Power animals are easier to contact than ancient ones. Their voices are louder. They are easier to see. They will come and speak to you when you need them. The animals are helpers. Like ancient ones they are guides. They tell you what you need to know. They give you their immense energy. No shaman would ever go into sacred space without their animal helper.
Power animals can assist you in the waking state as well. Perhaps you are trying to teach someone a particular theme and they are having difficulty understanding. Power animals are not limited to mammals. The reptilian and insect kingdoms can be just as helpful.
- Ask Wolf for assistance; she is the great teacher.
- Remember the old adages: clever as a Fox, strong as an Ox, etc.
- Perhaps you need camouflage – then ask Brother Fox for assistance.
- If you seek wisdom, ask the Eagle.
- Lynx knows the art of keeping secrets.
- Swan guides one into dreamtime.
- Panther is a good protective animal, though she does have a sarcastic, laid back nature.
- Dragonfly tells us how to break through illusions and how to gain power through our dreams and goals. She teaches higher aspiration.
The energy of the animals, birds and other creatures that assist us should be honored. For too long, we have subjugated these creatures who are our equals in the system of the Universe. The act of honoring an animal is not an act of worship, but is the acknowledgment of their power and their being as brothers and sisters of the entire universe.
When honoring – leave a gift of some sort. The Native Americans leave tobacco as a gift, scattered on the ground. You could also burn incense in honor of the animal. You might also consider donating to The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, or other organization committed to the preservation of our wild family.
Meditation To Meet Your Power Animal
This guided imagery is about meeting your power animal. Like the ancient ones, the power animals come from deep within the consciousness of our Earth Mother. Power animals are our deepest memories. We all share DNA with all the animals alive on earth. A lion has the same DNA as we do for many systems. We can, in our memories, see out of the lion’s eyes. We are them. They call to us deeply, loudly.
Read the following meditation a number of times, and then take the journey from memory. Alternatively, you could record it and play it back.
Close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths, let your abdomen rise and fall. Allow yourself to become really relaxed. Think about a place, real or imagined, where you feel really safe, where you feel deeply connected with the earth.
Now put yourself on a path. Feel your feet touch the earth, smell the fresh air, feel the warm breeze on your face. Walk down the path. It goes downhill slightly. The ground is hard and has small stones in the soil. It is solid and secure. Feel the ground and the grass that is on each side of the path.
Walk down the path. It crosses a wooden bridge across a rushing stream. The bridge has stout railings. You can hear your feet echo on the bridge like a drumbeat as you walk across. If you need to drop something in the water that you want to get rid, of you can do that now.
The path now goes upwards slightly and comes over a rise. Below you is a large meadow. In the center of the meadow is a grassy circle. Sit in the circle and wait. Now ask for your power animal to come to you.
It might come from a distance or appear from nowhere. Whatever animal appears to you is your animal helper. It is your power animal. Allow the animal come towards you. Watch how it moves, listen to it speak.
You can stay in the meadow as long as you like to and feel connected to the earth. Your power animal is part of the earth. It has tendrils that reach deep into the earth, the sky, and you, and connect it all together. If you feel comfortable, you can invite your animal to come to you, touch you, even come into your body. You can merge with them and see out of their eyes.
When you feel complete, stand up and leave the meadow. The path goes out of the far side and you can walk down the path further. It leads to the edge of an ancient forest of old growth trees. Stand at the edge of the forest by a great ancient tree.
Find a tree that speaks to you and tells you to come to it. Now put your hand on the tree touch its rough back. Feel its warmth, it life. Now imagine that when you put your hand on the tree, you spiral deep into the spiral of your own being. You spiral deep inside yourself, into your heart. And inside your body, your heart opens with wings. A spirit eye opens within you and sees this experience.
Walk back to the meadow, then to the bridge, retrace your steps until you are back to where you started. Bring your spirit animal with you. Bring the connectedness with you. Now move your feet, your hands, your body. Look around. Your life has changed.
Source: The Powers That Be
From the Sacred Path Cards, we have this Dreamtime Medicine story by Jamie Sams which helps to bring understanding of the Shield of the West in the Medicine Wheel.
The Bear came to me in a Dreamtime waking state several years ago and lumbered through my awareness to take me on a Dreamtime Medicine Walk. I found myself in a forest high in the Rocky Mountains by the old burial ground near Creede, Colorado.
The Bear wandered up to the spring above Moonshine Mesa and drank deeply of the cold, pure water coming from the Earth Mother’s breast. Then Bear turned to me and spoke.
“We used to use words like you Two-leggeds,” she said. “we retreated into our silence at the end of the Second World. When the Earth was cleansed by the great ice mountains your people had finally come together in clans and families. They had heard the tundra Wolf’s song and started to use words of their own.”
“We knew that you humans would not be alone and that humans would survive if they could communicate with one another. We Creature-beings had to leave the Two-leggeds alone so they could learn their own sounds and how to use communication.”
“Unfortunately, that was also the time that Two-leggeds shared so many of the opinions of others that they started to judge their personal truths. They began to worry about what others thought and failed to find their own answers within their hearts.”
I understood that Bear was trying to show me how we Two-leggeds sought approval, entangling ourselves with the fear of being different. If new ideas presented a threat, it could be hard for individuals to follow their personal truths.
Bear continued, “It was during those days of the ensuing cold that humankind learned to eat meat. In the first world, the Two-leggeds had been vegetarian. Fruits, berries, roots, and wild vegetables were plentiful until the cleansing of the First World.”
“When the great ice mountains moved across Mother Earth’s face, the plants, which had sustained all creatures, vanished. The Two-leggeds were starving until they learned to eat meat. The Creature-beings, who understood the need for balance and sharing, offered their bodies as food to the Two-leggeds. My Creature Ancestors gave the warmth of their bodies’ fur and the instinct of survival to the Two-leggeds. Then through consuming the meat of Bear, the West Shield’s lessens were learned.”
“I have a memory of the way our gift was received by a female Two-legged.” Bear said. “She was called Alona. Alona ate of the meat of Bear and sank into a fulfilling, deep sleep. She saw the memories of our Bear Clan and learned the three paths of the West Shield.”
I listened as Bear continued. “In the dream, Alona watched Grizzly as she ate all that she could find in the way of berries, honey, and fish from the stream. This giantess was filling up for hibernation time when she would have to live off her stored fat.
“Then Alona saw Grizzly go into her cave to sleep through winter’s white robe. In her dream Alona followed Grizzly and slept at her side. In the Spring when Grizzly awoke, Alona followed her into the deep green forest. Grizzly seemed very intent on rediscovering the forest and noting the changes in her favorite hollow logs. The deep winter sleep had propelled Grizzly into a new state of awareness.”
“Mama Grizzly had left Alona to her thoughts and had gone to forage through the forest continuing her routine,” Bear said. “It was only when Alona was left to her own devices that a tiny, still voice spoke to her silent heart, and showed her the value of Grizzly’s lessons. Alona saw that in tasting the fruits of all ideas, you could expand one’s outlook on life, just as Grizzly had done by eating all manner of foods.”
“Then Alona remembered the retreat into the cave. Grizzly had taught her to go into the silence of her own Sacred Space to digest her ideas. The ideas that did not sustain her could be eliminated and the others would nurture her during the time of looking within. Alona realized that she could best meet her goals when she acted on the ideas that were most nurturing to her.”
I looked at Bear’s big brown eyes and smiled. I was beginning to understand the West Shield in a new way.
“So the three pathways to understanding how to look within and reach our goals are like the actions of Grizzly in Alona’s dream, right?” I asked.
“Right,” Bear replied. “Now you tell me how you see those paths.”
I thought for a moment and then spoke. “The first path is to enter the stillness of our Sacred Space. Basically, it is being willing to receive the answers made available to us through the experience of daily life. That is, allowing our female receptive side to come forward to magnetize or receive in the silence. So it is Entering The Silence.”
“Correct,” said Bear. “And the second path?”
“Well, I suppose the next step is digesting the answers that come and learning to feel which ones apply. So the second pathway is integrating the information and discerning what our personal truth is,” I replied.
“Right again,” said Bear. “It is on the second step, which nurtures the answers received, that the third path becomes evident.”
“Oh, I understand,” I said. “It is because the third path is structure based on personal truth. If we have a knowing about our digested ideas, we may then formulate a plan on how to attain our goals, that’s the structure. If our goals are based on our personal truth and desire, they will be approached with joy. They will be goals we want to nurture because they are truly our own, not ones that others have expected of us. That’s right, isn’t it?”
Bear chuckled and rolled over scratching her back on the boulder next to the spring. “You have the idea,” she mused. “All the actions of Grizzly will allow each person to tap their inner-knowing and like Alona of long ago, my Clan can give the strength necessary to meet each tomorrow with joy. There is no need to fear the unknown that future holds if you follow Grandmother Grizzly and digest the knowing of your personal truth.”
I thanked Bear for the lessons and began the journey of understanding my personal West Shield. May this sharing also aid you in your joy-filled sojourn to the land of the Bear and the lessons of the West.
Learning to listen means distinguishing real Vision from your own dream voices of fear and memory and desire. Belief in the inevitability of nuclear destruction is a dream of this type, felt by people who can sense that the world they have known is no longer working, but who have not turned far enough to seek a vision beyond war.
Even when you get beyond your fears, sometimes your expectations will get in the way. Somehow you expect your Vision to be spelled in lightning across the sky. But while you watch the sky, you may miss the tiny drama of butterfly upon leaf happening at your feet.
The Vision itself can come in many forms, through a clear visual impression or visitation of spirit, physical contact and communication from an animal, a song or a dream.
Very often in completely unexpected fashion, out of the darkness of a Vision Quest will come an awareness of a Guardian Spirit, a force or energy that provides a clear channel for greater wisdom. Many cultures have believed that such guardians, like saints or angels, protect and guide us even when we are unaware of them. Conscious acknowledgment of a Guardian Spirit offers the possibility of communication and a ready source of strength and counsel.
Awareness of the guardian could come when you see a hawk fly and are uplifted by a sense of strength and freedom, when an oak tree drops its leaves at your feet, when the Northern Lights dance overhead, when you hear words whispered by the wind. Or a guardian might communicate itself as an intellectual concept, a particular energy that is understood to be a source of strength and direction, such as innocence or bravery, or love.
From: A Voice From The Earth
The animal kingdom is very important to those who immerse themselves in shamanism and natural magick. Sometimes you may want to communicate with animals or simply see the world through their eyes. A simple technique for merging your mind with animals is as follows:
Center yourself by sitting or lying upon the ground, closing your eyes, and imagine a whirlpool of energy surrounding you, travelling in clockwise motion from your head down to your feet, back up to your head, and back down to your feet. Continue this imagery until you feel grounded and centered, oblivious to daily distractions and cares. Once centered, allow your mind to wander to the animal you wish to merge with. Don’t force the imagery, rather allow it to happen.
Picture the animal clearly in your mind. Watch it, empathize with it, feel yourself merging with it. Imagine what it is like to be the animal. Imagine the sights it sees, the smells it senses, the motivations and ways of thinking it may have. Become those thoughts. Merge with the animal by dissolving the distinctions that make it separate.
Once you have fully merged with the animal, you can communicate with it. Ask it what you want to know. Tell it what you want it to know
Source: The Powers That Be
The effectiveness of a shaman is generally measured by the results he or she is able to achieve. It is believed that unless the shaman is able to call power animals and spiritual aid to help her, she will not be effective. Indeed that individual could not be called a shaman.
The teaching of detachment, and letting go of one’s ego is a central lesson for the shaman. If the individual cannot let go of pride and self interest, he or she are not considered to be a good healer, and may not be able to enlist the spiritual aid considered necessary for effective healing.
There is a concept that the spirits must take pity on the healer and the one being healed. If the shaman cannot evoke compassion from those that would aid her or him, but instead offends with his or her pride – no assistance will be given to that person for the healing work.
Source: Shaman Links
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