A Vision of the Beyond
Overlooking the glacial lake beyond my gaze is the towering masses of sheer granite an quartzite mountains, the waves of said lake are whirling and fawning at the richness of the liquid gold afternoon. The glittering auspicious orb in the sky leaves a luminescent trail on my neck and dances along the entirety of my spine with a gentle reminder of comforting heat. Leaves in every hue of fire rain down from the sky and across the landscape as if King Midas had been there to cast out his plush bounty of coins upon the earth. The brisk wind of impending autumn whips through my mane, mildly impeding my field of vision as I gallop towards my ancestral herd. exchanging quiet embraces and knowing looks, a feeling of contentment, purpose, and belonging overtakes my senses. A scene just like this one is carried out in my mind every time I wish to connect to my inner spirit animals.
Do you need an animal guide to identify as a functional Pagan?
No, most certainly not! This article is for those who wish to explore and find out if this facet of spirituality is right for them. Confusingly, the “brand” of Modern Paganism includes the spiritual practices of many ancient cultures which are sometimes taken out of context or glazed over to
the point of losing their inner meaning. Native American Shamanism has been working its way into the mainstream world and provides a new outlook on how we understand the many levels of our personalities. To be perceived as a “functional” Pagan does not mean that you must be the master of every spiritual practice instantly and that you must relate with all tenants of the distinct paths. This is just one way to challenge yourself personally and learn something of the long-forgotten secrets which are sitting out in nature, free to us.
Long regarded as a sacred symbol and connection to the land, spirit animals have been a part of many cultures throughout the landscape of human culture. There’s much that’s been done and said on the subject regarding the Native American view of these powerful totems but this is a more modern approach to finding, connecting and establishing a working relationship with your spirit animal. It’s quite possible that not everyone has a guide at all and certainly not a necessary path to take when identifying as a Modern Pagan. Can you have more than one spirit animal? Yes of course! I have 6 main animals I work with regularly. If you do feel a connection or pull to certain animals or you wish to find out if you have a guide, keep reading, I may have just the right combination of Magick to help you find whisker, hoof, paw, feather, fin or antennae.
Know the Signs, Rites of Passage, and Expressing Yourself
Some of my earliest memories of childhood are enjoying the feeling being in the saddle of a horse. Before my back-injury occurred, there was no greater joy than feeling the speed associated with bringing a horse to a full gallop and winding through the paths of the fields. I collected My Little Ponies, drew every imaginable version of cartoon horse that one could possibly imagine and in my teenage years when I discovered the Furry and Otherkin Community, I explored many avenues of what it meant to be a horse by their definition. Now that I’m an adult and able to see connections to my spirituality through channeling that horse personality, I want to help others identify what benefits soothing the inner beast can have on our mundane lives.
The Rites of Passage are few and far between in our modern society. Gone are the Vision
quests, fastings and powerful displays of faith. There are of course exceptions in the form of extremist religious or smaller acts such as getting your ear pierced. Body modification in the form of piercings, tattoos, and scarification is one expression of how we on the inside see our bodies and extend our spirits through to our outside world. What about modifying the personality to even further express your unique beliefs? That’s where animal guides can help us!
How to Use Your Animal Guide to Your Benefit
You can go to half a dozen wonderful websites to find the attributes of almost every imaginable animal. I’ll list a few down below. Find an animal you’ve either been drawn to your entire life or one that you need to channel a certain trait from to attain your end goal. You don’t need a Shaman, an online quiz or to pay a ton of money to tell yourself what you already know as long as you’re honest. Think about what you need in life or what animal you have been consistently drawn to because of its beauty or another trait you admire. The very worst thing that can happen is that you perform this ritual with an understanding of who you AREN’T so you have a roadmap to discover WHO YOU ARE… that’s the adventure of active spirituality!
Pros, Cons, and the How to Connect
Every spirit animal has a pro and con to their personality just as does the channeler. Being aware, for example, that the horse guide is very good at putting the blinders on and charging at a project full force is wonderful for getting a single goal done. The horse can have issues
excelling at multitasking and become scared easily and run for the hills. That’s often been a reoccurring theme in my life, so instead of becoming depressed over it, I learned to tame that mare by having a better understanding of the behaviors involved. Making a list of your own personality traits, pros and cons and the like can not only help connect you to your spirit animal but give you a better understanding of the self-portrait one tries to paint when they are spiritual beings.
Now you want to connect with that chosen animals and you aren’t sure how? Well, we know that our ancestors didn’t have cell phones, the internet, video games or even books for quite some time. What they did do with their time was WATCH, WATCH, WATCH. They watched each other’s social behaviors and became a stronger tribe, they watched the animals to learn their habits, feeding patterns and secrets and they watched the sky to create the monolithic temples that still stand today. If you can’t watch your spirit animal in the wild, then use the internet for your benefit. There are tons of documentaries, animal music videos, and pictures of every imaginable animal. See if you can obtain a piece of the animal such as a claw, tooth, or some hair. Carry it on your person. TOUCH IT and learn the patterns in the whirls of fur or the sleekness of the fang. If you can’t have a piece of the animal, build a small shrine to that animal and include pictures, symbols, statues, and toys.
On to the ritual!
Now the fun part about this is that the ritual isn’t hard as long as you know what your main priorities are beforehand. For me, I value adaptability and adventure which is another sign the horse and I are bonded spiritually. My ritual isn’t complex or drawn-out although, for the channeler, it could be if you feel the need. When I encounter an issue, I clearly envision my chestnut mare with the white blaze on her nose and four white stockings ( the proper term for marking, not actual stockings.) in my mind’s eye. I think of the challenge before me as a hurdle and jump over it. When I need to carry a heavy load, I’m a draft horse pulling along the problems in a cart as if they weighed nothing, when I need to change my way of thinking, I am the barrel racing pony, diving in and out between different ideas to find a new path. I listen to drumming or thunder, anything to remind myself of the hooves I have in the spirit world and as I am envisioning my mare in her many forms,
I think of the challenge before me as a hurdle and jump over it. When I need to carry a heavy load, I’m a draft horse pulling along the problems in a cart as if they weighed nothing, when I need to change my way of thinking, I am the barrel racing pony, diving in and out between different ideas to find a new path. When I’ve exhausted all other physical avenues, my mare transcends and evolves into the Unicorn to perform magick and healing. I listen to drumming or thunder, anything to remind myself of the hooves I have in the spirit world. I envision my mare in her many forms, overcoming her obstacles, enjoying the work as I think of the physical world problem and how it relates. I get some rest. Often, that’s enough. It’s different for everyone.
Thanks for reading along with this article. It gave me a feeling of contentment to write and share it with you. If you need any help in this field, and I am able, you can shoot me a PM on Face Book or write a comment here. Also, you can privately e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a Blessed Day!
Help Find Your Spirit Animal
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