By: John D. Moore
What is a spirit animal?
Have you ever wondered if you have a spirit animal? Have you heard others in your life talk about animal guides? Are you curious about how you might make contact with your spirit animal?
This article will explore the topic of spirit animals and help you to answer the question: What is my spirit animal guide?
Spirit animals defined
Spirit animals, also known as Life Animal Guides, are considered by many Native Indians to be a type of spiritual guide that remains with you throughout your lifespan. A spirit animal is a reflection of your inner-spiritual self. It is possible to have several spirit animals over the course of your life but once an animal becomes part of you, that animal remains with you and never leaves.
Spirit animal powers
The power of your animal spirit guide may be different than what you think. Animal spirit guides impart wisdom and knowledge that are related to the species through symbolism.
For example, if the turtle has chosen you to be your animal spirit guide, it will impart the wisdom of accepting the universe as it is and not as you wish it to be. Therefore, the concept of acceptance is shared with you from the turtle.
Turtles adapt to different environments with the ability to retreat into themselves should situations arise where they need to self-protect. Through the symbolism of the turtle, we can gain the insight of security and safety.
Turtles generally live long lives and are considered to be wise because of their experiences.
All of the collective wisdom of the turtle is therefore shared with you at different intervals of your life journey. Wisdom is therefore imparted to you from the turtle.
Animal Spirits are not chosen
It is important to know that you do not choose your animal spirit guide. Instead, the animal chooses us and decides if they will reveal themselves. Just because you have always liked dogs does not mean your animal spirit is some type of canine (wolf).
When we try to force an animal to be our spirit guide, we do a great disservice to our true life animal guide and to that species. Indians believe that only a narcissist believes they have the power to choose a spirit.
Part of the journey in getting your spirit animal to reveal itself to you requires the ability to put aside the self while being simultaneously open to messages that come from beyond our understanding of space and time.
Where do animal spirits come from?
According to Native Indian beliefs, customs and history, animal spirits come to us from a Higher Power, also known as a Creator. It is believed animals have been placed on earth to teach us (mankind) many important lessons.
A spirit guide is considered to be sacred, emanating from a divine force. Many Native Indians consider this force to be the Holy Spirit of God.
Some Indians also consider their spirit guide to be a kind spirit angel.
The existence of spirit animals can be at odds with many contemporary religious beliefs. For example, some Christian-type religions do not believe animals have spirits (aka a Soul).
Native Indians and other groups however believe the opposite. Those who have empathic abilities certainly believe animals have a spirit.
How do I contact my spirit animal?
Meeting your animal guide should be thought of as a journey and not a destination point. In other words, arriving at a place of being receptive to your animal spirit requires time and patience. One way to help yourself clear your mind and prepare for a potential encounter with your animal spirit guide is to practice mindfulness meditation or Zen meditation.
What follows is a step by step guide that is designed to help create an environment where your life animal guide will feel comfortable revealing itself to you.
1. Find a quiet place
Find a quiet place that is free of distractions and potential interruptions. Some people have found it helpful to head outdoors in order to be close to nature. Others have found their home to be a potential conduit for exploration.
Should you choose your home, make sure all electronic devices, like smart-phones, computers, radios, etc. are completely turned off.
If you have a pet, such as a dog or a cat, it is OK to have them present but make sure they are calm and not trying to get your attention. Your animal spirit will likely find it an honor that you have a creature of nature in their presence. They will not like it if your pet is an attention hog.
Warning: Some people have reported their pets become “activated” when their animal spirit presents itself. Should this happen with your pet, consider it a confirmation of contact with your spirit guide.
After a while, your pet will become calm. Remember, animals sense one another very easily and it is to be expected that your pet will have a reaction.
2. Draw a circle
According to custom, it is suggested you try to draw a circle around you with elements of the earth, such as sweet grass, sage, cedar and even tobacco. The idea is to use some type of medicine that is considered sacred. Bark from trees can also be used if you are in a pinch.
3. Meditate and Pray
Once you are in the middle of your circle, you will want to meditate deeply, emptying your mind of all thoughts. Envision yourself in a place that is peaceful to you and calm. A scenic area in nature, such as a wooded area, a mountain top or near water may be helpful.
As part of your mindful approach to meditation as a way of clearing a spiritual pathway for your animal guide, it may be helpful to say a prayer or to chant.
Here is an example:
Oh Sacred Animal Spirit. I am joining one with nature to call upon the power of ancient wisdom. Please reveal yourself through time and space and appear before me. I seek your knowledge and guidance.
You may need to remain in a state of meditation or prayer for an extended period of time. Repeat the prayer/chant until your animal appears.
At some point in time, you will sense an animal approaching you. Many people report hearing the animal in the distance; such as bending blades of grass or gravel being moved. Just be patient and let it happen.
4. Wait for spirit animal
At the time of your animal spirit’s choosing, it will reveal itself. Almost always, it will be the first animal that you see. Because your animal has taken corporeal form, it is OK to gently touch and pet. The idea is to welcome your spirit animal and nurture their presence. Talk to your animal as if you were talking to a friend. More important, be open to listening to your life spirit animal – for he has much wisdom to impart.
While you are here, you may notice other animals gathering around or in the background. This is perfectly OK. These animals are likely other spirit guides that have been part of your journey. Do not let them distract you however from spirit in front of you.
Once you have spent ample time with your spirit guide, thank them and all of the creatures present for their wisdom. Say goodbye and gently return to consciousness.
Post animal spirit encounter suggestions
- Have a pen and paper: What was the core message of your spirit animal?
- Consider buying a pendant or statue that represents your spirit animal.
- Consider donating money to your spirit animal’s welfare (i.e. a wildlife fund)
- Study the animal and learn more about their strengths and gifts.
- Remember that once an animal species is extinct, all of the wisdom of that species dies.
Some believe that sharing what your spirit animal is with others (i.e. dog) should be avoided. The thinking is that revealing this information to others may offend your spirit guide. Others think disclosing this information is perfectly fine. The choice however is yours but keep in mind that it is up to your animal to reveal themselves.
On a related note, some find that when their spirit animal appears to them during meditation, the animal is somehow familiar. This familiarity makes sense when we remember that our life animals choose us and are with us throughout our lifetime. Their essence can manifest in many forms in ways that are recognizable, such as having a unique awareness of the species when in its presence (i.e. rabbits).
Lastly, in some fields of psychology (Jungian) there is a belief that meditative imagery can be symbolic of the deep unconscious thoughts. I bring this up because the ability to interact with our spirit animal should not be thought of as “crazy” or “out there”. There is nothing new age about contacting our spirit animal.
At its core, we are stimulating parts of what Carl Jung called our active imagination. Rather you choose to believe your encounter to be spiritual in nature is not important. What is important are the lessons you receive from your spirit animal.