Working with Power Animals
Our Personal Emissaries from the Spirit Worlds
Power animals are personal emissaries from the spirit worlds. They can come to us in a variety of ways. We are born with some, who–whether we are aware of it or not– watch over us and assist us in surviving and thriving on our earth walk. They are guardian angels from the spirit animal kingdom who bring power and wisdom into our life. Think back on your favorite stuffed animals, or animals you were particularly drawn to as a child—this may provide a clue as to what your birth power animal may be. Power animals may be with us for a particular time or task, and then may be replaced by another, or they may stay with us for our whole life.
One of the most dramatic shifts in my life occurred when I learned that I was not alone, and that I had power animals and other helping spirits assisting me in life. As an incredibly empowering belief to be walking in the world with, it changed every aspect of my life forever.
As a shamanic practitioner, and one who walks in two worlds at once, I have different power animals for different purposes. I have power animals that help me with my singing, my soul retrieval and extraction ceremonies, pouring lodge. I have a personal power animal (‘body protector’) that keeps me safe, and one (the ‘gatekeeper’) that manages the flow of the worlds’ and people’s energies in and out of my personal and professional space.
I wholeheartedly invite you to take this as an opportunity to engage power animals into your life.
How do we find out about our power animals? Several avenues bring us into contact with them. Most notably in my world is the power animal retrieval that I and most modern shamanic practitioners perform for people. We journey into the spirit realm…most frequently the Lower World of Nonordinary reality –the landscape of shamanism– with the intention that the most potent power animal for this time appear for the personal.
If you know how to journey, you can journey and ask for a power animal to appear. Or you may go into meditation and ask. Or take a walk in nature and ask. It is all about intention, and being open-hearted and clear-headed to receive. Michael Harner, a North American scholar and shaman (RIP), suggests that to be sure the animal is truly your power animal of your calling, we ask it to appear in the journey or meditation at least 3 different times or ways. I would say that you use your heart to discern whether the animal that appears when you call is truly the one you are asking for at this time for your specific purpose.
Once you have a power animal, what do you do with them? How do you work with them?
They are excited that you have (finally) recognized their presence and are eager to be engaged with you. Find pictures and/or figurines of your power animal and place them around your home, car, working environments to serve as a reminder that they are present in your life. Notice the upliftment you might feel as you see them.
We enter into partnership and friendship with our power animals, so giving them offerings, or eating certain foods for them, honors this new friendship. At first you can use your intuition to determine what offerings or foods to honor them with.
As your awareness of their presence and the sense of partnership grows, you can begin to connect with them on their spiritual plane through meditation, shamanic journeying, or psychic conversation during those half asleep/half awake states at night or in the morning while in bed. In these three states of consciousness, your openness and access to “non ordinary reality” wherein the power animals and other helping spirits operate is greatly enhanced. You can begin posing questions about your partnership and your life to them. In this altered state of consciousness, information passes back and forth between you telepathically. You may receive this information through any one of your senses–it may be that they are speaking to you and you hear them; you may have imagery come to you from them; you may feel body sensations (mine rub up against me). There also just may be a sense of knowing that comes to you through their communication with you.
In these states, you can ask them anything (best to avoid yes and no questions, though). Be open to their wisdom. They may do healings on you. Receive and say thank you. They will show you how.
Each unique power animal has a particular set of powers and skills and attributes that are perfect for what you need at this time. Ask them to show you how they will be helping you with the healing and integration process.
Reading about the biology or mythology of these animals, watching video footage of them, reading about mythes and medicine tales about these animals, will provide insight to their magic. The most important inquiry, however, is direct, by you. They have a unique meaning and power for you that may not be discussed when looking at traditional descriptions of the medicine of these animals (as in Animal Speak or Medicine Cards).
The key is to dialogue and engage their energies in your every day and spiritual activities. They are excited to be noticed. They will provide access to power and wisdom that when used with a loving compassionate heart, will raise your vibration, resulting in the most benevolent outcomes!