When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.” ~ A.D. Williams
Many people express an interest to understand what different animals symbolize in their life. They have felt called by a certain animal, and are curious what certain animals represent spiritually. While this longing for connection to the animal kingdom can open the door to many wonderful revelations, understanding the presence of certain animals in your life requires more than looking at a definition in a book.
Everything in nature is reflecting to us a deeper spiritual reality. Whether we are seeing the cancerous effect of our greed in the forests, or the ebbs and flows of the ocean tides. Each manifestation is speaking to our souls of the deeper knowledge that the Earth is expressing for our spiritual education. The animal presenting itself in your life is not to be ignored, but also not to be conceptualized and boxed. Each animal has a spirit too, they have a consciousness, as well as deep capacities for compassion, empathy and relationship. To understand what wisdom an animal has you must respect the spiritual and conscious essence of the being.
As humans we have separated ourselves so much from the natural world, that wild animals seem foreign and even vicious. But let us think, would you not react angrily if a bunch of monkeys ran into your home and trashed your most precious items? This is what we have done to the sacred animal kingdom. Many animals have great and noble spirits, they are protectors and guardians. They are teachers, angels, and masters of many different things. They are upset with being defiled by human arrogance. In order to receive authentic messages from your animal guides, you must stop being an enemy.
To begin understanding animal totems, work with the animals close to you, whether they are coming in dreams or in real life. It can be helpful to use a guide of characteristics to build an understanding of the animal, and also to develop an understanding of how nature is speaking to us. Look at their environment, and work to have an appreciation for their unique traits, colors and energies. Listen to your heart in serenity and you will find that many animals are helpers, they are wanting to help us live in the harmony and freedom we have forgotten, they have voices and hearts that want to be heard.
This being said, it is never O.K. to disturb wildlife, you can acknowledge them and respectfully let them move on. Contemplate it later. Also, as all beings, animals can harbor negative spirits too, so caution and discernment are always necessary. I would love to help you on this adventure toward discovery, so email if you have any questions!
Art: Stephanie Pui-Mun Law