Power Animals and the Shaman
Article ID: 12476
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: April 13th. 2008
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Power animals. We often hear about them and they are referred to in many conversations but very few people seem to have a clue to what they are. Are they real? Do people have one or many power animals that follow them around in life?
Fuzzy bears walking beside people, soaring falcons or eagles hovering above your head... This couldn’t be, or could it?
Who has a power animal?
Tradition in certain tribes states that we all have powerful spirits that choose to follow us on our life’s path. Some even go so far as to state that no babies would make it to adulthood if they didn’t have spirits to protect them. Humans are quite fragile, and need lots of guidance and help.
Naturally it can’t be proven with scientific evidence that you have a power animal. Since you can’t display a power animal to anyone else, even if it agreed to it - which of course it never would, this means that you can’t take it’s picture or make other people see its shadow etc.
By ordinary means, that is.
We are talking about spirits and this means that no ordinary methods would suffice. To see or experience a power animal, you must go into a shamanic trance or go into deep meditation or using a similar method.
Traditionally, people have used Entheogens (translated very poorly into drugs), for instance: Ayahuasca or Peyote to see power animals. Or they have used long fasts, pains, vision quests or some other means to expand the mind.
The method to get in touch with or experience a power animal or spirit is by getting into an altered state of consciousness.
What is a power animal?
The short answer is that you must go into a shamanic trance and find out for yourself. The longer answer is that it is a spirit that has chosen to walk with you through life. It expresses itself to you by helping and aiding you through everything in your life. If you choose to take it sincerely and interact with it in an adult manner, it will be your teacher and a very powerful guide.
Some say it acts as a nice and understanding friend. But I think this leads down to wrongful conclusions. A power animal will act towards you in a manner that you can understand. And if you only can grasp it’s presence in a “must be” - friendly fashion then naturally this is the way it will present it self to you. But if you don’t go pass this thinking then you might not get to know it as a true teacher or spirit guide.
The pitfall of the form of the power animal.
Many people get stuck in what form a power animal presents itself. We human beings would naturally make a big distinction between a fast Corvette and a little Volkswagen, so why wouldn’t we go down this line of thought and make the same distinction between a great Bison and a little Badger power animal?
We seem to forget that what we are talking about here is not in the same category as cars or houses. These are Spirits! These are great beings of extraordinary power and splendor and if they choose to present themselves to you as a Mouse or Wolf should make no difference to you. And if it still does, you can be certain that your priorities needs a little work.
The form of the power animal is not an important one. You will come to understand in time that it means absolutely nothing what you, a power animal or anything else looks like to your eyes. All true power lies beneath the surface of appearances.
As a thought to consider, you might want to know that power animals don’t even need to be animals. Human forms or plain energy-form will work just as well. This knowledge can either complicate or make things easier for you. If it makes it worse, you can choose to disregard this idea and instead remember what was stated before: It means nothing what stuff looks like to your eyes.
The great benefits you will get by honoring your power animal.
Never take a power animal lightly. Treat it as you would treat an elder, someone of great statue and virtue whose presence really honors you.
Traditionally you can paint, dance, sing or in another way express a grown-up feeling of gratitude towards a power animal. By being of good virtue, you honor your power animal. The way to really know how to do this right is by listening and feeling what feels right in your heart.
The pitfall of western arrogance.
In western culture many of us don’t like to pray. We idolize the idea of standing alone and not needing anyone. We can feel that prayer in some way is a sign of weakness and that it doesn’t do any good anyway. I want to make it very clear that this way of thinking makes one really powerful way of achieving spiritual growth completely and utterly impossible for you.
Now, the fact that I don’t think praying is a sign of weakness shouldn’t shock anyone by now. But some people have a hard time understanding that including prayer towards your power animal is a good way of achieving spiritual growth.
But don’t mislead yourself by confusing prayer with surrender. To pray is not to give up yourself, or to make childish wishes of wealth and material riches. To pray is to connect with your true self, the Higher Self or to some people - God.
A very watered down version of prayer often gets confused with true prayer. And if you have problems with the word ‘prayer’, choose another one. Why not call it meditation?
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