We have many allies along our spiritual path, both seen and unseen, but among my favorites are our animal guides. It could be a giant blue heron that swoops overhead or a mouse that lies in plain sight and does not move until acknowledged. These animal guides or spirit animals are our guides in animal form. Some of them have walked with us since birth and some of them show up at the perfect time to bring a much-needed message. Learning to pay attention and decipher the message can be a magical and life-changing experience.
Message From My Animal Guide
I have had some powerful encounters with animal guides in my life. Some show up in deep meditative states or in journeys. And some showing up in real life. Mouse has been a good ally over the years appearing at just the perfect time. You might be thinking that a mouse is a pretty common animal, how could you know it was there to convey an important message? It isn’t just the appearance of any animal, it is its presence in an unexpected and/or meaningful way.
In one instance, Mouse was sitting wide open in the middle of our deck construction. It sat there unmoved until I made the connection of its presence and its message. Another time, Mouse had made its way up to the top right-hand corner of my patio door between the sliding glass and the screen. In both cases, once I took a moment and re-read the Mouse message in my animal medicine cards, the mouse disappeared. Mouse shows up for me anytime I am missing the details of something. She asks me to pay close attention and scrutinize carefully.
How do Spirit Animals Work?
When these beautiful spirit animals show up for us, it isn’t the consciousness of the single animal that is guided to help you. If you think about Plato’s theory of forms, he said that two realities exist. The material realm in which we live our day to lives and the non-material realm where the essence of all things exist in their perfect form. For example, there is the essence of Deer, a blueprint from which all deer are made. And an individual deer that has its own unique features, expression, and consciousness.
It is in the non-material realm that Mouse or the essence of Mouse exists. Some teachers like to call this the Oversoul. This oversoul then works with the consciousness of a single animal residing in the material plane to pass on the message that you need to hear. These messages if heeded can be an important piece of our conscious evolution.
Noticing the Animal Guide
Sometimes an animal guide will show up once in a meaningful way like in the example above. Sometimes they will show up over and over, in real life or in meditative states. And other times they will come to you in your dream time. Recently, as I was working on a project, Mountain Lion showed up in my dream. She didn’t just show up, she was stalking me. She pounced on the hood of my car at one point and in another instance was surrounding the house. Mountain Lion is about leadership. She could sense my reluctance and was calling on me to step up and lead. Dreams that are meaningful have a different feel than those that are just the unwinding of our daytime consciousness. They will stick with us even after waking.
So pay attention when an animal shows up in an unusual way. If you always see crows by your house so it is usual for them to be there, that is probably not an animal guide. Now if you were on a hike and a crow follows you from tree to tree cawing loudly along the way, there is probably a message for you there.
Messages Through Metaphor
If you think that an animal is trying to send you a message, take a moment, and consider the characteristics of the animal. For example, if a lion is showing up repeatedly in your healing work, think about what a lion means to you. They are expert energy managers. They won’t chase after something unless they know it is going to nourish them. They protect their pride etc. So after thinking about a lion as a metaphor, feel into the information and see what comes up for you. Does it apply to the circumstances in your life? Are you being called to manage your energy more wisely?
There are also some great animal medicine cards that can assist you and some pretty good websites too. My favorite is Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals. You might also just sit in meditation with the intention of receiving the message they are trying to convey.
Developing a Relationship With Animal Guides
As with all relationships, it is important to respect and honor their presence in our lives. You can do this by having an animal totem, i.e a figurine that you keep on your altar. You can donate money to charities that support the well-being of a particular species. You can call them into your rituals and ceremonies and develop a working relationship with them. Remembering to always be grateful and reverent for their service. These animals are connected to the Oversoul and as you honor them, you also honor the essence of all of them. Sitting in meditation with your messenger and connecting with them on a regular basis is another way to nurture collaboration.
Animal guides are magical messengers. Learning to work with them can enrich your life and assist you in your conscious evolution. As humans, we sometimes forget that we are part of the natural world. We too, are animals. As we learn to tune into the subtleties of nature there are many beautiful energies to explore that can expand your idea of what is possible. So pay attention to the animals that show up and then learn to listen to the guidance they have for you. Then take action, it may just change your life.
Here is a guided meditation to assist you in meeting an animal guide.