Spirit animals and animal guides find their way into my work on a regular basis, even though, or perhaps because my work is created intuitively.
Animals have always been an important part of my life. Their presence, real or as symbolic spirit animals, has accompanied me for as long as I can remember.
Animals as guides and helpers manifest in both the real and imaginal worlds for me. Often with a real world encounter followed by a spirit animal appearance in a dream, inner journey or in an intuitively created piece of art.
Today animal imagery forms a large part of my personal symbolic language. You’ll find spirit animals like Bear, Crow, Deer/Reindeer, Butterfly, Owl, Fox, Turtle and Rabbit/Hare appearing again and again in my work.
Their presence in myth, folktales, fairy-tales and legends of The Saints provides a rich and fertile field for me to draw from along with my own unique experiences.
I’ve found great wisdom in the animal world, and that finds its way into my creative depth work again and again.
When Spirit Animals Show up
At the end of my training to become a Creative Depth Coach I created a work that would help me integrate the deep and complex journey I had taken during the training.
Not surprisingly Bear in spirit animal form was the focus of that work. You can watch several videos of that art journals that explore the discovery and deep wisdom that bear has brought me.
Steve Farmer’s Book Animal Speak is a wonderful resource for discovering spirit animal meanings.
Avia at What’s Your Sign has marvelous insights on spirit animal totems across many cultures.
Animals as Archetypes
Bear is one of my oldest, ongoing allies. Bear is the inhabitant of my heart chakra and offers deep wisdom and protection. I often surmise that animals can be Archetypes, or that they are at least a sub-set of, or type of Archetype.
These animal energies, essences or presences often contribute to our own ways of being like archetypes do.
I often notice that the Fierce Mother Archetype is one powerful aspect of Bear. The Hermit is found within the Bear Archetype, also.
Animals are close to the large and powerful forces of nature. I sense that spirit animals can often hold more than one type or archetypal energy and thus become a container for powerful blended archetypal presence.
Discovering your Spirit Animals
People often ask my how to discover their own animal guides.
Take an inventory of the animals that draw your attention, are fascinate you or that you have had an unusual encounter with.
Simple, gentle and safe inner journey work, using slow breathing and music, rattle or drumming can help you move into the imaginal realm where you can invite animal archetypes to make themselves known to you.
Discover your animal archetypes or spirit animals as you meditate. Set your intention to find which animal is best aligned with each of your chakras. This can take many years to accomplish and at times the animal presence may change.
Richness, wisdom and self knowledge are gained as you identify and work with your spirit animals.
Do you have an animal that is a spirit guide, or has a special symbolic presence in your life? Encourage their presence and continue to work with them and you’ll find that the relationship will deepen and your understanding of their meaning and message for you will increase.