Friday, November 15, 2013

Animal Spirit Guides vs Spirit Animal Totems or Power Animals

Understanding Animal Spirit Guides:

In our society today, we have distanced ourselves from Nature and from all the things of the Natural World. As Pagans, we move back towards that state of being, we recapture that connection with Nature. And in doing so, we discover things that our culture has lost. One of those things that many of us discover is that the Divine has placed certain Guides or Helpers along our path in this life... They are there to Guide or Help us along this Journey we are making.
We may have never noticed them before, never even guessed that they are there, and yet they have been there all along. Attempting to aid and guide us, attempting to communicate with us, just trying to get our attention. And now that we are 'ready' to listen... we must let them know in some way that we are ready.
The first step is understanding who and what an Animal Spirit Guide actually is. And then we need to figure out Which Animal is my Guide? Which Animal is my Totem or Power Animal... And What is the Difference?

An Animal Spirit Guide is there to Guide you. It is not your Totem/Power animal, It is your Guide. These terms are often used interchangeably, even though they are two different things...

Totem/Power Animal:
A Totem/Power Animal is with you from the time you are born into this world, until the time that you leave it. This animal is chosen by your Spirit before you are born. In this animal you will find reflections of yourself. By studying you animal totem and understanding all the different aspects of it's character... you will come to understand yourself. Your Totem/Power Animal is with you always. It protects you throughout your lifetime. It is not a guide. It is here to teach you important lessons that you must learn in this lifetime in order for you soul to grow and advance. If you are open to your animal totem, it will assist you in overcoming the many & varied life experiences that you must face.
Your Totem/Power Animal often represents qualities and attributes that you may see in yourself. It is instructive to learn about the habits and characteristics of your power animal and see how they are reflected in your own personality and life. My Totem/Power Animal is the Wolf. I have always known this, somewhere in the back of my mind, since I was a small child. I have always had a strong connection with wolves. I was a loner as a child (still am I guess) and my mother used to say I was her 'Lone Wolf'... In the wolf I have found myself... In all the symbolic & realistic meanings of 'Wolf' I found things that 'connect' to myself, who I am, Why I am the way I am, etc. When you find your Totem/Power Animal, you will find that connection as well. By connecting to your Totem or Power Animal, you will enable the communication that will enable your Power Animal to successfully guide you through this lifetime.
Your Totem or Power Animal reflects your deeper, Spiritual Self and is always with you. Your Power Animal may, at times, call upon other Animal Spirits Guides to aid in your guardianship and this new Animal Spirit Guide may come to awaken you to the abilities the two of you share or it may come to teach the life skills you need to learn.

Animal Spirit Guide:
An Animal Spirit Guide, however, is just that, A Guide. It is there to Guide you through difficult situations. An Animal Spirit Guide is an animal spirit that comes forth to guide you through the trials of your life and to help you to understand the lessons that these experiences are there to teach you. The Spirit Animal is the one who comes to you in order to show you, through its own unique nature and skills, how to deal with the manifestations of your Spiritual Journey.

Every Spirit Animal has its own unique powers and skills to's own knowledge to share with you. Each Animal Spirit has it's own methods of overcoming life's challenges..

A certain Animal Spirit Guide may be with you your whole life, or it may be there just to help you through one special challenge. You may have many animal spirit guides or only one; this will depend on the lessons you need to learn and the trials you must face in this life.

There are Other types of Animal Spirit Guides, and they may come to you at different times during your life journey...

The Crossroads or Journey Animal Spirit comes to you as a guide when you are facing a major life decision, when you are at a 'crossroads' and your choices are likely to change the course of your path drastically. The Crossroads Guide shows up when you set forth on a  new life path.  It is there to help you find the best path for you to follow through this life-journey.  The Journey Animal will travel along with you until you have completed this present challenge and walk firmly upon this new life-path.

In Shamanism, particularly among Native Americans, There is another type of Animal Spirit that you can call upon...The Medicine Animal Spirit.
This animal spirit carries great medicine (healing energies) and comes to help heal and comfort you in times of serious illness and injury. These animal spirits only come when they are called, either by you or by a Healer or Shaman. A Medicine Spirit Animal will stay only until you are healed and are ready to let them go. Spirit Medicine Animals have great Wisdom and Healing abilities. If called upon they will guide you through the process of healing.

There is one other type of Animal Spirit, It is known as the Shadow Animal. The Spirit Shadow Animal comes to you because of lessons you have not learned. This Spirit Animal shows up in your life when you ignore life choices open to you, or refuse to change a behavior that precedes a life-lesson... causing that life-lesson to repeat over & over.  This Spirit Shadow Animal will come to you repeatedly until there is change.  It may come at the time of your greatest adversity and confusion. They call this Spirit Animal 'The Shadow' because it comes out of the Shadows, making itself known to you in ways that no other Spirit Animal does. When you are 'lost in the darkness' the Shadow Guide leads you back into the light... This Guide only shows up in your Darkest Hour. ,

I know there is allot of differing information out there about Spirit Animal Guides and Totems/Power Animals... This is my beliefs, what I have learnt or been taught about such things. I live on the Quechan Indian Reservation, and have for over 20 years. I have spoken with Native Americans about their beliefs, I have studied different Native Tribal beliefs & customs. I am not an expert by any means, I am just a student... I have been a practicing Shaman for a little over 3 years now, and there is still much for me to learn. One big obstacle that I had to overcome was 'Spirit Walking' or Lucid Dreaming... I had a great fear of leaving my body... Knowing whats out there can do that. Anyways, I still find it hard, although I have successfully accomplished it several times now... each time gets easier. Fear is a great anchor weighing me down, and I strive daily to release that fear...

Love & Light
Wicca Dreamers, Mary

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