Have you ever had an experience with an animal that immediately brought you into the present moment? Maybe you’ve experienced the buzz of a hummingbird whizzing right by your head, or have made unexpected eye contact with a wild animal in nature, or maybe you’re visited in your dreams by a specific animal.
You might be thinking animal guides are a little too woo woo for you. I was definitely in the, “not for me” category, but then I had a couple experiences that changed my mind and it has been totally worth it.
So, what’s in it for you? Why do the work to connect with an animal and cultivate a relationship with it?
Here are a few reasons why connecting with an animal guide is a tool you don’t want to miss out on! An animal guide can:
- Provide you with a much-needed message or warning during a time of need
- Usher you along your path as you change your life’s course
- Remind you of your inner power and strength during difficult times
- Teach you lessons in areas of your life that need improvement to help you achieve positive changes
Why I’m not calling this a Spirit Animal
Mini PSA here. I got sucked into an internet black hole while researching this topic. Thank goodness I did, because the truth is, I’ve been using the term Spirit Animal, casually and seriously, for a long time.
Sadly, the term spirit Animal has been culturally appropriated and misused in hurtful ways, for example: so-and-so celebrity is my Spirit Animal. For people practicing the very sacred practice of Spirit Animals, this can be offensive, and perpetuate the oppression of Native American people.
I know that’s a lot to take in, but I felt obligated to share a different perspective. Take it or leave it, and share your thoughts in the comments if you’d like.
Why I started paying more attention to animals
Just like you, I’ve had some experiences with animals that have made me stop and wonder if something more than coincidence was at play. The day my grandmother left this plain, who spent more money feeding her birds than feeding herself, there was a small bird that spent the entire day on our back porch. Our feathered visitor had no friends with it and we had no bird food on the back porch. My husband even noticed and made reference to it. I knew that was the day I’d get the call that Grandma moved on.
After the passing of my Grandma and my Father last year I worked with a spiritual healer that specialized in finding animal guides for her clients. During her vision journey, she not only found my father represented as a bear but found an animal that wanted to help me through the grieving process, a playful monkey. The experience was a powerful one and the symbol of the bear and the monkey have been an integral part of my healing process.
Animals made by Emily Rose Thomson
Many believe that animal guides are provided to you for a reason, so you cannot choose which one you receive. Here are some ways that you can connect with an animal guide:
- Let your subconscious mind do the work. Intentional meditation and dreams allow you to keep your heart and mind open for your animal to reveal itself to you. Take note of the animal or animals that show up while your mind is at rest.
- Stay observant of your interactions with nature and animals. If you find you have multiple similar interactions with the same animal or felt connected to a certain animal as a child, chances are this is your guide.
- Be assigned one by a Shaman or spiritual guide.
- Connect your animal guide through a divination tool like oracle cards. I like this Secret Language of Animals oracle card deck.
4 ways to continually connect with your animal guide:
- Learn more about the animal and the species. List all the characteristics you can think of that are associated with the animal. Be aware of which characteristics you identify with.
- Wear a symbol of the animal on you as a wearable reminder, whether it be through a piece of clothing or a sacred piece of jewelry.
- Decorate your space with symbols of the animal. I love the shop Periwinkle Nuthatch on Etsy. Emily can custom-make animals for you and they’re perfect for altars!
- Be an advocate for protection of the environment your animal exists in. If your animal totem lives in the ocean, support organizations that are working to protect ocean life.
I hope you found some takeaway in this lengthy post! If you’ve got something you’d like to share in relation to animal guides I’d love to hear about it, please feel free to contact us.
Cassie Uhl is a published author, artist, intuitive, and founder of Zenned Out. She created Zenned Out in 2012 with the mission to build a brand that normalizes spirituality. In 2018 she self-published her popular and interactive Goddess Discovery Book series. In 2020 her writing and art became more mainstream with Understanding Auras, Understanding Crystals, and Understanding Chakras, published by The Quarto Group. Her writing style and art combine to help marry accessibility with deep spiritual topics. It is her goal to help others understand and live spiritual practices that can change the world. Inspired by her open-minded grandmother, Cassie has been meditating and working with her energy since her teenage years. She received her 200hr YTT in 2012 with a focus on breathwork. Now, her work focuses on energy work, journeying, mediumship, death midwifery, and healing through traditional Celtic shamanic practices.