In our energy work with Reiki and Shamanism, or what ever form of energetic discipline that call you, we often move into a space where we are able to discern the healing and communicative messages of animals. Understanding animal totem, or the qualities of an animal that guides, teaches, shows, reflects parts in ourselves that need healed, strengthened, released or understood, are, well natural.
In our ever day world of living in third density, and of the cultural conditioned left brain thinking, fueling the linear and logical centers of the brain, we have cut-off from our natural world. In our natural world, we hear the water’s song, we sense the infinite wisdom of rocks, and honor the medicine of trees. We also in our natural world understand the fluttering short-brisk flight of a Kingfisher, we marvel at the Beaver’s slapping tail on an Autumn eve, we ooze over Fawns in a meadow, but we get it. We get that it’s the voices of nature that are living their collective lives in unison with ours, in spite of our unaware ways to deplete, destroy, save or place animals, as if they are “over there” and we are “over here.”
There is no here or there, so animals will come to us in non-ordinary reality like a dream, and sometimes in between reality. They may show up at your doorstep, follow you in the woods, or fly past you so closely, you are not sure what you saw. These are all totems. In the practice of shamanism we may journey to uncover our key animal totem, or power animal, the one, two or three that sign on to protect you, guide you and help you by sharing their strengths for you to carry across the earth. Other animal messengers show up to get our attention, to veer us from making a wrong turn, to help us in some aspect of our lives.
Once we recognize that animals are visiting through dreams, meditations, or simply by taking a walk in the woods, how do you discern the meaning of their visit? Well, first off there are many wonderful books that can help you explore meanings, some of these meanings have been provided by through guided meditation, by studying indigenous cultures relationships with animals, or by a person’s own personal experiences. Another way, is for you to spend time tuning in to any animal that shows up in your life in a way that would be out of the ordinary for you. For instance, if you are visiting a zoo, we most likely wouldn’t say that a monkey showed up today. We could say, 3 days before your zoo visit that you saw monkey commercials, got a monkey photo from World Wildlife, a friend mentions “monkeying around,” your heard a song recorded by the “Monkeys.” This is really how it works.
So, in the case of a zoo visit, let’s say you pass a monkey visit area, and suddenly a sleeping monkey awakens and locks her eyes with yours. Now, this is when is adds up and you begin to pay attention. When we are determining meaning, start by just feeling the animal as if you and the animal are of the same skin. Imagine that you and this animal are together where the animal lives so that you get a sense of it’s habitat. Now, begin to look at the qualities of this animal and connect with what resonates in you.
For instance, I often have many animal dreams where I am met by Bears, Bulls, large Spiders, Snakes, Dogs, and just last week, a Manatee. In the case of the Manatee, who are symbolically known for “water birthing,” came a message from my daughter who is pregnant with her first child, that she had been exploring water births. This came the night after the Manatee dream. We shared a good laugh, but this is how animal messages work.
The task is to expand your awareness everyday of what is around you, before you, above and below you. Try to drive with no sound in the car and pay attention to the skies, the roads, the meadows and waterways, take in all that you can. When in nature, gravitate to where you feel most drawn at least one day a week. Just sit, stand, kneel and ask to receive a message that day so that you can expand to the ALL that is.
You will be surprised at who visits and what you will learn about a situation or a decision in your life. As always keep a journal and be open to the physical properties of an animal, if they fly, walk or crawl, whether they live alone or together, the strength of their body, the speed in which they move, whether they hop, glide or take flight. All of these tell you a story. Search also for the symbolic meaning that you give to animal, such as horses mean freedom, a beaver means adaptation, whatever it means to you is the most important.
Always give thanks when an animal message shows up in your life and honor this animal in some way that day.