Saturday, October 30, 2010

Totems and Animal Spirit Guides...hear their message

Native American’s believe we can learn a lot from our animal brothers and sisters, that each animal has its own powers and lessons to teach mankind. Totem animals are spiritual guides that walk with you throughout your life time, as your animal counterpart. However, there are also animal spirit guides that have a temporary lesson to teach you, and several different animals can visit you during different times in your life.

Have you always had a connection with an animal, ever since you were a child? When you go to the zoo, is there a particular animal you have to visit?  This animal may your Totem animal.  Totem animals walk with you on your journey in life, and help you find your destiny.   They often appear during your childhood and stay with you for your entire life.  The Totem is in essence your path in life, representing your strengths, weaknesses and challenges you are to face and overcome in your lifetime.  Spirit Guides, on the other hand are ever changing.  They appear temporarily during different times of your life to bring you a message or an answer.  If you are going through a transitional or difficult time in your life, the Spirit Animal will walk with you and bring to you their powers to use.  But once you have learned and applied their lesson, and overcome your obstacle, the spirit guide walks away.

In order to utilize the power and assistance of your Totem and Spirit guides, one must be open and aware. Their messages may come to you suddenly or subtly, and it will be up to you to interpret the message they are offering you. Once your guide knows that you are willing to listen to their lessons, more will follow and more often.  I’d like to share with you my experiences.  I would say my Totem animal is the horse. Ever since I was a little girl I have been in love with horses. There is a funny voice recording my parents took of me when I was about 5 or 6 years old when my grandmother was visiting us.  My grandmother asks me what I want to be or have when I grow up. To which I reply “I wish to have a horse and a cart to pull my horse in”. 

From an early age, I had a profound connection to horses. But I didn’t know anything about Totems or Spirit Guides. Thinking back now, as a child I encountered and dreamt about a lot of animals.  There was the time when I was about 8 years old when my family and I took a hiking trip.  As we were driving up the curvy road on the side of a mountain, we had to stop the car to let a mother and baby bear cross.  In junior high I fell in love with elephants and collected figurines and statues of them.  It wasn’t until I was in high school that I first learned about Totems and Spirit animals.  After watching the movie “Dances with Wolves” I became so enchanted with the Native American cultures and religions that I studied them as a hobby. For years my spirit guide was the turtle, teaching me to be strong and to be strong of heart during difficult times.

After I graduated from college and started working, my focus became more on success and material things, and I started to ignore my spiritual self and my connection to nature. That is when the Spirit guides stopped coming to me.  They didn’t return for over ten years, and only returned when I was open to their messages again. In 2008 I abruptly quit my job.  I was recently promoted and thought I had my dream job.  However, after a few months I became overwhelmed by a strong feeling to quit my job.  I knew it was not a good fit and had a strong sense that there was something better out there for me. My decision was certainly not a rational one; (the total opposite of me), but it was almost like I had no choice. I felt my higher self and God were guiding me.  While  I was unemployed,  I started to get back into the spiritual side of life.  I began and ended each day with a prayer. I put all of my faith, and my fears of the unknown future, into God’s hands.  And that is when a spirit guide appeared to me again.  I was sitting on my balcony talking on the phone with my friend, doubting if I had made the right decision to quit my job, when I noticed a large Vulture circling high over head. It was so aspiring and it took my breath away.   I researched the meaning of the Vulture spirit guide and was shocked at how closely its meaning and message fit into my current situation. I shared this with my husband and friends, becoming open to the vulture’s message. A few weeks later, on two separate occasions, a falcon flew onto our balcony and perched on the railing. I looked up that meeting and it became clear it was a message for my husband about his job search.

I shared my messages with others. One day I told my coworkers about my experiences with the vulture and falcon. One of my coworkers came up to me later and shared that she had a pigeon visit her doorstep several times.  It would sit on her door step was not affraid of her, it would not fly away from her. It pooped all over her front stairs and she felt like it was trying to tell her something. We came to find that pigeons represented welcoming love into one’s life.   She was married once before and now divorced.  She wanted to find love but was afraid. She knew the pigeon was telling her to stop being afraid and let love into her life again.  A week later she told me she accepted a date from a guy in her work out class who had been asking her out for months.  He was from a different culture and much younger than her, she is Japanese and he is Mexican with a 15 year age difference .  She looked at all the reasons she shouldn’t go out with him, but after finding out about the pigeon’s symbolism, she decided to take a chance. Fast forward six months later and they were still together and madly in love.  She came to me again and told me her pigeon was visiting her door step again, but only when her boyfriend was over. And the other day it actually followed them to her car and sat on her trunk as they were driving away.  She asked me to interpret the pigeon’s message. I asked her instead, “what do you think the pigeon is trying to tell you?”.  She told me that she has not told her boyfriend her age.  She never thought that the relationship would last this long or that she would fall in love.   Keeping the secret was beginning to take a toll on her. It was clear to both of us what the pigeon was trying to tell her.  A few weeks later she finally summoned the courage to share her secret with her boyfriend.  The burden and weight was off her shoulders and the relationship was taken to a place of honesty. They are still together and just celebrated their one year anniversary.

After my visits from the vulture and falcon, I have had 6 more animal spirit guides come to me. Because I was open to their messages, and sharing my experience with others, it opened me up to more messages. Some of the animals came to me in dreams and some in person. When I was pregnant and refusing to “take it easy”, I had a dream about a female bear that was trying to tell me something with her eyes. I found the bear represents hibernation, gathering of strength and “taking it easy” for 3 months.  I had three months left of my pregnancy. After the dream I still didn’t slow down, and ended up on bed rest for a week. I should have listened to the bear’s message! I had a moose visit me in a dream to teach me to stand up for myself at work, a horse teach me to be more independent, and most recently a wolf came to me in a dream to teach me about striking a balance between independence and responsibility. In person I have had grass hoppers in my office and our new home with a message of prosperity and good luck.  And, when I recently became frustrated with wanting to change careers, Dragon flies started showing up in my life to teach me about patience and to give my self two years to achieve my goals.

The universe is full of messages and guidance. The messages can come in unexpected ways, and from an unexpected messenger. The next time you dream of an animal, or find yourself suddenly seeing the same animal throughout your day, it may just be trying to tell you something.  Take a chance and listen.

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