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Animal Spirit Guides - how do you 'meet' one?


Guest fizzyclare1
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Just what it says on the tin, really.

 

How do you go about 'meeting' one, how do you know its yours? and so on.

 

all thoughts gratefully received.

 

fizz

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The animal totem finds you, and will certainly communicate that through your instincts and their visions. It takes, however, a degree of wilderness experience to make that connection. :P

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The animal totem finds you, and will certainly communicate that through your instincts and their visions. It takes, however, a degree of wilderness experience to make that connection. :o_rofl:

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Thanks for pointing that out Quasizoid, I didn't make that distingtion when I posted :o_cat:

 

My excuse is "it was 4 o'clock in the morning" :o_roflmao:

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No worries, I reckon you can swing it with the occasional two hour visit to your local forest to observe the wildlife, at least to understand their nature. :o_roflmao:

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Hi Fizzy! There are several ways of doing this. While I agree with Quasi on the value of "getting out there"; and this is something we should all do as much as we are able, not only as a means of connecting with animals, trees, and the spirits of the land; unless you happen to live near an area which is truly "wild", the experience will not be the same for us as it was for our ancestors. Much of the country is urban, industrial, or just covered with roads, and many indigenous species have gone, replaced with their domestic counterparts. The animal spirits are still present though, and there are ways of making contact with them.

 

First... pay attention to your dreams. Whatever it is which has prompted this thought, it's more than possible that your totem animal has decided the time is right for you to seek them out. you may find that a particular animal crops up in recurring dreams.

 

Next, pay attention to the birds and animals that you see around you. This could be anything from the birds in your garden, or the spider in the bath. If you notice a sudden influx of spiders, for example... then maybe the spider is trying to tell you something. If when you are out walking, you keep finding a particular type of feather, then it could be that this bird is trying to get your attention. Or you might encounter foxes or squirrels... not so many about this time of year, but if something wants to make contact, it should make it easier to spot if a sighting is unusual. The point is that it will be unusually frequent, and that you will feel drawn to your totem when you do see it.

 

Lastly, ask. I'm assuming that you have some experience of meditation... if not, this is an excellent opportunity to start. You can use a guided meditation CD, or there are many about that have nature sounds, or drumming, which would work. Whatever method works for you is fine. At the start of your meditation, ask your totem spirit to make itself known to you. Relax, and trust that it will happen. Don't try to force it, just empty your mind as much as possible, and let it come to you in its own time, and in its own way.

 

 

Once you have made contact... honour your totem animal. It will want to teach you and be part of your rituals, just listen, and trust its wisdom. Good luck, and hope this helps.

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so its more of a process of being 'met' by them, rather than a person actively seeking them...not pushing it, so to speak. because that probably involves choosing, which seems to be the exact opposite process.

 

I think I can manage a two hour nature ramble...yes defo.

 

mmm...meditation, not much good at the lying down thing I am more of an active meditator...its like i need to walk to get me to the state i wish to be in. nothing like human awkwardness is there :o_roflmao:

 

Thank for the links cal that was really useful. I like the idea about studying about the relevant animals to understand its message...always liked animals..

 

fizz...goes off to ponder.

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so its more of a process of being 'met' by them, rather than a person actively seeking them...not pushing it, so to speak.  because that probably involves choosing, which seems to be the exact opposite process.

 

I think I can manage a two hour nature ramble...yes defo. 

 

mmm...meditation, not much good at the lying down thing I am more of an active meditator...its like i need to walk to get me to the state i wish to be in.  nothing like human awkwardness is there  :o_cat:

 

Thank for the links cal that was really useful.  I like the idea about studying about the relevant animals to understand its message...always liked animals..

 

fizz...goes off to ponder.

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Pope's Castle is getting to me brain cell, but I seem to recall the "Burrowing" thread I did and Fillonious had some really interesting stuff to say about connecting with creatures in the wild? :o_rofl:

 

Enjoyig Yule BTW Fizz?!

:o_roflmao:

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sure am Tas! been a very interesting one so far...lots to ponder over...quiet too, nothing too eventful eg neighbours, family troubles. nice.

 

Celebrated the solstice peacefully in my garden and went to the pictures for yule (saw beowolf), done the xmas thing for my son and family. yep, my favourite was the solstice though, loved it being on my own for a little while.

 

how about you?

 

fizz.

 

ps will hunt down those threads. ta.

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I just had a very interesting experience with Boar while I was trying (and failing) to take a post-Xmas dinner nap before work. Without revealing too much it was basically Boar taking me to a small camp fire in the middle a huge and rather barren plain (no idea where, as the place was pitch black outside the firelight) where there transpired a kind of 'Bear, this is IJ. IJ, this is Bear' situation.

Sudden and unbidden animal appearance!

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Just what it says on the tin, really.

 

How do you go about 'meeting' one, how do you know its yours? and so on.

 

all thoughts gratefully received.

 

fizz

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I found that by trying to hard it just didnt happen, mine came to me unexpectedly but when they knew I was in need of their help and guidance

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No worries Califer, just expressing my personal experience with animal totems. Although my path may come from a fair amount of experience with raw nature, this was largely under the influence of N/A animism. The irony is that my realization of interconnectedness at a very early age did not require any animal spirit guides to take me there. Rather I see all things as spiritual portents of some kind or another. No doubt one of those differences that Hedgerose is refering to. Mind you, IJ's experiences also clearly make that difference, no doubt through his own regular exposure to the rawness of nature. Indeed, it is that contest of survival that modern convenience too often tends to overlook.

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Ah...I was away to say 'yes', but I can see- using psychic vibes- that hedgerose is already typing out a reply that will probably make more sense than mine....

 

:o_baeh:

Edited by Inverurie Jones
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I don't think it matters much what you call it, Eagledance. Shamans and witches in many different traditions, cultures and times have allied themselves with spirit animals. Whether you call them familiars, power animals, totem animals, or animal spirit guides, it amounts to much the same thing. I've come across objections to some or all of those terms in the past, indeed, to the notion of having a totem animal as being either outmoded and belonging to our superstitious past; or as being too fluffy and new-agey.( And if your totem animal happens to be a unicorn, I'd agree.)

 

I do feel that as an industrial society, we are so much the poorer than our ancestors in terms of our knowledge of the natural world. They would have been taught as children about trees and plants, birds and animals, weather and the seasons, until it was instinctive. We struggle to glean a fraction of what they would have taken for granted with books, and no matter how much time we spend hiking, camping etc, it is still recreational. We may say we respect nature, and mean it sincerely, but most of us have never had to rely on our wilderness knowledge for survival. Like it or not, we just do not have the same perspective as they had.

 

However, in allying oneself with a totem animal, it is not just the wilderness version of the animal in question that is involved, but the archetypical spirit animal. This is neither tamed, and therefore distorted; or wild and thereby indifferent to us, but embodies all the myth and folk wisdom connected with the spirit animal. First hand knowledge of one's totem animal, its habitat and habits is helpful, but by no means the entire picture. They will tend to seek you out when the time is right, or when you have need of them. This is why listening to dreams, and paying attention to any clues they may be trying to give us is important.

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Is there a difference bewteen a 'totem animal' and an 'animal spirit guide'?

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Well there can be, depending on the culture. Usually, however, they do refer to one and the same. The only difference I can imagine, would be in the more ritual workings of witchcraft- where a totem spirit is used in place of the actual animal. Mind you, a totem itself can also be a spirit in effigy, like the Kwakiutl and the Polynesians carve in wood. Kind of a guardian as well as protective charm, like what you may see emblazoned on a family coat of arms.

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I can easily see how you can get spiritual inspiration from nature, but how on earth can an animal or indeed anything else in the physical realm actually guide or lead you in your spiritual path throughout your life? I don't really understand that.

Edited by Red Kite
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I can easily see how you can get spiritual inspiration from nature, but how on earth can an animal or indeed anything else in the physical realm actually guide or lead you in your spiritual path throughout your life? I don't really understand that.

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By the paw maybe? :rolleyes:

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I can easily see how you can get spiritual inspiration from nature, but how on earth can an animal or indeed anything else in the physical realm actually guide or lead you in your spiritual path throughout your life? I don't really understand that.

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They aren't in the physical realm; they're in the Otherworld, usually the bottom half.

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Very best book you could read as a practical introduction on the subject: Way of the Shaman by Mike Harner.

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Oh right shamanism isn't one of those aspects of Paganism I'm personally in to so I don't really know anything about it.

 

Where I coming from on this though is that most of us only get fleeting glimpses of wild animals, if we're lucky we'll see one for a few short minutes and then we'll part ways, so I'm puzzled how a wild animal could be a spiritual guide.

Edited by Red Kite
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Where I coming from on this though is that most of us only get fleeting glimpses of wild animals, if we're lucky we'll see one for a few short minutes and then we'll part ways, so I'm puzzled how a wild animal could be a spiritual guide.

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They aren't physical wild animals- you go into the Otherworld and speak to them there. I've rarely seen wild boars in 'real life' and when I have I've usually eaten them shortly afterward, but Boar lives in a forest that isn't marked on any OS map, so I'm unlikely to catch even the briefest glimpse of him wherever I go in this world.

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Where I coming from on this though is that most of us only get fleeting glimpses of wild animals, if we're lucky we'll see one for a few short minutes and then we'll part ways, so I'm puzzled how a wild animal could be a spiritual guide.

206743[/snapback]

 

They aren't physical wild animals- you go into the Otherworld and speak to them there. I've rarely seen wild boars in 'real life' and when I have I've usually eaten them shortly afterward, but Boar lives in a forest that isn't marked on any OS map, so I'm unlikely to catch even the briefest glimpse of him wherever I go in this world.

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Oh right I've never ventured into the Otherworld and have no idea how that could ever be possible before you die. I know of the ancient stories which talk of many doors from this world into the Otherworld and of people who went there.

Edited by Red Kite
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Well, some cultures use drugs, some use music or dancing. I tried the music way a couple of times with South American-style drumming, but it didn't work very. Buddhist meditation music, on the other hand, worked rather well, albeit by accident...

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I can easily see how you can get spiritual inspiration from nature, but how on earth can an animal or indeed anything else in the physical realm actually guide or lead you in your spiritual path throughout your life? I don't really understand that.

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Reading up on the different cultural forms of animism should explain that more to your satisfaction. My own communication with animals is more on a pheromonal/empathic level using those instincts enhanced by living in the wilds of Canada. This is why I say I didn't require any "animal spirit guides" per se. Rather, animals around me are more like "familiars" on the empathic level. Mind you, such an empathic bond can be taken further as to access the collective unconscious all the way down to its various integral constructs of matter and energy. Indeed the problem with city life is that all its domestic conveniences has greatly changed the use of our survival instincts. People don't realize this until they're stuck in the middle of nowhere with no one to assist them.

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Do you remember that dream I had about the white beetle I had a little while back, well, um I was wondering if that was some kind of animal guide. It was different to other dreams that I have, I got a distinct feeling it was trying to give me a message, but I could be wrong.

 

Can this happen?

 

Also been getting little mental pictures of a brown bear during waking time. any thoughts?

 

fizz

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I don't have a spirit guide, or not to my knowledge. But I do have a fetch (that's the Anglo Saxon; fylgja in Old Norse). S/he functions in a similar way to a spirit guide in the Otherworld, but it is part of me, and not wholly external.

 

I didn't find it; I didn't seek it. One day it stretched inside of me and woke up. At the time I was about to go through something very nasty, and it helped me. I've seen it in the Otherworld since.

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Do you remember that dream I had about the white beetle I had a little while back, well, um I was wondering if that was some kind of animal guide.  It was different to other dreams that I have, I got a distinct feeling it was trying to give me a message, but I could be wrong.

 

Can this happen?

 

Also been getting little mental pictures of a brown bear during waking time.  any thoughts?

 

fizz

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The beetle sounds like the heron and the otters that have been puzzling me lately. Can't help you any, but thought I'd mention it anyway...

 

:unsure:

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Oh right shamanism isn't one of those aspects of Paganism I'm personally in to so I don't really know anything about it.

 

My friend, you were born, thus you know at least a little of Shamanism :unsure:

 

It's not an aspect of paganism - unless you talk to a bunch of neo-Shamans, of which I'm sure there must be a some :o_eek: - it's the essence of all that we are and ever were. It's in our blood. It's global, it's living, it's our psyche manifest and witchcraft in this (errr, the UK) country is a pale remnant of what once was in these beautiful lands but, thankfully, remains alive and kicking elsewhere (Australia, South America, North Canada, Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia...)

 

Anyhoo, read it or not, s'up to you. Just don't go guzzling down a load of wiccan shi-nnigans :o_roflmao:

 

I'm sure through your own ventures, rather than the edumercation of others, you'll find your answer.

 

Often with things like this it's good to take a broad view, I don't only recommend books on shamanism y'know :o_biggrin: Take a peek into Daoism, Occultism, Buddhism, Druidry, Native American beliefs (they're particularly hot on this topic and I could recommend some storming books in that category) and all such.

 

But if you're curious enough I'm sure you'll find your own way. Just don't start setting up boundaries for yourself by saying things like 'I've never ventured into the Otherworld and have no idea how that could ever be possible before you die.' - leave every possibility open because thought is the medium that will take you there, if you think you can't, you won't. That's not to say if you think you can you will :o_perv:

 

Embrace the dreamtime...man.

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