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What Is Your Spirit Animal?

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What Is Your Spirit Animal?

Discover And Connect With Your Power Animal
Dr. Steven D. Farmer
Dr. Steven D. Farmer More by this author
Jan 16, 2017 at 01:00 PM

What are Spirit Guides? This term describes any spiritual beings that help us in a positive way. They protect us, guide us, and provide us with encouragement and inspiration.

Animal spirit guides, familiar to indigenous and shamanic cultures, are called either power animals or totem animals. Typically these terms are used interchangeably, although there are some subtle differences in the meaning. Totem animal is the more widely used term, and this concept is universal to virtually all cultures.

Indigenous cultures typically have a tribal totem, another one for the "clan," and another for the family one is born into.

Contemporary cultures also have totem animals, such as those for clubs or societies like the Lions Club or the Loyal Order of Moose, or for sports teams such as the Chicago Bears or the Philidelphia Eagles. Even Christianity has the totems of the lamb and the fish.

Parents will often give their child a special totem animal, such as a teddy bear, for protection. Through the child's belief in the animal she holds in her hands, she is unwittingly calling in the spirit of that animal and its associated powers. The bear becomes the personal totem, or power animal, for the child, and this animal spirit guide may remain with her well into her adult life.

Power animals, rather than being associated with a family or a group, are specific and personal for each individual. Like totem animals, they are guardian spirits that empower us in our everyday lives. They also protect and guide us as we explore  - the realm where spirits reside - just across the veil of our usual perceptions.

Power animals can appear in meditations, visions, dreams, shamanic journeys, or on the earth in their physical forms.

They can be mammals, birds, or reptiles. Even so-called mythical creatures such as unicorns or dragons can be power animals, although they have no physical representations in the material world.

However, since spirit animals' power is drawn from their instinctual and wild nature, it's uncommon for purely domesticated animals such as pets to be part of this group.

The source of power for your animal spirit guide isn't just a single animal, but the entire species. For instance, if your power animal is Bear, it's not just any particular bear, but an animal spirit guide that's representative of the entire species of bears.

Another positive effect of working with your power animal is that you'll develop a greater appreciation not only for that species, but also extend that care and respect to the animal kingdom as a whole.

If Dolphin is your power animal, your love and appreciation will likely go out to all creatures of the sea and naturally expand to include those of the land and the air.

Your animal spirit guide will also teach you to use this power compassionately, to heal and empower yourself and others.

1. Don't be discouraged if you don't find your animal the first time you try.

2. Before you begin, think of a place in the earth that leads downwards. It might be a knothole in a tree, a rabbit hole, the bottom of a lake or the ocean, a cave, or anything else that will lead you downward.

3. Find a comfortable place to lie down.

4. Cover your eyes with a soft, dark cloth that will shut out the light.

5. If you have other spirit guides, invoke them before the journey begins. 

My shamanic drumming audio download is very useful here.

6. See yourself going toward your predetermined point of entry.

7. Once there, jump in. You'll find yourself going down a hollow tunnel. Keep going, and soon you'll see a light in the distance. This light is your entry into the lower world.

8. Step through the opening, you'll find yourself in an outdoor area that looks very much like some part of the natural world. In my meditation it is a forest, but it can also be a seashore or mountains.

9. You'll soon notice various animals crossing your path. Look out for repetitive appearances by any animal. Watch closely until an animal appears before you four times. This is your Power Animal.

When the drumming stops, and is followed by three sharp drumbeats, and about 30 seconds of rapid drumming, at this point you should be making your way back to where you entered the lower world, working your way back up the tunnel to the place you started.

Slowly move various parts of your body, taking your time to do so. When you are ready slowly open your eyes and look around to orient yourself.


Power Animals are Spirit Guides in animal form, valuable allies who can help you navigate through life's challenges and transitions. You can turn to these perceptive and trustworthy oracles for advice and counsel on any questions or concerns.

They are exceptional teachers who will help you learn about both the spirit world and the natural world. Working with them on a regular basis will enhance your personal life and expand your spiritual capacities immensely.

For more help with finding your own, see my book, Power Animals, which includes an audio download to guide you through a shamanic journey that will take you to the lower world. There you will be given you specific instructions on how to discover who your power animal is and how to bring her back with you. 



About Author
Dr. Steven D. Farmer
Dr. Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D., is a shamanic practitioner, Soul Healer, ordained minister, and licensed psychotherapist. He’s the author of the best-selling Animal Spirit Guides, the Power Animal Oracle Cards, Power Animals, Sacred Ceremony, and Continue reading