When you feel drawn to a particular animal, or you find it keeps cropping up in your day to day life (e.g. you see a poster of an eagle, then hear a song about an eagle on the radio, then look out your window to see an eagle fly past), you need to acknowledge and open yourself to it. You can do this very simply by placing pictures or totems (statues/crests etc) in your environment, and learning more about the animal. This will assist your subconscious in being more open to the energy of the totem, and thus allow messages and wisdom to flow to you from your animal more easily, as well as encouraging the energy of the animal to be welcome in your space.
Meditation to meet your animal totem
You can also choose to do a meditation to meet your spirit animal. Below is a meditation I’ve used successfully that you can repeat whenever you’d like.
Begin by creating a supportive environment in a place that you won’t be disturbed. You may want to put on some relaxing music, light some candles and incense, bring out your favourite crystals, or otherwise enhance the energy of your space. Have a pen and paper with you to record any thoughts, feelings or experiences you have during this process.
Sit comfortably and take a few deep, slow breaths, concentrating fully on the experience and feeling of the cool air entering your nostrils and expanding your chest. Hold the breath for a short pause before gently exhaling, again being fully aware of the feeling of the warm breath leaving your mouth or nose as your chest and diaphragm deflate back to neutral position.
Be aware of each part of your body in turn, starting with your toes and working all the way up to the head, concentrating on that part of your body, consciously relaxing it, feeling the tension drain away as you move onto the next part. Relax your face, your jaw, feel your mind reaching a calm and quiet state as you relax your brain.
Sit in this quiet, peaceful state for a few moments. You may wish to ask your spirit guides or angels or higher self to assist you with your intention, and to guide and protect you during this quest. State your intention to yourself, that you now ask to become aware of your animal totem, you would like to connect with your animal guide and you release any blockages you may have put up in the past.
Now picture in your mind’s eye that you are in a dark room at the top of a short flight of ten stairs, a closed door at your back. Slowly take each step down, feeling as you do your whole being sinking deeper and deeper with each step into a deep, meditate step.
At the bottom of the stairs, you turn towards a long, dark, natural tunnel of rock . The ground beneath you crunches as you walk, there is a smell of wet earth in the air. You can reach your arm out and feel your fingers trail against the cool, hard surface of the rock wall as you walk.
As you round a slight curve in the tunnel, you see light up ahead as the tunnel leads you to a cave opening out into a beautiful forest glade.
You walk out of the cave and into the small forest glade. There is long green grass with wild flowers adding splashes of whites, purples, yellows. The glade is surrounded by magnificent old oak trees. See their bright green leaves gently swaying in a breeze moving through the glade, sunlight dappling through the spaces between. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face, the grass underneath your feet. Smell the scents of the forest – earthy and fragrant. You can hear birds singing, crickets occasionally chirping from the grass.
Feel this moment fully. Feel the peace and calmness of this sacred grove wash over you as you breath its warm, heady air deep into your lungs.
When you are ready, call to your animal totem. After a while, you should see a creature come out from the shadows of the forest trees and step into the glade to meet you. This is your animal totem. Thank them for their presence in your life, and let them know that you are open now to receive their wisdom and guidance in your life.
Spend as much time as you like in the glade. When you are done, return to the cave and walk back through the tunnel. Walk up the stairs to the door, feeling yourself become more aware of your physical body and feeling more awake with each step.
Step through the door and back into the awareness of where you physically are. When you are ready, open your eyes and thank your guides for their protection and assistance on your quest.
Not always what you expect
The first time I did this meditation many years ago, I was SO excited to meet my animal guide. I arrived in the glade, called for my guide and waited. And waited some more. Birds flew past, so did a butterfly, and then an ant eater walked out. I will not lie to you – my honest first impression was along the lines of “Oh, hello! Is my animal totem behind you?” (-facepalm-). I’d been caught in the trap of thinking my animal totem would be something ‘sexier’ than an ant eater! I didn’t know anything about ant eater medicine.
Some time after the meeting with my animal totem, a beautiful stag emerged from the forest. His antlers seemed to be almost iridescent and I experienced a feeling of deep reverence and awe in his presence. Whenever I remember that moment, I feel the stag as a representation of my connection to Great Spirit. The forest glade meditation is a powerful meditation to connect with animal medicine. I encourage you to try it more than once, not just to meet your animal totem but also to commune with all animal medicine that may connect with you at that time.
After my meditation I read up on ant eater medicine and was blown away by the wisdom and lessons it had to teach me and just how perfectly apt they were for the stage of my life I was currently in. While not being an animal I’d ever really felt a special kinship with, I realized I’d allowed ego to almost prevent me from gaining a wonderful opportunity for soul growth. The whole experience was a powerful lesson in humility and not allowing the ego to block spiritual progress (a lesson I am sure to learn again many times over still).
MORE ACTIVITIES TO TRY
To Connect With Your Animal Totems
Here are some other activities you can do to assist you in connecting with your animal totems.
Questions to contemplate
- What animal, bird or insect do you feel most drawn to?
- When you go to a nature reserve, park or zoo, what animal are you most interested in seeing?
- What animal do you most often see (in nature and in your ordinary surroundings – contemplate any interaction, whether images, sounds, or the actual animal)?
- What animal are you currently interested in learning more about?
- What animal most frightens you, intrigues you, or makes you feel “out of your comfort zone”?
- Do you ever have recurring dreams about a particular animal?
- Are you drawn to figurines or pictures of a specific animal?
Spend as much or as little time as you want to on each question. Remember that you cannot be wrong! Just trust your intuition and relax as you contemplate your answers.
Make a list
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. This will help you identify what animal/s has/have played a meaningful part in your world.
Keep a journal
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? This will help you identify which animal shows up in your life most frequently.
Working With Animal Totems