Animal Spirit and Medicine: Animal Spirits
Animal Spirits work with us in many capacities and on a variety of levels. As Totems, they reflect aspects of our personalities teaching us to know ourselves better and understand our interrelationships. Power Animals are much the same; they are the dominant Totem and merge in a sacred spiritual manner with our inner spirit. Guides are not always animals but they can be; these creatures guide us through spiritual realms and to our teachers showing the way to enlightenment. Some Animal Spirits act as messengers coming once or twice in a lifetime while others are frequent visitors. All these capacities reflect their abilities to impart a wide variety of messages on many different levels. All Animal Spirits are our teachers in one way or another. They can act as protectors giving us warnings, or defending us in other ways. While they teach us about ourselves and our lives, their highest teachings are that of Spirit and spiritual development.
There is a myriad of levels that can be used to make contact with our Totems, Power Animals, Guides, and Teachers. They can appear in the wild of the mundane world grabbing our attention in some distinctive way. There are visions that some are capable of receiving where the creature-teachers will appear and speak or act out a pantomime to relay messages. They come during journeys, quests, and most readily in the Dream Lodge. It is in our dreams that we are more willing to accept the unusual and thus communicative levels are heightened naturally. These Animal Spirits are capable of shapeshifting to suit our needs and teaching us how to do the same.
Animal spirits communicate in different ways. They will use body language to demonstrate their message. The direction they come from and are headed to will tell you the area the message applies to and the method you are to focus on in dealing with it. These creature-teachers are capable of telepathic communication or thought transference. They can impart images or thoughts into our minds and convey a great deal of information. They can speak as humans do in all languages though this is generally demonstrated on spiritual levels of the Dream Lodge, journeys, or vision quests.
Each Animal Spirit comes to us not as the animal itself but as a representation of the spiritual essence of that animal. If you look at any species you will see they have character traits that are unique and stand out from one another. The food they eat tells you what to search for, what your spirit needs to feed on to sustain itself. The ways they hunt show you the methods you can develop to find your own answers. Their enemies will demonstrate the types of individuals you need to watch out for, the traits that are your own weaknesses, personal flaws that need to be controlled, and many other things. As you can see, there is a great deal to learn from these creature-teachers just in the mundane world.
Taking this a step higher into the realm of spiritual lessons and other dimensions they can carry these same traits with them and you will learn to apply them there. On this level there is a quickening of the pace, things happen at the speed of thought, and you learn to function at that level. Above that, there is the teaching each Animal Spirit can impart that will take you into the pure essence of Spirit Itself. They can take you into the Great Mystery, the Silence of the Void, and show you wonders that you never imagined. It takes an effort to work on this kind of development and it all begins with awareness. You need to be aware of them in your life, visions, and dreams. It all begins with a conscious choice and making it a point to notice them when they reach out to you.
The number of spirits that will work with any individual varies. Some are aware of only one while others have several. In the case of working with numerous creature-teachers, there will be those that tend to dominate at different times and often one that is the overall dominant teacher. All of them are capable of establishing a deep and lasting friendship. Emotional bonds to them grow and we can become very attached. Since some will come and go from our lives so we need to be prepared for an eventual departure and you can always ask them how long they will be with you. They will tell you if it is temporary or not.
When you take notice of these teachers and begin to openly communicate with them there is nothing you cannot ask. They will answer your questions honestly (sometimes cryptically) or they will take you to another teacher who can better serve to impart the lesson. It takes a level of trust and confidence to establish these relationships. You have to trust in them and they have to have the confidence in you that the effort will be put forth to continue to grow. It is important to understand that their first concern is service to Spirit. They have been sent by Spirit to help you raise your levels of consciousness and achieve spiritual progression. Your willingness to accept those teachings determines just how far or how high you can take the experiences.
The next time you dream of an animal, or see one in the wild, or even if you have a deep and abiding attraction to one or more, look into what it can share with you. Study its habits, its nature, its method of survival and apply those traits in your own life.