Spirit Guides make up that unseen team of help that we have while we are on our life journey. Most of us have at least one main guide and usually more than one. Sometimes, we have Spirit Guides that come for specific time periods or purposes. I’ve had the same main two Spirit Guides for as long as I can remember, and I recently was joined by another to help me with something I had requested.
Usually we think of Spirit Guides as being in human form, but can an animal also be a Spirit Guide? And what’s the difference between a totem animal and an animal that comes as a Spirit Guide? While your last pet may still come around you in spirit form, there are technically some distinctions between Fido on the Other Side and the dog totem animal.
Just like our family members who have crossed over, our pets can come to visit us once they have crossed as well. Sometimes they come to comfort us, to be around our energy, or to see what’s going on. They may have a particular message for your, but usually they function more as they did while they were alive – wandering around the house, coming up on your bed, seeing what’s going on.
A totem is an animal, plant, or natural item which some native or tribal people associate as their symbol for their family, or clan. The totem is sometimes spiritually revered in the sense of having founded something of significance or is seen as an ancestor or guardian of the people.
Native American and Celtic shamanistic mythology and beliefs are closely integrated with animals and their characteristics and wisdom. The animals are referred to as “totem animals” or “power animals” which some people use synonymously. It’s thought the difference is that a totem animal is more for the clan or family, while a power animal is more individual and functions as a protector and helps to empower us in our everyday lives. While the totem animal stays the same, we may have different power animals depending on what we need in our lives and they may change.
Some believe that everyone has a personal totem animal, or even up to nine (associated with elements or directions). Either way, here is how to recognize if you have a Spirit Guide Animal around you and how to start working with them.
- Notice what animals you are naturally drawn to. We are sometimes naturally drawn to our Spirit Guide Animals.
- You may see this animal many times at unexpected times either in spirit form, or alive in this world.
- Do your own guided meditation and ask for your Spirit Guide Animal to step forward so you can meet them. Take the first thing you get – even if you don’t think it’s majestic! Every life form has it’s own strength and wisdom.
- Start to learn about this animal – it’s habits and strengths. Can you see areas in your own life that you might need these strengths?
- Call in the particular Spirit Guide Animal you would like to learn from. It’s as easy as saying “Spirit Hawk (or Ant, or Tree, or Wolf, etc) help me with this situation. Help me to soar above this as you soar above the land”. Or anything that is authentic to you in terms of wording.
For those who wish an excellent resource, I suggest reading Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small (US link to Amazon.com) or Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small (Cdn link to Amazon.ca).