In every tradition and society, there are teachings about animal spirit guides – the sacred and mystical wisdom and ‘medicine’ of animals. Animal allies, totems, familiars, Spirit Animals, and Power Animals are just a few of the names ascribed to this part of Nature’s ‘language’.
Here at WhatIsMySpiritAnimal.com, I define a Power Animal as the animal energy one invokes and unleashes from their soul, higher-self, or spirit – from your ‘self’.
Wait. What? Invoking and unleashing a Power Animal from ‘me’? What does that even mean?
We live in an energetically entangled world. We are all connected. Visit learning-mind.com for a terrific article on a bit of the science behind ‘we are all connected”.
Additionally, National Geographic has a fantastic article on how we are all connected biologically.
Another report comes from the European Space Agency, “Science is now confident that most of the atoms in our bodies and, indeed, in everything around us, were once in the heart of stars.”
“We are all connected; to each other, biologically; to the earth, chemically; to the rest of the universe, atomically. I know that the molecules in my body are traceable to phenomena in the cosmos. That makes me want to grab people in the street and say, ‘Have you heard this?’ ” ~ Hayden Planetarium Director – Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Guess what? That makes all living things – family! LOL Horrifying isn’t it?! And, yet. It’s true. 😉
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So, even though (usually) it’s spiritually driven, when a guru or master teacher urges their student to ‘be the tiger, tree, or whatever’ it’s actually quite literal and can result in the mind, body, and spiritual unleashing of that ‘animal inside’.
Put another way, that teacher/guru is asking you to connect with this natural being/animal which makes up ‘you’ – even if you don’t yet know it. This ‘act’ is also referred to as shapeshifting (aka transmutation or transfiguration).
Really? You Believe in Literal Shapeshifting?
In fact I do.
Have you ever witnessed a manic person become enraged? It will scare the beejeebers out of you because they look eerily similar to many Werewolf and Nosferatu depictions.
Rather, perhaps Werewolves and Vampires look eerily similar to humans who are in a blind fury or those who are ‘blood suckers’ (people who consistently usurp time, money, energy, material things, etc. with no thought of repayment or gratitude).
On the flip side, have you ever watched a hard-hearted or mean-spirited person transform after being handed a baby kitten or puppy? Their facial features soften, a light returns to their eyes, and you can feel pure love radiating from their heart chakra. Right. That’s shapeshifting.
Taking shapeshifting a few steps further, I believe we absolutely create our own reality. I’ve seen it work countless times in my own life as well as others’. The loner who become popular (not that being popular is something to aspire to but it’s a solid analogy of ‘shapeshifting’).
In meditations or dreams we easily become ‘one’ with Whales, Horses, Eagles, etc. You wake up ‘knowing’ what it feels like to ‘be’ an animal – to fly over snow capped mountains or leap from the water and dive deep down into it.
In indigenous cultures folks go on a Vision Quest and return only after they have met their animal ally, become one with it, and journeyed the universe with or as the animal spirit guide that presented itself.
I truly believe that someday we will, in our waking life, be able to shapeshift at will because we have command over the material universe. Yes. Really.
If you want to take a moment and think about or meditate on shapeshifter teachings, Raven magic is a powerful way to begin.
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Why Would I Need or Want to Unleash My Power Animal
Well, before I answer that, let’s talk about what ‘power’ is to you.
Want a raise or promotion but are afraid to request it? Know that you need to relax and have more fun but can’t seem to slow down? Wish you could heal your fear of anger but still shake every time you’re around a combustible personality? Longing for a committed, lifetime love but can’t figure out why you spend day after day lonely and alone?
Need to remove judgement or jealousy from your heart because it’s costing you friendships? Have a drug, alcohol, or other type of addiction but can’t find the strength to beat it?
Is it tough for you to feel compassion or be patient with those who don’t meet your ‘standards’?
Overcoming and facing all the fears, personality traits, ways of thinking, being and doing that are listed above can be considered ‘powers’. All these and more are exactly the reasons why you might want to invoke and unleash your Power Animal.
Why You Must Be Careful When Unleashing Your Power Animal
For an authentic teaching on Power Animals ‘being careful’ is absolutely something which needs to be addressed. Why? Because a vast many of humans are moderately to completely disconnected from their natural self – their basic animal nature.
At our core, all animals have a survival instinct – a fight or flight response. And, all living things want to be wild and free. Even these guys…
Let’s take for example a young adult who does not wish to major in a certain career track in college but whose parents are putting tremendous pressure on h/she to do so. Let’s also say this young adult is, by nature, a people-pleaser whose Throat Chakra is blocked because h/she not confident enough to speak their truth or sing their own soul song.
It could be argued that this young person acutely feels their own power slipping or being taken away. If they are hardwired to go into flight mode then they might have to unleash their Power Animal to survive – to stand up to their parents and ‘fight’. I use the word “fight” in a metaphorical sense and am not suggesting a family war take place.
In this young person vs parents scenario, certainly, Big Cat energy (Lions, Tigers, et al) could be a great ally. Big Cat medicine can bring courage and the agility to stealthily walk through tough terrain – even if that terrain is emotional. Big Cats also instinctively know the right time to roar.
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If the young person chooses to unleash the Big Cat living within – to invoke Big Cat energy as his/her Power Animal – the raw, primordial power may save their day. By having finding the courage of a Lion inside themselves, they very well may have saved their own ‘life’. Who among us wants to live a life that was forced upon us?
This scenario is just an example. However, the bottom line is that when unleashing your Power Animal’s energy, be sure you don’t do so blindly. Work up to it. Don’t just snap and allow ‘you’ to be replaced by an animal energy you are not accustomed to, have no control over, and might end up being scared by.
Next word of caution is this – and it is VERY, VERY real. When one opens up to connecting with and unleashing their Power Animal it can easily shift into a spiritual awakening. The scared person finds courage. The angry person becomes a ray of sunshine and joy in this world. The selfish person begins to give.
That all sounds terrific, right?
And it is. As long as you understand that often times those who experience a spiritual awakening – especially via Power Animal work – also experience a big shift in their personal lives. Relationships and situations which no serve the ‘new and improved’ ‘you’ begin to crumble and fall away.
The person who beats addiction finds they no longer resonate with others who still party like it’s 1999. Angry people find they don’t want to be around situations and persons who cause conflict. However, and maybe more importantly, they no longer need to be around those who need to be around persons with rage issues – co-dependents.
Humans are creatures of habit and these types of scenarios can be disorienting and frightening. For many, a spiritual awakening can upend their lives in ways they could never have predicted. But I have yet to meet anyone who, after they got through to the other side, DIDN’T say, “I would do it all again.”
Always remember, how your Power Animal path goes is always up to you. YOU are in control. In fact, you are really your OWN Power Animal.
Exercises To Help You Unleash Your Power Animal
1. Stop Playing The Victim
This is the MOST important exercise in unleashing your Power Animal!
Shaman cite a loss of personal power as one of the four main causes of illness in the mind, body, and spirit. Those who identify with victimization feel powerless to do anything about the situations or relationships that are victimizing them.
Yes. A Lion can likely take down a Gazelle. But not always and let’s put things in perspective here. You’re getting made fun of at work or school. You always seem to find yourself in relationships where you get taken advantage of. Stop it! Stop it right now! No more!
Look, Rabbits, Rats, and Mice know what it’s like to be victims. These animals make up more than half the food source for other animals. So, over the centuries they got smart. Their bodies evolved to produce huge litters so their species didn’t die out. They learned to create tunnels everywhere so they can never be trapped in their nest or clutch. In this, Rabbits, Rats, and Mice may not be able (individually) to take down a Cougar or even a domestic Cat – but they sure can outsmart them.
THAT is POWER!
But what if an encounter with a human Shark left you with scars? You’re still standing, right? Besides, scars are sexy! They tell a story. They are the sacred etchings that tell the world you are a survivor! You beat the odds or the ‘Shark’ who tried to drag you down. POWER!
2. Understand You Are An Apex Predator
A large number of people get really uncomfortable when I teach them how to step into their power – their apex predator power. After all, nobody wants to be associated with being a predator – even if they are at the top of the food chain.
Again, this is about perspective.
Do you need a job or to pass a test? Hunt them both as if they were the last meal left on earth and a pack of hungry Hyenas were trying to beat you to it!
Is grandma in hospice care and you are freaked out to go see her because it’s too painful for you? As an apex predator you hold the power. With great power comes great responsibility. Call on Monkey, Great Ape, or Elephant energy. These are fierce warriors who never abandon loved ones in their hour of need.
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3. Stop Justifying Your Actions
Humans are the only animals who feel the need to seek approval and explain themselves and their choices. You owe nobody an explanation.
If you’re constantly compelled to explain why you are dating someone, why you don’t want to go to a particular event, or why you got your hair cut a certain way – stop. Invoke your Power Animal.
When was the last time you saw a wild Mustang standing around explaining why h/she jumped over a creek? Have you ever seen your pet Dog try to rationalize, well, anything? No. Because, though a Dog loves you (hopefully) and wants your approval it will absolutely not have its day completely ruined if you disapprove of how fast it eats or how long it sleeps.
Horse as a Power Animal works particularly well to help get rid of the need to explain yourself and seek validation from others.
4. Ask The Spirit Animal World For Guidance
Often times, the rest of the world knows what we need before we do. Read How To Find Your Spirit Animal. Ask the animal allies and spirit world to show you what animal energy and medicine you need at this time and why you need it. Ask for the animals to make it clear what Power Animal you should be working on unleashing.
Be patient. You might have to go through the Spirit Animal meditation more than once, twice or even three times! You might be unclear about what you got. Just keep trying.
Trust the process and TRUST the animal spirit guides. They love you because they love themselves and we are one.
Here’s the thing, I’m not ignorant to how harsh the animal kingdom can be. It’s all about survival and survival of the fittest at that. But that doesn’t have to be your take away. That doesn’t have to be the animal energies you align with.
Sometimes we need to be fierce – a mother protecting her child. Sometimes we need to be vulnerable – any baby animal. Sometimes we need to see the big picture – Giraffes. Sometimes we need to dive deep into the shadows – Whales and Owls.
See where all this leading? Right back to YOU and YOUR PERSONAL POWER!
You got this! I trust in you and nature does, too! So, go be fierce! Go be compassionate! Go BE!
But, above all – stay wild and free!