Posts Tagged ‘animal guides’

Steven Farmer, author, healer and shamanic practitioner notes that animal spirits guide us by appearing repeatedly in the physical world in a short period of time or by showing up in an unusual way. Finding a crowd of vultures may not seem unusual in Florida but since I just landed from a lifetime in New York where the only vultures I knew of were on Wall Street, it sure felt that way to me.

While my niece and I were on our way to the beach we couldn’t help but notice a huge crowd of large, black birds up ahead. Being from Florida, my niece knew right away that something was dead up there. Both compelled and revolted I drove out of our way to find myself in the midst of black vultures. Thirty to forty of them.

We stayed in the car but still were able to get very close. Nothing seemed to intimidate them yet they were not menacing at all. A few seemed to be pulling apart what might have been the remains of  an armadillo. It was certainly not enough for the whole crowd yet those not involved with the slim pickings seemed unperturbed.

Most of my aversion to vultures comes from my own distorted perceptions. Vultures do get a bad rap. Probably because they eat things that are dead and decaying. Enough to turn anyone’s stomach. And to call someone a vulture implies that one is just waiting for someone to fail so they can swoop in for the kill. Not the most enlightened human behaviour.

Since this encounter with vultures seemed unusual to me I decided to probe a bit deeper. Maybe there was something to learn from these enigmatic creatures?

One thing I discovered is vultures are masters of their own energy. The greatest energy expenditure for most animals is spent on food. Tracking, hunting, killing. Vultures on the other hand feed off of what has already been killed conserving much energy in the process while providing extreme janitorial services to our ecosystem.

From the same family as the majestic condor, the indigenous counterpart to Eagle, the large wing span of vultures allows them to glide on air currents, harnessing the energy of Earth for effortless flight.

Vultures live and work together, both in cooperation and friendliness which seems to explain why there was no threatening behavior among such a large group with such little food.

I have much to learn from animals I am unaccustomed to encountering. Animals that conserve their energy. Animals that offer themselves in service in ways others find revolting. Animals that are often underappreciated. Animals that live in cooperation and friendliness. Animals that know their own worth, unaffected by others who know so little. Animals able to digest what is rotten and decayed. Yes I have much to learn here in the tropics.

This may be way more information than you care to know about vultures. Maybe you notice your own aversion to vultures just by reading this article. Or maybe there is another animal that holds a message for you.

Receive a free Animal Spirit message from Steve Farmer’s Oracle deck here.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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Photo by Joe Noonan

Photo by Joe Noonan

On a recent journey a small island of sand offers respite as a circle of dolphins swim steadily around me. Nearly every day since images of dolphins appear…on facebook, in emails, on the T-shirts of strangers. An invitation arrives from a friend to take retreat. A retreat in open waters swimming with dolphins. No surprise. Dolphins are calling.

Animals carry certain qualitiies or what I often refer to as medicine. As humans we have much to learn from animal messengers if we are willing to pay attention and listen.

Dolphins live in a state of unwavering joy. Just as people with heavy energy can pull us down or inspiring people can lift us up, meeting a dolphin can elevate us to a state of their vibrational frequency. Their medicine of unwavering joy is energetically transmitted.

Ultimately we want to anchor our own heart in joy so we are not dragged down by someone’s negativity or need someone else to be uplifted. We become the dolphin. An anchor that can hold the space for others to rise to their own state of unwavering joy.

As I plan my meeting with dolphins this summer this wisdom on Animal Totems was posted by Sacred Lodge Sister Mechelle Morgan Flowers, nearly hidden away as a comment on facebook. This medicine was just too good to miss so with her permission I share this here so you too may heed the call of the animal messenger that is calling you.


An Animal Totem is an important symbolic object used by a person to get in touch with specific qualities found within an animal which the person needs, connects with, or feels a deep affinity toward.

You can have several animal guides through out your life. Sometimes an animal guide will come into your life for a short period of time, and then be replaced by another depending on the journey or direction you are headed toward. Your guide will instruct and protect you as you learn how to navigate through your spiritual and physical life. When you find an animal that speaks strongly to you or feel you must draw more deeply into your life, you might fill your environment with images of the animal to let the animal know it’s welcome in your space. Animal guides can help you get back to your Earthly roots, and reconnect with nature by reminding you that we are all interconnected. To first do this you need to know what your Animal Totem is.

If You Don’t Know…

If you don’t know what your Animal Totem is there are several questions you can ask yourself. All of the questions below are designed to get you thinking about a prominent animal in your life. There are no right or wrong answers. Only you can truly know which Animal Totem(s) are right for your journey.

α. Since we are drawn to that which resonates with us, what animal, bird, or insect are you drawn to?

β. When you go to the park, forest, or zoo what animal are you most interested in seeing?

γ. What animal do you most frequently see when you’re out in nature or in the city?

δ. What animals are you currently interested in learning about?

ε. Which animal do you find most frightening or intriguing?

ζ. Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal?

η. Is there a recurring animal in your dreams or do you have one you have never forgotten?

Still Uncertain?

If you are still uncertain which animal is your totem, here a few exercises you can do to come closer to the answer. You must not try to force the animal to come, it can pick up on that energy and be put off. Being patient and doing the following exercises will draw your animal totem to you.

α. Ask yourself what animal has played a meaningful part in your world? If you’re unsure, make a list of animals that have drawn your interest or have left a deep impression on you from paintings, photographs, stories, movies, carvings, etc.

β. Which animal shows up in your life most frequently? Keep a journal of the animals present in your dreams or that you encounter through the day for the next month. How did the animal behave? Did you interact with the animal?

γ. Find a place where you can be alone to meditate. Sit quietly and ask your animal to make it’s nature known to you. Feel free to use tools such as incense, smudge, and candles to help you.

δ. Don’t give up, sometimes your animal totem is nearby watching to see if you’re serious about connecting with it. Keep doing the above exercises until your animal totem makes itself known to you.

What animal messengers are calling you?

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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