“Animals are not only beholders of great beauty, but they are also beholders of ancient wisdom.”
An animal totem is a spirit being. Some Native American tribe’s tradition provides that each person is connected with nine different animals that will accompany him or her through life, acting as guides. Different animal guides, also called spirit guides and/or power animals, come in and out of our lives depending on the direction that we are headed and the areas that need to be fulfilled along our journey. Its also a wide held belief within many Tribes that a totem animal is the one that is with you for life, both in the physical and spiritual world. Though people may identify with different animal guides throughout their lifetimes, it is this one totem animal that acts as the main guardian spirit to us.
With this one animal, a connection is shared, either through interest in the animal, characteristics, dreams, or other interaction. This Animal Guide offers power and divine wisdom to any individual when they “communicate” with it, so long as we are conveying our respect and trust. This does not necessarily mean that he or she has actually touched or spent time with this animal, its that they are open to learning its lessons. For some, knowing what is their totem animal is almost an innate process. It’s as if they’ve always known, inexplicably drawn to the animal or having a special feeling for the animal’s energy. For others, they wonder how to tell what their animal totem is.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering what your animal totem:
Have you ever felt drawn to one animal or another without being able to explain why? This could be any type of living creature, including birds and insects.
Does a certain kind of animal consistently appear in your life? This doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical appearance, it could be represented in other ways, such as receiving card and letters with the same animal pictured over and over, unexplainable dreams of a particular animal, watching television and seeing the same animal featured time and time again, or, actually having the animal show up.
Is there a particular animal that you see frequently when you’re out in nature?
Have you ever had a recurring dream about a certain animal, or a dream from childhood that you have never been able to forget?
If you still need more help ask the Universe for a dream or a vision to see if anything comes up. Also ask the animal to show itself to you and pay attention to what you begin to see from all sources — television, books, Facebook — it doesn’t have to be the actual animal. Does one animal begin to appear frequently? One thing to remember is that you cannot choose your totem spirit, only it can choose you. The Spirit chooses you and they decide to whom they will reveal themselves. Much of the process of identifying your spirit animal is paying attention to both your past and your present. It is a process of developing your inner knowledge and spiritual understanding.
Meditation: Introduction to Your Animal Totem
When: Practice this meditation when you are open to having a spirit guide or totem.
Preparation: Think about what animals have presented themselves to you lately. Pay attention to your dreams for a week and see if a particular animal appears.
1. Sit on a cushion or chair or lie flat on your back in your meditation space. Be mindful to position yourself with a straight spine. Take a few moments to focus on the natural breathe. Close your eyes.
2. After your body has eased into itself, imagine yourself in a beautiful Field. There are flowers growing in abundance. The grass feels cool and dewy against your bare feet. The butterflies float in the air and birds sing joyfully in the trees. You walk for a few minutes and discover that in the distance lay beautiful mountains. You begin to walk to these mountains. As you arrive you come across an opening to a Majestical looking cave. By the entrance to this cave is a lamp. You pick it up and enter the cave. Your lamp illuminates a warm and dry interior. You can sense an inviting presence which beckons you forward.
3. You hold up your lamp and gaze into the eyes of a being who now stands before you. You see this being as your animal totem. It may not be the animal you thought would appear but this animal holds medicine for you. Speak to this animal and let it speak with you in return. Ask your spirit animal what it needs to teach you and how you can incorporate this into your daily life. If you choose, you can ask your guide about a specific problem that is concerning you.
4. Bow to your new spirit guide. Ask it its name. Ask he or she to be there for you whenever you need guidance. Bow again before you leave. Return the lamp you borrowed at the mouth of this cave. Turn and look back as you leave, memorise the east location of this mystical cave so that you may return whenever you desire.
It can be helpful to have a pen and paper nearby to write down any information that was conveyed to you through this meditation. This can include thoughts, feelings, words, visions, so on and so forth. Look for the synchronicities and how they are signalling areas of your life that need change. Your guides are ready to step in and help you – and you hold the key to enjoying their special brand of wisdom and protection. All you have to do is trust.
And so it is.