Totem Talk

Working With The Animal Totems

How Your Animal Spirit Guide Can Teach and Heal You ~ by Dr. Steven Farmer

How Your Animal Spirit Guide Can Teach and Heal You  ~ by Dr. Steven Farmer

Dr. Steven Farmer

Dr. Steven Farmer is a world-renowned author, teacher, shamanic practitioner, Soul Healer and former psychotherapist. He has published several best-selling books and other products, including Earth Magic®, Earth Magic® Oracle Cards. For more information, visit and Dr. Steven Farmer's Facebook page.

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Ravens, Crows, and Messages

I was having lunch outdoors with a friend telling her that I was going to write my publisher and let him know the subject of my next book. I was excited about the proposal and thought that e-mailing him would give him time to think about it. She commented that it would be better to pitch it to him in person, and reminded me that I’d have an opportunity to do so in a couple of weeks. At first I resisted the idea because of my enthusiasm for the project (as well as a dose of willfulness), even though she’s an experienced and prolific author and has known this publisher much longer than I have.

Immediately following her comment. a crow flew by a few feet in front of us. As I shared my reluctance to wait, she gently reiterated her opinion, and once again, another crow caught our attention, this one strutting along-as only crows can do-just to our right. My friend then said, “Do you need a third sign?” at which point I turned my head away slightly just in time to observe yet a third crow swooping skyward, as if adding an exclamation point to this suggestion. “Okay,” I muttered, “I surrender. I’ll wait.”

Since I work closely with Raven as a power animal, his little brother Crow-more common where we live-often conveys messages in this way. When any animal shows up in an unusual way, or repetitively in a short period of time, as in this experience, it’s critical to pay attention to the message. This is doubly important if the animal happens to be your power animal. In this instance, since Raven is one of my power animals, the message was quite obvious-be patient and talk to the publisher face-to-face.

What’s A Power Animal?

Simply put, power animals are spirit guides in animal form. They’re valuable allies who can help you navigate through life’s challenges and transitions, empowering you in both the material and the spiritual world. The idea of power animals reaches back to ancient times, when we humans had a more intimate and mutual relationship with the animal kingdom. Also, the concept of animal spirit guides is not exclusive to any one culture, but is found in some form in nearly all cultures.

Your power animal can appear to you in meditations, visions, dreams, shamanic journeys, or on the earth in their physical form. They can be mammals, birds, or reptiles. Even so-called mythical animals such as unicorns or dragons can be power animals, although they have no physical representations in the material world. Since a spirit animal’s power is drawn from their instinctual and wild nature, it’s uncommon, however, for purely domesticated animals such as pets to be power animals.

The source of power for your animal spirit guide isn’t just a single animal, but the entire species. Although I saw crows, in that instance they were representing all crows as well as ravens, and it was through these birds that the spirit of Raven was communicating. Because of my spiritual relationship and alignment with Raven, he was delivering the message through the individual crows by these repetitive appearances.

No matter who your power animal is, this spiritual ally that can serve you both in ordinary reality and the spirit world. You can seek their advice and counsel on any concerns you have, such as about your life purpose, your relationships, or your career. They can help you heal emotionally and physically. When you journey into spiritual realms, no matter how you do so, you can take your power animal with you to help guide you and protect you.

Another positive effect of working with your power animal is that you’ll develop a greater appreciation not only for that particular species, but also extend that care and respect to the entire animal kingdom. If Dolphin is your power animal, for example, your love and appreciation will likely go out to all creatures of the sea and naturally expand to include those of the land and the air. Your power animal will also teach you how to use this power compassionately and in service, to heal and empower yourself and others.

You and Your Power Animal

Once an animal spirit shows up in your life as a power animal, it’s your choice to accept them in that role. In a sense you make a “soul agreement” with your power animal, one that’s mutually beneficial. Your animal spirit guide gets great joy in working with you and on occasion experiencing ordinary reality through your physical senses, and you get an animal spirit guide that counsels, heals, and empowers you.

The alliance you form with your power animal is not random or accidental. You choose each other in part because the personality characteristics possessed by this animal match up well with yours. In other words, you’re a lot like your power animal. You’re either aware of these attributes you have in common or else they’re hidden or obscured from your conscious self, remaining as shadow aspects of your personality. If these traits have been suppressed, they’ll become increasingly a part of your self-expression as you develop the relationship with your power animal.

It’s also important to take good care of the relationship just as you would any important friendship. Your power animals’ assignment is to watch out for you and help you in a number of ways. In exchange, they get to help you in so many ways-experience life as a human being through you. As long as you honor them and treat them right, they’ll stick with you.

They give you power; you show them gratitude and affection. It’s a fair and reasonable exchange, and one that can literally change your life for the better.

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