I have heard it said that Creator made the animals before us, and in such a wide variety, because that is how many teachers we need! I tend to agree. They remind us that we are also animals and we need to remember to stay connected to our instinctual voice and nature for survival.
Animals also teach us about the interconnection of all beings on this beautiful planet, and how like a mobile, once something is changed or missing - the other pieces are impacted.
For many of us the connection and love of animals starts as children. I watch my own child and her curiosity, respect, and tolerance for the differences animals have from us. She is also open to their wisdom and how their differences are indeed teachings. It doesn’t seem to be until later in life that we separate ourselves away from them. We get busy, busy, busy!! We build relationships, love lives, educations, homes, careers, and families. And somehow through that process, we cut ourselves off from the teaching nature of animals and in turn, from our own instinctual natures. For many of us, we end up looking at 30 and asking, “Who am I and what am I doing with my life?” We begin to experience a longing and a call back to our own authentic expression of spirit - even as we are doing downward dog, butterfly, and pigeon pose at the yoga studio.
dolphin_Aug_2011The return to our authentic instinctual nature and voice can begin by returning to our connection with animals. We can do this through shamanism in our work with Power Animals. Many people erroneously think that a Power Animal is the spirit of an animal who has volunteered to come and help with their personal power. In truth however, your Power Animal is not one animal spirit – it is the spirit and the medicine of the whole species! This means that our insecure little egos, who continually compare and despair, can be set at ease. It doesn’t matter what animal you have, big or small, pretty or weird, for its unique teaching is important and specific to you. For example, if Ladybug has come to help you, just imagine all the ladybugs existing in this world, and who have ever existed, and now imagine them all together in one area… you get my jist!!
The reason why each species brings unique teachings and medicine to us is for us to learn and develop a specific quality or trait that will increase or heal our personal power. Aug_2011_bluebirdI believe this is because they can detect our imbalances, the areas which leave us weak and vulnerable. For example, you might move through life like a bull in a china shop and have Deer come to help you develop sensitivity. Or, you may move through life like a doormat experiencing challenges with boundaries, and have Lion come to help you with assertiveness and self-respect. One note on this however, I know that there are many, many, wonderful resources by way of books and cards out there providing answers to what each species brings, and I love and use these resources myself. At the same time however, I am a true believer in going straight to the source through journeying and dreaming. This way we get to learn and experience the Power Animal’s message that is specific to us. The reason why Bear comes to one person, may be a very different reason from why Bear goes to another person.
If you are experiencing divine discontent, and are yearning to get back to your instinctual voice, you can start by taking a walk in nature today, and tomorrow, and the day after. Begin to notice the animals who cross your path. Stop and silently ask for a message. Remember to say thank you. Then when you go to sleep at night, ask the animal to visit you in your dreaming.
If you are curious about connecting with your Power Animals through shamanism, I am teaching an Introductory Workshop on Fri, September 2nd and would love to see you there. Alternatively, you can email me to book in a session.
Wishing you animal wisdom,