Spirit Guides come in many forms; deceased ancestors & friends, animals, plant, and spirits of place. Most of us our familiar with the idea of Animal as Spirit Guides, often calling them Power Animals and Totems. They are the animals that speak to our soul; the feathered, furred and scaled creatures that we resemble in our traits and motives. They often present themselves to us as teachers and guides; lending us their strength and connecting us deeply to the uncivilized world.
It is common for people to have more then one Animal Guide, but most generally one animal has the strongest presence in our lives; and that animal is our main guide. As I am sure you will not be surprised my strongest, Animal Guide is Crow. Notice I said Crow, not Crow’s. This is intentional; as when speaking about Totems/Power Animals, it is the spirit of the species we are talking about…therefore all Crows are Crow.
Crow first presented itself to me when I was in my 20’s. I was bombarded with Crow feathers…regularly. In fact, I had people showing up at my house; giving me handfuls of Crow feathers and saying they had to give them to me. I found bushels of feathers in my yard, and ‘saw’ Crow everywhere. When I say I ‘saw’ Crow, I mean Crow presented itself to me; in that pay attention, I have something to say kind of way. Up to that point, I had not thought much about Animal Totems, and actually thought they weren’t really my thing. Crow had a different opinion. As coincidence (no such thing) would have it, Crow had been connected to my family for many, many generations. In fact it is a name that many in my family have used Spiritually; myself included (that’s right, it is not my legal name). As time went on, I started to understand the impact Power Animals could have on one’s life. Crow showed itself to me, when I needed to pay attention. Often, warning me to slow down or take notice. And the more that I looked into the meaning of Crow, the more I understood myself.
Since being introduced to my first Animal Totem, I have developed relationships with other Power Animals; including Snake, Squirrel, and Bear (temporarily). Some animals have come in to stay for a good long while, their lessons more important to my life path. While others; like Bear, have come in for a brief stay to teach me particular lessons.
When searching for one’s personal Animal Guides, we need to pay attention to the animals who are asking for attention…the ones we love, and the ones we fear. In fact, very often the animals we are most intimidated by are our greatest teachers. Which makes sense, considering how much we all love change. Totems can show up literally and figuratively. We may see them in our natural landscape, or find them infiltrating our dreams and thoughts. However they present themselves, there is a feeling that accompanies our Power Animals. A feeling of knowing, and a feeling of kindred.
There are a lot of great books and websites out there on Animal Guides, I personally like Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. It is well written, and the author was a animal rehibilatator as well as a Spiritual man. It is obvious; when reading his work that he had a deep personal relationship with the Animal world. That being said, no matter how much information the writer may have, it is important to let your intuition be your guide when it comes to your personal relationship with Animal Guides. Here are some tips for connecting with your Power Animal/Totem
*Pay attention to the animal/animals that have been most present in your life. What animals were you drawn to as a child, what animals appear most frequently in your dreams, what animals show up most often in your natural surroundings, most importantly…what animals do you feel most drawn to.
*Learn about your Spirit Animal; research, observe and daydream about them.
*Pay attention to when and where they present themselves to you. What is going on in your life @ that moment? What feelings accompany their arrival? What thoughts pop up in your mind upon seeing them?
*Place items that resemble your Spirit Animal on your personal alter…both natural & man made; feathers, statues, bits and pieces.
*Thank them for their teachings; acknowledge them when they show up. Little offerings of song, praise, herbs & such are great ways to show you appreciate the role they play in your life.
If you are lost in the determination piece, you may want to consider taking a class on Animal Guides or doing a bunch of reading and research. For those of you living in & around the Kingdom…heads up-I am teaching a workshop on Animal Guides in July. I hope you enjoyed the read Folks, and remember there is no such thing as coincidence & the Universe is speaking to us all the time.