In preparation for each lifetime, a soul chooses a set of challenges through which it will grow in power and self-mastery. During the lifetime, these challenges may appear to be external forces which impose themselves, but the gift is always an internal one. At certain points the inner strength needed to face these challenges may seem inaccessible, causing a person to flounder, without power or direction. This weakness is a symptom of the opportunity for that person to make a significant leap forward toward their life’s goals. Somehow they must find the power within themself to succeed through that experience.
From the earliest civilizations all around the world comes a tool of empowerment and healing called power animals. They are an effective answer in circumstances which require more than a person seems able to give, whatever the challenges might be. As a healer, whenever I find someone who seems to have a big emptiness where some aspect of their health, personal will or creative power should be, I am guided to bring them a power animal. Often the results of this gift have been much greater than I could have anticipated! I am a huge fan of this ancient and wise traditional medicine.
I learned about power animals through working with Core Shamanic Practitioners and from Sandra Ingerman’s book Soul Retrieval. And as I so often do, I began to integrate this very earthy system with my own ways of working with the One Source; and I found them to be complimentary in every way.
Power animals activate our instinctual power, or what I term our animal selves. All creatures are eternal spirits living within a physical, animal body. But as humans we also have an intense mental energy, which tends to want to be in charge of everything we do; interfering with both our instinctual and our higher spiritual energies. When not balanced and integrated with these other aspects of ourselves, our minds tend to run amok, pulling us off our center and leaving us high and dry in the wrong place at the wrong time! Power animals help us find the deep instinctual power and wisdom which can help us reunite all aspects of ourselves. In so doing we can get on track with our life’s true purposes, and find the inner resources to master the challenges that we face.
Each creature has unique gifts and qualities that are innate to it. As human beings, one of our gifts is the capacity to gain mastery over any of the gifts that other creatures carry; this is both challenging and magnificent, and probably why the world puts up with our shenanigans! Where we are lacking in mastery and power, a power animal can pave the way for us to realize the gifts that it carries within our own personal lives. I work with the Higher Power, who brings my client a spiritual gift in the form of the needed animal, to help them claim the qualities and strengths needed in their lives. In more traditional shamanic work, the shamanic healer goes on a spiritual journey to find the power animal needed for their client. Both approaches work beautifully.
To help you understand how this works I will name a few types of animals and how they can help people; however a simple meditation on an animal and study of their life will reveal much more about what their gifts are. Where a person lacks self-confidence, clear personal boundaries and has issues with self-worth, a male lion can be extremely helpful as a power animal. Where a person was neglected or abused as a child or just needed better parenting, a mother gorilla is a gentle, playful, loving and empowering mother energy. It helps the soul to feel nurtured, grounded and safe socially and personally. Where a person needs clear perspective and spiritual vision, an eagle can empower them to find the way through their challenges. Think about how many animals there are, each with their own unique qualities, and you will begin to glimpse how personal the power animal experience can be.
In both my own way of asking for the power animal, and the traditional shamanic way, the necessary animal medicine can be discovered and given to a person. The person receives the animal spirit, not from a specific animal, but from the unity of spirit which holds the essence of each aspect of creation. As the right power animal is received into a person’s soul, it immediately enlivens and empowers aspects of them which were damaged and unresponsive to life; and awakens their own necessary true potential, allowing it to grow within them. This is the most effective treatment I have found, in my over 31 years of healing work, for overcoming deeply traumatic childhood experiences. It was this which made me realize how amazing this power animal gift can be.
Sometimes people receive spontaneous power animal gifts. They may come in a meditative vision or through a physical animal who presents in an unusually personal way. Not all such visions or animals are power animals, but they can be. Or sometimes they are simply messengers, awakening us to something we would have missed otherwise. Either way they are very special gifts indeed!