What Is a Spirit Animal?

Did you know that you have a spirit animal? And no, you did not choose it. Instead, it chooses you. Many Indigenous peoples use animal spirits as guides. The same is true for some Pagans, who might use familiars, and certain spiritual practitioners, who incorporate animal totems into their practices. Are you ready to connect?

Spirit Animals as Guides

It is a common misconception that spirit guides always take on human form. While it is certainly possible, they may also appear in the form of an animal. In this setting, the guide may have several functions:

  • Having crossed over to the other side, they offer guidance in daily life from a broader perspective. This spirit animal may be a loved one who wants to watch over you.
  • Some offer opportunities for the human to travel in the spiritual realm for a short time; the spirit animal acts as guide and protector. You may be working with an energy being that is choosing to take on a familiar form.
  • The spirit animal may take a prominent role in dreams, which reveal past and future events. It balances you as you review lessons and receive messages.

The Animal Spirit in Totemism

Sometimes, an animal guide is not unique to an individual. When it is part of a family’s tradition, you might consider it a totem. This totem animal teaches the members of the family through the generations.

It provides insight, develops innate gifts such as healing, and guides the family members in their spiritual growth. The members of this family may also call on this animal spirit to offer protection in adversity.

In some cases, the animal spirit guides a group that is not necessarily related by blood or marriage. The members of this group may share a search for spiritual growth.

The Animal as a Familiar

Practitioners of magick and shamans understand that the familiar is a spiritual entity that may take on the shape of a live animal. However, the animal is the vessel for a spirit that seeks to communicate with you. The animal becomes a sign that the spirit energy is ready to interact for the person open to this communication. For uninitiated bystanders, the animal is just that: an animal.

Connecting with the Individual or Group Spirit Animal

For many practitioners, spiritual guides are essential for reaching their full potential. They seek to cultivate a relationship with a power animal. If the spirit guide agrees, they will take up guardianship of the individual or group.

It guides them through explorations of inborn powers, dormant abilities, and an understanding of dark traits that they must learn to control. Mediation, shamanistic practices, and yoga can be ways to connect with the guide.

Why You Do Not Need Facebook’s Spirit Animal Quiz

They may be popular on social media, but this type of spirit animal quiz misses the point. If you do wish for guidance, work with a shaman or someone who is farther along in spiritualistic practices. You might also open yourself to the experience by looking back.

  • Life phases. Were there times in your life that a specific animal played a prominent role in? Did you seem to see hawks, cats, or salamanders more frequently than ever before? Looking back allows you to look forward to recognizing the spirit guide when it approaches you next time.
  • Dream messages. Another way that your spirit animal connects with you is through dreams. If there is an animal that seems to be part of your dream world, pay attention! It may be sent to give you a message or understand one.
  • Meditation. The meditative state is a powerful avenue for the animal guide to introduce itself to you and form a bond. Look for an animal form that encapsulates your qualities. An owl for wisdom, a tiger for strength, or a snake for cleverness are just a few examples.
  • Zodiac. Some practitioners follow a Chinese, Celtic, or another Zodiac. Your birth month may determine the type of animal guide that you might expect. That said, the actual spirit animal might be different.

Treating the Spirit Animal as an Ally

As a guide, the spirit animal seeks to teach you. As a protector, it grants you safe passage into the spirit realm. As a teacher, the animal guide helps you become what you have been destined to be. For some, this may be a healer. For others, it could be a teacher. You may also be called to take up the role of shaman.

It is essential to understand that the spirit animal will not force itself on you. If you choose to close your mind to its guidance, it will leave you alone.

This is Your Journey to Enjoy

If you choose to connect with your spirit animal, it will be a personal journey that is unique to you. While others might offer assistance, the actual experience is entirely your own.

This means that two people may have the same spirit animal, but for entirely different reasons. For example, one person may be chosen by a wolf for their love of freedom and innate intelligence. Another may be selected by a wolf because they intuitively act on instinct.