Shamanic Journey

"What's Your Animal Guide?"

“What’s your animal guide?”

People often ask me this question after I introduce myself as a Shaman who works very strongly with Animal Medicine. In the context of a quick conversation, my short answer usually sounds something like, “Oh, I have many animal guides, and so do you,” but this brief response does nothing to illustrate the infinite layers of complexity and magic that come with delving deep into working with Animal Totems.

“My animal guide is an otter, because I’m very lighthearted and I like to play.”

I love that Animal Medicine has worked its way into popular consciousness! Many people share with great certainty the identity of their animal guide and an attribute of this guide with which they resonate strongly. However, as soon as I ask follow-up questions such as, “How else do you work with otter? What other aspects of its medicine do you find particularly impactful?” Most people answer that they haven’t really done anything further with their totem.

To me, this is akin to meeting your new best friend and powerful ally, learning their name, shaking their hand and then never speaking to them again. Imagine if you were at a party and the host tells you that a friend of theirs wants to meet you. The host leads you over to this person and you immediately perceive a strong energetic connection. You find yourself drawn to this person and feel excited to know them, and perhaps a bit honored to receive an introduction. The host goes on to offer further explanation of why this person was interested to meet you, and you find out that they are a wealth of talents, knowledge and power. This new person smiles glowingly at you and you shake their hand, feeling a surge of energy at this new, profound connection! Then, someone else calls your attention away and you make mental note to return to speak with this amazing new friend again, but you never do. You leave the party without exchanging information or making plans. You never reach out to the host to ask to put you in touch. From this point on, you recall with fondness the memory of that one time at that great party that the host introduced you to this amazing, glowing person with whom you felt such a strong connection, even though you never spoke again.

What if this potential best friend is still out there for you, waiting for you to rekindle the connection? What if this powerful ally has been waiting for you to reach out and ask to know them better? What if this amazing, magical being has been watching you, witnessing your life, ready to offer their teachings as soon as you are ready to receive that wisdom?

Throughout my many years of working with Animal Totems, I have witnessed time and again the magic and profound lessons that come from diving deep into animal medicine. To date, some of my most powerful initiatory experiences made themselves known through Animal messengers appearing for a dramatic introduction.

And yet, the introduction is exactly that: the first step in claiming your relationship with a powerful ally. The work that follows holds the real magic of depth, subtlety and power. By stepping into relationship with your Animal Totems, you cement a bond with their medicine that can last a lifetime and support you in your continued unfolding of joy, love and purpose.

Do you already know the identity of your Animal Guide and want to delve further into your personal connection with its medicine? Even if you don’t know its identity, do you feel your guide out there, waiting to meet you?

Magic & Medicine is an in-depth, four week long journey of discovery with your Animal Totem. This experience includes:

  • The Meeting: Welcome the new Totem into your energy field.
  • The Messages: Learn why this Guide is appearing to you and how it wants to reveal its teachings.
  • The Merge: Bring your Animal Totem to life within your own body and make its energy actionable on the Earth plane.
  • The Manifesto: Delve into the purpose of your work with this Totem and solidify your mission together.
  • And more! Learn the details of Magic & Medicine here.

Contact me for a free consultation and begin your Magic & Medicine journey with your powerful animal ally today.

An Offering for Elephant

Originally published on Eagle Song September 14th, 2015.

Elephant

Wise mother, North-holder, tribe guardian.

Thank you for blessing me with the wisdom of your medicine. I am so happy and grateful to feel your thick-skinned feet teach my small human form what it means to pulse with deep Earth vibration. The rhythm of your walk and swaying of your head echoes in my own heartbeat, and I feel my dance slow to match your deliberate strength.

Feminine sage, keeper of knowledge, partner of accountability.

I surrender to your teachings. I trust that my embodiment of your energy works in highest service to Self and Spirit. I thank you for your guidance in returning to the wisdom of the Mother, creating the Sister Tribe, building community based in vibrational and emotional intelligence. I hold in my cells the memory of safe passage to water and the oasis of the Divine.

Delicate strength, discerning pleasure, fine detail.

I embrace the sensitivity and dexterity of your complex trunk! I spin and whirl in perfect precision, savoring soft strokes and sweet, sparkling sensation. I am safe. Thank you for teaching me that, even in great expansiveness, no detail is lost. Your luxuriant eyelashes offer their evidence.

Earth ambassador, beloved teacher, honored guide.

I am grateful to remember the infinity of connection, even in the empty moments.

Animal Guides: Spider

Originally published on Eagle Song September 3, 2015

About a month ago, Spider announced herself in my life in a somewhat startling, then very beautiful way.

On the night of the last Super Moon at the end of July, I brought all my crystals outside to soak in the moonlight. I joined them on an air mattress and was sleeping relatively peacefully, until sometime in the middle of the night when I awoke to feel a spider bite my top lip, right in the center. In my half-asleep, bewildered state, I announced to the spider, “That hurts! Who does that?!?” I rolled over, already feeling my lip swell under my fingertips. I managed to fall back asleep fairly quickly, thinking that the spider had some nerve biting me (on my lip, no less) while I was minding my own business, sleeping.

The next morning, my upper lip was swollen to several times its normal size. I endured a few hours of talking strangely and drooling a little bit, but with my magic natural detox, my lip looked pretty much normal by midday. I filed the incident under “Unusual, but not significant,” and moved on.

Two days later, I participated in a traditional Native American dance ceremony. At some point in the late morning, I noticed some very tiny spiders appear on me. I escorted them down to the safety of the grass, only to discover more and more baby spiders show up throughout the next several hours. They appeared as if out of nowhere to crawl on my body and my clothes, and I gently transported them to the grass and nearby plants where I wouldn’t accidentally smoosh them with my movements. I asked both of my dance neighbors on either side (about 5 or 6 feet away) if they had any tiny spider visitors, and I felt surprised when each of them told me that they were completely spider-free. Apparently there had just been a hatching immediately over my head. The rain of baby spiders continued through the early afternoon, and while I thanked Grandmother Spider for sending me her grandchildren and tried asking her what I was supposed to learn, I was sufficiently distracted by the dance ceremony itself (read about it here) and did not have enough attention for an answer.

When I eventually did get to meditate with Spider energy a few days later, the information that came through resonated deeply with me:

Spiders are the weavers of life. Through their weaving, everything is connected. They help form the bridge between the past and future, the subconscious and conscious, male and female, waking and dreaming life, physical and spiritual realms. They embody infinity, and their webs’ spiral shape represents the First Cosmic Key of the Universe, from which all other forms manifest.

Research from outside sources revealed that Spider is the keeper of ancient languages and alphabets, and that the geometric shapes found in a spider’s web became the first symbols of written language. Spiders are storytellers! How cool is that?

It blows my mind that I could be so deeply connected to Spider without consciously knowing that I work with her energy. Maybe that’s why she sent one of her children to bite me in my sleep, on my lip, infusing me with a strong dose of Spider medicine to aid in my own storytelling of weaving the bridge between human and Divine realms. (I even use the term “Thought Spiral” when I’m describing the long, multidimensional path an idea takes when it pulls together many seemingly unrelated concepts that ultimately connect to form a complete and cohesive picture. Thank you, Spider.)

All that said, working directly with Spider medicine has not felt completely intuitive to me. Some animals (generally mammals and birds) are so much easier for me to jump right into a very embodied understanding of what it means to access their energy. Maybe it’s partially due to cultural conditioning, maybe it’s because their movement and body shape are so unlike my own, but I definitely need to sink deep in order to fully honor this guide and do her justice.

That’s partly why I’m so excited to teach my Animal Dance workshop next weekend in Portland, OR. While I guide others through the process of discovering their Animal Totems and moving into a place of embodied understanding, I plan to do the same with Spider. I am so grateful for the opportunity to facilitate this journey! Working with my own Animal Guides has been a rich, truly educational experience that helps me discover more and more layers of my own consciousness and personal evolution. I can’t wait to help others access the wealth of knowledge and powerful wisdom available to them from their Animal Guides.

If you would like to register for the workshop, please do so here.

Workshop information here.

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