Our Animal Spirit Guides
Why a Butterfly? Why not a parrot, a wolf or a frog? It is because the beautiful Butterfly is my totem animal.
The butterfly reminds me to stop taking things so seriously, which I have a horrible habit of doing. I normally only tend to wear black, and the butterfly reminds me to wear more colorful clothing. When my life gets troubled, the butterfly's message is that "this too shall pass". One of the many places that I feel most at peace is inside butterfly exhibits, which I try to visit often. Seeing butterfly's in my garden always bring a smile to my face. One of the many things on my bucket list is to visit the city of Pacific Grove. The Monarch Sanctuary in this California town welcomes over 25,000 Monarchs every year, arriving in October.
I have always loved and admired Butterfly's, but not until I lived in the mountains of Arizona where I was surrounded by Indian reservations did I truly find out why. From attending ceremonies and through meeting Shamans I came to learn about Animal spirit Guides and Totem animals. One of the first things I learned was that, one does choose a Totem animal or Spirit guide, they will choose you. Long before I had ever chosen the butterfly, it had already chosen me. Other animals which I seem to attract are Parrots, owls, doves, and hawks. Actually, If it has wings I tend to bond to it instantly.
Normally each person has about nine animal essences or totem. These will unusually remain the same throughout an individual’s lifetime. They will walk through life with you, teaching and guiding you and in some cases, protecting you. A great example of this was shown in the 2003 Walt Disney film Brother Bear.
So how does one go about finding out what there totem animal is? One of the biggest clues will be an animal which you are continuously attracted, or drawn to. What animals are you currently interested in learning about? Ask yourself what animal has played a meaningful part in your life? Do you have a tattoo of an animal which you felt inspired to get? When you look around your home is there a certain animal that keeps recurring in your decorating? Which animal do you find most frightening or intriguing? Chances are that it won't take you long to figure out that there have been certain animals which have followed you most of your life.
Animal messengers or Animal spirit guides have grown to be my favorites .Mainly seen in dreams; these messengers come out of the spirit realm and into your dreams to deliver messages. A Spirit guide or power animal is an energy which appears to you in the form of an animal. All of us have power animals. They are with us to protect, and to warn us. These animals speak to you, as well as your soul, where your greater knowledge is held, and tends to stay hidden. As a matter of fact it was an animal spirit guide which started me back on my road to writing. I kept having recurring dreams of spiders. One of the messages that a spider brings is to write creatively without limits of tradition or habit. It was shortly after those dreams when I began writing again.
There are many animal spirit directories on-line and many books on the subject. I currently keep an animal guide directory on my nightstand in order to be able to look up their meaning as soon as I wake, and before I forget. I always listen to the messages which my animal spirit guides bring. They have never been wrong with one single message.
Most Native American tribes believe that our ancestors watch over us and help guide us. American Indians view all things in creation as having spiritual energy, and why shouldn't they, when you take into consideration that the Spirit of the Creator is in all things. This is no different than the new spiritual awareness movement which believes in the higher self, arch angels and spirit guides who have crossed-over. The modern spiritual community seems to have started embracing what American Indians have been teaching us all along. Recently individuals normally not involved with the practice of tribal religion have chosen to adopt a personal spirit animal helper, which has special meaning to them. Dolphins are a wonderful example of this. This non-traditional usage seems to be prevalent in the New Age movement and the mythopoeic men's movement as well.
Medicine animals are next on my list of favorites! These are spirit animals which can be called upon for help. Last year while I was hospitalized, I called on one of these animals. During my stay in intensive care my constant companion was a small carving of a bear. Bears are called upon when there is a need for physical and emotional healing, and when power is needed to face adversity. Might this be the reason we give children, and friends in the hospital teddy bears?
Once you start looking for them you will notice that animals are some of the most commonly occurring in dreams and nightmares. Dreams can be very symbolic; recognizing what the message is that these animals are trying to convey to you, not only help you interpret your dreams but also help you in your daily waking life. I tend to notice that my animal spirit guides sometimes have reoccurring messages. Keeping a Journal or dream log is always an excellent idea and one which I highly recommend, just for that reason. I believe that the gift of help is always available to us. The only thing it requires is an open mind, and the deep inner work that extends our boundaries to include all species.