Messages from the Animal Kingdom
Welcome to Module 4!
“If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, And what you do not know you will fear. What one fears one destroys. — Chief Dan George”
This week, we will cover:
*How to work with Animal Spirits
*The differences between totems, spirit guides and power animals
*How to connect with your power animal
*Power Animal Shamanic Journey (guided meditation)
*Why and how shamans use altered states of consciousness
*The power of sacred objects in ritual
*How to make medicine bundles and medicine bags
*The art of shapeshifting: integration with your spirit animal
*Honoring the wisdom of Fungi and how they teach us to be multidimensional shaman
“Every animal is a gateway to the phenomenal world of the human spirit. What most fail to realize is that what they think of animals reflects the way they think of themselves.”
When I have an encounter with an animal, my go-to resource is Ted Andrew's book cited above. I think it is important to connect with the person who gives intuitive messages about animals. Ted Andrews is one of many medicine healers who gives messages from the animal spirits. My suggestion for you when working with animal spirit medicine:
a) Delve deeply into your own assessment of the characteristics and qualities of an animal and meditate on what that animal's message means for you personally.
b) Then, reach out for additional guidance on the symbolism of a certain animal and measure this information up against your own intuitive feelings. Confirmation will come to you from the right sources. Let your sources come to you intuitively.
A Word About Cultural Conditioning
Cultures around the world have many different perspectives on animals that may or may not align with the guidance you have received from the animal kingdom. Be careful not to let the cultural stigma of an animal influence or block you from receiving a message from Spirit. Allow me to give you some examples of cultural conditioning around animals.
The Cherokee people consider owls to be an omen of death. No member of the Cherokee nation would tattoo the image of an owl on their body or carry around a fanciful, decorative owl image. To those not in that belief system and culture, having representations of owls would be a perfectly fine thing to do. We can honor each person's perceptions of animal spirits. Owls have played a huge role in teaching me many lessons. I welcome the Spirit of Owl when it shows up in my life. I do find it interesting to note that my potter friend intuitively started making "Journey Boxes", precious vessels to carry our sacred objects once we leave our physical bodies. She knew absolutely nothing about the Cherokee connection between owls and death when she started including owls in her pottery urns. I do not find this to be a coincidence. Art is a form of spiritual channeling and my friend Bonnie was connecting to the process and journey of death. Owl Spirit was there to help her and she didn't need to know traditions or have cultural programming to make that happen. The animals teach us, help us and lead us on our journey. We do not have to learn or "know". We only need to allow ourselves to remember.