Think about animals to whom you’ve always been attracted – and remember that “animal” includes birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects.
- Do you collect owls?
- Draw pictures of dragons?
- Live for the sight of horses?
Swear that you would never want to live without a cat? (I believe that Cat is one of the most popular (and certainly one of the most accessible) power animals, closely followed by Dolphin and Wolf.)
- What animal do you feel is most like you?
- If you could be an animal what would you most want to be?
- What would you least want to be?
- Are there animals you dream about regularly?
If none of the above questions produce any inspiration, or if what you come up with doesn’t feel quite right be open to and affirm that your power animal(s) (there may well be more than one) will show themselves to you soon.
- Before you go to sleep each night ask for your power animal to appear.
- Make the same request while in meditation.
- Be aware of the animal images you see in the course of the day.
- Someone sent you a card with a picture of a wolf? There’s a special on the wolves in Yellowstone National Park on TV? This may be worth investigating.
- If you live in an area where wildlife abounds see who the most frequent visitors are.
- Which birds come most often to your feeder?
- Take out books on animals, preferably with pictures, from the library, and see whether any of them stir feelings within you.
You can also choose power animals based on qualities you would like to have in your life. For a listing of animals and their qualities, you can visit these posts: Animal Symbols in Magick and Animal Symbols and Archetypes.
Above all, be patient. You may be just opening up to the idea that animals have something to teach you. Your relationship with one will flower in its time, and you may find as you grow and evolve that your power animals change.
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.
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.
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.
A Simple Shapeshifting Exercise
Here is an exercise in trading places (mentally) with a dog, a cat, or other animal. Once you become adept at this exercise, you will find animal communication, animal healing, and contact with power animals and guides much easier to accomplish.
- Setting: Home, Zoo, Wilderness, etc.
Relax your body as completely as you can. Calm your mind, eliminating all thoughts which do not relate to your intent and purpose. Sit so that you are comfortable, and as nearly as possible on the same level with the animal you will be working with. Lie down if you like. The important thing is that you are able to comfortably make eye contact with your animal partner in this exercise. It is also important to satisfy yourself that the animal is likewise comfortable and secure with you.
Take a deep breath. As you slowly exhale, look into the animal’s eyes, and imagine that a part of your awareness is being transmitted through your breath into the animal’s mind. Watch the animal breathe, and imagine that a part of its awareness is being transmitted into your mind.
Continue looking directly into the animal’s eyes until you fell your consciousness merge with the animal’s consciousness.
What to expect:
- You may begin to feel compassion for another species.
- You’ll also probably recognize some of the artificial differences between the human and animal worlds.
- You may be able to feel or sense the actual flow of the animals emotions and mental imagery.
As the boundaries between you and the animal dissolve, you may feel as if you’ve really traded places with a member of another species, as though a part of you has become the animal – this is the height of subjective merging.
Should you accomplish this, then it should be no trouble for you to contract with the animal to serve as your magical partner or “familiar.”
Asking another to become such a partner also places upon you the responsibility of becoming its partner. I would not recommend contracting an animal to become your familiar and then treating the animal as a pet. A pet is something you possess, own. A familiar, is an individual who has entered into a mutually beneficial relationship (partnership) with you, and therefore should be afforded the respect and consideration due a partner.