Many cultures believe we have power animals, or totems, with us that can give us guidance. Identifying and working with your power animal is central to many shamanic practices.
Finding out your animal totem is fun and gives you a link into animal wisdom. There are various methods you can try. The first and easiest is to have a think about animals you are drawn to. Has there been an animal that has fascinated you since childhood for example? Is there an animal that enters your dreams, or your daydreams?
Another method is by setting your intention. At the start of each day say “I’d like to be shown my power animal” and then keep your eyes peeled. It could be that you keep seeing place names with the animal’s name in, or that a real life animal keeps crossing your path, or magazines flip open at a particular animal. If this is your animal totem it will be brought to your attention many times.
To find out your power animal for sure you can journey to find it. Enrol yourself on a Shamanic journeying course, checking that you will be contacting a power animal. Alternatively you could buy a good book & shamanic drumming CD- not quite the same as being led through your first journey by an experienced practitioner though.
The Introduction to Shamanism day I attended a couple of years ago was one of the most transformational of my life. I went already believing and trusting that I had guides around me, sensing they were there when I was healing for example, but not knowing names or having faces to put to them. Meeting my power animal and my main spirit guide face to face and communicating with them on that day was awesome! Now I can go visit them whenever I need guidance- although sometimes their answers are pretty cryptic or symbolic & I have to puzzle them out.
When you have made contact with your power animal you may find it accompanies you in your waking life. I have a friend whose power animal nestles up to her when she sits on the sofa and one of my students was aware of her lion pacing beside her as she took her dog out for a walk. How empowering is that?
Power animals are all have different strengths. Size is not important! Recently I taught a group of my students to journey & they came up with such a range of animals, from bears to wolves to an ant. The ant was not less powerful despite its diminutive size in the real world. The power animal ant was able to bear my student on its back off to have more adventures.
Spend time connecting with your power animal, draw it, write about it, look up the habits of the animal, find an ornament or painting of it. You will find you have a valuable ally to accompany you through life.