit. We may wish to seek the wisdom of a particular guide but others will show up instead. Remember to be receptive to any or all who appear because they all have important lessons or wisdom to impart. It is also possible that before we can progress to our next level of understanding, we must first resolve or overcome some underlying issues that we may not be fully aware of or are denying within ourselves. Once you have met and began your relationship with an animal spirit, what do you do with it? Power animals are great advice givers, often representing aspects of our higher selves that we haven’t been paying close enough attention to. In a meditative state you can ask for their assistance on problems that have been nagging at you. At times, it is also necessary to seek the assistance of more than one power animal at the same time to maintain balance, as is the case between Badger and Deer.
How to Discover Your Guide:
One way of starting to discover your animal guides by examining the animals you have been most interested in and the times of your life that interest was piqued. Also examine the animals that have appeared in your dreams or in your everyday life, especially the ones that have appeared over and over and at odd times. The following questions can help you determine which animals might be guides in your life. Has a specific creature or specific creatures, be it animal, bird, reptile, Amphibian, insect or mythological beast, always fascinated you? We are drawn to that which most resonates with us. Those animals, which fascinate us or the ones that we fear the most, have something to teach us. Animal guides are not always those that we have the most similarities with. Often they are in our lives to help us learn what we are lacking. When you visit the zoo, which animal do you wish to visit first? This is especially true with children and this question is easy for them to answer since they are often more receptive than teens or adults.
What animal or animals do you see most frequently when you are out in nature? The animals we encounter in their city or wild environments have significance for us. We can learn from them about survival within their environment and often much more. Of all the creatures, which are you most interested in now? Our interests in animals change. Yes, we usually have one or two that are lifetime power animals, but others become prominent in our lives when there is something of importance to learn from them. Do any animals frighten you? That which we fear is often something we must learn to come to terms with. When we do that, the fears then become power. Some Shamans believe that fears will take the shape of animals, and only when we confront them without fear do their powers/medicine work for us instead of against us.
Such an animal then becomes a shadow totem. Have you ever been attacked or badly wounded by an animal? Historically, if a Shaman survived an attack, it was believed that the animal was the Shaman’s spirit totem and the attack was the totem’s way of testing the Shaman’s ability to understand and handle its power. Do you have dreams with animals in them or are there animal dreams you have never forgotten? This is especially important if the dreams are recurring or if a specific animal image keeps popping up in your dreams. Children often dream of animals and attention should be given to these animals. They will often reflect specific animal guides of the child or areas of weakness where the parents can help in their child’s growth.
Meet Your Spirit Guides
Before retiring, or going to bed, spend a few minutes in bed relaxing. Just focus on being relaxed. Be relaxed…
While relaxed, imagine a Veil in front of your eyes; a curtain or a wall. Imagine the Veil, or the wall, as being void, black. Accept the Veil, or the wall. Do not be threatened by the Veil, because you are relaxed, and because you know the Veil is an illusion, and serves purpose. You are still relaxed.
Then, you visualize the Veil (or wall) slowly lifting. You see the Veil lifting, and you see stars, you see lights. You know you can see things you haven’t seen before. You are still relaxed. When you are ready, you ask for Spirit to join you. You ask Spirit to touch you, and to embrace you, because you are ready to embrace Spirit. You know that Spirit is Divine Love, you know you are safe, you know you are loved. You know you are ready to meet Spirit. Hold your hands out. Let your fingertips feel the touch of Spirit.
Know that when you are ready, you can ask Spirit to embrace your arms; ask for Spirit to give you a huge hug. You will feel it. Accept the love that is given to you, and know that you have earned it, that the love is yours. You may feel many things. Electricity, and an urge to cry, is what I felt, and great joy. There are many methods regarding meeting your spirit guides. I met my guides in delayed stages. I had two human guides and three critter guides. This is not “common” but is also not unheard-of. What is common is for people to have two human guides. For those who study critter-paths, I believe that they also have two human guides, but that they are working more consciously with critter-wisdom, and therefore it is likely that they have “critter-medicine”, and may actually have critter guides, as I do.
Names? Gender? These are generally the first two issues we would like to distinguish within our guides. What I would recommend, as a matter of deduction, is that you ask your inner voice, if your entity is Male or Female. You will receive a definite impression. Lesson number one – learn to trust yourself. (I like to ask the gender question first, as it’s an easy one-two, this or that approach, and helps to distinguish our own emotional responses.) When it comes to names, let your mind be open to receive impressions. When I first met Elmo, my bear, I had a hard time believing that was his name, because I am a “serious” person, I associated “Elmo” as being playful, and therefore antithetical to what I thought his name should be. (Yet, I’ve learned a lot from Elmo, including” not being so uptight” I also learned more about not judging a person – or entity – by their name.)
When I first met Garulf, as a spirit, I thought he had a fascinating name. Weird name, dynamic personality. This was the label I hanged on him. How was I to know Garulf was a fairly common, respectable name several hundreds of years ago, in Denmark? How was I to know Garulf was actually a Soul name, befitting him perfectly as a spirit, and as a person? So, in other words, whatever name you get in meditation, or whatever, really is their name? Sometimes, the names of your spirits will help you bust up your own preconceptions of what names mean – or what roles people should play in your lives. What it all really comes down to is trusting your impressions. If you can do that (we salute you!), but more, you are already on a healthy journey of rediscovery. Your spirits will help you find the way.