What is a power animal?
A power animal is an animal spirit guide. We are born with at least one or two power animals which usually serve as our “permanent” guides. These animals will assist the individual with his or her life path, major life lessons, life purpose, etc. Power animals can also come to us at certain points in our lives in order to assist with specific issues, and can leave if no longer required. So for example, if one is trying to learn how to see reality from a higher soul-level perspective rather than analysing all the little things, an animal guide like Eagle, who can soar high and see the bigger picture, may want to come and help.
Each power animal has unique characteristics, and assists with different issues. These usually correspond to the nature, way of life, and strengths of the particular animal as we see in our physical reality. Lion can assist with courageousness and personal power, Dog can teach loyalty and unconditional love, Butterfly helps with personal transformation or metamorphosis.
How do I know which power animals I have?
There are several ways you can figure out which power animals are with you. With respect to the power animals you were born with, you can begin identifying these animals by thinking about the animals you were particularly drawn towards as a child. What animal or animals would you pretend to be when playing? Would you crawl around on all fours and roar like a tiger, or prance around like a deer with little paper antlers? What animal would you love seeing the most in the wild, on the tv, at a refuge or at a zoo? What animal(s) do you feel a particular connection to? And logically – what are your favourite animals? It seems too simple and straightforward, but our birth power animals are usually those animals we have always felt a connection to and love for.
You can also try meditations to discover and interact with your power animals if you are able to. There are plenty of guided power animal meditations available free on YouTube. Keep in mind that power animals can communicate in a number of ways, and you will be receptive to different clair-communications. You may see your animal while you meditate, you may hear an animal, feel an animal, or even smell an animal!
Another interesting exercise, and one that will assist you in developing your ability to read signs in your physical environment from the spirit world, is to ask for the animal to present itself to you. Begin by setting the intention to ask a power animal that you are not acquainted with to show itself to you in physical reality. Ask for signs of the animal through images, sounds, or other clues. After you have sent this request, pay attention to the animals you see in your environment, whether that be in person, on the tv, on social media, in images, or anywhere else. If you continuously see evidence of the same animal, this is a clear sign.
You could also ask an animal oracle deck to present your power animal(s) to you in an easy reading. We recommend the following decks:
Medicine Cards – Jamie Sams
Power Animal Oracle Cards – Steven Farmer
White Eagle Medicine Wheel Deck – Wa-Na-Nee-Che
If you are having trouble identifying your power animals and want assistance, feel free to email us. We can perform a short distance shamanic journey to discover your power animals and their purpose in your life.
How can I interact with my power animals?
For the most part, it is not particularly necessary that you try to communicate with your power animals, as they will have ways of getting information and assistance to you without much conscious effort on your part. However, there are things you can do to honour your animal guides and form better relationships with them.
Just by having the spirit guides with you, their powers, strengths and benefits will be imparted on you most of the time. However, it is very possible to offend or send away a power animal, not necessarily by conscious choice. A power animal can leave if the guide feels you are acting in dishonourable ways, if you are acting disrespectfully towards these guides, or if the guide would like to get your attention. If a power animal instructs you to follow particular guidance or instructions which you neglect, the animal guide may also leave.
It is important that you honour the presence of your power animals in your life in order to have the best possible relationship with these guides and derive the most mutual benefit. Power animals enjoy the following interactions:
- honouring power animals with physical tokens e.g. a small model of the animal, stone or wood carved models, paintings, drawings, sketches or other art pieces of the animal, etc.
- performing a power animal dance (this may be too adventurous for some, but power animals love to be given life through ecstatic dance)
- acting like your power animal (at least at home by yourself – would it kill you to pounce onto your bed like a jaguar?)
- making offerings to your animal (such as burning/offering tobacco or other herbs)
- sending out greetings/thoughts to your animals and thanking them for their presence in your life (you can do this mentally or by writing out notes)
Where can I find information on my power animals?
Power animals can enter your life to assist with specific issues, and can thus have purposes in one’s life unique to that particular individual. Most of the time though, you can identify a power animal’s purpose in your life by reading about the totem in books or internet sites. This will at least give you a good idea of why the animal guide has come to you.
Here are some great resources:
Book: Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
Deck: Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams
Website: “Shamanic Journey” – search your particular animal
*Beautiful Artwork by Susan Seddon Boulet*