This post is one that I have intended to write for some time, detailing some unique and strange experiences in my life, that I have never quite been able to explain. I have put this into sub-headings, so please feel free to browse and skip and read only what seems interesting to you! First however, a new experience from today….
Chakras and Totem Associations
I have recently begun to see particular images, or ‘Totems’ at chakra points as I do self-reiki. The first I saw was at my throat chakra, and was a Koi carp, which symbolises good fortune, prosperity, and also the Yin-Yang symbol (apparently the yin-yang is said to be actually be made up of two Koi, male and female, in balance). The second image came to me at the Crown and 3rd Eye chakra, and was the Copper Beech tree. This represents learning, knowledge, crossing barriers, communicating knowledge – very apt, for the chakra points. I knew nothing of the meaning of this tree – I didn’t even know what the tree WAS when I saw it, but it was so vivid that I looked it up on the internet and found it, and of course was suitably stunned by the symbolic meaning. And today I saw a Totem at my Heart chakra – a Hummingbird. After the session, I was discussing with my partner, Neometheus, about my use of energy at the moment and how I feel depleted, and some of this depletion is coming from ‘thinking’ too much: thinking of all the jobs that need doing, that I should be doing, the pull in different directions of my energies. Then I looked up Hummingbird – and was, yet again, hit by the synchronicity of Hummingbird meaning: one site says:
Hummingbirds are also a reminder of how we expend our own energy. When hummingbirds show up in our lives, it’s a good time to take a look at ourenergy-stores and resources. hummingbirds warrant an honest look at how we are maintaining our vibrational frequencies. Are we frittering away our energy on needless issues (ie: worry, fear, lack)? Or, are we in a state of well-honed, regulated balance when it comes to our energy and resources?
Hummingbird is very much linked to the Heart – it is about Lightness, fun, joy, clearing negativity. I am enjoying this chakra/totem association, discovering the many-layered aspects interwoven in the meanings, what they mean to me and how to use them wisely, knowingly, understanding the meaning and pattern developing in my life.
I know this sounds morbid, but it is true. In a 7 year period from age 15/16 to some time in my early 20’s, I had 3 death dreams. They were so realistic I could FEEL my death for days afterwards. I remembered the dreams, the experience of dying, the fear, that these feelings are still with me today, 10+ years later.
Dream 1: Sarajevo war. I have no idea why, I was quite a young child during the time of that war and this dream was years later. I was sitting in a cafe filled with people, when soldiers came in and started firing automatics. I remember ending up on a heaped pile of dead bodies, me still alive, playing dead and hoping against hope the soldiers would leave… but they didn’t, they fired into the bodies, the bullet hit me… life bled, faded from me, I felt life leave me, turn to black… I felt that bullet. I felt death come for me. It was real. And it scared the hell out of me.
Dream 2: English-German council of peace after the war. Both armies sitting at a table discussing moving forward in peace. I was at the head of the table, the diplomat, the ‘neutral’ or aligned party, on both sides and neither side. A soldier burst in through the door, yelling, aimed his gun – at me. Again, the bullet hit. Again, I felt the disorientation, the draining of life, knowing I was dying, seeing only blackness… felt death begin.
Dream 3: I found myself walking down a corridor… and knew it was towards the electric chair. I was walking to my own execution. Panic gripped me: I had to escape. I ran into the bathroom, breathing hard, looked at the window, the walls… no escape. Nowhere to run. I was really going to my execution, there was no denying it, no choice. This was it. I had 5 minutes of life, and then – death. This time the dream ended there, not actually at my death. But the panic, the knowing of death to come… when I awoke, that panic was still with me.
I still, to this day have no idea why I had these dreams. There was no obvious trauma in my life at those times – I remember questioning the dreams at the time. Some subconscious forces were obviously at work, but I never did uncover them. On the same sort of theme, I have several times woken from dreams and found myself actually crying. This has not happened for some time, but again, some strong subconcious actions happening to induce such a physical reaction, and again, not something I ever discovered the ‘why’ of.
Abundant Spiritual Connection
At the age of around 14/15, I was walking in my local town, on a normal day, in a normal way. Suddenly, noticing the people around me, walking, talking, being normal, I felt this amazing connection with them all – suddenly I could not understand how they could just walk past me and disappear from my life, as if they did not exist. To every person I felt this spiritual connection, and had an almost panic-reaction to their coming-and-going in a blink of an eye, that they did not acknowledge this connection with each other. The feeling lasted for seconds, literally, but was so profound, it has stayed with me to this day. I have never been able to reconnect with this feeling/understanding, and I don’t know why it happened that day. It was totally out of the blue, came from nowhere, and disappeared again. Leaving me with just a glimpse of absolute, total, inter-connectedness.
Beside myself, quite literally
I have saved the weirdest, the strangest, the most unique experience in my life until last. There are very few people who know this tale, and of those I have spoken to, I have not yet come across anyone who has experienced anything like this. Comments, suggestions and thoughts particularly on this will be very welcome indeed.
Again, this started at the age of about 15 (In writing this post, I am beginning to see a strange pattern!) And again it stopped sometime in my early/mid-twenties. It always happened when a) I was alone, & b) when I looked in a mirror… something ‘shifted’ inside me, and I was no longer quite myself. I felt myself to be, literally, ‘beside’ myself, overlapping my body side-wise; half in my body and half to the side of it. I looked in the mirror and knew it was me, but also felt like a stranger. I became uncomfortably conscious: super-aware of myself, of every action, that it was extremely unsettling. Simple actions, such as brushing my hair, picking up items… felt like someone else was in control, was doing it, with me kind of watching. Yet it felt like ‘me’, it felt like a stronger, wiser, better me, somehow. Me, but a different me who was in control of my body, whilst Me me watched, terrified, wanting to be back to just being me. This sensation could last anything from 15/20 mins up to maybe an hour or so. It really did terrify me because it was such a strange feeling, and I had no idea how or why it was happening. It didn’t happen on a regular basis, but often enough that it was more than a handful of times over that period.
I don’t know why it started. I don’t know why it stopped. And I sure don’t know what the hell it was! I have never been able to find an answer to this.
And Finally, back to dreams…
Last night I had a dream about my right hand having to be cut off (I am right-handed). There was nothing wrong with it in the dream, but I knew it had to go. At first I was terrified, I didn’t want it to be amputated (especially with the stanley knife that was the tool in the dream!). But eventually, I surrendered, choosing to accept the fate, and told them to do it now & quickly. Then it no longer needed to be cut off… as if in the surrender, I had ‘fixed’ the problem, or maybe passed a test. I had a similar dream some months ago about my forearm or perhaps whole arm, accept I had 2 chances in that one, the first I chose to allow my arm to be cut off, which then regrew, the 2nd time I chose to keep my arm and not have it cut away. I am not entirely sure of the theme here but there is definitely something deep going on, and I and Neometheus believe it has something to with ‘control’ and ‘letting go’.
If you have stuck with me so far – wow, thank you! I hope you enjoyed this rather strange trip, and please feel free to share your own strange experiences, or to comment on any of the above – any and all thoughts welcome!
Light & Blessings be,
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.