I realise that I am very lucky: my Animal Guardians came to me, I didn’t have to go searching for them. Apparently though, it doesn’t always happen this way, and this post is an intention to show you some of the ways that you can find and connect with your own personal Spirit Guardian.
Note: here, we are just talking about your animal Guardian: There are many Guides and teachers and yes, even Angels, that reside in the Spiritual Plane, all of whom can help us in their own unique ways, if we consciously connect to them. This post is concentrating on the Animal Guardian connection.
Sometimes, your Guardians do come to you in various and unexpected ways: a friend may give you a gift of an animal representation, and say ‘I thought of you when I saw this’. You may then notice that this animal crops up quite often – on tv, in pictures you see, in dreams… you may even notice your thoughts straying to a particular animal, or thinking to yourself, ‘I feel like bear/butterfly/deer at the moment’, and so on. Don’t ignore this – your Guardian may be trying to connect to you. Look the animal up: see if the symbolism connects with you. If you are still doubtful, look at the meditation/Journey exercise below.
If this doesn’t happen, and you want to reach your Guardian, then there are two ways that I, personally, know of doing this. The first one doesn’t require meditation/Journeying. If you are not familiar with doing that type of trance work, I suggest trying this: Get a mirror, big enough that you can see into without holding it up in your hand, and place it propped in front of you, where you can look into it. Place a candle- any candle, a tealight will do – in front of it, and light it. The flame enhances concentration. Now, you can either stare into the mirror, looking deeply and firmly into your own eyes – the flame should be in your peripheral vision. Or look into the mirror first, into your own eyes, and then transfer your gaze to the flame. Keep your gaze on the flame, don’t stray from it. Do whichever appeals and seems more comfortable to you. Concentrate your thoughts on your Animal Guardian, on reaching and connecting with your animal Guardian. You will enter a light trance state, a meditative state. Eventually, the idea of an animal will show itself to you. Concentrate on it until you are sure it is clear. This may take a while. If you don’t get it first time, don’t give up. It may take a bit of practice. Be sure to thank your animal Guardian for showing itself to you. When you are done, look it up, to see what it represents – this is a mark of reciprocating your honour and respect, your thanks for its appearance, and coming to you.
Note: Depending on what type of person you are, you may see your animal, you may not: instead, you may ‘hear’ or ‘think’ of the animal. Don’t dismiss this, this may be the way it is reaching you. You may ‘feel’ – the strength of a bear, the wings of a butterfly, a paw on your shoulder. Not everyone sees images in this type of work. I very rarely do. I’m a Clairsentient, which means I ‘know’ things, information just suddenly ‘drops’ into my mind, from seemingly nowhere. Sometimes images and feelings accompany this. Whatever happens, trust your instinct. Your instinct is a lot more attuned to this type of work than you may be aware of!
The second way of connecting is through meditation. And there are various ways of connecting once you are relaxed and calm enough. If you are not used to going into a trance like state, you may need to practice first – paradoxically, it can be quite tricky to calm yourself enough to let go of the outer world! Either sit or lie down, whichever is most comfortable for you. Make sure you are in a relaxed position, and I’d advise taking off a watch. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly. To start with, just think of nothing: nothing in your mind, in your brain. Just calm, centering yourself, going inward. No thoughts, just.. calm; emptiness. Once you feel you are ‘inside’ (and you will know when you are there) you can begin to concentrate on your Guardian. As I say, there are two ways of doing this.
The first way is, just to think of connecting to your animal Guardian. Concentrate on that. Call to them: “I would like to connect with my animal Guardian. Please will you show yourself to me?” Again, this may take a while, so be patient. Things may happen; you may see/think/hear/feel various images or scenes. Accept them, let it happen, but don’t involve yourself with them. If and when you see an animal, respond according to your feelings – your inner self and instinct will guide you on what to do. If you connect with an Animal, watch them, and your own feelings. If you are happy, excited, filled with warmth, trust etc, this is likely your Guardian – particularly if they are looking right at you, or are dancing, or doing something else that feels positive. If, however, you feel doubtful or fearful, then this may not be your Guardian. Many strange things can happen when you are ‘seeing’ in a trance state. If you are unsure, think to the vision ‘are you my animal Guardian?’ It will answer you with a yes only if it is. You can stay with the vision, see what else happens. Talk to your Guardian, ask questions – or it may have a message for you. When you are ready to leave, be sure to thank your Guardian, and come back to yourself slowly. You will need to ground yourself after doing this – you may feel strange, lightheaded. Eating is a good way of bringing your self back to normality. Or sit quietly for a while, thinking about your vision, or write it down.
The other way of connecting in meditation is by Journeying. You may want to take a few practice runs at this before travelling to find your Guardian. Start by going to the World Tree. This is where you connect to the Upper, middle, and Lower Spiritual realms. Imagine a huge tree, one that you connect with, that has huge roots and big, widespread branches, the trunk extending far, far up. Some books I have read state that you have to travel downwards, to the Lower World, to connect with your animal Guardian. Personally, I would say that whatever feels right to you, do – again it’s all about trusting your intuition. (If you are just exploring – taking initial practice runs – you can just climb up and down the Tree, through the branches, see what it has to show you.) Before you go anywhere, state your intent: I wish to connect with my animal Guardian. I am travelling to find my animal Guardian. Then look at the Tree, and go where your intuition leads you.
To get to the Lower World, follow the roots downwards. It may seem to take a while to get there, but the roots will not lead you wrong. If you want to start in the Upper World, climb the tree, past the lower branches, keep going up and up and up… you’ll sudenly ‘clear’ the top branches, you will likely hit a barrier of some sort: clouds, light, or something else. Go up past the barrier, and you are there. For the Middle World, you don’t need to climb. The World Tree is your frame of reference, but here, all you need to do is walk away, heading towards a forest clearing, or a meadow, or something of nature with which you feel comfortable. Once you are there, you are in the Middle World.
Wherever you have chosen to go, keep in mind why you are there: to find your animal Guardian. You may see other things and other animals in these Worlds – every experience is different. Just as with the previous exercise, be guided by your inner responses. If you have negative feelings, remove yourself from the situation you are seeing. If you have positive feelings, by all means engage with what you are experiencing – you might learn something new, or receive messages from other beings inhabiting this World. Just be aware at all times and don’t allow yourself to be ‘sucked into’ something you are not sure about. Keep focussed. Think of this like taking a walk in an unknown woods – it is peaceful, enjoyable, experiential – but always be alert, for you don’t know what else could be there. Just as in the real world, think about your own safety as much as the weird and wonderful things you are seeing.
Again, as with the above exercise, when you see an animal, ask it directly: Are you my Guardian? And watch and listen for its response. Your Guardian will only ever answer with positive feelings and attitude. Any other animal who has appeared for reasons of their own, will either ignore you, snarl, or give off dubious or negative feelings. If you encounter this, simply turn and walk away, and carry on calling for your Guardian to come to you.
Your Guardian may want to show you their world: whilst with them, they will keep you safe and protect you here, follow and heed them – and enjoy yourself! Or if you prefer, you can return directly – by making your way back to the World Tree. Don’t forget to thank your Guardian for coming to you. Again, make sure you ground yourself when returning to the normal world, and look up the symbolism and traits of your Guardian.
These are my experiences and ways I have come across of connecting with Guardians. This is a not a definitive guide, and you may com aacross other information which differs. Always do what feels right to you. I hope this has been of help to you, and I wish you luck, and most of all, fun with this. As ever, I will be happy to answer any questions you have on this subject, and to hear of your own experiences regarding connecting with your Guardian – or Guardians.
Totems. Animal Guides. Spirit guides. There are many names for Spiritual guardians that come to us from the Otherworld, to help us, teach us and protect us. Some of you may have come across them, some may not. Some of you may even have connected to your Animal Guardian already. If you have, you know what a wonderful, rich relationship it is, to know that there is something ‘other’ always there with you, on call when you need or want them, and the teachings that they give to us.
Some of you may not be familiar with this concept, or have only come across it in passing, in some vague terms. I hope, in this post, to give further insight and information on the role and connection with those special beings, our Animal Guardians.
So what are these Totem guides? Where do they come from? Is probably a good place to start. The Spirit realm – or Other realm, or Otherworld, is a universal place that overlaps the physical world. We cannot see it physically, but we can connect to it, when we ‘let go’ of the material world and travel inwards, in deep meditation – or journeying, as it is otherwise known. Shamans have been doing this for centuries, and the Western world is now beginning to catch up to the fact that there is something ‘other’ than the seen world.
It is this Other Realm that Animal Totem Guides come from. Each of us has our own personal Animal Guardian – or Guardians. Some stay with us our whole lives, our own personal companion for life, and others may come and go, to teach us something that we need at a particular time. They come to us when we ask, when we wish to connect, to guide us on our correct inner path, to help us in times of need, to show us new things – in essence, to help us in any way they can. This relationship is a two way street though. Your Guides need to be treated with honour, respect, and dignity. If you do not maintain a relationship with them, or treat them disrespectfully, they will simply ‘fade away’: they will not come when you call them.
Often, your animal Guide bears some reflection on yourself: characteristics or traits are shared, or something you are wrestling with – a problem or weakness – will be their strength. After finding your own animal Guardian, you should look up the meaning of their symbolism, traits and characteristics. You will be amazed at how much they are similar to you. Certain aspects will strike you, you will find something you need, or recognise. In short, they come to you for a reason, and this resemblance or need is a connection between you and your animal guide.
So who can be an animal guide/Guardian/Totem? Any creature. Yes, I do mean any: any real-world creature, including insects. You may dream of a powerful animal like a panther, say, but every creature has something special to share and to teach us. I once ‘saw’ a butterfly for a friend of mine, when we were 16. As a young male, you can imagine he was not best pleased! Yet the Butterfly is about change; about impermanence, and freedom.
But Animal Guides can also be mythological – Dragon is particularly spiritual and powerful – and very wise, I may add. The very first Guardians I had, at 15 or 16, were two Pegasus. I discovered, through a lot of research, and my own intuition, that Pegasus represent the ‘gates’ to the Spiritual Realm… I believe they were there to help me begin and continue correctly on my new-found Spiritual exploration. As I had two, one hovering over each shoulder, as I ‘imagined’ them, they also represented a balancing of energies.
And that brings me on to another point – your own intuition, your own thinking and interpretation on what you ‘see’ when you journey and ‘hear’ when you speak to your guides, is just as important as anything else you read. YOU are the final expert – outward information can give you knowledge and advice, but this is YOUR experience. So if something you read doesn’t seem to fit, then trust and go with your instinct.
My Animal Guardians have helped me to find peace in myself when my life has been stressed: they have shown me how to approach particular problems. They have helped me know my ‘path’, they have given me strength when I felt weak, and they Journey with me when I go to the Otherworld. All of them were with me when I did a Soul-retrieval journey, and I was very, very glad of their company! They help us with every-day mundane situations, as well as our Spiritual paths. You can ask them for anything at all. You may not get the answer you want, but you will always get what you need – as long as you are open minded and open-hearted with them, and have no expectation – merely open yourself up to the experience to come.
If you talk to other people about animal Guardians, you may well be met with derision or dismissal – our culture has a habit of sneering and disbelieving anything that cannot be quantified scientifically. Yet the whole Native American tradition is founded on animal medicine, as they call it, and ‘Totems’. It is also an intrinsic part of a Shaman’s practice. If people have not experienced it themselves, they find it hard to understand something like this can be ‘real’. Yet I would argue having these guides and following an inner path is just as real, if not more so, than following the trail of money and status symbols – which can change and crash down around us in but a moment. Happiness and contentment lie within more than without. Yet it does seem to me that belief and understanding of Inner Guides – and there are more Guides than just animal Guardians – is becoming more prevalent in our society. More people are discovering this inner world, and this is a very good thing!
I discovered my first Guardians at 15/16. I worked for a long time with them, following an Inner Spiritual Path, and eventually met my Snake Guardian at the age of 21. She came to me like a bolt out of the blue – I was actually in the company of friends, socialising at home, when, literally, BANG! Something happened ‘inside’ my head. I was rooted to the spot, a shiver went through inside of me, and I saw her, standing upright, above my head, looking out at the Void. It was an unexpected, amazing experience. My friend asked me if I was all right, because my “eyes have gone very big, you look you’re somewhere else!” And of course I was, entranced with having, for no apparent reason, acquired a new Power animal (another term for animal Guardian).
Snake Spirit is linked with Qutzelcoatl (the Feathered serpent of the Maya), and Lilith, which amazed me, as these were tow figures I had been studying, and loved enormously. Snake is also linked with other Divine figures, but it was these in particular that struck me.
“Snake is an interpreter of Dreams… Snake was chaos, she was void…”
In early times, the Snake was revered, but with the mythology of the bible and the snake tempting Eve, it became reviled. There are many myths and stories relating to the Snake.
Snake also represents the cycle of birth, death and renewal – this is the same as my zodiac sign, Scorpio.
“Serpent… was guardian of the night gates of the underworld…
[Snake is] the cycle itself: change and transformation”
Due to my growing Spiritual path, these words really struck me, resonating with me. And the book (source at the end of this post) goes on to say,
“…protector of the ancient mystery schools, guarding access to knowledge and wisdom..
Snake implies the workings of divine energy through one’s life, an introduction to sacred knowledge.”
It seemed to me that I had arrived at a place where my Spiritual learning was going to go up a level. Snake is also the Kundalini energy, and healing. Though it is a double edged sword; the good can turn to venom, the support of one with snake as a power animal can turn instead to suffocation, if one is not careful, at all times aware.
Snake is very much with me today, and we have had some amazing Journeys together. I also have Wolf as a guardian, who came to me several years ago – in a similar manner to Snake, except this time I was lying in bed about to fall asleep. I had a sudden urge to reiki heal over my eyes – and I saw Changing Woman, a Navajo Goddess, whom I knew little about, and Wolf. They came to me together, and Wolf is still with me. Whereas Snake occupies the Void and Spiritual matters, Wolf is of the Earth/mundane world, and is a teacher – or teaches you to teach others; a protector, and has strong family ties and loyalty. They also love to play – Wolf has taught me to ‘just have fun – run for the joy of running!’ The book I have actually starts by saying:
“ Many correlations can be made between the medicine of the wolf and that attributed to snake and spider.” !!! I thought. Resurrection and rebirth, the totality of life, is part of Wolf’s symbolism. Wolf brings courage, strength and wisdom. It is grounding energy. It is taking the right action, and knowing yourself, and carrying on without fear – the way of the warrior.
I appreciate this is a long post, and I thank you for taking the time to read it. I hope it has given you some insight into the world and meaning of Animal Guardians.
I will write another post soon about how you can connect with your own animal Guardian. In the meantime, please feel free to ask any questions about this post, or share your thoughts or, indeed, your own experiences, I will be happy to receive them all, and answer what I can!
SOURCE on Snake and Wolf Animal Guardians, and quotations:
‘Animal Wisdom, the definitive guide’. Jessica Dawn Palmer, 2001.