….As you enter the other dimension you see a mighty Elk, your animal spirit guide, coming towards you.
He is powerful, changeable and determined, possessing great stamina in hunting, but strong as he will fight to the death if necessary.
He has many lessons to teach you, from survival to being more aware of subtle energies….
What are Animal Spirit Guides?
Animal Spirit Guides are most well known from Shamanism and the practices of the Native American Indians.
In their personal, spiritual and psychic journeys, many people seek to find their animal spirit guide, hoping to learn new things, to have a companion on what sometimes may seem like a lonely journey and to improve their psychic ability.
On certain psychic forums many people do not believe that you need any kind of spirit guide and that even if you do have one, it is in fact a part of you that is guiding you, not an external spirit.
Some psychologists believe that a vision of a spirit animal is in fact a message from the ancient human psyche, a representation of a meaningful symbol to all people. In this way a sea creature could represent a deep mind.
According to Shamanism you do not choose your Animal Spirit Guide (but you can choose your totem animal), it chooses you, regardless of your desires or your favorite animal.
There are other approaches to spirit guides and I will discuss both here, and give you some tips on how to find your spirit animal, and also you can try out my fun free spirit animal quiz.
Why Have an Animal Spirit Guide?
Animals are beautiful and balanced, seemingly combining the ability to live together, have feelings and emotions and yet a calm beautiful mind.
Many people want a guide to help them with their psychic and spiritual development and a great way to do this is to learn to live in the moment, with mindfulness, and animals can show us how to do that. But the power of the spirit guide goes much deeper than this.
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Native American Shamanism feel that you can be at one with nature when connecting with your spirit guide.
One popular use for animal spirits is to aid in healing and personal growth. By meditating on the qualities of the animal we can learn its strengths. If the Elk is your guide, you would learn things like his strength, his confidence.
Having a spirit animal by your side is also like having a powerful spiritual friend.
Types of Animal Spirit Guides
Did you know that there are at least four types of animal guides you can meet? By realizing which type of guide you have met it will help you to know how to apply their message.
Spirit Animal Guides and Messengers
1. The Life animal Guide
Also called a Spirit Guide and is thought by Shamans to come to you when you are born. These guides most commonly stay with people for their whole lives but sometimes if it comes to a point where that guide is no longer needed, a new one may replace it. Your guide points you in the direction what personality traits and life achievements you should seek, for instance if your guide is a beaver, you should learn to be resourceful and persistent, perhaps seeking to work in a team creating something, and also to follow your dreams.
2. The Shadow Animal Guide
This Animal comes when there are lessons that you have not yet learned in order to help stop you repeating them. These are usually linked to negative thoughts and the Shadow animal will prey on these, filling you with fear. The Shadow guides are most likely to visit at times of great confusion and it is important to transform the fear they bring into positive emotions.
3. The Messenger Animal Guide
When a quick message is needed this guide will deliver and leave once you have got it. A messenger animal could come as a real animal, a vision or even a whisper on the wind. As with all guides, to understand the messenger we must understand the animal.
4. The Journey Animal Guide
When you reach a crossroads in your life, and make a choice about what to do this animal appears. The Journey Animal is there to guide you down the path however long that takes, or help you back to the crossroads if you realize you’ve made the wrong choice. This guide remains with you until it is no longer needed.
Are Animal Spirit Guides External or Part of You?
This is a controversial question as different people have different views. Traditional Native Americans state quite strongly that the guide is a part of spirit, or what some might call God, on the other hand they do acknowledge that your Life Animal Guide becomes a part of you.
A more popular view in the west is that the guide is in fact a part of you, not related to an external force, your subconscious teaching you what you need to know. I suggest that it is at once both and neither, since in my view ultimately we are all connected and part of spirit, yet we have our individual identities also. It’s really up to you how you choose to view it, think what seems right to you and follow it!