SPIRIT ANIMALS AND TOTEMS: 4 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN SPIRIT SPEAKS TO YOU THROUGH OTHER BEINGS

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We all have our favorite animals or even profound fear of specific creatures.  Sometimes they are pets or pests.  As we embark on our individual spiritual journeys there will be many signs that guide us. Sometimes it’s not so much a specific direction to move in but the way in which we move that spirit seeks to help us with. Animals are perfect messengers in that sense because like us, they are beings that have specific means of survival. The ways in which they are designed to exist tell us a lot about different aspects of ourselves and how we might adapt in order to connect with our highest purpose.

A conjurer and her companions
A conjurer and her companions

Animals play significant roles in many cultures where nature is seen as divine, powerful and worthy of reverence. From the witch’s familiar (which is often seen as something fictitious) to the totem of the indigenous Americans, the animal that makes itself known as a companion or even a foe, walks with us as fellow Earthlings and has a fate and purpose unto itself. We each are conduits of our own life force and endeavour to protect that spark within ourselves and our associations. We multiply and languish, engraving tales of our existence in the annals of time. As relational reflections, our fellow humans, friends, family, and enemies, are here to reflect parts of our beings that we can either choose to love or hate, develop further or quell altogether. Animals also come into our lives to illuminate details about our psyches, behaviors and abilities that can help us if we truly seek understanding and progress. Most everyone sees some sort of creature on a regular basis, and that creature undoubtedly speaks to you of your current existence, your inner creature and how you interact with the world that surrounds you.

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Here are four things to think about when any creature appears in your path and you take special notice.

1. NOT EVERYONE TAKES NOTICE. THIS MESSAGE IS FOR YOU.

Most people who work a full time job or is otherwise busy with life are way too preoccupied to care about things like antslizards or the living beings they simply think of as moving scenery. In the United States, the dominant religious culture does not lend itself to such ideas so not many people would make the connection between animals and consciousness. That being noted, while the rest of the world bustles around in a frenzy, the person that notices a butterfly quietly flitting past or watches a squirrel in the park is peeking into a realm of being that coexists with our own but is not often examined closely enough.

butterfly

2. IS THE ANIMAL SOMEHOW CONNECTING WITH YOU?

There are many times that I have observed animals who are very apparently observing me as well.  On several occasions I have come across deer who wait for me to approach and leave just as I get within three feet of them.  I admit, I am probably not quite ready to walk straight up to a huge deer just yet but I can tell that some day soon I will since I can feel a greater sense of ease each time.  There is still some uncertainty between us but it is less and less every time. I have walked closely by a skunk on one occasion and was endeared by how respectful the encounter had been.  Big, fluffy and busy munching on grass, the skunk turned around and gave me a momentary glance and returned to what it was doing.  I kept my eye on it, never really seeing one up close and free (I recall seeing them behind glass at the zoo as a child).  I made sure to research skunk medicine as soon as I could and found that I favored the medicinal uses of Garlic and Onions as well as other scents that tend to overwhelm others such as Patchouli.  To be honest, I never really found the smell of a skunk to be very offensive…just strong. ????? I also have a way of taking special notice of the local hawks around our home.  Since it is the winter and I rarely go out much these days, I don’t get to see many animals and I actually doubt the hawks are around as much either. On one particular occasion when I was thinking about my life and hoping to see improvements in the near future, I lied down on the floor under a window to play with my two small sons.  At that moment, a hawk swooped down past the window just in time to startle me because of it’s size and the shadow it cast as it flew upwards.  The initial jolt was immediately replaced by a sense of awe, a deep knowing and a special gratitude.  I was already familiar with the hawk’s lesson and took comfort in knowing that a part of me flew high above my circumstances and is able to see the pleasant unfolding of my future.

jwn-redtailed-hawk

3. HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE EYES OF THE CREATURE?

Sometimes we all have our favorite animals and our least favorite our entire lives.  We may not really know why we love this animal so much, or why this insect makes our skin crawl, but we have a very natural reaction that happens every time we see or are in the presence of particular creatures.   The spirit science of creatures is a key to life.  I felt the need to really explain, for myself, within myself, the reasons for having visceral reactions to anything, or anyone and the science of symbols showed me a great deal. I have always loved horses.  Some might say that it could be because they correspond to the sun being in Sagittarius when I was born.  I just know that their grace, muscle tone and even the sound of their movements just please me.  I could watch them for hours and although I still have never ridden one, I hope to someday have at least one as my close companion.  There was one occasion when I was teaching at a private school in the Caribbean and a young man rode his horse up to me as I stood outside with my students having lunch.  He let me name his new horse (Judah) and I felt like I went into a meditative zone as I pet the smooth nose until another teacher came out and chased my totem away.  Pictured here below, about a year after that,  is me talking to a police horse in Manhattan one night.  Again, I was in a zone and hadn’t realized that people were stopping on the crowded city street to watch me and this lovely graceful spirit. Perhaps the horse was there to remind me to move with ease and agility after having quite a few shots of Patron.  Or perhaps he served as a peaceful liaison between the officer and I who didn’t seem to mind letting us have our moment.

mehorse

My least favorite creature is the cockroach.  I want to attribute my familiarity with them from being born and raised in the city but I have shared spaces with them in the south, on an island, You name it.  While the breed and variety of roach that I have seen have changed and they have always completely sickened me.  Most times I could blame my neighbors, like that Italian restaurant in Center City Philadelphia.  Eventually I had to really connect with what I disliked about them. These were among some of the only creatures I kill (I am somewhat ashamed to say).  Even without researching the symbolism of the cockroach I have come to understand that I don’t like skittish creatures or people.  I don’t like any being that leeches and steals only to scatter and run with fast frantic movements.  They are the antithesis of grace in every way.  They speak to me about respecting the life force energy of all beings, whether I want them near me or not.  Distance is the best way to handle such beings but peace comes first.

4. NOW WHAT? HOW HAS THE MOMENT WITH YOUR GUIDE CHANGED YOU?

Many people find that they see the same animals over and over again so there can’t be any special message coming from a chipmunk or a pigeon.  These creatures share very intricate vibrations with us because they live in the same places, breathing the same air and often eating the same foods we eat.  They  represent what we must do to get the most out of our earthly environment and even how we might be able to transcend our basic understanding of what life is and where we are.  Animals will help us with our vantage point and also reflect how other may see us and our overall impact on the stage that is life. God, the gods, spirit, our souls, our higher beings, nature, everything is giving us lessons.  Some are startlingly clear while others are subtle and seemingly minute.  Life is so much richer, so much more intricately detailed when we look closer at what;s being presented.  The more we seek, the more we will see and the beasts of this planet will inevitably illuminate the beautiful beasts we hold within.


So grateful am I to the various sites that give insights into these spirit beings.  Here are a few for quick reference:

~* Lin’s Domain Animal Totems*~

~* Morningstar Totem Animal Medicines *~

~* Spirit Animal Totems *~

~* Shamanic Journey Power Animals, Totems and Spirit Guides *~

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