POWER ANIMALS AS SPIRIT GUIDES
Throughout the ages and in all cultures certain individuals have spoken of contact with special magical animals that come from the spirit world to provide assistance to those in the physical world.
By Jose Stevens, Ph.D.
Power animals and totems are devas who are available as guides and special helpers. They take the form of animals like the bear, weasel or hawk. Sometimes they can take the guise of magical or mythical animals like Pegasus the winged horse, dragons, unicorns and so on.
Power animals are seen by some as the source of energy and life that sustains them. Witch doctors and medicine men have believed that their healing powers and their powers of sorcery are attributed to their relationship with their power animals. Younger soul cultures tend to believe that their entire tribe shares the same totem animal. They fear the totems and practice rituals to appease the wrath of the totem animals. Sometimes they are assigned a power animal at birth that will then stay with them until the next tribal rite of passage. These cultures tend to formalize their totems and build elaborate rituals and laws regarding their relationship to them.
Older souls begin to perceive that totems are actually personal representations of their own Devic animal experience that they can draw from for assistance and guidance. Each person has had personal Devic experience in each of the kingdoms, mineral, plant, animal and so on. As mentioned earlier, some fragments spend a longer time in one kingdom or another and develop certain affinities for one or more species. The pattern of this affinity often follows the pattern of role, but this is by no means a rule.
For example, those who specialize in Devic experience with birds of prey tend to be scholars, bear specialists are usually warriors and so on. These animals then are frequently your inner power animals. You literally have known them inside and out.
The power animal can represent an area of accumulated knowledge over many lifetimes. So if you had developed perceptive skills over many lifetimes and needed to get in touch with those powers again on an essence level, you can draw on that sense of perceptivity through the image of your appropriate power animal such as the eagle. A businessman seeking to close an important contract can develop a daily meditation practice involving the power animal of the fox and the association of cunning. The fox may even tell the businessman what strategies and moves to make.
The power that comes from that animal, the special help that it can provide, comes from its particular talents as an animal. So the excellent eyesight of the eagle gives you better eyesight, better conceptual vision, better perception and so forth. The buffalo can give strong powers of endurance and strength. The fox gives the ability to be mentally quick and a sense of cunning and strategy.
Large animals are not necessarily more powerful than small animals. Many people have power animals such as the sparrow or mouse whose survival abilities are unique and particularly helpful They show you how to survive when you are not intimidatingly powerful. Compare the nature of the elephant with the sparrow. The sparrow is a bright opportunist, daring and quick. The elephant is slow and lumbering, and historically has spent much time in the service of man as a passive and obedient worker. The characteristics of the animal are much more important than the size.
Certain animals are helpful for their physical attributes and the consequences of having special features such as an exaggerated organ or attribute - consider the giraffe for its neck and farsightedness, the water buffalo for its sheer muscle, the rhinoceros for its skin (being like a coat of armor), the llama for nimbleness and so on.
Other animals are helpful for more generalized traits - the cat for grace, relaxation, and speed; the rabbit for fertility; the fox for cunning; the sloth for dormancy.
The power animal can be called upon with an intentional request for help. Occasionally, the power animal must first be internally confronted and will appear as a foe or potential hazard. Only after this challenge is met will the power animal become an ally and helper. This is because contact with the power animal is usually made through the instinctive center, the container of all personal Devic experience.
This kind of confrontation often takes place in the dream-state and surfaces as nightmares and anxiety dreams. Occasionally, the confrontation will be physically manifested.
For example, you might be frightened or even attacked by a wild boar while in the bush. If you survive the attack, you would then be able to use the inner wild boar as a guide, perhaps as a source of strength for withstanding attack in battle.
The animal represents an area of mastery and accomplishment, perhaps in this instance, being confronted with the vision of your own death, you become a fearless warrior.
Occasionally, your power animal can confront you with an intense transforming experience that can herald a change in the direction of your life. The incident may appear like an extraordinary coincidence that impacts your life either directly or symbolically. These events, then, are synchronistic in nature and sometimes have an air of unreality. The circumstances are often strange or peculiar. You can try to dismiss them as mere coincidence, but you will be hard pressed to do so, especially when the same animal shows up in your dreams and your fantasies.
The power animals in these experiences are not individual fragments of the hive souls. The fragments involved represent the entire species - all deer, all bear, all eagles. The inner power animal represents the collective experience of all the animals of that species. This gives them powerful symbolic value and makes them difficult to ignore or dismiss.
In summary, you can see how infant soul tribes used their belief in power animals for growth and raised their mastery of the environment as well. Power animals played a major part in the development and integration of tribal life and of their ultimate survival. Gradually, as these infant souls developed toward baby soul perceptivity, totem ritual became more important and facilitated growth in social consciousness. With the development of civilization and culture and the emergence of young soul perceptivity, power animal consciousness was relegated to myth and was only hinted at in the names of athletic teams and automobiles and in metaphors. Respect for animals was lost and they were seen as something to confront, dominate, harness, or kill. Their spiritual value was forgotten and their potential as internal guides and healers was ignored.
Mature soul perceptivity has begun to remind humankind of its relationship to the animal world by attempting to save species from extinction and launching an environmental awareness. Old soul perceptivity has begun to remind the planet of the spiritual value of the animals.
In modern society, you have lost the structure that integrates the significance of animals in our lives. This discussion seeks to bring to life the ways you can relate more closely to the animal world in an intimate, personal and powerful way. It offers an alternative to the current philosophy that gave rise to man becoming the dominant species on the planet, seeking to kill off animals for the more simplistic needs of food, survival and territory. On a deeper and more subtle level, the same applies to plants and even ultimately to rocks and minerals and water and air. What is needed is to evolve philosophy and practices that integrate man with the planet on every level.
Jose Stevens, Ph.D. has over twenty years experience working as a psychotherapist. He is an international lecturer and has authored three books dealing with relationships spiritual awakening, vitality and personal growth. The above article was excerpted from his book entitled "Earth To Tao" published by Bear & Company.
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