A great many people have a real and close affinity for animals of all types and sizes. Some people even say they prefer animals to people and there can be much truth in this: they are always honest and truthful and you know just where you are with them. But how does this connection with our animal friends work on a spiritual level?
To get some clues for this we can look to the Native American Indians. Most people think of the names they used that often gave clues to that person’s link to a particular animal; Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse are two famous examples. Often these names were given because of some encounter or experience they had with that particular animal.
Because of these animal encounters the person was seen as having gained that animal as a ‘Totem’. This means they belong to that clan or tribe – it is not a specific animal that becomes the totem, for example a black and white cat named Pippa, but ‘cat’ as a whole, a group identity or energy. Once ‘allied’ with that animal, or more specifically its energy or power, it is yours for life.
Many people are drawn to a particular kind of animal and seem to have an affinity with it for reasons that they may not easily be able to explain. This may well be because it is in fact your Totem Animal. Sometimes we can do this almost without being aware of it, by bringing objects relating to that animal into our home, such as pictures or figurines. Take a look around your home and see if you can see any clues as to what your Totem animal might be.
There are other ways you can find out what your Totem might be. One of the most effective ways is to do an ‘inner journey’. This is rather like a guided meditation, where you need to be able to relax yourself and allow your mind to open itself a little, to receive impressions or sensations from whatever might come to you.
To do this, just sit comfortably, put your hands in your lap, close your eyes and relax. Take a few good deep breaths and settle down. Allow your thoughts to just come and go, until your mind becomes a little more calm and open. It is good to send out a thought to ask for your Totem animal to come to you and show itself. One thing you can then do is to imagine yourself sitting quietly and calmly in a clearing in a wood or forest and just sit patiently for an animal to come to you.
It may be that you need several goes at this to begin to sense something, or see it in your minds’ eye. It may be that you do not feel, see or sense anything at all! This does not mean it has not worked. We can often make an energy contact with our totem animal this way, but we find that it comes to us to make contact in other ways. This might be by our continually coming across an animal in unexpected ways, such as in advertisements, pictures, films, tv shows and so on. Just be open to whatever comes.
Many people have some idea before-hand what they think their Totem animal might be or what they would like. This is usually when it is something more ‘romantic’ and appealing, such as wolf, lion or leopard and so on. However, your Totem animal might be mouse, spider, eel or even flea!
Whatever it might be, try to accept it with humility and grace as you can be sure it will be right for you. What you can gain from your animal ally can be beyond words.
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