Working With Animal Guides: Familiars, Totems, Spirit and Power Animals
Working with animals and animal spirit guides can deepen your spiritual practice by connecting you more with the natural world and showing you different parts of yourself. There are many different ways to work with animals, and these four are the most common. Three are spiritual: Spirit Guides, Animal Totems, and Power Animals. One exists in the physical world through Familiars. All are important for different spiritual needs. Here is what they are.
Spirit Animals Are There To Guide You
Animal spirits are spirit guides but in an animal form. Some you can have for a long time, if not your whole life, others come for a specific reason and a shorter season.
Pets who have crossed over can become your spirit guides, but often animal guides come as messengers of an animal collective. An eagle, for example, can appear with a message of strength and courage; a wolf with a message of primal wildness; or a jaguar with a message of personal power.
Each spirit animal has a singular, different face. You can have one wolf guide at one point of your life, and another can come at another point. Each has its own character.
A spirit animal can come to you in a dream, a meditation, or you may see one in the wild and feel resonance. When in mediation, you can ask its name—or one they would like you to call them—and ask what messages they have for you. When seeing an animal in dreams or real life, you can also go into mediation after and ask for guidance.
During an encounter with a spirit animal in any of these ways, look up its meaning and see how it applies to your life. Continue working with this spirit animal until it leaves or when you no longer need their assistance.
Animal Totems Are For A Lifetime
Animal Totems represent the whole collective for that specific animal. They are archetypes for animals such as: foxes, owls, ravens, and so many more. Animal Totems were commonly used in different tribes such as Native American and Pagan Covens all over the world.
An Animal Totem provides a specific lesson for you, and they are often assigned to a person for their entire lifetime.
Power Animals Serve A Specific Purpose
Power Animals are a type of spirit guide that is temporary and comes for a specific purpose such as an astral projection or a ritual. Although, some can choose to stay a whole lifetime with you if you do the same work all your life. If an animal is helping you with Shamanic journeying and that is a part of your life mission, it may stay with you for a lifetime.
You can also call upon a specific power animal you choose to work with for a particular type of work.
Familiars Are Special Types of Pets
Familiars are the only living creature on your list. Rooted in Pagan traditions, Familiars help spiritual individuals in the physical realm. A pet can be a Familiar if they are in tune with you and your spiritual work. They are commonly cats and dogs.
Both dogs and cats see spirits. While cats are more known for their abilities to communicate with the other dimensions, dogs can also interact with spirits, but usually only the friendly ones.
Any person can have a Familiar even though it has been linked to Shamans and Pagans most often. Your familiar will be there for you in challenging emotional situations and join you when doing spiritual work. You can also have multiple familiars at the same time.
A Familiar will often choose you; you cannot force it. Some people have been able to find a familiar in the wild by calling upon them in meditation in the woods or nature.
Whether you work with a Spirit Guide, Animal Totem, Power Animal, or a Familiar, they are all excellent guides to use on your journey, and I highly recommend opening up to their wise messages.