My first feeling when I discovered the concept of power animals was to laugh out loud! However, if we can get beneath our natural cynicism, what we find is that power animals can provide tangible benefits to our lives. A power animal is like a very wise best friend who always has your back. What’s more, a power animal embodies certain traits that you will already possess, such as courage, physical strength, mental acuity or reliability and so on, and in connecting with your animal, you’ll be able to increase that trait in yourself.
So, for me, my power animal is a black panther and a large part of my shamanic path has been to really connect with that animal, understand what he is about, and learn to harness his power – wisdom, insight, huge courage and strength – when I need a bit more juju, for example if I’m giving a talk, or I’m leading a challenging plant ceremony in Peru.
To understand what your animal is, here are some helpful pointers:
A power animal will be an animal you might dream about quite regularly,
It will certainly be an animal you’ve always loved – maybe you felt an affinity with this animal as a child, or your favourite cuddly toy was this animal,
Similarly, it might be an animal you’ve always been slightly fearful / respectful of – power animals aren’t to be messed with, they’re very intuitive, and wise and powerful.
To start the process of discovering what your animal might be, here’s a simple visualisation:
Take seven deep breaths, really focusing on the exhale and letting go of anything that doesn’t serve you as you breathe out. Repeat with seven more breaths, and now on the exhale feeling your body really sinking into the ground.
From this relaxed space, ask for your power animal to come forward and see what image appears. If you get more than one, take the first one, and then be present – really get to the know the animal by engaging your senses and focusing on how s/he looks, feels, what kind of attributes s/he embodies.
If nothing comes forward, come back to the breath and do another two rounds of exhales to ground and release mental chatter, before trying again.