Animals Have Souls, Too
Shamanism is an ancient technique for healing or spiritual growth done by honoring nature. Shamans believe that all of us have animal spirits to protect us from illness and negativity. They also believe that we may have more than one at a time or over the course of our lives. Power spirits do not have to be large mammals. Reptiles, insects, fish or small creatures are just as likely to be animal spirits. To communicate with or invoke your animal spirit, you must adjust your level of consciousness.
Choose a time of day when you are relaxed and free from stress. Don't choose to invoke your animal spirit 15 minutes before the kids get home from school or if you think you ought to be preparing dinner.
Wear comfortable clothing and make sure there is nothing to distract you such as children, barking dogs or cell phones.
Burn some dried sage to smudge the area if you are familiar with smudging. Otherwise, if you would like to, you can light a fragrant candle or oil. This is purely optional.
Play some relaxation music if you have it and find it helpful during meditation. If you find it distracting, or find that you spend time listening to the music rather than focusing on what you are doing, do not play it.
Sit or lie in a relaxed position and begin to change your level of awareness by saying a prayer or meditating for a few minutes.
Take several deep breaths. Clear your mind and visualize your negativity and fear leaving your body.
Create a place in your mind that is beautiful and surrounded by nature. Envision a babbling brook, sunny blue sky, dense forest or sea shore--whatever scene you find idyllic.
Open your mind and invite your animal spirit to come to you. Perhaps it will walk directly up to you, or maybe you will see it gracefully running through the forest. If you don't know what your totem or guide is, and are seeking to find yours, remember that it will find you, not the other way around. Thinking about a tiger and then envisioning it does not mean that your totem is a tiger.
Pay attention to how your animal spirit moves or acts. Spend time meditating with it as long as it wants to stay. Your power animal is unlikely to speak to you using words, so you must observe and try to interpret what its actions mean.
When you are ready to end your meditation, thank your animal spirit for visiting with you and invite it to come back again another time. Ask it to protect you and keep you from illness and negativity.
Learn about your animal spirit once you know what it is. If it is an eagle, learn about where eagles live, what they eat, and how they survive. This is a way of honoring your totem.
Try contacting your animal spirit in other ways as well. Before you dream, invoke your guide asking it to come to you in your dream that night. If you do dream about your totem, try to remember what you dreamt and write down everything you can remember as soon as you awaken.