- Animal Guides
- There are many civilizations throughout the
world who believe animals are part of our spiritual teachers
and guides. From the Far East, to Native Americans, a sacred
Cow from Hinduism and the Dove of Peace that plays a key role
as a guide in Christian literature. All societies believe animals
have played and do play a special role in our spiritual and physical
- The connections we have with the animal kingdom isn't just
restricted to Paganism, Shamanism, the New Age or metaphysical
beliefs and understandings. If you take some time to look at
a church, a chapel, synagogue or gathering place belonging to
a religious sect that you're not real familiar with. Talk to
others about their beliefs and ask them what animals come to
mind when they describe the relationships between that kingdom
and the kingdom of their God. It's really a great way to learn,
bridge gaps and even share knowledge.
- As for me and my beliefs and understandings come from a Celtic/Cherokee
heritage. It is widely believed that animals here in the physical
form, as well as the spiritual form, are all guides and teachers
to us. When an animal in the physical world crosses our path,
we are to learn something from the encounter. When you see an
animal in the woods or a bird in the sky, think to yourself,
what is this raccoon trying to tell me? What does the eagle want
me to see? You can even try to connect with the creature and
see if communication is possible. But even if it isn't, you can
decipher the meaning.
- Animals In Dreams
- In dreams, the meaning of the animals are more associated
with how you see the animal, than their real physical characteristics.
In other words, the easiest way to gain understanding about an
animal who crosses your path in a dream is to define the characteristics
that you associate with that animal. Start an encyclopedia of
symbolic representations for your dreams. This would be 'your'
Dream encyclopedia that contains the meanings of objects and
people you see in your personal dreams. Those "dream"
books you buy in the store are really just someone else's interpretation
of symbolic items, so why not use the interpretation that really
matters...YOURS. Once you start filling up your encyclopedia,
you will be able to use it for both these animal encounters and
dream interpretations. After all, your interpretations will be
valid for both events and much more meaningful for YOU then someone
else's ideas or perceptions.
- Here's an example that puts all this together:
- You and I are walking through the woods, I'm on your left,
you on my right. The dirt path is wide, shaded slightly from
the warm sun and we can see far off to the next bend. A large
green snake crosses the path in front of us. Moving from left
to right, going from south to the north. It makes no move toward
us. It simply moves patiently and methodically across the path,
about 15 feet in front of us.
- Now, how would I interpret the snakes message depends on
a few of my perceptions.
- For me, green is a healing color and snakes represent medicine,
as in the medical insignia.
- I believe that when we receive information or energy from
the Divine, it enters our body from the left intuitive side.
We deliver it from the right action side.
- The south represents the physical world, probably because
I know the lower chakras of the body are the physical chakras
that we re-create in each new embodiment. The upper chakras are
the ones we take from lifetime to lifetime and are part of the
soul/spirit. So I have always associated the north with spirit.
- Based on these perceptions, seeing a green snake, cross from
my left, to my right, going from south to north and without any
aggressive move toward us, would be telling me a healing will
be needed along this path. I will probably be the one giving
the healing energy as it passes through me from left to right.
The snake moving toward the north indicates the healing will
be one of spirit, or information will be given that will bring
about a spiritual healing for someone along this path.
- In my dream encyclopedia I would define the meaning of a
snakes in general terms like this:
- Snake: healing, stealthy, sleek or slithery
- Green Garden Snake: healing, green healing energy, required
for a healthy garden
- You can learn more about deciphering dreams by reading the
Dream Interpretation article here in
the Metaphysics section.
- Animals of the
- When animals cross our path in the physical world they are
bringing us a message, typically that affects our physical world.
Depending on the animal, they can cross meaning between the physical
and spiritual worlds. One of the best books I've ever found on
this subject is "Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews.
- The basic concept of deciphering animal sign starts with
understanding the animal in physical form. What are it's characteristics,
habits, and personalities. For instance, a rabbit represents
fertility for obvious reasons. A Raven represents transition,
not always transition to death; but a significant change in one's
life. Ravens are also associated with the Celtic Morrigan; and
can also represent the triple goddess or going through the cycles
of life. Especially if you see 3 Ravens at the same time.
- So learning about the animal and it's life will give you
an understanding of what the animal is trying to tell you when
it crosses your path.
- Deciphering Physical
- To find the meaning or message behind the animal that cross
your path, you need to examine 3 basic parts of the encounter.
This is best explained through scenario, so here goes:
- Let's say you see a hawk circling your house one morning
on your way to work. Stop for a few moments and watch it. Try
to distinguish the colors and if you can, determine what kind
of hawk it is, on this day you see a North American Red Shoulder
- Now consider the 3 basic parts of the encounter.(You might
think about keeping a journal and describing what happened. If
you don't have time now to decipher the meaning of the visitation,
you'll have enough information to do it later.)
- What are the characteristics of the animal.
- What do the colors of the animal represent.
For example, the hawk had red shoulders; which will distinguish
it from a red tailed hawk.
- Describe what the animal was doing. What was your gut feeling
at that moment.
For instance, was the hawk was just soaring and enjoying it's
view from above, or was it searching for something. A place to
land? Something to eat? Give your description in as much "feeling"
and intuitive detail as possible.
- Next, you should read about the scientific and physiological
characteristics of the animal to help you determine what could
have been doing. You can certainly go to the library and look
it up in an encyclopedia. But if you can get your hands on Ted
Andrew's Animal Speak, you'll have some wonderful explanations
of what this bird might represent. You might even look for a
Peterson's Field Guide book (ie: Peterson's Field Guide to Birds).
These are wonderful books to have around the house, they can
help you identify just about any animals you might encounter.
- Once you've got all this together and recorded in your journal.
Step back and contemplate a little on what you wrote. How does
your interpretation of this event fit into your life. What aspect
does the visitation shed information or light upon.
- Animals of the
- If animals in the physical world are here to bring us messages,
then what are the spiritual animals doing? Well, actually the
same thing, just in a different manner and that's typically not
their only purpose.
- Animal guides teach us a little more intimate detail about
our personality, character traits and even our spirit and spiritual
gifts. They help guide us along our spiritual path, and can even
protect us on the spiritual as well as the physical.
- The best way to learn what your animal guide means for you
is to follow the same "interpretation" of the animal
as we just did in the physical realm. Write down what the animal
means to you, what characteristics do you associate with and
identify with. What color the animal is and what that meaning
has for you. What kind of energy vibration can you associate
with your relationship to this animal as your guide and so on.
The more you can describe the more insight you might have into
your own inner self.
- Now it is possible for people to have more than one animal
guide. The most common is 2-4 different kinds. During different
aspects of your life, one animal may be highlighted more than
the other, because you are working on aspects of yourself that
require their particular energy to help you progress. Or one
kind might duplicate itself to add meaning to your existence,
as if when you marry, the animal also gains a mate. Actually
it is more common for the animal to find a mate first, and the
"love" energy between them effects your energy to attract
a mate for yourself.
- The type of animal can vary so widely you might be amazed.
We often think of an animal guide as a cat, wolf, bird or salamander.
Creatures we are familiar with, because they bring the most significant
symbolism to our lives. But what if your a paleontologist? And
the most significant animal for you is a pterodactyl. Why can't
an extent species be an animal guide. Well, it can! So when you
go out into the ethers to meet your animal guide, don't go with
any preconceived ideas of what you'd like it to be. You're doing
yourself a disservice and maybe even be insulting the animal
who's with you. Just keep an open mind and be honest with yourself.
- The best way for me to explain the significance of an animal
guide is to tell you of my personal relationship with my guides.
I have had 2 during my entire life and recently a 3rd has made
itself known to me. The two main wonderful creatures are a white
wolf, and a red shoulder hawk.
- So what do these two animals tell about me. Cherokee tradition
gives meaning to each animal, and then further defines their
relationship through their color. The wolf is considered to be
the highest spiritual teacher in the kingdom, even above the
hawk and eagle. Each color of the wolf brings a different lesson
or knowledge. In my traditions, the white wolf is a phantom beast,
it lives between realities, two worlds, two planes at the same
time. It comes to teach the lessons of balance, of bridging the
physical world with the spiritual world, and how we can cross
the planes of existence to learn and share knowledge with our
higher self and with the unseen teachers and guides.
- My friends that know me in the physical world have told me
they can see how my teachings accomplish the goals and purpose
of the white wolf. But more so, when they speak with me face
to face, they can see a shift in physical energy in my face and
eyes that gives them the impression that I'm existing in some
other realm. It's a description I usually heard after a reading,
but in the past 5 years, it happens more and more in normal everyday
conversations. So I guess I do live in 2 places at once...being
a Gemini, I would find a way of pulling in dual natures and worlds.
- The wolf in a non-spiritual essence also tells me a little
about me. A female wolf is a creature of community. She's rarely
alone. She shares responsibilities of family with her pack. She
is loyal to a fault, some she-wolves have died trying to save
one of their own pack members from danger. So being loyal to
a fault isn't necessarily good, but it ain't that bad either.
I prefer looking at it as being loyal with acceptance. A wolf
is territorial and not afraid of fighting for her home or pack.
Like many dogs she is a little jealous of those she doesn't know
or trust and will often try to put herself between her home/family
and others. It's an act of protection, not possession. And in
typical wolf fashion, she is also on guard to sense the slightest
changes in energy for good or bad. When not threatened and when
treated with respect, a wolf will allow others to get close to
her and to her pack. But when approached with deceit, or hidden
agendas, she will often pick up on that scent and be wary of
the contact. Often this "feeling" will appear much
earlier than others. She has good ears for listening to the most
intricate details, up close and far off. So that early warning
system kicks in, even when the energy is at a far distance and
has not yet arrived. So when you cross the path of a wolf, they
often know you've been coming for a while.
- Using Animal Energy
- What do you do once you know about your animal. Well, you
can define your strengths and use them to overcome or help to
support your inner self during those weak moments. How? By using
the strengths of your other animal guide(s). It's important to
learn both or all your animal guides. So when you need the strength
of one, you know what energy or animal essence to call upon.
- Meeting Your Animal Guides
- The best way to meet your animal guides is through a visualized
meditation. I have designed a meditation to give you an example
of how you can meet your own animal guide.
- Additional Reading:
Guide A How To Handbook.
your Spirit Guides
- Guided Meditations
your Relative and Spirit Guide
your Animal Guide
Sources: 1, b1,