Spirit animals, power animals, totems or animal guides guide you spiritually, draw you to them or just hang around you in the spiritual realm. They’re not necessarily the ones that you feel drawn to or have a curious fascination or whose qualities you admire, aspire to, or feel represent you. It’s more often something you wouldn’t think of, something representing you in ways you recognize after finding out what it is.
It is not uncommon to have more than one spirit animal, as each one has distinctive characteristics. But it’s more common to have that if you’ve got a connection to the other side, if you work with magic, shamanism or other spiritual paths. The defined characteristics vary slightly between different lists, which is not surprising as each who seeks to understand the animals and what wisdom they bring us will see different aspects of them.
Getting past the obvious or superficial traits of animals is extremely important. Finding an animal guide should not be guesswork based on the fact that you like what they look like. To do this would be missing the point entirely, and most likely ignoring your real animal guides that could be right under your nose.
How do you go about finding your animal guide then?
There are different ways to go about this. The most obvious way is to pay attention to animals that appear repeatedly during dreams and meditations.
You can also ask them to come to you in your dreams, or create a ritual designed to ask your animal guides to make themselves known to you.
The most common approach is probably to have someone who sees such things check for you, or if you work with meditation or trance work, to check it for yourself. Just remember that it’s rarely the first animal you come across. If it’s your animal, it’ll show up repeatedly.
Sometimes the journey to find an animal can become a bit scary. It might fake an attack or even eat you. This is perfectly normal, and not something that should scare you off finding your animal. If it eats you in the other realm, it’s working on removing bits that need removing, making you whole.
If you found an animal earlier in your life, you might not have the same animal now. The animals change according to your needs. It’s pretty common for at least one to stick around permanently, or come back after periods of absence, when you needed other animals to help you.
Sometimes spirit workers may have to go find a specific animal to help their client with a specific problem. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s common enough to be mentioned in most books on shamanism.
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