Nature influences us through all sorts of manifestations of life: plants and flowers, stars and far off planets, animals and elements; they are all spirits full of energy with different expressions of consciousness. Nature is constantly giving and receiving, this happens in different ways in different kingdoms and realities. If we learn to deeply contact her, we can receive immense blessings and create harmony and interior peace.
In the Shamanic practice, it is believed that each person has a special animal that is their guide or personal medicine. These animals are known as totems or animals of power. Every animal represents a protective strength that helps us find, throughout our lives, a spiritual guide that brings us closer to a harmonious, prosperous, and deep life.
In order to find out which is your animal of power, you must establish contact with yourself and intently ask it to be revealed to you. You can have a small ceremony for this, or simply have the deep wish to know, and expect its revelation. This can arrive through dreams, a messenger, because you find yourself constantly with that animal (in photos, in the street, or that you frequently mention it, etc.), or you could simply know it intuitively.
Bellow, we will list some of the characteristics of a few animals of power. Not all of them are on the list, and not all animals need to be fantastical (unicorns, Pegasus, etc.). A lot of animals of power are common animals. The qualities of each animal will help you develop and accentuate these qualities in yourself.
Eagle: characterized by its spirit and bravery. In the shamanic practice represents work, patience, balance, comprehension, and the development of a more open vision in regards to life, in order to achieve a state of grace.
Owl: a nocturnal, mystical bird that can beat the eagle in flight. In the shamanic practice represents the warrior, strength, consciousness, predatory vision (which sees clearly in the dark, and behind masks), and intuition. This is the totem of clairvoyants and psychics. People that have this totem are silent, distanced, have premonitions, and know the powers of nature and develop their intuitive abilities.
Horse: great power and strength, wild and intuitive. If you feel the horse is your animal of power, you assuredly have a dominant or manipulating character, of great strength but rebellious on occasion. You are loyal, you enjoy movement, moving, travelling, and renovating. You can be a great warrior, this animal can help you develop a lot of strength and confidence in yourself.
Hummingbird: represents pleasure in the shamanic practice, the un-trappable: happiness. This is an animal with an active, vibrant spirit, full of vigor and energy. They are frequently creative and restless, always wanting something new and different. They go from “flower to flower” quickly, they know how to drink only the best (the sweetest nectar) in life, which they tirelessly seek. This animal can teach you to extract and feed off the most beautiful gardens in life.
Cat: characterized by being independent, detached, mysterious, and very fertile. But a cat can also be shy, mistrusting, aggressive, and reserved. If you identify with cats, it could be that you have a curious, intelligent, astute, and intuitive personality. Or you could be mistrusting, aggressive, and jealous. Be what it may, this animal can help you develop your independence, confidence, curiosity, and detachment from the unnecessary.
Dolphin: characterized as being very intelligent (the most intelligent of marine animals), it is dominant, graceful, friendly, elegant, creative, intuitive, playful, and even very passionate. If your animal of power is a dolphin, it can help you develop your interior beauty, charisma, balance, and to enjoy and play with life, to dare for something new, and to simply flow smoothly with things as they present themselves in your life. They can help you to communicate with those that you love, in creative and enjoyable ways.
Lion: represents feminine energy and vigor in the shamanic practice, the female hunts and kills their prey, feeds the group, and cares for the young. The purpose of the male is to protect the group, and does not attack if not provoked. This animal can teach you the meaning of valor and strength, and the importance of group work, of staying silent when it is necessary, and to attack when it is required. It can also help you strengthen your weaknesses, and to have confidence in who you love.